63 Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Chancellor of the Ex-chequer (1) how many shares the Government has acquired in the Siberian Bank, what is their normal value, what price did it pay for them;
(2) with whom he is negotiating for the sale of the shares which the Government holds in the Siberian Bank; whether he has granted any option for the purchase of these shares; if so, for what consideration;
(3) whether he is advised, and by whom, that the present is a suitable time for selling the shares which it has acquired in the Siberian Bank?
Negotiations in this matter are in progress, and I do not think it would be in the public interest to make any statement on the matter at present.
Is it undesirable in the public interest to state what price the Government have paid for these shares, and how many shares they hold?
I think it is undesirable, while negotiations are going on, that I should make any statement.
How is it possible to sell these shares to the best advantage if it is not known generally how many shares are for sale? Have the negotiations been conducted by the Treasury direct or have they been conducted by the Department of Overseas Trade?