§ 60. Mr. BRACKEN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he proposes to increase the rate of interest paid to depositors in the Post Office Savings Bank and in trustee savings banks?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
It is not at present my intention to raise the rate of interest paid to depositors in the Post Office Savings Bank and in trustee savings banks. I need not remind the hon. Member that the existing rate compares favourably with that of 1 per cent. which is now being ordinarily allowed on time deposits by the joint stock banks.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
Yes, but the right hon. Gentleman surely must be aware that a most solemn pledge was given by his party during the General Election that this interest would be raised?
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by the words "at present"? Does he mean to do it later on? Is he aware that Lord Arnold gave this pledge most distinctly on behalf of the Labour party?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I do not remember the terms of the pledge, but I believe it was that this matter would be considered. It has been considered. May I remind the two hon. Members of the different circumstances of to-day as compared with 18 months ago, when the rate of interest on current deposits was 3½ per cent., whereas now it is only 1 per cent?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
Are we to understand that the Chancellor of the Exchequer sub- 760 scribes to the theory that he can alter a pledge because the circumstances have altered?
Sir F. HALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware, when he refers to the different conditions of the finance market, that loans are being raised to-day on the same basis as six months and 12 months ago? A loan was issued yesterday by New Zealand at 5 per cent.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I am not aware of the slightest connection between the issue of that loan and the subject matter of this question.