HC Deb 01 February 1940 vol 356 cc1271-2
75. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that an unusual degree of credit stringency developed in the London money market on Thursday last week; that such stringency is detrimental to the success of the conversion operation in progress; whether he has taken steps to ascertain responsibilities for the stringency; and has he taken steps to prevent its recurrence?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

The hon. Member will be aware that this is by far the highest revenue quarter of the year. Largely owing to the splendid response of taxpayers to the appeal for early payment there was, on the day mentioned, an exceptionally heavy, but temporary, immobilisation of money on the public accounts. However, the effect of this on the market was not sufficient to cause any rise in the rate for day-to-day loans, and by Friday, Government disbursements had restored the general easy conditions. The market thus showed that they were well aware that this condition was purely temporary, and I cannot believe that their attitude to the conversion offer would have been influenced in any way thereby.

Mr. Thorne

What would the right hon. Gentleman say if every member of the community paid his Income Tax on the date when it was due?

Sir J. Simon

I should say that I was very much astonished.