HC Deb 05 August 1941 vol 373 cc1787-8
49. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that there are 26 stock exchanges recognised by the Board of Trade under the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act, 1939, with an approximate membership of 1,565 individual brokers; that these brokers and their clients have, since 16th June, 1941, been denied the right of free dealings in Government and other public securities except under penalty by the operation of the rules of the Throg-morton Street Stock Exchange; and whether he will set up a Select Committee to inquire into the working of those rules as affecting the public, and to report to this House accordingly?.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)

The figure of 1,565 given by my hon. Friend apparently includes members numbering some 1,080 of the Associated Stock Exchanges. The rules in question form a joint scheme prepared by the Committee of those Stock Exchanges and the Committee of the London Stock Exchange in collaboration, and Were passed by large majorities of both bodies. I am not aware that the access of the public to the market or the cost to them of transacting business has been materially affected. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the negative.

Sir P. Hannon

Does the Chancellor not realise that apart altogether from the question of the interests of local exchanges and local brokers, a very important consideration affecting the interest of the public from the point of view of investments arises, because the decision means having to go to the centre instead of dealing direct with the local broker and jobber?

Sir K. Wood

Yes, Sir, but my hon. Friend will remember that I stated that I am not aware that the access of the public to the market, or the cost of transacting business has been materially affected.

Mr. Garro Jones

Will the Chancellor also bear in mind that to deny the public access to the stock markets, whether securities are rising or falling, may be to their advantage?

Sir P. Hannon

Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer receive a small deputation on the subject?

Sir K. Wood

Perhaps my hon. Friend will see me.