§ 72. Sir Patrick Hannon
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts have been subscribed to National War Bonds and Savings Bonds, respectively, since the beginning of the financial year?
§ Sir K. Wood
The amounts raised from 1st April, 1941, to 6th August, 1941, by the issue of National War Bonds and Savings Bonds were £248,345,000 and £180,51:0,000 respectively.
I should like to take this opportunity of saying that I have recently reviewed the terms of the various Government issues now available for subscription and have decided to make the following changes:
I propose at the close of business on 14th August to discontinue the present issue of 2½ per cent. National War Bonds 1946–48, the total of which is now some £400,000,000. 2098 On the other hand, the 3 per cent. Savings Bonds, 1955–65, although they have appealed to a wider public, have not reached a figure of such magnitude, and I intend to continue this issue for the time being without any change of substance, although for technical reasons Bonds issued after 14th August will be designated "A" Series, with a first interest payment due on 15th February, 1942, on which date the "A" Series will be amalgamated with the existing issue. Thus I shall revert until further notice to the earlier practice of relying solely on one market issue.
I have also decided to increase from seven to 10 years the maximum currency of the 3 per cent. Defence Bonds which are available through the Post Office and the Trustee Savings Banks. This change will take effect on 1st September. Other features of the Defence Bonds, such as the 1 per cent. premium payable at maturity and the favourable arrangements as to encashment, will remain unchanged, though for technical reasons the interest dates will be altered from 1st May and 1st November to 1st March and 1st September.
I think it right to continue to give the greatest encouragement to the smallest savings and I, therefore, propose no change in the terms of the National Savings Certificates.
§ Sir P. Hannon
Is the House to understand from the Chancellor's statement that continued effort will be made to enlarge the investment by the public, particularly the smaller investor, in Government funds?
§ Sir William Davison
Has the Chancellor considered, as some variety in the form of Government borrowing, the desirability of issuing some kind of premium bond, which a great number of the public would welcome?
§ Sir K. Wood
I am afraid that there would be a good deal of difference of opinion on that, which might have an adverse effect on the National Savings movement.
§ Sir K. Wood
Yes, I think that, on the whole, the response has been satisfactory. It is perfectly true, as regards certain issues, that in the last few weeks the total has been not quite so satisfactory, but there have been good reasons for that— holidays, etc. I think that, on the whole, the effort has been well sustained, but my hope and desire is for a considerable improvement in the next few months.