§ Sir K. Wood
With the permission of the House, I should like to make a statement about our borrowing programme. At present two market loans are on offer—2½ per cent. National War Bonds, 1949–51, and 3 per cent. Savings Bonds, 1960–70. The total of the current issue of Savings Bonds is now about 667 £206,000,000, and I propose to continue that issue for the time being. The total of the current issue of National War Bonds has now reached £673,000,000, and I propose to discontinue the issue at the close of business on 30th November.
As from 1st December, and thereafter until further notice, subscriptions will be invited to a new issue of National War Bonds. The rate of interest will be 2½ per cent., and the Bonds will be issued at par. They will be repaid at par on 1st March, 1953, at the latest, but there will be an option to the Treasury to redeem them at par on or after 1st March, 1951. The maximum currency of the Bonds is thus 10 years 3 months, as against 9 years 9½ months for the current issue, and represents a further improvement in the terms on which the Treasury is able to borrow.
The need to finance as much as possible of our war expenditure by our market loans is as great as ever, and I appeal to all investors to subscribe as much as they can to the new issue, or, if it equally meets their needs, to the issue of Savings Bonds.
§ Mr. Bellenger
Will the holders of the old loan be entitled to participate in the new issue? What is the real purpose of making a new issue other than the slightly extended term of the period of the loan?
§ Sir K. Wood
It is generally the custom when an issue has reached the proportions that this has done to turn to some other issue, and in this respect we are able to borrow on better terms. Perhaps my hon. Friend will put the first part of his Supplementary Question on the Paper.
§ Mr. Loftus
Will the House have an opportunity to discuss at an early date the whole policy of borrowing?