HC Deb 30 January 1947 vol 432 cc1113-4
60. Sir John Mellor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will quote the text of the Treasury's guarantee of the 5 per cent. Debenture Stock, 1931–1957, of the North Metropolitan Power Station Company, Limited; and if he will give an assurance that the Government does not propose to impair this guarantee by legislation.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Glenvil Hall)

I am circulating the text in the OFFICIAL REPORT. If this company is taken over under the Electricity Bill, compensation stock will be issued in exchange for this security. Such issue would not impair the guarantee.

Sir J. Mellor

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean by that last sentence that the default is not a default when committed by Act of Parliament?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I meant what I said, and that is that the guarantee was against default by this particular company. That guarantee, of course, still holds.

Sir J. Mellor

Can the right hon. Gentleman quote any precedent for the treatment of these stockholders and the London Passenger Transport Board guaranteed stockholders?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The situation is on all fours with the L.P.T.B. stock.

Mr. Nigel Birch

In view of the fact that this is the second default on a British Government guaranteed security, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of making firms distinguish on their balance sheets between Government securities and Government guaranteed stock?

62. Sir John Mellor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the text of the agreement, dated 24th September, 1942, between the Treasury and the L.P.T.B., concerning the guarantee of 3 per cent. stock redeemable between 1967 and 1972.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Yes, Sir.