HC Deb 08 March 1948 vol 448 cc786-7
46. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Attorney-General why Rule 17 of the County Court Fund Rules, 1934, has been revoked by the 1947 Rules, which abolished investment accounts carrying interest at the rate of 3 per cent.; why all funds in court are now to be treated as deposits carrying interest not exceeding 2½ per cent.; and when investment accounts can be re-opened.

The Attorney-General (Sir Hartley Shaw-cross)

Until the coming into operation of the County Court Funds Rules, 1947, on 1st January, 1948, the rate of interest on county court funds placed to investment account was 3 per cent., and that on funds placed to deposit account was 2½ per cent. Having regard to the rates of interest payable on Government securities generally, my noble Friend decided, after consultation with the Treasury, that the difference was no longer justifiable. The new rules made a flat rate of 2½ per cent. payable on all funds in the county court, and in consequence the maintenance of separate investment and deposit accounts was no longer necessary. It is not at present proposed to restore the higher rate of interest.

Sir J. Mellor

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that Government credit is now again on a 3 per cent. basis for long-term borrowing; and in those circumstances does he not think that a distinction should be drawn between long-term and short-term investment accounts?

The Attorney-General

No, that was not the view taken by my noble Friend after consultation with the Treasury.

Mr. Renton

Is the Attorney-General aware that British Transport Commission stock was issued at 3 per cent.; and will he say why, if people, generally very humble people, with funds in the county court, should not also receive the same as British Transport stockholders?

Sir W. Smithers

Ask the right hon. Member for Bishop Auckland.

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