HC Deb 18 October 1949 vol 468 c484
53. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present holding of 2½ per cent. Treasury Bonds now quoted around 69 per cent. in the National Insurance Fund and in the Post Office Savings Bank; and what was the average price at which the stock was purchased in each case.

Sir S. Cripps

Statements showing the nominal amounts of 2½ per cent. Treasury Stock held in the National Insurance (Reserve) Fund on 31st March, 1949, and in the Post Office Savings Bank's Fund on 31st December, 1948, have already been issued by the National Debt Commissioners and laid before Parliament. The accounts of the National Insurance (Reserve) Fund, which will show the cost price and market value of stock held in that Fund on 31st March, 1949, will be laid before the House in due course. In accordance with long-established practice, I am not prepared to anticipate or add to the information regularly given to Parliament under Statute.

Mr. Osborne

I should like to ask the Chancellor what he means by "in due course," because there is a good deal of nervousness about the investment in this stock of these two Funds. It already shows a depreciation of nearly one-third. It is very important to people whose interests are involved.

Sir S. Cripps

"In due course" means when, under the Statute which regulates the matter, they have to present their accounts to Parliament.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Chancellor aware that if any private citizen behaved as his predecessor did when he issued the stock he would find himself at the Old Bailey?

Sir S. Cripps

I am not aware of any private citizen issuing Government stock.