§ 45. Mr. Osborne
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is today's nominal value, including accrued interest, of a National Savings Certificate purchased in August, 1945, for 15s.: and what is its real purchasing power allowing for the subsequent drop in the internal purchasing power of the £.
§ Mr. Osborne
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think this is grossly unfair to the thrifty wage earner who has been supporting the National Savings movement, and could he not evolve some fairer method of paying back these people for the patriotism they have shown under more than one Government?
§ Mr. Gaitskell
If the hon. Gentleman is merely saying that prices have risen in the last five years, or in the last 15 years, I might agree with him. If he is suggesting that the person who has invested in National Savings is worse off, then it depends on what he might have done with the money. If he had spent it on drink, there might be a difference of opinion. If, on the other hand, he had put it in a stocking, he would have been better off to have bought Savings Certificates.
§ Mr. Harrison
Can my right hon. Friend say how this fall in value compares with the fall in value of other national currencies during the same period?
§ Mr. Osborne
This is a very serious matter. Does the Chancellor think it really fair that a thrifty section of the 2294 country should be paid back about 15s. in the pound? Can he not do something about it?