HC Deb 22 February 1955 vol 537 cc1059-61
38. Mr. Gaitskell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what dollar stocks, at present owned by Her Majesty's Government, it is proposed to sell; the terms of sale; and what income was received in respect of them during 1954.

Mr. R. A. Butler

With permission I will circulate in the Official Report the list of dollar stocks which have been offered for sale. They are being offered at London market prices. As regards the third part of the Question, the right hon. Member will appreciate that it is not usual to disclose such particulars in respect of assets held by the Exchange Equalisation Account, but he can, of course, be assured that the dollar income will continue to accrue to this country.

Mr. Gaitskell

Will the Chancellor say why he decided to sell these securities?

Mr. Butler

I have said in answer to a previous Parliamentary Question that the larger part of these assets will be kept under the control of Her Majesty's Treasury. That was on 3rd February this year. During the right hon. Gentleman's term of office certain sales were effected; that is to say, in 1951, in a reply which the right hon. Gentleman gave, on 3rd July, he indicated that certain sales were being effected. I have found it convenient to permit these sales, and as the dollar results will accrue to the benefit of this country, I think that the right hon. Gentleman may regard it as an entirely satisfactory transaction.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the ground on which I decided that certain sales should be made was that there were very strong arguments on the ground of management? What I was asking, and I ask again, was whether the same conditions apply to the dollar securities which he is now selling.

Mr. Butler

I am aware of the conditions which the right hon. Gentleman attached to his sales, because I have particulars of them with me—for greater caution. Exactly the same considerations do not apply to these sales, but it has been thought convenient that these sales should take place, leaving the majority of these securities in the control of the Treasury.

Mr. Gaitskell

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House some explanation of this? For what reason has he decided to sell the securities, and is the income which the Government lose as a result of that balanced by any increase in sterling income?

Mr. Butler

The dollar income will accrue to the country, and it is of course possible in the circumstances that those who sell these securities give an equivalent amount of their foreign capital available for similar sales to take place eleswhere. There is nothing very remarkable in 15 million dollars' worth of these sales taking place.

Mr. Gaitskell

Will the Chancellor please try to give us on some future occasion a statement which is slightly less obscure than the one which he has just made?

Following is the list:


American and Foreign Power Company Inc. 5 per cent. Gold Debentures 2030.

Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company 4 per cent. General Mortgage Gold Bonds 1995.

Missouri Pacific Railroad Company 5 per cent. First Mortgage and Refunding Gold Bonds Series "F" 1977.

Pennsylvania Railroad Company 4½ per cent. Consolidated Mortgage Gold Bonds 1960.

Southern Railway Company 6½ per cent. Development and General Mortgage Gold Bonds Series "A" 1956.


American Bakeries Company Common Stock.

American Cyanamid Company Common Stock.

American Natural Gas Company Common Stock.

American News Company Capital Stock.

American Power and Light Company Common Stock.

American Smelting and Refining Company Common Stock.

American Tobacco Company 6 per cent. Cumulative Preferred Stock.

American Tobacco Company Common Stock.

Anaconda Copper Mining Company Common Stock.

Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company Common Stock.

Atlantic Refining Company Common Stock.

Blaw-Knox Company Capital Stock.

Chase National Bank of the City of New York Capital Stock.

Chrysler Corporation Common Stock.

Clevite Corporation Common Stock.

Coca-Cola Company Common Stock.

Columbia Gas System Inc. Common Stock.

Congoleum-Nairn Inc. Common Stock.

Crucible Steel Company of America 5 per cent. Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock.

Electric Storage Battery Company Common Stock.

Gimbel Brothers Inc. $4.50 Cumulative Preferred Stock.

International Harvester Company Common Stock.

Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company Common Stock.

Lorillard (P) Company Common Stock.

Macy (R.H.) and Company Inc. Common Stock.

Marlin-Rockwell Corporation Common Stock.

Mead Johnson and Company Common Stock.

Ohio Oil Company Common Stock.

Pennsylvania Power and Light Company Common Stock.

Portland Gas and Coke Company Common Stock.

Procter and Gamble Company Common Stock.

Servel Inc. Common Stock.

South Jersey Gas Company Common Stock.

Southern Company Common Stock.

Starrett (L.S.) Company Common Stock.

Texas Gulf Sulphur Company Capital Stock.

Union Bag and Paper Corporation Capital Stock.

Union Electric Company of Missouri Common Stock.

Vick Chemical Company Capital Stock.

Westinghouse Air Brake Company Capital Stock.

Worthington Corporation Common Stock.

Wrigley (Wm.) Jr. Company Capital Stock.

Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company Common Stock.