HC Deb 01 March 1955 vol 537 cc1868-9
24. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the fact that a National Savings Certificate, purchased in September, 1939, for 15s. has earned interest amounting to 7s. 11d., and has a nominal value today of £l 2s. 11d., but is worth only 10s. hi real purchasing power, if he will take the necessary powers to safeguard the savings of weekly wage earners by tying the repayment of the first £500 of such certificates to either the cost-of-living index or the Interim Index of Retail Prices.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I do not think that if would be practicable to do What my hon. Friend suggests.

Mr. Osborne

Does my right hon. Friend not agree that it is of the' greatest urgency to encourage the ordinary working man to support the National Savings movement? Is it not unfair to repay him in a depreciated currency? Cannot something be done to help him?

Mr. Butler

The ordinary working man does not seem to think that it is particularly unfair, because there is a rise of about £90 million in the retention of savings between this year and last year. Furthermore, it is difficult to carry out my hon. Friend's suggestion because it would mean picking out one form of Government security and leaving the others.