HC Deb 14 February 1956 vol 548 cc2158-9
30. Mr. Bryan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what degree the measures introduced in the autumn Budget to encourage small savings have been effective.

37. Mr. Gower

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in order to give further incentives to private savings, he will increase again the maximum permitted holdings of National Savings Certificates and Defence Bonds; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. H. Brooke

Some £37 million has so far been subscribed to the new issue of 4 per cent. Defence Bonds. No figures are available of National Savings Certificates bought by holders who already possessed the previous maximum holding since the limit was raised at the beginning of November.

As the Prime Minister said in his Bradford speech on 18th January, we are actively considering what further steps we can take to make savings attractive. The suggestion about limits will be borne in mind, along with other suggestions.

Mr. Bryan

Does my right hon. Friend agree that some more attractive and possibly entirely new sort of inducement will be required to ensure that this type of saving is fully carried out?

Mr. Brooke

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his interest in this extremely important matter of expanding National Savings. Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have made public reference to their interest in finding some new method of attracting savings, and in due course my right hon. Friend will, no doubt, be declaring his intentions.

Mr. Gower

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the existing limits appear to have little relevance at present?

Mr. Fernyhough

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how much of the £37 million actually represents new savings and how much of it is made up by withdrawals from war savings at 2½per cent. and reinvestment in Defence Bonds at 4 per cent.?

Mr. Brooke

No, I am afraid that it is impossible to say that.

Mr. Jay

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any of the other measures in the autumn Budget have been effective?

Mr. Brooke

That supplementary question is a long way from the Question on the Order Paper.