HC Deb 28 January 1958 vol 581 cc191-2
28. Mr. Brockway

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the conversion of post-war credits into Premium Savings Bonds.

Mr. Amory

No, Sir.

Mr. Brockway

May I ask the Chancellor if he is aware that there are large numbers of people who, because of accident and injury or perhaps the effect of the Rent Act, are in urgent need of finance, and feel that they are being cheated of it after twelve years? Would not it be possible in cases of hardship to give them some consolation by adopting the proposal in the Question?

Mr. Amory

I know that this matter has been considered by my predecessors on a number of occasions, and always with the same result—that the separation of certain categories of hardship is too difficult and would result in great anomalies. I am sure myself that if more money is available, the best way to use it is to accelerate the repayment.

Mr. Remnant

Would not my right hon. Friend reconsider the proposal—it has been made before—that these postwar credits should be transferred to a transferable stock, so that those who really need it can obtain the cash without extra indebtedness in the Treasury?

Mr. Amory

That aspect has also been considered by my predecessors on a number of occasions, with the result that they found that it would not be feasible and would also be inflationary.

37. Mr. Freeth

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost of immediately paying out all the remaining post-war credits of those who died on active service in the armed forces of the Crown up to the end of 1957.

Mr. Amory

I regret that the information on which to base such an estimate is not available.

Mr. Freeth

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—may I ask him, when he comes to form his Budget in April, to consider whether it would not be possible to accelerate repayment of post-war credits, to give what surely must be the natural priority to the widows and often the ageing parents of those who died in the service of their country?

Mr. Amory

I am afraid that I cannot anticipate my Budget statement.