36. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, with a view to improving the market value of Government stocks, he will instruct the Estate Duty Office to accept in settlement of death duties Government stocks at a value half-way between their issued value and market value at the time of death, where such stocks are standing below their issued value at the time of death.
I am afraid not. The right of a holder to surrender stock for the purposes of Estate Duty is a fundamental condition of a stock determined at the time of issue.
Mr. Gresham Cooke
Would my right hon. Friend think about the example of 789 Victory Bonds, which have been successful in showing some reduction of the National Debt as well as maintaining a reasonable price for Government stock? Might that not be a matter for further consideration?
If my memory holds good, I think the right to surrender Victory Bonds was contained in the prospectus at the time of their issue.