§ 42. Mr. Hendry
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will instruct the Estate Duty Office to accept in settlement of death duties 3½ per cent. War Stock held continuously by the deceased since 1948.
§ The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Anthony Barber)
No, Sir. I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to my right hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) on 2nd February.
§ Mr. Hendry
Since this stock was almost certainly acquired at or above par, will not my hon. Friend agree that to accept repayment at its face value would merely be to give credit after death for an act of patriotism during life?
§ Mr. Barber
The terms of issue of any stock of this kind are a fundamental condition, and I do not think that it 1218 would be right for those to be altered. Further, if we were to do as my hon. Friend suggests it would be a discrimination between various holders, which I think would act unfairly.
Mr. H. Wilson
Does not this Question and the volumes of correspondence hon. Gentlemen are receiving on this subject indicate the monstrous fall in the standing of gilt-edged securities since the present Government took office?