§ Mr. HANNON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether be will prepare a statement of the annual amount of the interest burden based on the actual com- position of the National Debt on 1st April of the years 1919, 1920, 1921, and 1922, respectively, and on 30th June, 1922, assuming in each case that the composition of the debt had remained unaltered for one year from each of the dates specified, and assuming also that interest was being paid on all external debts;
§ Sir J. BAIRD
I do not think a statement based on so many assumptions, as are suggested by my hon. Friend, would be of any value. The rates for Floating Debt vary during the year; and the rates of exchange (which affects foreign debt payments) also vary; and, accordingly, an assumption that these factors remained constant for 12 months would bear no relation to the facts, The amounts provided in the Budget Estimates of the years in question for interest on Dead Weight Debt have been as follow:
£ 1919–20 … … 354,524,000 1920–21 … … 334,110,000 1921–22 … … 319,467,000 1922–23 … … *330,394,000 * Includes £25,000,000 for interest for half a year on debt due to United States Government.