HC Deb 25 March 1938 vol 333 cc1518-20W
Mr. R. Beaumont

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, the number of men, established and hired, respectively, employed in each of His Majesty's dockyards in 1936 and 1937, and the estimated numbers for 1938?

Colonel Llewellin

The numbers of workpeople are as follow:

drawn to the statement contained in the Finance Accounts of 1936–37 that other securities are held for account of the sinking fund of the Irish 2f per cent. Guaranteed Land Stock of 1921; whether, before the sinking fund moneys were employed in acquiring other securities, steps had been taken either by bidding in the open market or by invitation to holders to tender their stock at or under par and accrued interest in order to ascertain what stock was available before other securities were acquired and, in view of the fact that one per cent. sinking fund, payable by the Irish farmers and guaranteed by the British Government and interest thereon at 2¾ per cent. would enable the stock to be redeemed at par and interest in 49 years from the date of issue, whether steps will be taken to invite such tenders and on the acceptance thereof to realise the other securities now temporarily held for account of the sinking fund in order to pay for such tenders of stock as are accepted; and whether, as further sums accrue to the sinking fund, tenders of stock at or under par and interest will be invited from holders before making any purchases of other securities?

Sir J. Simon

The main provisions relating to the redemption of the 2¾ per cent. Guaranteed Land Stock created under the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1891, are contained in Section 1 (2) of that Act, and Section 25 of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1896, to which I would refer the hon. Member.

The moneys available for Sinking Fund on this stock are dealt with in accordance with the Rules made by the Treasury under Section 27 of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1891, which prescribe that the sums paid to the National Debt Commissioners on account of the Sinking Fund shall, together with any income arising from investment on account of the Fund, be applied by them for purchase or redemption of Guaranteed Land Stock and until so applied shall be invested by them in securities charged on or guaranteed by the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom.

I have considered the method of applying the Sinking Fund moneys suggested by the hon. Member, but I do not think that it would be desirable to adopt it.