HC Deb 20 October 1944 vol 403 c2681W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how it arises that, as recorded on page 22 of the Finance Accounts, the Treasury receives each year a sum of £104,000 as dividend on shares of the Cable and Wireless Company, Limited, whereas no reference is made to the holding of such shares among the assets listed on a later page of the Accounts; and whether he will state what number of Cable and Wireless shares are held and when and why they were acquired.

Sir J. Anderson

H.M. Government holds 2,600,000 £1 shares in the Cable and Wireless Company, Limited, acquired by the Treasury under S.1 (1) of the Imperial Telegraphs Act, 1938. The circumstances in which these shares were acquired are described in a White Paper dated April, 1938 (Cmd. 5716), a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend. Dividend at the rate of 4 per cent., namely, £104,000, has been received each year, and this is recorded under "Receipts from Sundry Loans, etc." in the Finance Accounts. I agree with my hon. Friend that the value of the holding should be included with the assets shown on page 57 of the Finance Accounts, and I am giving directions for this to be done in future.