§ Now, Sir, the manner in which our debt is reduced at the present time is chiefly through the action of terminable annuities. A large block—perhaps 10 millions, perhaps 20 millions, or 30 millions—of Consols is cancelled; for example, a block standing to the credit of the National Debt Commissioners on behalf of savings bank depositors; and in place of the Consols so cancelled a terminable annuity is set up of such an annual amount and running for such a time as may suffice to pay annually the interest on the Consols cancelled, and also by the end of the time to replace the capital amount of the Consols cancelled. When the end of the terminable annuity arrives the redemption of that amount of debt is effected, and the annual amount of the terminable annuity is, of course, available for other purposes. It may be used either by Parliament, to set up a fresh terminable annuity in order to cancel more Consols, or it may fall, as it would naturally fall, into the new 1009 Sinking Fund, and through the new Sinking Fund—which is the unappropriated balance of the fixed debt charge not appropriated either for the interest or the management of the Debt, or for the service of the terminable annuities—be devoted to the redemption of the Debt. Now we are approaching a very remarkable period in the history of the terminable annuities and of the new Sinking Fund. In February 1902 what is known as the Savings Bank annuity of £2,200,000 a year will come to an end, and between that date and July 1904 the converted annuities of £684,000 a year and the Chancery annuities of £2,943,000 a year will also come to an end. And, further, the interest on Consols will be reduced by a quarter per cent., saving an annual amount of something like £1,300,000.