§ SIR H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Savings Bank funds can legally be invested in Indian Government securities or in the debentures of Indian Railways, the principal and interest of which are guaranteed by the Secretary of State for India?
§ SIR H. FOWLER
May I ask whether the right honourable Gentleman is aware that this week the Bank of England issued £1,000,000 3 per cent. debentures of the East India Railway Company, guaranteed by the Secretary of State, principal and interest; that these were issued at something like a few shillings under 101—I think that the average was £100 15s. Does not the right honourable Gentleman think that an investment of that character, guaranteed by the Secretary of State for India, charged on that gigantic institution, the East 222 India Railway system, and paying 3 per cent., repayable at par, was a better investment for the Savings Bank funds than Consols at a premium of 10 or 11, with a reduction of interest at ¼ per cent. in three or four years, and the possibility of repayment at par in 1923?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
It is a matter of opinion. The right honourable Gentleman is asking what the law is. The law does not at present permit the investment.