§ MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will explain the reason for the early closing this morning of the list of subscriptions for the issue of Exchequer bonds.
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. Hicks Beach,) Bristol, W.
The list was closed as soon as it was ascertained that the bonds offered had been amply covered, because I was advised that this course would, on the whole, cause less disappointment than 910 a very small allotment in proportion to-the amount subscribed for. I may say that a part of the issue was already taken. Before settling what the issue should be, I had endeavoured to ascertain, by the usual confidential inquiries whether the terms which I felt justified in offering would be likely to attract subscribers here. I received such very moderate encouragement that I accepted an offer made to me by the leading Anglo-American houses in London to place half, the issue in the United States on the terms at which I had decided to offer it here. I did this not only on financial grounds. But financially it assured the success of the issue; and it had another great advantage. Last Thursday the-reserve of the Bank of England stood at the lowest point at which it has stood at this time of the year for seven years; and I was advised by those best competent to judge that great relief might be afforded here by the movement of gold from the United States, if a large part of this loan were taken there. I regret any disappointment caused to those who were shut out by early closing; but I hope it may be to some extent mitigated by a, consideration of the very important point to which I have just referred.