§ MR. STRAUS (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, owing to the knowledge of the stock markets that fresh issues of certain Home trustee securities are likely to be shortly made, Canadian Three per cent. Stock stands higher than some trustee stocks guaranteed by the British Government; and whether he will take steps to prevent, anyhow for some years, any new issues of trustee securities by the Government or municipalities from ranking as trustee investments, and so improve the value of existing trustee stocks and better the credit of the country,
§ MR. ASQUITH
I do not think that, in determining what stocks are to be, and are not to be, "trustee" securities, it would be legitimate to have regard to any considerations other than the merits of the stocks themselves. In the cases referred to by my hon. friend new issues as a rule rank pari passu with existing issues, and there is therefore no ground for such discrimination as is suggested. I have no doubt that the fact that further issues of certain stocks which are guaranteed by the British Government are anticipated has a good deal to do with the present low range of prices of such stocks, as compared not only with Canadian Three per cents., but also as compared with Consols (in regard to which the difference is still more marked); but I cannot think that our credit would be enhanced by an arrangement implying that we no longer regarded our guarantee as of sufficient value to justify a trustee investing in a security which carries it.