§ ME. B. S. STRAUS (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give the reason that the average price of the cost of purchase of Consols for Sinking Fund purposes during the year from the end of March, 1907, to the end of March, 1908, was £85 10s. per cent., and that the average price of Consols for that period was £1 2s. 6d. less, i.e., £84 7s. 6d.
§ MR. HOBHOUSE
The bulk of the Sinking Fund money is issued to the Commissioners for the reduction of the National Debt in the last quarter of the financial year. A comparison of the price paid during the quarter to 31st March, last, when Consols were considerably higher than in the previous nine months, with the average market price for the whole year is therefore misleading.
§ MR. B. S. STRAUS
asked if the Government could not so arrange matters as to buy when the market was cheap.