§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Consols held on account of the Post Office Savings Bank Fund stand at a cost price, on balance, of £103 6s. 5d. per cent., while the Consols held on account of the Trustee Saving Banks Fund stand at a cost police, on balance, of £91 3s. 6d. per cent., or a difference in favour of the Trustee Savings Banks Fund of £9 2s. 11d. per cent.; whether as regards the purchase of Consols, the Post Office Savings Bank and the Trustee Savings Hanks are equally under the control of the Government; and will he explain the difference, representing on the £59,072,319 Consols hold on the 31st December, 1907, on account of the Post Office Savings Bank Fund, an extra cost of over £5,400,000.
§ MR. ASQUITH
The investments on account of the Trustee Savings Banks 1230 Fund began in 1817. The investments for the Post Office Savings Banks Fund did not begin till 1861. It could not be expected that the transactions on behalf of the two funds, extending over such different periods, would yield the same cost price on balance for the Consols now held. It would be impossible in answer to a question to go through the history of the two funds so as to explain how the difference of cost has arisen. But I may mention that in the period from 1895 to 1899, when the price of Consols was abnormally high, the purchases for the Post Office Banks amounted to £25,000,000, and those for the trustee banks to only £5,700,000. The investments are made-for both funds alike by the National Debt Commissioners.