§ Sir W. Smithers
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount of the National Debt as at 31st March, 1939 and 1944, was held by Government Departments of all kinds; and whether this information in aggregate form could be made available each year in future as it was in the years prior to the war of 1914–18.
§ Sir J. Anderson
In reply to the first part of the Question the figures are:
On 31st March, 1939—£630 millions. On 31st March, 1943—£1,927 millions.
Particulars of holdings on 31st March, 1944, have not yet been compiled.
These figures consist of the nominal amount of holdings by Government Departments of the British Government Securities (including Ways and Means Advances) comprised in the National Debt. Holdings of Local Loans Stock, Redemption Stock and securities guaranteed by the Government of the United 1743W Kingdom, are excluded. The figures do not include the holdings of the Issue Department of the Bank of England or those of the following Government Departments and public offices:
- Crown Agents for the Colonies.
- India Office.
- Treasury Solicitor (Trust holdings).
- Public Trustee.
- Charity Comrnissioners.
- Supreme Court of Judicature.
- Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
- Queen Anne's Bounty.
- Exchange Equalisation Account.
In reply to the second part of the Question, I see no objection to similar figures being furnished in future years in response to specific inquiries, but I would not be justified in reviving the annual Return to which my hon. Friend refers.