asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the number of holders of War Loan stock whose addresses could not be traced and whose communications were returned on the occasion of the recent Conversion Loan and the amount of stock held by such persons; and whether he proposes to publish the names of such persons so that they or their next-of-kin may claim the money?
The number of communications returned was only a small percentage of the communications sent out, but it would not be possible to ascertain the amount of stock involved without a great deal of work which would not be justified by the results. These returned communications do not necessarily represent unclaimed holdings. Probably a large number failed to reach their destination owing to the stockholder's omission to notify a change of address. The operation received such wide publicity that it is practically unthinkable chat any stockholder in this country should have been unaware of the terms of the offer and. he could obtain forms for himself without any difficulty. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative. Section 11 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1931, provided that if neither a continuance application nor a repayment application was in force at the end of three months from the offer, the holding would be automatically continued in 3½ per cent. War Loan.
Will the right hon. Gentleman look up his answer again where he stated that it was a small percentage? Surely if he can state that there was a percentage at all he should be able to give us the number.