United States Securities

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1967.

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Photo of Captain Walter Elliot Captain Walter Elliot , Carshalton 12:00 am, 7th March 1967

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the value of the United States securities owned by British nationals when these were compulsorily acquired by the British Government during the last war; and what is the value of these securities today, including the proceeds of sales already made.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The value of United States securities acquired by Her Majesty's Government from British nationals during the war was about £163 million. Many of them were sold during the war and in more recent years. Securities to the value of £316 million held in liquid form were transferred to the first line of reserves in February, 1966. The value of those which remain is approximately £180 million.

Photo of Captain Walter Elliot Captain Walter Elliot , Carshalton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Her Majesty's Government have completed the sales of British-owned United States securities.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

No, though much the greater part of the portfolio is now in liquid form.

Photo of Captain Walter Elliot Captain Walter Elliot , Carshalton

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the increase in the value of these securities as well as being most satisfactory is rather startling? Would not he consider that if he needs money to repay loans, it might be better to use these assets as a security to raise a loan instead of using the proceeds as if they were current earnings?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I agree that it would be an alternative proposition. I have followed what I thought was an excellent precedent set by my predecessor, and I do not feel that it would be right for me to depart from it at this stage.