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.
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?
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.