I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will state what was the proportion per cent. of liquid or marketable assets to the whole of the assets held by the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt on account of the Post Office Savings Bank in each year from 1861 to 1906 inclusive.
The distinction suggested is one of degree, and it is therefore to a large extent a matter of opinion; and, in any case, the proportion of liquid or marketable securities to the whole of the assets held for the Post Office Savings Bank could not be given, without making a valuation of those securities. As I have recently explained, no such valuation has been given since 1902, when it was discontinued on the passing of the Act 4 Edw. VII., cap. 8. I may add, however, that till that date a statement showing the assets of the Post Office Savings Bank Fund, with a valuation thereof, was given in the Annual Reports of the Postmaster-General.
Does the right hon. Gentleman consider the present position financially sound?
Yes, with the Consolidated Fund as the security.