asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the obsolescence or deterioration of safety in some of the investments authorised by the Trustee Acts; and will he request a committee composed of members of the legal professions, together with his advisers at the Treasury, to examine and test the present list of the authorised securities in order to close it against further additions of such types of securities as may be considered by the committee to have lost part of their earlier quality of safety owing to changed conditions, and to select, if necessary, other securities more suitable for trustees?
As the hon. Member is no doubt aware the question of trustee securities was fully considered by a representative committee with wide terms of reference which reported on 16th April, 1928 (Command Paper No. 3107 of 1928). The committee's conclusions were against either addition to or (except for some minor modifications) subtraction from the existing list. I do not feel that there would be any practical advantage in instituting a further inquiry so soon after the former one.
Has the right hon. Gentleman taken into account that certain things have happened recently and that since the committee reported, many other things have taken place since the Colonial Stock Act of 1900 took effect; changes which were not anticipated when the committee reported recently?
Of course, there have been changes in the market value of the securities, but I do not think that that is a fact which vitiates a report of this committee which was given very careful consideration, and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, the depreciation may only be temporary.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all investments have depreciated?
I am very surprised to hear that. I was under the impression that there had been a very great appreciation in Government stocks.