Tuesday, 4 December 1973
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Colley: asked the Minister for Finance if he will give details of the amounts subscribed by non-Government sources to (a) the most recent National Loan, (b) the 1972 National Loan and (c) 1971 National Loan.
Mr. P. Belton: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the amount subscribed to the National Loans in the years 1969 to 1973 inclusive by (a) the public other than insurance companies, (b) insurance companies and (c) departmental funds.
Mr. R. Ryan: With your permission, a Cheann Chomhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 13 together and, as the reply is in the form of a tabular statement, I propose, with your permission, to circulate it with the Official Report.
|Public||Insurance Companies||Departmental Funds||Total|
|9¼% National Loan 89/94||1969||10.3||5.8||3.9||20.0|
|9¼% Exchequer Loan 1991/96||1971||14.4||7.6||5.0||27.0|
|9¾% National Development Loan 92/97||1972||27.7||7.5||5.0||40.2|
|11% National Loan 93/98||1973||8.8||7.5||6.8||23.1|
Mr. J. Lynch: The simple information required here would not appear to warrant a tabular statement. The Minister has taken Questions Nos. 12 and 13 together, but if he wanted to give the information openly he could have taken No. 12 separately. That would have been a simple statement.
Mr. J. Lynch: With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, he has taken Nos. 12 and 13 together. It appears there is no real justification for taking them together except to evade supplementary questions here in the House. May I suggest now to the Minister that he answer No. 12 separately. He has the information in his brief.
Mr. J. Lynch: Since I cannot get a separate answer to a separate question, which No. 12 obviously is, would the Minister not say now in relation to (a) in No. 12, that is, the amount subscribed by non-Government sources in the most recent national loan, that the amount subscribed was grossly under the amount expected by the Minister? Would the Minister further say whether there was any intimation from the British Government, in  view of all the recent contacts that have been made between this Government and the British Government, that they contemplated the kind of emergency action that they took within 24 hours of the issue of the recent national loan? Would the Minister also say whether any inquiries were made of the British Government in regard to a danger of a monetary crisis in the City of London coming up?
Mr. R. Ryan: All the usual sources were tapped to obtain information about the money market here and abroad. There was no indication whatsoever of this surprise action which, as Deputy Lynch is aware, surprised the London money market just as much as the rest of the world when it occurred. We have not got any special powers of reading the minds of British financiers, and in view of what happened we took instant action to correct the situation. We could have done what has happened on other occasions, that is, where people panicked and withdrew the loan altogether. No doubt the glee of the Fianna Fáil Party would have been even greater if that unfortunate situation had befallen the country. We took the sensible action and got a satisfactory return in the circumstances. We are satisfied that the present trend of the market is such that over the next few months we shall have an increased flow of funds into public capital requirements.
Mr. J. Lynch: The Minister, in reply to earlier supplementaries, said that the international money market was very uncertain at the time this loan was issued. That being so—and I accept the Minister's statement to that effect—why did the Minister not then rely on home resources, on the commercial banks, to provide the necessary capital, or is it a fact that he had already scooped the pool dry?
Mr. R. Ryan: If the Opposition would only read the statistics which are published regularly by the Central Bank they would know that allegation  has no foundation whatsoever and that the funds of the banks are rising all the time.
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