Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National Loans.

Tuesday, 4 December 1973

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 269 No. 7

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12.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George 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.

13.

Mr. P. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick 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: Information on Richie Ryan  Zoom on Richie 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.

Following is the statement:—

National Loan Year Subscriptions
Public Insurance Companies Departmental Funds Total
£m £m £m £m
9¼% National Loan 89/94 1969 10.3 5.8 3.9 20.0
3 Stocks* 1970 16.1 5.1 12.0 33.2
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

*These stocks were issued in February 1971 after the Bank Strike. They were 8% Exchequer Stocks 1972, 8¾% Conversion Stock 1976 and 9¾% National Loan, 1984-89.

[859]Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John 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. R. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan  Zoom on Richie Ryan  There are 30 figures and seven headings.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  Not in No. 12.

Mr. R. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan  Zoom on Richie Ryan  Nos. 12 and 13 are related.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  They are not.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John 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.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is usual for the Chair to accept the Minister's request to take questions together.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  It is only right that public attention should be drawn to the fact that the Minister is trying to avoid answering questions——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is a statement, Deputy Colley.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  ——about figures on national loans for this year, last year and the year before, and we all know why.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John 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 [860] 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: Information on Richie Ryan  Zoom on Richie 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. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  Mr. Micawber.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John 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: Information on Richie Ryan  Zoom on Richie Ryan  If the Opposition would only read the statistics which are published regularly by the Central Bank they would know that allegation [861] has no foundation whatsoever and that the funds of the banks are rising all the time.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We cannot have a debate. Deputies will have to find another opportunity to debate this matter.


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