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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 272 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BRITISH DOMINIONS OVER SEA 230,000,000 (9) 210,323,937 (24) 0 18 6 (11) 6,595,732 (23) 0 0 6 India . . . Australian States 3,707,905 (10) 195,324,717 (2) 52 13 0 (9) 7,595,074 (2) 2 t 0 . New Zealand 815,82o (23) 47 874,452 (1) 58 12 0 (22) 1,717,910 (1) 2 2 0 Canada . . 5,338,883 (21) 53,254,689 (14) To o o (21) 2,678,496 (13) o Io o Cape Colony 1,527,224 (24) 27,884,078 (8) 18 5 o (23) 1,331,737 (6) 0 17 5 Natal 902,365 (25) 9,019,143 (15) To o o (24) 350,204 (16) 0 7 9 France . 38,517,975 (1) 1,086,215,525 (4) 28 4 0 (1) 49,844,652 (4) I 5 II Russia . 129,211,113 (2) 656,000,000 (19) 5 2 o (2) 29,000,000 (18) 0 4 7 Austria . 25,886,000 (6) 358,438,000 (12) 13 16 II (6) 14,067,000 (10) o It 6 Hungary 19,203,531 (11) 184,600,000 (16) 9 14 0 (8) 11,977,640 (9) 0 12 6 Italy 32,449,754 (4) 586,000,000 (9) 18 0 0 (3) 27,000,000 (7) o 16 7 United States of America . 76,303,387 (8) 292,216,265 (21) 3 15 6 (10) 6,709,026 (20) o 9 Spain . 18,089,500 (5) 433,283,066 (5) 24 I 5 (5) 16,742,285 (5) 0 r8 2 Turkey . 23,880,000 (13) 170,000,000 (18) 7 0 0 (13) 5,148,450 (19) 0 4 3 Egypt . . 9,734,000 (16) 103,372,000 (13) lc) 12 4 (15) 4,222,379 (15) 0 8 8 Prussia 34,472,509 (7) 329,584,000 (17) 9 7 6 (7) 13,923,170 (17) 0 7 5 German Empire . 56,345,000 (14) 118,554,789 (22) 2 2 I (16) 3,794,461 (22) o I 4a Portugal 5,049,729 (12) 177,192,795 (3) 35 o o (14) 4,434,243 (8) o 15 to Holland 5,104,137 (18) 96,561,287 (7) t8 18 0 (20) 2,926,553 (12) o I1 I; Belgium 6,744,000 (15) 104,551,000 (10) 15 13 6 (17) 3,320,404 (14) 0 9 9 Japan . 43,759,577 (22) 52,903,000 (23) I 4 2 (18) 3,176,759 (21) o I 5 China . 390,000,000 (20) 55,000,000 (25) 0 3 0 (19) 3,000,000 (24) 0 0 2 Argentina 4,400,000 (17) 103,000,000 (6) 23 12 o (12) 6,301,419 (3) I 8 7 Brazil . . 17,000,000 (19) 81,710,000 (20) 4 16 0 .. . . The total indebtedness of the countries named in the table amounted to £6,311,017,478, and the total indebtedness of the world (i.e. including countries not here mentioned) for the year 1898 was computed by Lord Avebury (Journ. Roy. Stat. Soc. vol. lxiv. part i.) as £6,432,757,000, as against £5,097,910,000 in 1888. This compares (taking figures compiled by Mr Dudley Baxter in Journ. Roy. Stat. Soc., March 1874) with a total indebtedness of 468o millions sterling in 1874 and 1700 millions sterling in 1848. The United Kingdom had diminished its total debt since 1883 by 127 millions, the amount per head by £6, the annual charge by 6 millions, and the charge per head by 5s. 8d. The United States debt was lower by nearly a hundred millions. Japan, Egypt and Brazil had sensibly improved their positions. But the following countries had increased their debts: France (by 86 millions), Russia (by some 240 millions), Italy (by 140 millions), Austria-Hungary (by 70 millions), Spain (by 190 millions), Prussia (by 227 millions), Portugal (by 8o millions), Holland (by 18 millions), Belgium (by 32 millions), and Argentina (by 73 millions). The result is that, whereas in 1883 the total debt of the UnitedPitt's sinking fund was in operation (depending upon the devotion of surplus income to the repayment of debt, but much complicated by the raising of fresh loans), a net reduction was made of £29,488,072—an annual average of £2,268,313. From 183o to 1876 the system of using surplus revenue—the so-called old sinking fund—for redeeming debt, was steadily applied, together with the creation of terminable annuities, by which definite blocks of debt were cancelled and the whole amount paid off in a term of years. During this period the debt was reduced by £85,175,782, an annual average of £1,851,647. 'In 1876 Sir Stafford Northcote's (Lord Iddesleigh's) new sinking fund came into operation, in addition to previous methods of redeeming debt. By this system a definite annual sum was set aside for the service of the debt, the difference between it and 'Leaving out of account 8 millions of unfunded debt raised for the Boer War. 2 The " dead-weight " debt, or national debt proper, excludes what are treated in the public accounts as " other capital liabilities," the interest on which is not included in the fixed charge; but it is taken to include the new debt of all sorts raised in 1900, 1901 and 1902 for the Boer War. the amount required for payment of interest forming a (new) amount more was practically locked up by being held by trustees, r by sinking fund devoted to repayment of capital. This fixed charge incr acing as they did by about s£ 000,000 pervmonth (owi ng partly was gradually reduced from about 29 millions to 26 millions in to the raising in 1894 of the maximum limit), had to be invested 1888, to 25 millions in 189o, and to 23 millions in 1899. in government securities; and the compulsory activity of the The amount paid off during this period by means of old government as a buyer of consols, both on this account and also sinking fund, terminable annuities and new sinking fund, down for sinking fund purposes (in order to obtain stock to redeem debt March 1900, was 8 6 average of on the increased scale already indicated) operated as an abnormal to £155,23 39, or an annual $e cause for sending the price of consols high above par. Even at that £6,468,276. figure (the average prices for consols being 1oi, in 1894, 1066 in It will be observed that the burden of the debt incurred 1895, 1101 in 1896, 112i in 1897, 11016 in 1898 and 1068—having previously to 1817 has thus been borne very unequally by fallen owing to war prospects—in 1899) it was difficult for the govern- different of While the generations immedi- ment brokers to obtain consols, and it was principally owing to this ages posterity." gerl state of things that in 1899 Sir Michael Hicks-Beach reduced the ately succeeding the Napoleonic war paid off about £2,000,000 fixed annual charge for the debt (and pro tank, the new sinking fund) a year, the taxpayers between 1876 and 1900 paid at three from £25,000,000 to £23,000,000. times that rate. They did so largely without knowing it, since It may be useful to give the figures for the British national a large part of the amount was wrapped up in the terminable debt in 1902, after the disturbance due to the South African annuities; but it is very questionable justice that so large a War. During the years loco and 1901 the new sinking fund was proportion of the burden should have been imposed upon suspended, as well as the payments on the terminable annuity them, debt applicable to repayment of capital (except in so far as The great bulk of the funded national debt consists of what annuities to individuals were concerned) ; so that the debt was are known as " consols." This name dates from 1751, when not reduced, as it would otherwise have been, by £4,547,000 in nine different government annuities at 3% were 190o and by £4,681,000 in 1901. On the contrary, it was consols. consolidated into one, amounting to £9,137,821. increased by fresh borrowings. Consols were raised (in 1901 and These " consolidated annuities " formed the germ of what has 1902) to the extent of £92,000,000; a " War Loan " of 21% since become the type of British government stock. At the same stock and bonds, redeemable in 191o, was raised (1900) to the time some of the annuities at a higher rate of interest were amount of £30,000,000; 21 % exchequer bonds were raised combined and the interest reduced to 3%, and this stock (in I9oo) to the amount of £24,000,000, and treasury bills (in was known as " reduced," the two 3% stocks remaining 1899 and 1900), £13,000,000. The total war borrowing amounted side by side, until in 1854 the 3i% government stock was accordingly to £159,000,000, raised at a discount of (L6,585,000) also converted into 3%, under the style of " new threes." 4.14%. This includes the whole new borrowing in 1902, a "Consols," "reduced" and "new threes" formed thenceforth portion of which was intended after the peace to be paid back a solid body of British 3% stock, until in 1888 the whole in the current year; but for this no allowance can here be made. amount was converted (see Conversions below) by Mr (after- The accompanying table shows the totals for the " dead-weight wards Lord) Goschen into 21%. " Consols " were added to debt " in 1900, 1901 and 1902, and, for convenience, also the from time to time when fresh loans were needed: from " other capital liabilities." 39 millions in 1771 they rose to 71 millions in 1781, to 101 millions in 1783, 278 millions in 18o1, 334 millions in 1811, and 400 millions in 1858; but in 1888 they had decreased, by redemptions, to £322,681,035. " Reduced " were also added to: from 17 millions in 1751 they rose to 164 millions in 1815, and then gradually diminished to 102 millions in 1869, and to £68,912,433 in " Other liabilities " it must be remembered, represent money 1887, when they were converted with " consols " into the advanced (generally by terminable annuity) on reproductive new consols (or " Goschens ") at 21%, to be reduced to 22% objects—telegraphs, barracks, public works, Uganda railway, in 1903. &c.—and they could not, obviously, be properly included in The lowest price ever quoted for "consols" was 478 on loth the national debt unless at the same time a set-off were made September 1797, owing to the mutiny at the Nore; the highest for the valuable assets held by the British government, such as was 114 in 1896 owing to scarcity of stock, the operation of the the Suez canal shares, which in 1902 were alone worth upwards sinking funds, and the demand for investment of savings bank of £26,000,000. (H. Cu.) moneys. British National Debt Conversions.—The great bulk of the The high premium to which consols rose towards the end of funded debt of the United Kingdom consists of annuities, which the century may be briefly explained. Bari passu with the re- are described as perpetual, because the state is under no obligaduction of the debt went a dwindling of the amount of consols tion to pay off at any time the capital debt which they represent. hence occurre cont ciationoofnthetstock andIn 1817 the amount of iBnueritidshnogovernrmal All that the public creditor can claim is to receive payment of stock per head of the population was £4o, 1os. ; in 1896 this figure the instalments of annuity as they fall due. On the other hand, had decreased to £14, 121. The ordinary law of supply and demand the government has the right to redeem the annuities ultimately would therefore in any case tend to increase the price of govern- by payment of the capital debt; though it may, and frequently stock. diminished from This has always 181p oned8 in 1e82amount and toof 31n~ does, bind itself not to exercise that right as regards a particular millions 1837, and the average prices in thesecars were 73, 83 and 90 stock of annuities until after a definite period. So long as a additions were made to the stock, and In 1847 (the amount being stock is thus guaranteed against redemption, the only way in 510 millions) the price was 861; again the amount decreased, and which the annual charge for that portion of the debt can be in 1852 (500 millions) the price was 98 ; then a great conversion raised reduced is by the government buying back the annuities in the the amount to 734 millions in 1854, and the price went down to 901; market at their current which may more or may by 1887 the amount decreased by about 200 millions, and the open mar price, Y Y price rose well above par; and though the reduction in interest in be less than the nominal debt, according to general financial 1888 set back the price, it rose again as the amount of available conditions and to the state of the national credit. The liability stock diminished. Many causes, into which it is not necessary to of the stock to redemption at par, when the period of guarantee enter, operated no doubt in keeping up the demand for British has expired, prevents its market price from rising materially government credit. Moreover, apart from the fact that in 1882 there were 689 millions of 3% and in 190o only 501 millions above that level. To enable the right of compulsory redemption of 21% in existence, the amount held by government departments to be enforced, it is only necessary that the government should and therefore practically locked up from the market, gradually increased, until from this cause alone the amount of available ' Other causes are redemption of land tax, variation in capital stock was diminished by upwards of 200 millions; and a large value, of terminable annuities and minor treasury operations. "Dead-weight Chief cause of Difference.' Liab ilities." 31st March 1900 . . £628,978,782 +" War Loan," £30,000,000 £10,186,482 190 1 . . 690,992,621 +Exch. Bonds, 24,000,000 +Treas. Bills, 5,000,000 14,731,256 1902 . 747,876,000 +Consols, 60,000,000 20,532,000 July 1902 779,876,000 +Consols, 32,000,000 have command of sufficient funds for the purpose of paying off with disfavour, and both the Bank and the East India Company the stockholders, or should be able to raise those funds by borrowing at a rate of interest lower than that borne by the stock. Any circumstances which might tend to raise the price of the stock above par would also assist the government in raising its redemption money on more favourable terms. When the amount of stock to be dealt with is large, the raising by a fresh loan of the amount required for redemption would occasion great disturbance. A more convenient method is the conversion of the existing stock to a lower rate of interest by agreement with the stockholders, whose reluctance to accept a reduction of income is overborne by their knowledge that the power of redemption exists and will be put in force if necessary. The opportunity for conversion may be looked for when the price of a redeemable stock stands steadily at or barely abov=e par. Observation of the movements in the price of other securities will serve to show whether this stationary price represents the real market value of the stock, or whether that value is subject to depression owing to an expectation of the stock being converted or redeemed. Accordingly, the course of prices of other government stocks which are free from the liability to redemption, of the stocks of foreign countries and the colonies, and of the large municipalities, must be watched by government in order to determine, first, whether the conversion of a redeemable stock is feasible, and, secondly, to what extent the reduction of the interest in the stock may be carried. opposed it. But the pens of the government pamphleteers were busily occupied in showing the advantages of the offer, and at the close of the three months acceptances had been received from the holders of nearly £39,000,000 of the stocks, or more than two-thifds of the whole. A further opportunity was afforded to waverers by a second act (23 Geo. II. c. 22), which allowed three months more for consideration; but for holders accepting under this act the inter-mediate period of 31% interest was reduced from seven years to five. These terms brought in an additional £15,600,000 of stock; and the balance left outstanding, amounting to less than 31 millions, was paid off at par by means of a new loan. The annual saving of interest on the stock converted was at first £272,000, increasing to £544,000 after seven years. For nearly three-quarters of a century no further conversion was attempted. In that period the total debt had been increased tenfold, and the practice of borrowing in times of war by the issue 1822. of an inflated capital, bearing nominally a low rate of interest, prevented recourse to conversion as a means of reducing the burden after peace was restored. But in 1822 Mr Vansittartwho four years earlier had effected a conversion in the opposite direction, turning £27,000,000 of stock from 3 into 31 %, in order to obtain from the holders art advance of £3,000,000 without adding to the capital of the debt—was able to deal with the 5 %. These stocks amounted to £152.000,000 out of a total funded debt of £795,000,000. The prices at which the chief denominations of government stocks stood in the market in the early part of 1822 indicated a normal rate of interest of more than 4 but considerably less than 41%. In these circumstances, to propose the conversion of the 5 % stocks to 41% would probably have been futile, unless the new stock were guaranteed for a long period, as holders would have stood in fear of a speedy further reduction. Nor could the government hope to succeed rn a reduction to 4 %. Mr Vansittart's plan was to offer £105 of stock bearing 4% in exchange for £100 of 5 % stock, thus adding slightly to of the debt, but effecting a large annual saving in interest. These terms were highly successful. Holders of nearly £150,000,000 accepted, leaving less than £3,000,000 of the stock to be paid off, and the annual saving obtained was £1,197,000. The new 4% stock was made irredeemable for seven years (act 3, Geo. IV c. 9). There were, however, other 4 % stocks, amounting to £76,000,000, which were not secured against redemption. Two years later, the conditions being favourable for their conversion, the act The credit for the first measure of conversion belongs to Walpole, though it was carried through by Stanhope, his successor as chan- cellor of the exchequer. In 1714 the legal rate of interest 1717. for private transactions, which had been fixed at 6% in the year of the Restoration, was reduced to 5%" by the act 12 Anne, stat. 2, c. 16, But the bulk of the national debt still bore interest at 6%, the doubtful security of the throne and the too frequent irregularities in public payment having hitherto precluded any considerable borrowing at lower rates. Walpole saw that the first requirement was to give increased confidence to the public creditors. Three acts were passed dealing respectively with debts due to the general public, to the Bank of England and to the South Sea Company. Three separate funds—the general fund, the aggregate fund and the South Sea fund—were assigned to the service of the several classes of debt, each of these funds being credited with the produce of specified taxes, which were made permanent for the purpose; and it was further provided that any surplus of the funds, after payment of the interest of the debts, should be applied in reduction of the principal. Such was the success of this measure that, in spite of the reduction of interest from 6 to 5% which was also enacted, the passing of the acts was followed by a rise in the price of stocks. A curious preliminary to the introduction of these measures was the passing of a resolution by the House of Commons, which invited advances not exceeding £600,000, to be repaid with interest at 4% out of the first supplies of the year. The result showed that the time was not ripe for such a reduction of interest, as only a sum of £45,000 was offered on those terms. A further resolution was then passed, substituting 5% as the rate of interest, and the whole sum was at once subscribed. Besides accepting the reduction of interest on their own debts, the Bank of England and the South Sea Company agreed to assist the government by advancing 42 millions at the reduced rate, to be employed in paying off any of the general creditors who might refuse assent to the con-version. The assistance was not required, as all the creditors signified assent. The debts thus dealt with amounted altogether to about 251; millions, and the annual saving of interest effected (including that upon a large quantity of exchequer bills for which the Bank had been receiving over 7 %) was £329,000. Walpole had a further opportunity of effecting a conversion in 1737. In the meantime much of the 5% debt had been reduced to 1749. 4% by arrangements with the Bank of England and the South Sea Company, and further borrowings had taken place at that rate and even at 3%. In 1737 the 3% stood above par, and Sir John Barnard proposed to the House of Commons a scheme for the gradual reduction of the 4 %. As a financial measure the scheme would doubtless have succeeded; but Walpole, moved apparently by consideration for his capitalist supporters, opposed and for the time defeated it. A scheme on similar lines was carried through by Pelham as chancellor of the exchequer in 1749 and em-bodied in the act 23 Geo. II. c. 1. By that act holders of the 4 % securities, amounting to nearly £58,000,000, were offered a continuance of interest at 4% for one year, followed by 31% for seven years, during which they were guaranteed against redemption, with a final reduction to 3% thereafter. It was necessary to continue the rate of 4% for the first year, as any objecting stockholders could not be paid off without a year's notice. Three months were allowed for signifying assent to the proposal. At first it was viewed5 Geo. IV. c. 24 was passed, offering holders in exchange 1824. a 31% stock, irredeemable for five years. The offer was accepted as regards £70,000,000, and the remaining £6,000,000 paid off, the annual saving on interest being £381,000. In 1830 the guarantee given to the 4% stock of 1822 had expired, and the stock stood at a price of 1022. Mr Goulburn decided to attempt its conversion without delay, and accordingly by 1830. the act 11 Geo. IV. c. 13 hoiders were offered in exchange for each £100 of the stock, either £100 of a 32 % stock, irredeemable for ten years, or £70 of a 5 % stock, irredeemable for forty-two years, these two options being considered of approximately equal value. No difficulty was found in securing assent. Over £150,000,000 of the stock was converted, almost wholly into the 31 % stock; the balance of less than £3,000,000 was paid off, and an annual saving of £754,000 in interest was the result. It was again Mr Goulburn's fortune to carry out a large and successful conversion in 1844. At that date the funded debt was made up of 3% and 31% stocks in the proportions of 1844. about two to one, the only other denomination being the trifling amount of 5% stock created in connexion with the conversion of 183o. The price of 3% consols ranged about 98, and that of the new 31%, created in 183o, about 102. A reduction straight-way from 32 to 3% was not to be looked for, but it was hoped to ensure that reduction ultimately by offering 31% for the first few years and a guarantee against redemption for a long term. Accordingly the holders of the several 3'-z % stocks were offered an exchange to a new stock bearing interest at 31% for ten years and at 3 % for the following twenty years. Practically the whole of the stock, amounting to £249,000,000, was converted on these terms, only £103,000 being left to be paid off at par. The immediate saving of interest was 622,000 a year for ten years, and twice that rate in subsequent years (acts 7 & 8 Vict. cc. 4 and 5). Mr Gladstone's only attempt at the conversion of the debt was made in his first year as chancellor of the exchequer. His primary purpose was to extinguish some small remnants of 3% 1853 stocks which stood outside the main stocks of that de-nomination. The act 16 Vict. c. 23 offered to holders of these minor stocks, amounting altogether to about 92 millions, the option of exchanging every £loo for either £82, los. of a 31% stock guaranteed for 40 years, or £110 of a 21% stock guaranteed for the same period, or else for exchequer bonds at par. In the result stock to the amount of only about £1,500,000 was converted, and the remaining £8,000,000 had to be paid off at par, with some apparent loss of capital, as the current market price of the 3% was less than par. The failure was largely owing to the fact that, between the initiation and the execution of the scheme, the train of events leading up to the Crimean War had become manifest, with unfavourable results to the public credit. Mr Gladstone had also included, as an optional portion of his plan, liberty to holders of the larger 3% stocks to exchange into the new 31 and 21%. Very little advantage was taken of this permission, but the small amount of 21% stock then created has been largely added to in later years by the conversion of stocks of higher denominations held by the national debt commissioners for the savings banks and other government funds. Little better was the result of a more ambitious attempt made by Mr Childers in 1884. His offer (act 4.7 & 48 Vict. C. 23) extended 1884 to the holders of all the 3 % stocks, amounting to more than 600 millions, but no attempt was made to compel acceptance. There was offered in exchange for each £100 of 3 stock either £102 of a stock at 2; % or £108 of a stock at 2; %, both irredeemable for twenty-one years. But the amount exchanged into the new stocks was only 22 millions, of which more than one-half was stock held by government departments. The most important of all the conversions of the British debt was effected by Mr Goschen in 1888. It applied to the whole of the 3% 1888. stocks, amounting to a total of £558,000,000, made up as follows: £323,000,000 of consols, a stock which dated from 1752, when it was formed by the consolidation of a number of minor stocks; £69,000,000 of reduced 3 %, of which the nucleus was the stock reduced from 4 to 3 % by Pelham's conversion in 1749; £166,000,000 of new 3 % resulting from the conversion of 1844. All the three stocks were, and had been for a considerable time, well over par. But for the past few years they had remained in almost a stationary position, relatively to the upward movement shown in the prices of the government 21% stock, and of the stocks of foreign governments, of British colonies and of the leading municipalities. It was clear that the anticipation of a conversion or redemption scheme was weighing down consols. Direct evidence of this fact was afforded by the course of a new 3% stock, the local loans stock, which Mr Goschen had created in 1887. Though bearing the same interest and resting upon the same ultimate security as consols, this stock, which had been made irredeemable for twenty-five years, rose at once to a higher level of price. The opportunity for a great scheme of conversion had evidently come. The risk to be incurred by government in undertaking the liability to pay off such an enormous body of stock, though less in comparison with the resources of the nation than that which Mr Goulburn had faced in 1844, was still very great, and it was rendered more formidable by the fact that holders of consols and of reduced 3% were entitled at-law to a year's notice before their stocks could be redeemed. If that right of notice were to he enforced as regards any large pro-portion of the stocks, no precaution could adequately guard against the risk of untoward circumstances arising to affect the operation before the year expired. Mr Goschen proposed to offer to the holders of each of the three stocks an exchange at par into a new stock bearing interest at 3 % for the first year, at 21% for the next fourteen years and at 21% for twenty years thereafter, the stock to be irredeemable for the whole of that period, namely till 1923. Acceptance was made compulsory for holders of the new 3 %, with the alternative of being paid off at par, as they had no claim to receive notice; but it was made optional for the holders of the other two stocks, and a bonus of 5s.% was offered to them as an inducement to forgo their right of notice. These provisions were duly embodied in the act 51 Vict. c. 2. The terms were accepted by practically all the holders of the new 3% and by the great majority of the holders in consols and reduced 3's, the amount left outstanding being only £42,000,000. To enable that balance to be dealt with, an act was passed providing for the compulsory redemption or conversion of the outstanding stock at the expiry of the statutory notice. The funds required for this further operation were raised by the issue of treasury bills and exchequer bonds, by temporary advances from the bank and from the national debt commissioners, and by the creation of an additional half-million of the new stock. In the result it was only necessary to find cash for paying off dissentients to the amount of £19,000,000. The final outcome of the whole operation was a saving in the annual charge of interest of £1,412,000, increasing to twice that amount after fourteen years. The conversion of the consols and reduced 3% was greatly facilitated by the exercise of a power, which the act conferred, to pay to recognized agents, such as stockbrokers, bankers and solicitors, a commission of Is. 6d. % on stocks in respect of which they lodged their clients' assents. These agents were thus afforded an inducement to give their clients explanation and advice, without which many of the fundholders would probably not have moved in the matter. The commissions paid amounted to more than £234,000, representing stocks to the amount of over L312,000,000. The government would not again be confronted with this difficulty of having to give long preliminary notice of the intention to convert or redeem a large portion of the debt, as it was provided by the Conversion Act 1888 that the present consols should be redeemable after 1923 on such notice and in such manner as parliament might direct. (W. BL.; E. W. H.*) See Leroy-Beaulieu, Traite de in Science des Finances; Rau, Finanzwissenschaft; M'Culloch, On Taxation and the Funding System; Hamilton, Inquiry concerning the Rise and Progress of the English Debt; Taylor, History of Taxation in England; Fenn, Compendium of English and Foreign Funds; Dudley Baxter, National Debts, and his paper in the Slat. Soc. Jour. (1874). ; Sir E. W. Hamilton, Conversion and Redemption (1889). And for statistics of national debts see the Statesman's Year-Book and the Stock Exchange Annual.

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