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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

2go   TIGHTENING   FETTERS   OF   FINANCE

terms or conditions fails to comply with these terms
or conditions, he shall be guilty of a summary offence
against these regulations.

" (5) In this regulation the expression * securities'
includes Bonds, Debentures, Debenture stock, and
marketable securities/'

It will be seen at once that the terms of this
document, on any interpretation of them, go far
beyond the intentions .expressed in what may be
called the official preamble and in the new Com-
mittee's terms of reference. One of the clauses
seems, with all deference to its august composers,
to be merely silly. This is (i) (c) forbidding sub-
division of securities. If a 10 share is split into
ten ji shares this operation cannot make the smallest
difference to the supply of capital for essential in-
dustries or cause any drain on the Foreign Exchanges.
I am assured by those who have delved into the
official intention that the reason for the objection
of the old Committee to splitting schemes, on which
this new prohibition is based, was that splitting
made shares more marketable and popular ancf so
more likely to compete with War Bonds. But a
mere sale of shares, split small and so popularised,
does not absorb any capital. That only happens
when money is put into some new form of industry,
If A, who holds ten ^20 shares, is enabled to dispose
of them to B because they are split into 200 i
shares, then A instead of B has got the money and has
to invest it in something. The amount of capital
available for investment is not diminished by a
halfpenny. This regulation is just a piece of