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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

A   STORM   PRODUCED              291

short-sighted   tyranny which   exasperates without
doing the smallest good to anybody.

More serious, however, was clause (i) (e), under
which any securities that have been issued, split,
consolidated or renewed without Treasury sanction
since January, 1915, were not to be dealt in, in future,
without a licence. The result of this clause, if it
had stood, would have been that all loans under
which such securities had been pledged would have
had to be called in because the collateral became
unsaleable, except after all the ceremonies had been
gone through and a licence had been got. It was
also possible to argue that the prohibition to renew
or extend the maturity of any security meant that
no loans of any kind could be renewed, and that no
commercial bills could be renewed, without a licence.
It is true that No. 5 paragraph says what the ex-
pression " securities J> includes, but it does not state
definitely that bonds, Debentures, Debenture stock
arid marketable securities are the only things in-
cluded. It was a pretty piece of drafting, and
raised a pretty storm in the House of Commons on
February 27th, when a somewhat lurid picture of
its effects was drawn by Sir H. Dakiel and Mr
Macquisten. Mr Chamberlain not being then legally
a member of the House, it fell to the lot of Mr Bonar
Law to explain that the Government had really
meant to give greater freedom in making new issues,
that the evils anticipated had not been intended,
that he hoped the House would not judge the
Government too harshly for not making unsanctioned
issues illegal from the beginning, and that a new