THE MENTAL HOSPITAL AND INSTITUTIONAL WORKERS' UNION.
1, RUSHFORD AVENUE,
1st February, 1940.
The General Secretary,
T.U.C. General Council,
Dear Sir Walter,
I have been concerned for a long time as to the best form of appeal which could be made to the working classes in order to induce them to devote such part of their earnings as could be spared for the purpose of saving, particularly during the war years; and, however low working class wages are, almost everyone, particularly the poorest paid, seeks the opportunity of a mild "flutter"; indeed, the attraction of the weekly 6d or 1/- on the dogs, or on a football coupon, with its ten million to one chance of winning a fortune is probably a mild form of opiate for the devotee. It has always been my belief that a government issue of premium bonds would divert a considerable amount of this ill-spent money into investment channels; would offer to the investor the absolute safety of his capital; a return of his capital with interest at the end of a fixed period; and the half-yearly or yearly opportunity during the life of the investment of winning a substantial prize.
I enclose herewith a suggestion of a scheme for a premium bond issue, which I think is on lines that remove most of the criticism which has hitherto been directed against such schemes. I have reduced it to terms of the utmost simplicity, so that it may be easily understood, and, if you think proper, I would like you to circulate it to the General Council and ask for their views on the matter.
Please note that war savings certificates could be used as a method of accumulating the £5 necessary for the unit investment in premium bonds; or, of course, the bonds could be issued in £1 denominations.
(Signed) G. GIBSON