HC Deb 07 May 1833 vol 17 cc1031-2
Lord Althorp

rose to defer the third reading of this Bill until to-morrow, not being completely prepared to announce all the alterations that might be desirable in-it.

Mr. Thomas Attwood

expressed his disapprobation of these Savings' Banks. He believed they were instituted by the late Lord Liverpool and the Government at the time, not for the good of the people, but for three different purposes. The first was to draw capital to London, in order to bolster up the funds; the second was, to give the Government the power of putting their hands into the pockets of the people; and the third, to enable them to scourge the people. ["Oh! Oh!"] Hon. Members might express disapprobation as much as they pleased, and the noble Lord might laugh, but his firm belief was, that the great object of Lord Liverpool in this transaction was to get a claw on the people.

Lord Althorp

was astonished that the hon. Member, in addition to these three charges, had not made another, and imputed to Government the introduction of the Savings' Banks Bill, because they wished to realize profit by means of the fractional parts, which could not be taken into account in every money transaction. When the hon. Member imputed to Government three motives for establishing Savings Banks, he might have smiled, but certainly it was not on account of the originality of the hon. Member's ideas, because he had heard something like the same topic urged some nights ago. He was, indeed, quite astonished to hear such arguments coming from the mouths of hon. Members. So far from being an injury to the people, he believed these banks conferred on them the greatest advantages; and, so far from affording the Government the means of trampling on the people, and scourging the people, as the hon. Member expressed it, they had the very contrary effect. Their evident effect was, to render the people independent; and, surely, persons of that description were not the most likely to be trampled on.

Mr. Shaw

could not help expressing his astonishment at the expression made use of by the hon. member for Birmingham. The hon. Member, he believed, had the kindest intentions towards the poor; but he must say, he took the strangest way of showing those intentions by prejudicing the people against disposing of the little spare money they had in a way which was most likely to render them independent and comfortable. He was opposed to the Poor-laws; the hon. Member he believed was in favour of them, and he would just leave it to himself to say which of the two systems were the most likely to cherish independence.

Mr. Slaney

thought, that nothing showed more the good sense and proper feeling of the lower classes than the preference they gave to Government Securities over country bankers. The hon. Member had probably heard the story of Franklin about the two sacks. The empty sack, he said, fell to the ground, but the full sack stood upright. Surely the more property the people had, the more likely were they to be independent. He was happy to find that, though during the crisis of last Session the amount of deposits had diminished, they were now daily increasing.

The third reading of the Bill deferred.