HC Deb 28 August 1848 vol 101 cc587-8

On the question that the Savings Banks Bill be read a Second Time,


called attention to the report made to the Government by Mr. Tidd Pratt on the affairs of certain savings banks in Ireland; the report contained charges of fraud, but he was informed that a portion of these charges could be distinctly disproved, while for others it was denied that Mr. Tidd Pratt had just ground for his statements.


thought it would only be fair that, as Mr. Pratt's report had been published on the one hand, the evidence taken before the Committee which had just reported on savings banks in Ireland, should be made public also. He was inclined to think, that this Bill had better be limitted to the appointment of auditors to audit the accounts and examine the depositors' books periodically, and not extended to the regulation of the liability of trustees.


reminded the hon. Member that the Bill was framed upon the unanimous recommendation of the Committee.


said, it had struck him with profound astonishment, to hear that the savings banks were not what in popular parlance was called "as good as the bank." He should as soon have dreamed of having payment of his dividends at the Bank of England refused, because a clerk had gone to America. On the numerous occasions where be had advised servants and others in the less wealthy classes to invest their savings la the savings banks, he would assuredly have done no such thing if he had had the slightest conception they had anything but Government security for their money. If they had not, the only inference was that they ought to have, and the sooner it was set about the better. Why did not the Government give them its security, chargging for the same; for it was no economy to toll the poor man his banking should be done upon a cheaper plan, but it was on condition he should take the chance of having his money run away with altogether. Governments were for no purpose but doing for individuals what individuals could not so well do for themselves; and therefore the matter must be set at rest.

Bill read a second time.