§ MR. SOTHERON ESTCOURT
said, he rose to ask for leave to introduce a Bill to amend the laws relating to the security and management of savings banks. He proposed to introduce no new regulations, but simply to enforce upon all local banks regulations which already obtained in almost all well-managed institutions. The Bill would not touch the control of the Government or the disposition of the money, but would first repeal the clause in the Act of 1844 which took away all liability from trustees, and would make them, as before, responsible for the consequences of their own acts. It would also force an auditor upon every bank, and define his duties. And lastly, it would provide for the security of the depositor by enacting that no transactions should take' place except at the office during office hours, and in the presence and with the signature of more than one person. In order that the Bill might receive full consideration throughout the country, he proposed to appoint a distant day, about the middle of May, for the second reading.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, several efforts had been made by Gentlemen who had held his office to improve the old savings banks, but without success, and it would be invidious in him to discourage the right hon. Member who had just spoken. The question as to the liability of trustees for their acts was a very difficult one. On that point the measure of 1844 was most unfortunate, and it would be well if the law could be amended without inflicting unnecessary hardships on individuals. As the Bill had been introduced a sufficient time before the second reading for the parties interested to state their views, he thought it was entitled to consideration. He must, however, reserve the right of Government to take any course they pleased on the second reading.
Bill to amend the Laws relating to the Security and Management of Savings Banks, ordered to be brought in by Mr. SOTHERON ESTCOURT, Sir HENRY WILLOUGHBY, and Mr. AYRTON,
§ Bill presented, and read 1o; to be read 2o on Wednesday, 14th May, and to be printed [Bill 351].