§ MR. W. LOWTHER
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he can state how many so called Friendly Societies exist in England; whether they are not bound to send to the Barrister at Law, appointed to certify the Rules of Savings Banks, every year a Statement of the Funds of the Society; and, how many such Returns were received in 1867 and 1868?
§ MR. BRUCE, in reply, said, the number of registered and certified Friendly Societies was 24,308; and the hon. Member was quite right in supposing that by the Friendly Societies Act certified and enrolled Societies were bound to send to the Registrar every year a statement of the Funds of the Societies. In the year 1867 the forms which were sent out for these Returns numbered 23,807, but the number of Returns made was only 10,678. In 1868 the forms sent were 23,174, whilst those sent back were only 11,408; so that more than half of the Societies did not comply with the Act.