HC Deb 13 April 1886 vol 304 cc1426-7
MR. SEALE-HAYNE (Devon, Ashburton)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, What is the total number of Building, Copyright Rule, and other Societies, in which money appropriations, free from interest, are obtained by lottery ballot; what is the total amount of such chance appropriations during the years 1883, 1884, and 1885 respectively; what price per cent. is usually paid by such Societies in order to redeem from winnera their rights to such appropriations; whether the full amount of such loans are entered as assets in their accounts, or only the present value thereof; what commissions are paid to the promoters of such Societies on appropriations; whether his attention has been called to the report of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies for the year 1884, Part A, page 46, and to a paper read by the Assistant Registrar of Friendly Societies published in The Accountant Newspaper of March 20th, 1886, in which the ballot for and sale of such appropriations are said to be "pure gambling;" and, whether he proposes to deal with this matter at an early date?


(who replied) said: I have been in communication with the Registrar of Friendly Societies, and he tells me that Building Societies in which appropriations are obtained by lottery ballot are not distinguished on the Register from other societies, and it would be a matter of considerable labour so to distinguish them. I cannot give a definite answer either as to the total amount of these appropriations, or as to the price per cent usually paid to redeem the right to them. I would refer the hon. Member to the figures given in the last Report of Building Societies, and especially to the marginal notes with regard to the latter point. I believe this Report is all the obtainable information. Neither can the remuneration paid to the promoters of such societies be ascertained exactly; sometimes it is stated in the rules, and sometimes it is a matter of private arrangement; by Section 40 of the Building Societies Act only the net amount actually lent can be entered as an asset. The Registrar always calls attention to any violation of this rule. I have read the passage referred to in the Report of 1884, and also the paper published in The Accountant. The speculative character of these societies is strongly animadverted upon in both places; but it seems to me that persons who are careless enough to enter these societies without studying the provisions of their rules have only themselves to blame, and the Government cannot undertake to interfere in their behalf. Moreover, the Registrar informs me that no representation has been made as to any necessity for the interference of the Government.