§ MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, 572 Whether the Government will include in their forthcoming measure for regulating the interest payable to Trustee Banks such amendments of the Act of 1863 as shall give effect to the recommendations contained in the Report of the Commissioner appointed to investigate into the circumstances connected with the failure of the Cardiff Bank, and of the Registrar of Friendly Societies, as regards the use of the Government name by Trustee Banks; the maintenance of a proper audit; and the observance by Trustees and Managers of the legal limits of annual deposits, and of the maximum amount which can be deposited in such banks; whether the Government will consider what means can be devised for affording better security to depositors in Trustee Banks; and, whether some provision will be made for the more effectual and prompt enforcement of awards by the Registrar of Friendly Societies in favour of depositors in dispute with such banks?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The Bill dealing with the interest payable to Trustee Savings Banks will be a purely financial measure, and will be confined to questions arising out of the conversion of the Debt. The administrative reforms to which the bon. Member's Question refers lie wholly outside the scope of such a measure. At the same time, the Government recognize that some of the recommendations contained in the Commissioner's Report deserve the most serious consideration with a view to further legislation; though it would be too optimistic to calculate on our having time to deal with them in the present Session. I may add that I trust that the degree to which public attention has been called to the case of the Cardiff Savings Bank may of itself act as a fresh stimulus to Trustees to discharge their responsible functions with the greatest vigilance.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
said, he did not think that could be done without fresh legislation. He hoped that the public attention which had been called to the matter would prove the best safeguard 573 at present. He quite acknowledged the seriousness of the matter, which would have the most careful attention of the Government. If they could deal with it in the present Session they would do so; but he was anxious not to commit himself to a definite promise.