§ MR. BLANE (Armagh, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If a prosecution was instituted against two officials of the Belfast Bank, named Smyth and Rodgers, who were accused of abstracting £184,000, but were only charged with petty larceny by the Law Officers of the Crown, with 2 consent of the Belfast Bank; if this large sum, or any part, was accounted for in the balance sheet published by the Belfast Bank; and, in what respect, if any, did the last audit differ from that of the late Glasgow Bank, which was supposed to have a large reserve against deposits and note circulation?
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN) (Dublin University (who replied) said
This Question relates to a prosecution which took place about 15 years ago. The two bank officials named were tried on the charge, not of the charge of petty larceny as alleged in the Question, but of conspiring to defraud and of defrauding the bank. The loss is overstated in the Question by about £50,000. It was entirely provided for in the then current year, ending July 31, 1874, by being paid out of the reserve fund of the bank; and not only has the amount so withdrawn been since restored to the reserve fund, but also that fund now 3 stands 20 per cent higher than it did before the withdrawal of the amount to meet the frauds. The audit of the Belfast Bank is the same as that of every limited bank in the United Kingdom; and is regulated by the Act of 1879, which was passed after and, in a chief degree, in consequence of the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank in 1878.