§ MR. HOWELL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention had been called to a notice issued by the official liquidator of the Cardiff Savings Bank, requiring the irregular depositors "to come in and prove the debt claimed, by filing an affidavit," and to attend by solicitor at the High Court of Justice in London on 10th April; whether he was aware that the deposit books, which are in themselves bonâ fide evidence of the claims of depositors, are in the hands of the official liquidator, or of the representative of the bank; and whether, having regard to the fact that these depositors were poor persons, some other mode of proof of claim could be arranged, so that those poor people shall not be deprived of their lawful dues?
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN, St. George's,) Hanover Square
My attention has been called to the notice in question, but I must once more remind the hon. Member that I have no right and no power to interfere with the course of the liquidation or the mode of proof which the Court considers necessary. The procedure laid down by the Act must be followed, and the directions of the Court in carrying out that Act must be obeyed. The liquidator has addressed a letter to the irregular depositors pointing out the method by which their claim might be presented to the Court at small cost to each individual. The liquidator is ready to give any information in his power to the depositors, and it would be more advantageous to the depositors and their friends to apply for information to him than to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The fact that some of the deposit books (there are others which cannot be traced) are in the liquidator's hands will not invalidate the evidence which those books afford of the amount of the deposits.
§ MR. DAVID THOMAS
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the expense and trouble the depositors in the late Cardiff Trustee Savings Bank are being put to in order to prove their claims; whether the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt are taking any steps to carry out the recommendation of Mr. Lyulph Stanley, the Commissioner appointed to inquire into the affairs of 853 the Cardiff Trustee Savings Bank, as given on page 63 of his Report; whether he can state the amount by which, according to the Commissioner, the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt—Have been defrauded by the trustees, both by the loss of forfeitures resulting from the omission to enforce signed declarations, and by the large sums invested and drawing interest in excess of the sums the trustees were entitled to invest, and to whom yearly false statements have been returned by the trustees and managers;and whether, seeing that these yearly false statements were returned through carelessness, and placing too much confidence in their actuary, and not wilfully, he is prepared to advise the National Debt Commissioners to forego their claim, provided that the trustees and managers pay all claims of depositors in full?
§ *MR. GOSCHEN said
The recommendation of Mr. Lyulph Stanley was that a Petition should be presented by the National Debt Commissioners for the winding up of the bank under the Companies Act. This has long since been done. I cannot state the exact amount of the claims of the National Debt Commissioners against the bank, but I am inclined to think that if the trustees and managers were now, without further delay, to make good to all the depositors the unpaid balance of their deposits, these claims might reasonably be waived.