HC Deb 25 May 1897 vol 49 cc1252-3
MR. J.G. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, having regard to the fact that for the year 1896 there were 94,477 cases of withdrawal by telegraph from the Post Office Savings Bank, for which the average cost was 1s. 3d., whilst there were 8,076 applications by telegraph for withdrawal costing on an average 9d. each, will he explain why, on the 4th instant, the Post Office intimated that withdrawal by the system which cost the depositor only 9d. met the majority of cases; and, in view of the fact that the reverse is the case, and that the more costly mode, or 1s. 3d. rate, was adopted in 94,477 cases as against 8,076 by the 9d. rate, will he state if the Controller of the Post Office Savings Bank is responsible to the Postmaster General for answers given in this House in regard to that institution and, if not, will he state who is responsible?


No occasion arises to give the explanation asked for by the lion. Member, as the statement which he assumes to have been made by me was not made. I said nothing about "the majority of cases." What I did say was that two telegrams were required only "in cases of urgent need, which are of rare occurrence." Even if all cases of withdrawal, whether by one or two telegrams, are added together, they only represent about 1 in 40 of the total withdrawals. I was responsible for the answer, based on the information supplied to me by the Post Office, which was quite accurate.