§ MR. J. P. SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Commissioners of the National Debt will not receive applications or payments to increase the amount of existing annuities otherwise than personally; whether he will give facilities by which payments to increase an existing annuity may be made by post; and whether he will provide that the proprietor of an annuity may be able to give instructions that the instalment of the annuity shall be retained and applied to increase the amount of the annuity automatically, as in the case of Consols.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EX-CHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
The law requires that the purchase-money for an annuity must be paid by the purchaser or his agent to the cashier of the Bank of England, and, of course, any banker can act as an agent. I could not therefore legally take the course suggested in the second paragraph of the Question. As to the last paragraph, I think that it must be a very rare thing indeed for the proprietor of an annuity to desire to increase it by the application of instalments of the annuity to that purpose, and without some greater evidence 1341 of demand for it I should not feel justified in proposing to the Bank of England such an extension of the system of automatic investment of dividends in Consols.