§ MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
On behalf of the lion-Member for North Hackney, I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can inform the House as to the amount of unclaimed dividends and other unclaimed moneys in the custody of the Bank of England; and whether there is any precedent for the application of such moneys to the public service, the Exchequer being liable to refund such moneys to proper claimants.
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
Various funds of the nature of unclaimed dividends in the hands of or under the control of Government have from time to time been applied to the public service, the Exchequer remaining liable to refund the money to any persons who may subsequently prove their claim. I am not aware of any-precedent for dealing in this manner with funds outside the purview of Government. At the present time unclaimed dividends on British Funds are under statute handed over by the Hank after ten years to the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt. Unclaimed dividends on India Stocks are similarly surrendered to the Indian Government. The amounts at present in the possession of the Bank of England are: British Funds, £34,575: India Stocks, £41,496. The amount of other unclaimed dividends in the possession of the Bank is inconsiderable. With regard to unclaimed money of private customers, the Bank is, of course, in the same position as other banks.