§ SIR SAMUEL HOARE (Norwich)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the present advantages of investment with the National Debt Commissioners enjoyed by the friendly societies under the provisions of Sec. 52, ch. 25, 59 and 60 Vic, would be affected by a reduction of interest on savings 491 bank funds in 1903; whether the rate of interest now payable to friendly societies by trustee and Post Office savings banks will be affected by such reduction.
(Answer.) When the interest on consols was reduced from 3 to 2¾ per cent., it was provided by the National Debt (Supplemental) Act, 1888, that the interest payable by the National Debt Commissioners to friendly societies upon their investments on account of assurances effected after the 28th June, 1888, should not exceed 2¾ per cent. This left untouched the existing rates of 3d., 2½d., and 2d. a day on assurances before that date. In the event of a reduction of the interest on the savings banks funds next year, it would presumably be provided that the same reduction should apply to all investments which do not relate to assurances prior to the 28th June, 1883, maintaining for those assurances the existing privileged rates. As regards their deposits in the trustee and Post Office savings banks, the friendly societies would be treated like other depositors.—(Treasury.)