HC Deb 27 April 1904 vol 133 c1288

To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what will be the total amount of unclaimed dividends on Government stocks, after deducting the £1,000,000 appropriated according to his Budget statement, and the amount in each class of stock; what are the unclaimed balances in the Post Office savings banks and trustee savings-banks; and what methods, if any, are adopted to inform the holders of unclaimed dividends and balances, or those entitled to them, of their existence.

(Answered by Mr. Austen Chamberlain.) The balance of stock remaining on the Unclaimed Dividend Account, after deducting £1,000,000 cash appropriated according to the Budget statement, will be about £700,000. I am unable at present to say what amount of Consols and 2½ percent, annuities respectively will remain after providing this £1,000,000 in cash, since that must depend on the amounts of the respective stocks which may be most advantageous to realise under the circumstances. The amount of unclaimed balances in the trustee and Post Office savings banks cannot be given. The banks, of course, continue liable in respect of the deposits without limit of time. I do not believe that an examination of the many millions of accounts would show that any large amount of money remains unclaimed; it would give enormous trouble, and entail expense out of all proportion to the result which would be obtained. Before unclaimed stocks and dividends are transferred to the National Debt Commissioners every effort is made by the Bank of England to trace the stockholders.