§ DR. MACNAMARA (Caraberwell, N.)
To ask the Postmaster-General, with reference to the position of the Post Office Savings Bank when the yearly accounts were made up on 31st December, 1903, if he will state what was the total amount due to depositors; what was the amount of Consols held; at what price were the Consols valued; did the balance sheet show an excess of liabilities over assets; and, if so, what was the amount of that excess.
(Answered by Lord Stanley.) The amount due to depositors in the Post Office Savings Bank on 31st December, 1903, was approximately £146,133,500, but the precise figure cannot be given until the end of May. The amount of Consols held on that date was £61,062,221, and the average price of that day at which they were valued was 87⅞ x. d. Or. this basis the excess of liabilities over assets were somewhat over 815 £10,000,000; but, as pointed out by the Select Committee on Savings Banks, a valuation on this basis is misleading, and does not give a correct view of the real position. I need hardly remind the hon. Member that the payment of the lawful claims of depositors is absolutely guaranteed by Parliament, and that they have as security the whole credit of the nation.