HC Deb 10 August 1905 vol 151 cc934-5
MR. MORRELL (Oxfordshire, Woodstock)

To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the face value of the securities standing in the names of the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt to the credit of the friendly societies; whether the Government guarantees a higher rate of interest to the friendly societies than the invested funds produce; and, if so, under what authority is the excess interest provided, and what amount per annum is thus contributed from national funds in aid of the friendly societies.

(Answered by Mr. Austen Chamberlain.) The nominal amount of the securities (Consols) held by the National Debt Commissioners for the Friendly Societies Fund on the 31st March, 1905, was £1,392,060 16s. 1d. The rates of interest payable to friendly societies on their investments with the Commissioners are governed by Section 52 of the Friendly Societies Act, 1896 (59 and 60 Vic, c. 25). The rate of interest applicable to new investments under that section is 2¾ per cent. per annum; but the section also secured to then existing societies, in respect of investments made or to be made by them on account of assurances effected before certain specified dates, interest at the rates of 3d., 2½d., and 2d. a day per cent. Since 1877 a Vote has had to be taken annually to provide the amount by which the income of the fund was insufficient to pay the interest. The amount of the Vote taken for this purpose in the present session is £14,329. (Civil Service Estimates, 1905–6, page 502.)