To ask the Secretary to the Treasury what was the amount of the unclaimed dividends and other unclaimed moneys in the Bank of England twenty years ago; what amounts, if any, have been appropriated by the State during that period; and what amounts have been paid to claimants during the same period.
(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) Under the provisions of The National Debt Act, 1870, Government Stock on which the dividends have remained unclaimed for ten years is transferred by the Bank of England or the Bank of Ireland, as the case may be, to the National Debt Commissioners. The dividends on the stock, so long as it remains unclaimed, are paid by the Banks to those Commissioners. Similarly, unclaimed dividends, as distinguished from the dividends on unclaimed stock, are paid over by the Banks 10 the National Debt Commissioners. The amount of unclaimed stock remaining in the names of the National Debt Commissioners on the 31st March, 1887, was £833,111 15s. 2d. and the amount of unclaimed dividends was £1,309,580 17s. 2d. Since that date the transfers of unclaimed stock to the Commissioners have amounted to £345,580 7s. 6d., and of unclaimed dividends (including dividends on unclaimed stock) to £621,815 4s. 5d. In the same period stock to the amount of £233,141 7s. 10d. and dividends to the amount of £142,777 6s. 7d. have been retransferred to claimants. Under Section 10 of The Finance Act, 1904, a sum of £1,000,000, being part of the fund held by the National Debt Commissioners against their liability in respect of unclaimed dividends, was paid to the Exchequer. It will be seen that no unclaimed Government stocks or dividends are held by the Bank of England except those which have been less than ten years unclaimed, and it is not until the period of ten years have elapsed that they become technically "unclaimed." I have no information as to other unclaimed money in the possession of the Bank.