§ Mr. JAMES THOMAS
asked whether the Twentieth Century Equitable Friendly Society has refused to pay the death benefit to the widow of a deceased member; and, having regard to the fact that such society continues to receive contributions and are unable to meet their liabilities, what steps he proposes to take?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
It has been brought to the notice of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies that the benefits to which certain members of the Twentieth Century Equitable Friendly Society were entitled have been unpaid, the direct cause being the locking up of the society's funds on mortgage. The society, by the last valuation of assets and liabilities, was shown to have a serious actuarial deficiency. The Chief Registrar required this fact to be brought before the members, with a view to their deciding what was to be done, and pointed out that, unless new tables of contributions and benefits approved by their valuer were adopted, the only alternative was dissolution. At their annual meeting last Whitsuntide the members decided upon the former course; and amendment of application is to be made for the necessary rules. I am not aware to what specific case the question refers, but if the hon. Member will furnish me with particulars I will gladly look into it.