HC Deb 31 July 1912 vol 41 cc2052-3

asked whether the Insurance Commissioners make any distinction between, on the one hand, real friendly and benefit societies worked by the members for their mutual benefit as contemplated by the Act, and, on the other hand, individual speculators working for profit, calling themselves societies and submitting rules in conformity with the Act, but of which the persons insured have no knowledge or control; whether any guarantee of fidelity is required from such persons; and if he will state the degree of frequency and promptitude with which the administration of the National Insurance Act by such persons will be tested by Government auditors?


The Insurance Commissioners give consideration to all applications received by them for the approval of societies under the National Insurance Act, whether such applications proceed from existing friendly societies desiring approval as a whole or from companies carried on for profit proposing to establish separate sections in accordance with the provisions of the Act. All approved societies, of whatever type, are required to be under the control of their members. The Commissioners are not entitled to require a guarantee of fidelity from a society as a condition of granting approval, but every approved society is required to give security to provide against any malversation or misappropriation by its officers of any funds coming to the hands of the society under the Act. Every approved society must, when required, submit its accounts to audit by auditors appointed by the Treasury.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say what amount of security a society is required to give, and how often their administration is tested by Government auditors?


I do not think that is quite decided, but I think it will probably be done annually. I can answer that question better later on.