§ 12. Sir J. D. REES
asked at what figure the Chancellor of the Exchequer now estimates the reserves which will be set free in the friendly societies so as to become available as additions to benefits?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The amount of friendly societies' reserves which are set free in consequence of the National Insurance Act depends upon the course taken by societies themselves, and in many cases on the choice made by individual members. In some cases the benefits of the Act are being substituted for those formerly provided by the society; in others members are choosing to continue their full contributions to and full benefits from the private side of the society in addition to the contributions and benefits of the Act. In the former case only are reserves released; and a considerable time must elapse before the individual decisions of some four million persons, and the precise extent to 801 which they will have the effect of releasing reserves, can be ascertained. It must, however, be remembered that where an individual decision has the result of preventing any reserves from being released it is because the member has himself chosen to continue to enjoy the benefit in respect of which those reserves would have been released in addition to the similar benefits now provided for him under the Act.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Are we to understand the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not at present in a position to make an estimate, and that his views have completely altered since he originally made one?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
No, I am afraid that until there is more information as to the choice made by insured persons I could not give any reliable estimate.