§ 12. Mr. TOUT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to a statement that during the year 1922 10,000,000 industrial assurance policies were lapsed, upon which not less than £20,000,000 had been paid in premiums all of which had been lost by the holders of these policies; and whether, under the circumstances, he would have an inquiry into this matter, as it appeared from the published statement of accounts of the various companies that the shareholders had been dividing amongst themselves dividends and bonuses of 50, 60, and 80 per cent. and over, and that such profits were contributed to very largely by the premiums paid on the lapsed policies of the unemployed?
§ Viscount WOLMER
The answer to the first part of this question is in the negatice. A Committee, appointed in the year 1919, of which Lord Parmoor was the Chairman, considered the question of lapsed policies among other matters relating to industrial assurance, and made certain recommendations on the subject. Provisions to give effect to these recommendations were included in a Bill introduced in another place, which was read a Third time on the 8th March. In these circumstances I think no useful purpose would be served by a, further inquiry.
Is the Noble Lord aware that many of these companies and societies have not yet had an annual meeting? How, then, can the information and statistics alleged in the question be available?