§ 55. Mr. Woodburn
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that old people, Service men and their dependants are finding great difficulty in cashing crossed cheques issued to them by Government Departments; and whether he is prepared to make arrangements for simpler methods of payment, namely, by money order or open cheque, on verification by identity card?
§ Sir J. Anderson
As the hon. Member will be aware, recurrent payments to old persons, Service dependants and the like are made weekly through the Post Office, and the payments which he has in mind are doubtless the comparatively few cases made direct by Departments, e.g., gratuities or arrears of pension, allowance, etc. The normal method of payment in such cases is by crossed cheque, but Departments may issue postal drafts or money orders for small amounts. I should not wish generally to abandon the safeguard afforded by the use of crossed cheques, and my inquiries do not suggest any general difficulty in negotiating them, particularly as they may be paid into Post Office Savings Bank accounts. I am, however, very willing to consider steps to meet any cases of special difficulty, and perhaps the hon. Member would be good enough to give me by way of illustration particulars of the cases that have come to his notice.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Question refers to cases of elderly people and sometimes to people in poor circumstances who are not acquainted with bankers, and that bankers feel it is very difficult having to refuse to pass the cheques when these people cannot find anyone with a bank account to vouch for them? It is these particular cases I have in mind.
§ Mr. McEntee
Would it not be possible for the cheque to bear a statement that the bearer could cash it at a bank?