HL Deb 26 March 1863 vol 169 cc1917-8

House in Committee (according to Order).


said, that on the occasion of the second reading his noble Friend (Lord Redesdale) had objected that the interests of minors were not sufficiently protected under the present Bill. He (Lord Stanley) found that the provisions in the Bill and those in the old Savings Banks Act, in respect of the transfer of the deposits of minors were precisely the same.


desired to draw the attention of their Lordships to these provisions. At present, the managers of the old savings banks exercised a discre- tion as to the employment of the money of minors; but under tins Bill, on the application in writing of the parent or guardian, if the minor was under seven years of age, or of that of the minor himself if above that age, the deposit of such minor at a savings bank might be transferred to a Post Office savings bank; and the money might be withdrawn at the same age at which the minor might have withdrawn it at the old savings bank. Every one knew that a child of seven years could not exercise any sound judgment, and the parents or guardians in many instances were not proper persons to be intrusted with the money. The trustees and managers of the present savings banks generally knew who the depositors were, and ought to be able to exercise their discretion whether it was safe or right to allow the minor's money to be transferred. What he wished to propose was, that the transfer of money invested for the benefit of minors should be limited to those cases where the bank was about to be wound up, or where the trustees or managers saw reason to agree to the transfer. He wished also for some explanations with regard to the fourth clause, by which it was proposed that money invested in a 3 per cent stock should be converted into a 2½ per cent stock, the difference being converted into an annuity of the class which would terminate in twenty-two years. He regarded this clause as a confession that the expense of the Post Office savings banks had exceeded the estimate of their founders, and that they wanted a larger income to carry on the business. He pointed out that the part which would be converted into annuities would not be converted into fixed annuities for a certain number of years, but into annuities which became shorter and shorter every year, and therefore every year of less value.


said, that the whole object of the conversion clause was to give the Chancellor of the Exchequer the means of investing the monies of the Post Office savings banks to advantage, and that it would not affect the security of the depositors. With regard to the proposal of the noble Lord, in reference to the deposit of minors, it appeared to him that managers would be anxious to retain the money in their own banks, while the Post Office savings banks must afford better security to the depositors.

Amendments made; the Report thereof to be received To-morrow.