§ 2.56 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will now grant permission to the trustee savings banks to make personal loans.]
THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (EARL JELLICOE)
My Lords, this proposal is under consideration, but I must inform the noble Lord that I am not in a position to announce a decision at the present time.
§ LORD HOY
My Lords, is the noble Earl aware that, while I am grateful for that Answer, it is disappointing? Is the noble Earl also aware that the trustee savings banks of Britain, which are by far the best, have nearly 10,300,000 depositors and that the service to which I refer, while available in every part of the country, is denied to those who are depositors in the Trustee Savings Bank? Cannot the noble Earl 241 tell us whether he will expedite a favourable reply? On every occasion the trustee savings banks are held up by the dilatoriness of the Treasury in making a decision.
My Lords, I am aware of the importance of the Trustee Savings Bank movement, but I am sure that the noble Lord will agree with me that the development which is implicit in his question would have considerable repercussions both for the banks and for the Government. Although I cannot be specific about when it will be possible for Her Majesty's Government to announce a decision on this important matter, I can assure the noble Lord that both the Treasury and the National Debt Office hope to be in touch with the Trustee Savings Bank Association in the fairly near future.