HC Deb 29 March 1909 vol 3 cc158-9W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, as the taxpayers are required year after year to make good deficiencies in the income account of the Post Office Savings Bank, the deficiency for the past year being estimated as £161,443, and as they are further liable for the deficiency in the capital account, estimated unofficially, in the absence of a balance sheet, as at least £15,000,000, they are entitled to receive official information as to the financial position of the institution; and whether, as a balance sheet containing a valuation of the assets at market prices is held to be misleading, will he take other means to acquaint the taxpayers with the position of this institution, for the current expenses of which they are required to pay and for the solvency of which they are liable?


All the facts bearing on the financial position of the Post Office Savings Bank Fund are disclosed in the returns annually presented to Parliament under Statute. Any estimate of the contingent liability of the Consolidated Fund in respect of a deficiency upon the capital account of the Post Office Savings Bank Fund would be purely conjectural, since the amount of that liability depends upon the price which will ultimately be realised for the securities standing to the credit of that account in the event of their being sold. The preparation of any balance sheet of the kind contemplated by the question would require the framing of such an estimate, for which, in the absence of any means of judging when (if at all) necessity for realising the securities is likely to arise, I am unable to take official responsibility.