§ Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the credit balances in Naval Savings Banks of deceased seamen and marines can properly be added to the unclaimed wages and effects, and be paid over by the Admiralty to the funds of Greenwich Hospital, under the Revenue Act, 1889, 52 and 53 Victoria, cap. 42, Section 30 (1); whether he is aware that it was brought to the notice of the Committee of Public Accounts that the annual balance of income over expenditure on Greenwich Hospital is added to capital on the ground that the Estimates for the year must show a surplus; whether he will consider the advisability of carrying forward the balance to the next year, thus placing more money at disposal for pensions, which, and not the accumulation of capital, is the real object of the fund?
The Law Officers have advised that Naval Savings Bank balances which remain undisposed of or unappropriated for six and a-half years from the date of the receipt by the Admiralty of notice of the death of a depositor at a Naval Savings Bank, established under the Act of 1866, should be paid or credited to the Greenwich Hospital capital account under Section 30 of the Revenue Act, 1889.174W
I am aware of the facts stated in the second part of the Noble Lord's question. Certain securities were obtained many years ago bearing a higher rate of interest than that current for similar securities today. These will mature in the course of a few years, and when re-invested a loss will be sustained, diminishing the total income of Greenwich Hospital. It has therefore been the practice to transfer such accumulated balances as arise on the income account to capital account as opportunities occur for purpose of investment, and by that means of increasing the amount of the assured income on which alone (and not on any fluctuating margin of income) life pensions can be based with security.