§ Sir A. SPROT
asked the Minister of Health if it is proposed to adopt the suggestion in the Geddes Report that a charge of 10s. shall be imposed for each annual return sent to the Chief Registrar, and a like sum for each valuation return; and if he is aware that members of friendly societies feel that this will impose a heavy burden on the societies?
I have been asked to reply. I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply to the questions put by the hon. Member for West Houghton (Mr. Rhys J. Davies) and the hon. Member for Clitheroe (Mr. A. Davies) on the 9th ultimo.
§ Major BIRCHALL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he intends to adopt the suggestion of the Geddes Committee and charge an annual registration fee for friendly societies; what is the number of centralised societies and their membership; and what is the number of decentralised societies; how many branches have they; and what is their total membership?
As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has already stated, the question of the imposition of a fee is under consideration. At 31st December, 1921, there were upon the registers of the United Kingdom 3,959 friendly societies without branches (in addition to 64 collecting societies) and 105 societies with branches having 20,839 registered branches. At 31st December, 1919, the 4,091 returns received from societies without branches showed a membership of 4,154,046, and1868W at the same date 58 collecting societies returned a membership of 10,911,511. At 31st December, 1918, the latest date at which the information is available, the 20,196 returns received from registered branches of orders disclosed a membership of 2,928,186.