§ Mr. AYLES
asked the Minister of Health (1) the financial position of the Birmingham Municipal Bank for the year ending 31st March, 1924; and whether, in view of the continued success of this bank in encouraging thrift, he will consider favourably applications from other local authorities for permission to establish similar banks in their areas;
(2) the number of depositors of the Birmingham Municipal Bank that have been able to buy their own houses through the instrumentality of the bank during the past three years; and whether, in order to give the 1923 Housing Act a better chance of succeeding in its aims, he will encourage the establishment of municipal banks by other local authorities?
I have been asked to answer these questions I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the report and statement of accounts of the bank for the year ended 31st March last, which give the particulars which he desires. Municipalities would require statutory authority to conduct savings banks; and I doubt if such authority would be the best way to finance long term capital expenditure such as housing.