§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury with reference to the powers of the Registrar-General of Friendly Societies under Section 50 of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893, whether he is aware that this Section provides an inadequate protection for persons insured with companies, either operating dishonestly or in financial difficulties, seeing that the Registrar only has power to appoint an inspector upon the application of one-tenth of the members, and the members are considered to be not those who are insured but the shareholders; and whether, in these circumstances, he will introduce legislation to give power to the Registrar-General to inspect and take action whenever justice may require it?
§ Mr. McNEILL
The power of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies is limited as the question states except in cases where a society is carrying on industrial assurance business. In that case the Chief Registrar can inspect without any application by members. The legislation recommended by the Departmental Committee on the Assurance Companies Act, 1909, contains provisions for enabling the Board of Trade to apply to the Court for power to inspect any insurance undertaking. This matter is under consideration.