§ MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to that portion of the Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the affairs of the Macclesfield Savings Bank, in which Mr. Andrews, the Actuary of the Manchester Savings Bank, advised the Actuary of the Macclesfield Bank as to the use and disposal of the separate surplus fund; whether the separate surplus fund of Trustee Banks, in the hands of the National Debt Commissioners, can be drawn upon and used in the manner suggested; and, whether the Treasury will take steps to prevent the squandering and any misuse of the separate surplus funds of Trustee Banks, in the manner indicated in Mr. Andrew's letter, or otherwise?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
My attention has been called to the whole of the able Report of the Commissioner to inquire into the affairs of the Macclesfield Savings Bank. Mr. Andrew's advice to the Actuary of the Macclesfield Savings Bank seems to consist of two parts. In so far as he recommends that the separate surplus fund should be used for building a new bank, if such new building was required by the increase of business, I do not think his advice is open to exception; but his further suggestion (if I rightly understand the letter) that the bank should increase its expenditure, not, as it seems, because greater experience was necessary, but because there happened to be money which he considered available for it, seems to me very regrettable. The nature of the purposes to which the 1483 separate surplus fund can be applied seems open to some doubt. I believe that the National Debt Commissioners have power, by means of the certificate required before any portion of the fund is paid over to any bank, to prevent any "squandering or misuse." But I agree with the Report of the Committee that those purposes should be more clearly defined by legislation.