§ MR. HOWELL
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he has refused certain Trade Societies, whose rules provide for sick, funeral, and other provident benefits for their members, the right of depositing in the Post Office Savings Bank, within the limit of £100 in any one year, or ,£300 in all, allowed to all Provident Societies by law; and, if so, on what grounds; whether the total deposits in the Post Office Savings Banks amount to about 64 millions sterling, and the total deposits standing to the credit of Trade Unions is less than one million sterling; whether in the entire history of the Savings Banks there has ever been any inconvenience, or loss, by reason of the withdrawal of such deposits, or anything to show that such is probable; and, if so, whether he will grant a Return showing such, together with the amount of the total deposits of Trade Societies to the close of the last year; and whether it is the intention of the Government to refuse deposits from Trade Unions on the same conditions that such deposits have been received for a quarter of a century, on account of any supposed danger alleged to be possible by the withdrawals of the funds of Trade Unions in a possible labour crisis?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
As I am responsible for what is suggested in this question, I will ask the hon. Gentleman to allow me to answer it. The hon. Member is aware that the Government recently undertook to consider further the matter referred to in his question, and I may state that on the 6th instant the Postmaster General caused letters to be addressed to the Secretaries of the Societies which had regulations containing the rules alluded to (and which had recently made application to him) intimating that he 513 accepted their deposits within the limits mentioned by the hon. Member. These letters have, doubtless, reached their respective destinations. The statement made in the second paragraph of the hon. Member's question is substantially correct. I do not know that there has been any loss attributable to the withdrawal of the deposits. With regard to the fourth paragraph, I should be glad, if possible, to put this matter on a more satisfactory footing.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
No; I have no objection within the limit suggested in the first part of the question—£100 for one year.