MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the present total liabilities of the State in respect of deposits in the Post Office Savings Banks and the Trustee Savings Banks; whether these deposits are liable to withdrawal at call or at a short notice; and, if at a short notice, at what notice; what assets are held by the Savings Banks to meet their liabilities, and in what form; are the assets held in the shape of securities valued at the price at which those securities were bought, or are they valued at the market price of the day; what is the amount o. that part of the securities thus held that consists of stock which, as he states in his Treasury Minute of 11th April 1899, must in ordinary course be purchasable at par in or before 1923; and has any provision been made to provide for the constant diminution in value of these securities as thus contemplated as between their present market price and the par price at which he suggests that they must be purchasable in 1923?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH, Bristol, W.)
I informed the honourable Member for Islington, in reply to a Question a 7th March last, that the total liability of the State to depositors in the Saving's Banks at the last date to which the accounts were made up was £173,780,000 in round figures. The legal notice of withdrawal from the Post Office Savings Banks is 10 days; in the Trustee Savings Banks it varies with the rules of the banks. The honourable Member will find a statement of the assets, valued at market price, in the Report of the Postmaster-General and Return No. 64 of 1899; they include £102,697,000 Consols. The total assets, valued at par, show, as I stated on 7th March, a surplus over the liabilities.