In November, 1926, the Chancellor of the Exchequer appointed a committee to consider whether it is desirable to permit a further
extension of Municipal Savings Banks, and if so, within what limits and subject to what conditions, statutory or otherwise.
personnel of the committee is a strong one, as the following names indicate:
The Rt. Hon. Lord Bradbury, G.C.B.
Sir Laurence Halsey, K.B.E.
Sir Harry Haward.
Col. the Hon. Sidney
Sir William Schooling, K.B.E., with
Mr. Herbert Gatliff as secretary.
was formerly secretary to the Treasury, and later principal British representative on the Reparations Commission in Paris. He has
filled many important posts in the financial world, and undertaken many investigations on behalf of the Governments of this country;
but he is, perhaps better known to the public in connection with the issue of treasury notes. Sir Laurence Halsey was a member of
the Royal Commission on Wheat Supplies, 1918-20, and is auditor of the Duchy of Cornwall. Sir Harry Haward is an electrical commissioner,
and was for many years the comptroller of the London County Council. He was from 1914-16 Controller of Currency in India, and has
been President of the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants. Colonel the Hon. Sidney Peel is Chairman of the London Foreign
and Colonial Securities of the National Discount Company, and was Financial Adviser to the Foreign Office in 1918. Sir William Schooling,
apart from being one of the foremost professional actuaries in the country, will be remembered for his great service in connection
with the national savings certificate scheme. He is a Vice-chairman of the National Savings Committee.
Committee has been holding meetings since November, 1926, and taking evidence from various sources. Several Municipalities have given
evidence before them, including Birmingham. The evidence of Birmingham, as the only Municipality possessing a Bank, was in the nature
of a recital of its establishment and progress, and was effectively given by the chairman of the Bank (Alderman Sir Percival Bower).
on behalf of the Association of Municipal Corporations was given by Sir William Hart, the town clerk of Sheffield, and that on behalf
of the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants by the city treasurer of Bradford (Mr. F. Ogden Whitely) and Mr. Arthur Collins,
a former city treasurer of Birmingham.
Whatever conclusions the Departmental Committee may arrive at in this matter,
there is no doubt the Chancellor did a wise thing when he set up the committee. The matter is an important one; it deserves the fullest
investigations and the information which will doubtless be obtained by the committee will be most valuable. It is but natural that
objections should be raised to any departure from existing things; we experience that every day. But the country which stands still,
and is content to say we cannot have anything better than what we have got, is a country scheduled for decadence. The great thing
is to be determined is whether what is proposed will be for the good of the community or not; if it is, then no opposition should
be permitted to frustrate that benefit being conferred.
NOTE: the result of the Committee's deliberations
is covered in: