Moneylenders.

Oral Answers to Questions — Government Departments – in the House of Commons at on 10 March 1925.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Smith Mr Benjamin Smith , Bermondsey Rotherhithe

35.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the statement by Mr. Nield, Registrar at Liverpool Bankruptcy Court, on Tuesday, 4th March, to the effect that it was a common practice in that district for moneylenders to take pension warrants as security for loans and that this practice was illegal: and, if so, whether he will have inquiries made with a view to prosecuting the usurers who are breaking the law?

Mr. GUINNESS:

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for East Lewisham (Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Pownall) yesterday.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

32.

(for Mr. LANSBURY) asked the Secretary of State for 'War whether his attention has been directed to the remarks of Mr. Registrar Nield, at the Liverpool Bankruptcy Court, on 3rd March, 1925, that the War Office were parties to the financial troubles of officers by issuing to them drafts for their pensions 12 months ahead, on which loans were advanced by moneylenders; and whether the rank and file are entitled to receive drafts for their pensions similarly 12 months in advance?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

As regards the remarks made by the Registrar of the Liverpool Bankruptcy Court, I would observe that an officer who elects to receive his retired pay through a bank, monthly or quarterly in arrear, is furnished, for convenience, with sufficient forms to last for one year; these forms are not drafts, and they do not become negotiable until the last day of the period to which they relate. It is clearly stated on the forms that the allowance cannot legally be assigned as a security for the loan of money, and the possession of the forms by an unauthorised person is punishable under Section 156 of the Army Act. Soldiers are not paid through banks, and no supply of forms in advance is required.