Clause 3 — (Rights of owners of certain endowment policies).

Part of Orders of the Day — Industrial Assurance and Friendly Societies Bill. – in the House of Commons on 15th March 1929.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Inskip Mr Thomas Inskip , Bristol Central

I am afraid my answer must be that my hon. Friend's conditions would come into conflict with the more satsfactory conditions already accepted by the Committee. His proposal requires that something should be done within one month, and the proposal which the Committee has already accepted requires something to be done within three months. In addition to that, the words now suggested would cover the cases of persons who had taken out policies for I do not know how many years back. I suppose it would go back to the beginning of the legislation enabling things of this sort to be done. In view of the fact that the people who take out these policies are repeatedly changing their addresses it would be impossible to give effect to the proposal. My hon. Friend says that the societies ought to keep registers of the policies which have lapsed. I think there is a great deal of substance in that criticism of their methods, if those methods be such as I am informed they have been in some cases. But, by saying that they ought to have done something, you do not get over the fact that in some cases they have not done what they ought to have done. Even supposing they have such a register of addresses, how on earth are they to find out all those persons now by means of the addresses at which such persons once dwelt? I am sure my hon. Friend, on reflection, will see that the Amendment which the Committee has accepted really does in substance what he desires. I cannot agree to his Amendment.