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National Savings Committee

Volume 159: debated on Friday 15 December 1922

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can see his way to reduce the large amount of expenditure incurred in maintaining the National Savings Committee and the Scottish Savings Committee; whether, in view of the good rate of interest accruing to the holders of national savings certificates, it is regarded as necessary to spend £98,000 per year on advertising the certificates; whether, if such advertising is regarded as necessary, any expenditure incurred can be placed under the direct control of the Treasury; and whether commission is ordinarily paid to agents who place the advertisements with newspapers?

The expenditure upon the National Savings Committee was investigated by the Geddes Committee, who were of opinion that this system and organisation brings in real savings very largely contributed from sources hitherto untapped, and that it encourages thrift. The total expenditure (including advertising) is under ½ per cent. of the money raised. The Committee recommended the continuance of the organisation, provided that the headquarters staff is constantly kept under review. I see no reason to dissent from the recommendation. The figure of £98,000 for advertising refers, as stated on the 12th instant, to the year 1921–22; since then the rate of expenditure has been reduced to about £60,000 per annum. The answer to the third part of the question is in the negative; and to the last part in the affirmative.