Mr Chamberlain has asked me to thank you for your letter of the 20th.
One of the reasons why he has so much regretted the hostility of the Treasury to the extension of Municipal Savings Banks has been that he foresees that unless such extensions were to be permitted it would inevitably become a Party question. Socialists advocating the extension and Unionists opposing it.
Mr Chamberlain does not know whether you are aware that the committee which is at present considering this matter was set up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Mr Chamberlain's personal request and Mr Chamberlain has himself given evidence before it. He has no idea what their recommendations will be but he will be very much surprised if they do not include one, that municipalities of a certain size should, in accordance with certain procedure, be permitted to set up municipal savings banks subject to certain safeguards. A general measure embodying such a recommendation would not necessarily affect the Birmingham Bank which of course is operated under a private Act. Mr Chamberlain does not think there is anything further to be done until the Committee makes its report.