POST-OFFICE SAYINGS-BANKS.—Mr. Sikes, of the Huddersfield banking company, in a paper read befbre the congress on social science, held at Bradford in 1659, advocated toe establishment of savings-banks in connection with the money-order department of tile general post-office. The subject had more or less occupied the attention of public vien since 1806, when Mr. Whitbread made a proposition relating to it; but Mr. Sikes's plan was so clear and detailed that the postmaster-general took the matter up. An net oi parliament was obtained in 1861. The postmaster-general is to act in concurrence with the treasury and the national debt commissioners. Deposits not less than one shilling in amount may be made at any of the money-order offices, or at such offices as the postmaster-general may appoint. Each depositor is provided with a deposit-book; each deposit is entered in this book, and is attested by the receiving-officer, and by the dated stamp of his office. The amount received is reported on the same day to the post master-general- An acknowledgment of each deposit is transmitted to the depositor, and this is to be conclusive evidence of his claim to repayment with interest. The cepositor is entitled to repayment of the whole or any part of the deposit, on making a demand in a prescribed form at any of the offices (not necessarily the one at which he made his deposits) within ten days at furthest after sending in the demand. The names of the depositors, and the amounts paid in and returned, are not to be disclosed except to the officials immediately concerned. All the moneys are paid into and received hack from the national debt office, on the authority of the postmaster-general. Interest at 2+ per cent is allowed on all deposits as soon as they amount to £1, but none on fractional parts of £1. Facilities are supplied by means of certificates for transferring deposit accounts from ordinary saVings-banks to post-office savings-banks, or vice ter,Sti. All
expenses are refunded to the po4-offiee out of the deposit fund; and if there should he -any deficiency, the consolidated fund is to bear it. A detailed account of the proceedings is to be presented annually to parliament. The maximum sum deposited 1.y any one person in one year is limited to £30. The deposit-book, in which the came, address, and occupation of the depositor are written, contains minute printed (ffections for his guidance. The bock contains a pocket, in which the receipts from the postmaster-general may be kept. The depositor pays nothing for the book, and nothing for postage for letters to and frqm the postmaster-general.
This new system has proved remarkably convenient and successful. Operations erremenced on Sept. 16, 1861; from which time till the end of 1875 the total amount deposited, with interest, amounted to £81,397,000, and the sum withdrawn to £56,210,. COO. At the end of 1875 the number of post-office savings-banksin the United Kingdom "Vas 5.260. and the amount of deposits for year was 18,783,852, malting an average of £2 16s. ld. for each of 3,132,433 deposits by 1,777,103 depositors. The number of withdrawals was 1,112,637, amounting to £7,825,560; average of each withdrawal,R6 Ils, 8r1. The interest amounted to4571,584, and the charges of management to £122,325, Icing 9s. 8Id. per cent on the capital. The total amount at the credit of depositors at the end of the year was £26,222,485. The average amount at the credit of each depos itor in the United Kingdom was £14 3s. 50., English depositors having slightly over ibis, Scotch £9, and Irish £17. The average of depositors to population was 1 to 18, thus distributed: England, 1 to 14; Scotland. 1 to 69; Ireland, I to 89. Large numbers of provident and charitable societies, etc., deposit their funds in the post-oflice savings banks.