29 MARCH 1940, Page 32



THE annual general meeting was held in Edinburgh on March 21st, 194o. The Right Honourable the Earl of Stair, K.T., D.S.O., Pre- sident of the Society, occupied the chair, and in the absence of the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Charles Guthrie, the report and balance-sheet were submitted by Mr. Alfred A. Lawrie.

After referring in feeling terms to the death of General Sir Robert Gilmour and submitting the name of Sir Samuel C. Joseph, D.L., for election to the extraordinary board, Mr. Lawrie, in the course of his remarks said :— The chief direct effects of the war have been reductions in the available directors and staff, an increase of Income-tax and a drop in the new business figures.

In view of heavy taxation, coupled with uncertainty as to the future, the continuation of the payment of interim bonuses on the modified basis outlined in the report is recommended.

The knowledge that the war must cause a fall in bonuses may lead to the conclusion that a non-participating policy should, under present conditions, be preferred to one entitled to share in the profits. Participating policies taken out early in the last war and maturing last year have proved a decidedly better bargain than non- participating contracts, even although no bonus was declared at out' valuation in .1918.

Last year the Chairman said ". . . while in common with other similar institutions we suffered depreciation in our investments during the year, nevertheless our `hidden reserve' or buffer to meet such eventualities has proved more than ample." The same words are applicable to the year 1939, and a substantial margin between market and book values existed on December 31st last.

The society is in a strong position and agents and members can with confidence continue to recommend its policies to their friends.

The report was adopted.