3 MAY 1940, Page 30



EFFECTS OF WAR THE RT. HON. SIR DENNIS HERBERT'S SPEECH THE annual general meeting of Equity and Law Life Assurance Society was held on April 30th in London.

The Right Hon. Sir Dennis Herbert, K.B.E., M.P. (the Chairman), said that the cot sequences of the abnormal conditions of the year had been a sharp decline in new business and a further depreciation in investments. The fall in the net rate of interest to £3 16s. 3d. per cent, was largely due to the increased income-tax. The Society's mortality experience during the year was very satisfactory. The mort- gage and investment reserve had been increased by £400,000 to a total of £5oo,000. The depreciation in Stock Exchange investments on December 31st last was £49oo,000, but a fortnight ago had de- creased to 4400,000; a reduction in the depreciation shown on the investments of the Equity and Law Investment Trust was also men- tioned. A sum of £roo,000 had been placed to a special reserve against the Society's investment in the shares of the Freehold Build- ing and Land Development Company, Ltd.

Prudence might require the whole surplus available at the triennial valuation on December 31st next to be carried to reserve or written off assets, which would mean a substantial reduction in the rate of dividend and the temporary suspension of bonuses on With-profit policies.

Following the retirement of Mr. Thorne last September, Mr. Kirton had been appointed General Manager and the Executive Staff had been reconstructed. The directors also had under consideration a re- construction of the Society's board. The directors proposed that _their fees should in future be paid free of income-tax at 55. 6d. in the f instead of free of all income-tax.

The directors had now decided that under new policies the Society would cover civilian war risks (except while flying) within Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

New and attractive schemes had also been devised to suit the par- ticular circumstances of the present time, and it was hoped that these would enable the Society to obtain its full share of new business.

The report and accounts were unanimously adopted.