"Will you state how they transact their business :-By meeting daily in committee (a general committee), which is open to all to attend; but in order to be a quorum there must be three present; and by a weekly court, held each Friday, at which all ought to be present.
"Is there a record in writing of all the directions and the acts of that special committee?-There is.
"Are each of those acts brought under the examination and review of the general court on Friday?-At the weekly court they are; the minutes are read over.
"Is the question put upon the confirmation of those minutes, or is it open to the general court to vary or alter them?-The question is specially put by the chairman of the weekly court, whether it is the pleasure of that court to confirm the minutes of the past week which have been read.
"Have you known instances in the management of the bank in which there have been any variations upon the proceedings of the committee proposed by the general court, so as to show that it is an active as well as a theoretical superintendence?-I have seen instances where the subject has been brought under revision, and which has produced an alteration of the resolution of the committee.
"Having now explained to the committee the formation of your local administration at the branches, and your general administration in London, will you state what the course of proceeding is, to insure to the court in London a knowledge of that which takes place at the different branches?-I read from the report already referred to: 'Regular advices of the proceedings at the branches are transmitted by the managers to London by post every second or third day, according to circumstances; and at the end of each week a complete statement of the whole transactions is made up, and forwarded by the mail-coach. These returns are first examined by the officers of the London establishment, and then submitted to the directors. For giving the necessary orders arising out of these communications, for judging of all matters referred to them from the branches, for disposing of the bank's funds in London and Dublin, and for the discharge of all other duties implied in the exercise of a superintendence over the whole establishment, whether in Ireland or in London, the directors hold regular and daily meetings.'
"Are the accounts which are sent from the branches accounts in detail of the whole of the operations of the bank?-They are.
Are they, in fact, transcripts of the accounts of the bank from period to period?-They are so; with this explanation regarding the current accounts of parties holding accounts with the bank, every particular draft or receipt is not sent to London, or rather the entries of these, I mean, are not copied or sent to London; but there is this check on the operations of the branches, the exact balance of every man's account at the end of each week is given, and forms part of an abstract of the balance-sheet which is sent forward, and which must agree; therefore, if it were wrong, it would at once detect itself.
"Then no variation can take place in the actual balance without the attention of the court being at once called to it? - None can.
"And is the name of each individual to whom these advances are made from time to time brought under the special notice of the court of directors in London?-Yes; by the following process. The branches are divided amongst the directors, so many allotted to such a subcommittee, who take up the affairs of these branches each week in succession, and examine all the bills that have been discounted, the advances that have been made of any description, and the balance of each man's account, whether in his favour or against him." ii.