HC Deb 29 June 1831 vol 4 cc465-7
Mr. D. W. Harvey

moved for a return of the number of informations relating to Charities, in England and Wales, filed in the Courts of Equity at the instance of the Commiss- ioners of Public Charities, from the day of the last return on this subject to the present time.

Mr. Protheroe

observed, that the reports contained no accounts of the sums destined for education, which had accumulated in the hands of Trustees or Corporations.

Mr. Hume

thought it very desirable that the whole amount of funds destined by charitable persons for the education of the people should be known. He believed that if they were properly managed and applied, they would be sufficient for all the purposes of education.

Return ordered.

Mr. Protheroe

said, he had a motion on the same subject, which he would now present to the House. He moved for a return of the sums left for charitable purposes to the Corporation of Bristol, together with an account of the manner in which they had been distributed; or if not distributed, of the reasons that had prevented their distribution; from the year 1820 to 1831.

Mr. Hunt

concurred entirely in this motion. There was one charity in Bristol of 120l. a year, left to the Mayoress to be distributed to lying-in women, at the rate of 21. a piece, but it frequently happened that objects enough of the bounty could not be found, and the Mayoress had put the money into her own pocket. He wished, therefore, that this charity should be included in the hon. Member's motion, and he would recommend him to make it more general.

Mr. Protheroe

said, he should have no objection to do so; but he believed that the information already published upon other charities rendered it unnecessary.

Mr. Spring Rice

said, he had no objection to the motion; but he feared the returns could never be obtained. He suggested to the hon. member for Middlesex, that if the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of public charities had not been able to furnish, in ten years labour, the information he wished, it Was most unlikely that it could be procured on the mere order of that House.

Mr. O'Connell

saw no difficulty in con plying with the motion.

Mr. Protheroe

was chiefly anxious to attract attention to the subject, and if that were accomplished, his purpose would be answered.

Mr. D. W. Harvey

doubted whether the information was not already in papers which had been laid on the Table of the House. He agreed with his hon. friend the member for Middlesex, that it would be most desirable to know the whole amount of the sums destined to charitable purposes, which he believed was not less than 2,000,000l. a year. It was necessary to pass some measure to secure the proper application of this enormous fund.

Motion withdrawn.