HC Deb 22 July 1846 vol 87 cc1362-4

On the Motion that the House go into Committee on the Charitable Trusts Bill,


suggested to the hon. Member for Montrose the propriety of withdrawing the Bill. Last week the House affirmed by the second reading the principle of the measure, which principle was the accountability of persons holding charitable trusts to Parliament, through the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Since the second reading he had received a great number of communications from persons interested in the matter, not offering any objection to the principle of the accountability (on the contrary, they fully approved of it), but urging additions that had not been contemplated by the hon. Member for Montrose, and making various suggestions of great weight and importance, which demanded and ought to receive the most serious consideration. The Government desired to devote their best attention to the matter; and his noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor would soon have under his consideration another measure, affirming the principle of the Bill introduced by the hon. Member for Montrose, but more general in its import, and much more comprehensive in its details. The principle of the Bill at present under consideration having been deliberately recognised by the House, he trusted that his hon. Friend, taking into consideration the lateness of the Session and all the other circumstances of the case, would be induced to withdraw the Bill for the present, or at leat postpone it on the understanding that a measure similar in object, but more comprehensive in detail, would be brought forward by Government at an earlier period next Session.


, since last week, had received several communications on the subject of the Bill, all showing the necessity of the measure, but all requiring more to be done than he had contemplated. The only object that he had been desirous of effecting was, that a balance-sheet, showing the revenue and expenditure on account of these charitable trusts, should be laid before Parliament, thereby affording to that House and the public generally the means of obtaining that information for which they had for many years looked in vain. This was his object; but if it could be satisfactorily proved that it was desirable that more than this should be effected, he would willingly assent, and admit that it would be much more satisfactory to him that Government should take the matter into their own hands and bring forward next Session an extensive measure to meet all the views of the case. If Government would pledge itself to introduce next Session a comprehensive enactment of this description, he would willingly accede to the suggestion of the right hon. Baronet. Under all the circumstances of the case, he would at once consent to postpone the Bill until next Wednesday, and if on that day distinct assurance was given of the Government's intention to bring in a comprehensive measure next Session, he would withdraw the Bill altogether.

Order of the Day read pro formâ, and Mr. Hume postponed until Wednesday next his Motion for going into Committee on the Bill.

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