HC Deb 22 February 1884 vol 284 cc1716-7

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council, Whether the Charity Commissioners have expressed an opinion to the Trustees of Sutton Saint Edmund's Charity Lands, to the effect that the portions of those lands known as "Watson's Charity," "Blank's Charity," and the "Poor's Land," in all fifty-eight acres, come under "The Allotments Extension Act, 1882;" whether the Trustees, contrary to the provisions of the Act, and in disregard of the applications of the men, have let these lands by auction to farmers and others; whether the Charity Commissioners have offered to give the Trustees a certificate to the effect that these lands are unsuitable for allotments; and, whether, having regard to the fact that this certificate would deprive the men of the benefit of the Allotments Act, the Commissioners will before granting it ascertain and consider the opinion of the labourers themselves as to the suitability of the land?


The Charity Commissioners have not expressed an opinion to the Trustees to the effect that any portion of these lands known as "Blank's Charity," or the "Poor's Lands," come under the Allotments Extension Act. They have, on the contrary, expressed an opinion that these lands are not at present within the Act. They have, however, informed the Trustees that the lands, amounting to seven acres in extent, known as "Watson's Charity," do come within the Act. The Charity Commissioners are not aware of any letting of these lands by the Trustees made since January, 1883. It was then proposed to let them, or part of them, for a year, from April, 1883; but in consequence of representations made by the Commissioners to the Trustees, the proposed term was reduced in respect of part of the lands to one ending at Michaelmas, 1883. The Commissioners have not offered to give the Trustees a certificate to the effect that the lands of "Watson's Charity" are unsuitable for allotments; but they have informed them that they are prepared to consider any application made to them under Section 11 of the Act for such a certificate. The Commissioners, in the discharge of the duty imposed upon them by Section 11 of the Act, will take such evidence as may be offered them upon any application made to them in this case.