§ MR. HOBHOUSE (Somerset, E.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he is aware that, notwithstanding the answer given by his predecessor in office on the 30th of July 1885, no steps have yet been taken by the Corporation of the City of London to remedy or prevent the great defects shown to exist in connection with the fellowship of Free Porters of the City of London; whether he is aware that through the neglect of the Corporation the funds of the Society are rapidly dwindling owing to the expenditure annually exceeding the income by a large amount; and, whether he will take steps for causing a full and public inquiry to be made into the case?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CHILDERS) (Edinburgh, S.)
I have been in communication with the City authorities on the subject to which my hon. Friend's Question refers; and I am informed by them that the Committee, to which my Predecessor referred, in July last, as then inquiring into the expenses and resources of the Fellowship had stopped proceedings on account of an action having been brought by certain members of the Fellowship, in which the right of the Corporation to interfere with the funds of the Fellowship, or to issue rules for their administration, was called in question. This action was decided favourably to the Corporation in March last, and the suspended Committee has, I am informed, now resumed its 1297 sittings, and will spare no effort in trying to place the affairs of the Society on a better footing. I have no power to order a public inquiry, such as my hon. Friend suggests; but I will write to the Lord Mayor, and ask him to give his attention to the distress which undoubtedly prevails among the members of this Fellowship.