§ SIR SAMUEL WILSON (Portsmouth)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether he is aware that the Government loans in the leading Australian Colonies have been expended in railways and other reproductive works, which remain Government property, and which make a return of about 4 per cent in some cases, on the whole amount of the debt of those Colonies, and that the railways alone would sell for more than the whole debt, making such loans a perfectly safe investment; whether he will take this into consideration in the future re-investmet 507 of Greenwich Hospital Funds; and, whether he will endeavour to continue the payment of age pensions, without the conditions as to the ability to earn a portion of their sustenance, to seamen who have served their full time?
§ MR. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (A LORD of the ADMIRALTY) (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
(who replied) said: I do not contest the accuracy of the facts mentioned in the first part of the Question of my hon. Friend; but, as already stated, arrangements have been made, or are in progress, for re-investing at home, on favourable terms, a large portion of the Three per Cent. Stock hitherto held on account of Greenwich Hospital, and it is anticipated that there will be no difficulty in similarly re-investing as much of the remainder of the Stock as may be considered advisable. In the Charter of Foundation it is stated that the benefits of Greenwich Hospital are intended for seamen who, by age, wounds, or other disabilities, shall be incapable of further service at sea, and be unable to maintain themselves. It seems proper, therefore, to take into account, when distributing the funds, the physical condition of the men as well us their age.