HC Deb 21 June 1888 vol 327 cc824-5

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown has been taken as to the legality of the appropriation of some of the funds of Greenwich Hospital, which, by the Charter of the Hospital, should be devoted to charitable purposes, to the payment of men of the Seamen Pensioners' Reserve Force, who are virtually a portion of the Effective Forces of the Crown; and, whether, if the question has not been submitted to the Law Officers, it will be?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

The Question as to the legality of appropriating Greenwich Hospital Funds to the payment of Seamen Pensioner Reserve has not been referred by the Admiralty to the Law Officers of the Crown, and there is no present intention of doing so. The Admiralty, as Trustees, are empowered under Act of Parliament (Greenwich Hospital Act, 1865) to grant such pensions as they may deem fit; but such pensions must be legalized by an Order in Council, and such an Order has been obtained for the grant of these particular pensions, and therefore all legal formalities have been met.