§ MR. SAMUEL HOARE (Norwich)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. J. W. Lowther) whether his attention has been called to the recent correspondence between the Town Council of Norwich and the Charity Commissioners with reference to the scheme for the administration of the Doughty Clarity; whether he is aware that the opinion expressed by the Town Council has been confirmed in a Common Hall by the general body of the citizens of Norwich, and that this opinion is in favour of some modification in the scheme with reference to grants to the most necessitous poor; and whether the Commissioners are prepared to give further consideration to the unanimous wishes of the citizens of Norwich on this important question?
MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)
The answer to the first and second questions is in the affirmative. That provision in the scheme which prohibits the application of the funds of the charities in relief of the poor rates is merely declaratory of the general law, as laid down by a long series of decisions in the Court of Chancery, namely, that in the absence of express directions in their favour in the instrument creating the trust, persons in receipt of parochial relief are disqualified from participating in funds subject to a trust for the benefit of the poor. Under these circumstances the Commissioners are unable to entertain the application now made for the modification of the scheme.