HC Deb 17 April 1893 vol 11 cc427-8
MR. DODD (Essex, Maldon)

I beg to ask the Parliamentary Charity Commissioner whether the Charity Commissioners will in general in their new schemes adopt the principle of having a majority of the trustees elected as in the scheme recently approved by them for Sunning well, Berks—namely, the election to be in the evening, and every ratepayer to have one vote only, and the poll, if demanded, to be taken by ballot; whether the Commissioners would object to send a copy of each proposed scheme on its proposal to the Library of the House of Commons for reference by Members; whether he can inform the House what new schemes have been published for consideration, and are, as yet, not finally settled; and whether a complete list of all these proposed schemes is placed for inspection by the public in any convenient place at the office of the Commission or elsewhere?


In view of the varying circumstances of the cases presented to them, the Charity Commissioners are unable to give any general undertaking as to the provisions to be made in schemes. For instance, some charities are purely sectarian, and must be so dealt with. Each case will be treated with reference to its particular circumstances. A reference to paragraphs 29 to 37 of the Report of the Commissioners for the year 1892, recently presented to Parliament, will show that the principle of representation has been adopted more and more generally by the Commissioners in the constitution of Bodies of Trustees for the administration of eleemosynary charities, and that, with the establishment of representative Councils in counties, districts, and parishes, the further adoption of the principle becomes more easy and satisfactory. There are 210 schemes under the Charitable Trusts Acts and 170 under the Endowed Schools Acts published and not yet finally settled. The question of placing copies of these numerous schemes in the Library of the House would seem to be one for the decision of the House itself. It may be added that steps are always taken by the Commissioners to carry out the provisions of the Charitable Trusts Acts and Endowed Schools Acts by giving such public notice in the localities affected as may be most effectual for insuring the publicity of the schemes. Further, in deference to a wish expressed in the House a few years ago, a complete list of schemes published and not yet finally settled is kept in the office of the Commissioners for inspection by the public on application to the Secretary of the Commission.