HC Deb 11 December 1893 vol 19 cc1042-3
SIR F. FITZ WYGRAM (Hants, Fareham)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will take into consideration the advisability of appointing in the coming Session a Committee to inquire into the funds and property of Chelsea Hospital and the claims of the out-pensioners?


Two Committees, one in 1870, under the late Captain Vivian, and one in 1883, under the Earl of Morley, have reported very fully on the value of the property of Chelsea Hospital, and on the possibility of conferring on out-pensioners increased pensions analogous to those given to Greenwich out-pensioners at the time that Greenwich Hospital was closed to pensioners. The last-named Committee, after full consideration, came to the conclusion that the annual charge, to give out-pensioners the same pensions as the Greenwich out-pensioners have, would exceed the fee-simple of the whole Chelsea property. This was, moreover. on the supposition that that property had been purchased out of stoppages made from soldiers, and was therefore in the nature of a vested interest, which, however, the Committee were not prepared to admit. It appears to be well established that, even if the whole Chelsea estate were devoted to the purpose, the gain to the large body of out-pensioners would be very trifling, and would by no means be commensurate with the loss of an asylum for old age now enjoyed by a considerable number of in-pensioners. Under the circumstances it does not appear that any material additional information would be likely to be obtained by a new Committee on the subject.