§ MR. J. F. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, in view of the fact that benefit societies are required by law to furnish annual returns of their membership and accumulated funds, will he state whether the Covent Garden Theatre; Fund, which is held by the Charity Commissioners to be a benefit society and, therefore, exempt from their jurisdiction, has furnished any such returns during recent years; and, if so, whether he can state, from the latest returns thus furnished, the total amount to the credit of the fund, and the number of surviving members who are entitled to participate in its advantages?
§ MR. HANBURY
This fund was established by a private Act of 1776, which shows that the fund consisted of the voluntary contributions of the actors. The Charity Commissions Act of 1853 excludes such charities from their control. The society is not registered under the Friendly Societies Acts, and, therefore, does not make any returns to the 373 Friendly Societies Registry, nor is there any power to compel it to do so. I am, therefore, unable to obtain the information desired by the hon. Member.