§ MR. C. T. GILES (Cambridge, Wisbech)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for Thirsk, as a Charity Commissioner, whether the bills of quantities for the school buildings of Christ's Hospital on the new site at Horsham have been completed; and, if so, whether they exceed the estimate; whether the expenditure of £20,000 sanctioned by the Commissioners for the work of draining roads, levelling, and planting, is now expected to be insufficient owing to the soil being so deep and strong a clay; whether, since the acquisition of the Horsham site, the number of scholars has considerably decreased; and, if so, to what extent; and the Governing Body has been obliged to sell stock to meet the current expenses of the school, and, if so, to what amount; and whether, having regard to the great interest taken by the public in this National institution, he will take steps to provide that the names of the members constituting the Governing Body and Committees, and their proceedings, be no longer kept secret but be published from time to time?
MR. GRANT LAWSON (York, N.R., Thirsk)
The bills of quantities for the school buildings on the new site at Horsham have not, so far as the Commissioners know, yet been completed. The Commissioners are not aware that the expenditure of £20,000 for draining roads, levelling, and planting, is now expected to be insufficient. A reduction in the number of boys has been found necessary during the period of transition through which the hospital is passing, and it is understood that the Council of Almoners do not propose to fill the boys' school to its full extent before its removal to Horsham. The number of girls have been considerably 392 increased since the purchase of the Horsham site in 1892. The total number of scholars is now about 200 less than in 1892. Sales of stock to the amount of about £12,070 were made for meeting current expenses of the first two years (1891 and 1892) in which the scheme was in operation. Since 1892 no stock has been sold for that purpose. The Commissioners understand that printed lists of the Governors and Council of Almoners may be purchased at the counting-house of the hospital in Newgate Street. The Commissioners have no reason to believe that the practice of the hospital in respect to the publication of names and proceedings differs from that of most other charities, and they have no power to make the suggested provisions.
§ MR. J. H. JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
asked whether the Commissioners had any reason to suppose that the decrease in the number of scholars at Christ's Hospital was due to the fact that the bills of quantities were in excess of the estimates or that the expenses of laying out the grounds were more that the £20,000 allowed; and whether it was not the fact that Collier's School at Horsham, which stood on similar soil, had at the present time 99 out of the 100 scholars which it was built to accommodate four years ago.
MR. GRANT LAWSON
said that he had no personal knowledge of Collier's School, but he had no reason to doubt that the facts stated by the hon. Member were correct, and that as the bills of quantities had not yet been sent in nor the cost of laying out the grounds finally ascertained, he could hardly suppose that the decrease in the number of scholars at Christ's Hospital was due to either of those considerations.