HC Deb 31 May 1897 vol 49 cc1611-2

I beg to ask the hon. Member for Thirsk, as representing the Charity Commissioners, with reference to the old Grammar School at Swansea, which has been converted under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889, into an intermediate and technical school, whether he is aware that for 200 years previously to 1894 it was a Church School, and that in 1872 a sum of about £500, derived from private subscriptions, was expended in adapting and decorating the chapel, which is now dismantled and used as a gymnasium; and whether the Commissioners will endeavour to induce the Education authority to restore to their former owners the lectern, Communion plate, and other church ornaments which have been removed under the scheme?

MR. GRANT LAWSON (York, N. R., Thirsk)

In considering the scheme in this case, submitted to them under the provisions of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889, by the Joint Education Committee of the County Borough of Swansea, the Charity Commissioners were of opinion that the school did not fall within the protection accorded to denominational schools by that Act and by the Endowed Schools Act, and this view was upheld by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in an appeal against the scheme. The Charity Commissioners have no information as to the expenditure of the particular amount mentioned in the Question, nor as to the existence of the plate and church ornaments there mentioned. It is stated, however, in the Judgment of Lord Herschell in the case mentioned above, that a sum expended between the years 1872 and 1876 in converting a crypt under the dining-hall of the school into a chapel had become so mixed with the old endowment of the school as to withdraw it from the general protection given to modern endowments by the Endowed Schools Acts. If, as seems probable, the plate and other articles mentioned are also subject to the scheme, the Commissioners have no power to bring about their restitution.