HC Deb 02 August 1904 vol 139 c540
MR. SLACK (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the action of the Board of Education and the Charity Commission in co-operating to set aside The Education Act, 1902, by an ex post facto scheme under the Charitable Trusts Act in connection with the Whitstable Education Foundation; whether he is aware that it is proposed to take an undenominational endowment for teachers' salaries and divert it for thirty years to the rebuilding or enlargement of premises appropriated to a Church of England school; and whether, having regard to the fact that the Kent County Council and the Urban District Council of Whitstable both have protested strongly against the scheme, will he give an opportunity, on the Civil Service Estimates or otherwise, for the House to consider the conduct of the two public Departments implicated; and will he use his influence with them to secure that the scheme, shall not be sealed until such discussion shall have taken place.


I understand that this endowment has been the subject of three or four Questions in this House during the last two months. I am also informed that the endowment cannot fairly be called undenominational, nor has its character in this respect been altered by the Charity Commissioners of the Board of Education. The Kent County Council approved the plans submitted to them by the trustees before the publication of the scheme. The scheme was sent to the Whitstable Urban District Council when published on April 29th, and no objection was made to it. It was sealed on July 8th. Since then the council has protested, but the scheme having been sealed it is not in the power of the Charity Commissioners to deal with it except on the application of the trustees. The matter is now one for the Chancery Division of the High Court, to whom the council can appeal.