HC Deb 31 July 1907 vol 179 cc943-4
MR. T. F. RICHARDS (Wolverhampton, W.)

To ask the hon. Member for the Elland Division, as representing the Charity Commissioners, whether he is aware that in 1839 a sum of £100 per year was left by the Hon. Mrs. Scudamore, of Holme Lacy, Hereford, for the benefit of ten poor decayed men; whether he is aware that one recipient of this charity is a farmer who farms more than 340 acres of land and holds several public positions, such as district councillor, parish councillor, school manager, and Poor Law guardian; whether this gentleman has received more than £90 from this charity and became a recipient before he was fifty years of age; whether he was a late employee of the trustee who acted in the disbursement of this charity without the aid of other trustees; can he say whether an inquiry has been held; if so, with what result; will he place a full Report of such inquiry upon the Table of the House; and what steps have the Commissioners taken to compel the return of all moneys received by persons who cannot be described as decayed and who have received this charity in a very doubtful manner.

(Answered by Mr. Trevelyan.) The Hon. Mrs. Scudamore's charity was settled by the Court of Chancery in 1704, under the will dated 29th August, 1699, of Mrs. Jane Scudamore, for ten poor decayed men, to be appointed by Viscount Scudamore and his heirs. An inquiry was held into this charity on 4th July. In the course of the inquiry the farmer referred to in the Question resigned his claim to the funds of the charity. The person acting in the administration of the trust, who has hitherto exercised the sole patronage of the charity under the will, has now applied for a scheme for the appointment of trustees who will share in the distribution of the charity. A report on the case has not yet been made to the Commissioners by the Assistant Commissioner who held the inquiry. Such reports are confidential. A full report of what took place at the inquiry was published in the local newspapers. The matter is now under the consideration of the Commissioners, and there is no reason to anticipate that the error complained of in the Question will be possible in the future under the new scheme.