HC Deb 30 March 1910 vol 15 cc1299-300

asked the hon. Member for the Stroud Division, as representing the Charity Commissioners, whether he is aware that the inhabitants and householders of the ancient parish of West Lavington, duly assembled at a parish meeting on 31st December last to consider the draft scheme of the Charity Commissioners for dealing with the Dauntsey almshouses in that parish, expressed their unanimous disapproval of the provision in Clause 13 of the scheme, whereby all persons who had been in receipt of Poor Law, relief, other than medical relief, would be disqualified as applicants for admission to the almshouses or to benefit by the charity; and whether he will see that this provision is removed from the scheme and from the draft form of notice of election to fill vacancies among the almspeople, so that poor and honest persons who are in receipt of parochial relief through no fault of their own may be included?


The views of the parish meeting referred to by the hon. Member were communicated to the Charity Commissioners, who have pointed out that they are bound in this matter by a rule of law laid down by the Court of Chancery. They are, therefore, unable to remove the provision containing the disqualification to which objection is taken. The period, however, during which candidates for appointment to the almshouses must not have received relief has in the present case been reduced from two years to one year.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that under the old scheme there was no disqualification at all? I understand it was only when the matter came into the hands of the Charity Commissioners that this rule was made?


If that is so, I can only add that the old scheme worked illegally. I am informed there are several cases, coming down from a considerable time past, all in the same direction.