HC Deb 06 July 1926 vol 197 cc1857-9

asked the hon. and gallant Member for Tonbridge, as representing the Charity Commissioners, whether he is aware that £16,000 was subscribed in Scotland in 1917 for the construction of naval and military hostels by the Salvation Army in Rosyth, and that this sum is in the hands of the Charity Commission, together with £4,000 received as profits of then existing hostels; and whether in view of the reduction of the dockyard at Rosyth to a care and maintenance basis, he can state if it is proposed to proceed with the construction of similar buildings in another part of Scotland?

Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER-CLAY (for The Charity Commissioners)

The fund in question is now represented by stocks held by the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, and is governed by a scheme established by the Charity Commissioners on the 19th September, 1919, directing the appropriation of the fund to the erection on a site at Rosyth already purchased of a home and hostel in connection with the Salvation Army for members of His Majesty's Naval, Military or Air Forces. The doubt regarding the final use of Rosyth postponed, and the final decision to reduce Rosyth rendered impracticable the realisation of the scheme, and the trustee of the charity has endeavoured, but without success, to find an alternative place in Scotland from which country the bulk of the subscriptions to the fund were derived where such a hostel would be useful.

It has been proposed that the charity should be transferred to Devonport, where the conditions are similar to those at Rosyth when it was a naval base, but in view of the object for which the fund was raised and the terms of their scheme, the Charity Commissioners are unable to sanction the transfer until the consent of the subscribers has been obtained.

A letter has accordingly been drafted, a copy of which will, it is understood, be sent shortly to every subscriber to the fund, explaining the position and asking whether he is content that his subscription should be applied to a hostel for soldiers, sailors and airmen at Devonport, or whether in the circumstances he claims that his subscription should be returned to him.


As the money was almost exclusively provided from Scottish sources, and as many of the subscribers have either died or are not available, will the hon. and gallant Member undertake, in cases where it is impossible to get into communication with them, that their subscriptions shall be earmarked for expenditure in Scotland on a similar scheme in connection with either the Army or the Navy?

Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER-CLAY

I think it will be necessary to await the result of the letter which has been sent out to find out what subscribers wish done with it. If they do not say, the money might be allotted to some similar scheme in Glasgow or other parts of Scotland.


Will the hon. and gallant Member bear in mind that this fund was destined for the use of the Navy and that the very same men who would have benefited at Rosyth will now benefit under it at Devonport?

Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER-CLAY

Yes, Sir, and the Commissioners desire to keep the fund as nearly as possible for the object for which it was subscribed.


Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House, when he receives the reply, what the decision of the Charity Commissioners is to be, before they proceed with any undertaking?

Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER-CLAY

If the hon. Member will put down a question, I will let him know.


Is not this a unique instance of a sum of money being diverted from Scotland to be spent in England?