HC Deb 26 June 1934 vol 291 cc948-50

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money was left by the late Charles Kerr Marr for the endowment of education in Troon; who were the original trustees, the contractors for the erection of the college, the total amount expended on the building, and if the plans and estimates were submitted to the Department of Education for approval; and will he consider the advisability of holding a public inquiry into the administration of the affairs of the Marr Trust since its formation, in view of the Endowments Commission having reported that there were many public expressions of dissatisfaction with the administration of the trust?


The net amount of the late Charles Marr's estate available for educational purposes in Troon was about £331,000. The original trustees were Mr. Thomas Frank Neighbour, solicitor, London, and the person who at the date of Mr. Marr's death was Provost of Troon, namely, Mr. Alexander Muir. The present trustee, Sir Alexander Walker, K.B.E., was appointed on 4th June, 1928. With regard to the con-tractors, I have a long list of these, which I propose with the hon. Member's consent to publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The total amount spent on the site, building, equipment, laying out of grounds, etc., up to date is about £204,000, but this amount is not final as certain items are still in dispute. The plans were forwarded for the Department's consideration and were approved as being satisfactory for secondary school purposes. No estimates accompanied them and, as the cost of the building was to be met from private funds, estimates were not called for by the Department. With regard to the last part of the question, my right hon. Friend is advised that he has no power to order such an inquiry as is suggested. I may add that I am informed that, even after allowing for the above-mentioned expenditure and the considerable expenditure on bursaries, the endowment fund now stands at about £400,000.


I thank the hon. Gentleman for his long reply. Is he aware that to-night there is to be a mass meeting of the inhabitants of Troon to protest against the present position, and that they are sending a petition to the Secretary of State demanding that an inquiry be held with regard to the whole financial position of the Marr Trust? Id the event of the right hon. Gentleman getting that petition, what action will be take?


My right hon. Friend will have to wait the arrival of the petition, but the law is that no such inquiry as is suggested in the question is open to my right hon. Friend.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that the expressions of dissatisfaction to which reference is made were due to the delay in the opening of the college?


The hon. Gentleman who put the first supplementary question asked about the future, and I prefer not to discuss that yet.

Following is the List:

The contractors for the erection of the College were Matthew Muir and Company, Limited, Kilmarnock (mason and joiner work); R. Fulton and Sons, Troon (slater work); Moses Speirs and Sons, Glasgow (plumber work); Falconer, Elder and Sons, Troon (plaster work); Guthrie and Wells, Glasgow (leaded glazing work); John Milroy, Troon (painter work).

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