HC Deb 06 July 1950 vol 477 cc792-807

11.12 p.m.

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. James Callaghan)

I beg to move, That the Statement of the Estimated Income and Expenditure of Greenwich Hospital and Travers' Foundation for the year ending on 31st March, 1951, laid before this House on 13th June, be approved. This Trust is one for which the House of Commons is responsible through the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and it involves a very considerable income and expenditure. The income of the Trust is derived, as hon. Members will see from the statement before them, from estates in the North of England, and Greenwich, from interest on Government and other securities and from the Foundation called the Reade Foundation. The total income is £227,000.

Apart from administrative costs, the expenditure is mainly in respect of pensions and the cost of the Royal Hospital School. The expenditure is adjusted so as to tally with the amount of income. Details are given on pages 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the statement as to how the income and expenditure are made up. I gather, Mr. Speaker, that some hon. Members propose to speak if they are fortunate enough to catch your eye, and as I shall have to ask leave to speak again, I do not intend to go into details now. I would not, however, like hon. Members to think that I do not regard this as a matter of importance, but as I shall have to ask leave to speak again I do not consider it proper to make two lengthy speeches.

I have turned up the figures for 1914 and 1950 to see how the policy of the Trust has been moving. Broadly, we spend now about £124,000 on the school and about £40,000 to £50,000 on pensions, in which there is an element in respect of children's pensions. The reverse was so in 1914, when by far the greater bulk of the Trust was spent on pensions and a comparatively small amount on the school. The policy has been changed again because the State has come into the pension field more and more and taken the obligations and responsibilities which used to fall on the Trust. We have, therefore, been able to devote more income to the boys at the school, as well as to a number of other children pensioners who are not at the school.

About three or four years ago a new educational policy was adopted for the school which is proving extremely satisfactory. This is a matter of particular interest to me, because I was invited by my predecessor to serve on the committee of management of the school—not in respect of the whole trust, as the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. J. P. L. Thomas) knows, but in respect of the school only. The hon. and gallant Member for Horn-castle (Commander Maitland) and I have been members of the Management Committee since that time.

The policy of the school has been altered so that it is now on the point of providing a good grammar school education generally, with a substantial technical stream for those who do not wish to go into the grammar school stream; and we are achieving better results every year. As a result of this new policy 23 boys gained School Certificates in 1949. There will be fewer going in for the examination this year because of the age restriction placed on entries, but 23 is the largest number who have obtained certificates since the new policy was brought into being.

Another thing about which I am particularly pleased is that for the first time we have put in two candidates for cadetships at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. I am glad to say that both of them passed the written examination and attended the subsequent oral. One of these boys has succeeded in the oral examination and will become a Dartmouth cadet. That is a remarkable fact, on which I think the House will want to congratulate the headmaster.

This information has not yet been published. It is due to be published in a day or two, but the First Lord has agreed to my telling the House tonight. I hope that Holbrook will develop more and more as a breeding ground for Dartmouth. It will be an excellent thing if it does. That is all I wish to say at the moment in commending the Estimates to the House. Should hon. Members wish to ask detailed questions, I shall, if I have leave of the House, be glad to answer them.

11.17 p.m.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas (Hereford)

The Parliamentary Secretary was right to make a short speech in introducing these Estimates as he will undoubtedly have to ask leave to speak again later in the evening. During the war, I understand, these Estimates went through "on the nod," but the Admiralty did not take into consideration the presence of the hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams), the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) and the noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton). That formidable array has now been increased by the hon. and gallant Member for Hull. East (Commander Pursey), who is always good for half an hour on Holbrook. Therefore, perhaps the tactics of the Parliamentary Secretary this evening are wise.

One difficulty in discussing the Estimates is that the accounts which, I know, we cannot discuss tonight, but which we need as the background of our study of the Estimates, are only available for the year before last. I will try to surmount that difficulty. I call the attention of the House to the fact that the estimated income of £257,430 for 1950–51 is an increase of £14,708 on the estimated income for the previous year. We on this side of the House consider that to be very satisfactory and a matter for congratulation to the Admiralty and all concerned When we turn to the pensions to officers, the Estimate is £12,000, an increase of £2,300. Estimated expenditure on pensions to seamen stands at £50,700, an increase of £5,644 on the previous year. That, too, is a matter for congratulation.

But we would be more encouraged by these figures if it were not for the disappointing results shown in past years. In 1948–49 it was estimated that officers' pensions would amount to £11,260, but only £8,766 were disbursed, while pensions to seamen had been estimated at £45,256 and only £32,571 were actually spent. Would the Parliamentary Secretary tell us how the actual payment of pensions for 1949–50 compares with the Admiralty, that the Estimates this year, both for officers' and seamen's pensions Estimates? Could we have an assurance, from the hon. Gentleman on behalf of the are not over-optimistic?

There is also another question, also page 2, and this relates to the Admiralty estates in the north of England. The Government tell us that the object of their agricultural policy is to encourage farmers and land owners to increase their capital investment in land and buildings. Why, therefore, does the estimated expenditure for 1950–51 on these estates appear only to show an increase of £280 over the estimated expenditure for last year? This would seem to me not to be enough, even to compensate for the increased cost of buildings. Is there not a danger that there may be less improvement in 1950–51 than there was in 1949–50? The point I am getting at is that I hope the Admiralty will be able to say they are better landlords than the figures in the Estimates would make them appear to be.

If I may trespass on the ground of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Hull, East, and turn to the Royal Hospital School, the increase in the numbers, as shown on page 5 of the Estimates, must be a great encouragement to him just as they are a great encouragement to all of us. Can the Parliamentary Secretary say how many there were in 1949–50, and how many he expects to be there in 1950–51? I see the estimated cost per boy at the Royal Hospital School for 1950–51 is less that it was for 1946–47, but more than in 1948–49 although at that time there were more boys. The cost of maintaining a boy at Holbrook for 1950–51 is estimated at £185 a year. That, in comparison with other schools, is a heavy cost, for I am informed that the cost of grammar schools and free grant schools is £120 a year. Take the case of Christ's Hospital School which, like Holbrook, bears the cost of clothing: There, I under stand the total cost of maintaining a boy is £120 a year, compared with £180 a year at Holbrook

When we turn from the Royal Hospital School to the Travers' Foundation, we find, according to page 7 of the Estimates, that, as usual, the expenditure is still in excess of income, although there has been a great improvement in 1950–51 compared with 1949–50 and there is a drop from £207 to £8. I see the cash balances in this Foundation on 1st March, 1949, were £794, so there is still something in hand for this continuing deficiency; but, surely, as I said last year when speaking on these Estimates, the time has come for the whole position of the Travers' Foundation to be examined. We cannot go or indefinitely year after year with a charity where the expenditure always exceeds the income.

The general position shown by the Estimates is, I think, far more satisfactory than it has been in the immediate past, but I think the points which I have raised call for answers by the Parliamentary Secretary, and I hope he will be able to reply to them later in the Debate.

11.25 p.m.

Commander Pursey (Hull, East)

This is the annual occasion for dealing with these accounts, which, unfortunately, are always brought forward at a late hour. The hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. J. P. L. Thomas) has stolen a lot of my thunder by taking up points which I have always raised in previous years. The first point to be emphasised about these accounts is that they are presented in considerable detail, so that the dog can see the rabbit, which is in striking contrast to the accounts presented by the War Office in regard to the Royal Patriotic Fund, from which it is impossible to discover where the money is going. Here, we have a fund of £4 million, and an income of £1 million.

We ought to keep in mind the object of the School—I will confine my remarks to the School—and that is that it was established for the maintenance and education of the sons, preferably orphans, of poor seamen. The School dates back to 1694, although I will not cover the intervening years. I should like to hear that the policy is to give first preference to orphans, not only of ex-Service men of the Navy, but also of the Mercantile Marine, and also to poor boys, because if boys who can make their way with advantage in other schools are accepted, it will defeat the whole objects of the School.

There was a period when they were taking the cream of the applicants to save the School staff trouble in teaching education, discipline and everything else. The idea was to turn it into a "posh" School, and the School was drifting into the position where the orphans of poor seamen could not find a place in the School. I hope that the right policy is now being followed.

The point about the two candidates at Dartmouth is a good one, for which credit is deserved, but if that is to be developed on a large scale it shows that the main objects of the School are not being carried out. It is not the intention of the School to train boys for entry into the Navy as cadets. The object should be to select boys who would normally enter the Navy on the lower deck and improve their position whereby they get in as artificers with the object of becoming commissioned officers. These should be the ordinary types of boys, not the "posh" cream with the idea of turning the School into a "posh" School, the poor boy being handicapped because he is poor. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] I am not objecting to them going to a "posh" school, but referring to the others who cannot get into a "posh" school.

I think there is no question that my hon. Friend, understands my point. I have debated this subject before. I want the orphan boys of the poorest ex-Service men of the Navy and the Mercantile Marine to get the advantage of this luxurious School, which, originally, cost £1 million. Those who are capable of fighting their own battles, and standing on their own feet, should go to the ordinary schools of the country. I think that is a sound and logical case to put forward, because this is a charitable institution.

It would also be of advantage to the House if the Financial Secretary were able to give the recent awards of sub-lieutenancies. In my time we were able to get larger numbers. In recent years Royal Hospital School boys have not been able to; yet, when war broke out three of them were in command of cruisers and have since reached the flag list, and one is now serving as a vice-admiral on the active list. If the School were carried on as originally intended, we would be able to get these lower standard boys and bring them forward to reach the top of their profession in the Navy.

Then there is the point about numbers. The old school at Greenwich accommodated 1,000. The new school at Holbrook was also to accommodate 1,000, but two houses were not built, and the number was then reduced to 840. The hon. Gentleman opposite referred to the increase in numbers. I want to suggest to the Financial Secretary that although it is Admiralty policy not to overcrowd these boys, a school built for 1,000 plus ought to be able to accommodate 600 plus without overcrowding. There ought not to be any necessity to reduce the numbers by 25 per cent.

There are two other criticisms which have been levelled at this School. One is the rebuilding and knocking about of buildings, whereby accommodation has been lost. The other is an unduly high proportion of high salaries as compared with the other expenses for the benefit of the orphans. There is the case of the headmaster. His salary is £1,650, plus £250 entertainment allowance, which gives him £1,900 a year in cash, plus an official residence, plus the services of a gardener and a boy at the expense of the School funds. These emoluments are, I believe, far above those for what the Parliamentary Secretary has referred to as a grammar school type of school. I understand that in the near future there will be a change of headmaster by virtue of retirement, and I suggest that the Admiralty should consider the total of emoluments for the new headmaster.

Another post on the senior staff is that of the chief naval instructor. That is a new term which has come into use in comparatively recent years. Originally, there was a captain's superintendent, with a second in command. They were responsible for discipline, and so on. The headmaster was responsible for education. These changes occurred, I believe, during the tenure of office of the hon. Member opposite during the Coalition Government. The Admiralty decided that the captain superintendent should go, and that the headmaster should be responsible for the whole thing.

The question which arises is: Having reduced the standing on the naval side of the naval officers, who is the present holder of this post of chief naval instructor? He should be someone to whom the boys should look up, and this is the one post in the School which should be open to an old boy. There was a change after my time at the School, and a lieut.-commander, who got his commission as a mate, was appointed. But when the School was moved from Greenwich, the idea seemed to be that the stall should be selected, not so much because of their previous history, but because they came from "county" families and were able to mix with the "posh" people in the county of Suffolk. As the captain-superintendent has gone, and is replaced by a headmaster, who may or may not be able to mix with the important county families, this post should be filled by an old boy. If that was done, at least the boys could say "Here is an old boy who has got on" and that would mean an inducement to them.

I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will deal with some of the points I have raised—although, admittedly, I have not given him notice of them. I say to the Admiralty, "Stick to the original objects of the School; make certain that priority is given to orphans of ex-naval and Mercantile Marine men, and make certain that money is not wasted in buildings or on staff which should be better devoted to the boys". Those boys should have every opportunity to get as far as possible, both in the School and in the Navy when they join it.

11.37 p.m.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu (Huddersfield, East)

There is one point of elucidaion which I would like to make, and that arises from the claim by the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. J. P. L. Thomas) that the total cost of maintaining a boy at Christ's Hospital School is £120 a year.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

It is accurate.

Mr. Mallalieu

It strikes me as very low, but, of course, I accept what the hon. Gentleman says. However, the point which we have to bear in mind is that this School is saddled with rather nigh costs from the buildings, and I would suggest that the really true comparison is between this School and the costs of a boarding school. The boarding school may go from £300 to £400 a year, and I would like the Parliamentary Secretary to give us his idea of the true comparison.

My second point is that which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hull, East (Commander Pursey) has made, that the original idea of this School was to give the orphan sons of seamen the chance to get a better eduction in order to go on in the Navy. My hon. and gallant Friend was rather critical of the suggestion that we were sending boys to Dartmouth, but I cannot see any point there; I am all for these boys getting out and going as far as possible. But it seems to me that whatever the original intentions of this School may have been, later developments have given us an opportunity for experimentation.

It is generally believed, although I do not know whether it is right or not, that the boarding school systems in this country is the best, but it has been confined to those with means In this School, the poor boy has got the chance of having the best system of education which this country can provide. Let us aim at making this School not only the machine for turning out seamen, but a new type of school for giving the finest possible education to boys who happen to be the sons of seamen, but who may not, themselves, want to go into the Navy at all.

I am delighted to find that the naval side of this has been played down and, moreover, that the civilian side is being played up. I believe we have an enormous opportunity here of making this School an example to the country, a school which has the best traditions of the public school without the one defect of making entry money the criterion.

11.41 p.m.

Sir Herbert Williams (Croydon, East)

I believe that I was responsible for the first Debate which took place on this subject for over a quarter of a century, and I am delighted to know the Debate is carried on year by year. I believe my intervention eight years ago had a very useful effect. The Lords of the Admiralty did not realise until then that they were responsible for this educational institution. It is sometimes useful to remind people in high office of their responsibility.

Commander Pursey

I know that the hon. Member would like to get this right and correct on the record. Frankly, he is absolutely wrong because, many years before this, the Committee of Public Accounts got at this and there were lengthy debates in the House some 15 years ago or so, so that any idea he has that he has drawn attention to the fact the Admiralty were responsible for these accounts is entire nonsense.

Sir H. Williams

I am sorry that I have provoked so much steam and heat, if I may say so. I did not trouble to look this matter up, but information came to me to that effect from the Admiralty at the time. I am sorry if I was misinformed. I will take the trouble, when I have a few spare moments, to check up what I have been told.

I want to ask two questions. Only a few minutes ago we were discussing something else to do with finance and the question of investment of funds, and of funds which are held in trust being invested in trustee securities. There is a very interesting item on page 3—interest on loans, £43,400. I imagine that there must be a capital sum there, and I am surprised the Admiralty are starting out as money-lenders. To whom are they lending this large sum, and what is the interest they are getting? I think it is some comfort to the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, East (Commander Pursey) because this document reinforces. his view, and the next item is an interesting one: "Parliamentary Grant: Receipt from the Consolidated Fund in lieu of Merchant Seamen's Sixpences Act, 32 & 33 Vict. c. 44."

I suggest that the Financial Secretary might look that up in the Library and that when he makes a speech next year he might be able to tell us all about the Merchant Seamen's Sixpences.

Mr. Callaghan

By leave of the House, I will reply as briefly as possible. The hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. J. P. L. Thomas) asked me a number of questions based on his annual examination of the Estimates. I think he now knows as much about them, or perhaps more, than the hon. Member who stands at this Box for the time being. However, I will do my best to answer the questions he put. He asked, first, why we do not spend the amount that is estimated in respect of pensions and how the payments for 1949–50 compared with the Estimates. The answer, I think, is that the Greenwich Hospital Trustees, do not wish to come to the House for Supplementary Estimates if they can avoid it, and, therefore, they tend to overestimate the number of applicants for pensions.

I think this is hardly even a venial crime since they are not asking for public money. It is really an allocation of their own money which they are spending as Trustees. I suggest that it is no crime that they should slightly over-estimate the amount they expect to spend in order to avoid a Supplementary Estimate when they are not asking for the taxpayers' money.

Sir H. Williams

The figure is £45,000 estimated but only £32,000 spent, an error of one-third.

Mr. Callaghan

It is not ill-estimating; it is over-estimating the number of applicants who are to receive pensions. If I may give the answer for 1949–50, I am told that as far as officers' pensions are concerned, the amount spent will probably equal the estimate; so that this item will not be very much out. As far as children are concerned, the amount will not be fully spent.

I do not think we ought to press the Director of Greenwich Hospital to estimate all this exactly every year or that we should treat him as being at fault if it does not work out that way. I do not think it really matters from an accounting point of view, and I am by way of being something of an accounting purist on some of these matters.

The hon. Member then asked why the increased expenditure on the estates appears to be only £280 at a time when the Government are pressing landlords and those who own property in the country to spend as much money as possible in improving their estates. If the hon. Member reflects, he will appreciate that these Estimates are concerned only with income and expenditure. There is a great deal of capital expenditure that is not reflected in the Estimates but is, of course, shown in the accounts. In fact, the amount which is being spent on improving the estates this year is of the order of £15,000. That will be charged to capital, and will affect the rent that is charged to the tenants in respect of the improvements that are made. If the improvements are permanent, 5 per cent. of the cost per year will be charged by way of increased rent. For temporary improvements—for example, a temporary farm building—8 per cent. is the basis of the charge. I have not all the details with me, but that is, roughly, the way in which it works.

I hope that the hon. Member will go North and look at the large estates, which total some 20,000 acres, because I should like to have his opinion as to how Greenwich Hospital are standing up as landlords. There is a programme, over a period of five years, for spending something like £75,000 in improving cottages and farm buildings in that area. That is something of which we can be really proud.

On the question of the School, the hon. Member asked how many boys there were and also questioned the figure for the cost of the School. At this stage, perhaps I might reply also to various other points which were raised, My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hull, East (Commander Pursey) suggests every year that we ought to have more boys at the School. I want him to understand clearly that so long as I am Financial Secretary I do not intend to have more than the present number of boys there. The reason for that is that I have seen the place and he has not.

Commander Pursey

Yes, I have.

Mr. Callaghan

Well, not for a very long time. The plain truth is that with the present complement of about 650–660 boys, the School is comfortably and adequately full. We are not going to have them packed in like sardines in a tin or living like seamen on a mess deck; we intend to give them proper accommodation. I ask my hon. and gallant Friend to go and have another look for himself, and then he may come back and revise some of the ideas with which he entertains us every year about the School. Let him see whether he does not think that the accommodation is used as well as it can be.

I do not pretend that the School was laid out originally as well as it might have been. That is something which the present Management Committee have to put up with. It is perfectly true that there were some rather grandiose ideas about the School originally, but I believe that the existing policy, within the limits that are imposed upon the Management Committee by the physical shape of the buildings, is as good as it ought to be. In answer to the hon. Member who raised the point, it is my intention—and the Management Committee give me full support in this—to keep the number of boys at about 660. In fact, the figure is now about 652. It is higher at the beginning than it is at the end of term. Normally it is between 650 and 670, and that is where it is going to stay. Anyone who looks at this question carefully will agree that that is right.

The figure 1 have for Christ's Hospital for 1948–49 is nothing like that quoted by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Hereford. Whereas the cost of a boy at Holbrook is £171 the figure for Christ's Hospital is £179, which seems to be more likely than the figure of £120 that he gave.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

If I gave the wrong figure, of course, I withdraw it. I had it looked into carefully, and that was the figure I was given. I will check it later.

Mr. Callaghan

Anticipating that some comparisons might be made I went to the Ministry of Education and asked them for some specimen figures. Christ's Hospital was among those given to me. I have figures for some other schools. I am not prepared to give the names, but I ask the hon. Gentleman to accept them as reasonably representative schools. School "A" with 400 pupils costs £168; school "B" with the same number, costs the same; and school "C," with slightly fewer, costs £183. So Holbrook compares not unfavourably with these schools, particularly when one appreciates the quite fantastic sum it takes to provide heat and water to the place. I think we shall find that, taking into account that at Holbrook the School provides everything from bootlaces to cricket bats, while comparable schools are not responsible for anything like the same expenditure, the figure is not unreasonable. The Management Committee—of which the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Horncastle (Commander Maitland) is a member, as I also was, until I became Financial Secretary, when I then became its chairman—has effected considerable economies during the last few years without cutting down essential services.

With regard to the function of the School, I really did not like the terms in which the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, East, spoke. To talk of poor, handicapped children having to come first, and using such expressions as, "This is a charity," paints a picture of long blue stockings and the dreadful sort of atmosphere of the charity school. That is not the sort of place we want, and it is not going to be that. We want a decent place where every child has the best opportunity of developing his talents to the fullest extent and that is the sort of school it is going to be. During the last four or five years it has come along in that way. I am proud that we have had two boys who have got as far as the oral at Dartmouth, and that one has got through. I hope many more will follow.

The booklet which is sent out to prospective entrants to the School contains the following sentences: Priority is given to those whose fathers have been killed or died on service. Other things being equal, preference is given to sons of those who served as ratings. That is in keeping with the modern interpretation of a charter dating from the reign of William and Mary. We ought not to be bound strictly to a charter set out in those days, and I think this is a reasonable and commonsense interpretation of it.

We are shortly appointing a new headmaster, and the Management Committee has just agreed that his emoluments should be roughly those of the old headmaster.

We have done that because, having consulted with various educational authorities and those who are in a position to advise us, we have come to the conclusion that that is the right figure for the new headmaster. I am glad to say that my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, East (Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu) has accepted my invitation to join us on the Management Committee. He will have an opportunity of expressing his views there on the form that the School should take and we shall listen to him with great interest.

On the question of who is the chief naval instructor asked by the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, East, he is a major of Marines selected by the Management Committee about a year or 18 months ago, after they had interviewed a number of first-rate applicants. He is doing a very useful job at the school and he is certainly someone to whom the boys can look up.

The hon. Member for Hereford suggested that the Travers' Foundation was having a continuing deficit. I do not think he has grasped the point. There is no continuing deficit. The hon. Member raises this point year after year, and I will attempt to explain it. The position is simply this: every year there are a fixed number of pensions and they cost a certain amount. Because of deaths and the interval that occurs between one death and the establishment of the next pension there is a balance at the end of the year, due to the total annual amount of the pensions not being spent. That balance accumulated for a number of years and resulted in a fairly considerable sum, with the consequence that the Trustees were able to increase the number of pensions for a short time in order to work off this balance.

The Foundation is not, therefore, running a deficit. It is, in fact, paying the cost of additional pensions over and above the establishment out of its balance of money in hand. We shall always be able to do that as long as there is a gap between the death of one pensioner and the appointment of another. I can assure the hon. Member that there is no accounting jugglery. It is a perfectly sensible operation.

My hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, East, suggested that the naval side of the School was being played down. That is not the case. A large number of boys are still leaving the school to join the Navy, and I trust that will continue. The number has varied in the last three or four years between 70 and 94. Speaking from memory, that represents about 60 to 70 per cent. of the boys who leave, and I consider that a good thing. Of the 23 boys who obtained School Certificates in 1949, 17 went into the Navy, four entered civil employment and two are still at the School; one of these is also hoping to go into the Service eventually. I am delighted that the Royal Navy should be able to get these boys of School Certificate standard and feel sure that the Navy will provide them with a good career. I hope I have answered all the questions—

Sir H. Williams

What about the money-lending point?

Mr. Callaghan

I do not know the answer to that question from the hon. Member, but I will give him the answer in due course, in writing. Apart from that, I hope I have answered all the questions put to me.

Dr. King (Southampton, Test)

I was rather troubled about the point raised by the hon. Member for Hull, East (Commander Pursey), that there was a policy of excluding poorer boys. I should be glad if my hon. Friend would answer that.

Mr. Callaghan

There is no such policy at all. These boys are selected every term from those who apply, and generally speaking, 90 per cent. of those who apply are selected. There has to be an element of competition, because, there are rather more applicants than there are places, if we are to keep the School operating on what I consider to be a reasonable complement.

Resolved: That the Statement of the Estimated Income and Expenditure of Greenwich Hospital and Travers' Foundation for the year ending on 31st March, 1951, laid before this House on 13th June, be approved.