HC Deb 02 April 1953 vol 513 cc1345-6
24. Mr. Sparks

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state those publicly subscribed national relief and disaster funds known to be in existence; the amounts subscribed; and the balances at present held in each fund.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)

I regret that complete information is not available.

Mr. Sparks

In view of what the hon. Gentleman says, that complete information is not available, will he publish such information as is available? Could he also confirm that there are quite a considerable number of such funds in existence with balances, and that the purposes of those funds have become defunct with the passing of time? Would it not be in the general interest for some inquiry to be instituted with a view to applying such balances to the general purposes to which subscribers would have agreed had they been alive today?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Part of the difficulty is that a large number of these funds are not funds for which Her Majesty's Government have any responsibility in administration and, therefore, no certainty of knowing of their existence. But I will consider what the hon. Member says about funds of which information is available. I am bound to say that in considering that I shall have to bear in mind whether even the partial information might not be misleading and, therefore, do more harm than good.