HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1086-7
50. Mr. Sparks

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what control is exercised by Her Majesty's Government in the spending of money contributed by the State to the North Devon and West Somerset Flood Relief Fund.

Mr. Marples

The North Devon and West Somerset Flood Relief Fund is administered by the trustees of the fund as a charitable trust, and there is no Government control.

Mr. Sparks

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Devon and Somerset stag hounds have made a claim of£2,290 on this Fund for damage to fences, hunting tracks and so on, which I understand has been paid; and in view of the fact that the Fund was contributed to widely by people all over the country to relieve personal distress and not to subsidise private hunting societies, will he look into this matter to see that at least the State's contribution is being properly distributed to the people whom the State intended should receive it?

Mr. Marples

I will look at that particular point of which I have not had notice. All I can say is that the High Court has decided that the purpose for which this Fund was created constituted a valid charitable trust, so that the powers and duties of the trustees are really defined by law; but I will go into the point which the hon. Member makes.

Brigadier Peto

Will my hon. Friend make it clear to those who are under any illusion that the fund is for the relief of distress and for compensating all who suffered material damage and that, with very few exceptions, the people of North Devon would be against any exception being made?

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