HC Deb 24 June 1954 vol 529 cc583-4
37. Mr. Champion

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will recommend the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the charities which are engaged in raising money from the public for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty and providing for their treatment when sick, having special regard to the overlapping of these societies and to the amounts of the moneys subscribed which are used for salaries and administrative expenses.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

No, Sir. The collection of money for this particular charitable purpose does not involve special considerations which would justify a separate inquiry, and the general question of supervising collecting charities was carefully considered and rejected in 1927 by the Committee on the Supervision of Charities, and again in 1952 by the Committee on Charitable Trusts.

Mr. Champion

Is the Minister aware that the Committee which was set up to consider these organisations reported to his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture in the beginning of 1952 that it would be better, both in the interests of the animals and the better use of the money so generously subscribed by the public, if their activities were combined? Is he further aware that nothing has been done in this regard up to the present time, and that recent events reported in this morning's Press with regard to the R.S.P.C.A. and, a little time ago, to the National Canine Defence League, point to the necessity for some action?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

The points raised by the hon. Member in his supplementary question are fresh ones. I shall be very glad to look into them.

Mr. Snow

In this context, can the apparent somnolence of the hon. Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) be dealt with?