HL Deb 14 August 1835 vol 30 cc479-80
Lord Brougham,

in moving the second reading of the Education and Charities' Bill, observed, that approving as he did of the principle of the Municipal Corporations' Bill, and of the greater part of the details of that measure, yet there was a portion of it which he wished to have amended. The part to which he alluded ought to be altered in Committee, and fenced and guarded in such a way as effectually to prevent abuse. He referred to that part of the Bill which related to charitable funds. In what manner their Lordships might wish to effect that object he could not say, but he would suggest this course of proceeding—namely, that his Bill relative to education and charities should be now read a second time, pro forma, and afterwards submitted to the Committee on the Municipal Corporations Bill, who could then examine how far certain of its provisions, with respect to the control of charities, could be made applicable to that part of the Corporation Bill which had reference to charities. His Bill gave a controlling power over charities to a body of Commissioners, consisting of the Lord President of the Council, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and three professional men. These Commissioners would be invested with full powers to examine into all matters connected with charitable trusts, and to check and prevent abuses of them. It was evident that such a power should exist somewhere, because those charitable estates were very extensive; and it so happened that some of the largest estates belonged to towns—such, for instance, as Bedford and Coventry, where the party who had the manage- ment of them was very small. His proposition was, that if the provisions in his Bill were not considered as affording a sufficient guard by the Committee, they should then add others to them, so as to make those provisions applicable to the Corporation Bill.

Lord Lyndhurst

said he felt some objection to the second reading of this Bill without observation. He was by no means satisfied with its provisions as it at present stood. Perhaps the best course would be, if it were read a second time, to send it for consideration to a Committee upstairs, and their report might be laid before the Committee on the Municipal Corporations' Bill.

Lord Brougham,

said, he had expressly stated that he only moved the second reading pro forma. He did not wish to commit any noble Lord to an approval of the principle of the Bill. He proposed this course, in order that the Committee on the Municipal Corporations' Bill should consider how far the details of a part of his might be made applicable to the Corporation Bill. He had no objection to adopt the suggestion of the noble and learned Lord.

Lord Lyndhurst

observed, that the subject was one of very great difficulty, and he doubted whether an efficient plan could be matured in the present Session.

Lord Brougham

said, he could see no other effectual mode of control except that which his Bill provided. If they put the matter off to another year, he conceived that the difficulty would be increased.

Lord Ellenborough

said it was most essential that a severe, effectual, and efficient control should be established to prevent abuses under the new system; he felt that at this period of the Session they would find it difficult to frame an effectual provision with all that calm and deliberate consideration which the subject demanded.

The Bill was read a second time.

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