HL Deb 11 June 1861 vol 163 cc902-3

in moving the second reading of the Greenwich Hospital Bill, said he would very briefly state its objects. Their Lordships would remember that three years ago a Commission was appointed to inquire into the revenues and management of the Hospital with a view to render the funds of the Hospital more available for the objects of the institution. The Report made was of some length, and generally it showed that some amendment in the system of management of the Hospital was desirable. The Commissioners in their Report made a comparison of the relative cost of the maintenance of pensioners in Prance and England. It appeared that the annual cost of the maintenance of a pensioner in France was £31; in Greenwich Hospital it was £60. But the cost of the administration of the system in France was only £5 per head, while the expense of the administration of Greenwich Hospital was £28 18s. per head. This proved that some better system of administration was required. The Hospital was founded in 1694, under a charter from William and Mary, and its objects were stated to be the relief of disabled seamen, and widows of seamen, the maintenance and education of their children, and generally for the encouragement of seamen. Some of these objects were provided for by the out-pension system for which Parliament annually voted a liberal sum. Last year the amount was £230,000; and it was clear that Parliament considered that the Hospital was intended for the reception of seamen who were incapacitated by wounds or otherwise. The present Bill dissolved the existing Commission, and placed the institution under the management of a new Board of Commissioners, composed partly of ex officio Members; but the executive Commissioners were a "Civil Commissioner," who was to be permanent and resident, an "Admiral Superintendent," also resident, a "Medical Commissioner," not necessarily resident. The two last named to be appointed for five years. The accounts relating to the Hospital and the income and expenditure of the large estate belonging to the institution were to be annnally passed through the Audit Office and brought under the direct control of Parliament. In moving the second reading he wished to state there were some amendments which he wished to introduce into the Bill, and, therefore, he should ask the House to allow it to pass through Committee pro formâ, in order that it might be reprinted, and he hoped that all discussion would be deferred for the present.

Bill read 2a; and committed for Thursday next.