HL Deb 04 June 1866 vol 183 cc1769-70

desired to explain the apparent discrepancies between the Question asked by him on Friday evening and the answer given by the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Somerset), relative to the Royal Patriotic fund. On that occasion he addressed the noble Duke as President of the Royal Patriotic Fund, and had pointed out the fact that it was to him the Commissioners looked for the summonses calling them together when they were in difficulties, and that difficulty had arisen in calling the Commissioners together in consequence of the noble Duke's some what sudden resignation. If he remembered rightly, the noble Duke stated that at the time of his resignation he was simply acting as deputy for the Duke of Newcastle. The original Commission showed that the late Prince Consort was the first President, but after his lamented decease the Duke of Newcastle was elected to the chair, and always acted as Chairman at the subsequent meetings and discharged those which had formerly been performed by the President. On his illness the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Somerset) was requested to summon the Commission together, and it was to him that the Members of the Commission subsequently looked for direction in their proceedings. Another apparent discrepancy was the date of the last meeting of the Commission, which he had stated to be the 26th of July, 1864 It was, however, perfectly true that a meeting was held on the 10th of March, 1865, but he (Earl Nelson) had not referred to that meeting because it was specially summoned for a special object. The noble Duke having been outvoted in reference to Captain Fisborne's explanation, and having made a statement in reference to a new Commission, stated his intention to retire from the Commission because he did not wish to share in the responsibility of a decision in which he did not concur. He (Earl Nelson) had been surprised to hear that the noble Duke regarded his resignation as implying a complete separation from the Commission. He had indeed believed that the noble Duke had withdrawn his resignation, and he based that belief on the opinion that if the noble Duke had persevered in intending to resign, a meeting would subsequently have been called for the purpose of considering the subject; and on the report that the noble Duke had so far withdrawn his resignation as to consent to act upon the new Commission, and that he had acted in behalf of the Fund in the matter of completing the arrangements for the new Commission. He was happy to be able to add that notwithstanding the apparent misunderstanding, the interests of the Fund had not suffered in any way, and under the management, of an admirable Executive Committee the affairs of the Fund were efficiently and satisfactorily administered.


said, he differed from the noble Earl as to the efficient management of the Fund, and not being satisfied with the manner in which it was conducted, he resigned, and did not wish to be again connected with the Commission.