HL Deb 25 July 1871 vol 208 cc214-5

House in Committee (according to Order).

Clause 1 (Short title) agreed to.

Clause 2 (7 & 8 Vict. c. 97., 30 & 31 Vict. c. 54 and this Act to be construed together).


objected to the practice of reciting several Acts of Parliament, parts of which were repealed, and other parts of which were to be read with the Bill. All this was very unintelligible, and he thought it would be far better to introduce a Bill complete in itself.


said, it would be inconvenient to set out the whole of the Acts of 1844 and 1867 which were recited in the Bill, which simply supplemented those measures.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 3 ("Commissioners," to mean Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland), agreed to.

Clause 4 (Three Commissioners to act).


agreed with the noble Earl (the Earl of Longford) in suggesting that a new Bill would be preferable. He was opposed to the reduction of the quorum of the Board of Commissioners from five to three, as it might give a preponderance to the Roman Catholic element. He wished to know why it was proposed by the 5th clause to extend the jurisdiction of the Commissioners?


, on behalf of the Commissioners, protested against the insinuation that the constitution of the Board was unsatisfactory. On the contrary, the constitution and action of the Charity Commissioners was one of the most hopeful signs of the times in Ireland. The Board consisted of an equal number of Protestants and Roman Catholics—the former including the Archbishop of Dublin and the Dean of St. Patrick's; and there were two Secretaries, one a Protestant the other a Roman Catholic. There had never been any difficulty arising from sectarian views, nor had there been any attempt on the part of any one section to do anything distasteful to another; in fact, each as far as possible avoided interference with what seemed more properly to appertain to the other. The Board having commanded the confidence of the people of Ireland, its business had considerably developed, and accordingly greater powers were necessary to enable it to discharge its duties. The proposal in the Bill was simply that the Commissioners should have a limited power to apply to the Court of Chancery in certain cases involving larger amounts than they dealt with at present, but the whole of the judicial power would rest with the Court of Chancery. Persons of the highest class, socially and intellectually, Judges, Bishops, and gentlemen of distinction, had gratuitously discharged the duties of the Board; but as they frequently had other engagements, half the meetings which should have been held had not taken place because of the difficulty of getting a quorum, and it was, therefore, desirable to reduce the number required. Every proposal made in the Bill had been accepted as necessary to the working of the Board by every Member of the Commission. The 5th clause was an administrative provision carrying out certain powers of giving advice conferred on the Board by the Act of 1867.

Clause agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to, with Amendments.

The Report of the Amendments to be received on Thursday next; and Bill to be printed, as amended. (No. 277).