HL Deb 22 July 1907 vol 178 cc1078-80

[Second Reading].

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this Bill deals with a very important matter, and I think it is necessary to explain its scope in a very few words. This Trust—the Hulme Trust—is one of a rather rare class of charities, which for many years past has been in the position of those people whom we sometimes hear of in private life, but are seldom fortunate enough to meet, who have more money than they know what to do with. The Hulme Trust is of very long standing; it goes back, I believe, to the year 1691, when William Hulme left some estates in the neighbourhood of Manchester to be held by trustees, the proceeds of those estates to be paid and distributed to and amongst four of the poorest Bachelors of Arts at Brasenose College in certain circumstances. If those four bachelors now enjoyed the income of the Trust they would be among the most enviable members of Oxford University; but, as a matter of fact, even so long ago as the eighteenth century the estates had begun to assume a value which made it necessary to divert part of the funds from their original purpose. A number of private Acts of Parliament were passed throughout the reign of George III. dealing with the matter, and as the funds went on increasing in value new schemes were made, and at present the Trust is governed by a scheme which was approved by the late Queen in Council in the year 1881. The effect of that scheme is to divide the income, which is now very large and is becoming larger, between Brasenose College and certain objects in Lancashire. The trustees have been paying large sums of £1,000, £1,500, and £2,000 a year to what is known as the Hulme Hall in connection with the Victoria University, to the Owens College, to various grammar schools and high schools, and also a large sum for exhibitions at Brasenose College. Now the time has come, in the opinion of the Board of Education, when it is necessary to make a new scheme. A great many communications have passed between the different interests involved, which were not always quite easy to reconcile, but now an arrangement has been arrived at which, I think, satisfies everybody and certainly satisfies the Board of Education. That scheme, therefore, is scheduled in the Bill, providing for certain payments on the lines of the scheme of 1881 to different educational institutions. Then, after those specified payments are made, the residue is divided into two equal shares, half to Oxford and half to Lancashire. The Oxford share goes, as regards two-thirds, to Brasenose, and one-third to Oxford University; but one of the two-thirds belonging to Brasenose may be, if they approve, applied to objects which interest both the University and the College. The Lancashire half of the residue is applied in equal proportions to University and secondary education in Lancashire. The sum has now reached a very large amount, and I think your Lordships will be disposed to agree that this allocation is a wise one. It certainly carries out what one would believe to be the intention of the original founder of the Trust, and at the same time it is in thorough conformity with the most advanced ideas of higher education in this country. I beg to move the Second Reading of the Bill.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a "—(The Earl of Crewe.)


My Lords, I am afraid that I am not qualified to discuss this subject with the noble Earl the Lord President, but I should like to put one or two questions. I should like to ask, in the first place, whether this is the usual procedure in dealing with charities of this kind. My impression was that it was not necessary to proceed by way of a public Bill, but if the noble Earl corrects me I, of course, shall have nothing more to say on that head. But that leads me to the more substantial question, whether we are to understand that this is a Bill which is now to be passed by consent—that is to say, that all those who are interested in the charily have now come to agreement with regard to the provisions of the Bill. If it is an unopposed Bill it will not call for so much consideration at the hands of your Lordships, but if there are persons interested who object, probably at the Committee stage we may have to ask further questions.


My Lords, I may inform the noble Marquess that it is by no means unusual, in the case of very large schemes of this kind, to proceed by public Bill, and to do what is done here. There are plenty of precedents for this course. "With regard to the other point raised by the noble Marquess, so far as I know there is no opposition to this Bill. I have no reason to believe that any Amendments will be moved, but, if there are any we shall, of course, consider them in Committee.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.