HL Deb 24 March 1914 vol 15 cc674-6

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Parmoor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Power to extend the area and objects of town charities in certain cases.

I.—(1) The High Court may, by scheme made under their jurisdiction with respect to charities, and the Charity Commissioners may, by scheme made under the Charitable Trusts Acts, 1853 to 1894, provide that the benefits of a charity which are restricted to any municipal borough or to any parish or defined area within a municipal borough, may be extended, subject to such provisions as may be made by the scheme, to any area within or comprising the borough as constituted for the time being, or any adjacent or neighbouring parishes; and also where any charity the benefits of which are extended by the scheme is applicable in doles, that the charity shall be applicable for the relief of distress or sickness, or for improving by such means as may be provided in the scheme the physical, social, or moral condition of the poor in the area as extended.

(2) A scheme under this Act shall only be made on the application of the trustees or persons acting in the administration of the charity or a majority of those persons, or in the case of an application to the Court, on the application either of those trustees or persons or of the Attorney-General.

Section seventeen of the Charitable Trusts Act, 1853, shall apply to an application made to the Court for a scheme under this Act by any person other than the Attorney-General, and notice of any such application shall also be given to the Attorney-General.

(3) Nothing in this section shall authorise any scheme to be made—

  1. (a) with respect to a charity the endowments of which are applicable solely for educational purposes; or
  2. (b) with respect to any charity until the expiration of forty years from the date of the foundation thereof, or in the case of a charity founded before the passing of this Act by a donor or several donors any one of whom is living at the passing of this Act, until the expiration of forty years from the passing of this Act unless with the consent of the surviving donor or donors.


The Amendments of which I have given notice are assented to by my noble friend in charge of this Bill, and therefore it will only be necessary for me to trouble the House with a short explanation of their purpose. The object of the Bill, as your Lordships know, is to provide for the application of charities where there has been a shifting of the population, and the Bill is limited to town areas where the difficulty has been found to arise in the proper application of charitable funds through the population intended to benefit by them having moved out of the particular area. But there is a provision in the Bill that no charity is to be affected unless it has been in operation for forty years, and that if the donor or one of the donors is still alive it is not to be affected until forty years after the passing of this Bill. It is the latter provision which I desire to amend. You may have the ease of a charity where the founder has survived the forty years, and in the case of a founder or one of the founders being alive at the time of the passing of this Bill no action in regard to that charity can be taken until forty years after the passing of this Bill. That gives a much larger scope to the old charity than could be wished for by my noble friend. I can conceive that while the founder survives no alteration should be made without his consent. The purpose of my Amendments is to provide that no charity shall be opened to the inhabitants of a neighbouring area until at least forty years after the foundation of the charity, and if the founder of the charity survives the forty years then not without the consent of the founder. These two conditions are quite sufficient, and will prevent some anomalies that might be created under the scheme as it is in the Bill. I beg to move.

Amendments moved— Clause 1, page 2, line 12, leave out ("or") and insert" and") Clause 1, page 2, line 14, leave out from the second ("the") to ("unless") in line, 10, and insert ("death of the surviving donor or donors") Clause 1, page 2, line 16, leave out ("the surviving") and insert ("such").—(Lord Courtney of Penwith.)


In assenting to these Amendments I only wish to say this, that the Bill as it stands is in accordance with the precedents to be found in the 1894 Act in England and in the 1894 Act in Scotland. But I do not think there is the least objection to the Amendments proposed by Lord Courtney, which guarantee the purposes of the trust during to lifetime of the donor.

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.


This may be a convenient opportunity to state that the Government are cognisant of the provisions of this Bill and have examined them. We think this a valuable and useful Bill, and that is why we have assented to the various stages without comment.

The Report of Amendments to be received on Monday next, and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 37.)