HL Deb 19 May 1960 vol 223 cc1057-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, the purpose of this Bill is to enable 24 old almshouses to be demolished, together with one school which is no longer used as a school, and to build 24 new almshouses for the same purpose. It is therefore necessary to modify the present educational trust and to reconstitute the body of trustees. The almshouses and school were completed in 1808, but the school building ceased to be used for educational purposes in 1919 and was then used for a childrens' home. Under the Children Act, 1949, the premises were deemed unsuitable. The income of the trust will be used for maintaining the almshouses, after payment to 12 ministers of religion for one sermon a month in the parish church, and also for helping young persons from the district leaving school to establish themselves in a trade, profession or calling. There is a rather obscure provision in the old trust deed, for afternoon lectures of some sort. This is now going to be used for providing religious instruction for the people in the almshouses. There have been no objections locally, but the authority of Parliament is required for this change.

Before I move the Second Reading of this Bill, I should like to say that this is a sad and mournful occasion for me, because this is the last time upon which I shall have the opportunity of moving these Charity Bills in your Lordships' House. Under the Charities Bill, which we have already passed and which is before another place, these matters will be dealt with by the Minister and will be subject to Affirmative Resolution. I should like, therefore, to thank your Lordships for the kind and gentle way you have accepted the Bills which I have brought before you, and to express my sorrow that l shall no longer be performing this function. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Amulree.)


My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Lord can tell us whether the almshouses which it is proposed to demolish are of any architectural importance.


My Lords, I am assured that they are of little architectural importance. They are not at all well designed; they are in a bad state of repair, and I do not think that the country, will suffer from their demolition.


My Lords, before I put the Question, I am sure all your Lordships would like me to thank Lord Amulree on your behalf for the work he has done in this connection. I am sorry, as the introducer of the Charities Bill, to have been the voluntary executioner whose knife is falling upon him; but I should like him to know that I and everyone else appreciate the most interesting way in which he has put these Bills before us.


My Lords, I should like to add one word. I represent a body which has had uniformly happy relations with the Commissioners whom the noble Lord represents, and which much regrets the change that is taking place.

On Question, Bill read 2a: Committee negatived.