HC Deb 09 July 1919 vol 117 cc1857-8W

asked the Paymaster-General, as representing the Charity Commissioners, whether during the War the Charity Commissioners authorised the publication of a periodical named "Blighty" for gratis distribution among our troops overseas; whether, in view of the purposes of the promoters, paper was supplied for this charitable enterprise at a time when the issue of new publications was forbidden; whether he is aware that "Blighty" is now being conducted by a private company for commercial profit, and is thus entering into competition with other weeklies; whether he can state the date on which the present proprietors took over this concern and what price they paid for the goodwill thereof; whether the accounts of this publication while it was registered as a charity are still in existence; and, if so, whether he will allow a chartered accountant, appointed by the Weekly Newspaper and Periodical Proprietors' Association, Limited, to examine and report upon such accounts?


The Charity Commissioners did not, and had no power to, authorise the publication, and have no knowledge as to the supply of paper for its purposes. The publication was registered as a war charity on the 6th March, 1917. The Commissioners are informed that the publication has been transferred to the Blighty Publication Company, but they have at present no information as to the precise date or of the terms of the transfer. The accounts of the charity are believed to be still in existence, but the Commissioners do not consider it to be within their power to allow a chartered accountant appointed by the Periodical Proprietors' Association to examine and report upon such accounts, but the Commissioners will require to be furnished with the accounts of the charity. On the 30th June the Commissioners were informed by the registration authority that the charity had been removed from the register, and the Commissioners are accordingly exercising their powers under Section 5 of the War Charities Act, 1916, with respect to the charity.