§ LORD COLYTON
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether it is a fact that the Defence and Aid Fund of Christian Action was refused registration by the Charity Commission, and if so, why; and what arrangements exist for ensuring proper financial control of the very large sums of money administered by the Fund and subscribed by the public, having regard to the apparent lack of appointment of any auditors.
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE, HOME OFFICE (LORD STONHAM)
The Charity Commission is an independent body carrying out duties defined by Parliament and its decisions are subject to review not by Ministers but by the courts. My right honourable and learned friend has, however, had inquiries made, and he is informed by the Charity Commissioners that when, in May, 1964, Christian Action was registered as a charity, under the Charities Act, 1960, the Commissioners expressed doubts whether the registration covered the Defence and Aid Fund. It was subsequently agreed that the Fund must be treated as a separate entity, for which a separate application would need to be made if it was to he considered for registration as a charity. No application for the registration of the Fund as a charity has, I understand, so far been received by 267WA the Commissioners. I am also informed that Christian Action, which is a registered company, publishes audited accounts, including accounts for the Defence and Aid Fund, in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act.