HL Deb 14 April 1993 vol 544 cc71-2WA
Lord Denning

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Attorney-General, as representing the Crown and as parens patriae, is under a duty to intervene in charitable proceedings of his own motion so as to bring about a compromise of such proceedings; whether that duty was laid down by Lord McNaghten in Wallis and Others v. the Solicitor General for New Zealand [1903 AC page 173 and pages 181–2], and by Lord Redesdale in the Ludlow Corporation case [1927/1 Bligh (N.S.) at page 48]; whether his intervention is desirable in the proceedings relating to the old school premises at Whitchurch which have remained empty and dilapidated for the last 20 years and have been the subject of legal proceedings ever since; and whether the necessary parties to such a compromise are the inhabitants of the parish of Whitchurch (for whose benefit the charitable trust was founded and who are now represented by the Whitchurch Town Council) and the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)

I understand that the noble and learned Lord has been in correspondence with officials of the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers since receipt of his letter of 17th February 1993 on the subject matter of his Question. I also understand that the Attorney-General has considered the matter and is writing a substantive reply to the noble and learned Lord.