§ (BY ORDER.)
§ MR. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E)
, in moving the Instruction standing in his name, said he wished first to protest most strongly against the allegation which was constantly being made, that he and those who were supporting the action of his noble friend and himself had a desire to destroy the sale of the property by the authorities of the hospital and thus prevent them from recouping themselves for the purchase of their new premises at Horsham. But a certain distinguished person before he ascended the Throne, speaking on behalf of St. Bartholomew's Hospital in relation to the action of the governors of Christ's Hospital—
§ *MR. SPEAKER
It is not in order for an hon. Member to bring the opinions of the Sovereign into debate.
§ MR. RICHARDS
said the observations were made before His Majesty ascended the Throne, but he would not further allude to them except to remark that what was contended for by St. Bartholomew's Hospital had already been embodied in the Bill which had passed through its various stages in another place and would shortly come before the House of Commons, and that fact effectually disposed to that extent of the contention of the authorities of Christ's Hospital that they were not to be allowed to sell the site except en bloc. He now wished to show how unjustifiable were the suggestions of the authorities of Christ's Hospital. Those who were anxious to preserve open spaces came before the House with full authority for what they were doing. The House had recognised long ago that consecrated ground could not be built upon except by the special authority of Parliament. The House had gone further, and had passed within the last ten years two Acts providing that all ground set apart for burial could not be built upon except with the authority of Parliament. But what was the present position of affairs? The governors of Christ's Hospital were asking for special authority to sell their property, although in the same breath they said there was no necessity to obtain the authority of Parliament because they could get an order from the Charity Commission. He did not deny that the authorities of Christ's Hospital could sell their property under an order of the Charity Commission without coming to Parliament, but he maintained they could not by any such order obtain the right to build on burial ground, whether consecrated or not. He held that this was an attempt to get behind the principle of two Acts of Parliament passed within the last ten years. They were constantly being told that the authorities of Christ's Hospital had been offered £700,000 or more for the site provided they could get it freed from the legal disabilities which existed with regard to the two or three graveyards situated upon it. He ventured to think it would be a public scandal if the permission 1027 to build upon those burial grounds were granted. If the Bill passed without this Instruction the authorities of Christ's Hospital would be able to build, if they thought fit, on a portion of the ground which now formed about one-third of the Postmen's Park and which was closed as a burial ground by Order in Council in 1863.
SIR P. DIXON HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)
It is on a different side of the road.
§ MR. RICHARDS
said he went over the site the previous day; he met the churchwardens of the parish there, and they protested most strongly against this attempt on the part of the governors of Christ's Hospital to secure a piece of land which they believed belonged to the parish churchyard, and which they had laid out and preserved as part of the Postmen's Park. It was supposed to be one of the first principles of Churchman-ship to preserve consecrated ground, but if such ground was to be sold to the highest bidder it was a pity that Oliver Cromwell was unable to carry out the sale of St. Paul's Cathedral to another body for £200,000. It was of no use protesting against disestablishment if they were going to throw over the first principles and sell consecrated land to the highest bidder. According to the high authority of the late Sir Walter Besant, among the names of those whose bones probably lay in this piece of land now proposed to be sold were the following:—Margaret, wife of Edward I.; Isabella, Queen of Edward II.; Joan, Queen of David Bruce; Roger Mortimer, Earl of March; John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke; Sir Nicolas Bramber, one of the great Lord Mayors of London; the Duke of Bourbon, who was taken prisoner at Agincourt; and Sir Thomas Mallory, who wrote the history of the Holy Grail. As he had before stated, Parliament had enforced the law preventing the erection of buildings on disused burial grounds; but the law courts had gone even further than Parliament, for the present Master of the Rolls had decided that land which had been purchased for a cemetery could not be resold, because it was a portion of land set apart for burial purposes. It 1028 was asserted that if his Instruction were carried it would spoil the sale of the site altogether. Who was it that made that assertion? The same authority as protested against the sale to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. It was the Charity Commission, represented by his hon. friend the Member for Tonbridge, whom he was surprised to find in favour of desecrating burial grounds. There was an ancient saying that an old poacher made the best game-keeper, and remembering his hon. friend's earliest efforts in that House to defeat proposals of the Charity Commission, he could only say when he saw him now prepared to support one of the grossest acts of desecration that he seemed to have followed the example set by game preservers. It would be a disgrace that land which had been preserved for three hundred years should now be put up for sale for the mere purpose of making the site more valuable. This land could be economically and satisfactorily built upon and the open spaces at the same time preserved. All honour, he said, to the London County Council, who were carrying on the work of preserving the historic sites in the City and the County of London. He could only say that he should decline to have anything more to do with fighting County Council elections on a political basis. He would rather see honest Radicals on the Council who had a respect for history than dishonest Conservatives who were prepared to sell anything for what it would fetch He hoped the House would not decide to reverse the position taken in regard to every burying ground throughout England simply to oblige the authorities of Christ's Hospital and an amiable and misguided Sheriff who had misled the City of London, and he appealed to friends of open spaces in London to present this disgraceful scandal.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
seconded the motion, because this matter affected a large number of his constituents from every point of view. The object of the Bill was to get an absolutely clear title to some five acres of land in the, heart of the City of London in order to sell the land at its highest commercial value, and to the minds of ordinary men of the City this might overrule 1029 all other considerations. He could quite understand that gentlemen who had spent their lives in the City accumulating wealth, would consider historical buildings of small value as compared with pounds, shillings, and pence. This the promoters desired, to carry out the Act of 1890 in reference to the transfer of their school to the new site at Horsham. No part of London had suffered more severely than his constituency from the pressure of business outwards from the centre, the erection of huge warehouses, and the consequent serious congestion and the rise in rents of the last ten years. A portion of this site included the burying ground of the Grey Friars Monastery, where there were arches remaining of the thirteenth century buildings, and cloisters designed by Wren enclosed the ground. In the cloisters he had observed a monument on which was inscribed a request that the bones of a benefactor might not be removed. Surely that was the least the governors could do for one of their benefactors! But the gist of the question was in finance. It was said that a sum of £500,000 was required for the purchase of land and erection of buildings at Horsham. But £254,000 had been paid, and it would be quite possible to raise £300,000 on the £550,000 worth of property reinvested at Horsham. The expenses of the school were something like £50,000, and the gross receipts £72,000, of which £62,000 was available for school purposes, leaving a net profit of £12,000. The accounts of the foundation by no means showed that the proposal in the Bill was necessary, and, seeing that the total value of the site was over £730,000, the governors could well afford to leave as open spaces the two disused burial grounds in proximity to the cloisters and much of the work having historical and antiquarian interest. The Postmen's Park had been alluded to. Might he point out that within a few hundred yards of this very piece of ground 10,900 persons were daily employed in the Post Office, and that the park was the only open space available for them. He would be the last to urge any proposal which would cripple the educational schemes of the governors, but he did not believe that that would be the effect of the Instruction. That part of the scheme of 1890 which provided for the establish- 1030 ment of day schools the governors had not carried out, although they had a surplus of about £11,000 annually. His contention was that it was only right that the Instruction should be carried, so that the subject might be dealt with, not in the interests of education alone, but in the three-fold interest of open spaces, of the preservation of historical remains, and of the carrying out of the wishes of the donors of the charity for enlarging the educational facilities for Londoners as a whole.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Christ's Hospital (London) Bill [Lords] to consider in what manner the site of Christ's Hospital can be best dealt with, having regard alike to the reasonable requirements of the charity and of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, to the provisions of the Disused Burial Grounds Acts, to the interests of London in relation to open spaces, and to the importance of preserving some at least of the more interesting buildings of the Hospital."—(Mr. H. C. Richards).
§ *SIR JOSEPH DIMSDALE (London)
said, not being a lawyer, he could not argue from a legal point of view the points raised by the hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury. As a layman he had heard that when a lawyer had a bad case he always abused the opposite side. He was sorry that the hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury should have made use of the words "audacious," "audacity," "desecrating burial grounds," etc., when he was speaking of the governors and almoners of Christ's Hospital, a body of gentlemen who, with rectitude and honour, were endeavouring to carry into effect a scheme which this House passed ten years ago. The resolution proposed by the hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury raised three distinct issues in regard to the Bill now under discussion. First, it was suggested that it was proposed to abrogate two recent Acts of Parliament which now protected ancient burial grounds. Second, that it was desirable that some portion of the site should be retained as an open space. And third, that it was most important to preserve the interesting 1031 and historic buildings of the hospital. As to the first contention, it was true that a small portion upon which the great hall was situated was, up to the end of the seventeenth century, used as a place of burial, but under the Act of 1795 this land was made over to the governors, exempted from all further burial claims, and allowed to be built over in consideration of the then governors substituting another ground for burials. That condition was complied with by the governors obtaining the burial ground, in King Edward Street which was outside the site covered by the scope of the Bill now before Parliament. The hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury had asserted over and over again that these were ancient monastic burial grounds and that they had been consecrated. He could only say that the Corporation of the City of London, which had probably greater access than any other body or individual to the most ancient and authentic records appertaining to Christ's Hospital, had been unable to discover the slightest trace of evidence that they had ever been consecrated grounds, and, with the exception of the one portion to which he had referred, it could not be said that they had ever been set aside for burial purposes. It was undoubtedly the case that at one time it was the custom to bury the children of the hospital within its precincts, and there were two vaults, into one of which the remains were transferred during the rebuilding of the school between 1820 and 1831. The last interment took place in 1864. There was not the slightest evidence, so far as could be discovered, that this ground was set apart as a burial ground in the ordinary acceptation of the term, nor was there any authentic record that it had been consecrated. It was only fair to state on behalf of the almoners and governors of Christ's Hospital that, when the Post Office Sites Act of 1885 was before a Select Committee of the House, it was seriously suggested that the Government should acquire the whole site of Christ's Hospital, and the idea was only negatived on account of the unavoidable delay that would be incurred and the extreme value of the property. The Post Office therefore obtained property in the immediate 1032 neighbourhood of less value; but had the Government become possessed of the site of Christ's Hospital there was little doubt that the whole of it would have been covered with huge buildings, and nothing would have been heard of these technical and straw-splitting objections which were now raised.
The second point raised by the hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury was that this valuable property in the heart of the City, and the centre of the commercial world, should be retained as an open space. He could not imagine that the House of Commons would seriously entertain it. As a citizen of London, born in the City of London, and having spent most of his time there, and knowing every inch of it quite as well as the hon. and learned Member, he did not hesitate to say that if there was one spot in the City of London where an open space was not wanted, it was Newgate Street. Within a stone's throw of it was the Postman's Park, and that was by no means overcrowded. They were told that the night population of the City was decreasing, and he could assure the hon. and learned Member that the great bulk of those who travelled east daily did not go with the idea of taking a siesta in open spaces. They went for business—to do their work as quickly as possible, and then go home. If those philanthropic bodies—the Commons and Footpaths Preservation Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings—could induce their subscribers, or if the London County Council could induce the ratepayers, to believe that it was absolutely essential that there should be an open space in Newgate Street, of the value of at least £140,000 per acre, then the governors and almoners of Christ's Hospital were quite prepared to receive offers from either, provided the amount exceeded the sum they were at present negotiating for, namely, £720,000, and they could then do with the site whatever they liked.
The third point raised was that interesting and historic buildings should be preserved. In that he had not the slightest doubt but every Member of the House would entirely coincide. Every citizen of London deplored the removal of Christ's Hospital, one of 1033 the greatest of City institutions and possessed of a great historic past. They recognised that it had hallowed traditions, but they were not unconscious of the fact that, although the governors of Christ's Hospital opposed the removal of these hospital buildings for twenty years, Parliament in its wisdom ten years ago passed a scheme, and when that scheme became law the governors and almoners endeavoured to carry it out. As to the antiquity of the buildings, the fact was that there were very few ancient structures at all on the site of the hospital, the original fabric having been lost in the great fire of London in 1666. The Great Hall dated only back to 1825. A portion of the court room was built in 1680 and enlarged in 1788. The only really ancient piece of architecture upon the site consisted of a few arches of the thirteenth century. He could inform the House, however, that every care and attention was to be given to the preservation of these and any other matters of antiquarian interest. So also was it the earnest wish of all to pay proper reverence and respect to any human remains that might be found. He might mention that the fact that burying had taken place in a particular spot did not constitute it a burial ground. When his firm excavated the foundations for their bank they came across human remains, but that did not constitute the site a burial ground. The hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury had not brought one tittle of evidence in support of his very weak case. Before he passed from the burial ground question, he would remind the House that the London County Council, who were taking up such a philanthropic attitude that day, were carting away loads and loads of human remains in making their new road from Holborn to the Strand. He understood from the hon. and learned Member for East Finsbury that there was no intention to wreck this Bill, but he ventured to say that if this Instruction was passed it would practically ruin the Bill. The governors and almoners had a firm offer of £720,000, but that was contingent that there was to be an unassailable title. Technicalities might exist, and might be valuable to lawyers hereafter. What they asked, in bringing forward this 1034 Bill, was to enable the governors to say to this would-be purchaser, "Parliament has overlooked these technicalities, and we can give you an unassailable title." Upon that, and that alone, depended this large sum, and the successful carrying out of the scheme which had been settled by Parliament. The whole matter shaped itself into a very small compass. After twenty years of controversy the Charity Commissioners passed in this House a scheme for the removal of Christ's Hospital from London to the country. The scheme imposed great responsibility on the governors. It made it compulsory for them to erect a new school in the country for 700 boys, and a school for 300 girls; a preparatory school for 120 boy boarders; a science school for 600 scholars, and a day school for 400 girls. It was obvious to any unbiassed mind that that scheme would never have passed Parliament if it had not been thoroughly and morally understood that this very valuable site was to be turned into money with which to erect and maintain these new schools, with their far-reaching educational effects. The hon. Gentleman opposite had asserted that the governors had a surplus income of £20,000, although upon consideration he had brought it down to £11,000 or £12,000.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
said the hon. Gentleman misrepresented him. He had pointed out that the statement published by certain petitioners was an error, and had quoted, in order to correct that error, the report of the governors for last year, showing a surplus of £11,000.
§ *SIR JOSEPH DIMSDALE
said that whether it was £11,000 or £20,000 it was absolutely erroneous. Owing to the prudent policy of the governors and almoners of this great charity they had been cutting down the numbers of their scholars as low as possible, pending their removal to the country. It was quite true that last year showed a paper surplus of £11,000, but if the scheme was carried out and the children brought up to the standard of the scheme the income necessary would be £70,500, or £10,500 more than the present income. To meet this a capital sum was now required of £350,000. The estimated amount of 1035 capital required to complete and equip the new schools at Horsham and the girls' boarding school was £290,000, in addition to the £360,000 already appropriated for the purpose by sales and realisations, and but for which appropriation the present available income would, of course, have been proportionately more. If the day and science schools for 1,000 children, as directed by the scheme, were to be provided for, it was estimated that, without reckoning for any free places or exhibitions, a capital sum was needed of £300,000. That made a total fresh capital expenditure required of £940,000. The actual value of the stocks now remaining in the hands of the governors was £223,000, of which £177,000 was alone applicable to educational purposes, the remainder having been hypothecated and earmarked for exhibitions and such like objects. It therefore followed that, even if the site realised £720,000, and if Parliament sanctioned this Bill, they would only have £177,000 more, making the aggregate sum of £897,000, to meet an estimated outlay of £940,000. It was consequently imperative that Parliament should give assistance to those who were carrying out this great educational scheme. The Bill began and ended with enabling the governors to turn a long leasehold held by the corporation into a freehold, and to say to a would-be purchaser, "Parliament has spoken, and has carried through this scheme, and has enabled us to give you an unassailable title." He would conclude by quoting the words of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Dartford. Speaking in 1890 as Vice-President of the Education Department the right hon. Baronet said, "The House has only to decide on the educational advantages of the scheme as it stands, and I feel sure that the House will endorse this excellent scheme."
§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
said that he might be old-fashioned in his ideas of Parliamentary practice, but he must confess that he resented the system of moving Instructions to Committees upstairs, as if the House had no confidence in the justice with which these Committees would act. Instructions only hampered the discretion of the Committees as to what they 1036 ought or ought not to do. His hon. friend who had just addressed the House had said that he deplored the transference of Christ's Hospital School from the City to the country. He would not have ventured to interfere in this debate at all had he not once had the honour of occupying the position of medical officer to a public school, and could claim therefore to have some knowledge of the conditions in which a public school ought to be carried on. He thought that anyone acquainted with Christ's Hospital School knew the inferior sanitary conditions under which scholastic work was carried on—the poor bedroom accommodation, and the miserable conditions in which the boys were compelled to take their play in narrow, sanded courts, instead of in grass fields in the free air of the country. He was bound to say that he thought a very wise step had been taken when the governors of Christ's Hospital, like those of Charter House, determined to pull up their roots in the crowded City and go into the free air of the country. Anyone who had visited Charter House since its removal to the country would realise what a magnificent success the transference had been. No longer were the boys poor, dwarfed, and stunted, but bright, strong, and healthy. The whole case in favour of the aesthetic character of the building had been absolutely shattered. Something had been said about Charles Lamb; but anyone who had ever read the life and writings of Lamb would remember the misery, semi-starvation, and wretched sanitary conditions of these hospitals in former days. He entirely agreed with those who wanted to change the site of the school to the country, and he opposed the motion because he held that it would seriously interfere with the work of the school. Something had also been said about ancient burial grounds. He had a certain respect for the dead but more respect for the living. He thought that if the comfort and convenience of the living required that a burial ground should be used for that purpose, then the comfort and convenience of the dead should give way to that of the living. He went further; he thought it was very inconvenient that dead bodies should be buried at all. He should prefer that they should be cremated. 1037 He was entirely opposed to this Instruction, because he objected to Instructions to Committees; and in the second place, because it would seriously cripple the governors of Christ's Hospital in carrying out their scheme.
§ SIR W. HART DYKE (Kent, Dartford)
said that as the Minister who was responsible in 1890 for carrying this scheme through Parliament he would be compelled to oppose the motion. What was the present position of the scheme? Such schemes went through a very harsh process. First of all they were framed under the Endowed Schools Act, 1869, and other Acts; next they went through a certain process at the Education Department; then they were subjected to the machinery of an appeal to the Privy Council, and after that they had to lie on the Table of the House for a certain time in order that the criticisms of hon. Members might be applied to them. He was at the Education Department when the scheme before the House was considered, and he knew that it had been very closely dealt with by the Charity Commissioners, who spent four or five days over it. He himself thought it a great pity that a matter of the kind should be hung up, and he was moved by one argument—namely, fresh air and green fields. The scheme passed the House unanimously. It was twice discussed, and on neither occasion was it pressed to a division. It passed through a searching inquiry at the Education Department, and there was an appeal to the Privy Council in which judgment was unanimously given against the appellants and in favour of the scheme. When it came before the House his right hon. friend the present Chairman of Committees, who then represented the Charity Commissioners, stated that the scheme was assented to by all parties. He wished to make an appeal to the House. It would, he thought, be a grievous shame, eleven years after a decision had been arrived at, for Parliament, by a side wind, to wreck such a scheme as that. There might be difficulties connected with the settlement, but the Committee upstairs was completely competent to deal with them, without the House fettering their discretion by an Instruction. He would appeal to hon. Mem- 1038 bers, therefore, while admitting that everything was to be said for open spaces, not to drive the hospital too hard.
§ MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
said he fully accepted the grounds on which the right hon. Gentleman had just appealed to the House; but while accepting the appeal he felt that there were grounds which should induce the House, although quite friendly to the measure, to adopt the Instruction which had been moved. The Bill appeared to have been drawn on somewhat singular lines. Power was given to the governors to dispose of two classes of property, with regard to which at present they had no powers of sale. One was leasehold property, and the other was very vaguely described as property in which interments had taken place. The governors could not deal with that property at present; it did not belong to them in any effective sense, because it could not be converted to the purposes of the charity, and the Bill provided that the governors should be now allowed to dispose of the whole site. He could understand the argument that would be used upstairs, that the Committee could not take into consideration any public interest attaching to the site in special relation to the usor to which it was at present subject. All that the Instruction provided was that the Committee should have power to consider not merely the educational necessities of the charity, but the public requirements of the City of London, having regard to the mode in which the site was at present used. There were two modes of usor to which attention had been drawn—one was consecrated ground, and the other was open spaces and the portions of the site formerly used for burial purposes, which were now used as open spaces. They were dealing with three open spaces which at present afforded a recreation ground for the people living in that portion of London, and which were very advantageous for the public health. The Instruction suggested that the Committee should not be influenced solely by the financial needs of the charity, but should take into consideration, first of all, the reasonable requirements of the charity, and next should have regard to the interests of London in relation to open spaces and 1039 the importance of preserving some, at least, of the more interesting buildings. Surely an indication of opinion from the House that the Committee should have regard to these open spaces, and the provision the governors were prepared to make with reference to them, should commend itself to every friend of the measure.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. RITCHIE, Croydon)
The House is not now dealing with some case which might possibly arise of a greedy corporation desirous of selling a site for money, and so adding to their resources. It is not a case of that kind at all. What are the circumstances which have brought Christ's Hospital to this House? They did not want to leave the City; they had no desire whatever to convert this valuable piece of ground into money so as to add to their financial resources. They were sorry to leave the City, and the City was very sorry to part with Christ's Hospital, which for years has been one of the most prized institutions within its limits. They were forced to go by the scheme of the Charity Commissioners, very much against their will, and very much against the will of the City. We must, in matters of education, consider what is most beneficial for the young people receiving education, and there can be no doubt that so far as they are concerned—so far as light and air and education are concerned—they will unquestionably benefit by the change. But, whatever the merits or the demerits of that matter may be, I would beg the House to remember, in dealing with this question, that they are dealing with a body that has been forced to part with this property much against their will and to erect buildings in the country. Now, in order that they should do that, they find it necessary to ask for certain powers with regard to the site, and the House is now asked to place a limitation upon them in respect of the sale of the site.
The hon. and learned Member said they had a right to act as is suggested, as the governors of Christ's Hospital came to Parliament to ask for two or three privileges of great value which they did not now possess. One of the privileges was that a certain piece of land was going 1040 to be converted from a leasehold into a freehold. That is perfectly true, but what is the extent of the leasehold? It extends for 790 years, and I am told that the ground rent does not exceed £10 a year. To get rid of this is, of course, a technical advantage, but, after all, it is not very much that Christ's Hospital is asking Parliament for, that they should get their assent to an arrangement which the ground landlords are perfectly willing to enter into—namely, the conversion of a leasehold of 700 or 800 years at a ground rent of £10 a year into a freehold. That is not very much of a ground on which to ask Christ's Hospital to part with a valuable consideration. Then it is said that power is being asked to build over three open spaces. The ground on the other side of the street has been referred to, but I am told that power is not being asked to build over that at all. It was given in exchange many years ago, and will remain exactly in the position in which it now is, even if the House does not pass the Instruction. Then, as to the burial ground, it is spoken of as if it were almost unprecedented that Parliament should be asked for powers to build over a burial ground. Parliament has given that power again and again under certain restrictions and limitations, and the same restrictions and limitations will apply under the Bill.
The hon. and learned Member spoke of the requirements of the City in regard to open spaces. Anyone who knows the City would laugh at the idea of an open space in Newgate Street. There is no resident population, it is one of the business parts of the City, and the land is worth I do not know how many thousand pounds an acre, and to say that it is required as a recreation ground is really almost trifling with the House. The City has not too many open spaces, but there are open spaces, and hardly a man who knows the City would say that this is the place where anything of the kind is required. So that whether with regard to open spaces or with regard to the burial ground, I do not think there is any case made out for the Instruction, which undoubtedly would have an effect, and it might possibly be a very serious effect, on the finances of the hospital. If the Instruction were passed, and if there were incorporated 1041 with the Bill that which the hon. and learned Member who moved it desires, the value of the site would be enormously reduced, without, in my opinion, any adequate return to anyone. I would like to say also that it is not at all certain that if the Instruction were carried the objects which the hon. and learned Member desires would follow. As I understand it, what might follow would be that the Bill would be abandoned and that the Governors of Christ's Hospital would dispose of the site at a lower figure or would themselves build on it, so that, in any event, I do not believe that that desired by the mover of the Instruction would follow.
I have another point which I should like to impress upon the House. I understand that the London County Council are proceeding to present a petition against the Bill, and that they have raised in the petition every one of the points referred to by the hon. Members who have spoken in support of the Instruction, so that without an Instruction of this kind the Committee will have these matters before them if they consider it advisable to take them into account. That is a very different thing from the House passing an Instruction, because by passing an Instruction of this kind the House will lend important support to the propositions contained in the Instruction, while otherwise they will be considered in the ordinary way by the Committee on a petition presented by the London County Council. But whether that be so or not, I think no argument of any valid character has been used in support of the Instruction, and I very much hope that the House will not give countenance to what I consider a most unfair method of procedure by passing an Instruction which, while it would in my opinion greatly damage the value of the site, would not really secure that which the supporters of the Instruction desire should be carried out. I hope, therefore, the House will not pass the Instruction.
§ LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)
said that the right hon. Gentleman did an injustice to many who supported the Instruction when he said that there was anything unfair in their methods of procedure. The governors of Christ's 1042 Hospital had undoubtedly a right to sell their property, but it was not good enough for them without a special Act of Parliament. They asked Parliament to improve and enlarge their title, and the Act of Parliament would be worth from £200,000 to £250,000 to them. Parliament being about to grant that benefit, had not the public some emphatic right to a quid pro quo, especially as Christ's Hospital, which had since its foundation been an essentially metropolitan charity, was now about to be removed from the sphere of the metropolis. He was extremely sorry for it himself, and he applauded the action of the governors in fighting against it for twenty years. It was a pity, too, that when the governors had all England to choose from for their new site, they should have dumped their schools at the side of the railway and on a soil that was five feet thick with clay, and that they should have erected buildings which, even in the opinion of the Local Government Board, were notoriously ugly barrack schools. As to the antiquarian interest of the question, there were buildings by Wren which were extremely fine, and the hall, to which the Corporation attached very little importance, was one of the finest halls in London. Just at this point was Newgate Gaol, also a very fine building, which had only been condemned by the City.
§ *SIR JOSEPH DIMSDALE
I must correct the noble Lord; that is not so. There has been no delay on the part of the Corporation. The Corporation has been desirous of rebuilding the Old Bailey for twenty-five years past, but the plans have from time to time been questioned or condemned by His Majesty's judges.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said he would not pursue that matter, but with regard to the burial ground he would just say one word. The hon. Baronet had said that it was not certain that this was a burial ground. Then why was the Bill brought in? The cloisters, not merely on the existing southern site, were full of graves The hon. Baronet said that the City authorities had no record of its ever having been a burial ground. It was not in the City that these things were to be found, but in the British Museum, and 1043 the fact that this was a consecrated burial ground was unanswerable. These human remains were to be removed and placed elsewhere in spite of what was perhaps the most humble piece of eloquence ever written or spoken; the inscription upon a tablet in the southern cloisters was, "Here lies the benefactor; let no one move his bones." Yet, in spite of that, and in spite of the fact that this has been a burial ground, these human remains were, in the words of the Bill, to be placed in "well pitched shells" and removed elsewhere. There was no doubt whatever that this charity was not such a poverty-stricken corporation as the promoters of the Bill expected the House to believe. The accounts of this charity had to be published annually for general information, but he had found it very difficult to get hold of them. It was evident from them that the almoners had at their disposal for educational purposes very considerable sums which they did not possess ten years ago, and as the almoners appeared to have approached this question from a purely commercial point of view, why should they not consent to raise a considerable sum upon the mortgage of their new freehold—[Sir JOSEPH DIMSDALE: Who would give it?]—as they easily could unless they had been very much deceived in the property on which they had spent £550,000. It had been said that no proposal would be made to build upon that open space known as the Postmen's Park. In the opinion of the governors of Christ's Hospital and of the Home Secretary there was no further need for open spaces in the City. If that was to be the permanent opinion of the right hon. Gentleman he would undertake to come to close quarters with him on many occasions during his term of office. With regard to building over open spaces he apprehended the right hon. Gentleman had again been guilty of rather an error; he said they were not open spaces in the sense that the public had access to them. That was true. As a member of the public he had no access to Grosvenor Square, but as a member of the public he would consider himself legitimately aggrieved if the owner of that property built over it, and the same argument applied to open spaces in the City—especially to such as had 1044 been consecrated. He wanted Christ's Hospital to sell their ground, and he also desired that they should be able to use these buildings for the purposes for which they required buildings for schools and offices. They had to have a school within three miles of the Mansion House or the Royal Exchange, and what an ideal spot this would be for the London University, now housed, he believed, in the back parlours of the Imperial Institute. All he asked was that when Parliament was giving a magnificent gift to the governors and almoners of Christ's Hospital, without which the price offered to them would be £200,000 less, the House should pass an Instruction asking a Committee upstairs to inquire whether, subject to the interests of the educational establishment, as set forth in the Instruction, something could be done by which this great, valuable, and historic site might be used for the benefit of the public and of education.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY CHARITY COMMISSIONER (Mr. GRIFFITH BOSCAWEN,) Kent, Tunbridge
said it was his duty, as representing the Charity Commission in this House, to say he was a supporter of the Bill and an opponent of the Instruction. In the view of the Charity Commissioners the Bill was the best and the only proper means of carrying out the scheme passed for Christ's Hospital ten years ago, and in obedience to which Christ's Hospital was removed into the country. He opposed the Instruction because it would practically destroy the Bill, and would prevent Christ's Hospital from realising their site to the best advantage. It seemed to be thought by a large number of the Members of this House that if the Instruction was carried an open space and ancient monuments would thereby be preserved. If the Instruction was carried and the Bill was withdrawn the result would be, not that the governors would not be allowed to sell, but that, subject only to the consent of the Charity Commissioners, which would be given, Christ's Hospital would deal with the site and lay itself open to the possibility of a lawsuit. The whole site could be cut up and buildings could be erected. No open space would be preserved except that a small courtyard in the middle might be preserved if the courts decided 1045 that this was a burying ground, and so far from attaining the object which his hon. friend had in view it would do nothing of the kind; the only result would be that the educational establishment of this great charity would get £200,000 less than they would if this Bill was passed. The hon. Gentleman said that this was a gift of £200,000 to Christ's Hospital, but as a matter of fact all they were doing was to enable this great educational charity to deal with its property to the best advantage, as was done by all other public schools. Why should not Christ's Hospital be allowed to deal with its property to the best advantage? Why should not this site be devoted to educational purposes rather than to an open space? The hon. Gentleman below the gangway said that if this Bill were allowed to pass the Charity Commissioners would be poachers, but if this Instruction were carried the hon. Gentleman would be the greatest poacher of all, because he would take away the
§ educational character of this charity and turn it into a charity of quite another kind. This Bill would have to be read together with the rest of the scheme which had been forced by the Charity Commission and Parliament on Christ's Hospital. A Royal Commission was appointed in 1877, and the Commissioners said that it would be better to move the hospital into the country, and that the site should be sold for the purpose of carrying out the scheme. Not a word was said as to imposing any restriction on the sale of the site, and when the scheme was opposed in this House the objector to it said that that was the best part of it. It was because he thought a grave injustice would be done and a great blow dealt to this charity that he asked the House to pass the Bill, and to defeat the Instruction.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 116; Noes, 224. (Division List No. 267.)1047
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Flower, Ernest||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Flynn, James Christopher||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud||Gilhooly, James||O'Malley, William|
|Ambrose, Robert||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Austin, Sir John||Hammond, John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harms worth, R. Leicester||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Hayden, John Patrick||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey||Helme, Norval Watson||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||Rea, Russell|
|Bell, Richard||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Reddy, M.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Jacoby, James Alfred||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Jordan, Jeremiah||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Boland, John||Kennedy, Patrick James||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Brigg, John||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Leamy, Edmund||Rigg, Richard|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Leng, Sir John||Russell, T. W.|
|Caldwell, James||Levy, Maurice||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Lloyd-George, David||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh|
|Carlile, William Walter||Lough, Thomas||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lundon, W.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cogan, Denis J.||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Crean, Eugene||M'Dermott, Patrick||Strachey, Edward|
|Crombie, John William||M'Govern, T.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Malcolm, Ian||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Delany, William||Mansfield, Horace Rend all||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mooney, John J.||Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Dillon, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||White, Patrick (Meath, N.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Norman, Henry||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Duffy, William J.||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Dunn, Sir William||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Emmott, Alfred||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid||Wylie, Alexander|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Field, William||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Mr. Richards and Captain Norton.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||O'Dowd, John|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Moss, Samuel|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Aird, Sir John||Graham, Henry Robert||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gretton, John||Myers, William Henry|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Gunter, Sir Robert||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Arrol, Sir William||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Mid'x||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nd'rry||Partington, Oswald|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.||Paul ton, James Mellor|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Pease, Herbt. P. (Darlington)|
|Balfour, Maj K R (Christchurch||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir A. D.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bathurst, Hon Allen B.||Heaton, John Henniker||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Helder, Augustus||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Black Alexander William||Higginbottom, S. W.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bond Edward||Horn by, Sir William Henry||Purvis, Robert|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Horner, Frederick William||Randles, John S.|
|Bowles, Capt. T. B. (Kings's Lynn||Houldsworth, Sir Wm Henry||Rash, Major Frederick Carne|
|Brassey, Albert||Hoult, Joseph||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Brodrick Rt. Hon. St. John||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Ridley, Hon. M. W (Stalybridge|
|Burt, Thomas||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Gl'g'w)||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a||Robinson, Brooke|
|Cawley, Frederick||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Henry||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Coddington, Sir William||Knowles, Lees||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Labouchere, Henry||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Law, Andrew Bonar||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Seely, Capt. J. E B (Isle of Wight|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lawson, John Grant||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lecky, Rt. Hon. William Edw H||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareh'm||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Lewis, John Herbert||Spear, John Ward|
|Dewar, J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Disraeli, Conings by Ralph||Lowe, Francis William||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Stroyan, John|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowther, Rt. Hn. James (Kent)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lowther, Rt Hn J W (Cum. Penr||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Tennant, Harold John|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings|
|Elibank, Master of||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D.||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W G Ellison||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Maconochie, A. W.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Wallace, Robert|
|Fisher, William Hayes||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Walrond, Rt.Hon. Sir Wm. H.|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E (Wigt'n||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Garfit, William||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gibbs, Hn. A.G. H. (City of Lond||Morgan, Hn Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J.||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Morrell, George Herbert||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.|
|Morton, Arthur H A. (Deptford||Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)||Sir Joseph Dimsdale and|
|Wrightson, Sir Thomas||Younger, William||Sir William Hart Dyke.|
Question put, and agreed to.