Mr. David Adams
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any steps are contemplated to bring into use the moneys now managed by the Charity Commissioners, which have grown, through accumulations due to the rise in the value of investments and to the efficient management by the Commissioners, from about £40,000,000 in 1918 to £90,462,865 19s. 1d. at present; and whether, seeing that in the meantime many individual funds have been raised, some of which now have surpluses which can never be required for the original purposes, he will take legislative steps to apply the funds in the control of the Charity Commissioners to the relief of distress?1977W
§ Sir J. Simon
The moneys referred to by the hon. Member are presumably the investments held by the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, who are not Managing Trustees but are in the position of Custodian Trustees, and have no power to interfere with the application of the income of the various charities whose investments are placed in their charge. The increase in the nominal value of these investments between 1918 and 1938 is due mainly to an increase in the number of holdings and not to an appreciation of capital value.
With regard to the second part of the question, I understand the hon. Member to refer to charities wholly maintained by voluntary contributions. Such charities are not under the jurisdiction of the Charity Commissioners. On the other hand, if there is any surplus of a charitable fund of this nature which cannot be applied for the original purpose of the fund, the trustees thereof should apply to the court or to the Charity Commissioners for directions as to the application of the surplus. No legislation on this matter appears to me to be necessary.