§ Dr. Mawhinney
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what arrangements he has made for the future of the work of the King's Fund (1940); and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rossi
The King's Fund (1940) is a voluntary charitable fund administered by the Department for the benefit of disabled ex-service men, prisoners of war, and members of the civil defence services, and their widows, orphans and dependants. It has been the policy for some years now to run the fund down gradually, in anticipation that there would come a time when it could no longer continue a separate existence and its work would need to be taken over by another charity or charities. This point has now been reached. From 1 April this year, therefore, the fund's responsibilities for payments to the main groups of beneficiaries have been taken over by the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation and by the joint committee of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the British Red Cross Society. Arrangements are in hand for a small remaining portion of the fund reserved for disabled members of the civil defence services and their dependants to be transferred to the Women's Royal Voluntary Service benevolent trust. The fund will then be formally removed from the list of charities registered with the Charity Commission. The Department's war pensioners' welfare officers will automatically redirect applications for financial help to the other charities as appropriate and I am satisfied that assistance will continue to be available to those categories of people who have in the past been eligible for help from the King's Fund. My right hon. Friend and I are most grateful to the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation, the joint committee and the Women's Royal Voluntary Service benevolent trust for their agreement to share in taking over the work of the fund.