Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Charity Commission (Registration Division)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1964.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland 12:00 am, 23rd January 1964

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present accumulation of arrears of work in the registration division of the Charity Commission.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I am informed by the Chief Charity Commissioner that the present number of charities entered on the Central Register is roughly 33,000 and the number of applications awaiting attention 5,000. The arrears are being overtaken at the rate of about 300 a week.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

Has not something gone seriously wrong? Does the Home Secretary recollect that a couple of years ago he promised the hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead) that the scheme would be pretty well in operation by the spring of 1963? Yet there are now these arrears, largely due to the shortage of staff. What is he doing about recruiting extra staff?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I was not Home Secretary a couple of years ago. Big arrears did mount up last year, partly due to the slowness of charity trustees to apply for registration at the proper time, so that we had a very heavy concentration of applications in 1963 which should have come in 1961 and 1962. We experienced difficulties in recruiting sufficient suitable staff during the early part of last year, but those difficulties have now been overcome and, as I said, we are overtaking arrears at the rate of 300 a week.

Mr. J. Wells:

Would my right hon. Friend consult my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House with a view to us having a debate on this subject and on the Charity Commission's work in general in the foreseeable future?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I am sure that my right hon. and learned Friend will take note of it, but my hon. Friend knows that I do not arrange the business of the House.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

Can the Home Secretary assure us that none of the applications is in any way prejudiced by the delay in registration?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

Yes, I can certainly give that assurance. I can go further and say that, if expeditious registration is required for some good reason in an individual case and the need for it is explained, the Commissioners will do their best to deal with that case quickly.