To ask Mr. Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to powers given to certain charitable institutions under Royal Charters of Incorporation enabling the Governors of such institutions to invest moneys in securities other than those authorised by the Trustee Acts; and whether he proposes to take any steps to test the validity of such powers.
( Answered by Sir John Walton.) I understand that investment clauses in draft charters are always closely scrutinised, and where exceptional powers are sought inquiries are made with a view, unless special reasons exist, to a restriction to trustee securities. In some cases, where old and well-established bodies receive charters the powers which governing bodies have possessed and exercised in the past to the advantage of the institutions have not been interfered with, but in most cases there is no special provision as to investments when it is presumed that only trustee investments would be allowable. I am informed that in no case has attention been called or complaint made in reference to the matter referred to. The subject will, however, be considered.