Re Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society: ChD 1959

The court approved a scheme conferring wider powers of investment than those authorised by the statute incorporating the charity: ‘It is said on behalf of persons interested in the charity that the court is empowered to make a scheme to authorize a wider range of investments in this case, because the matter is not really covered by the very limited power of investment contained in section 11 of the Act of 1850. On the other hand, it is said on behalf of the Attorney-General that that is not the right way to construe section 11 of the Act of 1850: that although in form it is a positive permission, it involves a negative prohibition and, therefore, to allow any wider power of investment of the trust funds would be to attempt to alter the statute by ‘a stroke of .. the pen’ and the court has no power to do that. The cases to which I have been referred are far from clear, but I think the general principle which emerges is that the court cannot alter the said statute by a stroke of the pen and cannot therefore direct anything which is inconsistent with the terms of the Act of Parliament in question. The conclusion which I reach is that to allow a wider power of investment is to confer additional powers of investment and is not, therefore, inconsistent with but is in aid of and supplemental to the powers of investment which are conferred by section 11 of the Act. On that view it would be open to the court to allow what has been done by settling a scheme conferring the necessary powers.’
Danckwerts J
[1959] Ch 220
England and Wales
CitedRe: Shrewsbury Grammar School 1849
Trustees of the school had accumulated income in excess of what was required to achieve the objects of the charitable trust, and asked the court how to apply them. Having upheld the contention that what was described as Sir S. Romilly’s Act . .
CitedAttorney-General v Governors of Christ’s Hospital 3-Mar-1896
The Attorney-General proposed a scheme to except certain endowments from the 1869 Act. They would be made over to another governing body in augmentation of the endowments held by them subject to the provisions of that Act.
Held: The court . .
CitedThe Berkhamstead School Case 1865
The school was regulated inter alia by a statute of Edward VI.
Held: The court approved a scheme for its further regulation which permitted the charging of fees for all pupils, notwithstanding that the statute provided that some boys should be . .
CitedIn re Whitworth Art Gallery Trusts 1958
. .

Cited by:
CitedAttorney General v British Museum ChD 27-May-2005
The trustees brought a claim against the Attorney-General seeking clarification of their duties and powers to return objects which were part of the collection in law, but where a moral duty might exist to return it to a former owner. Here drawings . .
CitedConstruction Industry Training Board v Attorney-General CA 1973
The principal issue was whether a body set up by statute and subject to the control of a minister of the Crown was a ‘charity’ within the meaning of section 45(1) of the Charities Act 1960, for which purpose it had to be subject to ‘the control of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 August 2021; Ref: scu.225532