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BENEVOLENT TRUSTEES., Issue 8045, 23 October 1889
The weekly meeting oif the above, held at the office of tite institution, Moray place, this afternoon, was attended by Messrs A. Solomon (obairman), C. Haynes, M. Pagan, W. D. Stewart, M.H.R., J. Carroll, W. Isaao, and R. Chiaholm.
DEATHS, ETC. The Secretary reported that Mary Maoauley (aged sixty-nine years) had died of gangrene of the right arm and ulceration of the leg, and Daniel O'Connell (aged sixty-seven years) from chronic ulceration of tho neck* . The CHAIRMAN mentioned that the woman, who was reported to be insane, was quite incapable of getting employment outside the Institution. He and Mr Carroll had conferred with Mrs Mee, and they had decided to allow the woman to remain in the Institution. A REFRACTORY PATIENT. . .. Complaints having been made regarding the conduct of a male inmate, who had struck another inmate a violent blow with his crutch, it was decided to severely reprimand the refraotory one, and to intimate that on a recurrence of the conduct complainod of he «Pould be dismissed. It was stated that he had undergone a sentence of , three months' imprisonment for vagrancy, but this seemed to have no effect on his conduct. THE CHARITABLE AID BOARD. The secretary of. the Charitable Aid Board wrote.as follows:—"Sir,—l have the honor, by direction of the Executive Committee of the Baard, to enclose herewith cheque for L 535 6j Id, being balance of claim lor the maintenance of your Institution as per requisition dated the Ist inst., and have to request that you will kindly acknowledge receipt of the same. lam further directed by the Committee to point out that the amount now paid by the Board to your Institution on account of the current financial year is L 173 12s 3d in excess oi the sum which, according to the Trustees' estimate, would be required to moet expenditure for the period now expired. The Committee therefore desire to express the hope that during the remainder of the financial year your Trustees will be able to so reduce their claims upon the Board as not to exceed the estimate, taking the year as a whole." The Chairman : I may say, gentlemen, that a similar letter was forwarded to the Hospital Trustees, and there is little danger that the expenditure for the year will exceed our estimate, The letter was received. THE COST BOOK. The cost book, which was laid on the table, showed that the cost for the month of was Ll9B 10s 3d. The nllu.o < ■ "f inmates in the Institution was 185; tno total cost per head was 5s per weeki GENERAL. The Chairman said that a former recipiout of charitable aid had written stating that as she had "entered the matrimonial state for the second time" she would not require aid any longer. She thanked the Trustees for their kindness in granting her assistance. He (Mr Solomon) supposed the Trustees would send her a congratulatory letter?-(Laughter.) Mr W. D. Stewart : I should think we ought to inquire into the circumstances of the case before we do that.—(Laughter.) THE MILTON CASES. The Chairman said that regarding the Milton cases he had prepared a report, as he had not been certain that he would be able to attend the meeting and report personally. His report was as follows : To the Trustees Benevolent Institution. Gentlemen,—On the 21st inst. I went to Milton and investigated the cases of Sarah Brooks and Archibald Bums, In the former case the amount of relief given > (7s 6d per week) is the same as is allowed in similar casus in other localities. After careful and exhaustive inquiries I am satisfied that there are no such exceptional circumstances in this case aB call for a larger allow anco being granted. In tho case of the Burns family, the action of the mayor was perfectly genuine and bor.a fide. He recommended the case under the erron'oua impression that it was urgent and deserving, and is in no respect to blame; but it is equally clear that His Worship was entirely misled by the woman's statement into believing the case a much more serious one than it actually was, The statement made to Mr Moore at the time he made the recommendation, and upon which the said recommendation was based, and the statement made to me now as to the earnings of (he family at that time, are entirely different. Mrs Burns states that her family do not need any aid now, and it seems to me very doubtful if they ever did. I have seen the Mayor of Milton and the members of tlie Borough Council, and they are, I think, all satisfied that the family has been fairly treated by the Trustees. The practice of the mayor of a borough council or chairmaivof a county council specially recommending that charitable aid be given to a cert tin person and then supplying tho goods from his own store is, I think, an improper one. It tends to place the person suppling such goods in a false- position—in a positian of having the puiity of his motives questioned, no matter how pure and honest they may be. It has been wissly said that 'no man should be placed in a position where his publio duties are opposed to his private interests}" and a storekeeper supplying goods under such circumstances is so placed. His public duty diotates that the outlay for charitable aid in the particular case le is supp ying should end as soon as possible ; and his private interest is that he keep a regular customer, whose money is certain, as long on his books as he can. Independently if which Buch a practice is entirtly opposed to the spirit of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Act, 1885, section 53 of whioh provides that no Trustee shall be concerned in or patticipate in any contract with the Trustees. It is the manifest intention of the Legislature that no -person engaged in the management of any separate institution or in the distribution of charitable aid should have any monetary interest in the supply of goods or other contract; and there can be little doubt that if the Legislature had foreseen the ind rect control that gentlemen other than the Trustees would have in the distiibution of outdoor relief, section 53 would have been made to apply to them. I may mention that a by-law similar to section 53 of the Charitable Aid Act has been in force since the founding of this Institution. I need scarcely say that I have not the faintest intention torefleot upon any gentle man, but am simply treating the question from a general point of view. With the exception of one inaccuracy, to which I will refer, the inspector's report on both these cases is perfectly correot, and places the matter fairly before the Trustees. The discrepancy exists in the amount earned by one of the Burns boys; but Mr Flavell's statement that he took down Mrs Burns's words is no doubt correct, and bis explanation, that, although it was- pointed out to him that it was not likely the boy earned so much, he felt bound to place the woman's own figures before the Trustees, ia a reasonable one You will, no doubt, remember that he explained this matter at the time.
A. Solomon, Chairman. He might say that he had taken considerable trouble in connection with the matter, and had endeavored to elicit facts regarding each case. So far as the Burns family were concerned there was little need for the relief being continued; while the woman had admitted that she was not in urgent need of relief when she visited the mayor of the borough. He had, he thought, arranged* matters satisfactorily. Mr Stewart wished to know if the reports ' that appeared in last night's papers could I be relied on ?
The Chairman said that they could—they gave a fair and correct statement of the matter as arranged by both parties. Mr Stewart endorsed Mr Solomon's remarks that it was undesirable that persons other than the Benevolent Trustees should recommend cases for relief. The chairman had gone thoroughly into the matter, and had made an exhaustive inquiry, and the result was quite satisfactory. He had also displayed considerable tact and judgment during his deliberations with the members of the Milton Borough Council, and he thought the least the Trustees could do would be to pass a vote of thanks to their chairman. He moved— '* That a vote of thanks be acoorded Mr Solomon for proceeding to Milton (under difficulty owing to illness), and also for his satisfactory explanation of what appeared to be a slight misunderstanding between the Milton Borough Council and the Trustees of this Institution;"
Mr Carroll seconded the motion, and thought that the general recommendation contained in the report should be given every publicity, because tho custom was, he had every reason to believe, in vogue in many parts of New Zealand. He had not
Understood so froni personal knowledge, but lie had been informed that such was the case. Of course they .were sometimes imposed upon—be was often, imposed upon himself—but he thought that the general recommendation would have a beneficial effect on the lecommendationa of local bodies, The Government should be made aware of the necessity of taking some action in connection with this matter. He had pleasure in seconding the motion. Mr Fagan thought it was hardly necessary to add anything to what had been said by the gentlemen present. It was undoubtedly owing to the diplomacy exercised by the chairman that the affair had ended so amicably and satisfactorily. The motion was oarried unanimously. The Chaibman was glad that the Trustees approved of his aotion in connection with these CaS -p, He called the attention of the Trustees to the fact that at a previous meeting they had considered the question of the recommending and the supplying of goods by local bodies, and he had, in pursuance of a decision then arrived at, now issued instructions that such a practice should cease. The relief cases were then dealt with,
BENEVOLENT TRUSTEES., Issue 8045, 23 October 1889
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