The deputation retired.
Deputation from Salters' Company.
The following gentlemen attended as a deputation
from the Salters' Company :—
Mr. Arthur Bowdler Hill.
Mr. Frederick Le Gros Clark, F.R.S.
Mr. Thomas Hicks.
Mr. Henry William Eaton, M.P.
Mr. Alderman Fowler, M.P.
Mr. E. Lionel Scott (Clerk).
3213. (Chairman to Mr. Clark.) We understand that
you wish to contradict or modify some statements
made by Dr. Todd in his evidence with regard to
your Company, or that you have some statement to
make with reference to it. We have certain statements before us which were made by Dr. Todd which
you do not exactly accept as accurate, we understand?
—We have made our answer in the short statement
which has been drawn up and handed in to the
3214. I see you say here that you have spent in all
51,000l. upon your estates in the last 28 years ?—
3215. I see a complaint was made by Mr. Brown, a
gentleman who appeared here as a witness, to the
effect that there is considerable poverty prevailing on
the Salters' estate, because during the bad years the
Company never made them any reduction or allowance on the rents; do you admit that statement ?—It
is answered in the paragraph which I will read to
your Lordship :—"Mr. Andrew Brown, a tenant on
the estate, who gave evidence before the Commission, also on the 12th day, complains that an appeal
which was made against an advance of 20 per cent.
put on a portion of the estate in bad years, was
rejected." Now this bare paragraph, as it stands,
would tend to somewhat mislead those who read it
without being acquainted with the circumstances, but
the answer is given in the next paragraph:—"This
augmented rent was an addition of 20 per cent. on
a small section of the Townpark holdings, which
had been reduced 10 per cent. in 1855, and not increased when the rentals of the agricultural holdings
were raised 10 per cent. in 1866. The aggregate
annual accretion of rent from this source amounted
to about 150l., and simply placed all town-parks and
agricultural holdings on the same footing."
3216. It is also stated, I observe, that the recent
appeal for a reduction of rent was rejected; that you
deny ?—No, we do not deny that we rejected it. The
paragraph which follows states, "It is true that the
Company declined to adopt a general reduction of
their moderate rental, which, for agricultural holdings, is about 10 per cent. below the Government
valuation; but they promised to take into consideration individual applications for relief, and to determine them on their respective merits. This decision
has been acted on, and in several instances remission of rent has been granted, and pecuniary assistance afforded to needy tenants." I may say this
has been done to a very considerable extent. We
have always fully taken into consideration the nature
of the appeal and the character of those who are
appealing to us.
3217. And in reply to the statement that nothing
has been done upon the farm except by tenants, you
answer that you have spent 16,000l. on the rural districts and 12,000l. odd on the town holdings ?—Yes;
and the particulars are given in the table below in our
3218. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) Is it not true that
the Salters' Company paid a sum of money at the
beginning of the 17th century for their share of the
Irish estates ?—The Salters' Company paid a sum of
money for possession of the Irish estates.
3219. For their share ?—Quite so.
3220. Is it not true that shortly after that, whatever trust there was on the Company's property that
was transferred in fact to the Irish society and that
the Company's properties have been sold, and that it
has been acknowledged, that there is no trust impressed
upon them ?—Yes; quite so. The property of the
Company, as I understand it, was by the act of the
Star Chamber taken from the Companies, and restored
to them when it was proved that that dispossession
was unjust and illegal.
3221. Is it a fact that the Salters' Company have
expended large sums of money in public buildings,
especially in the erection of churches in the district
in which your land is situated ?—It is quite true.
3222. And not confined to any particular denomination ?—No.
3223. Is it a fact that you have contributed towards
the erection of Roman Catholic churches ?—Quite
recently we have contributed 1,000l. towards the
erection of Roman Catholic church, besides giving
3224. Have the Company throughout the time they
have been the owners of this estate sought to benefit
the people quite apart from any sectarian views ?—
3225. Their schools have been always open to all
denominations, have they not ?—Yes, they have been.
We have made no difference between Presbyterians,
Episcopalians, or Roman Catholics.
3226. (Mr. Firth.) I find that your Irish estate
income for 1879–80, according to your return, was
12,309l., deducting balance carried forward, 840l.,
that leaves an income of 11,469l.; and I see that
something over 2,000l. was devoted to the objects you
speak of—2,125l.; is that about the usual proportion
of your income that you apply for Irish purposes ?—I
should think a larger proportion than that out of our
3227. I have the figures here. With respect to
your English expenditure, perhaps I might ask you a
question. I find that your total English expenditure
was 29,790l., but there are items with respect to the
purchase of land from the Saddlers' Company and
the Dyers' Company; you purchased their shares of
the Irish estates, did you not?—We have done so.
3228. There remains of current expenditure, as I
read your account, five items on page 24: Expenses
of maintenance, 7,275l.; entertainments, 3,046l.;
gifts, 1,574l.; subscriptions and donations to decayed
members and their relatives and others, 2,508l.;
technical education, 575l. You did not give anything
to technical education before 1878, I think ?—No, I
think that was the first year in which we gave anything.
3229. Will you kindly tell me with respect to the
other item as to gifts to decayed members and their
relatives what that means; do you give to the
relatives of your members?—Those who are related,
such as widows and daughters. Every case is carefully investigated, of course.
3230. The items of current expenditure I have read
over amount to 14,978l. I see that those two items,
maintenance and management and entertainments,
amount together to 10,322l. Do not you consider
that a large proportion of your current expenditure
for maintenance and entertainments ?—That includes
a great many items.
3231. They are all put by you as maintenance and
management. It is the second item to which I refer:
"Rates, taxes, insurance (mostly repaid by tenants),
salaries, wages, professional and other charges of
maintenance of buildings and management, 7,275l."
Then there are entertainments, 3,046l. ?—Yes, that is
3232. My question was, do not you consider the
10,322l., a somewhat large proportion to expend out
of a current expenditure of 14,978l. for those purposes ?—Of course, it is a matter of opinion whether
it is so or not. If each item is carefully investigated
I do not think it will be considered a large proportion.
3233. Do you pay anything to your court of assistants or members of committees for their attendance?
3234. Where does that appear ?—It appears in our
3235. What is the yearly amount; it is not in this
paper, I think ?—It is in page 28, under the head of
3236. Can you tell me what proportion of the
7,275l. is so appropriated ?—Do you speak of the
entertainments or the management?
3237. I am speaking of the payment to the members of the court for attendance at committees ?—The
committees and the courts are distinct. The court
is attended by all the members; the committees are
attendances of certain only of the members. Do you
wish the whole amount?
3238. I was asking what proportion of this sum of
7,275l. was paid to the members of the court?—
3239. (Mr. Burt.) In answer to Sir Sydney Waterlow, I understood you to say that what you give for
any purpose is given entirely on unsectarian grounds?
3240. With regard to the next item mentioned here,
Ministers and Church Sustentation Fund, church
buildings, parsonages, &c., is that the Church of
England ?—You will find in the second page, "Support of education, church building and parsonages."
3241. It is the Church of England, I suppose, in
that case?—No, not exclusively. You are speaking
of the church of Ireland, I presume ?
3242. Yes. With regard to charitable and other
donations, on what principle is that money given; is
that also entirely irrespective of creed ?—It is where
applications are made to us for relief.
3243. Persons connected with the estate, I suppose?
—Yes, certainly; they are our own tenants.
3244. With regard to the apprenticeship, is it
merely nominal or are the apprentices really apprenticed to the Salters' ?—Our apprenticeship is
actual servitude. We inquire very carefully into that,
and some of our officers look after the apprentices
from time to time to see that it is actual servitude.
3245. (Mr. Alderman Cotton.) Do you consider
that the money which you give in charities, that is to
say, in pensions and annuities of that kind, does a
very great deal of good ?—I do, certainly.
3246. Do you consider that by supplying these
pensioners with moneys you save them going upon
the rates or going into the workhouse ?—Certainly, or
from becoming absolutely destitute.
3247. Their home would be the workhouse if it
were not for the assistance you give them, would it
not ?—Yes, in a large number of cases, no doubt. We
have some very sad cases, where the applicants have
been the children or widows even of members of the