Government wants to open mystery fund set up in 1928 to help tackle national debt.
The National Fund was set up in 1928 with a £500,000 anonymous donation. The mystery benefactor behind the charity said the fund should be held in the trust until the country raises enough money to pay off the entire national debt.
The fund has since grown to £400 million — but the UK debt hit £1.7 trillion in December last year. However the Government wants judges to alter the terms of the National Fund so the money can be released for its intended purpose.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright said: ‘Almost 90 years ago, an anonymous donor bequeathed money to the nation and yet we have not been able to put it to good use.
‘We have been working with the Treasury, trustees and the Charity Commission to find a solution consistent with the donor’s original objectives of extinguishing the national debt.
‘I am applying to the High Court to ask that the fund is released — and if that application is successful, the fund could be used to benefit the nation by helping to do what the original donors intended.’
The documents will be filed at the High Court later today.
A spokeswoman for The Charity Commission said: ‘We have worked closely with the Attorney General’s Office to ensure a resolution to the matter of the National Fund, and we welcome the Attorney General’s steps.
‘It is important that these considerable funds are applied, and applied in line with the charitable intentions of the original donor.’