THE DEAD HAND By
THE DEAD HAND AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT HOTEL ASTOR, MAY 24,1921 BEFORE THE NEW YORK ASSOCIATION OF TRUST COMPANIES
byF. H. GOFF
<tle"elan~ 1truat \tompan)?'
THE DEAD HAND
OMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS aim to provide a flexible plan for administering charitable trusts. They are designed to lessen the evil of "The Dead Hand" by making property dedicated to a specific charitable purpose available for other uses when the one designated by the donor becomes harmful or obsolete. They provide that the wishes of the donor shall be respected no longer than seems well to the committee having charge of the distribution of income. Community Trusts represent at best a study, not a solution, of the difficult problems involved in the administration of charitable endowments. The importance of vesting a competent administrative body with power to supervise, reform, and if need be, extinguish unwise trusts, has been demonstrated to a limited extent in this country, but to a greater extent in England and Continental Europe. Time has shown that coupled with the power to give there should be the power to withhold when fraud or inefficiency is discovered, or when the use designated the donor becomes degrading or pauperIzmg. The English Parliament possesses and has often exercised this power. In earlier times it confiscated land held by the mon-
asteries and other religious bodies in mortmain, and more recently, acting both directly and through a Charity Commission appointed by it, has diverted funds to other uses than those indicated by the founder. With the co-operation of the Attorney General, the Commissioners have often intervened to suppress fraud and to correct abuses in management. But there are still thousands of Foundations in England which are harmful and devoid of merit. Unfortunately no legislative body in the United States possesses this power. The Supreme Court of the United States held in the Dartmouth College Case that the legislature of the State of New Hampshire had no power to alter a charter granted by the British Crown to the Trustees of Dartmouth College in any material respect. The original grant provided for a board of twelve self-perpetuating trustees. The amending Act passed by the legislature of that State, in 1816, increasing the Board of Trustees to twenty-one (the additional members being appointed by the Governor) and creating a Board of twenty-five overseers (of whom twenty-one were to be appointed by the Governor), was held to be void because it impaired the obligation of an implied contract between the State and the founders when the charter was issued. Page Four
I shall quote somewhat at length from the opinion of the Court which was delivered by Chief Justice Marshall. He says the original grant created "an artificial, immortal being capable of receiving and distributing forever, according to the will of the donors, the donations which should be made to it. On this being, the contributions which had been collected were immediately bestowed. These gifts were made, not, indeed, to make a profit for the donors, or their posterity, but for something in their opinion of inestimable value . . . The consideration for which they stipulated is the perpetual application of the fund to its object, in the mode prescribed by themselves . . . The corporation is the assignee of their rights, stands in their place and distributes their bounty, as they would themselves have distributed it, had they been immortal. . . . "According to the theory of the British Constitution, their Parliament is omnipotent. To annul corporate rights might give a shock to public opinion, which that government has chosen to avoid; but its power is not questioned. Had Parliament, immediately after the emanation of this charter, and the execution of those conveyances which followed it, annulled the instrument, so that the living donors would have witnessed the disappointment of their hopes, the perfidy of the transaction would have been universally acknowledged . . . This is plainly a contract to which the donors, the trustees and the crown (to whose rights and obliPage FilJe
gations New Hampshire succeeds) were the original parties. It is a contract made on a valuable consideration . . . "Almost all eleemosynary corporations, those which are created for the promotion of religion, of charity, or of education, are of the same character. The law of this case is the law of all. . . . It requires no very critical examination of the human mind to enable us to determine that one great inducement of these gifts is the conviction felt by the giver that the disposition he makes of them is immutable. It is probable that no man ever was, and no man ever will be, the founder of a college,believing at the time that an act of incorporation constitutes no security for the institution; believing that it is immediately to be deemed a public institution, whose funds are to be governed and applied, not by the will of the donor, but by the will of the legislature. All such gifts are made in the pleasing, perhaps delusive hope, that the charity will flow forever in the channel which the givers have marked out for it. . "The whole power of governing the college is transferred from trustees appointed according to the will of the founder, expressed in the charter, to the executive of New Hampshire.... The will of the state is substituted for the will of the donors in every essential operation of the college. . . . This may be for the advantage of this college in particular, and may be for the advantage of literature in general, but it is not according to the will of the donors, and is subversive of Page Six
that contract, on the faith of which their property was given."
Justice Story rendered a concurring opinion from which I quote: "A grant to a private trustee for the benefit of a cestui que trust, or for any special, private or public charity, cannot be the less a contract because the trustee takes nothing for his own benefit. . . . A private donation, vested in a trustee for objects of a general nature, does not thereby become a public trust, which the government may, at its pleasure, take from the trustee, and administer in its own way. . . . The only authority remaining to the government is judicial, to ascertain the validity of the grant, to enforce its proper uses, to suppress frauds, and, if the uses are charitable, to secure their regular administration through the means of equitable tribunals, in cases where there would otherwise be a failure of justice."
As I view it, the principle laid down in this case will greatly increase our difficulties in dealing with charitable foundations when they become obsolete, due to lapse of time or changed conditions. To accomplish reforms in this country, appeals must be made to courts of equity under the socalled cy-pres doctrine, to which I shall refer later. If it has been difficult with the omnipotent power possessed by Parliament to deal with endowments in England, it must be very evident that it will be more Page Seven
difficult in this country in the absence of legislative control. The evil effects of "The Dead Hand" in England may be illustrated by referring to typical endowments where the evil is readily apparent and by quoting opinions from eminent men who have given the subject careful study. Mr. Gladstone, in a speech delivered in the House of Commons in 1863 on a bill providing for the taxation of charities, said: "endowed charities often spring from mere vanity and seldom from self-sacrifice. The great majority of them were created, not during the creator's life but by his will; and it seems undesirable to spend public money in tempting men to try to immortalize themselves as pious founders. The only true 'charities' are those which a man gives out of money which he might have spent upon himself."
In speaking of what he termed the smaller charities, he said: "Three times have these Charities been the subject of inquiry, and the Charity Commissioners of Lord Brougham, the Poorlaw Commissionersof 1834,and the Education Commissionersappointed some four or five years ago, all condemned them and spoke of them as doing a greater amount of evil than of good in the forms in which they have been established and now exist.... Poverty is thus not only collected but created in the very neighborhood whence the benevolent Founders have manifestly expected to make it disappear." Page Eight
Mr. Hare, in an address before the Social Science Association of England in 1869, said: "There seems to be a general concurrence of nearly all who have considered the subject, that whatever the value or utility of endowments at the time of their creation, the watchful eye of some independent authority is always necessary to prevent their mischief and abuse. We are taught by the universal history of endowments that their administration has never corresponded with the original design."
Courtney Kenny, in his work on "Endowed Charities," to whom I am greatly indebted for much of the information contained in this address, says: "By a strange but familiar tendency of human nature, the Trustee comes to regard his trust as his property, and the beneficiary comes to regard his alms as his right. The Foundation gathers abuses as a seaweed gathers damp. The carelessness of today becomes the habit of tomorrow. Illtimed parsimony creates a nuisance; illjudged liberality degenerates into a job. "The history of English law reform contains few examples of more persistent and unselfish zeal than the twenty years' struggle of Lord Brougham to carry out such an inquiry (relating to charitable endowments) in England. He brought the question before the House of Commons; he aroused the public mind by a 'Letter to Sir Samuel Romilly' (in 1818)on the abuse of charities, which ran through twelve Page Nine
editions in six months; and by a long series of Parliamentary efforts he obtained the appointment of four successive Commissions of Inquiry, which, in the emphatic words of Earl Russell, destroyed many flagrant abuses, detected the perversion of a large amount of charitable funds, and led the way to those further inquiries and those remedial measures of which we have seen the commencement and the progress, but of which the consummation is yet to come. His Commissions were at work from 1818 to 1837, and the result of their investigations-the longest in duration and the most prolific in facts of all Parliamentary inquiries-is embodied in thirty-eight folio volumes, consisting of some twentyfive thousand pages, describing twentyeight thousand eight hundred and eighty Charities (with an aggregate income of twelve hundred thousand pounds), and compiled at a cost of more than a quarter of a million pounds. . . ."
The efforts of Lord Brougham and others "culminated in 1876, in the completion by the present Charity Commissioners, after fifteen years of compilation, of their General Digest of Endowed Charities - a true Domesday Book of Foundations, replete with priceless material for the historian, the jurist and the politician." The perils which Turgot enumerates in his article on Foundations in the Encyclopedie have been proved real by painful and universal experience. But his sweeping practical conclusion is no necessary consePage Ten
quence of his premises; and it is possible to admit all the dangers he fears without accepting the drastic remedy he recommends. We are compelled to concede to him that many endowed charities are, by their very constitution, injurious; that others, by various social changes, have ultimately been rendered injurious; and that, even in the best, there is an inherent tendency to become worthless. Sir Arthur Hobhouse, in his work on "The Dead Hand," says: "How comes it that people are allowed thus to devote property according to their caprices forever? To me it seems the most extravagant of propositions to say that, because a man has been fortunate enough to enjoy a large share of this world's goods in this life, he shall therefore and for no other cause, when he must quit this life and can enjoy his goods no longer, be entitled to speak from his grave FOREVER and dictate FOREVERto living men how that portion of the earth's produce shall be spent.... "But of the greater Foundations, will anybody confidently assert that they produce more good than evil? I will not dwell on the great alms-houses, such as St. Cross, which has been a stone of offence, perhaps from its founder's days, certainly from those of William Wykeham, until now. Take the Foundations for objects we should all approve - for learning, and for the tending of the sick. Has the state of the great endowed hospitals of London Page Eleven
been always satisfactory? Has, for instance, that of Bethlehem? We all know the contrary. "Turgot cites the hospitals of the sick as among the most striking instances of the deadness of Foundations. Will any contemporary of mine at Eton assert that the then state of the College was useful or edifying? Will any contemporary of mine at Oxford say that the Foundations of Merton or Waynflete or Chichele were then playing their part in the world? There may be times of awakened conscience and active exertion, but the question is whether rich Foundations derived from private origin do not invariably gravitate towards sloth and indolence? It is difficult to point to one instance of a private endowment for learning achieving great results by itself alone. . . . It is not possible to grasp too tenaciously the principle that Property is not the Property of the Dead but of the Living."
The moment that any religious bodies became unpopular, the reigning Monarchs hastened to confiscate their possessions. The first two Edwards found it easy and convenient to strip the Templars. Henry V. dissolved all the alien Priories and seized their lands, to the great contentment of his subjects. Cardinal Wolsey found no difficulty in suppressing upwards of thirty religious houses to found his colleges at Oxford and Ipswich. And Henry VIII. swallowed up the rest; first the lesser monasteries, then the greater, then the Page Twelve
Knights of St. John, and lastly the whole category of chauntries, guilds, priests, brotherhoods, obits, lamps and suchlike. To my mind this history is most impressive, and its moral is this: that the English nation cannot endure for long the spectacle of large masses of property settled to unalterable uses. Foundations attaching endowments to the holding and teaching of prescribed opinions are, if they are to be unalterable, the very worst kind of Foundations that can be conceived, for experience shows that the opinions to which men have attached property change and become extinct (sooner or later according to their depth and force), and then you have a direct premium on profession without belief. But that which tends to corrupt the noblest part of man, the very eye of the soul, his perception of truth, is as evil a thing as can be imagined. The number of Foundations made to maintain theological opinions in this country is enormous. Some of the trust deeds are very minute as to the tenets to be believed. I quote from one which has been quite recently in my hands. Those who benefit by this Foundation are to believe and teach: "The one only living and true God, the Creator and Upholder of all things; the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament Page Thirteen
as the Word of God and the only rule of faith and practice; the doctrine of the Trinity, including the Deity and distinct personality of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; the doctrine of original sin, and the entire depravity of human nature; eternal and personal election; particular redemption; atonement for sin by the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ; justification by His imputed righteousness through faith; the necessity of regeneration and sanctification of the Holy Spirit; of repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ in order to salvation, and the final perseverance of the saints."
The conceit of some of the earlier founders now seems ludicrous. In 16~5 Sir Thomas Hunt directed "that ~d. apiece weekly in bread be given to six poor people who after service should come every Sabbath day to the stone where his father lays, and kneeling should say the Lord's Prayer, and pray to God for the King and Queen then reigning over them." Norrice's charity at All Saints' Church, Leicester, gave to fortyone poor people, on St. Bartholomew's Day, 4d. each, who were to depart, glorifying God. The minister was to have 4d. for exhorting them, after the second lesson at evening prayer, "to praise God for his mercy in providing for the poor." The Mosely Dole in Staffordshire directed that there should be paid annually a penny apiece to all the inhabitants of the Page Fourteen
parish of Walsall and of the adjoining parish of Rushall. The Charity Commissioners, in one of their first reports, said: "We met with charitable foundations everywhere in old urban districts; and everywhere found their operation and tendency to be to create the misery they were intended to relieve, whilst they did not relieve all the misery they created . . . In Spital-fields they created a population born in charity, nursed in charity, fed in charity its life long, doctored in charity, and, after a wretched life, buried in charity."
It was found in England that "closely akin in character and effect to Doles are Charities for general gratuitous educationthe indiscriminate distribution of mental, instead of tangible alms. . .. " The Commissioners found that "indiscriminate gratuitous instruction has been demonstrated to be as invariably mischievous as indiscriminate almsgiving. The evil became greater in the case of schools which gratuitously provided food or clothing for the children." In continental Europe Foundling Hospitals were found to stimulate unchastity and to multiply illegitimacy and infanticide. It is said that in England the Dole created more paupers and the Foundling Hospitals more foundlings, than their resources could relieve. Charities to provide Marriage Page Fifteen
Portions were found to operate as a bribe to hasty and improvident marriages. In 1860 it was estimated that Fifty Thousand Pounds a year of Charity revenue were spent in payment of premiums to apprentices, notwithstanding the fact that the practice of going through apprenticeship had almost ceased. Mter vast sums had been given in England to endow alms-houses, it was found that the aged could be cared for better and with less expense by granting pensions free from any obligation of residence. A Foundation attached to the French Walloon Church at Canterbury, provided for the payment of Forty Pounds annually for reading a service according to the English Ritual in the French tongue, to a congregation which was paid to listen but which could not understand what was said. The Loughborough Charity was founded in part to repair cause-ways and bridges. In time the canals and drains carried off all the water, removing the need for either. John Alleyn directed that' the scholars in the school endowed by him should have daily at their breakfast "a cup of beere" and at dinner and supper "beere without stint." It is said that over two thousand endowments given for primary education in England were rendered useless when such Page Sixteen
schools became supported by Government aid. A parish in England possessing an endowment of upwards of Eight Hundred Pounds a year to provide for care of the poor, had a population in 1877 of forty-six, only four or five of whom slept within the parish and none of whom could properly be designated as poor. Henry Smith in 16~6 established a Foundation to provide for his poor kindred. In 1700 it relieved four; in 1868 at a cost of ÂŁ6797 a year 41~, one-quarter of whom were his great-great-great-great-great-greatgreat-great-great-great-nephews and nieces. The inspector reported that "some live upon the gifts, and-he believed-neglected altogether, or followed carelessly, occupations by which they might earn a living." Kenny says that founders "who limited so many of their pecuniary benefits, from fellowships down to almshouses, to the residents in particular localities, assuredly never foresaw how completely the ties of locality would be upset in your own day by change in methods of transportation, which made possible the renter class living where they pleased." The same Henry Smith, to whom I previously referred, in 16~6 provided that a portion of the income from his Foundation should go to redeeming captives from Page Seventeen
pirates, but since 17~3 no captive has been found upon which it could be spent. A tobacconist provided that the rent from his land be used to purchase snuff for old women residing in the parish. Later it not only ceased to be a residential district but snuff went out of fashion. Perhaps, under the cy-pres doctrine, a court of equity might be required to direct that the income which had greatly increased, owing to the enhancement in the value of the land, be used to provide cigarettes for old women in a neighboring parish. What use can now be made of William Bower's gift for teaching children how to card, spin and knit, or of the funds that Dr. Richardson directed be given in prizes annually for the best piece of woolen or linen cloth woven within three miles of Ripon, or of Lurgan's Foundation to supply spinning wheels to spinsters. The advance in medical science has rendered useless the many leprosy hospitals that have been built in England. The abolition of imprisonment for debt has rendered useless the large number of endowments to aid improvident debtors. Legal reforms have superseded ancient foundations created to assist prisoners in gaol, to provide shrouds for those executed on the gallows, and to buy fire-wood to heat county prisons. Page Eighteen
The following are a type of foundations which illustrate the vanity of the donor and the desire for posthumous fame: Henry Greene of Melbourne in 1679 provided that four poor women on every twenty-first day of December be supplied with four green waistcoats, lined with green galloon lace; Thomas Gray of the same place, in 1691, directed that there be purchased annually for poor men and women coats and waistcoats of grey cloth. Edward Rose, in 1652, left land in trust, amongst other purposes, to preserve rose trees on his grave. The bequest of Elizabeth Townsend, in 1820, provided for the payment of ÂŁ3 yearly apiece to the churches of Westbury and Warminister, in Wiltshire, that on the Sunday before Midsummer Day, there should be sung at the morning and afternoon service the anthem composed by her late husband's grandfather from the 150th Psalm.
Mr. Kenny, in summing up his review of the Foundations that have been rendered useless by lapse of time, says: "We have no right to suppose that the sociology of our own day has attained a degree of perfection which will enable it to guide Founders to unerring schemes of charity. It may be doubted if even our most confident charitable projects will stand the test of time." . . . He expresses the opinion that no one can "possibly predict that the way in which he has disposed of his property is that in Page Nineteen
which it will always produce ... a balance of benefit, much less a maximum of good." It would seem to be in the interest of humanity that some legislation be enacted or some scheme devised, which would make funds given for trivial or useless purposes, available to relieve distress at least in times of war, pestilence and famine. When hospitals endowed to care for those suffering from tuberculosis, diphtheria, leprosy, smallpox, yellow or typhoid fever have been rendered needless, and hospitals endowed to cure inebriates have been rendered useless, as it is conceivable they all may be in time, the funds dedicated to these purposes ought to be made available to serve mankind in other ways without the restrictions, uncertainties, delays and expense incident to court proceedings. If founders act with as little wisdom and as much vanity and conceit in the future as they have in the past, and the plans of those who do act wisely prove vain, the evil effects of the Dead Hand will operate in the ages to come as they have in the past. I have spent altogether too much time in discussing the evils that have grown out of irrevocable gifts to definite uses-evils that might be avoided, as I view it, if the gifts were made to Community Trusts or under any other sort of a plan which gives power to the living to determine how inPage Twenty
come may be used. What is the remedy where this power is denied? In this country where legislative control is impossible, recourse can only be had to courts of equity to select another use-one nearest related in kind to the purpose designated by the donor. Unfortunately this remedy has been found costly, inadequate and unsatisfactory. Courts properly feel bound by precedent and judges are often too prone to continue the old activities. The inadequacy of this relief may be illustrated by appeals that have been made to the courts to reform or supervise charitable trusts in England. The Schools Inquiry Commissioners found the Berkhampstead Grammar School still in Chancery, after having been there for a century and a quarter. In the meantime it had undergone three decrees, five Master's reports, and fourteen orders in Chancery, notwithstanding which the buildings were found in bad repair, and the schools in a languid condition. At Bosbury a suit to remove the master of the Grammar School, to get an account and to appoint new trustees, lasted twentythree years and cost £1171, the school endowment being only £98 a year. At Stoke Prior, a charitable annuity of £10 fell into arrears, a Chancery suit was inPage Twenty-one
stituted to recover the arrearage which proved successful at a cost of £359 l~s. 6d. In the Ludlow Charities the cost of both sides amounted to £~0,9~9. Foxe's Almshouses, possessing an income of £11 a year, became the subject of a suit in which £1015 were paid as costs. At Ledbury,out of £9000 borrowed for the improvement of St. Catherine's Hospital, £3974 7s. 9d. were spent in obtaining leave to raise the loan. Because the expense and delays incident to these proceedings were so burdensome upon small charities, Parliament in 1860 passed an Act giving the Charity Commissioners concurrent jurisdiction with courts of equity to appoint and remove trustees and to make cy-pres agreements for charities with limited endowments. It has been said that no other permanent Commission has ever proved so completely successful. It is possible that some relief may be had by the appointment of similar Commissions in this country but it would take many years to accomplish this, owing to the fact that Constitutional amendments would be required, at least in many states, to confer judicial power without right of appeal in a purely administrative body. Experience has taught that the power of revision and supervision of charities is not so much a judicial as an administrative function. Page Twenty-two
Mr. Kenny says: "It is imperatively necessary that the primary revising authority should not be regarded as a mere tribunal of reference, to which petitions for the reconstitution of a Charity may be addressed by the Trustees, or even by outsiders; it must, as a branch of the executive government of the State, have full power of initiating schemes of revision in all cases where it may find that they are needed. This right of initiative is essential, not merely to prevent the possibility of the powers of revision remaining entirely unexercised, but also to give their exercise a character of completeness. Without it, the charities can only be dealt with individually, as applications happen to be made."
I am of the opinion that protection from the evils of the Dead Hand, as respects endowments that may be created in the future, can be secured by the Legislatures in the several states or by Congressional action where the charter was issued under federal authority, enacting laws requiring registration of charitable endowments and conferring upon a properly constituted Commission full power to deal with endowments hereafter immutably dedicated to definite and specific uses. I have no doubt that our Legislatures have power to enact such laws or that the effect, if enacted, would be to vest in them the same control and dominion over endowed charities possessed by Parliament. Page Twenty-three
Believing, as I do, that an important function of charity is to experiment in benevolence and to pioneer the way in new fields of charitable endeavor, and as the usefulness is demonstrated, to pass the activity over to the public to continue, Charity Commissioners should be forbidden, unless the purpose be manifestly vicious and harmful, to substitute a new scheme for the one indicated by the donor until sufficient time has elapsed-say fifty years-to enable the merit of the donor's scheme to be thoroughly tested; and it must not be forgotten that it often takes a long time to demonstrate the usefulness of an idea. When I was a student in the University of Michigan, Prof. Langley, then occupying the Chair of Physics, demonstrated that Mr. Brush's idea that electricity could be utilized for commercial lighting was not merely impractical, but impossible. It was but a few years later when the world broadly smiled when his brother, then in charge of the Smithsonian Institute, began his experiments in aviation with a heavierthan-air machine. It is but fair to the donor that a thorough test be made of any idea in benevolence he wishes to have tried out. I would only urge that, if the donor's scheme proves worthless, a prompt and inexpensive method be provided for diverting the funds to such Page Twenty-four
purposes as the then living trustees or the Charity Commissioners, under changed conditions, may deem most widely beneficial. It took England many centuries to learn how to deal with her problems of the Dead Hand. We ought early to find a way to profit by her mistakes. If Mr. Rockefeller was correct in thinking that "the only thing that is of lasting benefit to a man is that which he does for himself," and that money that comes without effort is seldom a benefit and often a curse; if Mr. Carnegie was correct in saying that "the aim of the millionaire should be to die poor, and thus avoid disgrace"; if Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt was right in thinking that "inherited wealth is a big handicap to happiness" and that "it is as certain death to ambition as cocaine is to morality"wealth must continue to flow in increasing volume to charitable uses. I am not unmindful that Mr. Rockefeller's gift to the Rockefeller Foundation was made in broad terms for the use of mankind; nor of the splendid gifts made by Mr. Carnegie, Mr. Harkness and Mr. Du Pont and others in recent years. They give promise of more intelligence being shown in making gifts to charitable use in the future, but it would be a mistake to assume that all donors will be as wise as they. Page Twenty-five
Conceit, vanity, love of ostentation, the desire for posthumous fame-will be controlling motives with many in the future as in the past. Then too, it is doubtful if anyone will succeed in planning a scheme which will insure from within efficiency and purity of its own working. There will be need for bodies having the power of administration the Charity Commissioners of England had, to prevent mismanagement, extravagance and waste and to stimulate activity. Mindful of our duties to future generations and our responsibility to our own, we must recognize the need for remedial legislation to defeat the Dead Hand. But many years, I fear, will be required to effect this legislation. Fortunately, there is a method, in the meantime, to accomplish some or most of its purposes, with respect to endowments henceforth created. Every lawyer, every trust officer, every citizen, should use his influence in persuading donors creating charitable endowments to vest broad powers in their trustees to disregard the originally expressed preference regarding the purposes to which income may be devoted, if in the course of years those purposes become obsolete or harmful. In accomplishing this result I am hopeful that the Community Trusts, established during the past seven years in some forty American cities, may prove a helpful instrumentality. Page Twenty-aix
These Trusts or Foundations recognize, in the words of the New York Community Trust, "first, the element of certain and constant change which is taking place in our social structure and in our viewpoint with respect to charity, and, second, that the charitable problems of each generation can better be solved by the best minds of these generations than by the dead hand of the past." Supervised and safeguarded flexibility of distribution is assured by the terms of the instruments creating the Foundations. Competence and continuity in the management of funds is provided by the selection of capable corporate trustees. And the public interest is protected and represented by the designation of a majority of the Committee of Distribution by public authorities. If the Foundations can measurably fulfill the purposes for which they are organized, they offer a helpful agency near at hand for making philanthropy more effective and for cutting off as much as is harmful of the dead past from the living present and the unborn future. Through their operation we may anticipate some degree of relief from the withering, paralyzing, blight of the Dead Hand through the years when no intellect remains to apply reason and sympathy and discretion to the terms of antiquated fiats. Page Twenty-seven