§ MR. J. COLLETT
referred to the following question which he had caused to be printed in the Votes:—To ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether it be the intention of Her Majesty's Government to create an extra bishopric by the appointment of a Bishop of Manchester, the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor not having become united at the death of the late Bishop of St. Asaph, pursuant to the Act 6 and 7 William IV., c. 77?The hon. Member observed, that during the recess the Bishop of St. Asaph had died, but that nevertheless the two sees of St. Asaph and Bangor had not been united. He understood that the Bishop of Bangor had refused to accept the see of St. Asaph, and there was a very general apprehension, 271 in which he fully participated, that there was to be another bishop. He wished, therefore, to know whether there was any intention to create an extra bishop?
LORD J. RUSSELL
said, the House would recollect that when the noble Lord the Member for Shropshire asked him last Session what course the Government intended to take with respect to a Bill sent down from the House of Lords, maintaining the two sees of Bangor and St. Asaph, and likewise proposing the creation of a Bishop of Manchester, he stated that he thought the subject required further and more extensive consideration, and that he was not prepared to give his assent to that Bill. The noble Lord, upon that assurance, withdrew the Bill, and did not press its further consideration. The subject had received the attention of Her Majesty's Ministers during the recess; and he (Lord J. Russell) trusted to be able, in the course of next week, to state the course which they proposed to pursue. With regard to the statement made by the hon. Member for Athlone (Mr. Collett), in the course of his question, that there had been some private understanding with the Bishop of Bangor which had led to the appointment of the present Bishop of St. Asaph, he could only state, that, according to the Act of Parliament, as he read it, and upon which he had obtained the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, the Bishop of Bangor could not be obliged to take the charge of the two sees, if he was unwilling to do so. The Bishop of Bangor had, he believed, previously to the vacancy of the see of St. Asaph, intimated that he would not take charge of the two sees; and when he applied to the right rev. Prelate on the subject, the Bishop of Bangor stated formally that he would not take charge of the two sees of St. Asaph and Bangor; and it therefore became his duty to recommend the Crown to fill up the vacant bishopric.