§ MR. M'ARTHUR
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, What course the Government intend to take in relation to the Jamaica Clergy Act, which would shortly expire, and what are their intentions in reference to the future ecclesiastical arrangements for that island?
§ MR. MONSELL
said, in reply, that the Jamaica Clergy Act would expire this year. Under that Act more than £20,000, raised out of the taxes of the colony, was appropriated to religious purposes. By the Census of 1861 it appeared that there were in Jamaica 40,000 members of the Anglican Church 42,000 Methodists, 51,530 Baptists, and 30,000 belonging to other religious denominations. Of this sum of £20,000, all, except £370, went towards the maintenance of the Church of England. Under these circumstances it had been determined to introduce religious equality into that colony, and instructions had been issued to the Governor to the effect 1543 that Her Majesty's Government were of opinion that the moral and religious culture of the subject-race of the island, and not the ascendancy of any one portion of the community, should be the object of the Government, and that it would, be desirable to avoid all appearance of showing exclusive favour to any one denomination. No scheme had yet been submitted by the Governor, but one was expected to arrive by the next mail, and it would be founded on the principle just mentioned.