§ MR. A. GREY
asked the Right hon. Member for Oxford University, If he is aware of the important alteration in the form of the Return made to an order of the House at his instance on August 22nd 1881, in continuation of Parliamentary Paper, No. 433, of Session 1870; whether he will state to the House the reason why, under his Return, the church accommodation of each church is arranged under the heading of "Pews" and "Free or Appropriated Seats," instead of "Pews" and "Free Seats," as in the former Return; and, whether he will move for an amended Return, in which the word "Free" may be allowed once more to have a meaning?
§ SIR JOHN R. MOWBRAY
Sir, I was not aware of the alteration in the form of the Return. The change, which only affects a portion of the Return, was made by the experienced officials who prepared it with a view to make it more exact and in accordance with the facts. Under the Church Building Acts the Commissioners are required, when they fix a scale of pew-rents, to set apart a seat holding six persons for the minister's family, and another holding four for his servants—as regards money such seats are free, but they are appropriated. The total number of sittings under this column is 16,987. Of this total, only 634 are appropriated. As to the other heading of the Return, the Commissioners are not required by statute to appropriate, and do not appropriate any sittings, and no such heading appeared. I scarcely think, after this explanation, any further Return can be required; but if desired 1723 by the hon. Gentleman it can be had if moved for by him.
§ MR. A. GREY
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether the appropriation of seats by the clergyman was not distinctly prohibited by the Church Building Acts?