§ The further consideration of this Bill as Amended by the Standing Committee was proceeded with.
* MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea, District)
When the Debate was adjourned yesterday I had not concluded the observations I was proceeding to make in support of my Amendment to leave out clause 2. It is not my intention to repeat at length the points which I made last night against the clause, but I may very briefly summarise what I said. I said, first of all, that the clause had a small and rather indirect bearing on what we all understood was the main purpose and object of the Bill, namely, the putting down of corrupt practices in 964 connection with the sale of advowsons and the sale of rights of patronage; and I pointed out that the clause really raised the whole question of the power of the bishops in the Church of England as to the institution of presentees, and that for the first time it sought to give a statutory definition of the bishop's power in that respect. Hitherto, it has been, I understand, the undoubted maxim of the ecclesiastical law that a bishop has complete discretion, but it has never been admitted by the courts of common law, and the lay patron has always had the right of legally proceeding to question the propriety of the refusal—if there were a refusal—of the bishop to institute a presentee. I further said that this clause leads to the following one ousting the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice. The right of the lay patron lo go to a civil tribunal, namely, a judge and jury, is at an end, and the jurisdiction of the High Court is ousted, except so far as its jurisdiction may be concerned, with prohibition or with mandamus. Accordingly, I ventured to submit to the House that there is here a very grave invasion of the rights of property and of the rights of the subjects of the Queen. That, Mr. Speaker, is, I think, a summary of the arguments that I ventured to address to the House last night. My further observations will be very brief indeed. The first objection I have to the clause is the vagueness of its drafting. The drafting is so vague, the words used so general, that, in fact, if the clause is really going to work at all, the power of the bishop will be such that the discretion which the common law of this country vested in the patron is practically transferred to the episcopal authority. The whole clause contains language hitherto unknown to statutes, and pleadings and disputations that take place in our courts of justice. I find, for instance, the words "mental incapacity." Now, that is a term which we, in our courts of justice, are in the habit of calling "unsoundness of mind," which is much more definite than "mental incapacity." Take, again, the words "evil life." "Evil life" is very largely a matter of opinion. The words "evil life" are used in connection with a scandal, and to use them in the sense proposed in the clause is to extend to an extraordinary degree the powers of the 965 person who has to exercise jurisdiction. Take, again, the word "embarrassment." We know that embarrassment may arise from too great riches, the presentee may be possessed of too much of this world's goods. I know very well that that is not the meaning of the Bill, but it is possible that some person may be objected to whose circumstances are such, whose worldly possessions are such, as not to make him a fit presentee to a living. But if you mean that a man has judgment summonses hanging over him; if you mean that he has made a composition with his creditors; if you mean that he is an undischarged bankrupt, why not frankly say so in a clause which is so extensively modifying the law of the land? I wish to say in reference to the whole clause that I object to its drafting. It reminds me of the work of which the Leader of the House is himself a master—the Queen's Speech. It is very vague, very abstract, and will lead to a considerable amount of disputation before ordinary people can arrive at the real meaning of the clause. Then I have a further objection to the clause. You are putting n bishop in the position of a judge. I think the Solicitor General took the attitude that the powers to be exercised by the bishop under this clause are not judicial powers in the ordinary sense of the word. If that be the case, why is there no provision for something in the nature of a public inquiry. Is the bishop to conduct the whole inquiry in private, or is he to hold a public inquiry? There is no provision at all in regard to this matter in the Bill. If it be private, he may look at every letter that anybody in the parish may hand him, he may look at every letter that may be sent from any person in the whole country, and he may listen to the wildest and vaguest statements that may be made against a particular presentee, and there is no guarantee that there will be an opportunity for him to fairly and squarely meet the charges against him. Again, there is no provision as to the kind of evidence that is to be taken or rejected. And, lastly, there are no means of procedure at all suggested. There is a certain vagueness in the whole proposal. I would put it to the right honourable Gentleman, if possible, in a concrete form. Is a bishop to be a judge 966 or not? If he is to be a judge, then your Bill does not make those proper safeguards which any Bill ought to contain. In the next place, Sir, I say that the clause is rather more remarkable for what it omits than for what it contains. Whatever may be the position of the bishop—whether he is to be looked upon as a person exercising executive or judicial authority—the clause, again, does not contain any proper safeguard for the parishioners to be heard, or for the congregation to be heard, in regard to a particular institution. I will not enlarge upon that now; it seems to me a most important point that you are going now to say for the first time what are the grounds upon which a bishop may refuse to institute. Surely there ought to be some safeguard for the persons who are primarily concerned, namely, the parishioners and the members of the congregation. Lastly, I say that there is not a word in this clause about ritual or doctrine. If you are going, in a Bill which was originally intended, as I understood, and as, I believe, we on this side of the House nearly all understood, simply to put down certain abuses, to advance to the statutory definition of bishops' rights, then surely there ought to be a provision that, if there is any objection, on the ground of ritual or doctrine, to the clergyman presented, any person objecting on those grounds can be heard. I will not trouble the House further on the question. I move. Sir, to omit the clause.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The honourable and learned Member has taken a wide range, and I will not follow him into all the points he has raised. But, Sir, I would remind him that this Bill repeats, no doubt with modifications, what has appeared in Bills of this kind over and over again, and what has been recommended by commissions and committees. The honourable Gentleman surely objects too strongly, if I may say so, as to the language of the clause not being definite. I think the propriety of particular phrases had better be deferred until we come to the Amendments to the clause. I will say nothing on that except this, the precise 967 legal terms of the law are not always those which should be used in connection with administrative matters of this kind. I think the honourable Member himself would be prepared to admit that a person may not necessarily be of unsound mind, and yet may be, in the words of the Act, subject to such mental infirmities as to make him a very improper holder of any pastoral office in the Church of England. I think, however, this is a point which had better be raised at a subsequent stage, and with no disrespect to the honourable Member, I defer my observations until a more fitting opportunity arises.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
When this Bill was first under discussion in the House I ventured to observe that this was a Bill which was, to a certain extent, to define the powers and duties of the bishop in respect of the persons who are fit or unfit to be instituted, and preferments in the Church. To my great surprise the right honourable Gentleman absolutely denied it, though probably he would not do so now.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I do not remember the speech to which the right honourable Gentleman refers, but I am sure I have never gone beyond the statement that this Bill does not deal with all cases in which the bishop may refuse institution.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
In this Bill sub-section (b) of clause 2 professes to define certain grounds upon which a bishop is not to institute a clergyman in the Church of England. That, of course, is a very grave matter, and opens up large and important consequences. We find in it the phrase which I should be very glad to hear explained, "grave misconduct or neglect of duty in an ecclesiastical office." What is intended by misconduct in ecclesiastical office? Does it, or does it not, include the violation of his ordination vows by a clergyman of the Church of England? That is a most material question in this Bill. It is a much larger question than pecuniary embarrassment Pecuniary embarrassment may come upon a man by accidents and events over which he has no control. I think 968 that before we go on with this clause we ire entitled to some explanation front the Government. Then the clause gives us another phrase, "evil life, having by his conduct caused grave scandal concerning his moral character since his ordination." There are two classes, then, of offences in a clergyman. There is the moral offence, causing grave scandal in his life, and there is "misconduct in an ecclesiastical office," which may cause just as much scandal, and which, in my opinion, is a moral obliquity quite as great as the moral offences dealt with in the Bill. Is this phrase to be left in this condition, loose and undefined? Is it to be left to the bishops of this country to interpret the view of the House of Commons as to what is "misconduct in ecclesiastical office." I have myself put down an Amendment on the Paper when the interpretation clause is reached, providing that—misconduct shall include the doing any act or following any conduct or practice contrary to the obligations binding on an ordained minister of the Church of England as established by law.I should like to know before we go on with the discussion of this clause whether the Government do or do not admit that such conduct on the part of an ordained minister of the Church of England, established by law, in violating the obligations which by his ordination vows he has undertaken, is or is not misconduct in his ecclesiastical office, because then, I think, bishops may know what it is that the House of Commons desires them to do on a refusal to abandon such conduct. Upon that subject I think this is the time, and the proper time, that we should have a declaration from the Government. I confess I was rather disappointed in the tone on the matter assumed by the Leader of the House, who seemed to treat it as if it were a small matter, and as if it only concerned a few persons. Sir, I believe that to be an entire error. The Government brought forward the Bill, and they should say what they regard as misconduct, and whether they do or do not regard as misconduct the violation—the habitual, deliberate, avowed violation—of the vows of an ordained clergyman of the Reformed Church of England if he refuses to obey the Articles, or follow the Prayer Book, or obey the bishop. Do 969 they regard that or not as coming within the terms of the clause, "misconduct in ecclesiastical office"? It is treating the whole matter with utter disrespect in so grave a situation as this if you are not going to define what are the offences which should make it incumbent upon a bishop to refuse institution. Do the Government define this treachery to the Church to which these men belong as "misconduct" or not? Of course, if the Government say that they do not regard that as misconduct, then we can deal with that position; but if they say, as I hope and believe they will say, that there can be no greater, no more scandalous, no more wicked misconduct in an ecclesiastical office than that which I called the other day—and I do not hesitate to repeat the phrase—perjury on the part of the man who is guilty of it, then I think that they ought to make it quite clear that this is included and intended to be included in the words "misconduct or neglect of duty in an ecclesiastical office." Now, Sir, the Government ought to give us the meaning and intention of such words as those, and we shall then be in a better position to discuss the clause.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (SIR R. WEBSTER,) Isle of Wight
I rise at once to reply to the question of the right honourable Gentleman opposite. I do not want to use strong language, but I should like to say that if the right honourable Gentleman thinks that if he and those who act with him have a monopoly of the feeling of objection and repugnance to conduct such as was suggested on the part of a clergyman of the Church of England, he makes a very great mistake. There is quite as strong a feeling of resentment against anything like a breach of the ordination vows of the clergyman on this side of the House as there can possibly be on the other side. I do not wish to import into this Debate anything that may seem to savour of Party conflict, but I confess I do not think that the right honourable Gentleman is justified in suggesting that anything that has fallen from my right honourable Friend the Leader of the House was cold or lukewarm in this matter, or that he did not desire to seethe law enforced and 970 obeyed as much as anybody can possibly do. Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact I have not the smallest objection to answer the particular question of the right honourable Gentleman, although this is not the most convenient time to do so, because the question really arises on clause 3, and not on this clause of the Bill. Clause 2 does not purport to alter the existing law at all. What the right honourable Gentleman has described as "treachery," "breach of vows," and "perjury" is, by the existing law, a proper ground for the bishop refusing institution. In truth, the right honourable Gentleman is, I think he will find on consideration, under a misapprehension if he thinks that the clause will in any way cut down or interfere with any of these grounds upon which a bishop—
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
That was not my question. My question was, What view do the Government hold of the meaning of the phrase "misconduct in an ecclesiastical office"?
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
It has been pointed out to the right honourable Gentleman, as I have said, that the question does not arise at the present moment. In my opinion, what the right honourable Gentleman has referred to will come within the words "grave misconduct or neglect of duty in ecclesiastical office." But, as I have said, it is perfectly immaterial whether they come within those words or not, because by the existing law the bishop has the right to use his discretion over such breach of vows, and such misconduct, and the right of the bishop is not interfered with in the slightest part of the clause. Therefore it makes no difference, from the point of view of giving the bishop power to interfere with or define such conduct, whether the phrase "misconduct or neglect of duty in ecclesiastical office" is included or not.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
Because there may be grave misconduct on the part of the clergy which does not involve ritual or the class of offence to which the right honourable Gentleman 971 referred. This clause was not inserted for the purpose of dealing with the question of ritual, but undoubtedly on clause 3 it will be competent to raise the question as to whether matters of ritual or doctrine shall go before the new court which it is proposed to constitute by the Bill. That is a very different thing. Sir, the Government object to this practice as strongly as anybody can possibly object to it. By the law of England as it stands to-day, without this Bill being passed a bishop has the right and the duty of refusing to institute if there has been conduct such as that to which the right honourable Gentleman refers. Then, again, the words in the sub-section of the clause do not in any way cut down the existing powers of a bishop, the rights of a bishop, or the duty of a bishop, though they do, if I may use the expression, point out certain additional matters which possibly go in some respects beyond what necessity will require. I hope the explanation I have given will prove satisfactory to the right honourable Gentleman.
§ * COLONEL SANDYS (Lancashire, Bootle)
Mr. Speaker, the few words which I shall say on this clause which we are discussing will have special bearing upon the particular wording which has been brought forward by the Leader of the Opposition. I regret very much to take the position I do upon this question, but I consider it is one which practically affects the Church of England, and as such no Party consideration should be thought of in the matter. I must say, having had the honour of serving upon the Grand Committee on Law, which has carefully considered the matter this year, and also upon the Grand Committee which considered it two years ago, that we have in vain endeavoured to arrive at a definition as to misconduct. It does seem to me to be a dangerous power to be left in the hands of any executive clerical official to determine what is misconduct and what is not misconduct, because it seems, so far as I am capable of understanding the question at present, that misconduct is anything that the bishop chooses to regard as misconduct, for he is not called upon to define what constitutes it. The Law Officers of the 972 Crown have been asked to define—at any rate, the learned Attorney General has been asked to define—the meaning of misconduct under this clause, and, as far as I understand what he has stated, I do not feel clearer with regard to this subject than I did before. Therefore, under those circumstances, I venture to point out to the House, judging it from an impartial and commonsense point of view, and not as a lawyer, that the defining of the word "misconduct" is, under this Bill, left entirely to the discretion of the bishops. This leaves a dangerous discretion in the hands of Church officials, and if its extent and power cannot be defined I think this word had better be left out altogether.
§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE (Hereford)
The interpretation of "misconduct" now given by the Attorney General was not that given on every occasion when the Bill was before the Grand Committee. This particular term was the subject of much comment. The words "misconduct in an ecclesiastical office" have always been regarded by myself and the majority of the Committee as being words of limitation. They were inserted in order that the misconduct of the ordained person should be misconduct that had occurred during the time that he held some ecclesiastical office; not, for example, during the time that he was a teacher in a school, or when, although ordained, he was in some other position, and while he was in that position misconducted himself. The words were inserted because it was felt desirable that the Bill should deal with persons after they were ordained, and after they were ordained only. But, Sir, the interpretation now put upon these words has a far reaching effect, and some of us who intend when that point of the Bill is reached which defines the court—
§ * MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The honourable Member is raising a question which does not come under the Amendment. This is a Motion to leave out clause 2, and the honourable Member must not discuss any other Amendments.
§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE
I have not the slightest intention of doing anything of the sort. My point is that the honourable and learned Member the Attorney General 973 has given to certain words in the clause we are now discussing an interpretation which has never been given to those words before. As a consequence of that interpretation, there would now be some ground for having an ecclesiastic in the court, because the interpretation involves a consideration of questions of doctrine, and is, moreover, inconsistent with the statement in the Bill.
* MR. J. W. MELLOR (York, W.R., Sowerby)
I was very glad to hear the interpretation put upon this clause by the honourable and learned Member the Attorney General, and I beg to assure him that, so far as I am concerned, and the Party with which I am connected is concerned, we have no desire to make this a Party question, or to make Party capital out of this important matter. The Attorney General has explained his interpretation of this clause very distinctly, and it is obvious that the Attorney General must be right. The clause consists of two parts, one dealing with the moral character of the person about to be instituted. I do not attach so very much importance to that part of the clause. I have had some experience of these things, and such a thing as anyone proposing to institute a person of immoral character is almost unheard of. I have never heard of such a thing in the course of my life, and I doubt if any Member of this House has heard of it either. But the most important point of the clause is that which deals with misconduct in the ecclesiastical office. The Attorney General says it is unnecessary that he should put any interpretation upon those words, because the bishop has the power, under the law as it now stands, to deal with this class of offences. If that is so, the law has most lamentably failed in its efficiency up till now, and either the bishops have been unable to deal with such cases, or they have neglected to deal with them. After what the Attorney General has said it would be utterly impossible for a bishop, having a case of this kind before him, to refuse to deal with it. I think the importance of these words is very great, and I am glad such an interpretation has been put upon them. The Attorney General complained of my right honourable Friend having made 974 an attack upon the First Lord of the Treasury. What my right honourable Friend said in regard to the First Lord of the Treasury was that in his speech the other day the right honourable Gentleman suggested that out of London there were very few such cases. I differ from the First Lord of the Treasury. I believe there is no country town in England in which the majority of the clergy are not setting the law at defiance, and, in regard to country parishes, it is notorious that there are many in which all sorts of illegal practices are performed by clergymen, and illegal doctrines preached, against which the churchwardens are helpless. Some time since I went to a visitation in the part of the country in which I live, and met many churchwardens who are not in a position enabling them to cope with clergymen who preached what they considered false doctrine, or performed what they considered illegal practices. But I found that complaints of such things were extremely common, and that most of the churchwardens had come to the visitation in the hope of being able to do something or hear something in regard to those matters. I believe I am not exaggerating in my statement of the case, and, if I am right, it will be seen how important this interpretation of the clause by the Attorney General becomes, because it puts into the hands of a parish the power of putting a stop to a very dangerous grievance. I do not suppose that a single man of sense in this House will suggest that the Church can go on as it is doing at the present time unless some attempt is made to stop the institution, of people who do these things, it is impossible that the Church can go on without suffering very seriously. For my part, I say—and I believe I am speaking the sense of all Members on this side of the House—that we will not stand by and see the Church of England destroyed, or even injured in any respect whatever.
§ Question put, and Amendment negatived.
Page 2, line 21, leave out 'may,' and insert shall.'"—(Colonel Sandys.)
§ * COLONEL SANDYS
I do not propose to have a long discussion 975 on this Amendment, but I should like to give the reasons why it seems to me that the word "may" should be left out and the word "shall" be inserted. I am told by some of my legal friends that, in some cases, the words "may" and "shall" are convertible; but in this matter I venture to think that the words cannot be held to be convertible terms. The arrangement under which the administration of the affairs of the Church of England has been carried on up to the present time has been, one may say, under the government of the word "may," and those among us who take an interest in the affairs of the Church can hardly look with satisfaction upon the state of things as at present existing in the Church of England, under the rule of that word "may," as applied under the discretionary powers of the bishops. Discretion and discretionary powers are very beneficial in certain cases, but those who think with me are of opinion that the discretionary state has lasted long enough, and that the time has arrived when the other way of acting should be more closely defined, and definitely applied. I have no desire to interfere in any way with the prerogative of the bishops of the Church of England. I have the greatest regard, esteem, and veneration for the office, but, being a practical man, and desiring to see public business carried on in an efficient way in every department of the State or the Church, I should like to see a little more pressing forward in the definite direction of checking the Romanising practices of the clergy in our National Church by the bishops than they have hitherto shown themselves willing to do. It is for that reason I consider that the word "shall" should apply. I would point out to the House that there can be no discretionary power required if the offences which are defined in sub-section "B" are brought under the notice of the bishop, are proved, and have to be dealt with by him, so that there can be no hardship whatever in defining, as the wish of this House, that, in the cases defined in this sub-section, the bishops should be compelled to exercise a little firmness in dealing with these glaring cases when proved. I venture to think, also, that this may deliver the bishop himself from some difficulty 976 in the matter, because, supposing the question to have been proved to his own satisfaction, he may still feel reluctant to put the law in operation against the offender if discretionary power is allowed him. But if the law defines clearly that, instead of the word "may," the word "shall" shall apply, it will be doing a service to the bishop, as well as acting in the interests of good order in the Church of England. Would it not, therefore, be better if the House said that this discretionary function of the bishop should be defined and limited, and that, when the offences detailed in clause 2 are proved, he shall be compelled to act, and shall have no discretionary power in the matter.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (SIR R. B. FINLAY,) Inverness Burghs
I do hope my honourable Friend will not press this Amendment to insert the word "shall." If my honourable Friend will look to the various sub-sections mentioned he will see that in some cases it will be almost absurd to say that "a bishop shall." There are a number of cases in which it is absolutely necessary that the bishop should have a discretion. Take the case of sub-section (a), which says—If at the date of his presentation not more than one year has elapsed since a transfer as denned by the first section of this Act, of the right of patronage of the benefice, unless it be proved that the transfer was not effected in view of the probability of a vacancy within such year.In such a case as that the whole object of it is not to present a man who has effected a transfer in view of the probability of a vacancy. Under such circumstances, although the vacancy has taken place within the year, and although the patron who had bought it was not able to show that he had contemplated a vacancy, the bishop would have to refuse him. In the second place there is the refusal on the ground that if—At the date of presentation not more than five years have elapsed since the presentee was ordained deacon.Now, it would be a very extraordinary thing that no man, whatever his qualifications or gifts, could be instituted until five years had elapsed. I think we 977 ought to leave a certain amount of discretion with the bishop for exceptional cases. I therefore submit that this Amendment is really unsuitable, having regard to the various parts of the section which this word "shall" would govern, and I would ask the honourable Gentleman not to press the Amendment.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
It is unfortunate, as I have said before, but the desire seems to me to be to evade what is the real crux of the whole question. Such, small legal points as those raised by the Solicitor General do not meet the case; the word "shall" is in my opinion essential, the most essential word of the clause, and I will tell the House why. I referred the other day to a meeting, in my opinion, of great importance, held in the Church House by a great concourse of clergy who came forth to represent an organisation called the Church Union. At that meeting were deans, canons, and dignitaries of the Church of England, and among them was one, well known by character and reputation to this House—Canon Gore, Now, this is what Canon Gore said on that occasion:—We are not in a position which is final or in which we can for ever acquiesce. We know the extraordinary rough-and-ready, tumultuous circumstances under which our present Prayer Book was given to us and we cannot regard it as an incomparable book.Well, Sir, we know very well the rough-and-ready and tumultuous circumstances under which the Act of Settlement of the Crown took place, but I should be very much surprised to hear the First Lord of the Treasury, or even the Solicitor General, say it was not an incomparable settlement of the Throne. Then Canon Gore proceeded to say what they wanted at this enthusiastic meeting of devout clergymen—We want liberty; we want capacity to try experiments.Yes, Sir, they want liberty, and I think they have taken that liberty. He goes on to say, which is also true—We are at the beginning rather than at the end of the movement.978 And then, with that ecclesiastical sagacity which partakes of what is recommended as well as what is not, and combining serpentine wisdom with dove-like innocence, he says—Perhaps on some occasions it is better to draw back in order to jump further.This is a declaration by a canon of the Protestant Church of England. Then he goes on to say—They should not too closely scrutinise a bishop's liturgical authority.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE (Rochester)
I rise to order. I wish to ask Mr. Speaker whether the right honourable Gentleman is now speaking to the question?
§ * MR. SPEAKER
I assume that the right honourable Gentleman is proceeding to argue that ecclesiastical misconduct in the Church renders it imperative that the Amendment should be accepted substituting "shall" for "may."
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
The noble Lord spoke just a little too soon; he should have waited for the end of the sentence—We will use gladly as much liberty as we can gain or squeeze from any particular member of the episcopate.That is, I think, distinctly applicable to this Amendment. Yes, Sir, Canon Gore and others who were present at the meeting have taken advantage of gaining or squeezing from particular bishops a good deal of that experimental liberty which they so much desire to cultivate. What they want to squeeze from particular bishops in particular dioceses is the permission to use additional services to those found in the "not incomparable Prayer Book." Under these circumstances I want to know, are we to leave to them this discretion of "squeezing particular bishops"? This is the danger which the late Archbishop Tait endeavoured to guard against, and since he disappeared there has been a good deal of the "gaining and squeezing from particular bishops." And, Sir, what does the Solicitor General say? Is it not provided in the clause that a bishop shall not institute a man physically unfit for his office? Why in such a case object 979 to the words "shall not" do so? Why, if a man is by "evil life" or grave misconduct disqualified should the words not be "shall not"? I do not suppose it is very likely if his evil life and moral character disqualify him he will be instituted, but why should you not say "he shall not"? When you come to say that a man shall not be instituted who has been guilty of misconduct in ecclesiastical office, is there anybody who can honestly say that no man guilty of misconduct in ecclesiastical offices, and of acting in violation of his ordination vows, has been instituted into the Church of England? Everybody knows they have. If it be true, as the Attorney General has said, and I hope truly said, that the bishop already possesses the power of refusal for misconduct in ecclesiastical affairs, why is it necessary to say he "may" do so? But what is very important at the present time is to say that he "shall" refuse. That is exactly the very thing wanted to meet that laxity of discipline in the Church to which Canon Gore's speech has reference when he speaks of the "lawlessness and chaos now existing in the ranks of the Established Church in this country." We have been told there is a remedy in the remonstrance of the bishop; but if anybody will take the pains to read the report of this meeting—and it is a very important meeting—called by the men who are supporting these practices to consider the question of the present day, he will see that if the House of Commons says bishops shall not institute men of this character, and these men find they can no longer obtain preferment and enjoy the emoluments of a Church which they desire to destroy and subvert in the interest of another faith and communion, he will see that the efforts of the Church Union and other bodies of that character will gradually melt away. That is the real remedy—not a remonstrance to and from the bishop. But if you will say that where a man is proved to have violated his solemn vows and declarations he should not longer get preferment in the Church, the Church will then be purged from such men, and they will find few followers. I therefore most cheerfully support the Amendment of the honour- 980 able Member, and I hope he will go to a Division upon it.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I have not followed the whole of the speech of the right honourable Gentleman, but I have heard enough to give me a sample of the argument he has endeavoured to lay before the House. It comes to this—that the clause should be so framed as to absolutely destroy any discretion of the bishop in regard to any of the matters specifically dealt with. But that object could not be attained by the adoption of the Amendment which the right honourable Gentleman desires, and I will go further and say it ought not to be attained. For instance, as my honourable and learned Friend the Solicitor General has said in relation to the first sub-section, if a bishop is to have no discretion in such matters he might have a most admirable clergyman presented by a patron with no other object than that of preferring the most fitting man for the living, and the bishop, being deprived of all discretion, might have to deprive a parish of the services of a clergyman specially well qualified for the vacancy. Is that reasonable; is that common sense? Is it a thing which the House ought to repudiate as the right honourable Gentleman wishes? I go on to sub-section (b). The right honourable Gentleman thinks that by putting the word "shall" instead of the word "may" he would destroy the discretion of the bishop in dealing with sub-section (b). In regard to a large number of the grounds of refusal mentioned in the clause, the discretion of the bishop is the essence of the case. The question of unfitness is a matter of judgment which no amount of "shall" can alter. Precisely the same observation applies to some of the substantive cases. Take, for example, "grave misconduct or neglect of duty in an ecclesiastical office." What is the use of telling a bishop he shall take a certain course, if you afterwards leave him to judge whether the neglect of duty is grave or is not grave? He has to decide whether the misconduct is of such a character as to make the person coming in an unfit person. You wish to deprive him of that discretion by putting in the word "shall" instead of 981 "may," but you will not succeed in regard to the very sentence in this clause to which the right honourable Gentleman especially refers; that is to say, the word "shall" instead of "may," while being a very great innovation in drafting, would have no effect in destroying the discretion of the bishop, which, by the framework of the sentence, must be left with him. Supposing you put in the word "shall," or so far alter the drafting of the Bill in the direction suggested by the right honourable Gentleman, would you be one whit nearer carrying out your object—namely, that of preventing the bishop exercising discretion as to whether or not the person had taken such a course as to constitute grave misconduct or neglect of duty, such as would require the bishop to refuse to appoint him. Of course, that would be left to the discretion of the bishop in that particular case if you introduce the word "shall," just as much as if you leave the word "may." I would, therefore, venture to point out that the object of the right honourable Gentleman would not be attained by the Amendment which he is going to support; but, on the contrary, there would be a very serious and harmful limitation of the bishop's power and discretion introduced. You could not prevent him exercising discretion with regard to "grave misconduct," but you would, in such a case as that, say of the appointment of a man who had been less than five years in Holy Orders—that is to say, that in those cases which you ought to leave to the discretion of the bishop, you take away his discretion from him. A man might be a most fitting candidate for a particular post, he may be qualified for it in every possible way, the parishioners might desire his appointment, the patrons might desire it, and the bishop might desire it; but if you introduce the word which the right honourable Gentleman desires you to introduce, it would be impossible for the bishop to grant him institution. The Amendment would not carry out the right honourable Gentleman's own wishes, and would simply have the effect of destroying the discretion of the bishop in those cases in which every Member of this House desires that this discretion should be maintained.
* MR. MELLOR
My right honourable Friend said the object of this Amendment was to put into force the second sub-section of the clause. I think in the first sub-section it is immaterial, but if the word "shall" can be inserted for the purpose of enforcing the second subsection, after what has been said by the Attorney General, and after the interpretation which has been put upon those words, I would gladly run the risk of depriving the bishop of a certain part of his discretion as to matters under the first sub-section. The first sub-section being in my opinion immaterial as compared with the second sub-section, I hope the honourable and gallant Member will go to a Division. I think the wording should be that he "shall not institute" a person who has been guilty of these acts. I would point out to the House that the word "shall" is used in part of this clause; it is used in the third sub-section.
* MR. MELLOR
Quite so, but the importance of the word "shall" in this Amendment is that the insertion of "shall" after this discussion will be a distinct notice to the bishops, that if an offence of this kind is proved before any one of them, he shall not institute the person who is guilty of it.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Gloucester, Stroud)
The object of the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition is, broadly, that there may be greater protection from these ritualistic practices, and, so far as he puts forward his argument in that way, I am in perfect agreement with him. I do not think that any words would be too extreme, or could be employed too soon, in order to bring about a compliance with the law, but it would be obviously impossible to substitute the word "shall" for the word "may" at this stage. Although it may be true, as the Attorney General has pointed out, that these words would include the ritualistic practices to which the right honourable Gentleman has referred, they were not put in originally with that intention when the Bill was first drafted. Now, I do not speak upon this matter from a High Church or a Low Church point of view, 983 because in that sense I do not belong to any church. When this Bill was first drafted the words "ecclesiastical office" were put in to limit this clause. When this Bill was discussed in Committee there was a common agreement that the whole framework of the Measure was not suited to ritual and doctrine, and the words were certainly not put in with the intention of dealing with them. I will give an illustration of what I mean. Supposing services are not properly performed, and, quite outside the question of ritual, suppose the clergyman had not performed the services he is bound to perform, and had not performed his duty; if he had not done so, the bishop was to be allowed to consider that so far as the clergyman's fitness for a new benefice was concerned, and if he thought the misconduct was sufficiently grave he had the power to refuse to institute him. It is monstrous to say that apart from that the bishop is bound to refuse in every case, and I think what the First Lord of the Treasury said is perfectly true. Supposing you put in the word "shall," and supposing the bishop said "I do not find grave misconduct and the neglect of duty," it is not easy to give an answer, yes or no, as to whether a practice is illegal; and, although I think it is obviously essential that these extreme practices should be put an end to, I submit that at this stage this word "shall" could not be introduced without upsetting this section and giving a meaning to these words "grave misconduct and neglect of duty" which they ought not to have. It seems to me to be somewhat difficult at this stage to insert the word "shall," if "ritual and doctrine" are to be excluded from this Bill.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
Might I suggest a solution to the difficulty? I understand, from the objections taken by the Solicitor-General and the Fist Lord of the Treasury, that they do not desire that the "shall" shall apply to the first sub-section. I should be quite content to leave sub-section (a) as it is, and leave the word "may" in that, but would suggest that the word "shall" should be applied to sub-section (b).
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
I should have been very glad to have assisted the Government in this matter, but if they do not see their way to accept my suggestion I can only say I shall vote for the word "shall."
§ MR. ALLEN (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
I have put down an Amendment for the same purpose and the same reason as that which animated the right honourable Gentleman in this, and for that reason I support this Amendment. At the same time I shall move a new clause later on. I wish this power to be taken from the bishops. It seems to me that there are very great objections to this word "may." If this Bill is passed in its present form there will be different opinions held by the different bishops all over the country. The clergyman who belongs to the high ritualistic section of the Church will take care to go to one of the High Church bishops when applying for a benefice, because he would know he had no chance of getting one in a Low Church diocese. The result of this Bill passing in this form would be that the whole of the country will be parcelled out, ecclesiastically, into High and Low Church districts, which would be a most unfortunate thing, and could only be disastrous to the Church of England.
§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
There is no doubt, as regards sub-sections (a) and (b) that the discussion is proper, but I cannot conceive how the bishops can have any discretion under sub-section (d). Under that he can have no discretion, and must refuse to institute, and I think the word "shall" should go to that part of the clause. I do not think this Bill was ever intended to meet these ritualistic cases, but if anything can be done to put a stop to such practices any Bill which will achieve that object will have my hearty support. I think this sort of thing ought to be stopped, although I do not think this clause will stop it. If the Government would accept the suggestion which has just been made by the right honourable Gentleman opposite, I think that might get over the whole difficulty.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon)
As the Bill stands at present, even if 985 the word "shall" be substituted for "may," it would not interfere with any reasonable discretion of the bishop; there is still a judicial discretion vested in the bishop, and that is the only possible discretion you can give. If there is a transfer within 12 months, and it is proved that that transfer was made with a view of a vacancy being likely to exist, and with a view of presenting somebody to that vacancy within a short time, that is a practice which this Bill is intended to stop. With regard to sub-section 2, I think that might be split into two subsections; let the first part terminate at the word "ordained," and a few words might be added there to give the bishop a certain discretion. And the word "shall" might be applied to the latter portion of the sub-section which terminates at the, word "Act." Now, the Leader of the House said that if you substitute "shall" for "may" you would still leave a discretion with the bishop, because he is the judge of what grave misconduct is. It is he who has to decide whether the conduct amounts to grave misconduct. But in my opinion the First Lord of the Treasury has failed to discriminate between judicial and administrative discretion. He is to be the judge as to whether the facts before him are tantamount to the offences tabulated in this sub-section, but what the right honourable Gentleman proposes is that when an offence is made out the bishop shall have no discretion whatever. He has a judicial discretion, but shall have no administrative discretion. The question really is whether, if a clergyman has been guilty of offences which constitute a violation of his ordination oath, he should have any discretion? I think no discretion should be given. In this Debate a good deal has been said of legislation in the past, but why did the Public Worship Regulation Act fail? It failed because you vested in the bishop a discretion as to whether he should prosecute or not. I say you ought not to vest any discretion in him in this case. What is the present procedure when ritualistic clergymen violate their oath? Three officials of the church, churchwardens, and so forth, present a kind of complaint to the bishop, and it is left to him to decide 986 whether he shall sanction a prosecution or not, the effect of which has been that not a single prosecution has been sanctioned within the last three years. That has been the result in effect of leaving absolute discretion in the hands of the bishops in the past, and if you leave that discretion in their hands under this Bill you will render it as nugatory as the Public Worship Regulation Act has been. What is the real reason why the bishops have not enforced that Act? It is because by enforcing it they have created public scandals by the prosecutions of the people guilty of these practices, and they have come to the conclusion that more harm has been done by making martyrs of them than if they had been let alone; but in this case there is no exposure, and no scandal, and the thing is done quietly. The honourable Member knows what was done in Liverpool. There the bishop refused to institute. He refused to institute any person who has been guilty of these offences in the past. Has there been any scandal there? It has been done quietly, and he has kept all these gentlemen from benefices in that diocese. That is the most Protestant diocese in the whole country. It is so because the bishop has done his duty, and has enforced the law—without any scandal. And I am not aware that there has been a single prosecution in the diocese. It is in the diocese of London that you have this martyrdom; it is in London where these Romish practices are going on, and have been going on for years. That is the strongest possible ground for the Amendment which the honourable and gallant Member has proposed. Once it has become known that where there has been a clear violation of the ordination oath the bishop has no discretion whatever, but is bound to refuse induction, there will be a good deal less of practices of this kind. Are the bishops to be given a power of dispensation? Are you going to give them power to overlook infringements of the law? Why should clergymen be allowed to break the law? They are the only class in the community which assumes a right to do so, and they are the only class in the community which claims an immunity from the penalty of their actions. In South Wales 987 there are some thousands of miners guilty of a breach of the law; and what do you do? You send soldiers to shoot them down because, driven by hunger, they have committed this breach of the law. But the bishops commit breaches of the law with impunity. The bishops ought to have no discretion in this matter. Experience of the past proves that the Bill will be futile and nugatory if they do. The First Lord of the Treasury said if it is made imperative that the bishop shall refuse institution we shall not be one whit better off. I would not venture to say that.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
What I said was in connection with a particular provision and a desire that all discretion should be taken away from them. The very framework of the Act gives it to them whether you substitute "shall" for "may" or not. I do not want to make a second speech on this matter, but take the illustration of a man who has been guilty of extreme and illegal practices, and who subsequently becomes a vehement Low Churchman. Very well, the bishop has to judge whether, under those circumstances, he is a tit person to appoint to a benefice. That is a question for the discretion of the bishop; but if this Amendment is carried the bishop will have no discretion whatever.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
There again I say the right honourable Gentleman has confused the judicial and administrative functions of the bishop. What I say is, that so far as the administrative portion of his work is concerned, he ought to have no discretion vested in him whatever, and if you give it to him you do a great evil in the same way as you have done in the past, for these ritualistic practices are growing, and there is a strong suspicion that the bishops are in sympathy with them. It is a very difficult matter at the present time to institute legal prosecutions, and it is very difficult to refuse induction; but if there is a definite Act of Parliament passed which said that they should do so, then there would be an end to the matter. There is a strong suspicion in this country that the bishops as a whole 988 sympathise with these ritualistic practices. There are bishops, it is true, such as the Bishop of Sodor and Man and the Bishop of Hereford, the Bishop of Liverpool, and the Bishop of Bangor, who have no sympathy with them, but they are a small minority. The vast majority of the bishops have every sympathy with these ritualistic proceedings and infringements of the law, and, in my opinion, they ought to have no discretion, as they will inevitably exercise it whenever they have the opportunity.
§ MR. R. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
I am in a very unhappy frame of mind in regard to this Amendment. I cannot sympathise with the general strain of the remarks which have come from this side of the House. It seems to me from the general discussion as to the change of "may" into "shall" in this matter, as supported to promote one or two views with which I cannot quite agree, I have seen strong indications of an endeavour to convert the Liberal Party into an ecclesiastical party of the Church of England. That, in my opinion, is contrary to Liberalism. It seems also to establish the fact that ritualistic practices are contrary to the laws of England. There are some ritualistic practices certainly which have been condemned by the Privy Council, but I maintain that until they are condemned by the Privy Council ritualistic practices are permissible in the Church of England. I think I am not misrepresenting the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire when I say that the concluding part of his speech was to the effect that if ritualistic practices could be so dealt with by the bishops that the bishops could in a certain sense be compelled to deal with them in a way that would lot Ritualists see that these emoluments would be unsafe it they persevered in what I suppose to be their honest conscientious conviction, it would have the effect of diminishing ritualistic practices. That is a proposal, to put down ritualism by starving its adherents, and if that is not persecution worthy of the thirteenth and sixteenth, centuries I do not know how the word persecution is to be defined. Those are 989 the expressions which have been made use of in this discussion, and I find myself utterly out of harmony with the narrow and illiberal spirit that has been displayed around me. I do not sympathise with ritual, but I believe in justice, and not in force and starvation and physical peril. I withdraw from the position that has been taken up by most of those with whom I generally agree, and I feel compelled to vote against this Amendment.
§ MR. S. EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)
The honourable Member who has just sat down says he is sorry to see there is a tendency on the part of the Liberal Party to ally itself with a certain party in the Church. If the honourable Member means there is a tendency on the part of the Liberal Party to ally itself with the Protestant Party in the Church I entirely agree; and I do not think any Member on this side of the House, except the honourable Member himself, will complain of that tendency. Then the honourable Member talks of persecution. We do not say these people ought not to commit these practices. But, if they take an oath at their ordination, and enter a certain church whose laws forbid these practices, and if they are content to accept the emoluments of that church, then we say they ought not to be allowed to commit these practices if they are against the law. We do not persecute them, but we ask that they should not be admitted into this Church. Let them remain outside the Church and become Roman Catholics if they desire to carry on these practices. I feel constrained to any this to my honourable Friend, but I now desire to refer to the Amendment before the House. The whole difficulty in which the House finds itself arises from the fact which has been pointed out by my honourable Friend behind me, that we give the bishops two classes of power, one as administrator with reference to the Church, the other as judge. The right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House says that there is involved in the phraseology of the second sub-section a discretion from the bishop before he can come to a conclusion upon these questions of unfitness. 990 If the House will look for a moment—and it is very pertinent—at the section it will be seen that the question of unfitness for the discharge of duties is really a question of fact. Under section 3 there is an appeal from the refusal of a bishop to institute to the archbishop, but the archbishop has not the right to give a decision. That right is given to a judge of the Queen's Bench Division, and it is stated in express terms that the decision of the judge and his finding as to any fact alleged as reason for unfitness or disqualification shall be binding on the archbishop. That is, presupposing that there is a definite question to be decided, a question of fact by one of the judges of the Queen's Bench. Immediately that fact is decided by the judge the decision is binding on the archbishop. But notwithstanding that unfitness may be so found by the judge, you nevertheless desire to give the bishop an absolute discretion as to whether that unfitness shall be held to be a disqualification. What does the section say? First of all it indicates what ought to be considered unfitness. Physical or mental infirmity is unfitness, pecuniary embarrassment is unfitness, as is also grave misconduct or neglect of duty in an ecclesiastical office, or evil life, or having by his conduct caused grave scandal concerning his moral character since his ordination, or being knowingly a party to any transaction invalid under the Act. The Bill says all these things ought to render a man disqualified, and in the same breath you say that the bishop may act according to his own views, and may, notwithstanding unfitness arising from the various classes of misconduct mentioned, institute a man upon presentation by the patron. That is a perfectly illogical conclusion. The right honourable Gentleman is entirely wrong in saying that there is a certain discretion involved in what is given to the bishop. These are matters to be decided by the judge of the Queen's Bench, and his decision is binding on the archbishop; but you do not desire that that decision should be binding on the bishop. I shall have very great pleasure in supporting the honourable and gallant Member's Amendment.
That the word 'may' stand part of the Bill.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 246; Noes 133.—(Division List No. 133.)993
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lafone, Alfred|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. E.||Doxford, William Theodore||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Drage, Geoffrey||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)|
|Ambrose, Wm. (Middlesex)||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.|
|Arnold, Alfred||Edwards, Gen. Sir J. B.||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs.)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc.)||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Finch, George H.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Baillie, J. E. B. (Inverness)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Loder, Gerald Walter E.|
|Baird, John George Alex.||Fisher, William Hayes||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch.)||FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Flannery, Fortescue||Lowe, Francis William|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Lowles, John|
|Barry, Rt Hn AH Smith-(Hunts)||Flower, Ernest||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Folkestone, Viscount||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H. (Brist'l)||Fry, Lewis||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Beach, W. W. B. (Hants)||Galloway, William Johnson||Macaleese, Daniel|
|Bethell, Commander||Garfit, William||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Bhownaggree,, Sir M. M.||Gedge, Sydney||Maclure, Sir John William|
|Biddulph, Michael||Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H.(C. of Lond.)||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)|
|Bill, Charles||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||McIver, Sir Lewis|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gilliat, John Saunders||McKillop, James|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Godson, Augustus Frederick||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.|
|Brassey, Albert||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G.J.(St. Geo's)||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Milbank, Sir Powlett C. J.|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gretton, John||Milner, Sir Frederick Geo.|
|Butcher, John George||Gull, Sir Cameron||Milton, Viscount|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gunter, Colonel||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Monckton, Edward Philip|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Hardy, Laurence||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.)||Heaton, John Henniker||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc.)||Helder, Augustus||Mowbray, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Henderson, Alexander||Murdoch, Charles Townshend|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead)||Myers, William Henry|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Newark, Viscount|
|Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole||Hobhouse, Henry||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Cook, Fred. L. (Lambeth)||Holland, Hon. Lionel R.||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Howell, William Tudor||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Hozier, Hon. James H. C.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. L.||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Phillpotts, Capt. Arthur|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Hutton, John (Yorks., N.R.)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)|
|Curzon, Rt Hn G.N.(Lancs, SW)||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Pryce-Jones, Edward|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Purvis, Robert|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Daly, James||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Dane, Richard M.||Jones, D. B. (Swansea)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Denny, Colonel||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Kenyon, James||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. D.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. Wm.||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Doughty, George||Kimber, Henry||Rothschild, Baron F. J. de|
|Round, James||Stock, James Henry||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Russell, Gen. F. S. (Chelt'm)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)||Sutherland, Sir Thomas||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'dUny)||Wilson, J. W. (Worc., N.)|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Thorburn, Walter||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renf.)||Thornton, Percy M.||Wodehouse, E. R. (Bath)|
|Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Usborne, Thomas||Wylie, Alexander|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)||Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.|
|Smith, J. Parker (Lsnarksh.)||Warkworth, Lord||Younger, William|
|Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Spencer, Ernest||Webster, R. G (St. Pancras)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)||Whiteley, G. (Stockport)|
|Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-L.)|
|Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)||Gourley, Sir Edward T.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Allan, Wm. (Gateshead)||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H.||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Price, Robert John|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)|
|Austin, Sir J. (Yorkshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Randell, David|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Reid, Sir Robert T.|
|Baker, Sir John||Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Holburn, J. G.||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Barry, F. T. (Windsor)||Holden, Sir Angus||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Horniman, Frederick John||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbysh.)||Howard, Joseph||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Shaw, Chas. E. (Stafford)|
|Billson, Alfred||Jacoby, James Alfred||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Birrell, Augustine||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Sidebottom, W. (Derbyshire)|
|Blake, Edward||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Brigg, John||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U.||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Brunner, Sir John T.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth||Souttar, Robinson|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Kitson, Sir James||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Burt, Thomas||Labouchere, Henry||Strachey, Edward|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Lambert, George||Tennant, Harold John|
|Caldwell, James||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow)||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Lewis, John Herbert||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lloyd-George, David||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Logan, John William||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.(Caithness-sh.)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Lyell, Sir Leonard||Wayman, Thomas|
|Coddington, Sir William||McEwan, William||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Colville, John||M'Ghee, Richard||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||McKenna, Reginald||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)|
|Crombie, John William||Mappin, Sir Frederick T.||Wills, Sir William Henry|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks)||Wilson, Charles H. (Hull)|
|Davies, M. V. (Cardigan)||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Monk, Charles James||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Duckworth, James||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Woodhouse, Sir J. T.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Evershed, Sydney||Owen, Thomas||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Colonel Sandys and Mr. Samuel Evans.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||Pease, Sir J. W. (Durham)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Perks, Robert William|
|Gold, Charles||Philipps, John Wynford|
Page 2, line 24, leave out paragraph (a) of sub-section (1) of clause 2."—(Mr. H. Foster.)
§ * MR. H. FOSTER (Suffolk, Lowestoft)
This sub-section provides that if at the date of the presentation not more than one year has elapsed since a transfer a bishop may refuse to institute unless it be proved that the transfer was not effected in view of the probability of a vacancy within such year. Now, Mr. Speaker, I call the attention of the House to the fact that this Amendment, which was somewhat rashly inserted in Grand Committee, will place not only the bishops but the presentee in an exceedingly difficult position, and I cannot help thinking that the Government themselves, now that they have had time to consider the effect of this Amendment, will desire, at any rate, to modify it. The House will see that by the sub-section the patron, having acquired an advowson, and a vacancy having arisen within 12 months, will be in an anomalous position. He has to satisfy the bishop that he had no idea that there was likely to be a vacancy within 12 months. The question put here is not whether the man presented is a fit and proper person to fill the vacancy—that is not the test to be applied by the bishop. He has to be satisfied that there was no idea in the mind of the patron that there was likely to be a vacancy. I fail to see how the question of the fitness of the person presented can be affected by the question of the patron knowing or not knowing if a vacancy was likely to occur. The person presented may be a fit and proper person, but if the patron does not satisfy the bishop that he had no idea of a vacancy—if he cannot be satisfied on that point—then the bishop may refuse to institute. I have an Amendment lower down on the Paper, which, at any rate, will be some safeguard with regard to the presentee. But, apart from the fact that the real object to be effected is to secure a fit and proper person, it cannot be suggested that by the insertion of this clause the parish is to be safeguarded against an unfit man. I would call the attention of the House to a discussion amongst the bishops on this clause. In 996 the view of the bishops themselves this clause is unworkable. The Archbishop had his attention called to this clause; the Bishop of Ely gave an opinion to the effect that the clause would be unworkable. However fit a man may be, the bishop may decline to admit him. What is going to happen? How is the vacancy going to be filled up? A rector may have died, it may be difficult for the patron to show that he did not know the rector was in a bad state of health. If he cannot satisfy the bishop that he did not know, the bishop will be entitled to say, "You acquired this advowson within twelve months; I am not going to admit this man." It cannot be got over by presenting another man. Under these circumstances the parish would be left in the unfortunate position of being without a rector—the living will be left vacant until 12 months have expired. To whom is the patronage to be given then? Is it to be given to the bishop? I can hardly think that the Government intend this, because it would be a direct incentive to the bishop not to be "satisfied" that the patron had no idea that the vacancy was likely to occur. The Archbishop at the Upper House of Convocation was also of opinion that such words as are contained in the sub-section I propose to leave out would make the clause unworkable. Further discussion then took place, and at the end of it a resolution was unanimously passed asking the Government to reconsider the clause. Now, that resolution was unanimously passed by the Upper House of Convocation, in which the bishops themselves say that they find there will be great difficulty in making this clause workable in its present form. I do not know what the Government propose to do. I can hardly think that in face of that resolution the Government can propose to leave the clause as it stands, but I see no Government Amendment to alter the clause. It is said that the Government desire to place larger powers in the hands of the bishops, and this is one of the cases where larger powers will be given. When the bishops pronounce a, unanimous judgment, saying it is unworkable, then I think the House is entitled to ask the Government to deal with it. It appears to me that the safeguards the Government desire to introduce are sufficiently dealt with in clause 1, 997 which the House has already passed. There was an unworkable sub-section in the first clause, and its absurdity was shown in Committee, when the majority were of opinion that it should be amended, and it was struck out, and I put it to the Government that this clause would involve serious difficulties. The effect of the sub-section as it stands will be to deprive the parish of its incumbent for a long period of time. It would be most undesirable to have such a provision, or to deprive the parish of a minister of religion for nearly 12 months. That cannot be a desirable state of things. If the Government do not strike out this sub-section they should, at any rate, meet the objection of the bishops.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
The object of subsection 1 of clause 2 is to prevent simoniacal practices, and in many cases the presentee is as much involved in such practices as the transferee himself. I believe we would be acting quite contrary to the wishes of the great majority of the Standing Committee and of the House itself by striking out this subsection.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I trust the honourable Member will not put the matter to a Division, because I think that if you strike out the sub-section you will materially weaken the Bill. I appeal to the honourable Member not to divide the House.
§ MR. WARNER (Stafford, Lichfield)
The Committee carefully thought this matter over, and I am quite sure that the reasons for the alterations were good, and now those Amendments are sprung upon us by a Member of the Committee. I am in favour of the retention of the sub-section.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
If this Amendment is adopted it will have the effect of reconstructing the Bill, and I support the views expressed in favour of retaining the words.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Page 2, line 26, leave out 'unless' and insert 'if.'"—(Mr. H. Foster.)
§ * MR. H. FOSTER
Sir, the object of this Amendment is to turn negative proof into positive proof. It is an exceedingly 998 difficult thing to have proof of a negative, and in the absence of such proof the result may be that the bishop refuses institution, if a transfer were, in his opinion, effected in view of a vacancy. It appears to me that the same result would be achieved in a more direct form, if this alteration were accepted. The onus would be on the bishop to prove what is always very difficult to prove. The alteration, after all, is only a verbal one.
§ MR. WARNER
I should like to know, Mr. Speaker, exactly what is meant by proof and proof positive. I understand what proof is in a court of law.
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
The clause is explicit enough as it now stands, and is, I submit, perfectly correct.
That the word 'unless' stand part of the Bill.
§ Agreed to.
Page 2, line 27, after 'effected' insert 'by or with the concurrence of the presentee.'"—(Mr. H. Foster.)
§ * MR. H. FOSTER
The object of that Amendment is to fix the grounds of the refusal of the bishop. That, at any rate, is not an Amendment inconsistent with the object of the clause; and I should like to ask again the question which the Attorney General did not answer, whether any representation has been made to the bishops in consequence of the result I have apprehended. After all, the bishops have the working of this clause, although some honourable Members opposite may not agree about the views of the bishops. The bishops have, as I have said, passed a resolution stating that the clause in its present form is unworkable, and they have passed a resolution that this clause should be brought before the notice of the Government. I think we are entitled to know whether these representations have been made, and how the Government propose to answer them and meet these difficulties.
That the words proposed to be inserted stand part of the clause.
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
It should be quite enough to leave the discretionary power 999 to the bishop to refuse to institute or admit a presentee to a benefice, unless it be established that the purchase was made in view of an early vacancy. The views taken of the Upper House in convocation by my honourable Friend are worthy of consideration; but, after giving the best attention of the House to the proposal, I fail to see its practicability.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I quite agree with the honourable Member opposite that the words proposed to be added to this sub-section will make the clause more or less unworkable for the simple reason that it is exceedingly difficult to prove motive. I should propose, if I may use the phrase in ecclesiastical matters, to disestablish the proposition. I do not see how a man is going to prove that another man did a certain thing with a certain motive. He may say, "I had not that motive in view at the time." But still I do not see how the words the honourable Member proposes to add here will make any difficulty at all. He says, "You must prove not merely a guilty knowledge by the parties themselves, but you must bring that guilty knowledge home to the presentee." It is a difficult thing to establish a thing like that by inference at all.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
If that is the object these words are intended to achieve, it is certainly, in my opinion, the object which will not be accomplished. These words are not confined at all to the presentee. These words extend to every case where you have got to present; and then there is the guilty knowledge that it is done with a particular view of presentation. Honourable Members must see that these words do not apply to a presentee. I do not see how the words of the honourable Member can make any difference at all. It would limit the scope of the Bill. It would be difficult indeed for the bishop, or anyone else, to bring guilty knowledge home to anyone.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.1000
Page 2, line 26, leave out from 'benefice' to 'or' in line 28."—(Mr. Herbert Lewis.)
§ * MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
If there is any reason for supposing that a transfer has ben effected in view of the probability of a vacancy, I say that ought to be sufficient to give the bishop discretion to refuse to institute. I think we should do as much as we possibly can to restrain these sad malpractices.
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
The honourable Member proposes that the transfer should not be effected "within such year." He proposes to omit those words. He does this in view of the possibility there might be of a probable vacancy. Well, all transfers are effected in view of a vacancy at some time or other, unless it is known that the incumbent is immortal. To impose this stipulation is a condition which is obviously absurd—a condition which cannot be fulfilled, because no one can buy an advowson in view of the probability of a vacancy. The clause as it stands is perfectly intelligible. If there were no vacancy within 12 months the contingency would not arise.
§ MR. ALLEN
I think the Solicitor General has exactly described the position. There could not be a sale of an advowson under such circumstances. The object of the Bill is to abolish these practices alluded to by my honourable Friend altogether; and I hope my honourable Friend will go to a Division, and take the sense of the House on the subject.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I think the most effective means of stopping these sales and next presentations is by purchasing the whole of the advowsons. Unless there is a sale of the whole interest, that is exactly what would happen. If a man wants to buy the next presentation, what he will do will be to purchase the whole of the advowson. He can dispose of the reversion, and sell the advowson afterwards. If you do as my honourable Friend proposes to do, you stop absolutely that practice; you will stop the leakages of your own Act; you will make it watertight; and that is exactly the object we 1001 have in view in making these Amendments. I think the way in which my honourable Friend has done it is the best possible way of testing this question. The whole point is, and that is the proposition the House will be called upon to vote for or against now, not whether you are going to stop the sale of presentations, but whether you are going to make possible an evasion of the Act by purchasing the whole of the advowson, and afterwards selling the advowson; so
§ that the real character of the transaction will be purchase of presentation, although it will be nominally the purchase of the advowson.
That the words 'within such year' stand part of the Bill.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 238; Noes 109.—(Division List No. 154.)1003
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Howard, Joseph|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. E.||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Howell, William Tudor|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Curzon, Rt Hn G.N.(Lancs, SW)||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn|
|Arnold, Alfred||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Arrol, Sir William||Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. J.||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. L.|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Dane, Richard M.||Jameson, Major J. Eustace|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Denny, Colonel||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse|
|Baird, John George Alex.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Jeffrey's, Arthur Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. D.||Jenkins, Sir John Jones|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Donkin, Richard Sim||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George|
|Barry, Rt Hn AH Smith-(Hunts)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Jones, D. B. (Swansea)|
|Barry, F. T. (Windsor)||Doxford, William Theodore||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Kenyon, James|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. Wm.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Brist'l)||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc.)||Kimber, Henry|
|Beach, W. W. B. (Hants)||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Finch, George H.||Lafone, Alfred|
|Bethell, Commander||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Fisher, William Hayes||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)|
|Biddulph, Michael||FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.|
|Bigwood, James||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Bill, Charles||Folkestone. Viscount||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Bond, Edward||Fry, Lewis||Loder, Gerald Walter E.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Galloway, William Johnson||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Garfit, William||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller|
|Brassey, Albert||Gedge, Sydney||Lowe, Francis William|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Lowles, John|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Godson, Augustus Frederick||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Butcher, John George||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G.J. (St. Geo's)||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Carlile, William Walter||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Maclure, Sir John William|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||McCalmont, Mj-Gn.(Ant'm, N.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.)||Gretton, John||McIver, Sir Lewis|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Gull, Sir Cameron||McKillop, James|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gunter, Colonel||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Hamilton. Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hardy, Laurence||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Helder, Augustus||Milbank, Sir Powlett C. J.|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Henderson, Alexander||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Milton, Viscount|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead)||Monckton, Edward Philip|
|Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Monk, Charles James|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.||Hobhouse, Henry||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Holland, Hon. Lionel R.||More, Robert Jasper|
|Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)||Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. Myles||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Warkworth, Lord|
|Morrison, Walter||Seely, Charles Hilton||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Seton-Karr, Henry||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
|Mount, William George||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Mowbray, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renf.)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)||Whiteley, Geo. (Stockport)|
|Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-L.)|
|Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Myers, William Henry||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Newark, Viscount||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Smith, J. Parker (Lanarksh.)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Penn, John||Spencer, Ernest||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wilson, J. W. (Worc, N.)|
|Pollock, Harry Frederick||Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)||Wodehouse, E. R. (Bath)|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stephens, Henry Charles||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)||Stock, James Henry||Wylie, Alexander|
|Purvis, Robert||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wyndham, George|
|Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Strauss, Arthur||Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.|
|Renahaw, Charles Bine||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Round, James||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Ansruther.|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Thorburn, Walter|
|Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Price, Robert John|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H.||Randell, David|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Holden, Sir Angus||Reid, Sir Robert T.|
|Baker, Sir John||Horniman, Frederick John||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Jacoby, James Alfred||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Billson, Alfred||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Birrell, Augustine||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn. Sir U.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Blake, Edward||Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth||Shaw, Chas. E. (Stafford)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Brigg, John||Labouchere, Henry||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Brunner, Sir John T.||Lambert, George||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Strachey, Edward|
|Burt, Thomas||Leng, Sir John||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Lloyd-George, David||Tennant, Harold John|
|Caldwell, James||Logan, John William||Thomas, A (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Macaleese, Daniel||Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr)|
|Cawley, Frederick||McEwan, William||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.(Caithness-sh.)||M'Ghee, Richard||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Clough, Walter Owen||McKenna, Reginald||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Colville, John||McLaren, Charles B.||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Crombie, John William||Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks)||Wayman, Thomas|
|Daly, James||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Morley, Chas. (Breconshire)||Wills, Sir William Henry|
|Doogan, P. C.||Moss, Samuel||Wilson, Charles H. (Hull)|
|Duckworth, James||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Evershed, Sydney||Owen, Thomas||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||Philipps, John Wynford||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Lewis and Mr. William Allen.|
|Fitzmaurice. Lord Edmond||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Gourley, Sir Edward T.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
§ * MR. H. FOSTER
I move at the end of sub-section (a) to insert these words—And there is in consequence any circumstance affecting the conduct of the presentee which renders it undesirable in the interests of the parishioners to institute such presentee.The object of that Amendment, which I need only explain in a word or two, is to make the question of the interest of the parishioners the governing motive by which the bishop must be guided in acting upon the powers given him by this clause. There is a desire on both sides of the House that the interests of the parishioners should be somewhat more emphasised in connection with these proposals than appears upon the face of the Bill, and I venture to submit this Amendment to the House as one instance in which, at any rate, the House may write plainly upon the face of the Bill that they desire the bishop to be more guided than he otherwise would be perhaps—than he otherwise has been—by the wishes of the parishioners in the exercise of any powers entrusted to him under this clause. When Parliament is giving an enlarging power to these bishops, surely it is a right moment, and it is right that Parliament at the same time should expressly insert some words for the guidance of the bishops as to how these larger powers should be exercised. I beg to move the Amendment.
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
Mr. Speaker, I think that my honourable Friend will see, if he leaves his Amendment with the sub-section as it stands, that it will read in a most extraordinary way; but I prefer to address myself to the object which my honourable Friend has in view. His object is that it must be proved, before the bishop can use discretion as to instituting, that there is some circumstance—affecting the conduct of the presentee which renders it undesirable in the interests of the parishioners to institute.I must say I think it very undesirable indeed to establish any such condition in connection with powers given to bishops. If he finds there is an early vacancy after the transfer, that is quite enough to justify the bishop, and he has power to refuse to institute unless 1006 it be established that the vacancy is, say, purely accidental, or owing to an unexpected death, so that there is no reason to suppose that the advowson was bought with the idea of an early vacancy occuring. If that is not established I think the bishop ought to have the power. It would not be at all desirable to impose upon the bishop the further condition that it must be established that there is some circumstance in the conduct of the presentee which renders it undesirable in the interests of the parishioners to institute.
§ MR. WARNER
The parishioners all through this Bill are very much neglected. I do think power should be given to the parishioners to say who is to be the clergyman who is to attend to their spiritual wants. If this Bill could be altered in one or two places to accelerate more towards bringing the parishioners into question than it has done already, it would be much more popular throughout the country, and would do very much more good to the Church. I think in this particular instance it would be very desirable to accept this Amendment.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I agree that the effect of the Amendment would be rather to limit the scope of the Bill; in fact, it would very likely tend to render much more ineffective and almost absolutely nugatory the words which have been already adopted by the House as far as this sub-section is concerned. But, at the same time, the words embody an important principle, a principle which must commend itself to honourable Members on this side of the House—namely, that parishioners, after sill, should have an interest in this matter. So far, one section of the community do not seem to have their interest in the present legislation sufficiently recognised. Where one section deals with the interests of the parishioners, you find five or six sections dealing with the interests of the patron, and interests of the presentee, and you have no end of provisions with regard to the position and authority of the bishop. You protect their rights, and the same thing applies with regard to the courts.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The honourable Member is not in order. These matters 1007 are not affected by this particular Amendment.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Quite so, Mr. Speaker; that is the point I am going to establish. My point, in supporting this Amendment, is that it is the one thing so far we have had which recognises that the parishioners have an interest in the matter. The Bill recognises no such interest; it recognises the interests of everybody else except the interests of parishioners. As the honourable Member says, the one party who have a supreme interest in the character of the presentee is not the bishop and the patron of the living, but the parishioners themselves. The presentee is there to administer to their spiritual needs for a whole generation possibly; and I must say in a case of that kind they have a supreme interest in the fitness, in the qualification, and in the character of the man who is to preside over these spiritual functions. I, therefore, support the Amendment, inasmuch as it embodies that very important principle, which has always commended itself to Members on this side of the House—namely, the principle that the parishioners should have a voice in objecting, at any rate, to the person who is presented with a living. If the words: proposed by the honourable Member should be carried by this House I would propose to substitute for the word "or" the word "and." But I am very much afraid that this Amendment will not be carried.
§ * COLONEL SANDYS
Mr. Speaker, I support the principle contained in the Amendment of the honourable Member for Lowestoft, because I think the time has arrived when the rights and interests of parishioners in their Church should be considered by this House, and be further strengthened and upheld if it be found needful to do so.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
I agree with the honourable Member who has just sat down that it is very necessary, whether we succeed in the Division or not, to affirm the principle of the Amendment. Up to this moment we have been discussing the rights of those whom I may call lawless clergy and negligent bishops. We might well now have some regard 1008 to the injured laity. The real truth is that the position of the laity in the Church at this moment is one of complete helplessness. The bishop appoints, or allows to be appointed, a man who introduces practices into the parish church which are absolutely distasteful and odious to the majority of the parishioners. I know dozens of such cases myself.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The right honourable Gentleman cannot, on the Amendment before the House, discuss the general question of the rights of parishioners.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
I shall give my vote in support of the parishioners' rights in respect of clerical appointments. I shall be extremely glad if the House of Commons should affirm the fact that the parishioners have some right and interest in the appointment of their parish minister.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I hope the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire will not vote for this Amendment on the supposition that it is going to add anything to the privileges of parishioners. The right honourable Gentleman could not have read the Amendment. Had he done so he would have known that the solitary effect of this Amendment would be to limit, and not to increase, the opportunities of the bishop to protect the parishioners against a clergyman of whom they disapprove. To vote for the Amendment would be to vote for a limitation, and not for an extension, of the privileges of the parishioners.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I think the effect of this Amendment would be to increase the popular element which the bishop would be forced to take into consideration. It would, as the right honourable Gentleman has said, limit the power of the bishop. Sir, the Church does not consist of the bishops and clergy alone, and any attempt to set forth by statute, or in practice, that the Church is to be considered as composed, of bishops and clergy alone, and that their interests are alone to be regarded, should, I think, be resisted. I am gratified and surprised to find the defence of the true doctrine of the Church coming 1009 from honourable Members sitting on the Benches opposite. I declared yesterday, and I declare again to-day that the laity are principally to be considered. My view has been expressed on various parts of this Bill, that they have too few facilities. I am not sure that this particular Amendment is drawn in the very best words, or could be artistically introduced into this Bill in its present form. I refuse altogether to consider the alternative form suggested by the honourable Member opposite, because that is not now before the Committee; but this Amendment, so far as it is practicable in its present form, undoubtedly does tend to force the bishop to consider, not merely the interests of his own bishopric and the interests of the Church considered as composed alone of the bishops and clergy, but the interests of the independent parishioners, and that is certainly a wholesome clement to introduce into the mind of the bishop, because I do think that when you treat the Church as composed of priests alone, you must remember what the great poet Dryden said: "Priests of all religions are the same"—and that they are bound to deal with it in the interests of their oligarchy—themselves, that is to say. I think it would be a wholesome thing to introduce an Amendment of this sort into the Bill at this point, and although it will be a matter for my honourable Friend to decide whether he will or will not go to a Division in face of the absolute certainty of being defeated, I shall think it my duty if he does to vote with him.
§ * MR. S. GEDGE (Walsall)
I fell myself in a position of some difficulty in voting for this Amendment, because I admit it is badly worded and put in the wrong place. I have myself given notice of an Amendment to this clause which covers the same ground. My Amendment is this—Provided always that the bishop shall not so refuse unless he shall by writing under his hand certify that for any such reason or ground as aforesaid (which he shall specify) the institution of the presentee would be injurious to the interests of the parish.My reason for giving notice of that Amendment and moving it in the Grand Committee was, first, that I was very 1010 anxious indeed to enforce the principle that the parishioners are the people who are most affected by, and ought to be considered in, this Bill. These words apply, not only to sub-section A, but also to sub-section B, which now includes the particular time which must elapse since the presentee was ordained a deacon. I think the honourable Member who moved this Amendment has spoilt it by putting in the words, "affecting the conduct of the presentee." I should be glad if the honourable Member would withdraw this Amendment now, and let it be brought on afterwards in a form which will cover more ground, and not be affected by what seems to me to be an awkward limitation. I think I must vote against the Amendment as it stands for this reason, although I fully agree with the principle of it.
§ COMMANDER BETHELL (York, E.R., Holderness)
Under the existing custom it is certainly intended, though I do not know in all cases that it is done, that the person who presents and the bishop who institutes should consult the interests of the parishioners. By putting this into the statute will you tell the bishop any more than is now told him? The right honourable Gentleman was interrupted just now when he was evidently going to point out that matters of ritual, and so on, on the part of the clergy might compel the bishop to consider the interests of the parishioners, and that it will do no more if you put these words in. I am inclined to agree. I think the interests of the parishioners ought to be consulted. But will anybody point nut to me how the addition of these words in the Bill will make the person who present or the bishop who institutes consult the interests of the parishioners any more? Until you tell me what the interests of the parishioners are—
§ * MR. H. FOSTER
Will my honourable Friend permit me to explain the object of inserting these words is—
§ COMMANDER BETHELL
I should be delighted if the House permits my honourable Friend to explain, but I do 1011 not think there is really anything to explain. The words explain themselves. Every Member of the House can interpret for himself what the interests of the parishioners are, but no one yet, not even the right honourable Gentleman opposite, has attempted to define to the House what are these special interests which he wishes the bishops to observe.
Page 2, line 26, leave out all after 'benefice' and insert 'and there is in consequence any circumstance affecting the conduct of the presentee which renders it undesirable in the interests of the parishioners to institute such presentee."—(Mr. H. S. Foster.)
That these words be there inserted.
§ The House divided—Ayes 89; Noes 190.—(Division List No. 155.)1013
|Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)||Fenwick, Charles||Price, Robert John|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Randell, David|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Baker, Sir John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Holden, Sir Angus||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Billson, Alfred||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Birrell, Augustine||Jones, D. B. (Swansea)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth||Souttar, Robinson|
|Brigg, John||Labouchere, Henry||Strachey, Edward|
|Brunner, Sir John T.||Lambert, George||Tennant, Harold John|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr)|
|Burt, Thomas||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Caldwell, James||Leng, Sir John||Ure, Alexander|
|Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow)||Lewis, John Herbert||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Lloyd-George, David||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Logan, John William||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Cawley, Frederick||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.(Caithness-sh.)||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wayman, Thomas|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Moss, Samuel||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Colville, John||Owen, Thomas||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Daly, James||Paulton, James Mellor||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk)|
|Duckworth, James||Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)|
|Dunn, Sir William.||Philipps, John Wynford||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Harry Foster and Colonel Sandys.|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Evershed, Sydney||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Bigwood, James||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. E.||Bill, Charles||Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. J.||Brookfield, A. Montagu||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Brown, Alexander H.||Cubitt, Hon. Henry|
|Baird, John George Alex.||Bullard, Sir Harry||Curzon, Rt Hn G.N.(Lancs, SW)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Butcher, John George||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch.)||Carlile, William Walter||Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Dane, Richard M.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cecil, Lord Hugh||Denny, Colonel|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. D.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Brist'l)||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Donkin, Richard Sim|
|Beach, W. W. B. (Hants)||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Doogan, P. C.|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Dorington, Sir John Edward|
|Bethell, Commander||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Lees, Sir Elliott. (Birkenhead)||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc.)||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Finch, George H.||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Loder, Gerald Walter E.||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Folkestone, Viscount||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Forster, Henry William||Lowles, John||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renf.)|
|Garfit, William||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Gedge, Sydney||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbyshire)|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Macaleese, Daniel||Smith, J. Parker (Lanarksh.)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Spencer, Ernest|
|Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. Geo's)||McCalmont, Mj-Gn. (Ant'm, N.)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||McIver, Sir Lewis||Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||McKillop, James||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Gretton, John||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Stock, James Henry|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Hardy, Laurence||Milner, Sir Frederick Geo.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Milton, Viscount||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G.(Oxf'dUny)|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Monk, Charles James||Thorburn, Walter|
|Helder, Augustus||More, Robert Jasper||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Henderson, Alexander||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Morrell, George Herbert||Webster, R, G. (St. Pancras)|
|Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Morrison, Walter||Webster, Sir R, E. (I. of W.)|
|Hobhouse, Henry||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Holland, Hon. Lionel R.||Mount, William George||Whiteley, Geo. (Stockport)|
|Howell, William Tudor||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-L.)|
|Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Myers, William Henry||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Kenyon, James||Penn, John||Wodehouse, E. R. (Bath)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. Wm.||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Kimber, Henry||Pollock, Harry Frederick||Wyndham, George|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Pretyman, Ernest George||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Lafone, Alfred||Purvis, Robert|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
§ * MR. GEDGE
I hope the Amendment I am proposing will not cause a very long Debate. It is as follows:—Page 2, line 30, leave out 'five' and insert 'three.'I am only proposing to restore the Bill to the form in which it was originally brought in by the Government. To the best of my recollection, all the Royal Commissions which have dealt with this subject have recommended a period of three years as the minimum number of years which shall be required to lapse after a clergyman is ordained. It was included in the Benefices Bill, both 1 and 2, introduced, one by private Members and the other by the Government this Session. It was considered in Grand Committee just as we were rising for lunch, 1014 and therefore I was unable to object, as I intended to do. I am not proposing any very violent change, but it is the deliberate opinion of many honourable Members that this Amendment should be adopted. As the clause at present stands no clergyman may be admitted to a living who has not had five years' experience since his ordination. Now, lower down in the clause it is provided that the bishop may refuse to institute a presentee if he finds that he is unfit for his dutiesby reason of physical or mental infirmity or incapacity, pecuniary embarrassment, grave misconduct or neglect of duty in an ecclesiastical office, evil fife, having by his conduct caused grave scandal concerning his moral character since his ordination.But if the presentee happens not to have been more than five years in Holy Orders, 1015 no such finding as to unfitness is required, and it is the absolute rule that he will not be instituted. It is true that a discretion is given to the bishop, but when an Act of Parliament lays down a rule, then it is not very likely that the bishop will very often go away from it. If it was required that the bishop should find that by reason of his having been ordained more than five years he was unfit to discharge the duties, I should not have moved my Amendment. It is only on very strong grounds that the bishop will consider that he is precluded from refusing institution. We all know of many cases in which young men have been appointed to a living with great advantage to the parish. We know too that in other professions young men have very often been appointed to high position. With regard to the head masterships of schools it is well known that young men are more generally appointed than otherwise. Under this rule the head-master at Harrow, who had proved himself to be thoroughly competent for the position at the age of 27, would have been held incompetent to duties of a living, however unimportant. Hardships may arise from the clause as it stands at present in the case of small country livings, where the patron is owner of the soil, and practically of the whole parish, where a young man could fulfil the duties, where the population is small, and where the living has belonged very probably to the former patron, or incumbent, or rector, and, if not, may belong to some relative who owns the parish. If the incumbent should die, and his son who succeeds him is only 28 years of age, I think in this case a great hardship would be inflicted by excluding him for that reason. There is complaint already of the way we are interfering with rights of properties, but I think on the whole the interference has been advantageous, and I submit that this three years' limit is quite sufficient. It is adding two years to the existing law, and gives ample time for the young man's character to be observed and known. For it must be remembered that you are dealing only with men of unimpeachable character, and, therefore, you would be preventing a man of unimpeachable character from being appointed because he is under 28 1016 years of age, although he may be suitable in every other respect. Again, there is a considerable number of men, which is increasing every year, who are taking Holy Orders at a greater age in life. I know in one case of a man who held a high position in India. He came home and went into the ministry, and I see no reason why he should be kept out of a living because five years have not expired since his ordination. I hope the Government, having had their attention called to the fact that this was their original intention, will accept my Amendment.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I confess that my own inclinations are in favour of the Amendment. I think young men are very often most efficient in a parish requiring hard work, and I do not think there are any reasonable grounds why a man of 25 years of age should not be capable of performing the duties of a very responsible position. There are, besides these young men, persons of maturer years who take Holy Orders late in life, and certainly they ought not to be kept five years without a chance of being appointed to a living. I think on the whole that the balance of consideration is not very strong either way, but my opinion is in favour of three years, and I shall therefore support the Amendment of my honourable Friend.
§ * MR. J. G. TALBOT (Oxford University)
I should like to say a few words about this matter. I moved an Amendment in the Grand Committee that three years should be the limit unless the bishop thought otherwise. There was, however, what I may call a strong wave of feeling which passed over that Grand Committee, and an Amendment was carried extending the bishop's discretion to five years. I acquiesced in that determination, but I still think that three years is quite sufficient time.
§ * MR. J. H. LEWIS
There are many Members present who were in attendance during the discussions on the Grand Committee. They ultimately came to an absolutely unanimous decision that the period should be five years. We are constantly told that we ought to respect the decisions of the 1017 Committee that are arrived at upstairs. This decision has been arrived at with complete unanimity, as the Report, which I hold in my hand, by the Grand Committee shows, and, under the circumstances, far stronger reasons than those which have been urged should be placed before the House before it accepts this Amendment. The right honourable Gentleman said that the balance of consideration was not very strong in his own mind, and I think that, under these circumstances, we may fairly discuss the question in this House, and see what is the right conclusion at which we ought to arrive. Sir, the difficulty which appears to me with regard to a great number of these benefices is that, being the object of property, they are naturally given to relatives, and, under circumstances of that kind, it is quite possible that very young men, and very inexperienced men, might be preferred to a living. The object of insisting on five years was to a certain extent to prevent favouritism, and to secure that a man who is appointed to a living, and who becomes the spiritual guide and director—it may be of a great number of people in a parish—should be a man who has maturity of age and experience, and whose experience should certainly not be of the extremely limited and attenuated character of many candidates who are now selected for preferment. I think the question which has been raised is a most important one. I should be very glad personally, for my own guidance, if the members of the Grand Committee would be good enough to give us their reasons why they adopted with such unanimity the period of five years as the period which was the most appropriate.
§ * MR. H. S. FOSTER
I was a member of the Grand Committee, and I supported the recommendation for five years. The honourable Member is quite correct in saying that a wave of feeling came over the Committee. The matter was very fully discussed, and what induced us to support five years was that it was pointed out that the bishop would have a discretionary power. Since then, the bishops have stated that if they had to reject a man, or to select one man and refuse another merely on the ground of his age, that it would be impossible for them to 1018 draw the line sufficiently fine, and therefore their only ground of safety would be that wherever a man was not ordained for more than five years they would have to reject him. They stated that it was almost impossible for a bishop to judge of a man's capabilities in that way, and, being a young man, they would not know how he might turn out or how he might shape. Their only safe ground would be, therefore, if that was go, to act upon it. Although I supported five years on the Grand Committee. I propose to support this Amendment moved by the honourable Member for Walsall for reducing the period to three years, because, I think, five years would operate very harshly and unjustly in many cases. This House knows that men of 24 and 25 years of age occupy many distinguished positions in the country, and to say that unless a man has attained the age of 28 years he is not fit to have the cure of souls would be to pass a reflection upon almost every other profession of life in which men have occupied very high positions at a much younger age.
* MR. BRYNMOR JONES
I am afraid that the matter was not thrashed out very much in Committee. The main argument in determining the period of five years was this, that, on the whole, by increasing the number of years from ordination you make the qualifying period for taking such office as benefices in favour of hard-working curates and persons who have shown that they were competent persons. I remember that one honourable Member suggested a military analogy, and he made reference to the clergy as a kind of army carrying on a conflict with all sorts of evil in the country, and before a man could be made, as it were, a captain, and given a strong and important place, he should, by the exercise of responsible duties over a considerable period, show that he is fit for the post. That was the real source of the wave if feeling which passed over the Committee, and to which reference has been made. Now, I do not think that the difficulty between five and three years is a vital matter, but, on the line of argument then suggested, and the line now suggested, I am inclined to think fire years is the proper limit rather than three years. I do not think, 1019 however, that it is a matter which it is necessary to take a Division upon.
* MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)
I was very much surprised in the Grand Committee at the alacrity with which this proposal was accepted; and I regard this as one of the best provisions in the Bill. I observe that the older clergy complain that young men having influential connections are placed over their heads and put into important benefices. The honourable Member has said that the objection of youth is one which is constantly diminishing, but that does not meet the objection of the older clergy; because when the benefices have been filled by younger men the opportunity of appointing older men no longer exists, it may be true that three years is sufficient to establish a character, but something more than character is needed. For experience is a quality of the very highest importance in connection with ministerial office, and I think that as regards the inhabitants of large towns, or wherever a living is of unusual importance, there is the strongest ground for seeing that an inexperienced clergyman is not allocated to the parish. The parishioners are helpless in the matter, and the least the law can do is to ensure that no man shall be appointed to an important benefice until he has had the requisite experience to enable him to discharge his duties effectively.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I am surprised at what has taken place in the House, because I have always been under the impression that when a Bill is returned from the Grand Committee we should have some sort of respect for what takes place there. We are told that a wave passed over the Committee, and it seems to have obliterated every vestige of the common sense of that Committee. They practically say, "I have to apologise for altering my opinion." The wave passed over me, and really we have to deal with a state of things which, if it had not been for my honourable Friend, it would have been a perfectly submerged Committee. The honourable Gentleman the Member for Walsall gave some remarkable reasons in favour of his Amendment, and, as is usual when the honourable Gentleman is good enough to 1020 give his reasons, they strengthen me in voting against this Amendment. Now, what did the honourable Gentleman suggest? He wished to introduce a species of hereditary system to this cure of souls. He told us that there are cases in little villages where the patron had got some relation of his, some uncle perhaps, as the clergyman of the village; that the squire had, perhaps, a young son not old enough to enjoy the living if this five years limit was passed, and, therefore, for the sake of this young man, in order that he may be foisted upon the living simply and solely because his father was there, and not because he was of any particular value himself, we ought to reduce the limit to three years. Now, he also gave another reason. He said there are officers in the Army who retire and want to be clergymen of the Church of England. Is it fair that these officers of the Army are not to wait for five years only ere they become capable of taking an office for the cure of souls. I think it is not only fair, but it is reasonable and proper, and in a spirit of proper subordination that they should serve this five years as curates. They are interlopers into this profession, and you have a large number of young men who have devoted themselves to the Church of England. Some of them obtain benefices, but others, and the majority of them, remain curates, and here you are asked to alter this wise provision of the Committee upstairs instead of giving these benefices to the poor curates who have worked and grown old in the service, and acquired experience, and you are asked to give these livings to young men simply because their fathers happen to enjoy the living before them, or to give them to officers because they have happened to change their profession and go direct from the Army to the Church, over the heads of these poor curates. Now, I am not concerned to defend the Church of England, and I do not care anything about it, but I do think that when a matter like this is submitted to us we ought to do justice between man and man. I am speaking here in favour of the curates who Shave got no patrons, and who have got no fathers who are patrons of livings, and who have not been in the Army, and 1021 who have devoted themselves to their profession. Now, I find that, unfortunately, I am paired for this evening, otherwise I should certainly have voted against this Amendment. I trust that all the Members on this side who are not in the unfortunate position in which I find myself, will vote against the proposal of the honourable Gentleman the Member for Walsall.
§ MR. S. EVANS
I hope the Government will adhere to three years, because it is a serious matter, after all, I think, from the point of view of the curate, and also from another point of view. If a man at the age of 25 years is the best man for the living, why should he be shut out by this proviso for five years? I could give innumerable instances at many free churches where men below the age of 26 years have been entrusted with very important positions, and I think it would be depriving, in many instances, the parishioners possibly of the very best man who can be put into the living, if you put this age limit upon the clergyman who has to fill it. For my own part I should have been willing to allow a man to be appointed to a living immediately after he had been ordained, because if he is fit for ordination he is fit for a benefice. It will not be denied that many a young man, immediately his ordination is over, is often more fit to discharge ecclesiastical duties than the man who has been in the Church for 20 or 30 years. Our experience guides us to this conclusion, that the young men in the Church are the men who do most of the work. For my own part I should appoint the bishops from younger men than they are now. If a man is fit for ordination from a point of view of character and moral influence he is fit to have a benefice, and you ought not to prevent him by merely putting in his way a limit of time to say that he cannot accept it. I shall support the Amendment of the honourable Member for Walsall.
§ MR. WARNER.
I support this Amendment for every one of the reasons that have been given in its favour. A great many of these presentations are not very large, and it is quite impossible to get men who have made any mark in the Church, and who have been five, six, seven, or eight years 1022 in the Church, to take the small livings, and I think there will be very great difficulty in getting men to fill up the small positions throughout the country. There are an enormous number of small positions where the work is very hard and the pay very poor, and if men who have served a number of years are to be appointed, and we are to have these poor positions given to men who are incapable of doing the duties for those places, it will be a great injustice to the small villages. I think that, instead of doing away with giving men experience, it will give a great many men experience, because good young men will be appointed to small livings to get their experience of carrying on the work of a parish which they would not have if they came right from a curacy to the care of a large parish. I do hope that this Amendment will be accepted.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I think that if the word "shall" had been substituted for the word "may" there might have been something to say for this Amendment. The whole arguments of those who support the honourable Member for Walsall seem to presuppose that this correction is an imperative one, that under no consideration can a bishop allow the presentation of a young man who has not had the experience of five years since ordination. But even in the case given by the First Lord of the Treasury, if there are men eminently qualified and thoroughly fit for the office, it is perfectly competent for the bishop, even if the five years' proviso remains in the Bill, to institute a person who has, not served five years. If a man is titled for the office, m spite of his youth, the bishop can take all the circumstances into account, and he can institute a young man to the living. If the Bill passes, the only effect will be that it will be an instruction to the bishop that, in the majority of cases, he is to take five years' experience as one of the considerations which he ought to take into consideration in inducting anyone to a living.
That the word 'five' stand part of the Bill.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 56; Noes 165.—(Division List No. 156.)1025
|Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)||Dunn, Sir William||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Evershed, Sydney||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Fenwick, Charles||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Randell, David|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Baker, Sir John||Hedderwick, T. C. H.||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. M.|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Bethell, Commander||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Billson, Alfred||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Brigg, John||Lambert, George||Steadman, William Charles|
|Burns, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Burt, Thomas||Leng, Sir John||Ure, Alexander|
|Caldwell, James||Lewis, John Herbert||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Macaleese, Daniel||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Clough, Walter Owen||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Colville, John||Moss, Samuel||Wilson, Fredk. W. (Norfolk)|
|Daly, James||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Owen, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Carvell Williams and Mr. Lloyd-George.|
|Doogan, P. C.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Duckworth, James||Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Arnold, Alfred||Dyke, Rt, Hon. Sir W. H.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Logan, John William|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lowles, John|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fisher, William Hayes||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manc'r)||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G.W. (Leeds)||Folkestone, Viscount||McArthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Forster, Henry William||McIver, Sir Lewis|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||McKillop, James|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Brist'l)||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Galloway, William Johnson||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)|
|Bigwood, James||Garfit, William||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bill, Charles||Gedge, Sydney||Milner, Sir Frederick George|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Milton, Viscount|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Milward, Colonel V.|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Monk, Charles James|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||More, Robert Jasper|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Morrison, Walter|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Gretton, John||Mount, William George|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Helder, Augustus||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Henderson, Alexander||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hobhouse, Henry||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Colomb, Sir John C. Ready||Hornby, William Henry||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Colston, C. E. H. Athole||Howell, William Tudor||Pollock, Harry Frederick|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Pryce-Jones, Edward|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Kenyon, James||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Kimber, Henry||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Curzon, Rt. Hn. G.N.(Lanc SW)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Kinloch, Sir J. G. Smyth||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey|
|Dane, Richard M.||Lafone, Alfred||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverp'l)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Denny, Colonel||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Donkin, Richard Sim||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Sharpe, William Edward I.||Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley||Webster Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)||Williams, J. Powell (Birm)|
|Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)||Thorburn, Walter||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Spencer, Ernest||Thornton, Percy M.||Wodehouse, Edm. R. (Bath)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray||Wylie, Alexander|
|Stanley, Edw. J. (Somerset)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Stephens, Henry Charles||Usborne, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Stevenson, Francis S.||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Stock, James Henry||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Stone, Sir Benjamin||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
§ After the usual interval,
§ * MR. S. SMITH
The Amendment which stands in my name is to add on page 2, line 31, after "presentee," these words—has within the five years next preceding his presentation taught doctrines contrary to or inconsistent with the Articles of Religion, commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles, or participated in ecclesiastical practices not authorised by the Book of Common Prayer or.Now, Mr. Speaker, it will be admitted by everyone that this is one of the most important Amendments of this Bill—perhaps the most vital of all—and I hope it will receive careful consideration at the hands of this House. I am quite sure, from a large number of communications that I have had from all parts of the country, from Churchmen, that they attach very great importance to this Amendment, and that it commands the assent and sympathy of an immense number of Church people out of doors. The position we stand in, in regard to this question, is a little obscure. Until this evening all of us believed that this Bill could in no way touch doctrine or ritual; but we have just learned, a little while ago, that this Bill does, in some indirect way, affect questions of doctrine and ritual. It was stated by the Leader of the House that it was impossible to graft doctrine on this Bill—so I understood him to say, and so a good many of my friends understood. We were told that the Bill was so drafted that it was impossible, but I think it is not impossible. The important discussion we had last week showed the Government that the one question the House does care about is the grafting of doctrine and ritual on it. At all events, the object of my Amendment is not to leave this question in obscurity. My object is to put into the Bill a plain direction to the bishops, which every man of common sense 1026 can understand, which the country at large can understand, which the common people can understand, and which will bring within the scope of this Bill these outrageous violations of the law and practice of the Church which have been growing so common of late years. The First Lord said the framework of the Bill did not admit of dealing with those questions. Well, I admit the framework of the Bill is not very well adapted to that. In my opinion, the framework of the Bill places too much power in the hands of the bishops: this is the weak point of the Bill. Certainly it is not such a Bill as I would have drawn for dealing with those questions. I have no confidence in some of the bishops. The truth has to be spoken: we must allow that there are not a few bishops on the bench who are steeped to the lips themselves in ritualistic practices and in beliefs which scarcely differ from those held by the Roman Catholic Church. Let mo mention an instance which occurred a week or two ago, after the Debate in Convocation of Canterbury, where the Bishop of London expressed his regret at the doings of extreme Ritualists. What did that right reverend prelate do almost immediately afterwards? Why, he went and officiated at a service at St. Augustine's, Kilburn, where he was censed, and where all the Romish ceremonies were performed in his presence without rebuke from him, and without let or hindrance from him. Does that look as if he were in earnest in putting down these practices? It is an absurdity to ask such a man as that to administer the law of the country, when he himself is indifferent to the most outrageous violations of it. It may be said, why, then, do I desire to put powers into the hands of the bishops who misuse those powers?—they have misused them shockingly in the past. There is no doubt that, had the bishops been 1027 disposed to work the Public Worship Regulation Act, the greater part of these difficulties would never have arisen; but, most unfortunately, that Act, since it was passed 24 years ago, has been practically a dead letter. I say it is unfortunate that the Bill before us does not provide a better machinery for carrying out the changes the country demands in the Church of England. But we must use such opportunities as we have in this House; and it appears to me most probable that unless we take this opportunity of grafting on this Bill some Amendments which will stay the plague that has visited the Church of England we will probably have many years to wait before we get a chance again. What did the First Lord say the other night? He said the question was so thorny that no Government would deal with it if it could possibly help it. He remembered the Debates of 1874, and they so terrified his imagination that he could not conceive the possibility of going through such an appalling experience again. We shall not get action taken by any Government unless there comes a strong wave of Protestant reaction. Therefore I say it is common sense to make use of this Bill, and graft upon it some provisions which will do something to safeguard the Church of England. If we miss this opportunity, who knows but that the slight remains of Protestantism which exist in the Church of England will be extinguished? At present, the legal definition of the Church is the "Protestant reformed religion, established by law." At the rate we are going on, I think it is not impossible some of us will live to see a Bill to alter the legal definition from, the "Protestant reformed religion, established by law," to the "Roman Catholic religion, established by law." This is certainly the aim of not a few inside the Established Church at the present time. Honourable Members may say "No, no," but those who remember the marvellous change that has taken place in the National Church within 40 or 50 years will not say it is impossible. I believe if this movement goes on unhindered we shall have attempts made to change the British Constitution and the Act of Settlement. I believe that such schemes are already in existence—that such schemes are already being secretly planned by men of ability, with a view of being 1028 sprung upon the country at some suitable moment; and I feel sure of this, that should the National Church of this country go over bodily to Rome we shall soon have a demand made to change the Protestant succession to the Crown. We shall have an attempt made to permit a Roman Catholic sovereign to sit upon the Throne. I think the country should face those things. It is a great deal better to fight this question a long way off than to wait until it comes upon us with irresistible power. We still have a sound Protestant Parliament. I believe the great majority of this Parliament are sound upon this question. I believe this Parliament is aide to do whatever is necessary in order to ward of those dangers, and the way to ward them off is to look them full in the face, and not to live in a fool's paradise. Now, my Amendment does not cover all I could wish; it does not cope with these great evils as fully, by any means, as I could have desired. The Bill only deals with institution to benefices, not with holders of benefices. Unhappily, the holders of benefices are, in many cases, Romanisers, but if it is well known that no Romaniser will henceforth be instituted to a benefice, and the law is faithfully carried out for 20 or 30 years, a very considerable check would be given. The next generation of clergy will be sounder than the present. Anyhow, this Amendment is, so to speak, an instruction given by the Parliament of this country to the heads of the English Church that the people of England are not going to tolerate this letting in of Romanism into the National Church any longer, and that, so far as lies in our power, we will give a legal expression to what is the constitution of the Reformed Church, of England. It is all we can do, but my belief is that if the Government accept this Amendment, and embody it in the Bill, it will have a remarkable effect upon the Church. It will be felt to be an earnest attempt to cope with what is well known to be one of the greatest evils of the day. It will be a warning to the bishops, and to the Church of England, to set their house in order. It will wake them up. It will be a standing witness to the fact that the Church holds her emoluments, subject to the law, subject to the contract made between the Church and this country at the Refor- 1029 mation Settlement. It will show that it is a dangerous thing to trifle with that contract, and that if they persist in their present course they may be wakened up by legislation of a very stringent kind. Now, my Amendment deals with the Articles and the practices authorised by the Book of Common Prayer. It will not affect the clergy who are honest exponents of the doctrine and ritual of the Church of England. No honest Churchman ought to oppose it—ought to give any opposition to so very moderate an Amendment as this. I am sure of this, that the vast majority of the people of Great Britain wish to maintain intact the Reformation Settlement of the Church of England. A considerable number of weak women have been carried away by these ritualistic practices, but I feel certain that the mind, the brains, the character, the good sense of this country remain soundly Protestant. It only requires some opportunity to be given to the people of this country for this fact to be exhibited in a way that would be astonishing. The First Lord of the Treasury seemed to be under the impression that the country was not much interested in this question, for he spoke in a very airy and light sort of way. He said, in reply to the Leader of the Opposition, that perhaps 1 per cent, of the clergy were in fault. I can assure him he is labouring under an entirely false impression. So far from the culprits in the National Church being an insignificant minority, they are a great army, and a rapidly-increasing army. I will give some reasons for my belief if the House will permit me, because upon the wide extent of this Romanising and ritualistic movement I base my argument for using the machinery of this Bill to try to stop it. I agree that if the number were insignificant it would hardly be worth while using this Bill for such a purpose, but if I can show it is a very widespread, deep, and dangerous movement, then I think I have shown reasons why we should make use of machinery of this kind to do something to strengthen the Protestant constitution of the Church. Well, attention has been drawn to the speech of Lord Halifax last week at the English Church Union. He 1030 stated that 32 bishops now belonged to the English Church Union. Those bishops are mostly Colonial, but they include, I think, the Bishop of Lincoln, who formerly was, and I suppose is still, one of the vice-presidents. I also ascertained that the present Bishop Suffragan of Colchester is a member, and the Bishop of Oxford once was. I should like to know what is the history of the other diocesan bishops in this respect. I should like to know whether, in their early days, more were not members of the English Church Union. I am strongly under the impression that others were connected with this ultra High Church society. I ought also to add that the latest return I Have seen of the clergy belonging to the English Church Union gives the number as 4,200 odd, some of whom are Colonial. Now, what are the aims of this great mass of Anglican clergy? Has not Lord Halifax, who has been the president for 30 years, and whose predecessor went over to the Church of Rome, constantly aimed at corporate reunion with Rome? Did he not meet the Pope quite recently to entreat him to recognise the validity of Anglican orders? Did he not say in his famous speech at Bristol in 1895—Do not let us be afraid to speak plainly of the probability or the desirability of a union with Rome; let us say boldly we desire peace with Rome with all our hearts.Did he not say in his speech last Thursday—There was at the present time no question as to the ceremonial which might be used at the services explicitly enjoined by the Book of Common Prayer. It was understood that lights, vestments, incense, the mixed chalice, and similar matters were outside the present controversy. It was quite certain that such things would not be given up. The authority of the Privy Council and courts, subject to its jurisdiction in such matters, was dead. The right of the Church of England to teach the whole Catholic doctrine was now secured.That was said by Lord Halifax at the very time that the First Lord of the Treasury was treating this Romanising question as insignificant.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
No, I never suggested that. 1031 I said that the number of the clergy of the Church of England who were Romanisers, or who might be described as such, was insignificant. I never said the question was insignificant.
§ * MR. S. SMITH
I meant that. I must have expressed myself inaccurately. The First Lord has stated exactly what he did say. But what did Lord Halifax mean by "the whole Catholic doctrine"? I have examined rather closely what was to be understood by that, and I find that it practically means every doctrine held by the Church of Home, with the single exception of the supremacy of the Pope. If that is denied I think I can give some reasons for my opinion. I will ask the attention of the First Lord of the Treasury and the Attorney General while I read a list of the doctrines taught in books recommended to candidates for Holy Orders by existing diocesan bishops in England. These doctrines include purgatory, the intercession of the saints, the seven sacraments, extreme unction, transubstantiation, the real presence, eucharistic sacrifice for the living and the dead, reunion with the Church of Rome, reunion with the Eastern Church, and prayers for the dead. These are all contained in books recommended by bishops of the Church of England, holding dioceses at the present time, to candidates for Holy Orders, and these are the doctrines taught in a great many of the theological schools under the direction of the bishops.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
Will the honourable Member give the names of any of the bishops to whom he refers?
§ * MR. S. SMITH
It is published by the Council of the Church Association. Everything is taken from the writings of the bishops themselves.
§ * MR. S. SMITH
Well, a considerable number. Let me proceed with what I desire to say. A considerable number of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament have received livings at the hands of existing bishops, and other extremely ritualistic societies have received their approval. I was just stating that Lord Halifax claimed to teach the whole Catholic doctrine and to represent 4,000 clergymen of the Church of England. I wish to say, further, he strongly approves of the Roman Catholic services at St. Cuthbert's, Kensington, against which Mr. Kensit protested, and also the services at St. Michael's, Shoreditch. The great hero on Thursday evening was Mr. Westall, the vicar of St. Cuthbert's, who performed the service of the Adoration of the Cross, when interrupted by Mr. Kensit. He was received with loud and prolonged cheers, and Lord Halifax commended the service, which, it is admitted, is taken from the Roman Catholic service for Holy Week. As to St. Michael's, Shoreditch, I will mention to the House that the reporter of the Daily Chronicle stated—The faithful, as they enter the church, 'genuflect' to the south altar, where the Sacrament is reserved.Now, I hope honourable Members will understand that the reservation of the Sacrament is absolutely condemned by the Articles—On the dwarf metal screen which divides the chancel from the nave is a picture of the Virgin, with the words painted on the frame, 'Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei genetrix' ('Pray for us, Holy Mother of God'), with lighted candles and flowers in front of it on a ledge. There were also on either side of the church images of the Virgin and St. Michael, each with a stand for votive candles in front of it, as in a Continental church, the candles being in a box for sale to the faithful at a penny each. Those who buy them light them and place them on the stand. On the notice board at the church door were requests for prayers for the dead, and a list of times at which Mass is said or sung, and the kalendar for the week was not that of the Prayer Book, and must have been taken from the Roman Missal, for it contained the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo! The sermon was preached by the vicar, the Rev. Mr. Evans, and was an exposition from the orthodox Roman Catholic point of view of the doctrine of purgatory, which, he said, was taught by the Church as a matter of faith.1033 Notwithstanding the fact that the Thirty-nine Articles forbid all this—After the procession came what was the most startling part of the service, namely, the exact imitation of a 'Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament' in the full Roman form. The vicar had announced before the sermon that there would be 'Solemn devotions' after the procession, but he did not further explain that somewhat vague expression. The 'solemn devotions' followed in all respects the Roman Catholic usage in the like case. As the Sacrament was reserved in the south chapel, it had to be fetched to the 'high altar'; accordingly the officiating clergymen, wearing the 'humeral veil' over his cope, went into the chapel, took the wafer out of the tabernacle, put it in the monstrance, and carried it to the 'high altar,' where he placed the monstrance on 'the throne.' As he carried it out of the 'Sacrament chapel,' he was preceded by an acolyte ringing a bell, the thurifer walking backwards and censing the monstrance as he went and the candle-bearers. When the monstrance containing the wafer was set up on the throne, the official knelt down in front of the altar and censed the monstrance, while an English version of the first Benediction hymn, 'O Salutaris Hostia' ('O saving Victim') was sung. Then followed the late Fr. Faber's well-known hymn, 'Jesu, my Lord.' with its refrain to each verse: 'Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore. Oh! make us love Thee more and more.' It sounded for all the world as if cue were at the Brompton Oratory.Now, the point I want to bring out is this. This purely Roman service was described as an admirable work for souls by Lord Halifax, speaking as the mouthpiece of some 4,000 Anglican clergy, who had subscribed Article 22, which states—The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, worshipping, and adoration, as well of images as of reliques, and also invocation of saints is a fond thing vainly invented and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture but rather repugnant to the Word of God.And also Article 28, which states—Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy writ, but it is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.And Article 31, which says—Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.And no one at the meeting protested against it; but he was received with 1034 loud applause. Is it not trifling with the question to say, after this, that only an insignificant minority of the clergy are in sympathy with Roman Catholic doctrines and practices? Does the House know that the English Church Union publishes a Church guide book, showing where—The use of the Eucharistic vestments, altar lights, mixed chalice, incense, and the eastward position have been restored.Some of these have been declared illegal by the courts of law, yet this book for the present year gives the following figures, which show the increase of so-called Catholic usages since 1882—
|Daily Holy Eucharist||123||613|
|Eucharistic Vestments (special symbols of a Mass priest)||336||2,026|
|Altar lights at the Holy Eucharist||581||4,334|
Is it not evident that many of these churches are more or less on the way to Rome? It is undoubted that some of these ceremonies derive all their importance from being signs of doctrines held by the Roman Catholic Church, especially the doctrine of transubstantiation in the Mass, which Article 31 treats as a "blasphemous fable." But the English Church Union is not so Romish as the Society of the Holy Cross, the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, the Order of Corporate Reunion, and the Order in the Holy Redeemer. One of these societies prays for the Pope as head of the Church, and a great many clergy belong to them, so that it is impossible to deny that the Roman taint is rapidly extending in the Church of England. Certainly this is the opinion of the Roman Catholic Church; they look upon this movement as a preparation for bringing England under the yoke of Rome. I quote the following from the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, July, 1891, written by a priest residing in Manchester—
At this hour five thousand Church of England clergymen are preaching from as many Protestant pulpits the Catholic faith (not indeed as faith) to Catholicising congregations
much more effectively, with less suspicion and more acceptance, than we can ever hope to do…. We could desire no better preparation for joining the Catholic Church than the Ritualists' Preparatory School; and the fact that from them we have, secured the majority of our converts strengthens us in our view of it.
A still more important witness is Cardinal Vaughan, who stated at a meeting; or the Catholic Truth Society not long since—
The doctrines of the Catholic Church, which had been rejected and condemned as being blasphemous, superstitious, and fond inventions, have been re-examined and taken back, one by one, until the Thirty-nine Articles have been banished and buried as a rule of faith. The real presence, the sacrifice of the Mass, offered for the living and the dead—sometimes even in Latin—not infrequent reservation of the Sacrament, regular auricular confession, extreme unction, purgatory, prayers, for the dead, devotions to Our Lady, to her immaculate conception, the use of the rosary and the invocation of saints, are doctrines taught and accepted with a growing desire and relish for them in the Church of England. A celibate clergy, the institution of monks and nuns under vows, retreats for clergy, missions for the people, fasting and other penitential exercises, candles, lamps, incense, crucifixes, images of the Blessed Virgin and the saints held in honour, stations of the cross, cassocks, cottas, Roman collars, birettas, copes, dalmatics, vestments, mitres, croziers, the adoption of an ornate Catholic ritual, and now recently an elaborate display of the whole ceremonial of the Catholic Pontifical—all this speaks of a change and a movement towards the Church that would have appeared absolutely incredible at the beginning of this century.
§ I think I have said enough to dispose of the light, airy way in which the First Lord treated this matter on Thursday. The real question at issue is, can we add to this Bill a proviso that will protect congregations in the future from the intrusion of Ritualists? My Amendment gives power to a bishop to refuse to institute such men. Some bishops will faithfully use this power; others, I fear, cannot be trusted, for they are Ritualists themselves; still even they cannot wholly ignore an Act of Parliament. The laity can represent the case under the Public Worship Regulation Act; and had the bishops not been allowed a power of veto, that Act would have been very effective; it applied to all incumbents, but this applies only to presentees. But if we strengthen the Bill by this addition, we shall at least show the country that we are in earnest. I appeal to 1036 Conservative Members who represent strongly Protestant constituencies, like Liverpool and Manchester, to support this Amendment. I have got many resolutions from constituents of these honourable Members, thanking me, and expressing the hope that their representatives will support me. I regard this as a test question, whether or no Members of this House are really anxious to maintain the Protestant character of the Church. Years may pass away before we have another so favourable opportunity. The country is roused to the deepest extent on this question. We are nearing the time when a General Election will turn upon this question more than any other. The party that refuses to reform the Church incurs a grave responsibility; if its downfall comes, it will not be owing to those of us who try to reform it, but to those who obstinately shelter its worst abuses. I beg to move the Amendment.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
Mr. Speaker, although I shall have to notice one or two of the matters which the honourable Gentleman has referred to in his lengthy speech, I think I shall not be justified in attempting to argue before the House any of the disputed points of law and ritual which he has discussed at such considerable length. To hear his speech anyone would think the Lincoln judgment had never been delivered, and when we remember that that Lincoln judgment was absolutely confirmed by the Privy Council—by perhaps the strongest court that has ever sat in the Privy Council—by a tribunal which you can see by their judgment was strongly appreciative of the whole of the arguments, I think it is very strong to deal with this question in the way the honourable Gentleman has done. I hope I shall be able, in the few remarks I have to make, to bring back the mind of the House to the question before it—the propriety of inserting this Amendment in this Bill, looking to the Parliamentary history of this Bill. Sir, the honourable Member has said that he has received large expressions of sympathy with the object of his Amendment. Well, if those who have sympathised with him have only the information afforded by his speech, which I daresay has been largely read and largely circulated—if those who 1037 have expressed sympathy with him have the same idea of the object and purposes of this Bill and of its history which, the honourable Gentleman seems to have, I do not wonder. If it is suggested by the honourable Member that this Amendment is necessary in order to make it possible for the law courts, or far legal procedure, to deal with these abuses, I venture to point out that that is contrary to the case. There are one or two statements of the honourable Gentleman which the House will permit me to call attention to. He has stated that the bishops, many bishops—I suppose he meant diocesan bishops, because, if not, I do not see the point of the observation—that many bishops were steeped to the lips in ritualistic practices, and held opinions which were equivalent to those held in the Romish Church. Well, Sir, I do not think that is so, and I do not think such a statement ought to be made without some argument, or something being produced to justify the statement. But the honourable Gentleman went on to speak of the Bishop of London. He stated that the Bishop of London sympathised with outrageous lawbreakers. I have the great privilege of knowing the Bishop of London; I was in communication with him in reference to this matter not many weeks ago—I had a conversation with him—and I am absolutely certain there is not the slightest foundation for the suggestion. It is all very well for the honourable Member to say that the bishop attended the Church without protest. Does the honourable Member propose that the members of the Church who do not agree with a particular part of the service should therefore become Kensits, and brawl in the Church itself? That, at any rate, is not the way to bring about reform of the law, or to get it respected. But respecting as I do the earnestness and sincerity of the honourable Member, and believing, as I am sure, he speaks of that which is very close to his heart, I do wish that there had been a little more moderation and accuracy in his case, as he stated it. The other night, in my hearing, he stated from his place in the House that 30 of the bishops were members of the English Church Union. The whole point of argument, as everyone could see—and I am sure he is too honest not to admit it— 1038 his whole argument was that 30 diocesan bishops were members of the Church Union; for if the connection in which those words were used is examined by honourable Members they will find that there was no point in his observation if he was speaking of bishops—
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
I am very glad to hear that. Very well. It is because, as I said, I am perfectly satisfied that the honourable Gentleman did not intend to make an erroneous statement, and has now withdrawn it, that I have now called attention to the matter. But the honourable Gentleman attempted to cover his retreat by three statements, one of which I know to be inaccurate. He has stated, in order to effect his retreat—for he had not then withdrawn his statement—that Dr. Stubbs, the Bishop of Oxford, is, or has been, a member of the English Church Union. I believe that is absolutely without foundation—that he never has been a member of the English Church Union. The Bishop of Lincoln I do not know about; he may have been. Then he spoke of the Suffragan Bishop of Colchester. These are the three names introduced to replace the previous statement—names two of which I have no knowledge of. At any rate, we have the honest and candid withdrawal of the honourable Member, and it will remove the impression which has been allowed to go broadcast until to-night, and perhaps part of the sympathy which the honourable Gentleman says he has received, and which I cannot help thinking was stirred by the fact that he had stated that 30 of the bishops of the English Church were members of the English Church Union. Now, Sir, the honourable Member will pardon me; I do not propose to argue these theological questions. I am not here to defend Lord Halifax, and the House is not going to legislate because Lord Halifax has made a speech. Sir, I regret as much as anybody the supineness of the bishops in years past, and I say distinctly—and I will make good my observation, and I shall have the support, I know, of those who have been cheering the honourable Member—that it was the Low Church 1039 party who objected to the provision with regard to ritual being put in this Bill in the first instance. What is the condition of things? This Bill never purported to touch the law, or interfere with the law, or the power of the bishops in the matter of ritual or doctrine. It is perfectly true that there are words in section 2 which, if construed in their full breadth, might include ritualistic offences; but those words were inserted, as everyone who was in Grand Committee on the Bill knows, with an entirely different object. A contrast between section 2 and section 3 will make this apparent. But by the law of England these offences can now be dealt with, and ought to be dealt with, as an objection to institution. I have no doubt there are many Members of this House who are well acquainted with the case of the Bishop of Manchester. I do not know whether the honourable Member is acquainted with it, but as far back as the year 1884 there was a refusal to institute a curate, on the ground that he had—and I ask the House to follow the simple words of the decision—on the ground that he had committed offences against ecclesiastical law, and failed to observe the Book of Common Prayer by wearing unlawful vestments, and doing unlawful acts in the matter of ritual when officiating at services; and he declined to undertake not to commit the offence in future. That was an actual carrying out of the law which now has existed for a great many years in this country. The supineness of the bishops has nothing to do with this Bill. What necessity is there for an alteration of the law? At any rate, it is not in such a Bill as this that it is possible to introduce such provisions, or to make such amendments in the law. Sir, what was the main object and scheme of this Bill? The House will remember that this Bill is really an amalgamation of the Government Bill and some of the provisions of the Bill brought in by the honourable Member for Warwick, with other Members, with a view to strengthen the law. Section 2 is framed, as the House can see, in order to give the bishop further powers in the matter of refusal to institute than those which he possesses at common law, or than those which he possessed at the time this Bill was intro- 1040 duced. As I have said, there might be neglect of duty in the ecclesiastical office which did not involve ritual, which did not involve doctrine, which did not involve Romish practice, which were not included in this Bill. If the House will look at section 3 they will see that is abundantly clear. Section 3 constitutes a new court, consisting of the archbishop and a judge of the Queen's Bench, and the decision of the judge is to be final on questions of fact. Does anybody suggest that it was ever contemplated that judges of the Queen's Bench, who may be—and several are—Roman Catholics, should be made judges in matters of ritual or doctrine? It is suggested that questions of ritual and doctrine were to be submitted to such a court, but I believe there is not a single representative of the Church who would not protest against such a constitution of the court. What were the appeals made to us—and here I am sure I may appeal to those Members of the Grand Committee who have been sympathising with the honourable Member—the appeals made to my honourable Friend the Solicitor General, to me, and to other Members of the Committee? They were not to allow ritual and doctrine to be introduced in this Bill. This was at the instance of the Low Church Party. They say, if you allow ritual and doctrine to come into clause 2, to be one of the grounds on which a bishop can refuse institution, you will have High Church bishops who will not institute Low Church parsons; and, therefore, from the beginning to the end of this Bill—on its First Reading, and, I beg the House to note, on the Second Reading of this Bill—no attempt was made to introduce into this Bill the provisions that are now being sought to be introduced on Report. On the Second Reading of this Bill, and all through the stages of the Grand Committee, every section of the House—I am sure the honourable Member for Mansfield will bear me out—every section of the House were anxious that ritual and doctrine should be excluded from those particular matters which the bishop might consider. Sir, it may be right, or it may be wrong, but to suggest a wish on the part of the Government to exclude a provision of 1041 this Bill on the ground that they want to shield Roman Catholic practices is not in accordance with Parliamentary practice. When we come to clause 3, and the words, "except a ground of doctrine or ritual," I am not quite sure whether those words were in the clause originally, but I am quite sure of this, that they were referred to many times by Members of the Committee, who pointed out that you could not have doctrine and ritual included as a ground of refusal of institution, because the Court of Appeal could not interfere with the matter. Sir, the scheme of this Bill—it may be right or it may be wrong—the scheme of this Bill, from beginning to end, has been to deal with abuses other than ritual and doctrine. It was intended to leave questions of ritual and doctrine to be dealt with by the law as it stood when this Bill was introduced. That may be right or it may be wrong, but the idea of making this Bill apply to matters of doctrine and ritual never occurred to anybody. Sir, I am satisfied of this, that if, in the Grand Committee, it had been supposed that doctrine and ritual were going to be a ground on which institution could be refused, and that the Court of Appeal was to deal with that, not only would the words "except a ground of doctrine or ritual" not be found in clause 3, but there would have been a great deal said about the archbishop being in the constitution of the court. This suggestion of it being at any time contemplated that this question could come within the purview of this Bill never occurred to the promoters or movers of Amendments in the whole course of the proceedings. Sir, I will try to bring back the mind of the House to the Amendment proposed to be inserted in this Bill. Sir, I say, without fear of contradiction, if this Amendment was to be inserted, it would need very careful and lengthened consideration. We should then have to consider what the constitution of the court was to be; in other words, in order to introduce the Amendment such reconsideration of the Bill would be necessary that the possibility of dealing with the abuses which the Bill was designed to deal with would have to be postponed. I am sure the honourable Member for Flintshire will not think I 1042 am treating him with discourtesy because I decline to discuss the question which he has brought before the House as to the practices which prevail in the Church. I say here that I am as strongly opposed to those practices as anyone could be, and I am satisfied that the majority of the Government's supporters are also, so that it is of no use to try to make Party capital out of any such Bill as this. If we are to deal with the proposal now before the House—if the Amendment is accepted—I am sure this Bill would never become law.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
Sir, I do not think the speech to which we have just listened is the answer to the very grave questions raised by my honourable Friend which the country expects. It is not by technical, small, legal points that a matter of this kind is to be disposed of. It is not from the law officers of the Crown that the country desires an answer to the questions that have been raised here to-night. From the very first moment that this question has been dealt with it has been sought to belittle its importance. The honourable and learned Attorney General says he wishes to bring back the House to the real question. Sir, that is what I desire also, and what I will endeavour to do. You may depend upon it that all the ingenuity and all the law officers of the Crown will not be able to hide away the enormous evil which my honourable Friend the Member for Flintshire has endeavoured to press upon the House. The honourable and learned Gentleman has talked to us of what the Grand Committee intended to do and what they wished to do. Sir, we are here in the House to revise the work of the Grand Committee. It is an enormous disadvantage that such questions as are involved here should be disposed of in Grand Committee. The whole object of bringing this Bill to the House of Commons, with, you in the Chair, Mr. Speaker, is that we may look at this matter from a larger, broader point of view than those which prevail in the Committee. That is what we are determined to do in spite of all the obstacles which honourable Members upon the other side have, from the first to last, endeavoured to put in the way of this discussion. We know very well how on 1043 Thursday night we were denounced for saying that this question had anything to do with the Bill. But the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House has failed in that contention. He has not been able to exclude this question from the consideration of the House of Commons or from the country. He has not been able to prevent this Amendment from being brought on by my honourable Friend, and he cannot prevent it being discussed and examined. Now, Sir, I aim not going to say a word upon the subject of the action of the bishops. The Attorney General says that they may have been supine. I am not going to make any charge whatever against the bishops; but if this discussion and these Amendments were to rouse them from that state of torpor and supineness which the Attorney General has brought against the bishops of the Church of England, who are the guardians of the Church, this discussion will not have been in vain. I will say nothing as to the neglect of duty on the part of the bishops hitherto, and I only desire to strengthen these clauses and this Bill in order to place power in the hands of, and to impose the duty on, the bishops in these respects. But, Sir, what is the great and leading fact to which my honourable Friend behind me has called attention, and which cannot, and will not, be denied? That there are hundreds, aye, and thousands, of the ordained clergy in this country who are deliberately endeavouring to overthrow the law of the Reformed Church of England. That is a proposition which I assert, and which cannot be denied. The Church Union has been referred to, and I have seen from the first the enormous importance of the demonstration made, at this critical moment, by that significant body. That body numbers thousands. What is their object? You might suppose that the words "Church Union" meant union of parties within the Church of England. If that was so, that would be a worthy object. But that is not the object. That is not the origin of the name. It is not union within the Church; it is union with another Church. That is the avowed aim and end of the "Church Union." Well, now, Sir, the declaration of a body like that is not to be neglected. My honourable Friend behind me has 1044 referred to some things, but I do not think the most important things, in the declaration of Lord Halifax, as the President of that body, upon this recent occasion, And, mind, where does this body meet? In the Church House. Hundreds of these clergymen collect in the Church House for a demonstration of this kind. And what is it Lord Halifax, as the President of these priests, says? He speaks of the duty of restoring the—ancient dignity and beauty to the performance of divine service.And mark now—the need of prayers for the faithful and departed in the authorised services of the Church, of pleading in the Holy Mysteries the sacrifice of the Cross on their behalf, as well as a clearer recognition of what is involved in the doctrine of the communion of saints, the importance of remedying the dislocation of the canon which so disfigures the Communion office of the Church of England, the necessity of making better provision for the Communion of the sick by the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament"——the very thing forbidden by the Articles of the Church of England—the duty of restoring the unction for the sick—the extreme unction—and the obligation of maintaining the indissolubility of Christian marriage. Things,he proceeds to say—be it remembered, which can plead on their behalf no contested authority but the undisputed sanction of the whole Church of Christ.Now, that is the declaration of a man who presides over hundreds and thousands of ordained ministers of the Church of England. Sir, I earlier referred to the speech of Canon Gore on that occasion. There was another speaker (the Rev. A. Cocks) who was received with a great deal of applause, and I desire to read what he said. In the presence of dignitaries of the Church of England, of deans and canons and dignified clergymen, he said this—I read from what I believe is the recognised organ of that particular body, the Church Times—Speaking on behalf of the clergy, they held that they were ordained, not as members of the Church of England, but as priests of the Catholic Church of God.1045 Not as members of the Church of England! This is a declaration made, not condemned, but applauded by the assembled clergy in the Church House. I am glad that I have had the opportunity of reading this passage in the House of Commons, because I hope that, being read in the House of Commons, it will be made known to the people of England.Speaking on behalf of the clergy, they held that they were ordained, not as members of the Church of England, but as priests of the Catholic Church of God.What is the meaning of this contrast between members of the Church of England and priests of the Catholic Church? The country will know the meaning of that distinction. He adds that "he lays emphasis on that because underlying it there lay the whole purport of the resolution." And mark these words—It was incompetent for the Church of England as the Church of England to take on herself to say that she had departed from anything which was the lawful custom of the whole Catholic Church.What is that but a denunciation, of the Reformation? If the Church of England is not competent to depart from anything which was at that period the lawful custom of the whole Catholic Church, what was the meaning of the Reformation? It was nothing else than the departure of the Church of England from that which was the custom, at that time, of the whole Catholic Church. Now, I want to ask—for I am speaking in the presence of English gentlemen who know what honour means—is it consistent with what we understand by honour that a man who holds the emoluments and preferment, who exercises the authority which belongs to an ordained priest of the Church of England, should stand up, amidst the applause of surrounding ecclesiastics, and declare on behalf of the clergy that they were ordained not as priests of the Church of England—they held they were ordained, not as priests of the Church of England, but as priests of the Catholic Church of God"?
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
I do not know whether the noble Lord is authorised to expound the sentiments of these gentlemen. I do not know even whether the noble Lord is a member of the Church Union—
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
I will not endeavour to expound these sentiments. I will leave it to men of ordinary intelligence and common sense, and I will express my opinion that for a clergyman of the Church of England to stand up and use language like that to which I have referred is misconduct inconsistent with truth and inconsistent with honour. Well, Sir, it is difficult to appreciate the frame of mind of such men, except that one does see in ecclesiastical affairs that standards of honour are different from those which are apparently binding upon ordinary men. I suppose there are few people in this House who have not read the greatest monument of controversy which literature can boast—I mean the "Provencial Letters of Pascal"—and there seen how this sort of ecclesiastical method can be carried on, and to what extent it will go. Yes, Sir, I should like to call the attention of the House to the particular application of these doctrines. Now, I have here a statement which has been sent to me—I will give my authority; I likewise have had my correspondence very largely increased since this discussion has taken place, and, like my honourable Friend behind me, my communications come principally from clergy—clergy who have not abjured Protestantism—and they come also, I am bound gratefully to recognise, from the party to which I do not belong. This has been sent to me from the Church Review, and is a description of what took place last week—A correspondent writes as follows: 'The festival of Corpus Christi has been well observed at Christ's Church, Clapham. The principal Mass of Corpus Christi was celebrated at seven o'clock, there also being a Mass at nine for children.'1047 Yes, you will observe all through, it is first of all foolish women, who can take care of themselves, but we have something to do, I think, in protecting the children.Then there was a solemn procession preceding the eleven o'clock choral Mass, headed by the thurifer"—Well, one can guess what that means, but the next person who figures in this seremony—the "boat boy"—is an official whose functions I am at a loss to interpret. What the term here given means perhaps some honourable Gentleman below the Gangway, more learned than myself, can tell. Well, then came—the thurifer and torchbearers, all of whom were vested in scarlet cassocks and laced cottas. Two banners were carried, and the vicar, the Rev. F. A. Ormsby, brought up the rear, vested in cope and biretta. After the procession the celebrant changed his cope for a chasuble. The Mass was sung to Weber's elaborate setting. The ceremony was according to the Roman use"—This is one of the gentlemen, I presume, who was not ordained as a priest of the Church of England, but of the Catholic Church of God—the ceremony was according to the Roman use, and incense was used at the accustomed places, during the service the Sanctus bell being rung at the Sanctus and Consecration.Now I come to another thing—The Altar of Our Lady was also very imposing.I do not remember in the formulas of the Church of England where the Altar of Our Lady is prescribed—The Altar of Our Lady was also very imposing, with its crucifix, seven large candles, and white flowers, in front of which was hanging the blue sumptuary lamp, and the day closed with another solemn procesion in honour of the Blessed Sacrament.I bring these things to the knowledge of the House of Commons, and I hope I may succeed, perhaps, through the House of Commons in bringing them to 1048 the Knowledge of the Bishop of Rochester. Then it goes on—The Catholic faith, is taught in its fulness at this church. Catholics will be pleased to ear that the children of the schools are instructed daily in the faith of the Catholic Church, and they also attend Mass every Thursday at nine.
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
It is said that it is irrelevant for the House of Commons o deal with these matters, but when we vote money for these schools, I think we lave a right to ask how that money is applied.The new schools of this parish will be begun as soon as the funds will allow. There are Catholics who sympathise with the Vicar in his very uphill work of teaching the Catholic Faith in this very difficult parish"—Well, I am happy to think, Sir that if Clapham has any of its old associations it is still a difficult parish for the vicar who teaches the Catholic Faith in its fulness—and a small donation to the Vicar towards the building of the new schools would be thankfully received.Well, I suppose a share of the £600,000 we have voted will also be thankfully received. And then an equally important thing is added—Besides the schools, some new banners for processions would, I think, be most acceptable.That is the working of bodies like the Church Union in the Church of England. Now, Sir, is it not time—I make no charge, I make no insinuation. [Interruption.] It is not a question of insinuations with practices of this kind, Sir, that I desire to make; it is denunciations. I say they are illegal, I say they are immoral, I say they are disgraceful. What I was going to say was, I make no insinuations that one Party in this House or the country will less condemn them than the other; that is the insinuation which I said I would not make. But, as all events, do not let us fumble with this matter. Do not let us have such speeches as the Attorney General has 1049 just made, to try to get rid of it, trying to say, "Oh! this is a small affair; one here and there"—
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
This question has been raised, and must be dealt with How can you say it is irrelevant in the Bill, when you have in the Bill a clause stating that a bishop may refuse to institute or admit a presentee for misconduct in ecclesiastical office? In my opinion, it is misconduct in ecclesiastical office. Then how can you say it is irrelevant to this Bill? So long as this was a mere Bill dealing with small pecuniary affairs, the disposal of presentations and adowsons, I had no objection to the Bill, and I supported it, and have taken no part in any Division against the pecuniary arrangements of the Bill. This Bill includes matters of infinitely greater consequence than that. On this very clause that we are dealing with, and on the words to which I have referred, "misconduct in ecclesiastical office," I have been trying all through this Sitting to get from the Government a clear declaration of what they mean by misconduct in ecclesiastical office, and I am bound to say that I have not succeeded. They tell me that the penalty for misconduct in ecclesiastical office is to give the go-bye altogether to such things as those to which I have called attention. Well, I say that it is not the way in which misconduct in ecclesiastical office ought to be dealt with in a Bill like this. The object of my honourable Friend's Amendment is to give a point to these words "misconduct in ecclesiastical office"; to say that it does mean such conduct as that to which I have called attention. I know very well that we have not succeeded—and that we shall not, I regret—in placing upon the journals of this House a record of the opinion of the House of Commons on this grave matter. I deeply regret that the Government did not encourage and did not allow—they have the control—that there should 1050 be in this Bill some such Amendment as that of my honourable Friend the Member for Flintshire behind me, but it has been impossible to prevent this question being raised, and it will not go to sleep with this Bill. When you have passed this inadequate Bill the question will be discussed in every part of the country. There is a determination—I hope a determination of all parties—to put an end to a state of things which is a disgrace to the Church of England. I will not say a disgrace to the Church of England—I will say a disgrace to the clergy of the Church of England. I will never consent to treat the Church of England as meaning the bishops and the clergy. The laity of the Church of England are suffering under this conduct, against which they have no remedy. You have a man planted down in a parish, indulging in these practices which, if amusing to the young are to the adult laity repugnant to all their feelings and all their convictions. If the bishops do not choose to interfere, they have no remedy; they are driven away. Persons of great importance have told me that they have been obliged to leave their church because they have had no remedy against these practices. But, what is still worse, you have the children of Protestant parents corrupted by these men, who not merely teach them lessons which are abhorrent to the religious convictions of their parents, but who are in themselves a living example of deceit and falsehood, and who demoralise more or all those amongst whom they live, and whose existence is in itself a living lie. This, Sir, is my opinion; we ought, in this Bill, to include an expression of the reprobation of such conduct by this House and the country; and, if not, if this trumpery Bill is simply to become a question of advowsons and next presentations, then, at all events, if we are incompetent to deal with a question such as this, we can bring to bear upon it a power which is supreme, even over the House of Commons—we will bring to bear upon it the public opinion of a Protestant and determined people.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
In the course of the temperate, impartial, judicial, rhetorical effort to which we have just listened, the right honourable Gentleman who has just sat down has taken occasion to accuse me—which is a small matter—but, I suppose, through me, the Party to which I belong—of regarding the topic with which I have to deal to-night as comparatively unimportant. He has stated that during the three nights' Debate—three nights of continual skirmishing, in which he has been indulging in this question, whether it be in Amendments or whether in this Bill—that I have persistently endeavoured to minimise in my replies the importance of the subject before us. Sir, I have never done anything of the kind. Sir, I think that for the welfare of the Church of England, and for the welfare of this great cause of religion and morality which are bound up with the Church of England, this is a question of the greatest importance; and I have never for one moment in anything I have said attempted to deny it. I have, indeed, denied that the evils of which the right honourable Gentleman complains exist to the extent to which he would have us believe, or to anything like that extent, in the Church of England. Evidence is not thrown on a question of this kind—a question, after all, of vital importance—by reading long extracts regarding ceremonies that took place in one church on one occasion; nor do I largely blame the right honourable Gentleman for not having been able to lay before us statistics for proving, what I have no doubt he conscientiously believes to be the facts of the case, that these practices are widespread in the Church of England. But we all have means of information at our disposal, not with statistical certitude, over a wide area of the country; but we have enough information to justify us in forming a provisional judgment on the point, and I say distinctly that, so far as the evidence goes, these deplorable practices—deplorable to the Church and deplorable to the country—are limited in extent, and that the number of clergy who regard them with favour form but a 1052 small minority of the clergy of the Church of England. Sir, I should be tempted to deal with some of the statements, which seem to be most exaggerated and unfair, in which the right honourable Gentleman has indulged; but I cannot indeed test them, for I have not the facts on which he based them. But at least a quarter of an hour was devoted to an attack on some speaker—name not given, so far as I remember—
§ * SIR W. HARCOURT
It was the Rev. Arthur Cock, who spoke at the meeting of the Church Union, amid great applause.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
Well, I did not intend to make a point of that. I do not know whether he spoke of any large body of clergy or what his statements may have been; but I say it is possible—I do not say it was so—but it is very possible that the right honourable Gentleman, all through his comments, was playing on the distinction between the word "Catholic" and the word "Roman." It may have been, that the right honourable Gentleman was—I do not say intentionally, but unintentionally—playing on the words, and it is so long since the right honourable Gentleman went—no, not that, I will not say that; but, at all events, there are phrases in the Book of Common Prayer, to which allusion has been made by him and by others, which might have persuaded him that the word "Catholic" can be used, and every Sunday is used, by the most earnest adherents of the Protestant religion and the most unflinching defenders of the Reformation. I am not acquainted with the occasion when the speech was delivered, or of the intention. I shall not further pursue that topic, and I will not pursue it further for another reason. I confess it for this reason, that this House is not at its best when it is discussing questions of this kind. Profoundly as I disapprove—I can hardly say how profoundly I disapprove—of ceremonies of which the right honourable Gentleman complains, and of the ceremony of which he read us a detailed account as having taken place in a church 1053 in the south of London—profoundly as I say I disapprove of them, I confess that to see them tossed across the floor of this House, and made the subject of laughter, and made to give point to some Parliamentary Report, offends my sense to a degree which I don't find easy to express, and which absolutely prevents my following, at all events, in the wake of the right honourable Gentleman in dealing with matters which, whatever may be our opinion on them, at any rate, represent sacredness and truth.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
Only one more general observation will I make before I pass to the effect which this Amendment will have on the Bill, and the general observation relates to the fears expressed by the right honourable Gentleman who initiated this Debate. He thinks that there is a danger that the Church of England, that the English people are going to desert the principles of the Reformation. He looks forward, as far as I can make out, to the Church Union succeeding, in a generation or so, in reducing this country, as he said, to the condition of Spain. Well, I need hardly say I am not going to discuss the condition of Spain, but let me tell the right honourable Gentleman that whatever be the consequences of these unhappy controversies in the Church of England, I do not think there is the slightest danger that the great mass of lay opinion in this country will be in the smallest degree modified by any of the dancers to which he has alluded. I do think that these controversies which are taking place are a great danger to the Church of England. I do think they cause scandals in the Church of England which are of the gravest importance to the utility of that great instrument for good: but that the religious convictions of its people are going to be revolutionised because in this church or in that church practices like those described by the right honourable Gentleman are permitted to prevail 1054 I do not believe, and I do not think, it is consistent with commonsense. With these observations I leave the general question raised by the right honourable Gentleman; or, rather, I ought to say I leave the general aspects of that case, and come to the particular bearing of the Amendment upon the Bill now before us. And here I must enter a protest against the methods winch have been used, not once or twice, but several times, on this Bill with regard to Amendments which honourable Members who move them declare have relation to a certain subject, and upon which they utter a number of absolutely sound—I had almost said commonplace—observations, and then claim that all the supporters of the Bill should vote for the Amendments, because the general sentiments they have expressed are excellent in themselves, though perfectly irrelevant to the Amendment and the Bill. For example, only to give one illustration, at an earlier stage of the Bill we had an Amendment limiting its scope. The word "parishioners" occurred in the Amendment, and it was made the text for a discourse on obvious truisms, such as that it was the laity, and not the clergy, who formed the important element in the Church of England, or any other church, and we were expected to vote for the Amendment, simply because such sentiments as these were uttered in the speeches by which the Amendment was recommended to the House. Exactly the same thing has taken place upon this question. A certain number of able speeches have been made upon the question of excess of ritualism in the Church of England With the objection to ritualism entertained by the speakers I believe there is almost unanimous agreement in every section of the House; but, because there is this unanimous feeling in all parts of the House that these excessive ritualistic practices are open to the very gravest objection from every point of view, are we, therefore, to vote for an Amendment which, as I shall show directly, has not and could not have any effect in checking these practices even in the smallest degree? I have thrown out a challenge. 1055 I have said this Amendment, if accepted, would not have the effect which I suppose its promoters sincerely believe it would have. I make that challenge stronger, and say that the introduction of this Amendment would not strengthen the existing law, but would weaken it. What is the Amendment? The Amendment of the honourable Member is couched in these terms: that if within five years next preceding his presentation any presentee has "taught doctrines contrary to or inconsistent with the Articles of Religion" it shall be the duty of the bishop to refuse him institution. But, Sir, the bishop already has the power, already has the duty of refusing institution to any clergyman who is guilty of teaching doctrines contrary to and inconsistent with the Articles of Religion; and not only is it in the power of the bishop, under the existing law, to refuse institution to clergymen guilty of these excessive ritualistic practices, but it is a law which has been put in force in recent years. I do not mean to go into legal details, but the honourable Gentleman is probably aware of the case that was tried, I think, before Baron Pollock in 1884, in which institution was refused by the Bishop of Manchester to a clergyman for no other reason than that he had indulged in these ritualistic practices. The case was taken on appeal, under the existing law, before the courts, and the courts upheld the action of the bishop. That is the existing law, and if you put in these words what will be the inevitable result? At present there is no limitation of years in regard to which these practices have taken place. It rests in the discretion of the bishop what length of time he regards as being operative in a particular case. If you put in these words which the honourable Gentleman desires to put in they will be understood to modify the existing law to this extent—that it is only objectionable practices which have occurred within the last five years preceding the presentation of the clergyman to the living that the bishop 1056 is competent to take note of. I disapprove of that modification. The bishop has already the duty thrown upon him of considering the past history of the clergyman presented to him, and that duty is not thrown more clearly on the bishop by this Amendment, it is not made more obligatory on him by this Amendment. On the contrary, the Amendment, in so far as it changes the law at all, in so far as it makes the slightest modification in the existing condition of things, limits the discretion of the bishop. Under these circumstances why should we, holding the views of honourable and right honourable Gentlemen opposite, accept this Amendment? But it will be said that although the Amendment to clause 2—the only Amendment I would say, Mr. Speaker, really before the House—limits and does not increase the power of the bishop to deal with questions of excessive ritual; it is to be taken in conjunction with another Amendment to clause 3, which, while it does not increase the powers and duties of the bishops, does make the machinery for dealing with ritualistic practices somewhat easier in its operation than at present. In other words, I understand that the honourable Member considers it a consequential Amendment that these practices are to be brought before the new court to be constituted by clause 3 and consisting of a judge and the archbishop. If that is his view, I would venture to remind the honourable Gentleman that he ought not to be misled by the strong and perfectly legitimate feeling which exists at the present moment in regard to one class of ecclesiastical abuses. Those members of the Church of England—I rather dislike those Party terms, but I suppose we must use them—those who represent what is called the Low Church element in the Church of England are the very people who, up to the last fortnight—indeed, up to the last week—would have been the most strenuous opponents of any suggestion which would put those questions of doctrine and ritual to issue in the hands of a court of appeal, composed of a judge 1057 and an archbishop. Sir, the honourable Gentleman hardly appears to realise what injury he is doing himself. He has told us most untruely, though, I believe, most sincerely, over and over again, with a great variety of rhetorical expression that the bishops are not to be trusted. The actual phrases he used were very strong, and they practically amount to this: that among the Romanising party in the Church of England the bishops were to be found, not as controllers but as leaders. If that his the view of the honourable Gentleman—as I believe a wholly inaccurate view—but if the honourable Gentleman affects that view, what folly it is to bring forward an Amendment which puts it in the power of the bishop of every diocese to allow the institution of any ritualist, however extreme, which fives no power to control the bishop in giving institution to a ritualist, however extreme, and then gives an appeal to the archbishop—who, I suppose, is no better than a bishop in the honourable Gentleman's view—and who, whatever the finding of the judge may be on the facts, can prevent consequences of any sort or kind happening to the extreme ritualist, to whose institution the honourable Gentleman objects. The truth is—and it has been brought out in the clearest manner—this Amendment is not brought forward as an Amendment to the Bill, but as an abstract Resolution, and I would earnestly ask those Members of the House who desire to see our proceedings conducted in a rational manner to treat that which is in form of an Amendment as if it were in substance a Resolution. All of us, to whatever Party we may belong, object to the practices at which this Amendment professes to strike a blow, but it is no reason for giving a vote for an Amendment which does nothing to stop these practices, which, if it has any effect at all, will limit the power of the bishops to prevent them, but which, on the other hand, will do everything to destroy this Bill. What is the history of this Bill? My honourable Friend has alluded to part of that history, but he did not allude to the whole of it. It appears to be that—it was deliberately stated by the right honourable Gentleman the Leader 1058 of the Opposition—that this Bill deals with small matters, and that the Government is more or less worthy of contemptuous blame, because they have not made this Measure go far beyond its original scope, and include all these questions of ritual and doctrine. The history of this Bill may be said to begin with a Committee of the House of Lords, which sat in 1874, upon this very question. Upon that Committee was the well-known Romaniser and ritualist, the late Lord Shaftesbury. Lord Shaftesbury was one of the people who paved the way for a Measure of this kind, who laid the foundations under which the superstructure of this Bill has been built. Subsequent to that Committee, there has been a Commission; there have been Bills passed through the Upper House, and Bills passed through this House. But on no single occasion in either House, or in the country, or at any stage of any Bill, or in any Report of any Commission or Committee, has the suggestion been made, until it was made a few nights ago, that the scope of this Bill should be extended from its proper and original objects, so as to include questions of doctrine and questions of ritual. And I would point out to the honourable Gentleman who desires to see questions of doctrine and questions of ritual submitted in the last resort and without appeal to the judge and the archbishop, that had the proposal been made in cold blood on any ordinary occasion, either in this House or in the House of Lords, it would have been kicked out—it would have been dismissed with the scantiest courtesy as the suggestion of a lunatic and an idiot. That is the proposal which we are now asked to adopt because, forsooth, in a time of great provocation, there was a strong public feeling excited in regard to one class, and one class only, of ecclesiastical difficulty. In conclusion, let me say one word about a phrase which fell from the right honourable Gentleman at the close of this speech. He said that this Bill was an insignificant attempt to deal with trifling matters. It is important 1059 to all of us that the purity of the doctrine and the practice of the Church of England is maintained; but it is only the right honourable Gentleman in the highest nights of his rhetorical art who could suggest that a Bill which has for its object the prevention of the presentation of livings to persons suffering from physical and mental incapacity, who have been guilty of grave misconduct and neglect of duty, and evil life, or who have caused grave scandal, who can describe such a Bill as an insignificant attempt to deal with trifles?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
Yes, Sir, to the first clause; but that is not the clause we are discussing. I should have thought that the sale of next presentations was a scandal which, even to the eye of the right honourable Gentleman who sees everything on a very large scale, was not trifling. It is the Bill as framed which the right honourable Gentleman describes as an insignificant attempt to deal with trifles.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
Sir, I do not think anybody in this House supports the practices of which we have had so full an account from the right honourable Gentleman and the honourable Member, but I confess I think there are worse things even than the practices they have denounced. I think it is worse, absolutely to neglect your duty, to give cause for scandal, to be immoral, to be guilty of grave misconduct—
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
To be guilty of evil life. These are crimes not merely against the Church of England: they are crimes against universal morality. I confess also that I should never have supposed that a Bill dealing with those crimes could ever be regarded as an "insignificant attempt 1060 to deal with trifles"; and I would therefore appeal to the House, seeing in the first place that the Amendment before us would not carry out the objects of those promoting it, and seeing in the second place that it would bring about a weakness of the existing powers and responsibility of the bishop, and in the third place that the introduction of this topic would imperil, even if it does not destroy, a Bill dealing with these fundamental questions of morality against which this Measure is primarily directed—I do trust that the House will follow the Government in rejecting the Amendment which, though with the best intentions, still with the unfortunate result which the honourable Genleman has proposed.
§ MR. R. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
I rise, prompted by a feeling of unhappiness. I think it is unfortunate that an attempt should be made to float the Liberal Party into power and popularity by means of the device of the old cry of "No Popery!" I think that is a way which was tried to achieve success in former times.
§ MR. R. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
And I have always considered it was a contemptible device. So far as I have studied political history, I have always found that it was a device which was unsuccessful in the end. The hot fit is naturally succeeded by a cold fit, which corrects the mistakes of those who thought that the hot fit was going to last for ever—that it would be permanent. My desire in speaking on the present occasion is simply to defend myself in the singular position into which I have unhappily been driven, because I know this Amendment will be supported by the whole of the Members upon this side of the House with the exception only of the solitary and unfortunate speaker who now addresses the House. I trust the House will bear with me while I endeavour to address myself, to the Amendment. I think it would 1061 be useful to call the attention of the House, after all the rhetoric we have heard—irrelevant most of it—to the Amendment. It reads thus—has within the five years next preceding his presentation taught doctrines contrary to, or inconsistent with, the Articles of Religion, commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles, or participated in ecclesiastical practices not authorised by the Book of Common Prayer.In the first instance, that is a most dangerous proposition in itself. I think that the full and important effect of it cannot have been apprehended by the right honourable Gentleman; to my mind it partakes of the nature of doctrine and teaching that is anti-Reformation in form of tendency, anti-historical in point of fact, and anti-Liberal in point of policy. I have taken upon myself to say it is anti-Reformation in form of tendency. What is the root principle of the English Reformation? It is not merely that certain practices and certain doctrines such as certain classes of men preach and believe, or certain views of the confessional, and mere matters of that sort, are wrong. I maintain that it is a question of the primary doctrine of the Scripture. The root principle of the English Reformation was the replacement of the claim of spiritual independence as personified in the Pope by the opposite principle of spiritual obedience to Royal supremacy. Where is that obedience to Royal supremacy in this Amendment? I say that the tendency of this Amendment is to extend the principle of spiritual independence and to weaken the principle of Royal supremacy. What does this Amendment do? In the first place, it gives to the bishop of the diocese the power to judge in matters of doctrine and ritual; to condemn a man as heretical or orthodox according to his own view of the circumstances of the case. I first thought my honourable Friend meant to give the bishop of the diocese an absolute power of deciding whether the presentee was orthodox or heterodox; I have ascertained from what I have since heard that he sustains an Amendment, on clause 3 of this Bill, by which he will allow an appeal, and appeals, may be said 1062 to be dead in comparison with the decisions which have been given—he is prepared to give an appeal to a new tribunal. What is that new tribunal in comparison with the Privy Council which reports to the Crown on questions of doctrine and ritual as now practised? It is a tribunal to be composed of an archbishop and a judge of the High Court. In such matters as doctrine and ritual can anyone have any doubt as to what the result will be? The judge will sit as a sort of legal assessor, and the legal assessor of the tribunal would have very little to say in connection with his colleague the archbishop. Although the archbishop would nominally have to submit his opinion to the judge of the High Court, it would be a very weak lay tribunal as compared with the Privy Council, and it would be a clerical and episcopal tribunal in which, by section 3, the archbishop is to have the last word upon the matter. Therefore, I say my honourable Friend proposes by this Amendment a form of spiritual independence, and he does so with a vengeance. The real tendency of his proposal is to undermine the Royal supremacy, and that is a proposal which might have the effect of what I once heard a very zealous if somewhat incoherent Protestant orator say of something: that it is "enough to make the ghost of King Henry VIII, turn in its grave." It points in the direction of a hostile attitude, completely revolutionising the only safe attitude of the Church of England at the present moment. What is the Church of England from this point of view? It is simply a sacred service department of the Queen's Government, like the Naval, Military, and Civil Service Departments, differing from them only in the superior dignity and solemnity of its subject matter. What I desire to maintain is that if you proceed to alter the condition of things which has existed with great good to this country for three or four centuries—if you proceed to alter that state of things, you do not know where you may go or what may arise out of it. Your only safety consists in keeping that state of things as it is at the present moment. 1063 So long as you preserve the existing position of the Church, the Church of England cannot become a Popish Church. You cannot have Popery without a Pope, and so long as the Sovereign—the Queen or her successors—is the head of the Church, the cry of "No Popery!" is simply the cry of ignorance and trickery. Then, I ventured to say, that this Amendment to my mind was anti-historical in point of fact. It assumes, and assumes erroneously, that the Articles combined with the Prayer Book of the Church of England speak with one voice—that there is unity of doctrine in that symbolical expression of doctrine. In point of fact, the doctrine of the Church of England speaks with two voices, otherwise there could never have been preserved the two parties or tendencies of High and Low Church. It is assumed by this Amendment that the Articles combined with the Prayer Book are in no respect ambiguous, but, as a matter of fact, these Articles combined with the Prayer Book are purposely ambiguous in order to secure a comprehension of the different parts. They are not exclusively of a Puritanical interpretation, and they were not intended to be so. They are Articles of peace; I believe historical references agree that these Articles are Articles of peace. King Henry VIII, and Queen Elizabeth, whatever their policy might be, were not Puritanical at heart. Their sympathies were more with the Catholicising tendencies and traditions and, pari passu, with the fact that constituted documents of the Church of England are in many respects as susceptible of a Catholic interpretation as of a Puritanical one. That may be somewhat paradoxical, but it is not anything new in history, especially the history of these times. The very essence of the Eirenicon lies in ambiguity, and the Eirenicon that is embodied in the Church of England fulfils its natural purpose. It was a well-intentioned and wise device—I do not speak in any ambiguous sense—that there should be an amount of ambiguity in these Articles and these theological doctrines for the purpose of embracing 1064 at the time as many as possible of the people then inhabiting these realms. It was what was employed in the area of reformation. We find it, Sir, even in the system of the sister establishment, the Puritanical Church of Scotland, with which I have some acquaintance. I do not say that the ambiguity there is in connection with Catholic tendencies. In the Confession of Faith adopted by the Established Church of Scotland, and by the other Presbyterian Churches of that country—a document, by the way, which was concocted by a body of very uncompromising gentlemen not 300 yards from the section of space which I now occupy—there are intentional ambiguities, though not in connection with the Catholic aspect of theological doctrine. In that matter the Church of Scotland is pretty precise. The Church of Rome they cynically describe as the synagogue of Satan, and they work out the definition in a very thorough going and—I have from my right honourable Friend's point of view—in a most satisfactory manner. But, Sir, on the Calvinistic side of the Church of Scotland there are clear and advisable ambiguities. I will give an instance if the House will bear with me for one instant. The creed of the Church of Scotland was intentionally and clearly ambiguous, and resulted in the tremendous controversy between supralapsarianism and sublapsarianism. In my country I am glad to say that a man may be either a supralapsarian or a sublapsarian with perfect security to his reputation, his person, and his property. Now, I do not know whether my, honourable Friend, who is a countryman; of my own, is a supralapsarian or a sublapsarian. I have taken the liberty of looking at him most carefully, and I find that he has all the aspect of a sublapsarian, and if in some of his occasional but most welcome visits to us and the land of his nativity he happened to stray; into one of the parish churches for the purposes of worship, he might have to listen to a most vehement attack upon sublapsarianism, and, however much at might wound his deeper convictions and 1065 his more sacred emotions, he would still have to grin and bear it, because, however misguided in his opinion the divine might be, he would still have the protection of the law. Now, I contend, that that is practically the same with the Catholicising and Ritualistic tendencies that exist in the Church of England. Until the Privy Council has pronounced a doctrine, however Catholic or Ritualistic in its aspect it may be, to be illegal, no one has any right to say it may not be followed, and it would be presumptive to say it could not be in strict accord with the right interpretation of the ambiguous parts of the Thirty-nine Articles and the Prayer Book. The Puritan Church in past times distinctly looked upon the Church of England as having a catholic aspect of the character I have described. The Church of Scotland itself repeatedly reproaches the Church of England, as it now exists, with being somewhat Popish, and I am not prepared to say they are wrong. I think they are approximately right, although I do not think any the less of the Church of England for their interpretation of the Scriptures. You will find the germ, or, as the right honourable Gentleman would say, the bacillus of Rome, at least in its best aspect, in that prayer book, the surplice, and the cope, which are not only permitted, but in some eases commended. There you have the whole matter in embryo, and it only wants a work of up evolution to bring those garments into a state of very high Ritualistic development. If you may employ two vestments, why not 22, if the Privy Council permit? It seems to me obvious in the name of common sense that if a man may wear a surplice and a cope there can be no hindrance to his deglutition to any amount of linen drapery. Therefore, to say of any priest of the Church of England with the authority of the Privy Council, that in explaining the rudimentary conceptions that are contained in his Articles he is disloyal to his ordination vows, and that ha is a perjured priest, is not only too monstrous, but it is worse; it is bad history, it is bad laws. If there is anything in the nature of perjury that can be ascribed 1066 to any of the parties in the Church of England, I should say it is most obviously ascribable to the Broad Church party that explains away the supernatural, because it requires no Privy Council to tell us that the supernatural bristles not only in every line but in every syllable of the Articles of the Prayer Book, and it is to me a very strange and inexplicable thing that while the Catholicising and ritualising party is singled out for anathema on the slightest ground of apparent unfaithfulness, the Broad Church party is never touched at all, and to me it is one of the most astounding phenomena of these fin-de-siècle times that the very man who was the leader of the famous or infamous essayists and reviewers, who was politely described by the Puritanical party as Satan against Christ, is at this moment the Archbishop of Canterbury. It shows us only too well that where one man may steal a horse, another man may not look over the hedge. I have said that my honourable Friend's Amendment is anti-Liberal in policy, and I think after all that that is the most serious accusation that I have got to bring against him and his Amendment, and against those who are going to support him. What should be the true attitude of Liberalism towards this religious and ecclesiastical question? Surely it should be this, that it should seek as its ultimate object completely to extract civil life from all the turmoil of theological and ecclesiastical, entanglements; that it should seek to separate the Church from the State, and that in the schools it should boldly proclaim the righteous and the right policy of secular education. Never until the Liberal Party will uphold and faithfully maintain those two ideas, will it be true to itself and to its principles, or be able to deal, with a free hand with the problems and the questions that are involved in matters of this sort. It is because of its cowardice in connection with these matters that to a large extent it is suffering from a deserved paralysis of power. But if, as a matter of prudence, Liberalism is to deal with the State Church, then its duty is to do what it can to approximate equality of treatment by adopting the principle of comprehension and comprehensiveness in a State Church. I do not propose to speak for honourable 1067 Gentlemen opposite. Indeed, as things stand, I do not propose to speak for Gentlemen on this side, but I can speak for myself, and I can tell Gentlemen here what they ought to do, and whenever they have to deal with the State Church they must do what they can to approximate equality in the treatment of theological and ecclesiastical parties by doing all they can to make the State Church comprehensive—in fact, to adopt the principles of the English Reformation by seeking to include all parties rather than by the exclusion of a variety of parties in favour of a select few. From that point of view I am as glad to see people of the Catholicising and ritualising tendency in the Church of England as I am to see the Puritanical party. The one as far as I can see, has as good a right to be recognised by the State Church as the other; not that I for one have any particular affection for the Catholicising and ritualising party, and I will not say exactly what my attitude is towards the Puritanical party. I only say that I am as glad to see one as I am to see the other, and I will be bound that from that point of view I am, in my humble capacity, tolerably popular with all the various sects with whom I occasionally come in contact, because they all know that for what I am worth, I am as determined an opponent to each of them as each of them is to all their adversaries. But that is very far from being the attitude of my honourable Friend in his Amendment. What he is driving at is to make the Church of England an exclusively Puritanical preserve. If he succeeded in carrying his Amendment, I do not think he will succeed in his object, because what would happen would be that practically in each diocese you would have clergy of a particular complexion. They would be all Broad Churchmen—not to my honourable Friend's delight—or they would be Evangelical, Puritanical, or Catholicising, and surely that would be a kaleidoscopic state of matters that would not be satisfactory to my honourable Friend. But whatever the effect of his Amendment might be the intention of it is to convert the Church of England into a narrow Puritanical preserve. Now, I maintain that 1068 that is utterly inconsistent with the principles of Liberalism, and that no man who votes for the Amendment of my honourable Friend, if he examines his vote when the excitement of this Division is passed, will have a very high testimonial from his own conscience, whether its dimensions be large or small. That being so, I intend to vote against the Amendment of my honourable Friend as powerfully as the possession of a single vote will enable me to do.
§ * SIR J. KENNAWAY (Devon, Honiton)
I do not intend to follow the honourable Gentleman who has last spoken into the definition as to what a State Church should be, but I do not like to give a silent vote on this occasion. I do not share the gloomy view of my honourable Friend who has brought forward this Amendment as to the condition of the Church of England and the danger of the relapse of the people of this country into Romanism, but I do feel that we have arrived at a grave crisis. I entirely repudiate any desire to make the Church of England a Puritanical preserve. I rejoice in its comprehensiveness. I rejoice in its name of Catholic, of the Church of the Apostles, maintaining the unbroken traditions. It is Protestant also against the errors of Rome. There is, however, a grave crisis, and there has been a tendency to minimise that crisis. My honourable Friends have sought to minimise it, and they say that the practices complained of have been confined to a very few churches; but I think it was stated by the honourable Member, and not denied, that the English Church Union does include 4,000 of the Church of England, and you must take the opinions of a body like that from the expressions used, and nothing could have justified the discussion of this question more than this deeply-to-be-regretted, statement of the gentlemen of the English Church Union meeting held on Thursday last. I believe that the bishops who have been so much attacked have been privately doing a great deal to restrain the excesses complained of, but there have been cases where bishops have taken part in without any protest (and if 1069 they do that they must be held to sanction practices of the most extreme kind. In certain dioceses there are bishops who have been very severe on anything like the practices which have been defended by the evangelical party, such as evening communions, but who have encouraged and promoted those men who have been really going beyond the length to which they are entitled to go. Liberty is not, licence, and those who eat the bread of the Church of England are bound to adhere loyally to their promises and to the pledge which they gave at their ordination to be true and loyal to the beliefs and practices of the Church of England. I repeat that a great crisis has come upon us, and the laity have been suffering silently because they have had no legitimate means of expressing their opinion. But, while they have not a voice in their own dioceses, they have it here, and this is the place where their anxieties and fears should find expression. This discussion has shown a strong feeling in this House—a very strong feeling, indeed—in regard to those practices which cannot but have an effect. But the question immediately before us is, can those feelings be given the force of law in this Bill. And I do not think they can by this Amendment. I think that to attempt to do so would bring about an amount of confusion and almost dismay when it would be found what would be the effect of it that we should all deplore and regret. We are not called upon here to vote for an abstract resolution; we are called upon to see whether we can graft into this Bill anything of the character proposed now, and I do not think we can. None the less, I feel we owe a great debt to my honourable Friend who has brought forward this Motion. He has voiced the feeling of the country, and that feeling has found a very strong echo in this House, and what may come of it cannot say. But let those who are interested take note. I am old enough to remember the feeling created by the Public Worship Bill, and how that feeling rose and grew till not even Mr. Gladstone dared to divide the House against that Bill, strong as his feelings were. That same feeling is growing at 1070 the present time, and we cannot say what consequences it may have. I do not myself wish to see another Public Worship Bill introduced into this House, but I do hope that the country and the clergy will take note of the feeling manifested in this House during the Debate on this Bill, and Will see to what extent they are going, and how the Church must inevitably be broken up, and its grand influence for good be greatly diminished, if not altogether destroyed, unless we can agree that we will be true and loyal to the Church of England, and that we will not encourage or tolerate any of these practices, that we will give up those things, even if they are dear to us, for the sake of maintaining that true and loyal attachment to her practices and to the articles in the Prayer Book, without which we cannot long expect to maintain her influence.
§ MR. MOSS (Denbighshire, E.)
I quite agree with the observations of the honourable Member for East Edinburgh as to it being the duty of the Liberal Party to extract the Church from the turmoils of ecclesiastical entanglements. But as long as we have a large majority in this House in favour of the union of the Church and State, we have to consider what our attitude should be with regard to the proposed Amendment. We have to consider when a presentee is presented to a living this one question, that his attitude ought not to be contrary to, or inconsistent with the articles of religion, commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles, and that he should not indulge in any ecclesiastical practices not authorised by the Book of Common Prayer. Now, Sir, we have had four objections, and only four objections, from Members on the other side to the Amendment which has been proposed by my honourable Friend. The first objection is that the practices complained of are not quite so excessive as the honourable Member who moved the Amendment would have the House to believe. The evil to some extent is admitted—there is not a single Member on the other side of the House 1071 who does not know that the evil really exists in the Church, but they propose to deal with it exactly as they propose to deal with the sale of advowsons. They propose in the case of advowsons to stop public sales, but to allow sales by private treaty; and in this case, because the evil is not sufficiently flagrant, and has not become sufficiently public, and is not sufficiently extensive, they decline to deal with it. I submit that if the evil exists at all—that if there are men in the Church who have violated the vows that they have taken at their ordination—that they have violated the principles of the Thirty-nine Articles—that then the bishop ought, on the lines laid down in this Bill, to refuse to institute him to the living. The second objection is that this Amendment is not within the scope of the Bill. But if it is within the scope of this Bill that a bishop may refuse to institute a presentee to a living because of grave misconduct, or of neglect of duty, or of evil life, or of grave public scandal, surely it is open to a bishop to refuse to institute a presentee because he is a person who has violated his ordination vows, and has lived a public life in open violation of the principles of the Thirty-nine Articles. Then, Sir, we are told, in the third place, that the Amendment is not necessary because it is provided for by the existing law, and we had a case quoted to us which came before Mr. Baron Pollock in 1884, that by the existing laws the bishop might refuse to institute a person who has not carried out his ordination vows according to the principles of the Thirty-nine Articles. But if that is so, if it is open to the bishop to refuse to institute a person who has been presented to a benefice who has led a publicly evil life, who has been guilty of grave misconduct, or who has caused grave scandal concerning his moral character since his ordination, surely it ought to be equally open to a bishop to refuse to institute when matters have arisen that are within the scope of this Amendment. We have had a fourth objection to this Amendment, and I must confess that I was exceedingly sorry to hear that the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury should assign this as a reason for declining to entertain the Amendment—the 1072 reason he gave being that this was a proposal of lunatics and of idiots.
§ MR. MOSS
I am within the recollection of the House. The right honourable Gentleman distinctly stated that anyone who, in cold blood, could propose an Amendment of this nature would be adopting the proposal of a lunatic or an idiot. If, however, I have misunderstood the right honourable Gentleman, I do not propose to press that any further. We were told by the Attorney General that if ritual and matters of ritual had been within the scope of this Bill, we should not in clause 3 have the proposal for a court of appeal comprising one of the judges of the Queen's Bench Division. But, Sir, we have to deal with existing facts. We have to deal with a State Church. I am quite sure that under ordinary circumstances no one would say that I, as a Nonconformist, would not be a proper person to claim a right to interfere and to express opinions upon matters connected with the State Church, but I have been sent here by a county, which, together with other constituencies in the country, claims that I am to be heard in this House. I do not come here exclusively as a Nonconformist, I come as representing a constituency that has a right to be heard. If I, as a Nonconformist, under the existing state of things, have a right as a Member of this House to express an opinion in connection with the State Church, I am saying nothing which in any way is contrary to the argument in connection with this Amendment. I hope, in conclusion, that this House will support the Amendment of the honourable Member on the ground that the principle of the Amendment has been admitted by the First Lord of the Treasury and by the Attorney General.
Page 2, line 31, after the word 'presentee,' insert the words 'has within the five years next preceding his presentation taught doctrines contrary to or inconsistent with the articles of religion commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles, or participated in ecclesiastical practices not authorised by the Book of Common Prayer.'"—(Mr. S. Smith.)
§ The House divided:—Ayes 103; Noes 215.—(Division List No. 157.)1075
|Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)|
|Allen, Wm. (Newe.-under-L.)||Holden, Sir Angus||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. Henry||Howard, Joseph||Randell, David|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Baker, Sir John||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Bethell, Commander||Labouchere, Henry||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Billson, Alfred||Lambert, George||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Lawrence. Wm. F. (Liverp'l)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Brigg, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry)||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Buchanan, Thos. Ryburn||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Spicer, Albert|
|Burt, Thomas||Leng, Sir John||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Caldwell, James||Lewis, John Herbert||Stock, James Henry|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Lloyd-George, David||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen. E.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Logan, John William||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Clark, Dr. G.B. (Caithness-sh.)||Monk, Charles James||Ure, Alexander|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Colville, John||Morley, Chas. (Breconshire)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Moss, Samuel||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Davies,M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Newdigate, Francis Alex.||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Norton, Captain Cecil Wm.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Duckworth, James||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Owen, Thomas||Wilson, Fredk. W. (Norfolk)|
|Evershed, Sydney||Paulton, James Mellor||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)|
|Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Samuel Smith and Colonel Sandys.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Price, Robert John|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. P.||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.|
|Arnold, Alfred||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Arrol, Sir William||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Finch, George H.|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready||Fisher, William Haves|
|Balcarres, Lord||Colston, Chas. E. Athole||FitzGerald, Sir R, Penrose-|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manc'r)||Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||FitzWygram, General Sir F.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Fletcher, Sir Henry|
|Barry, Rt Hn AH Smith-(Hunts)||Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Folkestone, Viscount|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.||Forster, Henry William|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Cranborne, Viscount||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Fry, Lewis|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Bigwood, James||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Garfit, William|
|Bill, Charles||Curran, Thos. B. (Donegal)||Gedge, Sydney|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Gibbons, J. Lloyd|
|Bond, Edward||Dalbiac, Col. Philip Hugh||Giles, Charles Tyrrell|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Gilliat, John Saunders|
|Brassey, Albert||Daly, James||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. John|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Dane, Richard M.||Godson, Augustus Frederick|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Davitt, Michael||Gordon, Hon. John Edward|
|Burdett-Coutts. W.||Denny, Colonel||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.|
|Butcher, John George||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. Geo's)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Doogan, P. C.||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)|
|Chaloner, Captain R, G. W.||Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Drage, Geoffrey||Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs)|
|Greville, Captain||Macaleese, Daniel||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Saunderson, Col. Ed. James|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||Maclure, Sir John William||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||McArthur, Chas. (Liverp'l)||Sharpe, Wm. Edward T.|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.||McCalmont, Mj.-Gn. (Ant'mN)||Shaw-Stewart, M.H. (Renfrew)|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||McKillop, James||Shee, James J.|
|Hardy, Laurence||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Smith, J. P. (Lanarksh.)|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Helder, Augustus||Milner, Sir Frederick George||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Henderson, Alexander||Milton, Viscount||Stanley, Ed. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Milward, Colonel Victor||Strauss, Arthur|
|Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Monckton, Edward Philip||Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley|
|Hobhouse, Henry||More, Robert Jasper||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Howell, William Tudor||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Morrell, George Herbert||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hutchinson, Capt. G.W. Grice-||Morrison, Walter||Talbot, Rt Hn. J.G.(Oxf'dUny.)|
|Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Thorburn, Walter|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Mount, William George||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Murdoch, Charles Townshend||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Kemp, George||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Wallace, Robt. (Edinburgh)|
|Kenyon, James||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William||Myers, William Henry||Waring, Col. Thomas|
|Kimber, Henry||Nicholson, William Graham||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Lafone, Alfred||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Penn, John||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Pryce-Jones, Edward||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Purvis, Robert||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Wilson, J. W. (Worc, N.)|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Rentoul, James Alexander||Wodehouse, E. R. (Bath)|
|Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Richards, Henry Charles||Wylie, Alexander|
|Lorne, Marquess of||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)||Younger, William|
|Lowe, Francis William||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Lowles, John||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Lucas-Shadwell, William||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Russell, Gen. F.S. (Cheltenham)|
§ And, it being Midnight, Further Proceeding, on Consideration, as amended, stood adjourned.