§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
moved the Second Reading of this Bill. He said he did not propose to address the House at any length, for the sub stance of the measure was discussed when the general question was brought before the House at an earlier part of the session. He pointed out that tins Bill had a two-fold object. He thought its real object had been misunderstood. In the first place, it was intended to make more simple the costly and cumbrous system by which litigation on ecclesiastical matters was carried on at present in the ordinary Courts of law. There was also an alternative form of procedure, which would be of great advantage in connection with matters of ecclesiastical dispute. It must be admitted, he thought, that the chief power of dealing with these matters should be committed to the Bishops and Archbishops, who were the natural guardians and governors of the national Church. The proposals in this Bill did not take away in any way the rights of litigants who wished to go to the ordinary Courts, but it gave an alternative form of procedure by which the Bishops or Archbishops might exercise an administrative power in order to bring about a better state of discipline in the Church of England. That was in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the ecclesiastical Courts. Everyone would be agreed that they ought to escape the hostile and aggressive litigant, and that they ought to have the matter settled in a quiet, administrative manner by the Bishop, with an appeal to the Archbishop, or the Archbishops Court in order to have the necessary uniformity.
§ MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
called attention to the fact that there were not forty Members present.
§ On the House being counted, it was found that there was a quorum present.
§ MR. CRIPPS
, resuming, said this matter had come before the House of Laymen of the Province of Canterbury this day, and, by a large majority, the principle of the Bill was accepted. He begged to move the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. CHARLES MCARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)
said he must apologise to the House if heexpressed himself with some degree of hesitation, owing to the fact that this Bill had come before the House very unexpectedly. He begged, however, to move the Amendment which stood in his name, "That this House, while recognising the need for further legislation to secure conformity on the part of the clergy of the Established Church to the directions of the Prayer-book and the decisions of the Ecclesiastical Courts, declines to sanction a measure which would ignore the rights of the laity, impair the Royal supremancy, and substitute an arbitrary episcopal discretion for the law of Church and Realm." As the hon. and learned Member for the Stretford Division had said, the subject of Church discipline had already been before the House during the present session in connection with the Bill introduced by his hon. friend the Member for the Toxteth Division of Liverpool. That Bill was read a second time by a majority of fifty-one. In his judgment the present Bill was practically a negation in all important particulars of the Bill the House had previously given its assent to. It was stated in the preamble of the Bill now before the House that one of its prominent features was the desire to avoid the evils of litigation, and the hon. and learned Member had referred again to the fact that all these questions ought to be settled in an administrative manner by the Bishops in the exercise of their authority, and as being the persons most competent to deal with the matter, rather 504 than by the ordinary Courts of law. He begged to take entire exception to that view. He ventured to think that the Bishops were singularly unfitted by virtue of their office to deal with matters of this kind; they had not the legal training, and they naturally approached this subject from, to some extent, a partial standpoint—whether High, Low, or Broad Church—and they approached the matter with the theological bias of the school in which they had been brought up. Therefore they had not got that dispassionate consideration to give a matter of this kind, that a trained Judge had. The first Clause of the Bill stated that if a complaint of the conduct of a clergyman was made to the Bishop, whether on the subject of doctrine or ritual, the Bishop might deal with the complaint by the exercise of his own authority. He pointed out that the Bishop might deal with the matter entirely in camera; he had not to hear evidence in the ordinary way; he had not to proceed according to any rule of law; he might hear and decide the matter in his own study; he might deal with it in writing without having either the accuser or accused be fore him, and he might issue his monition without giving any reason whatever for that monition. He ventured to say that was a very arbitrary exercise of the Bishop's authority, and he did not think it was fair either to the clergyman or the layman. They had the right of trial in open court. But what came next? Supposing the Bishop, being satisfied that the complaint was well founded, issued his monition and desired the clergyman to abstain from the conduct complained of, what followed? The clergyman, if he saw fit, might resort to the ordinary Courts; he might say "I don't elect to be bound by this episcopal decision; I elect to have my case tried under the Church Discipline Act and prefer to go before the Court in the ordinary way." Was that right given to the layman? No, it was not. He pointed to the obvious unfairness of the Bill in giving the clergyman the right to elect whether he would accept the monition of the Bishop, or go to Court and have the case tried in the ordinary way, while the layman had no option whatever if the Bishop decided to deal with the matter. That was very one-sided justice. Suppose that the clergyman did not appeal 505 to the ordinary Courts, but accepted the monition of the Bishop, if the clergyman disobeyed the monition certain ecclesiastical penalties were to fall upon him, but if the clergyman was dissatisfied with the monition he could appeal against it to a Court which was constituted in accordance with a provision in this Bill, but the layman had no right of appeal. That was another instance of the one-sided application of the Bill. He was astonished at his hon. and learned friend the Member for Stretford putting his name to such a Bill. He could not understand why a gentleman so familiar with our jurisprudence, and such an eminent lawyer as he was, should put his name to a Bill which was so obviously one-sided, by giving the clergyman on two occasions the right of appeal to the Courts, and absolutely denying that to the layman.
He would summarise his Objections to the Bill. In the first place the procedure was arbitrary; in the second place the recourse to litigation was given to the clergyman only; in the third place the appeal from the monition was given to the clergyman only; and in the fourth place the appeal to the Privy Council was altogether superseded. Those responsible for the Bill which was before the House earlier in the session refused to have anything to do with this Bill; they considered that it was simply brought forward for the purpose of defeating by a side wind the Bill which was then under consideration, so far from regarding the Bill as being a settlement of the question at issue, they decidedly considered it made matters worse than before. It was a Bill brought in to increase the authority of the Bishops and to substitute the authority of the Bishops for the law of the land; it was a Bill brought in to deprive the laity of their rights and to close the Courts of law against them if any complaint was made in future. The opponents of the measure could not shut their eyes to the fact that there was, on the part of a very large portion of the clergy and a large portion of the Episcopal Bench, very strong dislike to the law of the land as administered by the Courts. They had only to read the speeches of Bishops at diocesan conferences to find that they were continually expressing disapprobation of appeal to the Courts, and why 506 was it that they disapproved of the Courts of law? It was because the Courts and the Privy Council had disapproved of the ritualistic and sacerdotal innovations which had been playing such havoc in the Church of England. Nothing would please a great number of the clergyman better to find some way by which they could throw over authority of Parliament and make a new law for themselves, according to their own idea of what was fit at the present time. The hon. Member pointed out that certain Bishops, notwithstanding the Lambeth judgment, had sanctioned modified use of incense and had allowed a modified use of reservation. It was impossible to be oblivious to the fact that this indisposition to carry out the law was part of a great scheme going on at present to change the character of the Church of England, and to introduce into it medieval customs which were discarded at the Reformation and doctrines repudiated by that Reformation, and to assimilate the doctrine and practice of the Church of England to the doctrine and practice of the Church of England to the doctrine and practice of the Church of Rome. He ventured to say that masses of our people who were Protestants to the backhone were watching the course of this controversy with the closest attention. They were watching, and would judge by the votes given that night what was the temper and disposition of those who gave the votes in respect to this movement. They knew that this was a Bill in opposition to a measure which had already received its Second Reading, and they would form their own conclusions as to whether it was intended by means of this Bill to strike another blow at the Protestantism of this country. He begged to move.
§ MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, K.)
said that in seconding the Amendment of the hon. Member for Liverpool he wished to say, with great respect, that he was surprised that the hon. and learned Member for Stretford, who had an almost official connection with the Church of England, should have introduced a Bill of such wide scope, and of such a distinctly revolutionary nature. If the Bill had been limited to facilitating the working of machinery of the existing law; if it enabled the Bishops to better discharge their obvious duty under the existing law of the land, and 507 to render the exercise of their duty in regard to doctrine and ritual more satisfactory to the whole members of the Church of England, then he would have considered the measure in a different light. But the Bill was of a revolutionary character. It gave the Bishop power to suspend and to deprive a clergyman at his own initiative, or on ex parte representation, in fact without hearing evidence from one side or the other, and without any judicial form of procedure. The Bill was unjust, not only to the laity, whom it ousted from their lights, but to the clergy charged with offences against ritual and doctrine. At present a clergyman charged with an ecclesiastical offence had the right to go before the Courts of the country constituted to deal with these questions as an innocent man, and free, in the first instance, from any stigma against him. But what was the position of the clergyman under this Bill? The Bishop might come to his own opinion about the charge against him, and issue his monition against him, thereby giving a preliminary decision against the clergyman. And then if the incriminated clergyman used his option under Clause 2 of the Bill to be tried under the Church Discipline Act, he had to go into Court with the rope round his neck as condemned already. He was astonished that the hon. and learned Gentleman had not given fuller consideration to that point, and he challenged some explanation in regard to it. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that he wished to make clear the responsibilities of the Bishops, but he did so by placing the Bishop above the law and making him a law to himself and an absolute despot over his clergy. It was questionable whether the House of Laymen fully represented the lay feeling on this question. The hon. Member for Liverpool had pointed out the extreme injustice and inequality of treatment of the two parties to a suit under the Bill. Suppose the group of laymen brought a charge against a clergyman they would have no option whatever of putting in force the ordinary law of 508 the land, but would be tied down by the decision of the Bishop. But if the clergyman thought it better policy to come in close contact with the Bishop, he had only to exercise the option given under Clause 2, and then the laymen were out of the case altogether. In fact the Bill deprived the laity of the existing remedy provided for them by Parliament. He called this Bill a Bill of absolutely false pretences. It seemed to him to be a Bill designed to carry out the extreme pretensions of the extreme High Church party which had been ventilated again and again in books and essays, and in Convocation. He had the warmest possible admiration for the present Bishop of Worcester, who had devoted his ability to try and constitute some form of Church government which would deal with questions of ritual and doctrine, but the aim of that Bishop, and those associated with him, and the efforts they had made, however sincere and well-intentioned, had only produced schemes which made the clergy, from the Bishops downwards, practically masters and controllers of every phase of Church life in regard to doctrine and ritual and conduct the of the lives of laymen. He must say that he had some admiration for violent extremists like Lord Halifax, who said what he meant and acted according to his profession. Lord Halifax, in a recent speech at Cambridge, practically invited Churchmen to defy Parliament and the laity, and set up nothing more nor less than a sacerdotal despotism. That was a frank avowal of what they had to face. The Bill which received its Second Reading the other day set up no new tribunal, but simply asserted the right of the laity to have access to existing Courts, so as to obtain speedy and effective redress for their grievances; but the Bill under discussion set up a new tribunal, created a new power, and handed over to the Bishops a despotic control of the Church in matters of doctrine and ritual, which would be detrimental to the rights of the laity, and even of the clergy, and was one step further to that complete sacerdotalising of the Church of England which Lord Halifax openly avowed.
To leave out from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, and add the words 'This House, while recognising the need for further legislation to secure conformity on the part of the clergy of the Established Church to the directions of the Prayer-book and the decisions of the Ecclesiastical Courts, declines to sanction a measure which would ignore the rights of the laity, impair the Royal supremacy, and substitute an arbitrary Episcopal discretion for the law of Church and Realm.'"—(Mr. Charles M'Arthur.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
said it could not be expected that he should support a Bill if all the things were true which were said of it by the hon. Member who moved its rejection. Very gross misconceptions were prevalent with respect to the Bill. The Bill kept absolutely intact all existing procedures, supremacies, and appeals, and it removed no option whatever from any member of the laity. It left the laity in full possession of all their existing control of the removal of any existing grievances. It would still be open to any aggrieved person to institute all the old procedures, and with the same likelihood of success as at present. Far from impairing the Royal supremacy, and taking away the rights of the laity, as was said, the Bill did not substitute any arbitrary Episcopal discretion, but rather laid on the Episcopal Bench and its members a very serious and solemn duty, for under the Bill it would not be open to the Bishop to refuse to proceed after complaint under this Bill had been made to him. He was really astonished that the Bill should have been described in the way it had been by the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment. He supported the Bill 510 because it would afford a summary, ready, and inexpensive method of putting an end to lawlessness and disloyalty in the Church. It afforded a real remedy for disloyalty in place of the undignified, painful, and discreditable alternatives which were, unfortunately, all that the present law supplied. His hon. and learned friend the Member for Stretford was to be congratulated on having introduced the Bill, and he hoped that it would be read a second time by a large majority.
§ MR. ROBSON (South Shields)
said that the hon. and learned Member who introduced the Bill described it as providing an alternative and co-ordinate jurisdiction within the Church to the ordinary lay jurisdiction without the Church. That was a plausible description of the Bill, but it would be seen, he thought, on close examination, to cover a somewhat dangerous infringement of the rights of the common people in regard to the Church. It was quite true that the Bill provided a co-ordinate and alternative jurisdiction, but what did that mean? It meant that two parties might substitute the Bishop's jurisdiction for that of the Law Courts. That might be very desirable from the point of view of the persons immediately concerned in the complaint.
§ MR. ROBSON
said that that could be done now if the opinion of the Bishop was desired, but the opinion of the Bishop had no legal sanction, except such sanction as was given to it by those who desired the opinion of the Bishop. The Bill proposed to invest what hitherto might have been termed an academic or theological opinion with all the terrors of 511 the law. His hon. and learned friend said the Bill made no alteration in the law, but if it did not make an alteration of the law he was sure the hon. and learned Gentleman would not have introduced it. That might be all very well from the point of view of the immediate parties concerned, viz., the clergyman and the claimant. But these were by no means the only persons interested. The complaint might relate to some question of doctrine or ritual in the Church of England, and it was not for the two persons to invite some decision on a particular point, it was not for them to invite or invoke a tribunal whose opinion and decision would have a general authority over the people at large. The Church of England had become of late a National Church in a sense to which it could not lay claim, or at all events did not lay claim, until two or three years ago. Previously it was supported by that which was described as its own property tithe and the contributions of its Members; but the National Church now was supported by rates and taxes. ["Hear, hear," and MINISTERIAL cries of "No."] It was not merely this or that community, this or that clergyman, who was interested in the ritual and doctrines of the National Church. It was every ratepayer, every taxpayer. [MINISTERIAL Cries of, "Oh, oh."] Every Nonconformist who was called upon to pay out of his substance for the teaching of Church doctrines was entitled by every rule of equity and honesty to have some say in the tribunal that was to determine what those doctrines were to be. The hon. and learned Member must know that all these parties were on a totally different footing now to what they were two or three years ago. The Nonconformists had now a locus standi which Churchmen 512 had hitherto denied them. The doctrine which the Bishop was to lay down as being the doctrine of the Church, was a doctrine to be taught in the schools, and which could be imposed by episcopal or clerical direction on the schoolmaster. It was, therefore, the doctrine for which not only Churchmen, but Wesleyans, Methodists. Baptists, and other Nonconformists had to pay. It was for the Nonconformists to accept, according to the Bill, the opinion of the Bishop obtained by the consent of the two parties to the complaint without uttering a word. All that they had got to do was to pay. Now that would not do. He for one entirely disputed the right of two persons in a parish, one of whom was the clergyman, to choose the tribunal that was to decide the doctrine to be taught in the village school.
§ MR. ROBSON
said he would not put his authority as an ecclesiastical lawyer against that of his hon. friend, but he-could assure him that he was on this occasion mistaken in his law. No doubt a Bishop, on the invitation of the clergymen and other persons might have the power to declare the doctrines of the Church of England but his declaration was perfectly worthless in law.
§ MR. ROBSON
Does the noble Lord say that the Bishop having decided, can follow up his decision with suspension.
§ MR. ROBSON
asked him then what on earth was the use of the Bill. If his hon. and learned friend were right, what did he mean by taking up the valuable time of the House by introducing a Bill apparently from end to end not merely worthless, but wholly superfluous and I unnecessary for any purpose? But it was not the law that the Bishop on the expression of his opinion should thereupon have a right to suspend a clergyman from performing Divine service. It he had not the right now he hoped the House would not proceed to confer it by that Bill. No doubt he might have some jurisdiction, but apparently it was harmless. It would be vicious both in principle and in practice, and the Bill was intended to give practical efficiency to a vicious principle. If they were going to alter the disciplinary procedure of the Church of England they must consult—not merely the communicants, not merely the clergymen and the Bishops—they must consult the lay power representing the whole people of England under the name of the Royal supremacy. He thought that far too much attention was given, in the consideration of Church Discipline Bills, to mere matters of ritual. Ritual was much overrated in these controversies. He for one would allow almost unlimited latitude of ritual to those who found in it different forms of spiritual instruction, but having once got the doctrine let them be careful not to unduly restrict the capacity for doctrinal development of the Church of England. He could not imagine anything more mischievous in regard to doctrinal development than to permit a communicant, a clergyman, or a Bishop here or there to decide with anything like authority on those doctrines. With regard to the details of the Bill, he could 514 not imagine a more impractical proceeding than that there should be an appeal from one Archbishop to the other. Of course the Archbishop sitting as a Court of appeal would remember a decision of his own which had been reversed by his brother Archbishop on a previous occasion, and would have little respect for his judgment. But that was a matter for the Committee. What they were now concerned with was the broader principle that not merely communicants of the Church of England, but the whole people of England who now paid their rates and taxes for teaching the Anglican doctrine, should have the right to say what that doctrine was and how it ought to be taught.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I have derived so much entertainment from that part of the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman which I have heard that I regret I was not here at the beginning of it. As I understand, he has had the ingenuity to drag into the discussion of my hon. and learned friend's Bill all the controversies, as well as reminiscences of the speeches which he made in the weary months in which we were discussing the Education Bill of last year. That is a piece of marvellous ingenuity on which I really congratulate the hon. and learned Gentleman. I hope that ingenuity will not have—if he will forgive the phrase—the same perverted exercise when we come to discuss another Education Bill that is now before the House. I fail to follow what I gathered was the principal contention of the hon. and learned Gentleman. I do not think he yielded to the view of my hon. friend behind me, who thinks that the Bill now before us will 515 destroy the appeal to the Privy Council. That is a question on which I do not like to offer an opinion, but I do not think the hon. and learned Gentleman committed himself to that proposition. I think he agrees with all the lawyers whom I have had the pleasure of consulting that it does not destroy the appeal to the Privy Council, and, therefore, my hon. friend's fears in that respect are unfounded. The hon. and learned Gentleman appears to think that it is a serious consideration, to be weighed by those who are going to vote for or against the Second Reading of this Bill, that voluntary schools are now supported out of the rates instead of being supported out of the taxes. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman serious? He actually told the House at considerable length, not as a passing reference, not as a casual sarcasm, but as an elaborate contention, that, because before the Education Act of 1902 the taxes were devoted in part to the support of voluntary schools, and now the rates in addition to the taxes were in part devoted to that purpose, the whole position of the Church of England in relation to the laity was entirely altered.
§ MR. ROBSON
I said there was a great distinction between devoting tithes to the teaching of Church doctrine in schools and devoting rates and taxes to that teaching. I did not draw a distinction between rates and taxes, but between tithes on the one hand and rates and taxes on the other.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Is the hon. Member so absolutely ignorant of what our educational system has been for more than a generation that he does not know that taxes have been devoted to the support of voluntary schools?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Much more than they are now. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman coming down to this House to solemnly tell us that a system under which taxes were devoted to Church schools, in which there was absolutely no control by any authority whatever unless you call the inspection of the school control, did not support the Church more than a system under which the whole control of secular education is taken away from the Church managers? I have never heard a more amazing contention. He must have been presuming upon the emptiness of the House when he made that statement. Observe where it would lead us. It appears that the Church of England is now an Established Church in quite a different sense from what it ever was before. Before the Act of 1902, it was an Established Church in which the communicants might, indeed, have been the proper people to direct the policy of the Church in Church matters. Now it is not. Follow out that argument. Money is given under the Act of 1902, not to Church schools alone, but also to Roman Catholic schools, Wesleyan schools, and the schools of other denominations. Are the Wesleyans now an Established Church? Has every taxpayer and ratepayer a right now to look into the discipline of the Wesleyan Church which they had not before that Bill was passed? Then what is the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument? Why does he come down to the House and deal in fallacies of this kind, which may be good enough, possibly, on a controversial platform, but which really this House should be spared? I do not pledge 517 myself to the details of my hon. friend's Bill. As the House knows, my view upon both the measures which have been before the House in the course of the session was that they should pass the Second Reading and be referred to a Select Committee. In favour of that policy, I spoke and voted at an earlier stage; and believing, as I still do, that
§ Main Question put.518
§ it is a sound policy, I shall vote for the Second Reading of my hon. friend's Bill, and I shall hope that the original scheme which I ventured to press upon the House may be carried into effect.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 78; Noes, 58. (Division List No. 82.)517
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Purvis, Robert|
|Allhusen Augustus Henry Eden||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Rankin, Sir James|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Flower, Ernest||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Forster Henry William||Remnant, Jas. Farquharson|
|Arrol, Sir William||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gordon Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Green, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Bill, Charles||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bond, Edward||Heath, James (Staff's., N. W.)||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleof Wight|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Helder, Augustus||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Brassey, Albert||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. H. (Som'rs't, E.||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Stroyan, John|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Johnstone, Heywood||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc.||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.|
|Chapman, Edward||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Long Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lowe, Francis William|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Macdona, John Cumming||Mr. Cripps and Mr.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Stuart-Wortley.|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Milvain, Thomas|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Hoult, Joseph||Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc, Stroud)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Shackleton, David James|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbt. Hy.||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Joicey, Sir James||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Caldwell, James||Joyce, Michael||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lambert, George||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Wallace, Robert|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Denny, Colonel||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Fenwick, Charles||Priestley, Arthur||Wylie, Alexander|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Randles, John S.|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Rea, Russell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Rigg, Richard||Mr. Charles M'Arthur|
|Fyler, John Arthur||Roberts, John Bryn (Ei on)||and Mr. Channing.|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Robson, William Snowdon|
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 80; Noes, 56. (Division List No. 83.)519
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Purvis, Robert|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Rankin, Sir James|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Flower, Ernest||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Forster, Henry William||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Galloway, William Johnson||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bill, Charles||Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Bond, Edward||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Brassey, Albert||Helder, Augustus||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleof Wight|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hobhouse, Rt. Hn. H. (Somrst E.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jebb, Sir Richard Clavernouse||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Johnstone, Heywood||Stroyan, John|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Valentia, Viscount|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monm'th)||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.|
|Chapman, Edward||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lowe, Francis William||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Milvain, Thomas||Mr. Cripps and Mr.|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||More, Robt, Jasper (Shropshire||Stuart-Wortley.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead||Hoult, Joseph||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Shackleton, David James|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbt. Hy.||Joicey, Sir James||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Lambert, George||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Caldwell, James||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down North)||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Wallace, Robert|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Denny, Colonel||Markham, Arthur Basil||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Wilson, John (Falkirh)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Priestley, Arthur||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Fenwick, Charles||Randles, John S.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Rea, Russell|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Rigg, Richard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Mr. Charles M'Arthur|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Robson, William Snowdon||and Mr. Channing.|
§ Bill read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to a Select Committee."—(Mr. Cripps.)
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
said the question of referring the Bill to a Select Committee was one which deserved a great deal of consideration, because in a matter of that kind it might not be agreeable to those who desired to legislate on the other side, that the matter should be referred to a Select Committee. There was a difficulty in bringing the contending parties to a common consent as to whether this was the best proceeding to bring about satisfactory legislation. They were not likely to arrive at a general 520 consent unless the matter was dealt with in a spirit of compromise and conciliation. He thought that they ought to have some assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that he would take steps to ensure that no favour would be given to one Bill as compared with the other. He thought that the House ought to refuse to give one of the Bills a move in a direction that would not be satisfactory to the parties on the other side. It was exceedingly difficult to legislate on a matter which excited more passion and feeling than any other subject that could be brought before the House; and they ought to try to bring about a spirit of goodwill in order that both parties might be willing to accept a common course. He would ask hon. Members interested 521 in the other Bill to say whether they thought that the proposed course was desirable; and then he hoped the Prime Minister would be able to put before the House a proposal which would be acceptable to both parties.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the proposal which he had put before the House more than once was that both Bills should be referred to a Select Committee. Whether the fact that that proposal was refused on a previous occasion threw any difficulty in the way he could not say without further inquiry. At all events, in substance if not in form, there would be no difficulty in the Select Committee having both proposals before them. If there was any such difficulty hon. Members should do him the justice of saying that it was not of his seeking. He had done his best to obtain that arrangement, and he hoped it would be carried out.
§ MR. CHANNING
said the situation at which they had arrived was not a satisfactory one. At an early period of the session the House discussed a Bill, brought in with full notice in one of the fullest Houses of the session, and it was passed after the fullest discussion by an enormous majority. That Bill gave the right to the laity to obtain redress. Now, on this occasion, it happened that they had an absolutely snatch division taken in a thin House utterly unprepared to discuss or decide the matter. He ventured to say that the hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced the Bill had no idea whatever, when he came to the House this afternoon, that he would be able to bring it forward. To assert that the decision of 130 Members out of G70 should be regarded as the deliberate decision of the House of Commons, when 522 no opportunity had been given to Members interested to be present, was a travesty of debate. They were now invited to treat both Bills on the same level, and to send them to a Select Committee which might be manipulated in certain interests. He had been in the House a good many years, and had seen a good many Committees appointed, and he was well within his right in saying that many Committees appointed to deal with highly controversial subjects were not always composed in a strictly impartial and representative manner. This House decided deliberately, after full notice and by an immense majority, in favour of the other Bill; the present Bill was passed on a chance majority, and it was simply preposterous to represent one Bill as standing on the same footing as the other. He would most strongly oppose any attempt to refer this Bill to any Committee of the House. The attempt to seize the present opportunity to force this Bill down the throats of the House of Commons and give it an advantage over the other Bill, was, to his mind, a species of tactics discreditable to those who, although they did not design the occasion, availed themselves of it in a manner which did not represent the true spirit of the House as declared on a former occasion. He would ask hon. Members to consider fully what this action meant. Could it be denied that the great majority of this House representing the Protestant feeling of this country—
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must confine himself to the question of referring the Bill to a Committee.
§ MR. CHANNING
said he was only urging that the other Bill represented the opinion of a vast majority of the House, and that the present Bill, carried 523 on a chance majority, could not be regarded as representing the opinion of the majority of the House.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I must ask the hon. Member to remember that the question before the House is that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee. The hon. Member is now discussing whether the decision which was arrived at represents a majority of the House.
§ MR. CHANNING
said he would only say in conclusion that a Bill passed in such a manner was not entitled to any special privileges, and he would, therefore, resist the Motion.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said that if the Motion was to refer the Bill to the Standing Committee on Law in the usual way, there would be every chance that the decision of Parliament would be given effect to. He was surprised that the Prime Minister did not suggest that the Bill should be referred to the Standing Committee on Law. If the Bill were intended to pass, obviously it should be sent to that Committee; if, on the other hand, it was merely meant as a blocking Bill, a Bill to prevent legislation on the subject, then its object would be gained by sending it to a: Select Committee. Everyone knew that when a Bill was sent to a Select Committee its chance of becoming law was stultified altogether. The Prime Minister knew very well that if the Bill was sent to a Select Commiteee it would mean killing it.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said that the present Bill was intended merely to prevent 524 Parliament giving effect to its wishes. What was the use of sending the Bill to a Select Committee when the Prime Minister stated that both Bills were dead.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said it was perfectly obvious to anyone who was cognisant of Parliamentary practice that there would be no time for private Bills which had not got further than the two Bills referred to.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said that the Government could intervene in the case of a private Bill, and star it. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman was also aware that a movement was on foot for the purpose of getting facilities from the Government with reference to No. 1 Bill. He did not think the Prime Minister could say that the Bills were necessarily dead unless he himself killed them; but the right hon. Gentleman had also the power of resurrecting them. If the present Bill were not intended to become law what was the use of sending it to a Select Committee? That would mean embarking on a long inquiry, at the end of which they would find themselves no more forward than they were at present. On the contrary, their position would be worse, because a great deal of confusion would have been occasioned. He did not see any use, in the circumstances, of referring the Bill to a Select Committee; and he would, therefore, propose that they should allow the Bill.
§ And, it being Midnight, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed this day.
§ Adjourned at one minute after Twelve o'clock.