§ (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the property vested in the Welsh Commissioners by this Act, other than the property transferred to the representative body and burial grounds, shall be applied as follows:—
- (a) The property formerly appropriated to the use of parochial benfices and transferred to a county council shall be applied, in accordance with a scheme made by that council and approved by the Secretary of State, to any charitable eleemosynary or public purpose of local or general utility;
- (b) All other property to which this Section relates shall be applied in the first instance towards payment of the expenses of carrying this Act into execution (exclusive of any expenses incurred in the admininstration of any scheme made by a county council) and, subject thereto, shall be applied by the University of Wales by way of payment either of capital or annual sums, or partly in one such way and partly in the other, for the benefit of the following institutions, that is to say, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, the University College of North Wales, the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, the National Library of Wales, and the National Museum of Wales, so, however, that the ultimate share of each such University College shall be one-fourth, and of each of the other institutions one-eighth, of the total amount so distributable.
§ (2) In framing schemes under this Section as to the application of property formerly appropriated to the use of parochial benefices, due regard shall be had to the wants and circumstances of the parish in which the property is situate or from which it is or has been derived, and 2426 of the parish comprising the ecclesiastical parish to which any such property was attached, and generally to the circumstances of each particular case.
§ (3) A scheme made under this Section may be amended or revoked by a scheme made and confirmed in like manner as the original scheme.
§ (4) Every scheme made and confirmed under this Section shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after it is confirmed, and shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment I propose to select on this Clause is the one standing second on the Paper, in the name of the hon. Member for the Wilton Division. With regard to subsequent Amendments I think we had better wait the course of the Debate.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
May I draw your attention to an Amendment standing in my name, which deals with capitular Endowments. Will the present Amendment cover it?
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
In Sub-section (1), to leave out from the word "applied"["shall be applied as follows"] to end of Subsection, and to insert instead thereof the words "to the same purposes as those to which it had been formerly applied or as near thereto as circumstances will allow." I only wanted to know if it is covered?
§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1) to leave out from the word "applied"["shall be applied as follows"] to the end of the Sub-section, and to insert instead thereof the words "for the advancement of the Christian religion in Wales and Monmouthshire through the agency of one or more Christian denominations in such manner as the county council or the University of Wales, as the case may be, shall, with the consent of the Charity Commissioners, from time to time decide."
In moving this Amendment I think for the convenience of the Committee I had better read the Clause with my Amendment incorporated in it, so as to make its 2427 purport and intention perfectly clear. If the Amendment is carried, the Clause as amended will then read:
"(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the property vested in the Welsh Commissioners by this Act other than the property transferred to the representative body and burial grounds, shall be applied as follows:—
(a) For the advancement of the Christian religion in Wales and Monmouthshire through the agency of one or more Christian denominations in such manner as the county council or the University of Wales, as the case may be, shall, with the consent of the Charity Commissioners, from time to time decide."
For the convenience of the Committee also I shall refer back very shortly to Clause 8, because Clause 18 allocates property in the hands of the county councils on the one hand, and of the University of Wales on the other hand, that has been transferred to them by one of the later paragraphs of Clause 8. This paragraph was never discussed in this House, and was passed under the guillotine. The purport and effect of the latter part of Clause 8 is to transfer all the property which has been appropriated to parochial benefices to the county councils. That includes not merely the tithe rent-charge, but also, as I understand it, what I would call the glebe commutation money—subject of course to the Amendment which is about to be incorporated on the Report stage on the part of the Government. It also transfers the capitular and episcopal estates which are vested in what I may call the Central Diocesan Organisation, to the University of Wales. In approaching this matter to-day we may therefore take it that this property has actually reached the hands it is intended to reach, the hands of the county councils on the one hand, and the University of Wales on the other hand. As I understand the property which will pass to the county councils is estimated to be of the value of £131,000 a year, and the property which will pass to the University of Wales is estimated to be of the value of £36,700, making a total of £157,700.
Perhaps I ought to mention, by the way, there is a difference of destination as regards the tithe rent-charge and other property which has been appropriated to the parochial benefices. Under one Subsection of Clause 8 the tithe rent-charge 2428 will pass to the county council of the county in which is situate the land out of which the tithe issues. On the other hand, the Glebe Redemption Fund and any other property appropriated to the parochial benefices will pass to the county council in which is situate the parish which benefits by the enjoyment of this fund. I mention that by the way, because it is relevant to notice that the county council of the parish now enjoying these benefactions will not necessarily be the county council which will have the allocation of these respective funds. I think I ought to refer to Sub-section (2) of this Clause because it is rather difficult to understand what its meaning and intention are. It provides:
(2) In framing schemes under this Section as to the application of property appropriated to the use of parochial benefices, due regard shall be had to the wants and circumstances of the parish in which the property is situate or from which it is or has been derived, or of the parish comprising the ecclesiastical parish to which any such property was attached, and generally to the circumstances of each particular case.
On the face of it that seems to me to be a somewhat superfluous Sub-section, in view of the specific provisions of the first part of the Section, and in view of the differentiation to which I have referred in the case of two different classes of parochial property. There is one further consideration to which, in passing, I should like to refer. If it is intended to apply this money where it is most needed, and where the population is most largely increasing, it is relevant to notice that in the counties of Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire—with which personally I am most familiar—are roughly to be found 62 per cent. of the whole of the present population of Wales, leaving 38 per cent. only in the whole of the other eleven counties of the Principality. Although, therefore, it may be perfectly correct as a matter of history and justice, when you are going to deal with this property, to give the parishes in which it has been enjoyed the primary consideration, you are not thereby necessarily meeting the considerable social or religious requirements of the bulk of the present population of Wales.
With regard to the proposal contained in this particular Clause, I find it extremely difficult to speak with moderation. We have complained—and justly— 2429 of the taking away of property from the Church of England in Wales which that church has enjoyed for many hundreds of years. Admittedly she is putting it to a good use at the present time and bearing in mind the fact that she is all too-deficient in the resources for carrying on her great spiritual work in considering Clause 8 and other Clauses we have denounced this spoliation as a breach of trust. We have denounced it as being entirely contrary to the principles of civil jurisprudence. We have suggested to this House that it is also entirely contrary to the feeling of the majority of the earnest-minded Christians both in England and in Wales, and that if it were a breach of trust to take this property out of the hands of the Church of England for historical and other reasons, it is nothing short of sacrilege to say, as you do say by this Clause, that it shall be no longer devoted to the advancement of Christianity in Wales. If the former was a process, as I venture to think it was, of robbing the Church, surely it would not be an exaggeration to describe what is now suggested as robbing God. [An HON. MEMBER: "Oh!"] It is all very well for hon. Gentlemen opposite and above all Members of the Labour party, to speak with levity on this subject and to ridicule this suggestion. Surely the party that professes the so-called principles of Socialism should not treat the matter in that way. They describe Socialism as Christianity in its political aspect, and how can they when we are considering a suggestion to deprive Christianity of the chief means of its support and defence, with any consistency or semblance of principle, suggest that this matter ought not to be treated with the greatest seriousness, and ought not to be regarded as an act of sacrilege?
As regards the so-called principles upon which the deprivation of the Church is based, we have suggested, and I think with truth, that these principles are founded upon somewhat hazy history and cloudy conjecture. The present proposal has no basis either in history or in equity or in logic, and I defy any hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House to suggest that, although there may be—I do not say there is; I do not admit there is—some historical or logical basis for depriving the Church of England of these funds, there is any historical or logical basis for depriving Christianity of these funds. There has been a curious confusion in the minds of some hon. Gentlemen opposite, not many of them I 2430 think, between the history of the property held by the monasteries and admittedly applied to some extent for purposes ancil-liary to religion and not necessarily religious property in the strict sense and property that came into being and for many centuries was held for the maintenance of the Christian ministry and the advancement of Christianity. If the Church of England is not deemed to have any prescriptive title, surely on the showing of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and accepting their own historical basis for this Bill, Christianity may be deemed to have a prescriptive title. We are told that the Church of England is-simply the nation in its religious aspect, and that consequently property vested in the Church, or available for the purposes of the Church, was national property, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Swansea District (Sir D. Brynmor Jones), in the course of his eloquent First Reading speech, asked, "Who are the beneficiaries?" For the purpose of this Clause I am prepared to admit, though I do not admit it in fact, that the beneficiaries are the Christian community, to whatever sect they belong, throughout the Principality of Wales, but if you have beneficiaries there must be some benefit accruing to those beneficiaries, and I think we have to-ask in every case where alteration is to be made in trusts, and particularly sacred trusts, not merely who are the beneficiaries, but what is the nature of the benefit. What is the nature of this benefit? I will take as my answer the words which the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself used. He said:—I deduce that the property the Bill is going to deal with is spiritual provision for the whole Welsh nation. If it is spiritual provision it should be retained for spiritual purposes.And that is the whole object of this Amendment. I do not say it puts the supporters of this Clause in a stronger position when they describe the beneficiaries as the community. The beneficiaries may be the community, but you have got to carry out the intention of the founders of this trust and the donors of this fund, and you cannot ignore conditions upon which the trust was constituted and the purposes which the funds are intended to apply.
May I refer to the Scottish Church Act of 1905, to which reference has been made? No suggestion was made there that because there was a difference between two branches of the Christian Church in Scotland that there was any doubt as 2431 to the parties by whom thi3 fund should be enjoyed. There was no question there of allocating the fund, or any part of it, to secular purposes. It was admitted that it ought to be retained as a matter of principle to execute the sacred trusts for the purposes of Christianity and to be applied by those best able to make use of it in the interests of Christianity in Scotland. Surely in these matters we have two considertions before us, first of all, how do the principles of English law and jurisprudence, and the principle I may say of the jurisprudence of every civilised country in the world, bear upon the problem now before us; and in the second place, how is this matter regarded by the bulk of the Christian community both in England and Wales'? In answer to the first question, I would remind the Committee that in every case where such a matter as this comes up to be considered by the Courts, you apply what in equity is called the cy prés doctrine. In altering the trust you seek to find the principle of that trust and a mode in which that trust can be executed as near as possible to the purposes originally intended by the donor or settlor as the case maybe. How can you, if you apply that cy prés doctrine here, divert these funds from religious purposes altogether and apply them to purely secular things? I say there is even a stronger argument than that and I challenge hon. Gentlemen opposite to deny it, and that is that such a suggestion as secularising this property is regarded with abhorrence by the overwhelming majority of Christians both in England and Wales. How does the proposed allocation of these funds under this Clause agree with these principles? It is to be applied, so far as the county councils are concerned, subject to approval of the scheme by the Secretary of State, to any charitable—
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
"To any charitable, eleemosynary or public purpose of local or general utility." The hon. Gentleman opposite interrupted with the remark, "That is Christian." May I remind him that there is splendid work of charity and social reform carried on today by the Jewish community? There is splendid work of a similar character carried on by sects with which we have little in common, such as the Bhuddists and Mahomedans and even by agnostics.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
How can the hon. Gentleman say in these circumstances that the term "charitable" is synonymous with Christianity?
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
Is it in order, Mr. Whitley, for the hon. Member to keep up interjecting remarks of this kind across the floor of the House?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I intimated to hon. Members that they must wait until their turn comes for expressing their views.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
In any case I venture to suggest that the word "charitable" and that long and unintelligible word "eleemosynary" are of a question-begging and nebulous character, and are inserted in order to afford some solace to uneasy consciences. But if they have any value that value is negatived by the words which follow, "or public purposes of local or general utility." That would include anything from the maintenance of high roads to the provision of sewerage schemes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] I challenge any hon. Member to deny that the provision of sewerage schemes would be deemed to be matters of local utility. How can you say that such purposes as the provision of parish pumps, reading rooms, wash-houses and the like are cy prés to the purposes of religion and to the purposes of Christianity? When we pass to the further objects to which it is proposed to apply this money, whatever may be said with regard to the terms "charitable" and "eleemosynary," the remaining objects surely disclose unblushing secularism. What are they? First of all, the money is to be applied by the University of Wales to the maintenance of the three constituent colleges which compose that university. One-fourth of that fund is to pass to each of these constituent colleges and the remaining quarter is to be divided between the National Welsh Library and the National Welsh Museum. If that money were to be applied by the colleges in the promotion of Christian teaching, and particularly in the training of suitable persons for the ministry, I, for one, should have no objection to funds 2433 being placed in their hands for such useful, suitable and consonant purposes. It is left to these colleges to apply these funds to any secular purposes they choose. It is left to be devoted to the study of subjects and the promotion of objects which so far from being Christian in their character may actually tend to shake the faith of the student as a university education frequently has of many an unstable Christian. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] If hon. Members take exception to that remark I will say to a Christian whose faith is not so stable as that of hon. Members opposite.
What are the last two purposes to which this money can be applied? It can be applied to a public library or a museum. The very mention of such objects casts ridicule upon the suggestion of such an allocation. It is not for me to denounce public libraries, because I have done my own small part in promoting libraries in my own district and in South Wales. Hon. Members know that the most popular section of any library is that devoted to fiction. I suppose the National Library of Wales is no exception in this respect [Ax HON. MEMBER: "That has nothing to do with it."] Then that is an exception. But how about the museums? I know something of the National Museum of Wales, and I am bound to say that so far as the custodian of that museum is concerned, he is one of the most able and interesting men whom I have ever been brought into contact with, and I owe much to his instruction and advice with regard to antiquarian research and the method of dealing with Roman antiquities in my own district. But how can you say that antiquarian research or the study of geology or botany can be deemed in themselves to be in any sense Christian purposes, or calculated to advance the religious welfare of the people of Wales. Are these funds so badly wanted for this purpose that they cannot be provided from other sources? So far as the University of Wales is concerned Lord Haldane, a leading Member of the Government has during the last week adumbrated a great scheme of national education for which national funds are to be provided, leading from the elementary schools right up to the university. If such funds are available for the university why should you apply funds which have hitherto been used for spiritual purposes to such an object? Surely to apply Church funds in this way Is in fact to apply them in relief of the rates. I find on inquiry, and I have official 2434 statistics to confirm what I say, that at the present time a sum of no less than £5,086,000 is being applied in the way of public money for various purposes of public utility, among which those mentioned in the Clause would be included. Out of that sum £3,604,000 come out of the rates, and £1,482,000 out of Exchequer Grants. Therefore the fund available from these sources under this Bill as compared with that money would be a mere drop in the ocean.
It is wrong to apply these moneys to the relief of the ratepayers. I think that was admitted when the Irish Church Bill was before this House. It was provided by Section 68 of that Act that whatever happened to this fund it should not be applied- in relief of rates. The Prime Minister was himself careful to point out when the last Bill to the same effect was before this House, that as compared with the Bill of 1895 it was no longer necessary to apply funds for the same secular purposes as those mentioned in that Bill because they had been largely provided for in the interim out of public funds. The same thing would undoubtedly happen as regards the purposes mentioned in this Bill if it has not already happened. I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite how they are going to reconcile their own principles and conscience with what I venture to call the profane use of funds hitherto devoted to spiritual uses. Surely the attempt to interpret religion as one hon. Gentleman opposite appears to have done as synonymous with ethics or with social or educational activity indicates, and I say it with no offence, a laxity of religious conviction, and an elasticity of conscience which the sturdy Christianity of a less materialistic age would have repudiated with contempt. I appeal to the Government before it is too late to save for spiritual uses, without distinction I creed, this property which was intended for such uses, and which for many years has admittedly been well applied to such uses. I appeal to the Parliament of a, Christian country and a Christian Empire to put on this occasion, at any rate, Christianity before denominationalism and religion before politics, and not to sully the pages of Parliamentary history with an Act of unparalleled, unjustifiable and irrevocable sacrilege.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Ellis Griffith)
The hon. Member who has addressed us at some length upon this 2435 Amendment has devoted seven-eighths of his time to a denunciation of Clause 18, and less than one-eight to arguments in support of his own Amendment. The Amendment deals principally with what is called concurrent Endowment, and I think we are entitled to ask the hon. Member for some reasons and some facts in support of the substitution of this Amendment for the provision contained in the Bill. For such an explanation we have listened in vain from the beginning to the end of his speech, and I do not think there was a single reference to the real Amendment which we are supposed to be discussing this afternoon. Of course there was ample denunciation, and if the hon. Member had been nearly so strong in explanation as he was in denunciation we should have had no ground for complaint.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I did not speak of concurrent Endowment because I do not admit that my Amendment is concurrent Endowment.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
Let us see what the Amendment is. Before coming to what it is perhaps I may say a word or two about the spirit and tone in which this Amendment has been moved. Before we have been told that we were only guilty of a breach of trust, but now we are told that we are guilty of sacrilege. Up to the beginning of Clause 18 we were only guilty of robbing the Church, but after that we are told that we are guilty of robbing God. May I submit to the hon. Member opposite the words of a bishop upon this question, and I am sure that he will pay attention to the words of a bishop. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Which bishop."] Of course you cannot make your choice of bishops. This is a quotation from the Bishop of St. David's (Bishop Thirlwall) who, speaking on the 15th June, 1869, said:—My Lords, the word 'sacrilege' has been heard very often of late in this House; and I must say it use reminds me of some instructive pages in the history of the early Christian Church. The cry of' sacrilege' was raised against St. Ambrose, and it was raised by a party With which I am sure neither any of my right reverend Brethren nor the Noble Lord, the Chairman of Committees (Lord Redesdale) feel the slightest sympathy—the Arians. And on what ground was this cry raised? Why, because St. Ambrose had sold the sacred vessels of the Church of Milan in order to apply the proceeds to the profane purpose of ransoming prisoners who had fallen into the hands of Goths. My Lords, in my opinion, that was not the least meritorious or the least holy act of that holy man's life. And observe, what does it imply? It implies that, in the opinion of one who was undoubtedly a very sincere Christian. and not at all a Low Churchman—circumstances might arise in 2436 which Church property, even while it continued to be capable of serving its original purpose, might be rightly and fitly diverted to another and a wholly different use. I am not saying that in this case such circumstances have arisen; but what I say is that the possibility of such circumstances arising, if that be admitted, at once transfers the question to the broad ground of general expediency and common utility. It shows that such expressions as 'sacrilege' and 'robbery of God' applied to this subject, are as irrelevant and misapplied as they are irritating and offensive.May I endeavour to be a little more relevant than the hon. Member was in speaking on the Amendment which he has placed upon the Paper? I quite understand the hon. Member's position. He is against the alienation of any of these funds, but the moment they are alienated he says you must apply them not for the purposes of Clause 18 but for the advancement of Christian religion through the agencies of the Christian denominations, as the county council or the University of Wales may determine with the consent of the Charity Commissioners. That is the Amendment; but there was no reference in the speech of the hon. Member to the Charity Commissioners or to what the county council or the University of Wales are to do. Is it to be a lump sum paid at once or an allocation from time to time? Does he seriously claim for these bodies the privilege and power of distinguishing between the different Nonconformist bodies? Does the county council know how much should be given to the Baptists, how much to the Independents, and how much to the Methodists? Does the University of Wales know anything about it? He says the National Library of Wales is concerned with fiction. There was much more fiction in his speech than there is in the National Library of Wales. Does he not really understand this is a National Library?
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
Then that fiction has gone. Does he really now think the University of Wales and the county councils of Wales are two bodies capable of carrying his Amendment into effect?
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I am very glad to hear the county council is endowed with this supreme gift of determining as between the different religious denominations what ought to belong to each. The hon. Member's argument, as I understood it, divides itself into two parts. He says, first of all, that these funds were impressed with a religious trust from the start, and; 2437 that you must allocate them to religious purposes. That is really the main argument he has submitted to the Committee. I submit it is not conclusive and I have episcopal authority for saying it is not relevant. The Bishop of Oxford, speaking at the Convocation of Canterbury, in December, 1909, said:—The whole matter of Endowments must be judged quite apart from the wishes of founders who lived many centuries ago, and knew nothing at all about the present situation.I do not think he was Bishop of Oxford in 1909. "Religious purposes" is rather an ambiguous phrase. There is a school, it might be called the extreme sacerdotal school, who think that a religious use must refer to the services, the sacraments, and the ministrations of the Altar of one Church; but there is a broader and much more comprehensive view, and really, if one looks at the original purposes to which this money was applied, one must remember the Church was not merely a religious organisation. It was a social and eleemosynary institution. It was an organisation of charity, and it was a nursery of learning. We cannot tell in which of these particular asjects of the Church this pious ancestor of whom the hon. Member speaks wished to give his money. May I quote a Statute to the House which really shows beyond doubt or controversy the view that was held by Parliament of this early Church. By a Statute of 1350, it is laid down
The holy Church of England was founded by the kings and nobles to inform them and the people of the law of God and to make hospitalities, alms, and other works of charity in the places where the churches were founded for the souls of the founders, their heirs, and all Christians.I should have thought every word of Clause 18 of this Bill came within the words of that Section. It is quite true that at this early time the Church performed the functions of a Poor Law authority and an educational authority. I think that really is beyond controversy. The hon. Member quoted the Scotch case. I submit that is not relevant, because there you were dealing with two voluntary churches and with voluntary funds, a position not at all analogous to that with which we are now dealing. There is, however, a precedent, and it is the Irish precedent. What has become of the Irish money? Both Governments have dealt with it. In four years over £1,000,000 was spent upon education, and 2438 in two years £3,000,000 went to the relief of distress and arrears of rent. Arrears of rent! What would the pious ancestor have thought of that? In 1891 £500,000 went for the purchase of land. The Conservative Government was responsible in 1878–9 for giving more than three-quarters of a million for education, and in 1881 they were responsible for giving £6,000 for seed potato supply. I make no complaint.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
It is because the Church did these things that we say the money that went to the Church may be properly allocated to these purposes. The second point put by the hon. Member was this. Who are the beneficiaries? He admitted in his argument that the beneficiaries were the whole of the community. May I quote the words of Mr. Gladstone in reference to the allocation of money under the Irish Act, because, although he was not popular with hon. Members opposite while he lived, his words now receive great attention from them:—There were two provisions to he observed in letters of iron. One was that the money should be applied to Irish purposes. The other was that those purposes must not be ecclesiastical, not for any church, not for any clergy, and not for any teaching of religion.Those are the governing principles by which we abide in this Bill. It must be something for the common benefit of all, and, although it is a matter of regret to us all on both sides of the House that there are many, outside the communion of all the Christian Churches, yet in my view even these men, whether they are non-religious or irreligious, ought not to be deprived of the benefits of this money. I do not know whether the hon. Member thinks this is a good solution. I suppose he does. At any rate, he thinks it is a better solution than the solution of the Bill. I think the first thing to ask is this: is it a possible solution? I understand the hon. Member does not profess to speak for these great Christian denominations, and I thank him for admitting that Nonconformists are Christians. We are guilty of robbing God and of sacrilege, and yet we are a Christian denomination.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I never said that about Nonconformists. I live and work amongst Nonconformists, and I thoroughly appreciate their views.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
It is the Nonconformists who have sent us Welsh Members here to represent their views. If we are wrong they are wrong, and if we are guilty of sacrilege they are guilty of sacrilege, and we have been guilty of sacrilege in intention for forty years. Has the hon. Member consulted these Nonconformist bodies? It has been said from time to time by hon. Members opposite that we do not understand their point of view. There may be something in that, but may I say quite respectfully to them that they do not understand our point of view either. It is one of the foundation principles of Nonconformity that they cannot receive State aid for these religious denominational purposes.
§ 12.0 M.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
Regium donum was given up. It was not withdrawn from them, because Nonconformists said, "We will not take it any longer." Regium donum is an old friend who perished long ago. We are dealing with the present situation, and the Amendment proposes to give to these denominations in Wales public money. These denominations in Wales say, "We do not want your public money." They have need of money, too. I can imagine what hon. Members opposite would have said if we had proposed this. They would have said, "You are not only robbing God and Christianity, but you are doing it to fill your own pockets." We are not amenable to that taunt. We have said for a generation back that we, at any rate, do not want this money. What would become of the Amendment supposing one denomination said they would take the money and the others said they would not? There would be a re-endowment of one particular denomination, and in a few years we should have another Disendowment Bill. There is no finality in a settlement such as that adumbrated in this Amendment. I can assure the hon. Member the Nonconformists of Wales will have nothing to do with it. They have always been opposed to it, and they do not look upon this as a solution of the difficulty in any way. We have got to consider not the facts of long ago but the facts of to-day. There was a time when the Church represented 2440 the national faith, when it represented unity of religious belief, uniformity of discipline, and identity of religious teaching. At that time, when it represented all this and occupied this very different position, there was something to be said for its exclusive claim to the national resources. We think it is impossible for the Church of England to justify its claim. What we think and what hon. Members opposite deny is that these are national revenues. The "Guardian" an organ of Church opinion—at any rate of one section of Church opinion, because there are many different sections of Church of England opinion—the"Guardian,"on the 26th August, 1910, said that "concurrent Endowment was one of the might-have-beens, and that it would need an entire revolution of current opinion to bring it back into the category of the possibles." I accept that dictum. This Amendment is a might-have-been. It is impossible. It will bring no peace; it will not be accepted by the Nonconformists; it will not import less friction into this controversy; it is an Amendment which, no doubt, may reflect a certain amount of opinion amongst Churchmen, but it is one of those solutions which, although commended to us on certain grounds, it is impossible of realisation; it is impracticable; it is one which will do more harm than good; it will create bitterness, not between Church and chapel, but between one denomination and another. There will be no finality, and the settlement, which we hope will be a final settlement, will be converted into a long drawn-out controversy.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I cannot congratulate the hon. Gentleman opposite on his conciliatory tone. He began his speech by thanking my hon. Friend for what he called his broad spirit, but I am bound to say he has imported very much bitterness into this discussion. I do not want to add to that bitterness, and I do not intend to do so. But I can tell hon. Members that if they think that by bluster or by laughing at this Amendment they are going to persuade the country that their scheme is justifiable, they are making a very big mistake, because, if there is one point in this Bill which is abominated by the people of England and Wales, it is this proposal to secularise Church funds. People hate Disestablishment and Disendowment, but the point which has appealed to this country more than any- 2441 thing else is the fact that this money is to be taken away not merely from the Church, but from the Christian religion, and is to be devoted directly to secular purposes. I have had many opportunities of forming an opinion on this point, and if there is one thing I have noticed at public meetings of the people more than any other it is that the point that most appeals to the audiences is this secularisation proposal. There is nothing more unpopular. The hon. Member opposite thought he had settled the whole question by quoting the words of a certain very eminent man, Bishop Thirlwall, of St. David's. Does the hon. Member suppose that we are bound by every word uttered at any time, under totally different circumstances, even by a bishop? The thing is absurd on the face of it. But as he has quoted a bishop, let me quote another—a bishop often quoted by hon Members opposite as a supporter of this Bill—I refer to the Bishop of Hereford. What did he say, speaking at a diocesan conference in October, 1911? He asked his clergy and laity not to condemn the new Bill in advance, because he said, though there was secularisation in the Bill of 1909, he earnestly hoped there would be no secularisation of Church funds in the Bill of 1912. That was a very strong statement coming from the Bishop of Hereford, who is constantly held up as a great supporter of this measure. I have a right, in quoting these words, to appeal very strongly to Liberal Churchmen and Nonconformists. At all events, if they cannot agree with us in regard to the Bill they might agree with us in arguing that there should be no secularisation of Church funds.
Really, when we come to look at it, the position taken up by the Government is most extraordinary. The hon. Gentleman opposite who has just spoken complained that we did not understand their position. I do not want to misunderstand it, but judging by their action on previous Bills as well as on this Bill, I am driven to one conclusion only, and that is that the one thing hon. Members opposite want to do is to take the money away from the Church. They do not mind who has the money. They are positively casting about to find a decent purpose to which to apply it. We have all kinds of different schemes put forward. In the Bill of 1909 there was a Schedule laying down specifically the purposes to which the money was to be applied. They were cottage or other hospitals, dispensaries, convalescent homes, 2442 trained nurses, public, parish or district-halls, institutes and libraries, technical and higher education, and any other charitable or eleemosynary purpose or public purpose for which provision was not made out of the rates. That was in 1909. But let us look back to 1895. Then other purposes were mentioned, such as workmen's dwellings and allotments. These were left out of the Bill of 1909 because, as the Prime Minister explained, they had been otherwise provided for. Very well. One of the objects for which the money was wanted in 1895 has disappeared. I am bound to say from my knowledege of Wales I do not think it has disappeared altogether. Considering the condition of some of the workmen's dwellings there, apparently a great deal of money is still required for them. But that is by the way. The Prime Minister said that the objects mentioned in the 1895 Bill had disappeared. What about the objects embodied in the 1909 Bill? We have, I admit, a different scheme now, definite objects are left out, and we are merely told the purpose, which is to be an eleemosynary or a charitable nature or a public purpose—
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I am glad to hear that, for I think a more monstrous proposition could never be made than that this Church money should be applied for sewers or public high roads. The fact remains the Government do not know what to apply the money to. They are changing their object again, and it is impossible to avoid this one conclusion, that what they want to do is to take the money from the Church. So long as the Church does not have it they do not mind what is done with it. If there is one thing which is loathed in the country it is this plan of dealing with Church money, because, put it as you please, while there may be a doubt—I do not share it—whether the money was actually left for Church purposes, nobody can doubt that it was left for the purposes of the Christian religion, yet you are taking it away and devoting it to other purposes which, by no stretch of imagination, can be pretended to be Christian purposes. I think there is a good deal of vagueness as to what are Christian purposes. It is held by some that these parish nurses and these educational institutions are Christian purposes. Let me put a test question to 2443 Nonconformist Members opposite—they are, as I think quite rightly, building up sustentation funds—they realise that the voluntary system has broken down. [HON. MEMBERS:"NO, no."] If they do not realise that, why are they building up sustentation funds? If the voluntary system has not broken down, there is no need for such funds. If you must have such a fund surely it is clear that you cannot support a trained ministry on the purely voluntary basis.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
It is a fund which is being built up by various religious denominations in Wales to augment the stipends of poor Nonconformist ministers. They have an ambition, I think it is a wholly creditable one, that these ministers should have at least a living wage. If they cannot have it without a sustentation fund, does it now show that, in their opinion, the vountary system has broken down. What I mean by voluntary system is the usually accepted meaning that the minister is sup ported year by year by the voluntary contributions of his congregation. That is by the way. After all we are only quarrelling over words. The test question I want to put is this. They are building up these sustentation funds. Suppose in fifty years time you have a Government which says, "We mean to do with the Nonconformist bodies what was done with the Church in 1913. We mean to take away these Endowments which they have built up." Such a thing is perfectly possible. Would hon. Gentlemen opposite then admit that trained nurses and eleemosynary and charitable purposes similar to those adumbrated by the hon. Member opposite are Christian purposes for which these funds are now being given for the support of Nonconformist ministers. They know perfectly well that they would not admit it at all. They would say, "The money was definitely given for the support of ministers, and we are not going now to allow it to be diverted to other purposes however good," and they will contend that it was for religious purposes the money was given. In a not very accurate history which has been given of the Church of England Endowments in the old days, it is suggested that they were given to be applied to philanthropic, educational, and Poor Law institutions. That may be true, but what bearing has 2444 that upon the alienation of these funds. Is it not realised that the Church carried out these duties through the monasteries which were dissolved by Henry VIII., and that the money then used for these general charitable purposes was alienated at that time.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
That has nothing to do with it. I admit the money was applied to secular purposes. You are proposing to apply this money to secular purposes, and the point of the argument—that the Church did all this charitable work in the old days—has no application to the alienation of these particular funds, because the funds out of which the Church was enabled to do that work in the Middle Ages were alienated by Henry VIII. at the time of the Reformation. Then we have had an allusion, not I think an altogether happy allusion, to what happened in the case of the Irish Church. Really, the hon. Member opposite is asking a good deal if he expects us to accept that as a precedent. We did not agree with the Irish Bill. We did not agree with what was done then. We do not think that two blacks make a white. We do not admit that because the money of the Irish Church was taken away and given to secular purposes in 1869 we ought to agree to a somewhat similar proposition at the present time. Let me point out one or two differences, which, even if we do accept the Irish Act, make it no precedent for what is proposed now. In the first place, it was generally held that the Church of Ireland had more money than it could well use. That was the case put forward, and it was probably to some extent justified.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the' HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
How does that affect sacrilege?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I do not approve of what happened then. What was done in 1869 was this: First, what was regarded by Parliament as sufficient provision for the Church of Ireland was made. Secondly, there was a large sum of money paid out of the funds of the Irish Church to commute the Maynooth Grants. Then the Irish Regium donum—a large annual payment made to Presbyterian and Nonconformist ministers in Ireland—was commuted out of the Irish Church funds. Therefore, you had, under the Irish Act, at any rate up to a certain extent, that 2445 concurrent Endowment which my hon. Friend is advocating. I agree that after those payments were made the funds were secularised. I do not approve of that; but I would point out that it was contended at the time that there was a surplusage of funds in Ireland. Does anybody contend that that is the case in Wales at the pre-sent time? The very opposite is the fact. It is known to everybody that the Church in Wales is a poor Church, that she has not sufficient funds adequately to carry out her work now, although her work, by universal testimony, is of the highest order, and though there has come over her that remarkable reformation and improvement which everybody has spoken of, even now she is crippled through want of funds I have only to mention the fact that in the dioceses of St. David's, within the last few years, over £100,000 has been raised for the one object of supplementing the stipends of the poor clergy in that diocese. My point is that whereas redundancy was alleged in the case of Ireland, it is certainly not the case in Wales. Not only is the Church in Wales poor, but the Nonconformists in Wales are poor. Religion is starved in Wales generally. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] If it is not, why do you want the sustentation funds? Why is it that meetings are being held of every Nonconformist body for the purpose of trying to raise those sustentation funds in order to bring up the stipends of their ministers to a living wage? If that is a fact, how can you justify the secularisation of a single penny of Church Endowments in Wales? What we want to see is more money devoted to the great work of Christianity in the Principality. Let me recall to the Home Secretary one fact which has not been mentioned to-day, that in a large number of the parishes in Wales—certainly in one-third of the parishes in the diocese of St. Asaph and one-third of the parishes in the diocese of St. David's—there is no resident Nonconformist minister. I am not saying there are no Nonconformists or no Nonconformist services there, but we may be perfectly certain that if they could afford to maintain a resident Nonconformist minister in those parishes they would actually do so. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] The ideal of Non-formists now is to get a resident and trained minister.
§ Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
There is one district in North Wales where there has been strong opposition to a settled minister.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Does the Committee really think that Nonconformity in Wales would put up with having about one-third of its parishes without a resident Nonconformist minister if they could afford to maintain one? [An HON. MEMBER: "Certainly; we do not want them."] You have now in Wales a people who are undoubtedly religious. You have got a Church and various Nonconformist bodies doing a great work. I would be the last person to cast a stone at the work Nonconformists are doing, but I say that all religious agencies in Wales are crippled for want of funds. I ask is this the time, when there is a great wave of materialism, when there is more indifferentism than ever, to divert a single penny of money now given for religious purposes to any secular purpose, however worthy that purpose may be? Although I do not intend to enter into the details of this Amendment, which is put forward to raise a great principle, I appeal to the Committee and to the country to agree with us in saying that whatever else happens—even if there is Disestablishment and Disendowment—there shall be no secularisation of money which has been given for the service of God, that the money should be kept for that purpose, and should not be diverted to any other purpose whatsoever.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down has challenged us to say whether or not the voluntary system in Wales has broken down. That question has only a very indirect relevance to the Amendment before the Committee, but as he has spoken at some length upon that point, I should like to say at once that we repudiate the notion that the voluntary system has in any way broken down in Wales. Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman not taken the trouble to look at the statistics and facts gathered by the Royal Commission? If he has, his forgetfulness is certainly remarkable. I am only going to give one or two figures in regard to the matter. The seating accommodation which the voluntary system in Wales has provided amounts to 1,550,426 places. That was in the year 1905. With regard to contributions towards the ministry, the poor people of Wales, because the Nonconformists in Wales, speaking broadly, are poor people, contributed no less than £426,597 towards the ministry alone, and the total contributions from members and adherents of Nonconformist Churches in that same year came to the large total 2447 of £818,700. In the face of ascertained figures of that kind, what is the good of the hon. and gallant Member asserting that the voluntary system has failed?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
My point is this: I do not deny that large funds are raised, but I say they are insufficient; and I would also point out that a great many of the chapels in Wales are very heavily in debt.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
The debts of the chapels are very largely due to the difficulties of getting land in Wales. I do not want to go into these side issues, but the hon. and gallant Member challenged us, and we do not admit that the voluntary system has failed or is failing. With regard to the sustentation funds, of which he makes so big a point, it is simply a matter of internal organisation as to the use of those funds that are being subscribed for the maintenance of ministers. The scheme for the creation of sustentation funds is a mere matter of domestic organisation among the Nonconformist bodies. Though I have thought it right to deal at once with that point, I should like to bring the Committee back, if I may, to the issue raised by the Amendment, "which was moved in a very interesting and clear speech by the hon. Member for the Wilton Division (Mr. C. Bathurst). As I understand it, without criticising the words too closely, the object which the hon. Member has in view is to see that that share of the fund of the dissolved corporation, which is allocated not to the representative body but for the general benefit of the Welsh nation, should in some form or other be applied through the agencies of existing Nonconformist bodies for the advancement of the Christian religion.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Precisely. That is to say, it may be applied through the Disestablished Church.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Can it be applied through the Christian Science societies, or through the Unitarian Church, or through the brotherhoods of various kinds that are springing up? The whole thing strikes me as too vague for practical application. I do not see how it can possibly be practicable for the county councils 2448 to administer the funds in the manner proposed in this Amendment without landing themselves in difficulties of the most extraordinary kind. I think I gathered that the principle underlying the speech of the hon. Member was that he wished it to be applied to religious purposes or to spiritual purposes.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Very well. In answer to that, I have to say that he and I differ totally in our use of terms. First of all, he and I evidently do not agree as to the meaning of the word "Christian." We do not agree as to the meaning of the word "spiritual," nor do we agree as to the meaning of the words which form the antitheses of those terms. We do not agree as to the meaning of the word "sacred," or as to the meaning of the word "material," and so forth. One of the difficulties we have in our disputation across the floor of the House on this Bill is that we do not agree as to first principles in the use of the terms. Therefore we are in a position of the maxim de gustibus non est disputandum. We have no practical starting point for our discussion. I must say this for the hon. Member for Wilton, that he did try, in the earlier part of his speech, to create a basis for discussion. Let us see where we are to-day. By this Bill we are really making a kind of plan or scheme for dealing with the property of certain dissolved corporations. It is no good going back and asking whether these corporations should have been dissolved or not. What we ought to ask ourselves is how, according to the fair principles of equity, the property of these dissolved corporations, the principle of the Bill being admitted, ought to be dealt with. How does the Bill deal with the property of these dissolved ecclesiastical corporations? First of all, the Bill divides the property into two parts. One part is handed over to the representative body, a body which represents the clergy of the Disestablished Church, and that section of the Welsh people which conforms or adheres to the tenets of the Established Church. What we have been discussing on Clause 18 has nothing to do with that part of the dissolved corporations' funds. Then the question becomes this: How are we to deal with the other part of the property? That is, that part of this formerly ecclesiastical property which is to be allocated to the general purposes of the 2449 Welsh nation. That divides itself into two parts—one the part coming from the capitular revenue which is to fall into the hands of the University of Wales, and the other part which is to come into the hands of the county councils, namely, the parochial revenues of the dissolved corporations. I have no right to dogmatise in regard to the principle Which underlies the provisions of the Bill, but I think I am expressing the general view which the majority of the people of Wales entertain, when I say we do not want this property to be applied by the county councils in relief of the rates. That is a negative principle.
I lay down another principle which I am sure commands the assent of all my hon. Friends who sit on this side of the House. We do not want the property to be applied to purposes which would be rightly offensive to the sentiment of Christians of any denomination at all. We do not want to do anything to shock or outrage the opinions even of the hon. Member (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen). He has referred to washhouses, and I think the hon. Member (Mr. C. Bathurst) referred to sewage schemes or drainage purposes or something of that kind. I entirely disclaim any such user of the property whatsoever. I have placed on the Paper an Amendment, in which it appears that the hon. Member anticipated me, to leave out the words "or public" in order that the Clause might read: "A scheme made by that council and approved by the Secretary of State for any charitable or eleemosynary purposes, including the aiding of poor scholars." If this Amendment be adopted the purposes to which the county councils will be applying this money cannot be rightly deemed offensive by the members of any Christian denomination whatsoever. The next principle that we are bearing in mind is that this money ought to be applied by the county councils for purposes from which all people reisdent within the area of the Principality may benefit. We do not think it ought to be applied in a way which will directly or indirectly assist the purposes or the organisation of any particular religious body, and therefore we reject what is called concurrent Endowment. But I think the general principle will commend itself to everyone who is really acquainted with the state of opinion in the Principality and if we were for a moment inclined to agree with the suggestion made more than once by hon. Gentlemen 2450 opposite, that this money being taken away from the Church of England ought at any rate to be applied to the purposes of other religious denominations, it would be useless to attempt to carry it out. I know the state of opinion in the Principality very well, and I do not believe that any one of the Nonconformist bodies would touch this money upon any terms, and I have had the advantage of consulting with the two representatives of the Free Church Council of Wales, the Rev. James Evans and the Rev. David Davis, and both of them assure me that the Free Church Council of Wales are unanimously of opinion that they could not for a moment entertain the idea of concurrent Endowment, direct or indirect. So that so far as the Amendment is based upon that idea it is really impracticable, having regard to the state of opinion in the Principality.
Having stated these three principles, I am prepared to say that with the Amendment that I have suggested, and with certain Amendments to paragraph (b) of this Sub-section, the money that comes from the parochial revenue of the Church of England dealt with by this portion of Bill is going to be applied to purposes which may reasonably be described as spiritual purposes. Of course, I know that proposition would not be admitted, but let me say what I regard as the true definition, for the purpose of dealing with ecclesiastical property, of the term "spiritual." I say that all purposes are spiritual which come within the scope of the functions of the Christian Church as developed from the time of its foundation, and I say, when you come to examine the history of Christianity during the time when the Papacy had attained its greatest height, you find that side by side with the definite administration of the Sacrament, the maintenance of public worship and the general organisation of the Church there were certain duties or functions of an ancillary kind which were all recognised as spiritual purposes or spiritual promotions. First of all, there is the duty of hospitality; secondly, there is the duty of caring for the sick, which led to the foundation of hospitals; thirdly, the care of the poor, which led to its being part of the ordinary day to day work of the Church to relieve the necessities of those persons in affliction or in distress who come within the purview of the particular minister; and, lastly, there was the 2451 duty of education in the sense, not only of providing for the education of young persons, but generally for the promotion of sound learning. I believe it would be most impertinent on my part to attempt to give a lecture on ecclesiastical history to a Committee of the House of Commons, but I should like to show what the general conception of the work of the Church was before the Catholic Church in any overt form had really been established or started upon its great mission. I take up almost by accident a quotation from Tertullian, who was one of the Primitive Fathers, and when the Christian institutions were still struggling for recognition and for existence in the Roman Empire, it is interesting to see what the great doctors and fathers who were concerned in the then merely missionary work, as it were, of the Church thought about these things. He says:—Every person, once a month or when he will, and only if he will and be able, places therein—that is, in the hands of the elders—a moderate gift, for no one is forced, but gives it of his own accord. These are, as it were, the deposits of piety, for therefrom are dispensed portions, not for feasts or drinking bouts or thankless haunts of voracity, but for feeding and burying the needy, and for boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and for the aged confined now to the house, also for the shipwrecked, and for any who become pensioners in their confession in the mines or the islands, or in prisons, if only it be in the way of God.It is from these doctrines contained in the works of Tertullian and others that the general scheme and area of the work of the Christian Church is determined, and when the Church in the time of Constantine was granted the power of acquiring land, and the Church assumed a quasi-corporate form, at any rate a juridical constitution, it never lost sight of the great principles which were contained in such doctrines as those which I have cited from Tertullian. I will not attempt to develop the matter, but the Church of England, following the Churches of the Continent, at all times recognised the duty of founding hospitals for the sake of establishing and carrying on schools and so forth, and my proposition is that though economic and other changes have led to the Church playing, I will not say a small, but a less considerable part than it did formerly, the Church ought not to forget the extra functions to which I have referred; and the general conclusion which I draw from what I have said and from the conception that I have indicated is that the purposes to which this money, taken from these dissolved corporations and given to the 2452 county councils and the University of Wales, is to be applied under this Clause are purposes which formerly were spiritual promotions and which now may rightly be considered as coming within the original scope of the work of the Christian Church. I repudiate the notion that by this Bill we are doing anything in the nature of sacrilege, anything irreligious or anything unspiritual. With regard to sacrilege, I was rather surprised, after his careful use of terms, that the hon. Member (Mr. C. Bathurst) should have ended his speech by referring to sacrilege. Sacrilege is a technical term of the Roman law which meant the robbery of sacred things. We are not taking away by Clause 18 any sacred things at all. I know that the doctrine of sacrilege is extended in the most extraordinary way It was sacrilege to divert or alienate money from religious purposes in the broad sense of the term. On that ground who would say that what is here proposed is sacrilege in any true and proper sense of the term? It is mere nonsense to call this application of the money sacrilegious. I understand that this discussion is to cover paragraph (b) as well as paragraph (a), and perhaps I may take this opportunity of saying that, so far as I am concerned, I am willing that the words "National Museum of Wales" should go out of the Clause, so as to emphasise and make it perfectly clear that it is our honest intention to abide by the general principle to which I have referred. However, I will not at the moment discuss paragraph (b). Although I cannot agree to support the Amendment moved by the hon. Member (Mr. C. Bathurst), I shall so far conform with the notions which underlie his speech. I would suggest that the Amendment of the paragraph approved by the Secretary of State might meet what is required.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I am very glad the right hon. Gentleman (Sir D. Brynmor Jones) did not take the same offence as was taken by the Under-Secretary for the Home Department at the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Wilton Division (Mr. C. Bathurst). That speech was delivered in all seriousness by one who has worked for the Church, and I do think that we on this side of the House, knowing that, have some cause for resentment at the attitude the Under-Secretary adopted towards my hon. Friend. I wish most anxiously to avoid in this discussion, which does indeed provoke most serious 2453 misgivings and the deepest prejudices, anything which would embitter the controversy. I wish to discuss this matter from a different point of view. I wish to state what our point of view is as distinguished from that of the hon. Baronet. He draws the line of distinction between religious purposes at a totally different place from that at which we draw it. We approach it from the point of view that you cannot draw the line where he draws it. We say there is a distinction between devotional religious purposes and the general functions and purposes which are involved in religious work, and what we wish to bring out in this Debate is that you are making a real breach of trust and a fundamental change in the expenditure of the money, when you devote it to objects for which it is to be used under the proposals in this Clause. It is a change so fundamental that we do feel deeply about it.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman did not observe exactly the words I used. I referred to the duties which the Church has taken upon itself.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
That is your line, and I will come to that and consider it in detail. There are those duties which the Church in Wales, and all Christian denominations, have taken upon themselves—duties which to-day are exercised freely and fully, as they will be, I hope, in the future. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned hospitals, alms-giving, education, and things of that kind. What denomination is there that does not perform these duties? What Church is there that is going to outdo the Church in Wales in its zeal for these purposes—the maintenance of hospitals, the succouring of the sick, almsgiving to the poor, and collections for the poor in the Churches. The distribution of the money for alms and purposes of that kind is done in secret. All these objects are being carried out by the Church to-day, and the right hon. Gentleman seems to think that they are being done out of Endowments and not out of private subscriptions. The Endowments are kept for the supreme spiritual purpose of providing services in the Churches, and for the administration of the Sacraments through the living agency of those who are engaged in preaching the Gospel of Christ. That is the essential difference. I do not think I am altogether misrepresenting what should be the tenor of the Debate when I maintain that the objects 2454 on which you propose to spend the money are objects which are part of the Church's work, and which the Church is doing to the utmost of its ability to-day. I do not believe it is for the advantage of those institutions on which you propose to expend the money that funds should be taken away from the highest devotional objects. I believe hospitals, village nurses, and purposes of that kind, are best served and maintained by voluntary subscriptions coming from the people. On the other hand, I believe it is of enormous value that the poor should be maintained by alms coming through the Church from religious people. To say that the Endowments of the Church intended for the ministry and the service of God should be diverted from these purposes to other objects which should be maintained out of the general piety of Christians is a great mistake.
In the course of this Debate, so far as one can judge from the use of terms there has been a deep division between hon. Members with respect to the word religion. I only hope that is not going to be the dividing line between the growing tendency of Nonconformity and the growing tendency of the Church to-day, otherwise we shall never come to the co-operation in religious work which we all desire. There seems to be a spirit on the part of hon. Gentlemen opposite to think that works alone, justification by works alone, is the whole of religion. We dissent from that absolutely and fundamentally. When you leave it there and ask, "Are not these Christian objects on which we are going to spend the money?" I answer that they are Christian objects in one,, but not in the supreme and highest sense. What we feel is wanted in the life of the community is the emphasising of the spiritual and sacramental side of religion. I think there is probably more charitable and ethical feeling, and Christian faith, in this sense to-day than there has been for a long time. We see that fundamental spirit which is enlivening the life of the community, and there seems to me to be a danger to-day in the crowding forces around us of shutting out that fundamental spirit which is really more essential than any of the others. It is for that reason we say that the Endowments of the Church are for the supreme religious purpose. The lessening of the number of ministers and of the living agents of the faith, the lessening of the number of services, the shutting up of some of the churches—it is 2455 because of the weakening of all these forces that we regard this secularisation of the funds with so much foreboding as to the future.
I only hope that the tendency which one seems to observe of regarding the ecnonomic environments of men as of supreme importance, and of regarding social work as the supreme object to be pursued, is not going to be the spirit of Nonconformity in this country. I hope to see a strong Puritan faith in the Word of God which has come down to us. I hope to see the true revelation being preached more earnestly, and I say that the money applied for that purpose is more required than for any other purpose. I think that in the condition of Wales to-day it is of gigantic importance. I do not think you are going to suppress the white slave traffic and deal with all those social objects you have in view for conferring improved conditions on the masses, unless you have the true spirit of religion operating at the same time. More important than dealing with social conditions by legislation in this House is to deal with the individual man as a spiritual being, and you have to bring near to him by agents, carefully trained all their lives, a knowledge of the sacrifice which is involved in the true faith of Christ. It is my sincere belief that that is the conviction of a very large number of people in Wales. The hostility to secularism, and to the secularising proposals in this Bill, is founded on the idea that there is a general religious work for the Church and for individuals, and that there is above, beneath, and beyond all this true divine service which we regard as infinitely more important. When we see this money diverted from devotional to secular objects, we deplore the action of the Government in the matter.
Let me come to the proposals in regard to the Endowments. I was profoundly sorry to hear the hon. Baronet (Sir D. Brynmor Jones) state the notion entertained on the part of the leaders of Nonconformity as to the way in which the money should be used if it is to be taken away. We believe the money is being used to-day as well as it can be used. Assuming that the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Edgar Jones) is right, and that it is not being used as it ought to be, would it not be better to give the theological colleges some help, rather than mere secular institutions like the University of Wales. It seems to me that in 2456 Wales to-day, judging from my short experience, the ministers of all denominations do require most thorough training in all the subjects if they are to combat the forces of indifferentism. I think you require in the Churches, and, if I may say so without offence, in Nonconformist Churches as much as in others, teaching in theology, physical and moral philosophy, and other subjects, if you are going to make the ministers of the Christian faith members of the highest profession in the land, as it ought to be. I am profoundly sorry, much as I regard the University of Wales, and greatly as I value the work it is doing, that part of this money is to be devoted in the way proposed. I would like to see the money used for those devotional and religious purposes to which I have referred, and for giving help to Bangor College and various other denominational objects of that kind.
I do not believe, if it was really put to such purposes, it would be misapplied. I think, looking to the religious condition of Wales, it is important that not a penny should be lost to Christian work in the Principality. I understand now that the National Museum of Wales is to come out. I should like to hear what the hon. Member for the Carmarthen Boroughs has to say on that particular point. That shows a most remarkable change of opinion. It is the most remarkable concession we have had. It indicates, at any rate, that your idea of this being national property is to-be given up. If this is national property, of course it should go to museums or places of that kind. I see from this concession you are coming round to our point of view that this is something more than national property, that it is religious property which should be used for religious purposes. I was very glad to hear that the museum is not going to be supported out of Church funds, and for this reason. Church people would have found it very difficult to cooperate with others in helping forward that museum, making donations and serving on the body, if they felt that the museum was being built up out of money taken from the Church. That feeling will extend if you give to this university even. And with regard to all these schemes, when the county councils produce them, you will have in the parishes in which these schemes are to be carried on the feeling that the money was taken from the parish church and the parish priest to be devoted to 2457 these objects. The administration of these funds to be used inter-denominationally by the county councils has been pooh-poohed by hon. Members opposite. I do not think that there would be really that difficulty. In the county councils in many places one denomination does predominate. At any rate in Carnarvon and Anglesey Calvinistic Methodists certainly predominate, and in parts of South Wales Independents largely predominate locally. But I do not anticipate the difficulty which was anticipated in the administration of these funds. But in the working out of these schemes these small matters in the various parishes you may have the most appalling waste of money.
The expense of administration will be out of all proportion to the benefit which the people will get. Ultimately it will be a large sum. It is not a very large sum scattered throughout Wales under the terms of your Bill; and I do think that the financial scheme of that part of the Bill, the proposals of the Government, even from their point of view are not good. It is far better that we should have some far more centralised expenditure if you are going to expend this money to the best advantage. I admit that the parish interests must be considered, but the experience of those schemes which we have in Wales does not encourage the belief that these schemes will be found to be very beneficial to the people of Wales. I should like to hear something more from the Government as to what they think these schemes are going to be. Whatever their schemes are, whatever these eleemosynary purposes, you always have to reckon with the fact that this Bill is going to create, whether you like it or not, a deep-seated memory, bitter in many cases, harsh in most, of wrong done. This memory will be left by this Bill under the circumstances in which it is passed, and the whole way in which it has gone through this House, not after a fair and square General Election, but after an election where all other issues were mixed up, carried under the terms of the Parliament Act, if it is carried at all, through dwindling majorities, for it is with the greatest difficulty the Government have kept this Bill alive at all, and when you have substantial majorities on Home Rule you have only forty and fifty on this Bill. All that is going to be remembered in Wales, and I say that if yon go on with your secular proposals it will be remembered that from devotional and religious purposes you have taken away this money from the ancient 2458 parish churches and ministers of religion to spend on county council schemes and on teaching secular education in the University of Wales.
§ Sir IVOR HERBERT
I listened, as I am sure everyone on this side has listened, with deep interest and great sympathy to the early part of the speech of the hon. Member who has just sat down. I assure him that so far from feeling that he was occupying too much time in that part of his speech we would willingly have listened to more of that true, earnest, spiritual feeling to which he gave expression, which always appeals to the Welsh people, and I confess appeals to me very strongly. I have hitherto refrained, and intended to refrain, from taking any active part in the Committee stage of this Bill for reasons of delicacy in regard to my religious convictions, which I dare say are known to hon. Members. But the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's speech induced me to rise, because he began it with a reference to a national institution with which I am closely connected, the National Museum of Wales, and he proceeded to base upon the concession which was adumbrated by my right hon. Friend the Member for Swansea District (Sir D. Brynmor Jones) the theory that there was a weakening in the original conception of what were proper purposes for the application of these Endowments. We have not weakened in the least. I perhaps am in some measure responsible for our willingness to drop that particular institution out of the Bill. It is not that I do not recognise that the National Museum of Wales will be a very great and important educational institution in the country, but I recognise that the general opinion with regard to museums is not very fully developed, either in England or Wales, and I do not think it has been recognised how strong and how very important a part the national museum organised on a national basis has to do with the national life in other countries. I am not a theologian, but I have read that theology regards what is called "The scandal of the weaker brethren," and man has to be careful not to offend in that particular. I recognise that some of our weaker brethren may be scandalised by the fact that what they recognise as a mere collection of antiquities is to be specially brought into this Bill. Their conception is an entirely false one. At the same time I am willing to respect their feelings because they are genuine, and I dare say 2459 it is possible that their genuine religious feeling may be offended.
Therefore I have used such influence as I could bring to bear, as being one of the principal officers of this institution which is to be created, to urge that this should not be included on the same level as the great recognised educational establishments of the Principality. There is another reason which has been in my mind. In the very interesting work which I have had to do in connection with this museum, I have had sympathy from persons of all religious denominations, and I wish to retain it. Unfortunately this institution has not been spared on political platforms. I think it was unfortunate, I think it was irrelevant, to bring it in at all, but still it is so, and I do not wish a great institution of the future, because it it yet only in embryo, to suffer by the setting up of an acute feeling of denominational antagonism. Therefore it is, as a matter of expediency in the interests of that in which I have a strong and genuine interest, that I shall strongly support the Amendment to eliminate this particular institution. With regard to the library, which I observe is also included in the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Wilton, I am not prepared to give an opinion, as I have not been actively connected with that, but, fortunately, it has not been brought into the political arena in the same way as the museum, and therefore possibly hon. Members opposite will not show the same hostility to it. I rose simply to dispose of the assertion made by the hon. Member that we were in any degree weakening in our feelings as to what was the proper disposition of funds which we recognised were originally given for general national purposes. We are making a concession to their feelings and not to their arguments. Therefore, I hope that they will accept that as a concession to their feelings and will be willing to make some concession to our feelings in their speeches.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
I intervene in these Debates, for the first time and the last, with great hesitation, and I would not think of doing so if it were not that the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman above the Gangway does touch the convictions and the attitude of many people in Wales for whom I am entitled to speak—I mean the Catholics. I listened to every word of this Debate, and I hope the Com- 2460 mittee will allow me to say that I have seldom heard a more profoundly interesting one, and one in which the speakers on the different sides stated their views more ably and more thoughtfully. I listened to the speech of the hon. Member who proposed the Amendment, and not having the keen personal national feeling in the matter of hon. Friends opposite I was able to listen to it with respect and without certainly any feeling that it was hurting my feelings. But the exact proposition I think has been slightly lost sight of by the hon. Gentleman who spoke immediately after my hon. Friend opposite, and spoke with feeling and sincerity. As I understand the Amendment, it is that this remnant of the funds of the Disestablished and Disendowed Church should not be given to secular or profane purposes—an adjective with which I do not agree—and should be distributed for purely religious purposes amongst the religious denominations. But here is the difficulty by which one is confronted. The proposal is that the money is to be distributed among one or several denominations. Surely the hon. Gentleman is alive to the fact that, owing to the convictions of Nonconformists and other bodies in Wales, what the Amendment would really amount to would be that the money would be distributed among one denomination only. The Church of England in Wales is the one body that will accept State Endowments for any of its religious purposes whatsoever. [Lord HUGH CECIL: "That is a mistake."] I cannot speak for Nonconformist bodies in Wales, but I think I understand the foundation of their religious attitude, and I believe I am right, in spite of the contradiction of the Noble Lord, in saying that Nonconformist bodies in Wales would not accept State Endowment in any form whatsoever for religious purposes. I am speaking vicariously for Nonconformist bodies, and in accordance with the opinions I have heard expressed in this House.
I now come to the Roman Catholics, of whom a good many in Wales are Irishmen, and some of them are Welshmen. I do not undertake in the least to speak for Welsh Catholics, for I am not in a position to do that; but I can speak for Irish Catholics, and I say that it is an unbroken tradition of Irish Catholicity that under no circumstances and under no temptations will they ever allow their religion to be either ruled or subsidised by the State. In various stages of our history in Ireland, especially before Catholic 2461 emancipation, projects were made by various Governments, projects sometimes backed by all the power of Rome, to agree to the endowment of the priests of Ireland, and to the interference of the State in the nomination of the bishops of Ireland. Every Irish Nationalist here who knows the history of this country is aware that one of the greatest battles of Daniel O'Connell was against such a proposal, backed by Papal Nuncio, and the fact that it succeeded I am sure gave satisfaction to every Catholic in Ireland, whether priest' bishop, or layman. It was a defeat of the proposal to give the Crown a right of interference in the choice of the archbishop. Then it was a favourite doctrine, when both the English parties were dealing with the question of Catholic emancipation, and later with the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, that Catholics should receive State subsidies. That proposal was unanimously and persistently resisted by all the bishops and priests of Ireland. The Irish Catholics in Wales are as true to the traditions of their race and creed as they are elsewhere, and I believe that you must add the Nonconformist bodies in Wales to the Irish Catholic body in Wales as joining in the refusal. [Lord HUGH CECIL: "Maynooth?"] I will come to the question of Maynooth. By a process of elimination you are brought down to this: The Nonconformists would not accept the money as proposed by the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman, and the Catholics would not accept it, so that it comes down to this—though I do not say that it is in the least the intention of the hon. Gentleman; I am sure it was not—that there is only one religious body in Wales that would take advantage of this proposal, and that body is the Anglican body The proposal, indeed, comes down to the re-endowment of that body.
The Noble Lord asked me a question as to Maynooth. I was going to refer to that for the reason that the Member for. Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) suggested that the money should be given to theological colleges in Wales. I understood the Member for Merthyr Tydvil to repudiate that proposal on behalf of his co-religionists; and I am sure that my hon. Friend, as a Nonconformist to the backbone, and as a Welshman, is entitled to speak with authority on that question. It is quite true that for a certain period of years Maynooth, the theological college of Ireland, was subsidised by the State; but when religious equality was established in 2462 Ireland by the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Irish Church, one of its logical results was that the Endowment of Maynooth then and there came to an end, just as the Regium donum came to an end. Therefore I am entitled to say, on the traditions of my own people, that the hon. Gentleman is proposing that which is entirely contrary to the traditions of Catholics, whether in Ireland or Great Britain. Objection has been taken to the proposals of the eighteenth Clause on the ground that it is diverting what is called ecclesiastical money to non-ecclesiastical and non-religious purposes. I am afraid that there is a difference in the point of view between us on these benches and hon. Gentlemen around me, I remember that Lord Morley, at an interesting point of his career, declared that university education was due to the fact that some mediaeval bishop had been good enough to supply him and some other poor scholars with scholarships in one of the universities. I cannot see the ground of the statement that this religious money is going to be devoted to non-religious purposes, since it is to be given to charities and to education, and to the improvement of the condition of the suffering of the country. I am not in opposition but in juxtaposition with the hon. Gentleman who laid stress upon encouraging devotional instincts, but I would say to him, in all seriousness and good feeling, why cannot the people supplement State Endowment by voluntary contributions, as all Nonconformist and Catholic bodies have been able to do?' Finally, in juxtaposition and not in contradiction with those views on this question, I say that the point which represents my view on this question is that the highest service to God, the worship of God, is merciful service to mankind.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
The speech to which we have just listened was a very interesting one from the point of view of the hon. Member, but it seems to me that his arguments are vitiated on the real points he put forward, namely, the fact that the particular body with which he is associated has always refused State help. He said the Maynooth Grant was got rid of at the time religious equality was established, but at the same time it should be remembered that the Maynooth Grant was capitalised out of property of the Church, and therefore they got the full value of that which they previously received as a Parliamentary Grant. 2463 I do not think it is a precedent really in favour of the Amendment we are now discussing. After all, the point is that there is a surplus fund, after you have exhausted all the possible services to which it is applied. You have the Church receiving what has fallen to her; you have the Irish Church receiving the Maynooth Grant, and you have the Nonconformists receiving the Regium donum. After capitalising all these interests representing different religious views, you then take the remainder of the money for other purposes. I was surprised to find the right hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary rather throwing contempt on the fact that the Conservative Government had given a million and a half for education; but, after all, it was for education that has always been distinctly under religious influence in every way, and therefore was really following out the very argument he used. With that precedent we can certainly say that this Amendment is in line while we repudiate the fact that we have in any way accepted the Irish Church as meeting our point of view. We are told very often that the only reason, or the great reason, why the national character of this money is alluded to is because it comes by Parliamentary title.
There is the Scotch precedent, which, I think, it is always well to bring up as one which gives a Parliamentary title. There was a legal decision in connection with two religious bodies in Scotland which did not give satisfaction, and they came to Parliament in order to settle the matter, and Parliament dealt with the matter, how? We first of all dealt with the body which had first claim, and that, on analogous lines, would be the Church in Wales, and the fullest needs, really more than the full needs, of the "Wee Free Church," as it is called, were met. They were given as much as they could possibly use in consideration of the very small numbers they were. Then Parliament went on to give the remainder of the money to another body, which was not so closely allied to the original, but yet which was very nearly allied. So we find in that precedent the whole of the money was applied, so that, as you went along, you took care that every interest was fully regarded, while religious purposes were considered as the basis of the settlement. Nobody can possibly say that the full necessities of the Welsh Church have been considered in this Bill. What we have always maintained in 2464 all our arguments has been that if we got the whole of it there was not really enough to meet the needs of the case. But we do say, if you attempt and insist that we should be content with a certain sum, then that the sum over should still go upon the lines of the original trust, and that that trust should be remembered, and that therefore the money should only go upon the lines which this Amendment indicates. I think everybody in the House must have been struck with the high tone of the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) which really did seem to me to go to the root of the question. We have had laughter and derision from the other side as to allusions to charitable purposes earlier in the course of the day. I do not think that will come so readily after the speech of my hon. Friend.
We are firmly convinced on our side that however desirable these other things are, and we maintain that the Church has always put them in the first rank, yet that they do truly arise from the fact of there being a Christian religion, and that they have come through the Church and through the devotional side of the Church, and that it is because of that they have obtained the great popularity and the great immensity of influence which they have at the present time. It is therefore our contention that we must stand firmly against any weakening of that influence by the diversion of the funds from what is the prime interest rather than to what is a secular interest. It is on that ground we defend this particular position that is being discussed today. I think that the whole course of this Debate has shown that really at bottom, in their hearts, hon. Members opposite agree with our position. We had a very interesting speech from the hon. Baronet (Sir Ivor Herbert). Speaking in connection with the national museum he said that it was given to our sentiment and not to our honour. We do not mind how the matter comes provided you give it. If you do not listen to argument, and I am afraid argument has not very much effect here, if we can obtain it by sentiment I have no objection. At all events the hon. Baronet did make one valuable admission. He said, "We give because we are afraid, if we included the national museum, it would lead to denominational antagonism." If you admit that in reference to one institution with its national character, how can you separate it from connection with other 2465 national institutions? If you want to avoid that denominational antagonism with reference to the museum, do you not equally wish to avoid it in connection with the library or the University of Wales or other institutions of that sort, and especially the lesser ones, which will affect the parishes in connection with the schemes of the county council.
I think that admission is a very valuable one and one which goes really to the root of the matter. It is one which we accept very gladly as showing why at last we have, I think partly by arguments, not altogether by sentiment, and not perhaps altogether in this House but outside, convinced hon. Members that they cannot go too far in this secularisation of the property of the Church. I think the hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary rather begged the question by calling it national funds. I think in discussing this question we have some right to complain of the attitude of the Front Bench. The Under-Secretary complained that my hon. Friend the Member for Wilton (Mr. C. Bathurst) filled seven-eighths of his speech with one side of the argument and only gave one-eighth to the real purpose of his Amendment. The hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary gave the whole of his speech to an attack on my hon. Friend, and never alluded at all to the objects which the Government are putting forward as the alternative to the proposition of my hon. Friend. We have never had from the Treasury Bench any explanation of their attitude in connection with the particular scheme which is put forward in this Bill for the secularisation of this property. We have to-day stated to us again how the Government in their different Bills have altered their opinion in connection with this matter, but we have had no defence of the particular solution which they have arrived at in the last instance. I think also the House has some reason to complain that it is not from the Front Bench we get knowledge of what really is in the mind of the Government. The Under-Secretary made a considerable speech, but never alluded, except in one word I think, to any Amendments that were going to be made. It is from the right hon. Gentleman behind him that we have received instruction as to what is the real purpose of the Government in connection with this Clause. It would be just as well before -we proceed with this Debate that we should know exactly what the Clause is to be when it passes out by the guillotine this evening. We know that we shall not have 2466 the opportunity of discussing all the various parts of it, as it is impossible within the time, and I think it is only fair, as we have to embark on a general discussion of the Clause, that we should at least be told what is in the mind of the Government in connection with it. We are told that public purposes are to be left out, and is it a fact that the Government have accepted that the National Museum is to be loft out? Are they accepting the words of the right hon. Gentleman in connection with Sub-section (3) of Sub-section (1)?
We really get this information from other sources. We are accustomed on another Bill to see the Government look to the corner near me for their instruction, and now we have to take a sidelong glance behind the Government in order to ensure whether they are aware or not aware of the real purpose of the Bill they place before the House. I do think we are justified in asking, at all events, for a fuller explanation of the attitude of the Government in connection with this matter. We have never had it explained why the very first proposition which was put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Swansea District (Sir D. Brynmor Jones) is not included in the Bill. He said "We," I suppose speaking for the Government, "do not intend that any of this money should go in relief of rates." Why has that fallen out of this Bill when it had been in other Bills? Is it because the Government have discovered that it is really impossible to find public services of the nature they want which are not connected in some way or another with the rates? It is useless for the right hon. Gentlemen on the back benches to say that none of this money is to be given to the rates, and that none of the people desire it should. We want to see that in the Bill, as otherwise it is a perfectly valueless statement. We find ourselves therefore in a difficult position in connection with this Clause, and a position which has not been enlightened by speeches from the other side. I think I may justly claim that the position should be made clear before the Bill proceeds any further. What is the real point? It is the one which is undoubtedly raised by this Amendment. We have been undoubtedly beaten upon the other points. We have been beaten on Disestablishmnt. We have been beaten on Disendowment and on Dismemberment, but we still adhere very strongly to our position against secularisation. We have the very strongest evidence 2467 that we have on that support which we have not had on any other subject, stronger support far. Exception was taken to some words my hon. Friend the Member for Wilton used in connection with this matter. For myself, I do not think they were too strong. I will read some other words which were used, not by a Churchman, but by a Nonconformist. He said:—When Materialism takes gold from the Temple of God, the Temple of God is as a besieged city in the hands of its enemies. And when a nation turns to uplifting its people by despoiling a Church, it is attempting to reform by discarding its God. Here, too, is a Secularism, irreligious, thoughtless, cruel—a Secularism invading the precincts of the sanctuary of a people's faith, laying its hands on a Church's needed and well-used property. Can it be true that Wales, traditionally and historically religious, is crying, ' Down with the Endowed Church: give us an Endowed Museum'?I think that really is worth thinking of. It is a view which at all events comes very closely home to us, and I am glad to think that it is not merely confined to members of the Church. It is on that ground I commend this Amendment to the Government.
§ Mr. HAYDN JONES
The hon. Member for Wilton in moving this Amendment spoke of a breach of trust, of robbing God, and depriving Christianity of certain funds. I honestly believe that the hon. Member in giving expression to those views really felt what he said. On the other hand, we on this side regard the whole question from an entirely different point of view, and I hope hon. Members opposite when I state my views will give me the credit of doing so conscientiously. We regard the funds under this Bill for the purposes of Christianity as funds which ought to be available for all. That is our view and that being our view we think we are justified when we claim those funds for the general people, funds which were originally left for them not as a sect, not as a denomination, but as a community. Let us examine the Clause as it stands. Parochial Endowments are to be employed in the main for the benefit of the parishes concerned, and the objects are to be charitable or eleemosynary. By an Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Swansea District, the word "public" is left out in order to meet the sentiment of the Opposition in this matter with regard to the secularisation of these funds. Speaking for the Nonconformists they do not regard some of the objects as secular. For instance, in the Bill of 1905 the objects 2468 set forth included the provision of hospitals and the provision of trained nurses. Hon. Members opposite may not regard these as Christian or charitable objects. I do. I believe that the care of the poor, the cure of disease, the provision of hospitals, and of better education, are really Christian and charitable objects. Is it not a fact that the funds alienated by this Clause consist in the main of tithe? Tithe in the past was charged with the care of the poor.
Let us examine for a moment what result will follow the carrying of the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Wilton Division (Mr. Bathurst). He proposes, in other words, concurrent Endowment. He wants to apply the funds for the advancement of the Christian religion in Wales and Monmouthshire through the agency of one or more Christian denominations in such manner as the county council or the University of Wales shall, with the consent of the Charity Commissioners, from time to time decide. I have been a county councillor since the county councils were established, and I can claim to speak of what the result of this Amendment would be. County councils consist of all denominations. The Church and every denomination of the Free Churches are represented. If you carry a Clause of this kind, instead of having harmonious working as has been the case in the past, you will at once bring political and religious strife into the county councils. We want none of that kind of thing in Wales. We-want if possible by this Bill to get rid of that which now exists. The present discord exists simply because there is a feeding that we are treated unjustly. We do not want any privileges; we claim none; but we want absolute equality. We want this money to be diverted to such objects, not that Nonconformity can enjoy, but that every Welshman, whether Nonconformist or Churchman, can enjoy. If the-Amendment were carried it would simply accentuate and not allay strife. I urge the Committee to accept the Amendments foreshadowed by the right hon. Member for the Swansea District. In the Clause as it stands I would like to see the words, "or schemes" introduced, because it is obvious that the Endowments of the-several parishes may fall in from time to time. If there is to be one scheme, that one scheme will have to be delayed, and certain funds for certain parishes held up; whereas, if the county councils had the power to formulate schemes from time to time the; 2469 Endowments available for each separate parish could be dealt with as they fell in. In regard to paragraph (6), I have no objection whatever to the proposal in regard to the university or the museum; but, as far as I am concerned, I have never been in love with the proposal to apply funds to the library. My anxiety in regard to the application of the funds is that whatever they are applied to should be for the benefit of all without distinction of creed, sect, or denomination.
It is well worthy of consideration whether a suggestion on this point could not be made and agreed to on both sides. After all, the Bill is going to pass. It may be thrown out in another place, but it is going to pass. I have heard Members opposite make remarks of this kind, that if they could only defeat the Bill this once nothing more would be heard about it. Never was a greater mistake made. The Welsh people claim Disestablishment and Disendowment as their right, and until they obtain it they will persist in their demand. I would appeal to the Opposition to meet us and to agree upon certain purposes to which these funds should be applied. It is no good quarrelling over the matter. The funds have to go, and I should like to see them given by common consent to certain objects, national or parochial, it makes no difference to me, but objects in regard to which all would benefit. But let them not go to the relief of rates. I am rather amused at what has been said on the Opposition side. I have had something to do with the administration of the Education Act of 1902. Under that Act certain Endowments were, so to speak, released, owing to provision for education having to be made by the local authorities. What did the party opposite do? They immediately applied the money to the relief of rates, and the poor for whom those Endowments were left were deprived of them. No one found any benefit from them; they were actually lost to the poorest of the poor. I am pleased to hear that Members opposite do not desire these funds to be applied to the relief of rates. Neither do I. I want them to be applied to such purposes, charitable or eleemosynary, that whether people go to church or chapel or not, everybody indiscriminately shall benefit.
§ Mr. EVELYN CECIL
The hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Haydn Jones) has assured us that he does not want this money to go in relief of the rates. If that be so, 2470 and I do not doubt his sincerity, let it be stated in the Bill. I do not understand why the words prohibiting the money from going in relief of the rates have been omitted from the Bill if the intention is that it should not be so used. I hope the Government will note what so many of their supporters have said, and that they will consent to the insertion of the words when the time comes. The speech of the hon. Member has emphasised very considerably the large gap that exists between the two sides of the House as to what is secular and what is not. The hon. Member mentioned as being not secular, not only the provision of hospitals, the training of nurses, and the care of the poor, but also technical and higher education. If anything is not secular, I suppose it must be religious. I am astonished that anyone who comes from Wales should talk about technical and higher education as being religious when they are so very careful that there should be no religious denominational instruction, and that the teachers should be expressly secular in all the technical educational institutions. It is, to my mind, ludicrous to suggest that technical education is not secular when we bear in mind the history of the controversies which have been so bitter and fierce in Wales. Our opinion is exactly the reverse. One cannot speak too highly of what may be done as regards the care of the poor, the provision of hospitals, alms-giving, and similar purposes. They are all excellent purposes of which we should all approve; but they are not in their essence religious. In our opinion they are secular. Nothing answers to the definition religious but what is closely and absolutely devoted to the religious service of God.
We are told that almost anything in our lives may be religious. No doubt, in a very broad sense, that could be argued. But I think that it can hardly be contended that the money which is now being taken from the Church and is to be applied to other purposes would, if it were given to the purposes mentioned by hon. Members opposite, be applied to objects originally intended by the donors of the money. The original donors, in our belief and as history shows, desired that that money should go to the strictly religious service of God. Any diversion from that purpose, by Parliamentary interference or otherwise, is in our belief a breach of the trust which those donors may be considered to have created. This Amendment also raises the whole question whether the Government 2471 and the party opposite consider that at all times after giving a Parliamentary title they are at liberty to take away the property so given and devote it to any other objects they please. A Parliamentary title has undoubtedly been given to the United Free Churches in Scotland by the Churches (Scotland) Act, 1905. I should like very much to know whether in consequence of that settlement hon. Members opposite consider that they would be justified hereafter in secularising the property given to the United Free Churches in Scotland. Our contention is that the title is, and ought to be, an indefeasible one, with which Parliament has no right to interfere, and least of all when, as we strongly contend in the present case, they are devoting property given for religious purposes to purposes which are not religious. I deplore the tendency of the present day to enlarge the scope and the definition of materialism, to enlarge the aim of public government and public authority, to give to materialism money which was really intended for religious purposes only.
Hon. Members opposite will believe in the sincerity of our appeal. We believe most earnestly that this property was intended to be devoted strictly to religious uses, and not merely to eleemosynary and general uses, and that therefore the Government have no right to take it away from existing purposes in order to devote it to the objects now suggested. I cannot but notice that hon. Gentlemen opposite are not altogether comfortable about this Clause. The mere fact that the right hon. Member for Swansea District adumbrated the Amendments which he did shows most clearly that Members opposite feel that there is some ground for our severe criticism, and our contention that this is a secularising and not a religious tendency. The right hon. Gentleman told us that one of his reasons was that the voluntary system has not broken down in Wales, but goes on perfectly well under existing circumstances. Do figures really prove his statement? It is perfectly well known that many of the Nonconformist chapels in Wales are heavily subject to debt. Perhaps I am not mistaken in saying that the amount of debt in many cases amounts to something approaching £5 per head. I cannot understand how the right hon. Gentleman can assert that this voluntary system is going perfectly smoothly if any such figures can be brought against it. 2472 No, we want to retain for the Church, for religious purposes, strictly religious purposes, that which is being taken away. We believe the connection between the Church and the State is valuable to both. We do not want by subsidising the Church—if the hon. Members choose to call it so—though I do not much approve the term—to make the Church in any sense political. We believe that that policy is of value because it assists to make the State religious. It is on those grounds that we sincerely and earnestly believe and plead with right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, that they should allow this money to be still devoted strictly and solely to religious purposes, and not turn it away into the channels that they propose.
§ Mr. T. E. HARVEY
I am sure no one on this side of the House will fail to recognise the earnestness of purpose and kindly tone which marked the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has sat down. Yet I think we must feel that the whole tenor of the speech is just another instance of the way in which the great division between the two sides of the House has been shown to be in the understanding of the words "religious" and "secular." We recognise the very earnest desire of hon. Members opposite to retain for religious purposes funds which they believe to have been given for religious purposes. We do not wish to hurt their feelings, but we honestly believe that in the early days of the Church "religious purposes" covered a far wider field than they are at present able to allow. We believe that in the future, when this controversy has disappeared, that it will be possible for us all alike to regain that larger vision of life which makes it possible for the sincere man to believe that every good act can be done in a religious spirit—[HON. MEMBERS "Hear, hear"]—and that things which are called secular, and which are looked down upon as secular, if they are done in a religious spirit, will be suffused with the very life of Christianity. I think if we look back we shall see it was not only the monasteries which in the past performed those works which have been spoken of as subsidiary works and ancillary to the main work of Christianity; the religious spirit of which I speak was something which went through the whole conception of life in the best days of the Middle Ages. We can think of such religious guilds and brotherhoods as the Order of Pontiff Brothers, whose 2473 special work it was to build bridges as a religious task. There were the Crucigeri Brothers, whose special duty it was to tend the lepers. There are cases—I think I can recall one alluded to in Jusserand's "English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages"—where an English bishop offered a spiritual reward in the future life to people engaged in the pious and religious work of repairing bridges.
I think I have shown that in the Middle Ages work considered now to be entirely secular, if done in the right spirit—the exercise of charity and help to the needy and suffering—was felt to be, in the truest and highest sense, religious work. When this controversy is dead and gone, as we hope it soon will be, all parties in Wales, all the Churches, will be able to co-operate in the work to which these funds will be allocated. I am very glad that on this side of the House we have had foreshadowed various Amendments, which will, I hope, in a small degree, if only a very small degree, meet the conscientious objections of hon. Members opposite. I am sure we all of us here wish to secure that these funds should not merely be sunk in the relief of rates. In so far as there is a real feeling of objection to their being spent on such a worthy object in itself as the National Museum, I think we shall cheerfully see that excluded from the Bill. As regards the National Library it may be, I think, possible to take a different view. I think it might be possible to allocate such of the funds as are given to the National Library in Wales to the purchase of religious and devotional literature. That in the highest sense of the word would be serving a religious use. Anyone who has gone to the British Museum on a Saturday can assure himself of the large use of the library made by the clergy of all denominations, presumably in preparing for the coming Sunday, implying that even a secular library may have a religious use. The great thing we on this side wish to see is that in the future there should be friendly co-operation between all the religious bodies in Wales.
After carefully thinking over the possibilities of the Amendment which has been proposed, I, for one, feel that in the immediate future if that were adopted it would be likely to increase and to maintain the jealousy and rivalry that in some cases at least does unfortunately exist to-day. We have had it made quite clear that if certain of the Christian Churches do not obtain 2474 the share it is proposed to give them there would be disputing and bickering. That is the very thing we want to avoid. I think by adopting the plan in the Bill we shall make co-operation more possible in the future. We cannot ensure that this money shall be spent in a religious spirit. That no Act of Parliament can do. That we must leave to the life and inspiration of the Church itself. Confident as I am in the continuance of that life, in the reality of it both in the Disestablished Church of Wales and the great Free Churches, and full of belief as I am, and as I believe all Members on both sides of this House are, in the religious spirit and the religious genius of the people of Wales, we can believe that, after the controversy of to-day has passed away, this money will be wisely spent by those great public bodies who represent better than any other bodies the whole community of Wales, both those outside the Churches, outside organised Christianity—not necessarily irreligious—and those within, in such a way as will make possible a true co-operation and the deepest unity between the different members of the Christian Churches.
I have listened with extreme interest to the speeches from both sides of the House. The last one doubtless touched us all deeply. It seems to me as the Debate goes on that we are getting nearer to the crux of this question. The hon. Member from below the Gangway who has spoken (Mr. Haydn Jones) stated that these moneys were originally given for Christian purposes. I think that is a great admission, and one which we are glad to welcome coming from the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down also said that an Act of Parliament cannot act religiously, and that the gift of Parliament must be used religiously or not according to the disposition of those who receive it. We have heard a good deal to-day about religious purposes. We had very interesting reminiscences of things called religious purposes and rewards for benefits in the Middle Ages. But it was not the giving which was religious, though that has a religious bearing, but it was the spirit in which the thing was done, and I was going to say the purpose for which it was done. Will the Committee allow me to use words not often used in Debates, but which must be used sometimes in these Debates? It is the Master in whose service they were done that brings the spiritual reward. The hon. Member was quite right in saying the 2475 money was given for Christianity. Yes, but what was the Christian purpose? It was the preaching of the Gospel. That was the purpose of Christ and Christianity and all those things that flowed from it. Education, teaching, libraries, they are not the essence of Christianity, but they are what flowed from Christianity, they are the fruits of Christianity; and what we complain of is that you are deliberately taking from future generations in Wales the opportunity of having the Gospel preached to them and of having put into their minds the spirit that will make these things. I accept willingly what was said that it was not the purpose in moving this Amendment that the Church of England should get back part of this money. I am sure the Committee will realise that that is not the object of this Amendment.
The hon. Member for Merioneth asked us to come to an agreement; we might ask him to come to an agreement; and what we want the Government to see, and what we want Nonconformists on the other side of the House to see, is that we do not complain of money being spent on all these things. We want money spent on education and on libraries, and we want more money than we can possibly get for these things. But our object is to make it quite clear that what you are taking away from the people of Wales is not education or anything of that sort, but that you are taking away Christianity, and that you are depriving future generations in Wales of the opportunity of having the Gospel preached to them which they and we believe to be the source of all spiritual life and of all national life. This money will have to go to the relief of something. In relief of what is it to go? In the relief of subscriptions to hospitals? They say it must not go in relief of rates; it will go to the universities of Wales. Wales has raised itself a system of higher education, better I believe than in any part of England. This Endowment will take away all that. As Artemus Ward said, there is a great deal of human nature in the world. What will happen if you give Endowments to hospitals? There is a London hospital that got a very large Endowment some years ago, and the result was that the subscriptions to that hospital went down at once because—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I was quite prepared for that cheer. Hon. Members are quite satisfied with their interpretation of my remarks. 2476 They view it from their side. I am dealing with quite another view at the present moment. The subscriptions went down, and exactly the same would happen in connection with the universities in Wales.
If you give Endowment, subscriptions are likely to go down and therefore this money will go in relief of something. It will possibly have the effect of saving what is given in charity. I do not think that is right. I think it is wrong, but that is the tendency of human nature. Let me say again that while all these objects are not religious objects, they are objects which ought to be supported by religious people. What the people of Wales are doing, looking at it from their point of view, is this: They say this is national money given to the nation for the purposes of Christianity, and they are deliberately saying, "We are a Christian nation, we have enjoyed the advantages of Christianity being preached to us for many generations, but we are now going to take away that money from the preaching of Christianity, and our children and our descendants whom we hoped would carry on the spirit, the intellect and the glory of the Welsh nation will be badly equipped for that. because we take away from them the foundation of religion, namely, the preaching of the Gospel.
§ Mr. TIMOTHY DAVIES
None of us could find any fault with the tone of the last speech to which we listened. Although not a Member for a Welsh constituency, I speak on behalf of a Welsh denomination, to which I belong, and what struck me, and possibly struck most Members on this side was that the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down said that immediately that a particular hospital was endowed the voluntary subscriptions fell off. That is our experience in the few Churches we have in Wales not of our denomination. These Churches which are endowed become sterile and are dying. When people lose the habit of supporting a particular church or chapel themselves they lose a certain amount of interest. In regard to money going to Christian purposes, the hon. Gentleman opposite said that that meant simply preaching the Gospel, and as far as I understood him he seemed to think that that was the only great service to which this money should be devoted.
§ Mr. TIMOTHY DAVIES
I ask him to look back to the parable of the Good Samaritan. I think that the Master gave that as an illustration of great services which are charitable, and I think that in devoting this money, which has come, as we say, to the whole Welsh nation, and not to part of it, and in giving this money towards such things as are represented to be charitable I think we are putting it to the highest and greatest service. With regard to the speech of the hon. Member for Dudley (Sir A. Griffith-Bos-cawen) he stated that it was desired to force upon the Free Churches of Wales a part of this money. Speaking for one of the largest of those denominations I say that we shall have nothing whatever to do with it, and my denomination would not take it. They would not think of taking a single halfpenny from the Church of England for their own purposes, and they prefer to struggle, as they are struggling, successfully, to maintain their own ministry. Within the last two or three weeks an effort has been made in our Church, not in Wales, but in London, and we raised the sum of £10,000 amongst these small Churches. I would point out to the hon. Member for Dudley that he has misrepresented us, and he does not appear to understand what a sustentation fund means. It is not a fund to accumulate money in Endowments, but simply the contributions of the largo and richer Churches to maintain the small ones. Those Churches which take the foremost part in supporting the sustentation fund do so in order that the small Churches may maintain pastors. The hon. Member for Dudley says that the voluntary system has been a failure. I should like to point out to the hon. Member what are the facts as far as we are concerned. There has been in our denomination a greater increase during the last ten years in the money contributed towards maintaining our ministers than there ever has been before. There was an increase between 1891 and 1901 of £17,000 a year, and the last ten years shows an average increase of £23,551 in voluntary contributions towards the maintenance of the ministry. The hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) speaking on the Second Reading, said that Welsh Nonconformity was dwindling in numbers and he said that with regard to the denomination with which I am connected, in which I know there has been an increase of 22,000 in the membership during the last ten years.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Is it not the case that within the last few years there has been a decrease of 30,000 in the four greatest denominations in Wales?
§ Mr. T. DAVIES
I do not think that is correct. I am speaking of the Calvinistic Methodists, and that is one of the large denominations in Wales. If the hon. Member will look into the statistics of the Independents and the Baptists he will find that the same thing applies. There was a great revival in Wales in 1904–5, which added to some of our Churches tens of thousands in a year, and naturally they could not maintain that increase year after year. At the present time there is a revival going on which I think in a year or two will equal the revival of ten years ago. The Church added greatly to its numbers during that revival in Wales, and I am taking ten years as a fair average of the increase in our denomination, and that increase has been 22,000, which is the largest increase in any ten years for the last fifty years.
§ Mr. LANE-FOX
I only wish to ask whether the statement in the Welsh Denominational Year-Book this year is correct, because it show's that the Calvinistic Methods have decreased 200?
§ Mr. T. DAVIES
Possibly that is so, but you cannot take the life of a Church in one year, and I am taking the last ten years. I have here the figures for the last fifty years. I have given the figures from 1881 to 1891, from 1891 to 1901, and from 1901 to 1911, and the average increase in the last ten years has been greater than in the previous decades. In the same period there has been an increase of £23,500 in the contributions towards the ministry alone, and the increase in the contributions towards all purposes in our denomination is now over £300,000 a year, and an increase in twenty years of nearly £50,000 a year for all purposes. I am saying that to show that the voluntary system has not broken down, as was asserted by the hon. Member for Dudley. You may say that you can do with more money in Wales to support all denominations, and I agree that almost any Church in Wales, either Established or Nonconformist, could do more work if they had more money, but it does not follow because you endow a Church that more work will be done, because it is generally quite the reverse. With regard to this Amendment, the Nonconformists of Wales will not have any of this money, 2479 and they believe that by applying it as is proposed in this Bill they are devoting it to Christian purposes which no one who follows the steps of the Master can have any objection in the slightest degree.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
In answer to the hon. Member who has just sat down, I should like to say that, speaking as a Churchman, I rejoice to hear of the progress of these Welsh Nonconformist communities. It carries this conclusion with it, that what I may call the mixed system in Wales, consisting partly of the Endowed Church and partly the work of the great Nonconformist communities, has brought about a splendid result so far as Wales is concerned. The moral of that is that under these circumstances you should cease to attack a Church which is co-operating nobly with you with regard to the religious life of Wales, and which cannot be said in any way to interfere with the working progress of these great Nonconformist bodies.
§ Mr. T. DAVIES
I did not attack the Church in Wales, and I do not wish to do so. I rejoice at the good work done by the Church in Wales and so do my Friends.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
But you cannot support this Bill and say you do not attack the Church. I am perfectly willing to allow that the great Nonconformist communities and their members are the proper judges of what is best for them, and then I think he must allow Churchmen the same liberty and the same generosity. He must allow that we Churchmen are the best judges of our system, of our Establishment, and of our Endowments. How can he reconcile the claim which I think he puts forward, and quite rightly, for his own religious denomination to be left to its own work, and to be dealt with in the way its own members desire, with attacking the Church in a way which everyone objects is inconsistent with the wishes of the vast majority of Churchmen at the present time? Let him treat us, as I believe all Churchmen are desirous of treating the Nonconformist denominations—that is, to encourage them in their good work and to be thankful that they are progressing. I do not want to suggest they are not progressing. The more progression there is the more certainty there seems to be in the future for Christian development in the Welsh dioceses. The hon. Member referred to the work of the Good Samaritan. That work was rendered necessary 2480 by the preceding work of spoliation. He cannot say that preceding work of spoliation had the sanction of any religious person at that time. I beg him, in applying a parable of that kind, to think of the whole moral. I will join with him in his estimation of the Good Samaritan; I wish he would join with me in my detestation of the spoliator.
I want to say a word with reference to what was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Swansea District (Sir D. Brynmor Jones), and to attempt to recall to the Committee what is the true issue. We are dealing here with what everyone admits are trust funds in the true sense of the term. We have taken away those trust funds from the purposes to which they are being devoted at the present time, and the question before the Committee is what we are to do with them. What is the issue between the two sides of the House upon this point? We say these funds have been used for what the hon. Member for Denbigh (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) so well called Christian devotional purposes, and our charge against the Government proposal is that they are taking them from those Christian devotional purposes and are going to apply them to secular purpose. I understand the right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members would not be in favour of that if my statement of the proposition was accurate, but they say in their defence, "Although we are taking these trust funds away from the purposes to which they are now being devoted, we are not secularising them, but are, in truth and in fact, applying them to what in the wider sense ought to be called religious purposes and objects." The excuses put forward by the other side does not really meet the matter at all. The right hon. Gentleman quoted an old Latin Father. He was originally a very rampageous Pagan, but afterwards he became a Christian Father. He wrote at the commencement of the third century. The right hon. Gentleman said that as long ago as those times he found that amongst the purposes and objects of the Church's work and life were hospitality, caring for the sick, caring for the poor, and education. Let us see what that means. In my view Christianity and the Christian religion has been the pioneer of all the true social movements which have made our Western civilisation what it is at the present time. I think it is quite true that long before the State cared for any of these matters at all they did revive what 2481 is called hospitality, caring for the sick, caring for the poor, and education. Is it not also perfectly accurate to say that the whole mainspring and motive which enabled the Christian Church to become the pioneer in these great social movements was their devotional ministrations. In the course of time these ancillary matters have in substance been taken over, partly by the charities, and partly by the State itself.
Let us come to close quarters. The Endowments with which we are dealing—never mind what their true origin may have been; I will deal with that by and by—were devoted to the purposes of providing for all citizens in this country, as far as practicable, Christian ministrations by means of resident clergy. That has been their use for centuries. You are taking them away from that use, which has developed and encouraged not only the devotional life of the clergy, but the devotional life of all Christians, whether clergy or laymen, and directly you come to that point, what answer is it to say, "We are going to give it to certain ancillary purposes which in the old days were undertaken by the Church, and which in more modern times have been undertaken by the State," unless you have sufficient Endowments and funds in order that those devotional ministrations, which are the mainspring of the life of the Church, may be encouraged and nourished as the highest of all purposes. That is where we come really to close quarters one with the other. Are we right and I think on this point the opinion of Churchmen should be taken in the same way as on other matters I would take the opinion of Nonconformists—are we right in saying that this money has been taken away from devotional purposes; and, secondly, if that is so, is it not diverting it to other than devotional purposes merely to give it to what in the aggregate are called charitable or eleemosynary funds? It is no answer to say that in the old days some of these duties were undertaken by men out of their devotion to the Church. Is there not all the difference between these ancillary duties and the devotional duty which is the mainspring of all? Until that devotional duty has been properly performed you will not have these and similar purposes dealt with at all in the same spirit or in the same way. That is our complaint. This is what we are saying. You are taking money now devoted to devotional purposes in these particular parishes and you are applying to 2482 what are mere secular purposes. What is your answer to that? I have tried to-ascertain the answer. I admit I cannot see where it comes in.
When we are dealing with these matters all are agreed that there are various ways in which you can use these funds for other than secular purposes. My own Amendment lower down on the Paper, which I gather is out of order, would apply the funds proposed to be confiscated to as nearly as possible their original purposes. That is what is called the doctrine of equity and equality. As to the doctrine of equity, there are two ways of acting on it. If you make merely a test in your own mind, it is not then worth much. But if you take it as a test of a just principle, adopted by a vast majority of the people after full discussion and inquiry, then it is very important. If you take the later sense, the only sense in which it is really worth while to deal with a point of this kind, then no one will deny that the proper principle, when you are seeking to-reapply trust funds, is to apply them as nearly as possible in order to carry out the original purpose for which they were being used at the time of diversion. If the right hon. Gentleman does not doubt that, then why not go a step further?- This is a matter which cuts very deeply into the feelings of religious-minded people in this country. It appeals to the consciences of religious people. We are addressing our arguments not on religious grounds on this occasion, not on any narrow sectarian view, but we are dealing with the matter on the broad basis of Christian human nature, and we say you ought not to divert funds now used for devotional purposes to what in comparison with them are nothing more than secular objects.
I want to go one step further. It is said by various hon. Gentlemen opposite that you cannot have concurrent Endowments because some of the great Nonconformist communities would, under no-circumstances, touch any money of this kind. Of course, if they will not do it, there is an end to the suggestion. But let me point out this, that that has not always been the view, at any rate, of some of the large Nonconformist bodies in this country. Take the case of the Regium donum. There you have the case of the Presbyterian body in Ulster accepting Endowments which, at the present time, bring them in £30,000 a year. It is all very well to say that under the Irish Bill it was the Roman Catholics who would not 2483 accept the Endowments. But I want to call attention to precedent. In the case of the Regium donum £30,000 a year was accepted as Endowments by the Presbyterians in Ulster, and it has been used for the best of all possible purposes, for the sustentation and augmentation of the incomes of resident Presbyterian ministers in the Ulster district. The Scotch Bill has been referred to by the Under-Secretary for the Home Department. I have no doubt that he looked into the matter very carefully, but it seems to me that he has misapprehended the whole position. Let me remind the Committee of the facts. You had in Scotland the Free Church and the United Churches. You had the decision of the House of Lords that the fund generally belonged to the Free Church and not to the United Church. You had the Report of a Royal Commission followed by legislation in 1901. What was the effect of that? You had the Endowments under the Scotch Act divided between the Free Church and the United Church, and the contest between the two Churches was not whether they should refuse the gift, but who should get most of it. [An HON. MEMBER: "It was their own money."] And this is our money. The only discussion was not that they were not going to touch the Endowments, but which of the two Churches could get most out of them. That is an entirely different position altogether, and it is entirely inconsistent with the view that, no matter where the Endowments came from, they would not be accepted. It is for the great Nonconformist community to decide this matter for themselves. If it is their view they should not touch them, that neither justifies the confiscation of the funds which belong to us nor does it justify the secularisation of funds now being used for what we consider are the most important of all religious services. Surely the right hon. Gentleman must know the meaning of the term "Christian." It is a perfectly defined term, perfectly well known and perfectly recognised.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
How anybody can possibly say, using the language in its ordinary sense, that a Unitarian is a Christian I cannot understand. He may be just as good a Christian as anyone else—I am not saying he is not—but how can you call 2484 anyone a Christian unless he comes within the definition of the term as I have used it?
§ SIR D. BRYNMOR JONES
If the hon. and learned Gentleman will look at the evidence given before the Royal Commission he will find that a Unitarian is not at all what he represents.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
That is not an answer to what I am saying. I am using the language which ought to be used, and I am explaining why I use it. There is one other matter I want to deal with. It is quite clear that the destination of these funds must have relation to their origin. I do not think anyone will deny that.
What has been said as regards the origin of these funds? I only want to put the two sides. It has been put on our side that tithes or glebe, although we are only dealing now with the tithe, were religious funds given for religious purposes, and up to now have been properly dealt with as a trust fund for Church purposes. On the other side it is put, particularly by the Under-Secretary for the Home Department, that these funds were not all used in that way. I think he was wrong historically when he introduced what is called the tri-partite division, although he quoted an authority generally accepted on these matters at the present time, Blackstone. I am not going into that. Let me assume for the moment that he is right. Let me assume that in the tri-partite or quadripartite division a certain proportion of the funds was used for these ancillary purposes. How does that justify you in confiscating the whole of the funds, and trying to get the whole of them for these ancillary purposes? In any circumstances, it would only be a small proportion of these funds which, according to any principle, ought to be applied to these so-called ancillary religious purposes. I am a strong advocate, as hon. Members opposite know, against what I consider to be the historical fallacy of this proceeding. How can the Home Secretary justify, on his own view of the tri-partite division, taking the whole of the money, giving it all to these ancillary purposes, and cutting out the more sacred and devotional purposes? That is a question I hope he will answer when he comes to reply later. One is almost afraid to speak too warmly on a topic of this kind. I am most anxious not to say a word which would offend the religious opinions or ideas of any Member opposite, or on this side of the Committee, 2485 but I do feel this, that if we once begin on this principle in this Bill of taking Christian religious funds which are urgently needed—that is the important point—for religious devotional purposes at the present time, and devoting them to what really, in comparison with them, are purely secular purposes, we are doing all we can against the true progress of social and national life in its religious character, either in Wales or in England. This is a great sacred purpose. It far exceeds any of those so-called merely national wishes or national wants, all of which undoubtedly have their proper place. I do hope that every man who cares for religion, to whatever denomination he belongs, will give his vote against this unprincipled proposal to secularise funds now devoted to devotional and sacred purposes.
§ Mr. HINDS
The Committee has already decided that these Endowments belong to the whole nation. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] With the exception perhaps of £21,000, which we still contend belongs to the nation. The question before the Committee at the present moment is how these funds can best be used for the benefit of the Welsh nation. A great deal has been said to-day with regard to voluntaryism. I am a great advocate of voluntaryism. Endowments at all times kill voluntary effort, and have done so all along the line. It is a great mistake to say that voluntary effort has failed in Wales. It has done nothing of the kind. I am glad to say that the Welsh nation has shown to the great English nation and to all the other nations of the world a good example of what can be done in this direction, and I say that the Established Church, if she were a Free Church, would give more for the maintenance of religion that she had done in the past. The hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) talked of the spirituality of religion and the great concern he felt for it. We all try to do as much as we can towards attaining that high ideal, but it is a remarkable thing that the Established Church has not done so much as the Independent Free Churches for the voluntary maintenance of the cause of religion in Wales. The voluntary contributions of the Church in Wales for ministers alone, from 1905 to 1906, amounted to £48,972, and for all purposes £296,400, whereas the voluntary contributions of Nonconformists for ministers alone in the same period amounted to £426,597, and for all purposes £818,700. It has been said that there is 2486 a great debt on our Churches in Wales. I am very glad to say that in the part of the country that I represent Nonconformists when they open a Church there, open it, as a rule, free from debt. Where the debt on Nonconformist chapels exists is in the Rhondda Valley and Glamorganshire, where the Nonconformists have gone to the people to work out their salvation.
There are 250 parishes in Wales without a resident incumbent, but that does not mean that there is no ministration of religion in those parishes, for the Nonconformist ministers is there, and is doing the work among the people, and doing it nobly and well. The poor farmer and the poor labourer is giving of his little for the maintenance of what he holds dear. We want to give the Established Church in Wales a chance to free herself from these Endowments and to work out her own salvation, which I am sure she will do when she is freed from entanglements with the State. Our ideal is a Free Church working out the great commands of the Master and getting hold of the hearts of the people, who will give of their free offerings for what they hold dear and best in life. That is what Nonconformists have done. Something has been said with regard to sustentation funds. I am glad to say that with regard to the Baptist denomination we have sustentation funds and we also have home mission funds. What are they? The great churches in the cities take a certain amount of interest in the small village churches and come to their assistance, and help to maintain the cost. That cost is very often a burden, but the sons and the daughters who have come from the village churches still think of the little Bethel on the hill-side, and, although they are doing well in the towns, they send in their free offering to these sustentation funds and home mission funds. They are free offerings of the people, which come from their hearts. They are the free offerings of the people, given with a free heart. This is the highest ideal of religion in the best and truest sense.
The only other matter with which I want to deal is with regard to the allocation of the funds, to which great objection has been taken. It all depends on exactly what you take the word "religious" to mean. That is the whole crux of the matter. It is quite as religious for a man to equip himself in body and mind to fight the battle of life as to listen to a sermon. 2487 It is not a means of grace always to listen to a sermon. I attend religious services as often as anyone, but visiting the poor, giving sustenance to the poor and bringing a certain amount of sunshine into their lives, is as much religious as listening to the best sermon of the best bishop or the best minister in the world. To go about doing good in whatever shape you can, making the world better than you found it, is religious in the truest and best sense, and that is what we want to carry out. I do not mind if the museums are going; I do not care whether the libraries go or not; but I want the poor lad of the village, the man who has the brains and the talent to rise, to have the best equipment possible to enable him to do so, and we are using the funds in the best possible way, and in a religious way, when we are doing good work of that kind. The money can be spent well when we are taking away some of the worries of the father and mother who cannot give a proper education to son and daughter, and we say we will take the burden in hand, and once they have that education they will be better men and women to beautify the circle to which they will turn afterwards. I am very glad to have said a word with regard to the allocation of these funds, because I want them to be devoted to the best possible purposes. Make them if you like as religious as possible, but do not take too narrow a view of the word "religious." In religion I believe in works. You must have the heart, and if the heart is right, the works will be right, and the objects that we have in the Bill are the objects to which these funds ought to be devoted.
§ Mr. LANE-FOX
The hon. Member told us that religion did not only consist in listening to eloquent sermons. I quite agree. I can only say that if every sermon we had to listen to had half the eloquence in it of the hon. Member's speech, our time would be better occupied in listening to them. But the very eloquent passages in which he described so well and so truly the development of this splendid work which has been done by the Nonconformist bodies in Wales and the enormous sums of money which they have raised, though they are very remarkable facts and very creditable to those of whom he was speaking, were not relevant to this Amendment. When the hon. Member (Mr. Timothy Davies) was speaking I interrupted him to point 2488 out that he was taking a period of ten years. I agree it is far fairer to take a period over an extended number of years than to take a single year. The point I wanted to bring out was that in mentioning the development of the various denominations during the last ten years during the more recent years there has been a diminution in the number of Nonconformists, while in the earlier period that diminution did not exist. Therefore this ten years is a misleading period, because in the first part the figures are still affected by the revival and during the latter part there has been a diminution, which apparently is increasing. On the other hand, we find that the Church of England members are still increasing. A great deal has been said about the good Samaritan. In the days of the good Samaritan there were no rates; there was no Poor Law and no State organisation for the prevention of many of the evils which are now provided for. If the good Samaritan had not taken care of the Jew, he would have been left there to rot on the highway. There would have been no State organisation to help him. We have now arrived at the period of further development in which the State realises its Christian duty to an extent it never used to do, and, in consequence, these things are provided for more and more every day, and there is not the same urgent need for them to be provided for out of the funds which have since been devoted to religious purposes, and you have no right whatever, when you have certain funds which are distinctly allocated to religious purposes, "religious" being used in a very technical sense, to divert them to other purposes which are being met out of State funds. You are merely relieving the-pockets of a certain number of people who would otherwise have to pay rates or some contribution towards those other institutions, and that, we maintain, in the present condition of society, is a position it is impossible to take.
A great deal has been said about the impossibility of any system of concurrent-Endowment, and there is one point of view which I do not think has been stated yet. It is said that no Nonconformist body in Wales or elsewhere is prepared to accept any State money. I object to the term "State money." I do not consider it State money. I believe this money is given to the Church of England and does not constitute State money. But here is this money, which everyone admits in the past has been given for religious purposes, 2489 whatever you may say of the particular purpose for which it was intended. It was a great trust given to the nation. That is the position of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Now you say one particular denomination has the administration of these funds and you object to it. That is the whole of your position. But is it not your duty to take on that trust when the opportunity comes to you and, whatever denomination you belong to, to do your utmost to bring it back according to your view into the line in which you consider it should run? The Nonconformist bodies have no right whatever to say, "We will not touch this money because we consider it State money." If they say this was a great trust given to the nation to carry out, they ought to take their share in it as the opportunity comes to them, and when the opportunity is given them to express some sympathy, as the Amendment does. There is no right to assume an absolute non possumus and say they will have no part in the matter.
A good deal has been made of various technical objections to the Amendment. In consequence of the position in which the Government have put this House by the provisions of their Bill, it was absolutely necessary to put in the county councils and the university and the rest of it. It has been objected on the other side that these are not proper bodies to administer these funds. That may be; but from the point of view of order, I do not believe the Chairman would have allowed the Amendment unless these words were put in, because we have already given these funds to the county councils and the university in the various proportions set out in the Bill. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for my hon. Friend to put the words in, but to say that these technicalities are going to stand in the way of the Amendment being accepted is surely to raise a quibble unworthy of a discussion like this. I say that as a rule this House in discussing matters of religion is not at its best, and although we all regret any religious discussion for the reason that it brings out the worst passions, I think on this occasion we have had a Debate of a singularly high level. With the exception of one from the Treasury Bench, we have not had one offensive speech.
§ Mr. LANE-FOX
Well, the hon. Member for Pontefract is still going to speak. I 2490 am speaking of the high level which hitherto has characterised the Debate. I am very glad indeed that that line has been possible, and I can only hope that even now it may be possible, with the force of public opinion, and with the delay that must occur in passing this Bill into law, if it is ever to pass into law, that some alteration on this particular point may occur to the minds of the Government. There is not a single point in the Bill more thoroughly disliked, and it is my firm conviction that it is the one point on which the people of the country do feel strongly. It is the one point which all classes and all denominations would like to have eliminated from the Bill, namely, the taking away of money from purely religious uses and giving it to semi or absolutely secular purposes. Therefore, I still hope that an opportunity may be found some time by which this great blot, the worst feature in a very bad Bill, may be finally removed.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
I am quite sure that we on this side of the House associate ourselves with what was said by the last speaker in regard to the quality and tone of the speeches in the Debate to-day. It seems to me that the whole discussion hinges on the diversion of the funds. We have heard from the hon. Member (Mr. Lane-Fox) and also from the hon. and learned Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) that the funds are now being used for devotional purposes, and, that being so, they say we have no right to take them away. Our whole argument is this, even granting that they are used for devotional purposes, you are doing so at our expense. Either these funds are your money or our money. We claim that they belong to the nation. Therefore, if they belong to the nation, you have no right to use them for the devotional purposes of one sect. The hon. Member for the Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore), speaking in a spirit of which we all approve on this side, was very anxious in regard to the change of thought now setting in. There is a change of doctrine, and he seemed to think that by reserving this money for devotional purposes to the Church in Wales we shall be arresting this change of doctrine which he seems to fear. But he forgets that the change of doctrine is due to the higher criticism, the scientific spirit of the age, and the pressure of economic forces; and even if the Church in Wales were to retain all this money, you will not be able to arrest the changes which are taking place within your own pulpits, 2491 as well as in those of the Nonconformists. He suggested that we might apply the money for the Endowment of a theological faculty in our colleges. He does not realise that in saying so he is striking at the root of our position. In our elementary schools we object to putting any "ism" at the expense of public money. If you were to devote part of this money for theological purposes in Nonconformist colleges, you would be doing what we have always objected to in connection with elementary education.
The hon. Member for Dudley laid down three principles for the equitable distribution of the funds. Firstly, that they should not be given for the relief of rates; secondly, that the allocation and use of the funds should be in no way offensive to the Church from which they are being taken; and, lastly, that they should be applied to purposes in which all could participate. I claim that these three principles are carried out in the machinery of the Bill and that we shall be able to invite all without distinction of sect or creed of any kind to participate in the benefits. The hon. and learned Member for South Bucks spoke of the devotional purposes to which the funds are devoted now. Let me give an illustration of what happens in a typical Welsh parish. The services are attended by the squire of the parish—the wealthiest man in the parish.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
It is so. I know Wales very well, and all the squires I know go to the Established Church when they go at all.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
Yes, but let him do what the poor Nonconformist does—let him pay for it himself. I know he wants devotional exercise as much as a poor man, perhaps a great deal more, but he is unwilling to pay for it. The hon. Member spoke of the Church in Wales as a poor Church. Is it a poor Church? There are four bishops, and one has a stipend of £4,500 a year.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think this is going a long way from the Amendment. We have already decided in previous Clauses of the Bill in regard to the Disendowment of the Church. We are concerned here 2492 simply with the purposes to which the liberated money will be applied, and I would ask the horn Member to keep to that point.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
The hon. Member for Dudley made a great point of the Church in Wales being a poor Church, and I wished to show that it is one of the richest Churches in the Kingdom. I am sorry that I cannot go into that, for I think I could have convinced even him on that point.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
I think I could if he is at all amenable to reason. A good deal of capital is being made out of the fact that the money is spent on resident clergy. We are told that there are so many parishes in which there is no resident minister. I fail to follow the hon. Member there. According to the evidence given before the Royal Commission there are less than 2,000 Established Church clergy, while there are over 4,000 Nonconformist ministers. We have more than double. You pin yourself to the parish area, but there may be two parishes on the same road. A Nonconformist minister may cover the ground of both parishes. The parish area is much too small to take into account. The hon. Member told us that the voluntary principle has failed, and he bases the statement on the fact that we are raising sustentation funds in the Nonconformist bodies. It is perfectly true that we are doing so, and I think it is a noble thing. The cost of living is going up, we are trying to attract to Nonconformist pulpits the best men of the day, and we have to provide for them. I would remind the hon. Member that it is done purely at our own expense, and we shall have no fault to find with the Established Church if they do it. The one point on which we differ from them is that they want us to find the stipend for their own clergy. But it should be remembered that those districts where the Church of England has made progress—and I rejoice that she has made progress—are the very districts where the voluntary principle is in operation and where they have no Endowment, and where the Church and the clergy are thrown upon their own resources. There, and there only, they are able to register progress. I appeal to the hon. Member to join with us in helping to make-this Bill, when it passes into law, a successful Act. We have tried to meet 2493 him in every possible way. The Bill is bound to go through.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
I think the Noble Lord will find that the Bill is going through. I hope that the Noble Lord is not basing his opinions upon the possibility of a repeal. We have for passing this, as he knows, the mandate of a whole nation. We have waited for it now for forty years. At last we have got it, and we have no Ulster in Wales. We have three Tory Members in this House opposed to it as a result of the General Election.
§ Mr. J. H. EDWARDS
Then I will restrain my Celtic imagination for the time being, but I do make an appeal to the hon. Member, now that we have tried to meet him in every way, to help us to make the Bill a success when it becomes an Act. The Home Secretary has been very considerate and has met hon. Members opposite in every possible way, and I would repeat the words of the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs, let us seek to allay bitterness and try to bring into this Bill the spirit of conciliation and so accelerate the time when Welshmen shall be united without any possibility of further division amongst them.
§ Mr. ALFRED LYTTELTON
The hon. Member who has just sat down will pardon me if I do not follow the majority of the arguments which he addressed to the House. I desire to address myself to the Amendment, and particularly to what I may call the first principles which underly the Amendment as to which there have been very able speeches on this side of the House, especially from the back benches. I wish to guard myself in starting by saying that of course I disagree with the principles of the Bill, so far as it has gone, and that I wish it to be understood that I am accepting for the purpose of my argument to-day the principle of Disendowment which has been carried against us in this House, and I am accepting, for the purpose only of what I say 2494 to-day, not that the Church has been despoiled of her property because it is national property, but I think, particularly in the light of the speeches made-by the hon. Member for Pembroke, whoso often helps us in these Debates, national property which was devoted to-religious uses. I understand his argument perfectly well about that—religious always, but in his view destined originally for the purposes of the whole community instead of, as now, for the wants-of a portion only. The purposes to which these funds, which are being taken from the Church, are to be devoted are not religious purposes. I quite admit that many purposes are Christian purposes which are not for the promotion of Christianity. I have been recently reading the life of Sir James FitzStephen, a very religious man though probably not a Christian. He said he considered that a Law Court was more devoted to the purposes of religion than many other buildings which are presumed to be of a more sacred character, and I freely admit that in the course of my life I have known many agnostics who lived in the true sense most devoted religious lives. But that is not the point. You start from this-first principle that the fund should be devoted to purposes, even if the Church is deprived of them, for the promotion of the Christian religion.
What is really the way to promote the Christian religion? It is the creation of a Christian spirit. If a man possesses the Christian spirit he will approach all the actions of life in the spirit of Christianity and the spirit of Christ. Speaking in this Debate I may say that what we wish to do is to place the fund of which you are depriving us in the hands of those, and appropriated for those only who will apply them for the purposes of promoting and creating the Christian! spirit. In former days a book which 13. familiar to you all, which was written by the late Sir John Seely, spoke of the-enthusiasm of humanity. The enthusiasm of humanity in that book "Ecce Homo," was-claimed to be the product and the expression of the Christian spirit. I understood from the extremely interesting speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Welsh party, that he did not agree with the proposition which I have been endeavouring to explain to the House. Perhaps he will listen to the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whom I am very glad to see here, 2495 upon this very point. Some months ago the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a speech to all denominations in Wales, including Church of England and many others, I think in Cardiff. The right hon. Gentleman, some of whose words I have here, will correct me if I do not state truly their effect. I read them with great admiration at the time. He said that the function of the Churches was not to advocate this or that political change or any specific thing. He said their function was to create an atmosphere to stimulate a movement from which Christian acts would proceed, and from which Christian ideals would emerge. Perhaps I had better give the short quotation which I have from him:—What is the responsibility of the Churches here? The Churches are organised in this land to guide, to control, and to direct the consciences of the community. They establish a moral stature which fixes the ideals of the people.I cannot put it better or so well. I take it to be the view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Christian spirit should be voiced, and that those ideals which arise from the creation and stimulation of the Christian spirit are the expression of that spirit. If that be so, how can it be pretended by hon. Members opposite that they are creating this mood, and that they are founding and stimulating this spirit when they take money away from purposes which have been called devotional purposes and merely apply it, no doubt, to excellent work, but works which are not at the base of Christianity at all, but which are merely expressions of some of its spirit? If you admit that religious lives are often lived, and quite admirable works often done by the agnostic or the Mahomedan, how can you say that those good works are Christian purposes, or are at the root of the Christian spirit? It is a contradiction in terms. If the funds—and we are agreed so far—were left to the National Church for the purposes of Christian religion, they are now taken away because you say that the Christian Church is not conterminous with the Christian community. By law and equity every law that you can produce in any civilised country dictates that those funds should be given as near as you can to the purposes for which they were originally given.
Surely you are not so ashamed of the Nonconformist communities in Wales as to say that they do not embody the Christian spirit? They do. Why should they be 2496 ashamed, therefore, of taking the property of which the Church is deprived, on the ground that the Church is not conterminous with the nation. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down seemed to me to betray some confusion of thought. He said that this is national property, and could not be devoted to Christian uses. It is manifest that it would be perfectly consonant with the opinions of Nonconformists that they should receive money, which they say does not belong to the Church, but does belong to the whole of the nation, so long as it was devoted to religious uses. If they may receive the money and use it without claiming it as their own, it is entirely in conformity with religious equity that they should use it and administer it impartially throughout the denominations. I understand that some of them, but very few, object to endowments altogether. That surely does not square with the facts as we know them. My hon. Friend the Member for Dudley, in a very interesting speech, referred to the sustentation fund, and I understood from some hon. Gentleman opposite, who claimed to speak with authority, that one of the great objects of the sustentation fund, namely, the creation of an endowment of a resident minister, was not required, especially by Calvinistic Methodists. But I find that it was stated by the Bishop of St. David's:—All Nonconformist Churches, excepting the Calvinistic Methodists, have for some long time thought that a resident pastor was of great importance to the welfare of the people, and of late years. I think I am right in saying, the Calvinistic Methodists themselves have been steadily gravitating towards the same view. Is not that so?And Mr. J. H. Davies, who speaks with great authority, said:—Yes, that is quite right.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
It did not mean any particular parish or area; it meant whether there should be a minister attached to a particular church, or whether the minister should be peripatetic.
Mr. LYTTE LTON
I do not think that is at all brought out; but I quote this extract to show that it is the desire of the great mass of Welsh Nonconformists, and now the increasing desire of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, to have a resident pastor, I do not say in what area, for the instruction of their congregation. And for this object the sustentation funds which I admit were voluntarily given, were voluntary endowments, framed for the purpose of the augmentation of the ministry of Welsh Nonconformity. Those endow- 2497 ments which are voluntarily created now in 1910, in another thirty years will be Endowments, precisely as the Endowments of the English Church are Endowments, only of an earlier date. It seems to me quite amazing that it should be denied in this House that these sustentation funds are not required at present, and that this propery of which you are depriving us, if you are right in saying that it is national property devoted to religious uses, is not applicable to religious purposes. If further argument were necessary to sustain that view, surely it is found, and very recently found, both in Scotland and Ireland. The Nonconformists in 1869 thought they had a perfect right to accept out of the funds of the Irish Church money for the purpose of commuting the Regium donum. At that date, at any rate, they were not reluctant to take money which they said was national property to be devoted to their own uses, and they enjoy it at the present moment. It is perfectly true—and it must be well within the memory of everybody here—that in 1905 in Scotland, not by the assent of one party, not by the action of the Conservative Government then in power, but by the unanimous assent of this House, funds which were then, by the decision of the Law Courts, taken away from one body, were given out, as nearly as possible, on the doctrine cy prés, as they believed the founders desired that they should go.
Therefore, quite lately, both in Scotland and in Ireland, we have had acts, not of the Courts of Law which are decried on the other side, but we have had the acts of this House, and we have those acts approved by Nonconformists in Wales, by Presbyterians in Ireland, and by Presbyterians in Scotland, showing, as I think, absolutely conclusively that there can be no conscientious objection, once the funds have been decided to be national property for religious uses, to their adoption and their use by Nonconformists. These matters are difficult to put, and I quite admit they require to be thought out carefully, but I believe myself that they are based on sound principles. Let me assure the House that this Amendment has been brought forward with the single and honest desire of offering to Nonconformists in Wales the opportunity, which I have always understood they passionately desired, of sharing in the work which was originally the work of the Church, but which has now in part passed away from her. It would have been per- 2498 haps difficult, I frankly recognise, for Nonconformists to have asked originally in this Bill that the property of the Church should be given to them. I quite understand that that might have placed them in a delicate, if not invidious, position. The position is entirely altered when, having themselves said they did not wish it, we make them a free offer. Nobody, not the meanest man, could say when they have not only not asked but rejected this first offer, that they were to blame for having received it at our instance. We believe that the principles entertained by hon. Gentlemen opposite of religious equality, the desire to further educate or give opportunity for higher education to the ministers of religion, of Christion religions, which they would get for the intellectual life by the removal of temporal cares, we believe all those things might be all furthered if the Nonconformists of Wales were to consent to accept portion of these revenues for those purposes. With great respect I feel a very substantial doubt whether hon. Gentlemen opposite are really speaking the mind of the majority of Nonconformists when they absolutely reject this offer. That must be a matter of opinion. I cannot myself pretend that I am in a position to prove it. It is a heavy responsibility they are taking upon themselves in saying, "Here are funds which are offered even by those who differ from us to foster the spirit of Christianity. We reject that offer, and we say they must be used for works of public utility."
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am sure on this side of the House we all agree that we accept in the spirit in which the statement was made the declaration of the right hon. Gentleman as to the motive and intention of this Amendment. Throughout the Debate, and I have listened almost to the whole of it, on both sides of the House there has been an earnest desire to find a common meeting ground upon a matter which ought not in itself to give rise to controversy. Before we can meet it is necessary that we should understand each other. I want to make quite sure that I understood the very interesting argument put before us by the right hon. Gentleman. As I understand it, he says that the primary purpose for which this money was given to be used was in fostering the Christian spirit. The same argument has been used by other hon. Members who stated it in slightly different words. He looks upon the Christian spirit, and rightly so, I agree, as the energising influence, the 2499 creative force from which all the good works which we associate with the name of Christianity spring. He says if we can use these Christian funds for the primary purpose of influencing the Christian spirit and fostering it in the community, that we shall be really using those funds for the best of all purposes. He quoted the very eloquent language which my right hon. Friend used at a great meeting in Cardiff. Is it possible by this Amendment to carry out the right hon. Gentleman's purpose. If it were possible, I am sure we should all agree if we could get unity of opinion, unity of action and peace when this Bill is passed into law, by accepting this or other Amendments, we should be only too glad to secure peace.
Is it possible to carry out the objects of the hon. Gentleman who has moved this Amendment? Whatever the opinion may be amongst Ulster Presbyterians, and whatever the views may have been of particular Nonconformist denominations in England in the past, it is a fact which anyone who knows Wales will vouch with the utmost confidence that Nonconformists in Wales could not be willing to accept this money for the purpose of endowing their ministers, that is to say, the very object wished for by the right hon. Gentleman. The fostering of the Christian spirit by preaching the truth of the Gospel is a method which we are excluded from considering, because it is a method which the Nonconformists of Wales will not accept. They may be right or they may be wrong, but they will not accept it, and they will not accept it for the very reason, for a reason, which in their judgment would deny to the acceptance the object which the right hon. Gentleman has in view. They agree with the right hon. Gentleman, and we all agree, that the first object in the preaching of Christianity is to promote the Christian spirit. But they think that Endowments of this kind do not promote the Christian spirit. That is a fundamental difference between us. You can never bridge that chasm. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite think this money, if used for that purpose, is used for the best of all possible purposes Nonconformists in Wales think the opposite. They believe that money, national money as they think, whether rightly or wrongly, and for this purpose we must take their point of view, they look upon this money as national money, and they think national money devoted by Parliament to the teaching of religious doctrine 2500 is money ill-spent, and money perniciously spent, and they do not believe the effect of the expenditure would be to promote the Christian spirit. There is a fundamental divergence of view.
I have listened, as I said before, to the whole of this Debate, and a very remarkable fact has emerged from it. We all speak of this money, and this has been common ground on both sides, as trust money. The language customary to be used in cases of trust has been used on both sides. In every trust you have to consider two objects. You have to consider the beneficiaries of the trust, and you have to consider the uses of the trust. On this side of the House—it may be a defect of the Debate on this side; I do not think it is, but still it may be so regarded—the whole argument has been directed to the beneficiaries of the trust, the men and women, the living persons who are to benefit under the trust. On the other side of the House not a word has been said of the beneficiaries; nothing but the uses of the trust. Here, again, there is a fundamental divergence of view. Accepting the views of hon. Members opposite as to what were the original uses of these trusts, you cannot fulfil the purposes of the trusts if all the beneficiaries are to be benefited. That is to say, if you accept the purposes from their point of view, you cannot benefit the beneficiaries. On our side, if you benefit all the original beneficiares, you cannot fulfil the purposes of the trust. I am assuming the argument on both sides to be accepted. In these circumstances which is to prevail? The beneficiaries of the trust or the purposes of the trust? That is our case, on the assumption that we accept the argument put forward on the other side of the House.
Assuming their view to be right, and that the purpose for which these trusts were created was the preaching of the Gospel—we do not think you are right, but assuming it to be true—the Gospel cannot be taught for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust. Which is to prevail? On this side we say that in the construction of these trusts you must first of all have regard to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries of these trusts are the whole nation, without regard to modern denominations, modern sects, modern religion, or modern irreligion. You have to have regard to the beneficiaries. If hon. Members opposite will accept that from us, if they will agree with our point 2501 of view so far as the beneficiaries are concerned, we are only too willing to meet them in executing the purposes of the trust, so far as we can, agreeably to the wishes of the beneficiaries. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has already stated that we are witling to accept an Amendment, standing in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Swansea District, proposing to exclude from the purposes upon which this money can be spent what are called public purposes. We are willing to confine the expenditure of the money to charitable or eleemosynary purposes. So far we can go, because charitable and eleemosynary purposes will cover the necessities to meet the wishes of all beneficiaries. Can we go further? An hon. Member has asked, "Why not in the Bill specifically exclude any purpose upon which rates can be spent?" There is difficulty about that. In modern times there is hardly any purpose upon which the rates may not be spent, and there is no doubt that the tendency as time goes on is for rates to be expended on more and more purposes. We should only be giving ground for litigious action if we put in limiting words of that kind. It is better to take the broad definition, "charitable purposes," and leave it to the common sense of the county council, controlled ultimately by the Secretary of State, to define in their schemes charitable purposes from which the whole of the people can benefit.
What else are we willing to do? My right hon. Friend has put down an Amendment which would have the effect of giving county councils power to put forward a joint scheme. We are willing to accept that Amendment. He has also put down an Amendment, and I believe in this matter he speaks for the whole of Wales, that regard shall be had to the assistance of poor scholars. We are prepared to accept that Amendment, That is to Bay, we are anxious, so far as we can, to limit, and we will limit, the expenditure of these funds to those purposes which it has been admitted on the other side of the House were at any rate ancillary to what they describe as the primary religious purpose to which the funds were originally devoted. We therefore meet hon. Members opposite more than half way. With regard to the funds which are to be devoted to the University of Wales, immense objection has been taken to any part of the money going to the museum. Very well; we are willing to accept an Amendment on that point. We wish peace. We want this Bill when 2502 carried to be accepted by the whole of Wales. Hon. Members have said that it is scandalous to devote any of this money to the purposes of the museum. We are willing to accept an Amendment striking out the museum.
§ Mr. McKENNA
No. The National Library may certainly be a means of promoting the study of the Christian religion. I should think that the money would be expended—we have to trust somebody in these matters—on building up in the library special means of studying the doctrines of the Christian faith in its various forms, and it would be, in my judgment, a very improper limitation to say that the library should not benefit. But the museum has been made a subject of great attack, and we are willing to strike that out. We are also willing to accept an Amendment calling the attention of the university colleges to the need for having special regard to the assistance of poor scholars. So that in the case, both of the county council money and of the money devoted to the university, we will have particularly in mind the Christian objects of the training, the education, and the assistance of the humble and the poor. If Members opposite accept for the moment our point of view that we could agree to nothing which excluded any citizen of Wales from his share in what we regard as national funds, can we do more consistently with the limitation that the funds shall be for the benefit of all?
Let me, in conclusion, answer a question put to me by the hon. and learned Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps). He asks, assuming it to be true, that in its origin this money had a tripartite function, namely, the teaching of religious doctrine, the assistance of the poor, and the spread of education, how can we take away the money from one of those functions, the teaching of doctrine? That, again, is only part of our original difficulty. Although it is true that the money was given, with national sanction and in accordance with national wishes at the time, at any rate in part for the teaching of Christian doctrine, you cannot give that money to-day with national sanction and in accordance with national wishes for that purpose. So far as any money has been given in modern times under conditions which are in any way related to modern times, we do not 2503 touch it. It goes back to the Church, and the Church can use the whole of it for the primary duty of Christian teaching. We only deal with ancient Endowments which we believe are national, and we devote them, so far as we can, consistent with the interests of the nation as a whole, to religious purposes.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
This matter has been discussed in speeches of great interest, and with great calmness of spirit, which certainly is surprisingly serene considering how deeply moved many people are. The Home Secretary, in his concluding words, seemed to me to give away the whole case which it was his purpose to make. If it were true that all Endowments were originally made by national will, or with the national sanction, then the position by his account would be this: that at a remote period the nation gave an Endowment to the Church, that that Endowment was a free, complete national gift. That is the right hon. Gentleman's theory. I am not at all prepared to agree with it. According to the Government's point of view, national gifts are to be respected because the Government have conceded that Parliamentary Grants, which are indisputable national gifts, are to be left to the Church. The position of the right hon. Gentleman, strangely enough, is this: that national gifts made at a remote period are to be confiscated: that national gifts made at a recent period are to be left alone. I cannot think that is a very consistent theory. One or two observations have been made by hon. Members on the back benches opposite, who spoke with great fervour and eloquence. They said that Endowments killed effort. If that is the view of hon. Gentlemen opposite, why go about relieving the poor, helping the sick, and dealing with other similar matters? If that be true, why kill these national purposes of which we have heard so much? If it be true that it is much better to leave those things to zeal and voluntary effort, why not leave the sick, the poor, and the other people that you help? Clearly, anyone who examines it must see how extraordinarily too far such an argument goes. Endowments are only a voluntary gift stereotyped. They come from the same spirit of benevolence which the hon. Gentleman justly commends and which he is justly proud of in many Nonconformists to-day. It is only the fruits of that spirit of benevolence coming down from a very remote 2504 period which we are enjoying. You cannot really draw a distinction between gifts made to produce a particular income year by year and a gift made as a capital sum being used for the purposes of the current year. How can it ever be said that any good cause, which is really a good cause, whether charitable or religious, suffers because it is given money to go on with. All hardship, it is quite true, produces a certain amount of reaction. For that reason "the blood of the martyrs has been the seed of the Church." But no one goes so far as to say that persecution is right because, in the unhappy days gone by, persecution produced the result it did! You have no right to inflict hardship upon a religious body because in the end hardship produces a reaction by which that body may be all the better for the suffering it has gone through. Then the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool intervened in a character which he is rather too ready to assume. He started as a Legatus a latere of the Roman Church to try and instruct the House as to what the decision the authorities of that Church was to be. It may be one of the delusions which still lives or still breathes in the human heart, but I often feel, when I listen to the hon. Member, that I know as much about Roman Catholicism as he does. He certainly did not say he spoke on behalf of the bishops of Ireland or of the Archbishop of Westminster, or of any other of the authorities of Rome, and therefore I cannot take his speech seriously to heart. Everyone who knows anything about Roman Catholicism knows that the acceptance or rejection of gifts, whatever might be said to the contrary, would be determined by the bishops of the Church or referred to Rome, and that neither the hon. Member nor the Roman Catholics for whom he speaks would have any voice whatever. If in Ireland it would be done under the sanction of the bishops I am not convinced that the Roman Catholic denomination would not accept a share of these Endowments due to their numbers, although their numbers were very small.
In regard to the general attitude of Nonconformists, surely we have a right to say to anyone, whether Nonconformists or not, "You must not take up an unreasonable attitude." If it be right that this money should be devoted to Christian purposes, if we think that it is due to any denomination except the Church, as we do not, we think, in justice and right, it is 2505 solely the property of the Church—yet for the sake of making, what seems to us bad, better, for the sake of saving a great principle when the principle of justice in any case would be sacrificed, if you are prepared to share the Endowments among all religious denominations, it is not fair to meet us with a blunt refusal and to ask us because of that proposal to abandon our proposals. It would be reasonable to say, "Give us a share and we will devote it to charitable or educational objects which we believe to be better than those you have in view." To say that these religious Endowments given to religion are not to be used for the purposes for which they were intended, not even to the extent which the Church would be able to use them, because the Nonconformists have scruples or objections which they merely state and do not attempt to prove, is to meet us in an attitude of unreasonableness to which we ought not be asked to submit. Now we are told in almost every speech that these purposes to which the money would be given are in the true sense of the word Christian purposes, that they are ancillary, which was the happy word used by the hon. Member for Swansea, to Christianity. Yes, I think they are. I do not pretend to be a very good Latin scholar, but if I remember rightly the word ancilla means a maid-servant.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
And by your action you turn the hand-maid into the mistress. A Christian people, I believe, should relieve the poor, should relieve the sick, and educate the ignorant. Although let me say in respect to education, in mediaeval times the dominant purpose of education was strictly theological. The modern conception of education would not appeal to any person earlier than the nineteenth century. I think every mediaeval authority would have said that the first thing to do is to secure the proper conduct of devotion, the proper honouring of God, the proper performance of Divine Service, and then when that was done it was right to go on with the other purposes. They would all have said that this must be done through the Church, because the money given for the sick and poor in primitive times was given through the Church. The point of view is an absolutely different one to the point taken up by hon. Members opposite or even on this 2506 side. It was a point of view entirely remote from the conception of providing for such and such a population. The money was given to the Church because it was the Church, and so far as these purposes were ancillary they were only ancillary because it was part of the work of the Church to relieve the poor and the sick. Upon what ground are you going to defend the proposition that you take away money from its main purpose and devote it in a wholly different way and spirit to purposes which were never more than subordinate, and which, indeed, cannot be regarded as religion at all, which were only purposes for which the Church used property which was out and out belonging to the Church?
I do not think that can be defended from the point of view of the original intention of the pious founder. I am quite sure the first benefactors would have been amused to hear such a discussion as we have had this afternoon, and they would hardly have understood the point of view from which hon. Members opposite have addressed themselves to this question. We are told by the Home Secretary that we must have regard not only to the purposes, but also to the beneficiaries. A great part of the population of Wales, at any rate, are Churchmen, and those beneficiaries benefit now. At any rate, as things are now, that large body have what is due to them. Under the scheme of this Clause, if the Amendment be rejected, those beneficiaries will be worse off and they will lose what is intended for their religious welfare, and the use of that money will be falsified. Therefore in both those respects they will be worse off. When we are told, as the hon. Member for Carnarvon told us, that it is often better to equip a man in mind and body than to make him a mere servant, surely that is a confusion of thought. I am speaking now in the interests of the beneficiaries. It is quite true, of course, that there is in the services and in the teaching and ministry of religion a human element. A minister of religion is only a human being like other human beings, and although he is generally a man with the best possible intentions, he cannot always quite act up to what he would wish. That human element constantly spoils in a degree, greater or less, the national perfection of the teaching or worship of religion. But there is something else that makes the great distinction between the main devotional purpose of religion and its eleemosynary or ancillary purpose. There is in the 2507 devotional purpose an element which is not human but divine. This religious purpose is the window open towards heaven, and a window which allows light and air to come into our work, which are not ours—light which comes from another pure source and which is therefore of a value for which not all the human effort of sanitary reforms and social purposes, not all the devotional teaching which the utmost wealth can bring, can ever be an equivalent. Let us be sure of it that by the common consent of all religious people this devotional purpose as it has been called must rank first, because it is Divine in its character; it brings the light of heaven into the world. In the interests of the beneficiaries, let us not forget what is the condition of some parts of Wales at the present time? We had striking evidence given before the Royal Commission, both by Churchmen and by Nonconformists of the state of the great industrial districts of South Wales. No one, neither Churchmen nor Nonconformists, can reasonably be blamed for what has happened. There has been a vast congestion of population, and naturally the population has outrun the means of spiritual teaching even if you take the whole of the religious bodies together. One Nonconformist witness was even led to agree it would be a great disaster if the resources of any of the denominations were seriously crippled. Even if you treated these objects as being equally valuable, what an argument is here! The State looks after the relief of the poor, and it looks very elaborately and at great cost after the education of the young people. There is great provision made even for the sick. But when you come to religious teaching and worship you find there is something approaching spiritual destitution in some parts of Wales. My recollection is very clear, and the evidence of both Nonconformists and Church witnesses agreed there was a great part of the population which no religious body had succeeded in getting, and that there was a great deal of work to be done. Surely that is not a moment to cripple one of the organisations that is doing good work. When you are face to face with great spiritual need, when you have this great industrial population growing up and needing all the spiritual teaching all the religious bodies can bring to them, is it not madness to take away from one of those bodies the necessary financial resources without which no religious body can do its work? Surely it is not merely 2508 a matter of theory; it. is a matter of terrible experience. Sooner or later all human beings come to realise that this purpose of worship and of teaching is the highest and most essential of all. This purpose needs, at any rate, these resources which I should have thought were too small for the object in view.
It is true it is a fine thing to equip a man, as the hon. Member said, in mind and body for the world. It is a fine thing to give him teaching and help him, if ho is able enough to receive all the university can give him. By all means let us be liberal with what is indisputably our national property and help, if help be needed, out of the taxes such objects as that. Certainly there is no want of sympathy with the purpose of higher education in Wales or with the purposes of the relief of the sick and poor. But a sum of money that may be great in the narrow budget of a religious denomination seems very small in comparison with the vast expense to the State. Let us, out of our own money, which is not dedicated to any religious purpose, give liberally. Though it is a fine thing to give education, there is something that comes closer, sooner or later, to the human heart. It is a comforting thing that the poor man should receive relief, adequate care and help in sickness; but there are two great crises, one that comes to every man and one that comes to many; and when these things appear comparatively small. In the presence of some great moral upheaval, some great spiritual crisis, in that agony of mind which alone such a crisis brings, it is not in education, medicine or alms that relief is to be found; there comes to every one that last great day when medicine has done its best, when all relief possible has been given, when the soul stands naked and trembling, face to face with all the horrors and wonders of eternity. Then there is one light alone to lighten the darkness, and then it is only in the Gospel in which all the denominations alike believe that hope and happiness and comfort are to be found. Really we ought not to take from these main purposes, so poorly provided, and to give to those subordinate purposes already much richer than the main purposes. Surely, when we think of the tragedy of human existence, the agony of the human heart, we should think of the light that shines in the very valley of the shadow of death, and we ought not to put our hands to extinguish the illumination, but we ought, on the contrary, to do what we can to make it burn 2509 even brighter so as to lighten the darkness of this sad world.
§ Mr. WALTER ROCH
I am sure everyone will agree that this Debate has been by far the most interesting Debate we have had in the whole of this Parliament, and the most elevating speeches to which we have listened have been those of the two last speakers on the opposite side of the House. Those who have read this Amendment and listened to the Debate will be struck by the fact that not a single speech has been delivered which, looked at from the work-a-day world point of view, and not only looked at—from the point of view of general principle, has any real application to this Amendment. Not one single word in that sense has been spoken in support of this Amendment. We have had a great principle raised, and it is that great principle which we have discussed. I will only mention, in passing, as regards the actual Amendment, which presumably will be voted for by the hon. Gentleman who put it forward, that everyone will admit it would not be a fanciful picture, supposing it actually found a place in this Bill, to say that it would work in no practical way whatever. I will say nothing as to the difficulties concerning Christian denominations and the bringing of the apple of discord into local bodies. I will say nothing about the practical difficulties of actual administration. I will only say a few words about the general principle which has been raised. The whole substance of the case for this Amendment was put in a very few words by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Front Bench, and who said—and I. for myself freely admit it—that the sole object of these funds was devotion to and the development of what is called the Christian spirit. I accept that. No one will dispute that this money in its origin was given for religious uses. I have never disputed that, and all the arguments I have put forward upon it have been by way of confirming that proposition. I have said it was undoubtedly given to a Church, a Church which in my view was coterminous with the whole nation, a Church which nobody conceived there could be anybody outside, of a Church which visited, almost with pains and penalties equivalent to death, those who were outside its community. When we look at the pious founder who gave this money, we find it was given to a 2510 Church which was the sole arbiter of the money which was given, although the pious ancester may have invoked those unseen powers and hoped that invisible spirits would fight for him. He gave it to a Church which was not only gifted with terrible powers, but which was the sole arbiter in distributing these funds. I accept what the right hon. Gentleman has said, that this money should be devoted to what he called the Christian spirit. I believe that in the view I take of the Christian spirit, and the view I take of the religious spirit, there can be nothing inconsistent with it in the purposes to which the money is devoted under this Bill. I am fortified in that view with two quotations. One is from Bishop Thirlwall, in his speech in 1869, when he said:—I am led to the conclusion that no material offerings are so acceptable to the Almighty as those which are most beneficial to man.The other quotation is from the Epistle of St. James. I am fortified in using this quotation because the speeches from the other side have not come from the most evangelical portion of the Church. I am fortified because I think it will be admitted by them that the Epistle of St. James is perhaps the most catholic writing found in the whole of the New Testament. This is the only definition of religion which I think is to be found in the whole of the Bible:—Pure religion and undefiled our God and Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.Mark the wide charity of that. It was no spirit of devotion only that was necessary, but personal service and dedication, help and succour to those who suffered and needed it most, which to me is far greater than any devotional effort, far greater than any pure justification by faith alone, which is to me one of the most terrible doctrines put forward in the name of religion. It has been suggested that you should devote this money to religious uses which have been suggested as works of devotion because the spirit of materialism in Wales and elsewhere is creeping upon us. I will meet that point, and try to show that the way in which we devote this money will be best calculated to meet and defeat that growing materialism. As I understand this feeling of growing materialism, it is not due so much to want of faith, but to too much faith. It is due to the fact that people have said, "We have tried for hundreds of years this Christian doctrine. We hear 2511 of the poverty of the Early Church, of all men being equal in the sight of God, but we see very little of that spirit in the sight of man." I do not say that is true economics, or whether or not it is a right feeling, but I do believe that it is not too little faith in Christianity but too much faith which has accentuated these differences as being hostile to a real and true Christianity, and which has really brought about that growing spirit of materialism which everybody deplores. I invite the great Church of which I am a member, not only in a spirit of reconciliation, but, if necessary, in a spirit of sacrifice, to devote this money to what in our conception is the true spirit of Christianity, the help and succour of those who suffer and those who are in need. I can imagine nothing which will bring a greater reconciliation, which will do more to defeat that growing materialism. I have said I look upon this money as devoted originally to religious uses. I believe the spirit of that can never be taken away. I believe that the spirit of these old givers, be it what it may, will follow this money wherever it will go. It will go, it may be said, to the county councils, who have no soul and who have no spirit, but it will go to them to be administered not only in beneficial schemes, but in beneficial schemes in the name of religion. I can imagine nothing which will better bring new social conscience and new social spirit to the schemes and to the county councils who administer them. There is a growth of materialism represented in local government. There is no spirit and there is no soul. But if the money which has had this religious superstition or this religious use is coupled with the gift it will bring a new conception of government and a new conception of social conscience even to such soulless bodies as we know the county councils often to be.
There is only one other point on which I will say a word. In one way this allocation of the money will be a unique historical settlement. We have had settlements before—at the time of the great Reformation—at the time of 1662 of the great ejectment, which everyone will admit have been carried through with acts of varying harshness. They have been carried through in the most harsh manner. They have been carried through in a way which brought death and privation to many men who did not agree with them. This settlement has 2512 none of these attributes. But this great settlement will have another attribute as well. Those great settlements were carried through in a way that I have described before as narrowing the trust. This is a great settlement which will widen the trust to the full extent. Those great settlements narrowed it and gave it to one section only of the nation. This would extend it and give it freely to all. That is a great merit. When this great controversy has passed away history will recognise that Wales, in dealing with the question of these religious funds, of all nations was the one which settled it, dealing with no heavy hand with any existing person, dealing with it in no spirit of any one sect, but dealing with it in a spirit of nationalism, in a spirit in which all the nation can share, and in which no part of the nation could say that it was left out. The Noble Lord closed his speech with one of the most moving pictures that any man could draw. In part I agree with him, and in part I do not. He talked of the light that went out. He drew a picture of the dying man. I suppose that time will come to all of us, and how we shall face it time alone will show, and we dare not prophesy. I think, and hope for myself that when we come to look back on the life we have led, on gifts misspent and resolutions vain, there will be something to look back upon in spite of all shortcomings. It is the kind words said, perhaps when they might have helped, it is the helping hand given out to a friend who needed it. Above all it is the feeling which I think is embodied in this Bill now, that in the name of religion we showed that spirit, that we extended a hand to give help to those who needed it, that we came in a spirit of true religion to help those who suffered, and those who needed it most.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
The last speaker (Mr. Roch) has maintained the level, I might say the inspiration, at which the Debate has been carried on to-day. Towards the end of his remarks he claimed that, if the Bill remains as it stands, a unique settlement would have been effected for which there is no precedent in history. In no dialectical spirit I might say the same if the principle of the Amendment were also accepted. The hon. Member referred to the speeches from this side of the House as having proceeded from those in the main who belong to the least evangelical branch of the Church. But surely that is not relevant to an Amendment which proposes to Disendow all branches of the 2513 Established Church and to Endow concurrently the different units of the Nonconformist bodies. The hon. Member referred in moving words to the purposes to which the funds are to be devoted as embodying the true spirit of Christianity, but if we approach the Amendment in that spirit are we bound in any quarter of the House to reject it. In spite of recent changes in our procedure, to which I need not refer, this Debate has had more life and reality in it than any we have listened to in recent weeks, and that is because there has been absolute sincerity on the part of those who have spoken on both sides. We on this side felt that there was true reluctance by those who represent the Nonconformists to accept a gift which seemed to them to be stained by being State money. They felt that we, in offering these funds for their primary uses, even if they were to be bestowed on the Nonconformist communities had spoken with absolute sincerity, and were acting according to conscience and belief. Whatever the immediate result as to this Amendment may be, I am confident that the ultimate effect of the Debate will be beneficial. I feel sure that if proposals should in future be brought forward as to the application of Church funds, those who turn to the OFFICIAL REPORT and read the speeches which have been made to-day will see that there was on our part a desire to retain for the devotional services of the Christian religion some of the ancient Endowments which bear the impress of their dedication. The main position taken up by the Home Secretary and hon. Members opposite is that in considering this trust they have been actuated chiefly by the rights of the beneficiaries of the trust, and that we have been actuated by a reverend regard for the uses of the funds. On that distinction so drawn by him, may I not claim that the balance and weight of right is upon our side. The beneficiaries of trusts in any country and age may suffer from fluctuations, material, philosophical, and scientific, but the Christian religion has outworn the storms and stresses of 2,000 years. Although religious conviction has vastly changed not only in Great Britain but in Europe, the whole of our civilisation has been coloured by the fact that we have respected Christian tradition throughout all these 2,000 years. This matter does foster a feeling in the minds of Churchmen, Nonconformists, and agnostics and there is a violent hostility in the breasts of some, a deep reluctance 2514 in the hearts of others to diverting money ostensibly dedicated to Christian uses, to any other uses, however much they may commend themselves to the minds of charitable men. So widespread is that feeling that I do believe this House still reflects the opinion of the country and would accept the principle of the Amendment. The Home Secretary's principal position is that those who are entitled to speak for Welsh Nonconformity say that the members of their communion do not see their way to accept this gift. I would remind the Committee of what my right hon. Friend said. He pointed out that in the beginning of those Debates that might have been the position. But when these Debates have proceeded, when you have made your reluctance clear, now when we, for no advantage but only for that in which we believe with all our hearts, say "take it and end all controversy in this matter." are they acting in the spirit to which the hon. Member for Pembroke alluded? No; they refuse to accept that which is-tendered in a spirit of Christian charity, and with those feelings that ought to unite all fellow subjects. I trust that it is not yet too late for our offer to be weighed as it should be weighed. If that should fortunately be the case, and if you can accept the principle of this Amendment, then I say that all those who are not Christians—and their numbers are increasing—may say in no ironic sense, "see how these Christians love one another."
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
In the few minutes left I am very sorry to have to bring the Debate back to a fact of importance which was not dealt with this afternoon, and which is a very sound reason why Nonconformists cannot do what is asked. It is not a question of not being prepared to approach hon. Members in the spirit in which they have approached us. Take my own Constituency, Merthyr. I recited to-the House a short time ago what the state of things was there. The Nonconformists in my Constituency would not accept the property that would fall into the county borough of Merthyr. I have a short account of what the character of that property was. I have found since that I understated the case. I have got here facts which I could quote if there were time—a very sad black list of convictions down there, and of the public-houses from which over a thousand pounds a year of income to these funds is received at the present time. You cannot expect 2515 Nonconformity, holding the view that it does with regard to the licensed trade and to other abuses such as the slums we have there, to take over that property, under which those old abuses have arisen. You can find them in almost every parish—[An HON. MEMBER: "No."] Well, in many parishes all over the country that have attached to them these Endowments. I am bound again to say, much as I appre-
§ ciate the spirit of the offer, that those Endowments are such that I cannot associate myself with them.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'a' ["in accordance with a scheme"] stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 273; Noes, 200.2519
|Division No. 524.]||AYES.||[4.41 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Joyce, Michael|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Keating, Matthew|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Kilbride, Denis|
|Alden, Percy||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||King, J.|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Falconer, J.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Arnold, Sydney||Farrell, James Patrick||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cock'rmth)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Ffrench, Peter||Leach, Charles|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Field, William||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Barnes, G. N.||Fitzgibbon, John||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Barton, W.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lundon, T.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||George Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lynch, A. A.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Gilhooly, James||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Gill, A. H.||McGhee, Richard|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Maclean, Donald|
|Boland, John Pius||Glanville, H. J.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Goldstone, Frank||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Brace, William||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Greig, Colonel James William||M'Kean, John|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Griffith, Ellis J.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spaiding)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Burke, E. Havlland-||Hackett, J.||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Roseendale)||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Martin, Joseph|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hardie, J. Keir||Meagher, Michael|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molloy, M.|
|Clough, William||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Hayden, John Patrick||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Hazleton, Richard||Mooney, J. J.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Morison, Hector|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hemmerde, Edward George||Muldoon, John|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.|
|Crean, Eugene||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Crooks, William||Higham, John Sharp||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hinds, John||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Gullinan, John||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hodge, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Louth)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Hudson, Walter||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Dawes, J. A.||Hughes, S. L.||O'Dowd, John|
|De Forest, Baron||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)||O'Grady, James|
|Delany, William||John, Edward Thomas||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Malley, William|
|Devlin, Joseph||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Dillon, John||Jones, Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shee, James John|
|Doris, William||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Duffy, William J.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Rowlands, James||Wardle, George J.|
|Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Scanlan, Thomas||Waring, Walter|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Watt, Henry A.|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Sheehy, David||Webb, H.|
|Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Sherwell, Arthur James||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Shortt, Edward||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Radford, G. H.||Smith, H. B. (Lees (Northampton)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Smyth, Thomas F.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Reddy, M.||Snowden, P.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Sutherland, J. E.||Williams, Liewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Sutton, John E.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Richards, Thomas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Tennant, Harold John||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Thomas, James Henry||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Robinson, Sidney||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Verney, Sir Harry||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Cripps, Sir C. A.||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Croft, Henry Page||Jessel, Captain H. M.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Dairymple, Viscount||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Denniss, E. R. B.||Kebty-Fietcher, J. R.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Ashley, W. W.||Duke, Henry Edward||Kerry, Earl of|
|Baird, J. L.||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Keswick, Henry|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Balcarres, Lord||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fell, Arthur||Knight, Captain E. A.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, London)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mils End)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Flannery, Sir J. Forteacue||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Barrie, H. T.||Fleming, Valentine||Lloyd, George Ambrose|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Forster, Henry William||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gardner, Ernest||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Gibbs, G. A.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Bigland, Alfred||Goldman, C. S.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Blair, Reginald||Goldsmith, Frank||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Boyton, J.||Grant, J. A.||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Clive||Greene, W. R.||M'Mordle, Robert James|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gretton, John||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Campion, W. R.||Hamilton, Lord C. J.||Moore, William|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Cassel, Felix||Harris, Henry Percy||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cave, George||Henderson, Major H. (Berks)||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Newman, John R. P.|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Chambers, James||Hills, J. W.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Nield, Herbert|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hoare, Samuel J. G.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hohler, G. F.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Horner, Andrew Long||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Steel-Maitland, A. D.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Rawson, Colonel R. H.||Stewart, Gershom,||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Swift, Rigby||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Rolleston, Sir John||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Rothschild, Lionel de||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Winterton, Earl|
|Rutherford, John (Lance., Darwen)||Talbot, Lord Edmund||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Salter, Arthur Clavell||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down- North)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Sanderson, Lancelot||Thynne, Lord Alexander||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sandys, G. J.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip||Touche, George Alexander||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Tryon, Captain George Clement||Younger, Sir George|
|Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. C.|
|Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Bathurst and Mr. Cator.|
|Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
§ It being after a quarter before Five of the clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 28th November, 1912, to put the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded2520
§ at a quarter before Five of the clock at this day's sitting.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 269; Noes, 197.2523
|Division No. 525.]||AYES.||[4.55 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Dawes, James Arthur||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||De Forest, Baron||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Delany, William||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Alden, Percy||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Devlin, Joseph||Higham, John Sharp|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Dillon, John||Hinds, John|
|Arnold, Sydney||Donelan, Captain A.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Doris, William||Hodge, John|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Duffy, William J.||Hogge, James Myles|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Barnes, George N.||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Barton, William||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hudson, Walter|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||John, Edward Thomas|
|Boland, John Pius||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D.Brynmor (Sw'nsea)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Falconer, James||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Brace, William||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Field, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Fitzgibbon, John||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Joyce, Michael|
|Bryce. John Annan||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Keating, Matthew|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gilhooly, James||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gill, Alfred Henry||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Glanville, Harold James||King, Joseph|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Goldstone, Frank||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Clough, William||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm th)|
|Clynes, John R.||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Leach, Charles|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Lundon, Thomas|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hackett, John||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Rossandale)||McGhee, Richard|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Maclean, Donald|
|Crean, Eugene||Hardle, J. Keir||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Crooks, William||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Cullinan, John||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hayden, John Patrick||M'Kean, John|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hazleton, Richard||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Davits, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Marks, Sir George Creydon||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Martin, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Meagher, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Millar, James Duncan||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Molloy, Michael||Pringle, William M. R.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Radford, George Heynes||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Mooney, John J.||Reddy, Michael||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Morgan, George Hay||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Morison, Hector||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Waring, Walter|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Muldoon, John||Rendall, Athelstan||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Richards Thomas||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Nolan, Joseph||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Webb, H.|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|O'Brien, William (Cork)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare)||Robinson, Sidney||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|O'Dowd, John||Rowlands, James||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|O'Grady, James||Scanlan, Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Winfrey, Richard|
|O'Malley, William||Scott, A MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|O'Shee, James John||Sheehy, David||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Suillvan, Timothy||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Shortt, Edward|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Aitken, Sir William M.||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Chambers, James||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Courthope, George Loyd||Hewins, William Albert Samuel|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Hills, John Waller|
|Baicarres, Lord||Craik, Sir Henry||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, London)||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Croft, Henry Page||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Dairymple, Viscount||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Denniss, E. R. B.||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Barrie, Hugh T.||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S.||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Duke, Henry Edward||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Hunter, Sir Chas, Rodk.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Jesse!, Captain Herbert M.|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Fell, Arthur||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Kebty-Fietcher, J. R.|
|Blair, Reginald||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Grimth-||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Kerry, Earl of|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Fleming, Valentine||Keswick, Henry|
|Boyton, James||Forster, Henry William||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Gardner, Ernest||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford|
|Bull, Sir William James||Gibbs, George Abraham||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Goldman, Charles Sydney||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Goldsmith, Frank||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Butcher, John George||Grant, J. A.||Lloyd, G. A.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Campion, W. R.||Gretton, John||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Mildred||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Cator, John||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Cave, George||Hall, E. Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Mackinder, Halford J.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Macmaster, Donald||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Thynne, Lord A.|
|M'Mordle, Robert James||Rees, Sir J. D.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Touche, George Alexander|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Rolleston, Sir John||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Rothschild, Lionel D.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Wafford)|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Moore, William||Sanders, Robert Arthur||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Sanderson, Lancelot||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Sandys, G. J.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Mount, William Arthur||Sassoon, Sir Philip||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Neville, Reginald J. N.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)||Winterton, Earl|
|Newman, John R. P.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Nield, Herbert||Steel-Maitland A. D.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Stewart, Gershom||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Swift, Rigby||Younger, Sir George|
|Perkins, Walter Frank||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Peto, Basil Edward||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Talbot, Lord E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Terrell, G. W. (Wilts, N.W.)||Malcolm and Mr. Fitzroy.|
|Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next (20th January).