§ 64. Mr. LAWTHER
asked the hon. Member for Central Leeds, as representing the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, if he will seek to have the present royalty rents on coal that are drawn in Durham county by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners withdrawn during the present period, in view of the fact that the mine workers are being asked to suffer reductions in wages, and that the sum paid in the said royalty rents would help materially to avoid any such contemplated reduction?
§ Mr. DENMAN (Second Church Estates Commissioner)
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners hold their property under Statutes which impose upon them obligations to use the revenues for certain defined purposes. It is not in their power to deal with their mineral rents in the manner suggested.
§ Mr. LAWTHER
Is it not a fact that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have funds to the extent of £61,000,000, and in those circumstances will the hon. Member not consider giving up for one year a mere £200,000?
§ Sir D. HERBERT
Is it not a fact that the major part of the surplus of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners goes to provide better salaries for the poorest paid class in the country?
§ Mr. HARDIE
Is it not within the province of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to apply for powers to do what is requested by the question?
§ Major COLFOX
Does not the responsibility which rests upon the owners of royalties rest also upon the Ecclesiastical Commissioners?
§ Mr. DENMAN
I do not think the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are entitled to ask for Parliamentary time at present.