HC Deb 05 July 1842 vol 64 cc985-9

On the Order of the Day for the further consideration of the report of the Dean Forest Ecclesiastical Bill; and on the question that the amendment made by the committee to the bill, be read a second time,

Mr. Hume

said, that this was the time for moving the resolutions of which he had given notice upon this subject. The amount of public money to be voted in this case was not large, but the principle involved was one of great importance. The Dean Forest Ecclesiastical Bill was a bill to promote Church Extension, and for the application of public money towards this object. He considered that the present was a very inopportune time for such a bill to be brought forward, when the public finances were in a state of great difficulty, and when they had been obliged to impose an Income-tax in order to bring up the revenue to the expenditure. The House would remember that various efforts had been made to obtain from the Church that portion of her revenue which should be found to be superfluous, and such portions of it as by the abolition of monopoly and sinecures they found could be spared. It had been generally understood that when the hon. Baronet, the Member for Oxford, should have brought forward his motion for the appropriation of public money for the purposes of Church Extension, that it should be opposed upon the ground that it was wrong to grant to the Church more money until it was known that the revenues she possessed were properly applied. They had had a commission, with the view of inquiring into this state of Church property; and a bill passed through the House, enacting that certain sinecures should be abolished, and that the revenues thereby obtained should be paid to the Church commissioners, with the view of their being expended in providing religious instruction for parishes found to be deficient in that respect. He had moved for a return of the funds so paid to these commissioners, but had not yet received it, although it might have been produced in a day or in two. He considered the proposed expenditure of public money, under the name of being the revenues of the Crown lands, to be highly improper. There was no revenue arising which could be applied to this purpose. It was all appropriated as it was, and to vote money from the revenues of the Crown lands was voting public money, as much as if it was to be taken from the customs. He saw no reason for the vote of money now asked for, as the churches to which it was to be applied were already endowed better than were those of upwards of 5,000 parishes of England. It would appear that there were 5,251 curates in England, employed at salaries, the average of which was 81l. per annum, and if the proposed vote was passed, the House might next be asked for a corresponding increase in the salaries of all other curates who were worse paid than those in Dean Forest. The revenue of the Church amounted to 4,000,000l. of money, and before additional grants were made, a thorough inquiry should take place into the manner in which the revenues which she possessed were employed. Many objections were now made to the application of public money for the reparation of churches. And he thought that a sum amounting to 10,000l. should not at once be granted to the Church without making rigid inquiries into the manner in which her revenues were disposed of. He should take the sense of the House against what he considered to be such an improper application of the public money. He wished to have proper instruction in every parish. He should be glad to have schools in every parish at the public expense, and wished that no child should grow up without the benefit of education. It was not, therefore, merely on the score of expense that he objected to the proposed vote of public money. It was upon this ground that it was a partial application of public money, taking from a community that money which belonged to all classes and sects, and applying it to partial and local purposes. As the money belonged to the whole community, it should be expended for the benefit of the whole community. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving as an amendment the following resolutions:—

  1. "1. That the revenue from the Crown lands in the Forest of Dean is part of the revenue of the Crown lands transferred by her Majesty to the public exchequer of the country, in exchange and in consideration of the yearly sum of 385,000l. sterling, granted by Parliament out of the public revenue for her Majesty's civil list, during her lifetime; and that any grant out of the revenue of her Majesty's Crown lands to endow clergymen, or for any other purpose, is a charge on the public revenue of the country, equally as if the same amount is paid from the revenue of her Majesty's excise or customs.
  2. "2. That the revenues of the Church of England, as appears by the report of the ecclesiastical commissioners before this House, amounted to 3,811,507l. sterling gross, and to 3,507,501l. net income, from lands and tithes, exclusive of Easter offerings and fees.
  3. "3. That, by the act 6 and 7 William 4th, c. 77, and subsequent act, it was enacted that various sinecures and other offices in the Church should be abolished, and reductions in the salaries of some of the clergy made as vacancies occurred; and that the revenues of such suppressed sinecure offices should form a fund, to be applied by the said commissioners to the augmentation of small livings, and to such other Church purposes as stated in that report.
  4. "4. That, besides these large revenues of the Church applied to Church purposes, there has been paid out of the public revenue of the United Kingdom the sum of 5,678,751l. sterling for the Established Churches in England, Ireland, and Scotland, between the years 1801 and 1840 both inclusive, besides many large payments in the British colonies for the support of the Church; and all these sums have been an addition to the national debt, the interest of which is now chargeable on the public revenue.
  5. "5. That it appears by the bill before the House, intituled 'Dean Forest Ecclesiastical Districts Bill,' that the sum of 2,200l. has been already paid by the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury, from Parliamentary grants, towards the endowment of the clergyman of the chapel of Holy Trinity, and that 988 three of the clergymen of the chapels of the Forest of Dean have already yearly endowments to the amount severally of 118l. 10s. 6d., of 93l. 13s.., and of 74l. 3s. 6d.
  6. "6. That there were, as stated by the ecclesiastical commissioners in their report of 1835, 5,251 curates employed by incumbents, at salaries, the average of which amounted only to 81l. sterling, and showing that many of these curates perform the ecclesiastical duties in their parishes for smaller incomes than the clergy of the Forest of Dean chapels already possess.
  7. "7. That, therefore, in the present commercial, manufacturing, and financial difficulties of the country, and at a time when Parliament has passed an act to add by taxation three or four millions sterling to the burdens of the people, to meet the already sanctioned expenditure of the country, it is highly inexpedient to increase that expenditure by granting a sum equivalent to 10,500l. of 3 per cents, from the public revenue of the country, for the endowment of the clergymen of the chapels of the Forest of Dean.
  8. "8. That it appears by the bill, that in the year 1838 the commissioners of her Majesty's woods and forests, with consent of the Lords of the Treasury, invested the sum of 843l. 15s. from the revenues of the Crown lands, to purchase the sum of 1,000 3 per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, upon trust, towards the repairs of the fabrics of the said three chapels for ever, and the further proposed grant of money, equivalent to 333l. 6s. 8d. of 3 per cent. Stock, the dividends of which are to be applied for the maintaining and repairing the fabric of these chapels, would be a precedent for paying Church-rates out of the general revenue of the country, and ought not to be agreed to."

Lord Lincoln

remarked that the hon. Member had moved resolutions as long as the speech by which he had prefaced them. But that speech had little relation to the subject before the House, and the House would not expect him to go regularly through it; more especially as the subject had recently been discussed, and he had stated his opinions with respect to it. The first six resolutions now proposed purported to be purely statements of facts, but he would observe that they were by no means pure statements of facts. The present measure was founded on a new principle, but on one which was invariably adopted when the occasion called for it.

Mr. W. Williams

contended that this was a gross job. Such a measure for taking a large sum out of the public taxes at a time when the land was covered with distress and suffering ought never to be pressed by the Government. They had an interest, it was true, in getting it passed, as it gave a large share of patronage, but he should certainly give it every opposition in his power.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 177; Noes 44: Majority 133.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Duff, J.
Acland, T. D. Duffield, T.
A'Court, Capt. Dugdale, W. S.
Adderley, C. B. Duncombe, hon. A.
Ainsworth, P. Dundas, D.
Antrobus, E. Du Pre, C. G.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. East, J. B.
Arkwright, G. Egerton, W. T.
Ashley, Lord Egerton, Sir P.
Attwood, M. Eliot, Lord
Bailey, J. Escott, B.
Baillie, H. J. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Baldwin, B. Farnham, E. B.
Baring, hon. W. B. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Feilden, W.
Barnard, E. G. Ferrand, W. B.
Barneby, J. Fitzroy, Capt.
Barrington, Visct. Fleming, J. W.
Beckett, W. Flower, Sir J.
Beresford, Major Ffolliott, J.
Bernard, Visct. Forbes, W.
Blackstone, W. S. Fuller, A. E.
Bodkin, W. H. Gaskell, J. M.
Boldero, H. G. Gladstone, T.
Borthwick, P. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Botfield, B. Gore, M.
Bramston, T. W. Gore, W. O.
Broadley, H. Gore, W. R. O.
Broadwood, H. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Brodie, W. B. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Buck, L. W. Greenall, P.
Buckley, E. Greenaway, C.
Buller, C. Greene, T.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Campbell, A. Grimsditch, T.
Cardwell, E. Grogan, E.
Carnegie, hon. Capt. Halford, H.
Cartwright, W. R. Hamilton, W. J.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Hamilton, Lord C.
Chelsea, Visct. Hanmer, Sir J.
Childers, J. W. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H
Clements, Visct. Hardy, J.
Clerk, Sir G. Hawkes, T.
Cochrane, A. Henley, J. W.
Codrington, C. W. Hervey, Lord A.
Colborne, hn. W. N. R. Hodgson, F.
Courtenay, Lord Hodgson, R.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hogg, J. W.
Craig, W. G. Houldsworth, T.
Cresswell, B. Hope, hon. C.
Cripps, W. Hornby, J.
Darby, G. Howard, hn. J. K.
Denison, J. E. Hughes, W. B.
Denison, E. B. Irving, J.
Dickinson, F. H. Jackson, J. D.
Douglas, Sir H. James, Sir W. C.
Douglas Sir C. E. Jermyn, Earl
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Patten, J. W.
Jones, Capt. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E Pollington, Visct.
Knight, H. G. Praed, W. T.
Knight, F. W. Pringle, A.
Langston, J. H. Protheroe, E.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Repton, G. W. J.
Lawson, A. Richards, R.
Lefroy, A. Rolleston, Col.
Legh, G, C. Rushbrooke, Col.
Lincoln, Earl of Russell, Lord J.
Litton, E. Sandon, Visct.
Lockhart, W. Seale, Sir J. H.
Lowther, J. H. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Lyall, G. Sheppard, T.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Somerset, Lord G.
Mackenzie, T. Stanley, Lord
Mackenzie, W. F. Stuart, Lord J.
Mackinnon, W. A. Sturt, H. C.
M'Ceachy, F. A. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Mahon, Visct. Taylor, T. E.
Manners, Lord C. S. Thesiger, F.
Manners, Lord J. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Martin, C. W. Trollope, Sir J.
Morgan, O. Trotter, J.
Mundy, E. M. Vesey, hon. T.
Newport, Visct. Waddington, H. S.
Norreys, Lord Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Wood, Col. T.
Northland, Visct. Young, J.
Pakington, J. S. TELLERS.
Palmer, R. Fremantle, Sir T.
Palmerston, Visct. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Aldam, W. Holland, R.
Barron, Sir H. W. James, W.
Bernal, Capt. Marsland, H.
Bowring, Dr. Martin, J.
Brotherton, J. Morris, D.
Browne, hon. W. Murphy, F. S.
Busfeild, W. O'Connell, J.
Callaghan, D. Pechell, Capt.
Cobden, R. Plumridge, Capt.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Roebuck, J. A.
Crawford, W. S. Scholefield, J.
Dennistoun, J. Scott, R.
Duncan, G. Thornely, T.
Duncombe, T. Villiers, hon. C.
Ellice, E. Wall, C. B.
Elphinstone, H. Ward, H. G.
Fielden, J. Watson, W. H.
Gill, T. Wood, B.
Gordon, Lord F. Wyse, T.
Gore, hon. R.
Hastie, A. TELLERS.
Heathcoat, J. Hume, J.
Hill, Lord M. Williams, W.
Hindley, C.

Main question agreed to. Bill to be read a third time.