HC Deb 17 June 1842 vol 64 cc90-2
Mr. Fox Maule

presented a petition from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, against the continuance of lay patronage in the Church of Scotland. Mr. Fox Maule then stated that he had delayed presenting this petition until the right hon. Baronet came into the House. He had already given notice, that it was his intention to bring forward a motion on the subject of patronage in the Church of Scotland, on Monday, July 5, but since he had given that notice, he had reconsidered the subject, and seeing that the motion would be attended with a discussion which would probably be without further result, and seeing also that it was probable, on a division taking place, that the motion for an address would be negatived, and feeling also the discussion would not be satisfactory to himself from the absence of his right hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Leith, and also from the circumstance, that the feeling of some of those who were favourable to the object of his motion was averse to have the subject debated at present, he had determined not to proceed further with his motion for the 5th of July. He was satis- fied that the initiative would come best from her Majesty's Government, and he would now state, that if a measure on the subject did not come from them early next Session, he should feel it to be his duty to take up the subject.

Sir R. Peel

thought, that he should be excused in making an observation, after the observations of the right hon. Gentleman. He would at once say, that on the part of her Majesty's Government, be should not deprecate any discussion on the motion of which the right hon. Gentleman bad given notice. In the spirit in which he trusted that a matter of this kind would be discussed, he should have felt himself called upon to state the reasons why he did not think, under present circumstances, that any attempt of the Government to carry a measure with the view to the settlement of this question would be attended with the success which was desirable. Under these circumstances of the case, he was willing and prepared to give way to the right hon. Gentleman, so as to enable him to bring forward this subject on the day on which he bad given notice. He would not say another word on the subject, beyond observing, that he was deeply impressed with the importance of the subject, and that nothing would be more gratifying to her Majesty's Government if the state of circumstances in Scotland, together with the prevalence of that good sense and moderation, together with a deep conviction of the extent to which these disunions affect the welfare of the country, afforded them an opportunity to bring forward some measure on the subject.

Lord J. Russell

hoped, that he might be permitted to say, that during the existence of the late Government, no opportunity arose so as to enable it to settle this question. He also felt bound to say, that be did not think that the present opportunity was one in which the Government could judiciously interfere with the view to the settlement of the question. He hoped, that if an opportunity arose, the Government would proceed to legislate on this question so deeply interesting as it was to the people of Scotland. For his own part, he left the matter with perfect satisfaction in the hands of the Government.

Mr. A. Campbell

said, that his object in bringing forward this bill, was to give effect to a principle for which the Church of Scotland had always contended. He regretted that the bill had been defeated in consequence of a technical objection, having reference to the rights of the Crown. It would probably have been better had the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Perth, given notice of his intention to some of the leading members of the Church of Scotland before he gave notice on the subject. He approved of the course proposed to be taken by the right hon. Gentleman.

Subject at an end.

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