HC Deb 11 March 1842 vol 61 cc490-6
Lord Stanley

then moved the Order of the Day for going into committee on the West India Clergy Bill.

On the motion that the Speaker do leave the Chair.

Mr. Pakington

said, that perhaps he ought to have made any observations which he intended on the second reading of this bill; but he was not in London. He begged to say, that he did not feel the slightest opposition to the measure; indeed, it met with his most cordial approbation. He had already declared his opinion, that wherever the authority of the British Crown existed, proper provision should be made for the Established Church. He thanked the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies for the measure; he should have received it gratefully from any Government, but he thought it came with peculiar grace from the noble Lord, who had mainly been the instrument of carrying the great measure of Negro Emancipation. On the introduction of the bill, the noble Lord had said, the alterations proposed would be attended with no increase of expenditure, but he hoped that, supposing the existing allowance had been found insufficient for the enlarged establishment, the noble Lord would not have shrunk from making a further provision. He conceived that the principle of such measures was to make adequate provision for the spiritual wants of the colonies, and at the same time to give a proper remuneration to the persons appointed. He wished, therefore, to draw the attention of the noble Lord to the case of the Bishop of Toronto, who presided over a very extensive diocese, and was not provided with means adequate to support the dignity of his position. The late Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Glenelg, had divided the diocese of Ca-nada, and made Toronto a separate see, on the distinct understanding that no salary would be attached to it. The professional income of the Bishop was only 600l. or 700l. per annum, which was derived from the Archdeaconry, and the living of Toronto, and it was only by holding these pluralities that he had this income. He might probably be told that the point would be settled in the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill; but at present there were no funds arising from that source which could be applied to the present case. He called on the noble Lord to make some temporary provision for the see of Toronto, until the operation of the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill included it.

Mr. O'Connell

said, he should make no objection, if the hon. Member for Droitwich, proposed this addition to the income of a Protestant Bishop out of an ecclesiastical fund, but when it was proposed to take money from the consolidated fund for the purpose of providing for the spiritual wants of a particular denomination, he could not conceive that any right to do so existed. The hon. Member said, that 600l. per annum was too small a stipend for a Bishop—but the Protestant Bishop of Nova Scotia had an income of 2,000l. per annum; and the Roman Catholic only 75l. If the stipend were paid out of the consolidated fund, no such difference should be made.

Sir Robert Inglis

heard with great pleasure from the hon. and learned Member for Cork, that he would not interfere with the regulations of the bill; he, therefore, should claim his vote against the amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Marylebone, for reducing the number of Bishops. He felt with the hon. Member for Droitwich, that the increase of the number was doing well, but he thought that the Government need not have reduced the remuneration to the lowest possible amount. He was confident that if an appeal had been made to Parliament, they would have granted a higher remuneration.

Sir C. Napier

asked if he understood the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies aright in stating that there would be one Bishop at Berbice, one at Barbadoes, and one at Antigua, and which of them was to have 3,500l.

Lord Stanley

hoped that the bill would be discussed in committee. He had found that the Bishop of had 4,000l. per annum, and three Archdeacons 4,500l., and it was his intention, with the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by the advice of the late Bishop of Barbadoes, to create three bishoprics with stipends of 3,500l., 2,000l., and 1,500l. per annum, which would be paid by the sum at present granted.

House in committee.

On the first clause being read,

Sir C. Napier

rose to move the amendment of which he had given notice. He thought it quite proper there should be a bishop of Berbice and Demerara; but he did not see the least reason why, when there were steam-boats to carry the bishops from one place to another with the greatest facility, there should be one at Barbadoes and another at Antigua. Travelling from one of these places to another was like going on a party of pleasure. Another objection which he had to the proposed measure was, that he did not know who was to be the cheap bishop. It was impossible for a bishop to live in a proper manner on 1,500l. a-year in the West Indies, and it was equally impossible for an archdeacon to live on 500l. a-year; and he was afraid that next year the noble Lord would come down to the House and propose an increase in their salaries. Under these circumstances he thought the number of bishops be reduced from three to two, and he begged leave to move that the word "two" be substituted in the clause for the word "three."

Lord J. Manners

hoped the hon. and gallant Commodore would not persevere in his motion for a reduction in the number of the bishops. The grounds of the hon. and gallant Member's opposition hardly bore him out in his proposition. If the noble Lord should come down to the House next year to ask for more money for these bishops, that would be the time for this amendment, but until then, there did not appear to him to be any sufficient reason for asking the House to curtail the number of the bishops. It was his sincere conviction that it was beneath the dignity of a great and important country which could afford to spend millions in armaments to Syria, India, and China—it was, he considered, wholly beneath the dignity of such a country to baggie and peddle about some few hundreds which were wanted for ecclesiastical purposes. The hon. and gallant Member was himself a living proof of the might and puissance of the empire. To whatever quarter of the globe he might have sailed, he must have heard the sound of the English language, and have there seen the English flag. He certainly felt some surprise, therefore, that the hon. and gallant Member should oppose the propo-position for those additional dignitaries for the colonies.

Lord Stanley

hoped the hon. and gallant Officer did not seriously intend to press his motion. He (Lord Stanley) declared himself in competent to discuss the question as to a proper provision for the bishops; and whether the hon. and gallant Commodore was more competent to decide the matter than the heads of the Church, he should leave the hon. and gallant Commodore himself to determine. The question ought not to be treated in the mode adopted by the hon. and gallant Commodore. It was very well as a joke to describe the visitations of the bishops once a-year as parties of pleasure—but the hon. and gallant Member should recollect, that one of the objects of the present bill was to prevent bishops having such extensive dioceses as to preclude them from visiting all parts more than once a-year. When the increasing population of the West Indies was taken into consideration, and also the earnest desire for religious instruction which prevailed there an additional responsibility rested on Government to provide for their spiritual wants. When Government came into office, the bishopric of Barbadoes was vacant, at least the bishop had tendered his resignation, and it was only incomplete in some matter of form. By this step, Government might, had it so chosen, have filled up the appointment, which was endowed with an income of 4,000l. a-year, and 1,000l. retiring pension. But, instead of so doing, Government, after a consultation with the heads of the Church, had thought it better, with the approbation of the heads of the Church, to create three dioceses out of the one bishopric, and to distribute the funds of the bishopric among them. It had been found necessary so make this division in order to supply the clerical necessities of the population. The three archdeacons were to be created bishops, and they were to have the funds of the bishopric assigned between them. The course Government bad thought fit to adopt was not to increase the patronage and emoluments of the bishops, but to give the archdeacons that power over the clergy in their dioceses, by conferring on them a higher rank. He had, therefore, determined to advise her Majesty to divide the bishopric into three dioceses, and to confer them on the three archdeacons. The duties had been assigned, and the emoluments divided, under the sanction of the heads of the Church, and he had no intention to come down to Parliament hereafter for an increase of salary. He trusted, therefore, that the House would accord in a measure which had received the sanction of all parties

Mr. V. Smith

could not vote with the hon. and gallant Member for Marylebone, because he was satisfied with the reasons assigned for appointing three bishops. He hoped that the noble Lord would consider himself pledged not to require any addition to the salaries hereafter, and stated his dissent from the unequal apportionment of them proposed by the noble Lord, for which he had assigned no reason. He saw, though with much regret, that it was owing very much to the neglect of the Church of England in the West India colonies that the Dissenters were able to do so much more than the Church in those colonies. He trusted, however, that the noble Lord did not mean to establish a bishoprick in every colony, because nothing could be more detrimental, and especially to the spread of the Church of England itself, than the establishment in all the colonies of thestate religion of this country. The hon. Member concluded by suggesting, that in the present bill, retiring pensions should be provided for bishops no longer able to perform their duties.

Mr. William Williams

would support the amendment of the hon. and gallant Commodore, because he believed that a Bishop in the West Indies could not live upon 1,500l. a-year, and that, before two years passed by, the noble Lord or his successor would come down to the House and make a strong appeal to Parliament for an increase of these salaries. It was, besides, a great injustice to the people of this country that they should be taxed to pay for Bishops in the West-India colonies. Those colonies ought to pay for their bishops. The people of this country had quite enough to do to maintain their own bishops, and were taxed quite sufficiently for these colonies, without paying anything more. To protect these new colonies they had already to pay a double price for their sugar. Had the noble Lords opposite heard the right hon. Gentleman's statement of the embarrassment of our finances? What had brought our finances to this state, but expenditure like this, which was quite uncalled for? If he went through all the items of our expenditure he could point out how they could save the whole amount of the taxes now required, without impairing the efficiency of any part of the public service. The hon. Gentleman the late Under Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. V. Smith), had asked the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) to assure the House that he would not come down and ask for an increase of salaries to these bishops, but he believed, that if the hon. Gentleman himself were in office, he would be just as likely to propose such an increase as the noble Lord.

Mr. Vernon Smith

was perfectly ready to pledge himself, that he would make no such proposal.

Mr. Borthwick

had sat quite long enough in that House to know that the less was said so much the better, and he had never seen that maxim better illustrated than the speech of the hon. Gentleman; for this was not a question of money, but simply of an increase of bishops; and he was satisfied that there would be no demand for more money, and that the Bishop of Berbice could live very well on 1,500l. a-year.

Sir C. Napier

assured the two noble Lords opposite, that he was quite as sensible of the value of religion as any noble Lord. He made no joke about the party of pleasure. He said, that now steam communication was established, the Bishop of Barbadoes might make a round of visits to all the islands in fourteen or twenty-one days. He had as much respect for the Church as the noble Lord, and he never would have proposed to give a bishop in the West Indies, where living was expensive, such a salary as 1,500l a-year.

Lord Stanley

said, that if that was the only objection he could easily remove it, for the Bishop of Berbice and Demerara, in addition to the 1,500/. a-year out of the consolidated fund, would have 500l. out of the colonial revenue, which he now received as archdeacon, so that he would receive in all 2,000l. a-year.

Mr. O'Connell,

in allusion to the claim of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University, for his vote, begged to say that he did not mean to vote.

The committee divided on the question that the word "three" stand part of the clause: Ayes 126; Noes 17; Majority 109,

List of the AYES.
Ackers, J. Dickinson, F. H.
Acton, Col. Dodd, G.
Ainsworth, P. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Antrobus, E. Dowdeswell, W.
Arkwright, G. Drummond, H. H.
Attwood, M. Duncan, G.
Bailey, J. Duncombe, hon. A.
Baring, hon. W. B. Egerton, Sir P.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Eliot, Lord
Barneby, J. Escott, B.
Barrington, Viscount Evans, W.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Filmer, Sir E.
Bell, J. Fitzroy, Captain
Blackstone, W. S. Ffolliott, J.
Borthwick, P. Forbes, W.
Broadwood, H. Forester, hn. G. C. W.
Bruce, Lord E. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Buller, Sir J. Y. Gladstone,rt.hn.W.E.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Gordon, hon. Captain
Busfeild, W. Gore, W. O.
Chetwode, Sir J. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Clayton, R. R. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Clerk, Sir G. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Cockburn,rt.hn.SirG. Grogan, E.
Collett, W. R. Hamilton, W. J.
Corry, rt, hon. H. Hardinge, rt.hn.SirH.
Courtenay, Viscount Hardy, J.
Cripps, W. Hayes, Sir E.
Crosse, T. B. Heneage, G. H. W.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Henley, J. W,
Herbert, hon. S. Patten, J. W.
Hinde, J. H. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hindley, C. Peel, J.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Praed, W. T.
Hodgson, R. Pringle, A.
Hope, A. Rashleigh, W.
Hornby, J. Reade, W. M.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Inglis, Sir R H. Scott, hon. F.
Johnson, W. G. Sibthorp, Colonel
Johnstone, Sir J Smith, rt. hn. R. V.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Somerset, Lord G.
Jones, Captain Sotheron, T. H. S.
Knatchbull, rt. hon. Stanley, Lord
Sir E. Stewart, J.
Knightly, Sir C. Stuart, H.
Larpent, Sir G. de H. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Legh, G. C. Tancred, H. W.
Lincoln, Earl of Trotter, J.
Lindsay, H. H. Vere, Sir C. B.
Mackenzie, W. F. Villiers, Viscount
Mainwaring, T. Vivian, J. E.
Manners, Lord J. Waddington, H. S.
Master, T. W. C. Wawn, J. T.
Miles, P. W. S. Whitmore, T. C.
Morgan, O. Wilbraham, hon. R. B.
Morris, D. Wilde, Sir T.
Mundy, E. M. Worsley, Lord
Murray, C. R. S. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Newry, Viscount Yorke, H. R.
O'Brien, A. S. Young, J.
Packe, C. W.
Paget, Lord W. TELLERS.
Pakington, J. S. Fremantle, Sir T.
Parker, J. Hope, G.
List of the NOES.
Aldam, W. Gore, hon. R.
Berkeley, hon. C. Leader, J. T.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Murray, A.
Bernal, R. O'Connell, M. J.
Bowring, Dr. Powell, C.
Brotherton, J. Wakley, T.
Crawford, W. S. Wood, B.
Duncombe, T. TELLERS.
Forster, M. Napier, Sir C.
Gordon, Lord F. Williams, W.

Remaining clauses of the bill agreed to the House resumed, and the report received.

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