HC Deb 09 February 1843 vol 66 cc309-10
Mr. Hawes

asked what course the Government intended to take upon the subject of Church Extension?

Sir R. Peel

said, the hon. Member should receive ample notice of any measure which the Government intended to introduce upon the subject. In the course of last Session, he (Sir R. Peel) had stated that the superintendence of the spiritual wants of some districts, particularly the great manufacturing towns, deserved, and should receive, the utmost consideration on the part of the Government, and, certainly, the events which occurred last autumn had only tended to confirm the opinion he then expressed. The subject had occupied the attention of the Government. He was aware of the inconvenience arising from making statements in answer to questions. He knew the misconstruction to which he would be liable if he merely stated, that it was the intention of the Government to bring forward a measure for Church Extension. It would at once be supposed that he meant to propose large grants from the public funds for that ob ject. He hoped to be able to call the attention of the House to the subject, which he considered one of the utmost importance; but the principle of any measure which he might propose would be to make as available as possible for present wants and exigencies those growing revenues which, there was ground for believing, would be, though at a rather remote period, at the disposal of the ecclesiastical commissioners. Much might be effected by taking advantage of the credit of the revenues which would ultimately accrue in the hands of the ecclesiastical commissioners, for the purpose of supplying present deficiencies. When he should bring forward the measure, he trusted it would receive the willing assent and co-operation of all those who were desirous of remedying the great evils which arose, in populous districts, from the want of religious instruction.