HC Deb 14 March 1844 vol 73 cc1058-9
Sir G. Clerk

moved the second reading of the Land Tax Commissioners Names Bill.

Lord Worsley

said, he entertained a strong opinion as to the desirableness of avoiding, wherever it was possible, the putting of clergymen on the Commission of the Peace, but he had a much stronger objection to their being appointed as Land Tax Commissioners. In the list sent to him, he found there had been seventeen new names, ten of which were clergymen, and he wished to know from the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department whether it was competent for him (Lord Worsley), as a Member of Parliament, to put a Veto on that list. He did not wish to do anything invidious, nor had he any objection to the individuals referred to, but he thought persons might be found better qualified than clergymen for discharging the duties devolving on the Land Tax Commissioners.

Sir J. Graham

was not quite prepared to answer the question of the noble Lord; but, speaking from recollection, be (Sir. J. Graham) believed the Members for the county had no Veto on those lists, but were merely the channels of communicating them to the House of Commons, with whom the ultimate decision rested.

Mr. Hume

thought the clergy had enough to do, without mixing themselves up with secular transactions, and, if he had the power, he should strike out their names when the Bill was in Committee.

Sir J. Graham

did not believe clergymen were ambitious, or desirous of such an appointment; but it was for the interest of the public that they should act. Hitherto the fact of a gentleman being a clergyman was not regarded as a disqualification.

Motion agreed to.