§ Order for Committee read; House in Committee.
§ Clause 1 (Indemnity to the Clergy attending Meetings for regulating Ecclesiastical affairs).
§ MR. DUNLOP
said, he begged to move, as an Amendment, to leave out the words, "Metropolitan of any Province, or the Bishop of any diocese," and insert instead, the words "Bishops and Clergy." He thought the words in the clause which he wished to expunge were unnecessary for the attainment of the ostensible object of the measure; whilst he was afraid that their retention would have the effect of giving to the Churches in the Colonies, which were in communion with the Church of England, the character and status which the Established Church possessed at home. Now, he (Mr. Dunlop) was not aware of any authority by which it could be held that the Church of England was established in the Colonies; and the hon. and learned Solicitor General did not venture to call the Colonial Church the Church of England in the Colonies, but described them as the clergy, bishops, and laity in the Colonies, who were in communion with the Established Church in this country. The Presbyterian Church in the Colonies was not a part of the Church of Scotland, because the latter Church could not extend its character or status beyond the realm in which it was established; and so he contended it was with the Church of England in the Colonies. The Church of Scotland was in communication with the Presbyterians in the Colonies, and it acknowledged their orders, but it received no appeals from them, and did not attempt to regulate their proceedings. The Colonial Churches were, therefore, entirely separate organisations. The object of his Amendment was to prevent this Bill from conferring a status which did not now legally exist, and it followed substantially the lan- 787 guage which the hon. and learned Solicitor General had used to define the position of the Church in the colonies. If a diocese or a province, with all their legal incidents and effects, could not be created in England without the authority of an Act of Parliament, he doubted whether the mere act of the Crown could establish a diocese with its legal consequences in a colony possessed of a local Legislature. In 1852 an Act was passed by the Legislature of Canada, asserting the fundamental principle that all religious communities should be upon an equal footing; and the effect of a measure like the present, with words such as those he proposed to strike out, was therefore likely to give rise to collision with the Colonial Legislature. At all events, these words would be calculated to excite heartburning and jealousy between the different sects into which colonial communities were divided, on account of the superior status which they would be considered to give to one Church over its rivals.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 2, to leave out the words "Metropolitan of any Province, or the Bishop of any Diocese," and insert the words "Bishops and Clergy," instead thereof.
said, he should support the Amendment, because he considered that this Bill, so far from promoting the interests of the Church of England in the Colonies, would, he believed, have just the contrary effect. He could not conceive the use of this Bill. If there was any Statute which interfered directly with the power of any Colonial Church, whether in communion with the Church of England or any other body, to regulate its own affairs, the simplest course would be to repeal the Statute, and then the House would know what it was about; but he had seen the results, half a century ago, of attempting to set up the Church of England in an exceptional position in the Colonies; and this convinced him of the impolicy of any such legislation as this, with the view of extending the influence of the Church in the Colonies. He (Mr. Ellice) was travelling in Upper Canada at the time when a bishop was first sent out from England, calling himself "My Lord," and claiming precedence, and such was the jealousy excited, that the Legislature of the province resolved, by a vote of thirty-six to four, that the Church of England, as by law established in the mother country, was not the religion of the majority of the people of Canada. It was the tendency of all in- 788 terference of this kind to produce discontented feelings. The Church of England and its bishops and clergy were very popular and much respected in the United States of America, where they had no Acts like this passed in their behalf. Every year some Bill of this description was introduced into that House; and it was absolutely necessary that those who really had a regard for the Church of England, and wished her to flourish, should endeavour entirely to remove her from the legislation of that House. He did not see the use of the present Bill, in fact he could not quite understand it; and in Canada, for instance, they did not know but that, if this Bill passed, some particular congregation might not meet and seek to alter a part of our canon law. If Convocation sat, it was impossible to foresee what it might or might not do. It was said that the Church in the Colonies only wished to have restrictions removed which prevented it from doing what other sects could do; but the answer to that was, place the Church of England on an equal footing with the other Churches in the Colonies, and it would not require any more assistance from the Legislature than those other Churches did. Again, the Episcopalian Church in Scotland did not come to Parliament for leave to meet in synod, and he could not see why the Church in the Colonies could not be placed in the same position as that Church. He wished more particularly to call the attention of the Government to the following point. When bishops were created for the Colonies, we were apt to call them in their patents by the title of "Lord Bishop." Now, bishops of the Church of England might have every honour conferred on them that did not raise them above their real status in the Colonies; but he objected to bishops setting themselves up as lords and barons in the Colonies; thus exciting the jealousies and ill-feeling that had been already alluded to. In an old country like this, with our ancient constitution, a bishop was a baron of Parliament; but in the Colonies we did not give him the civil rights appertaining to his rank in England; and it was unwise, therefore, to give a mere title, which not only created jealousy, but caused its bearer to be treated with disrespect. The simple remedy, therefore, in this case should be to repeal the Statute of Henry VIII., as far as the Church in the Colonies was concerned.
said, he thought the simple 789 mode of dealing with the matter would be to repeal any Act that was calculated to inflict a grievance upon the Colonists. Let them look to what had taken place in Canada; and were they, he asked, about to create in the other Colonies the same grounds of discontent that had formerly existed in that colony? What could be more monstrous than to see a bishop going to Hong-Kong, with only about twenty English inhabitants, and the bishop could not go on board the ship without a salute of seven guns? That was only one of the inconveniences; but the inconvenience which arose from preventing the Colonists from managing their own affairs was what he objected to. They were giving them the rights of self-government, and they should, therefore, let them manage their own Church, as well as their own affairs.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, he would remind hon. Members that they were then in Committee, and had consequently assented to the principle of the Bill, and, therefore, the objections of his right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry (Mr. Ellice), or of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), had no longer in strictness any application. But he was not sorry to have heard the arguments of the last two Gentlemen who addressed the House, for he was sure that their own arguments were favourable to the Bill instead of being against it. He agreed with the hon. Member for Montrose that the object of the Bill should be to give to the colonists the power of regulating their own ecclesiastical affairs, to leave them liberty of action, give them freedom from restraint, and allow them to develope their own ecclesiastical policy after their own will. The Act of Henry VIII. accomplished a variety of objects, and that Act was most necessary to be retained, in order to preserve the supremacy of the Crown. The Act of Henry VIII. prohibited any Convention of Churchmen without the previous Royal licence to meet. It prohibited the Convention, even if allowed to meet, from discussing any new canon or ordinance of the Church without the authority of the Crown; and it further went on to say that no ordinance or canon should be altered in a way that would be contrary to the common or canon law; but by the proposition that was now made that could be done in the colony. By repealing the Act they would give to the clergy of the colony a right of synodical action, and of making ordinances which might be utterly subversive of, and at vari- 790 ance with, their recognised relations with the Church of England and Ireland. The Colonial Church was the Church of England and Ireland, and his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Dunlop), who had moved the Amendment, fell into a mistake in supposing that that Church had any title or designation which marked it as being independent of the Church of England and Ireland. The first bishopric established in India was established on the principle of maintaining the Church of England and Ireland in that country. By the 6th of Geo. IV. another colonial bishopric was founded, and it was expressly denominated as being a bishopric of the United Church of England and Ireland. With regard to saluting a bishop when embarking or disembarking, to which the hon. Member for Montrose had referred, that, he submitted, was a matter which had reference to naval rather than to ecclesiastical matters. He begged the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ellice) to observe, that it would not be competent by any Bill of that House to repeal the Statute of Henry VIII. with respect to the Colonies, without cutting the Colonial Church altogether adrift. Did they mean to say that they would sever it from its connection with this country? Did they mean to say they would by a breath alter the whole of the Statute, and give it a perfectly different status and character? It was an emanation of the Church of England, and was established as part of it, in connection with the Crown; and were they going to alter that? That was a large question, and let hon. Gentlemen if they pleased bring it forward; but this Bill proceeded on the established state of the law, and could not by any possibility introduce any object so general, wide, and universal as that which appeared to be in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman. He (the Solicitor General) asked to leave the Colonial Church in all its integrity as part of the United Church of England and Ireland. He desired to leave it in connection with the Crown, and to leave the supremacy of the Crown intact in respect to that Church, and he believed that also to be the desire of the bishops and clergy of the several Colonial Churches. He had taken pains to ascertain the feeling on the subject. The feelings of the members of the Church of England and Ireland in Canada (if he might take the representations of their opinions from a distinguished gentleman lately resident in this country) were quite at variance with the views and opinions of the right hon. Gentleman the Mem- 791 ber for Coventry. It was necessary to apply a remedy that would relieve the Colonial Church from embarrassment and injury, and leave her a free agent. With regard to the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Greenock, it was nothing more than an inconvenient and inappropriate change of language, and would in itself make no alteration at all in the effect of the Bill. The object of the Amendment was not to strike out the word "metropolitan," and introduce the words "bishops and clergy," but to introduce those two denominations with the following words: "of Churches in communion with the United Church of England and Ireland," which would be simple nonsense. The comparison of the Scotch Episcopal Church with the Colonial Church was a misapprehension. The Scotch Episcopal Church was no part of the Church of England and Ireland, but it was that forced analogy which had led his hon. and learned Friend into many of the observations which were contained in his introductory remarks. He thought the Committee should be perfectly satisfied if they remembered the short history he had given of the establishment of the colonial bishoprics. They must be perfectly convinced that the present status and constitution of ecclesiastical matters in the Colonies were, that they had bishops who ranked as bishops of the United Church of England and Ireland in all spiritual and ecclesiastical matters, although he quite agreed with his right hon. Friend that they had no legal title whatever to the denomination of "my Lord." He earnestly entreated of the Committee to observe to what extent it was necessary to interfere, and to what extent it was not necessary to interfere on the present occasion. They desired to interfere to put the members of the Colonial Church on the same footing with the other religious denominations in the Colonies, and not to give them any superiority of rank or position. They desired no more; they wanted no power of synodical action, or that they might be relieved from the supremacy of the Crown; and if they repealed the Statute they would do a great deal more than was necessary.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he quite agreed with the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General that this was not the right moment to revive a discussion on the principle of the Bill, and that it would be much better to confine themselves to the Amendment before the Com- 792 mittee. He would take the liberty of pointing out to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ellice) that he had omitted one element of the question, which was all-important, namely, what were the feelings and wishes of the Colonists themselves on this subject. The right hon. Gentleman did not touch upon those important points. He (Sir J. Pakington) had always viewed these Bills with great jealousy and distrust, and to this Bill he had only given a qualified assent, being at the same time prepared to move Amendments which had reference to important questions. And why did he do this? For this reason—that the Colonists themselves—and in using the term Colonists he meant the brethren of the Church of England in the Colonies, but not the Colonists at large—loudly demanded some such a Bill. They did not want independence of the Church of England. They considered themselves members of the United Church of England and Ireland, and they wished to remain so. He would undertake to show that the right hon. Gentleman had fallen into a fallacy by drawing an analogy between the Episcopal Church in America and the present question. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General had fallen into a similar error in reference to the Episcopal Church of Scotland. The Episcopal Church of Scotland was an independent body. The Episcopal Church of America was also an independent body; but the members of the United Churches of England and Ireland were not an independent body, and did not desire to be so. The right hon. Gentleman had lost sight of that point, and at the proper time he would show, by referring to the words of the Colonists themselves, what their real and anxious desire was on the subject.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he thought the more they discussed the question, the more it appeared to him that they were legislating in the dark. He hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General would favour the Committee with some distinct statement of the disability the Bill was to remedy. If that disability or restriction was to be found in the Act of Henry VIII. or Queen Elizabeth, then the proper and safe course was to repeal so much of these Acts as opposed obstacles which ought to be removed so far as the Colonies were concerned. He disapproved of giving power by a vague enactment, which some said would have no effect, and others that it would have more effect than was intended. 793 He did not think the Amendment proposed touched the principle of the Bill. The effect of the proposed arrangement was to preserve to the Colonial Church all the advantages of the Established Church, and to give them all the advantages enjoyed by the Independents. It was, in fact, only to put the Established Church in the colony on the same footing as all other Christian denominations. This was to be effected without in the least severing the connection with the Church in this country, or touching on the communion which existed between the Colonial Church and the United Church.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he thought the effect would be totally different to that described by the right hon. Gentleman (Sir G. Grey). The Colonial Church would have all the disadvantages, and none of the advantages, by the proposed legislation. At present the Colonial Church could not regulate its internal affairs, and this was the only Church in the colony that was deprived of that power. Was that no grievance? For what did they sit in that House, if they did not sit there to redress what he must consider to be one of the greatest possible grievances? As far as the Bill went he considered it was a good Bill. Some wished it went further, and he agreed with them, provided in so doing they still retained a healthy connection and intercourse between the Colonial Church and the Church of England at home. He hoped the right hon. Member for Coventry would not oppose the Bill, because it did not go far enough in his opinion. He did not see what possible objection the hon. and learned Solicitor General could have to a more simple and intelligible enactment. Why not have a Bill to say that so much of the Statute of Henry VIII. be repealed as related to the colonial clergy? He did not think the Amendment was calculated to attain the object of its framer.
§ MR. R. PHILLIMORE
said, that the Amendment proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Greenock would cause great uncertainty and confusion. It was to be observed that the colonial patents conferred no territorial jurisdiction. The Church of England in the Colonies was not an established Church, its legal position being that the Crown nominated a bishop who was consecrated in this country, so that a spiritual connection remained, but no civil prerogatives. The Church in the Colonies, moreover, was supported by voluntary contributions, and therefore he did 794 not see who in the Colonies it concerned to interfere in the matter, except the members of the Church of England in the Colonies. At present the Church in the Colonies had all the disadvantages of a Free Church, without the power of regulating its own religious affairs, and the Bill really did no more than to put our colonial brethren on as advantageous a footing as the other religious denominations, and had, he believed, no covert intention whatever.
§ MR. NAPIER
said, he had great doubts whether he understood the exact object of this Bill, and more particularly after the speech of the hon. and learned Solicitor General. His anxiety was to preserve the Colonial Church as an integral part of the United Church of England and Ireland. Now, if he rightly understood this Bill, it would tend to dissever that connection. All the Statutes with reference to this subject said that the doctrines and discipline of this Church were inviolable; but this Bill proposed to get rid, not only of the provisions of the Statute of Henry VIII., but of all other usages and laws, in so far as they controlled the assembling of the clergy. He wished, however, to know whether, by the common law, any part of the Church of England and Ireland could meet to make regulations or canons without Royal licence? Certainly they could not in Ireland, although the Statute of Henry VIII. did not extend to that country. Again, by this Bill it was not required that the Crown should confirm any of the canons made by the Colonial Churches, although it had hitherto always been understood that the confirmation of the Crown was necessary to the validity of a canon, and although this was absolutely necessary, in order to prevent any Church authority obtaining the ascendancy over the civil power. If, however, the confirmation of the Crown would still be necessary, he wished to know what effect this would have upon the canons and regulations that were made in these meetings of the colonial clergy and laity. It was said that the object of this Bill was to put the Church on the mane footing as other religious denominations. Now, on that point he would refer to what fell from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General, with respect to the Bill of 1852; he said:—The clause enacted—'And no such regulation shall in virtue of this Act be held to have any other legal force or effect than the regulations, 795 laws, or usages of other churches or religious communions in the said colonies.' If, then, the interpretation which he had given of the present state of the law, respecting other religious communities were correct, this clause would make all the ordinances passed by the bishop, clergy, and laity ineffectual; because other religious communities could only deal with their members personally when they violated the trusts on which their places of worship were held; but this would not be applicable to members of the Church of England in the Colonies, on whom it was intended that the ordinances should operate personally. There was no law against members of the Church of England meeting together and declaring a trust with respect to any property given to a colonial church by such members; and then their rules and regulations might be carried into effect in the same way as any rules and regulations that had been made with respect to the property of Dissenters, without the necessity of an Act of Parliament. He would now take the liberty of pointing out to the House the manner in which this Bill, if it should pass into a law, would violate the supremacy of the Crown. It was apparent that the scope of the Bill was to empower the bishop, clergy, and laity, to make any regulations which they might deem necessary for the better conduct of their ecclesiastical affairs; and although the seventh clause provided that no such regulation should authorise the bishop to institute a party to any clerical office, except upon such person having immediately before taken the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty, and having likewise subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles, and having furthermore declared his unfeigned assent and consent to the Book of Common Prayer, yet he wished to point out to the House that the power to make such regulations must carry with it the power of enforcing them; and, therefore, it would involve the erection of some tribunal and some authority to which all branches of such regulations should be referred, and by which every question of doubt would have to be decided. And he begged to ask the hon. Gentleman, who had accused the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State of misrepresentation, how he could say that an ecclesiastical and spiritual court, arising out of ordinances made by mutual consent, but deriving their force and binding power from an Act of the Imperial Parliament, was not an infringement of the supremacy of the Crown? "[3 Hansard, cxxi. 783.]According, therefore, to the hon. and learned Solicitor General, the provisions of the Bill would either be ineffectual or improper, while they tended to sanction a violation of the supremacy of the Crown. He (Mr. Napier) was quite ready to agree to a declaratory enactment that the Act of Henry VIII. did not bind the Colonies, if any doubt existed on the subject, though he had certainly never heard any lawyer insist that in his opinion that Act did extend to the Colonies. But by the common law the Queen's supremacy over the United Church of England and Ireland, with which they were then dealing, extended to the Colonies. Now, what made a Church? 796 Doctrine, discipline, and government; and he must object to the present Bill, because they were at present in the dark as to the amount of interference with these which this Bill would sanction. According to Bishop Butler, what the Colonial Church wanted was not any temporal power on the part of the bishops, or any coercive power over the laity, but a power to enforce discipline according to the laws of the Church of England upon priests in holy orders. The Colonial Church ought not, however, to obtain the power to make laws upon these points; for if they did in each diocese, there would be not one united Church as at present, but many Churches. That was not wise; for the Church was not to be moulded and modified according to the wishes of the people in every district; it had its fixed standard of doctrine and discipline, and went forth as a missionary Church, with its established principles and fixed procedure. But it had no tribunals in the Colonies to enforce discipline, and the result was that the bishop was despotic. This was an evil for which a proper remedy was required, but none such was provided by this Bill.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, that the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Dunlop) raised the question whether they were to treat the Church in the Colonies as an integral part of the Church of the kingdom, or whether they were to treat it as forming an Episcopal Church in communion with our Church. He thought they should treat it as it was, as part and parcel of the United Church of England and Ireland; and that they should, therefore, not adopt the Amendment, which would alter its whole status. With respect to the Bill as a whole, he must confess that, although he bad looked at it with the greatest care and attention, he did not understand it. The hon. and learned Solicitor General told the Committee that they should not repeal the Act of Henry VIII., because it was desirable to keep some part of it. But if that was the case, he did not see why they should not repeal, as to the Colonies, those parts of it which it was not desirable to retain. The hon. and learned Solicitor General said that these meetings in the Colonies were not to make any canons, or anything of that sort, and for that purpose it was that the Act of Henry VIII. was to be preserved. But in that case it would be necessary to have some explanations with respect to the meaning of the words, "regulations, 797 agreements, and arrangements," in the subsequent part of the Bill. The preamble and the enacting part of the Bill only exempted the parties who were to meet from the penalties of the Act of Henry VIII., provided they had a lay element amongst them. But what kind of a meeting it was to be, whether the whole of the lay members of the Church of England in a colony were to meet, or how many of them were to be members of any assembly, was not specified; and there also were other points on which he thought the Committee should have explanations. This clause, however, was a proof that while professing to give to the Church the same religious liberty which was enjoyed by other bodies, this Bill would prevent their exercising it in a manner in which it was possible they might wish to do. Suppose they wished to entrust the legislation on church matters entirely to the bishops and clergy, this Bill would prevent them doing so. In conclusion, he begged to state that it was his intention to vote against the Amendment, because it would change the whole position of the Church in the Colony by a side-wind.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he thought that, in order to understand the Bill, or any measure on the subject, they must bring a willing mind to the consideration of its provisions. He thought he could show that there were great practical grievances pressing on the members of the Colonial Church in connection with the Church of this country, and that the best way of dealing with those practical grievances was by some such Bill as that now before them, with, perhaps, certain alterations which would make its scope perfectly clear. The Committee must recollect that every person who went from this country to the Colonies carried with him the laws of this country, so far as they could be made applicable to him in the colony to which he goes. Therefore, any members, or set of members, going to a colony—to New South Wales, for instance—carried with them, in matters of religion, the laws of this country so far as they were applicable to the colony, and they had no escape from the consequences of these laws except by the Imperial or the Colonial Legislature relieving them from them. Now, if hon. Members had read the papers which had been produced on ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the Colonies, they would find that members of the Church of England in the Colonies had very serious practical griev- 798 ances to complain of. The clergy in the Colonies were paid chiefly by salaries coming from the civil authorities. The clergy acted under a licence from the bishop, and the bishop had an autocratical power of revoking that licence when he pleased. In the case, for instance, of Mr. Whitmore, who had been several times insolvent, the bishop revoked his licence. The practice was, on the bishop's revoking a licence, to communicate the fact to the governor; and if the governor was of opinion that the bishop had acted rightly, he deprived the clergyman whose licence had been revoked of the salary which he was entitled to receive. Mr. Whitmore, thinking that the decision of the bishop in his case was unjust, and believing that he had a right of appeal, came to this country, a distance of 16,000 miles; but after laying his case before the Archbishop of Canterbury, found that he had no appeal. Mr. Whitmore had to return to the colony without redress, owing to the absence of any authority, by means of which redress, if due to him, could be obtained. Again, if he were to suppose the case of a clergyman who had very much misconducted himself, and that the bishop wished to suspend his licence, it so happened that unless the governor agreed with the bishop, the clergyman might still draw the salary attached to the preferment which he held, although the bishop might have withdrawn his licence. These were two practical grievances, and the question was, how should they be remedied. It had been suggested that so much of the Statute of Henry VIII. should be repealed which prevented the clergy, bishops, and laity meeting together, and making canons. But that would not meet the case which he had put, because the repeal of that Statute, either wholly or partially, would not deprive the bishop of his autocratical power of withdrawing the licence if he pleased. Now, what remedies are proposed for these practical grievances? His right hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier), for whose opinion he entertained the highest respect, had referred to Bishop Butler's opinion in favour of a power for correcting misbehaviour on the part of the clergy. But did the right hon. and learned Gentleman suppose that the Colonists would consent to the introduction of ecclesiastical courts, or that the House of Commons would agree to hamper the Colonists with these institutions? Another remedy was that suggested by the hon. and learned Mem- 799 ber for Greenock (Mr. Dunlop), namely, to separate the Colonial from the Established Church, and leave the Colonial Church to manage itself. He thought the hon. and earned Gentleman should pause, before urging them to act on that proposal. Bishops and clergymen had gone from this country to the Colonies—there was still a desire between the members of the Church in this country and in the Colonies to be associated in one body, and they could not say to those persons that they must sever the connection, and that no redress would be granted the Colonial Church unless it consented to make itself independent. That they would never do, so long as another remedy could be found. For those grievances which he had pointed out the Bill before them would, he believed, provide a remedy without prejudicing the chief objection alluded to by the right hon. Member opposite (Mr. Ellice). Hon. Members seemed apprehensive that it would establish something like Convocation in the Colonies, and lead to synods and the making of canons. It could not be said of him (Mr. Walpole) that he had any desire, even in this country, to resuscitate Convocation; he believed it would be detrimental to the Church in this country, and if ever the question should come before that House, he would give the strongest reasons for the opinions which he held with regard to it. But they did not propose to establish Convocation in the Colonies. All that they proposed to do was to provide that no Statute law or usage should prevent the bishops and clergy of any diocese from meeting together from time to time for the purpose of making such private arrangements as local circumstances might render necessary for the proper management of their ecclesiastical affairs. That provision did not, however, tend to empower the clergy or laity to meet in Convocation or to make canons. For it was clear Convocation could not be held, and no canon could have force, without the licence of the Crown, altogether independent of the Statute of King Henry VIII. Now, it thus being manifest that the Bill did not tend to authorise the bishops and clergy to hold Convocation in the Colonies, what, he would ask, would be the operation of the clause which they were then employed in discussing? He believed that its operation would be—subject to one qualification, to which he should, in considering the remaining provisions of the Bill, advert—to place the members of the Church of Eng- 800 land in the Colonies in the same position as the members of any other religious body. The members of other religious persuasions could enter into any arrangement or agreement binding upon themselves as to the manner in which they should conduct their ecclesiastical affairs, and if that arrangement were violated they went into court upon that contract as entered into with one another, and asked the assistance of the court to carry into execution its provisions. That was a power which the members of the Church of England did not possess in the Colonies, and with which the Bill under their notice proposed that they should be invested. Having thus pointed out what in his opinion would be the operation of the clause, he should merely add, with respect to the Bill now under consideration, that, in his opinion, its operation would not at all interfere with the Act of Supremacy, inasmuch as the supremacy of the Crown was a prerogative of the Sovereign which dated from a period anterior to the Statute of Henry VIII.; but he nevertheless deemed it advisable that all doubt upon that subject should be completely removed, and for that reason he should wish that some proviso should be added to the Bill upholding and preserving in distinct terms the Royal supremacy. He was of opinion that there ought to be no law passed which should have for its object to make any alterations or arrangements contrary to the doctrine of the Church of England. His argument was based upon the ground that since the members of the Church of England in this country were anxious to keep up their connection with the Church in the Colonies, the members of both Churches had a right to guard, so far as the doctrines of the Church were concerned, against any power being conferred on the Colonial Church which should at all interfere with the maintenance of those doctrines. The simple addition which he should wish to make to the Bill was as follows:—Provided always, it shall not be lawful for any Church meeting to introduce or make any alteration affecting the Royal supremacy, or the doctrines of the Established Church as contained in the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-nine Articles.He regarded that as a reasonable proviso, and if it were added to the Bill under their notice he believed that they should then have succeeded in framing a good measure—one which would be satisfactory to the Colonies, just to the members of the 801 Church of England, and one which would not at all interfere with the religious equality of any denomination of the Christian subjects of Her Majesty.
§ MR. DUNLOP
, in reply, said, that the clergy of the Episcopal Church in Scotland had no scruple whatever in meeting in Scotland, because they considered they were part and parcel of the Church of England; but the clergy of the Established Church in the Colonies had a scruple, and his object was to prevent another legislative sanction being given to a status which had been gradually growing up, without, as he thought, any legal authority. He only wished to prevent the colonial clergy from resolving a doubtful point the wrong way.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, he was inclined to assent to the Amendment, on the understanding that the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Dunlop), his right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole), and himself, should consult together as to the form of expression to be used between that time and the bringing up of the Report.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, this matter ought not to be trifled with; it involved the very highest considerations to the Church in the Colonies, and he would not part with one iota of what he believed to be the principle at stake. The Amendment went to strike, by the most direct implication and influence, at the authority of the Church of England and Ireland over the Church in the Colonies. The result of the Amendment would be twofold. First of all, it would go to negative the existence of dioceses in the colony; and the next result would be, that instead of speaking of the Church as the United Church of England and Ireland, the episcopal Protestants in the Colonies would be spoken of as being members of the Church in communion with the United Church of England and Ireland. He thought a principle was involved, and he should divide the Committee.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he must beg to say one word on the subject before the Committee. It was perfectly plain there was no question at issue between the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Greenock, and his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General. The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Pakington) said, if the Solicitor General introduced the words suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Greenock, he would negative the ex- 802 istence of dioceses in the Colonies. They did no such thing. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Greenock said nothing whatever on the subject of dioceses in the Colonies. What he did say was this—he passed over the mention of dioceses in the Colonies, and so far he declined to give a Parliamentary and statutory title to that which had been granted by the prerogative of the Crown. He believed that was strictly a correct description. He really thought there was something fair and equitable in the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Greenock, and he trusted the Committee would adopt it.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, he wished to know from the hon. and learned Solicitor General, whether there was any statutable recognition of dioceses in the colony?
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, the patent to Van Diemen's Land distinctly in terms constituted that colony into a bishop's see or diocese; and therefore all the Committee were now doing was, to legislate upon the assumed fact that the Crown had constituted sees or dioceses in the Colonies.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, what he wished to do was to relieve the clergy from personal disability; and the Government would take care that the word "Church" should be so connected with this Bill, that bishops when mentioned in it, should mean bishops of the Church of England.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 34; Noes 81: Majority 47.
§ MR. DUNLOP
said, he would now move another Amendment, in line 3 after the word "Majesty" to insert the words "of churches in communion with the United Kingdom of England and Ireland, and the lay members of the congregations of such clergy."
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, he should have been exceedingly desirous of omitting any words that might appear to any hon. Gentleman to involve confusion. He could not, however, assent to the words now proposed by the hon. and learned Member, but he would agree to such an alteration in the indemnity clause as that, instead of enacting that—No Statute, law, rule, usage, or authority of the United Kingdom shall extend or be construed to prevent the metropolitan of any province or the bishop of any diocese in the Colonies of Her Ma- 803 jesty, together with his clergy and the lay persons of such province or diocese, being members of the United Church of England and Ireland,"—from meeting together from time to time to regulate their ecclesiastical affairs, the clauses should run thus—No Statute, law, rule, usage, or other authority of the United Kingdom shall extend or be construed to prevent the bishops and clergy in the Colonies of Her Majesty and the lay members of the congregations of such clergy, being members of the United Church of England and Ireland,"—from holding such meetings.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he could not consent to the introduction of the words proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Greenock. He believed they were words to which the Solicitor General had applied the terms "simple nonsense." Before parting with this clause of the Bill, he wished to ask the hon. and learned Solicitor General a question. Supposing this Bill to pass, he wanted to know what was the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman with regard to the mode in which those bodies were to be put in action? Who was to start them? Was that to rest solely with the bishops, or were the laity to be the parties to give the motive power?
MR. J. B. SMITH
said, he should move the adjournment of the Committee on the ground that they were at that moment wholly in the dark as to what was proposed to be done.
§ MR. T. CHAMBERS
said, it was impossible to know exactly where they were, and he would therefore second the Motion. In point of fact, this was a proposal to relieve the Established Church in the Colonies from disabilities under which it laboured. The hon. and learned Solicitor General was able to pronounce a speech twenty minutes long without employing the slightest phrase which could imply that the Church in the Colonies was established, and yet he concluded by saying, if certain Amendments were agreed to, they would alter the whole status of the Colonial Church as established by many Statutes. If the Colonial Church existed either by a patent from the Crown or by Statute, then it was an Established Church, and because it was an Established Church it remained under certain disabilities. Either, therefore, these disabilities did not exist, and then the Bill was unnecessary, or they did exist for a sufficient reason, and then the Bill which sought to remove them was mischievous. On these grounds he gave his cordial support to the 804 Motion that the Chairman do now leave the Chair.
§ MR. ROUNDELL PALMER
said, the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down had, on a former occasion, opposed the second reading of this Bill in a speech of great ability; but, nevertheless, the House by a large majority rejected his proposition, and affirmed the second reading of the Bill. But now, when the House was in Committee engaged in considering the clauses, and had omitted one which was erroneously supposed to have the effect of giving territorial jurisdiction to the Church in the Colonies, he could not help characterising this renewed attempt to get rid of the Bill by such unfair means as a factious proceeding. He should like to know what the hon. and learned Gentleman meant by an Established Church? The hon. and learned Gentleman said that anything which originated in an Act of Parliament, or in a charter from the Crown, was established. But what had happened here was simply this—that the Colonial Church had an historical connection with the Church of England, though that connection gave it no powers, jurisdiction, or legal advantages of any kind. Now, why a Church in that condition should be subject to certain disabilities, which in this country were supposed to be a counterbalance to the rights and jurisdiction which the Church possessed here, though she did not possess them there, was what he could not understand. He did not think the hon. and learned Gentleman himself was misled by his own argument, and, therefore, it appeared to him that this was an unfair attempt to take advantage of the historical connection between the Church of England and the Colonial Church to keep the latter in a state of disability.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he would remind the Committee that they were discussing a question connected with religion, and therefore it was desirable that they should set an example to the synods that were likely to meet under it, of discussing the question with calmness, and good temper, and charity, and that, having gone so far in the discussion of the Bill, they would proceed and discuss the various clauses on their merits.
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, he would not have risen except for what had fallen from the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth (Mr. R. Palmer), who had been pleased to designate the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Hertford (Mr. T. 805 Chambers) as factious. Now, for himself, he must say that he had listened to the whole of this debate, and he had heard every Member who had spoken, with the exception of the hon. and learned Solicitor General, profess their inability to understand this Bill, and all he had heard, instead of making it more clear to him, had only mystified him the more. He had heard an Amendment agreed to which, at an earlier period of the debate, the Solicitor General had described as simple nonsense.—[The SOLICITOR GENERAL: That remark applied to an Amendment which was not yet passed.]—He agreed with the hon. and learned Gentleman so far that he thought the whole Bill was nonsense; and he supported the Amendment because he wished to save the House the waste of time that would be incurred by discussing a measure of this sort, which he believed, except by the bishops and a few of the clergy, was looked upon with indifference in the Colonies. He would suggest that the whole matter should be left for the discussion of the Colonial Legislatures.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he wished to say one word, in order to remove the fallacy under which the hon. Gentleman who had last addressed the Committee laboured, of leaving this question to the Colonial Legislatures. Those who were conversant with the Colonies knew very well that the Colonial Legislatures would not touch this question at all, and that there was no more chance of the Colonial Legislatures doing justice to the Church of England in the Colonies, than there was of the House of Commons attempting to legislate on the church affairs of the Wesleyans and Baptists.
§ MR. FREDERICK PEEL
said, he also wished to remove an impression that seemed to exist in his hon. Friend's (Mr. Kinnaird's) mind, that the Colonists were indifferent to this question. He believed, on the contrary, that the greatest interest was felt on the subject, and that the Colonists universally felt there was a necessity to remove the disabilities under which the Church of England laboured, and that all measures having that effect were watched with great interest by the Colonists. It was only in the autumn of last year that a meeting of the Synod of Toronto was held, comprising a fourth of the members of the Church of England in that colony, at which a petition was agreed to, which he had the honour to present to the House, and which prayed for the passing of a 806 measure that would remove all doubt as to the lawfulness of holding synods in the Colonies, and to leave them to adopt all such rules and canons as might not be repugnant to the laws of the Colonies or to the Articles of the Church of England.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he thought the passage which the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies had just quoted from the petition proved that the desires of the Colonists went beyond the Bill. He thought they were invited to legislate on this question because the Colonial Church laboured under disabilities which only an Act of Parliament could remove. But it now appeared, according to the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir J. Pakington), that they were asked to legislate only because the Colonial Legislatures would have nothing to do with the question. With respect to the Motion before the Committee, he hoped it would not be pressed, at the same time that he thought, as they were now considering an Amendment proposed upon an Amendment, he considered that it would be better if it were postponed till the bringing up the Report.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, he did not like to interfere in this question, but he rose to corroborate the opinion of his right hon. Friend who had just spoken, that when they were engaged in discussing how a clause was to be framed, it was hardly fair to move that the Chairman should leave the Chair. If the Bill was a bad one, let them vote against it on bringing up the Report, or on the third reading; but to move at the present stage of the measure that the Chairman should leave the Chair, and so to get quit of the Bill, might not be a factious, but it was scarcely a fair proceeding. With regard to the Amendment proposed by his hon. and learned Friend (the Solicitor General), if his right hon. Friend (Sir G. Grey) would look into the clauses of the Bill, he would see that the Amendment which had already been carried rendered some alteration in the other parts of the clause necessary.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he must beg to explain that the right hon. Member (Sir G. Grey) had put a larger construction on his words than they would admit of. He had no intention of saying that the Colonial Legislature would not legislate on this subject, but intended his words to apply to the Act, which being an Imperial one, prevented them from so doing.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, that the Colonial Legislatures could not be left to deal with this question, because the great majority of these bodies were against the Church. They had seen this evening what a poor chance the Church had in the British Legislature, and they might judge from that how it would fare in the Colonies.
§ MR. MIALL
said, he would advise his hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. J. B. Smith) to withdraw his Amendment, as he did not wish to get rid of this measure by what might be considered a manœuvre. At the same time he must say that the question had got into an extraordinary state of complication, so that he questioned whether any Member could give a vote with perfect satisfaction to his own judgment. It was stated by the right hon. Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), that the Church in the Colonies was not an Established Church. That was true verbally, but hot substantively. As a branch of the Established Church in England, it also might be said to be an Established Church; and there were future possibilities of the development of the established principle even in the Colonies which the Church would not give up, else she might be free from her disabilities without the intervention of any Legislature.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, it was obvious from all that had taken place that the Committee was at a loss to know what would be the effect of this Bill. In these circumstances, if the Government had thought proper to postpone the measure, they would, in his opinion, have taken a proper course; but, at the same time, if they were desirous of proceeding with it, he thought the Committee should give the clauses of the Bill every consideration. The course proposed by the hon. Member for Stockport he thought objectionable at the present stage; and, therefore, he hoped he would not press his Motion upon the Committee.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, he would now beg to explain that when he applied the term "simple nonsense" to the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Greenock, he meant to say that the words as applied to the Colonial Church had in reality no meaning. The Amendment spoke of a Church in commu- 808 nion with the Church of England. Now, there was no such Church in the Colonies. That phrase might describe the Episcopal Church in Scotland, or the Episcopal Church in the United States; but the Colonial Church was a part of the United Church of England and Ireland, and not a Church in communion with it. If they inserted these words, then they would destroy the efficiency of the Bill. He had been frequently challenged to state his reason for this Bill, and what its effect would be. In explanation of that, he might shortly say, that by the common law of England the clergy of the United Church of England and Ireland were prohibited from holding meetings for the lm-pose of discussing ecclesiastical regulations. The common law was declared in the Statutes of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, but the power originally resided in the common law, and that was the reason that, though these Statutes were limited to England, yet the prohibition equally extended to Ireland. The common law, anterior to all Statutes, assigned to the Crown a right of supremacy in all matters of jurisdiction, whether spiritual or civil. Suppose the bishop and clergy of any colony were pressed by inconveniences arising from the want of clerical discipline, and convinced that there could be no clerical discipline where the bishop had no power legally to investigate any offence by the clergy—where the bishop had the power of arbitrarily suspending a clergyman, but none to compel the production of evidence to investigate the matter legally—power which he could not exercise unless his spiritual authority was confirmed and backed by the law of the country, which power the law did not give him, what was the bishop to do? Was it desirable that such a state of things should continue? Clearly not. But it must continue unless the Colonial Legislature was ready to give some kind of civil authority to the bishop's ecclesiastical power, or unless the bishops, clergy, and lay members of the Church were willing to adopt a course of proceeding nearly corresponding to that of the Wesleyan Methodists, who, by mutual consent, substituted a mode of inquiry which enabled matters of this description to be investigated. But the bishops and lay members of the Church could not meet to discuss the remedy applicable to their present state without incurring penalties, because such a meeting would be for the purpose of discussing ecclesiastical rules and regu- 809 lations. It had been said that in former debates he had asserted that the Statute of Henry VIII. had no jurisdiction in the Colonies. He had over and over again declared the contrary, and had given the reasons for his opinion. The reason was that the Statute of Henry VIII., declaring the supremacy of the Crown, constituted a part of the relation between the clergy and the Crown; while the Statute of Elizabeth said that the supremacy of the Crown should have effect in all dominions of the Crown, as well in foreign as in home possessions. The effect of this being law would be to deprive any agreement among the members of the Church in the Colonies for their own regulation of every kind of force, not only legally but morally, because it would be studiously represented that they were forbidden to meet for such a purpose. This was the disability under which the colonial clergy rested, and it arose because they were ordained clergy; but this Bill would leave them free. He would now briefly state the result of the present debate. The hon. and learned Member for Greenock (Mr. Dunlop) insisted upon the insertion in the Bill as it originally stood of the words "province" and "diocese," and the Government were willing to adopt his Amendment to the extent of enforcing the existence of any ecclesiastical jurisdiction or division in the colony. In the like spirit lie was willing to adopt some portion of the words now proposed, and insert "to prevent the Bishops and Clergy in the Colonies of Her Majesty, and the lay members of the congregations of such Clergy, being members of the United Church of England and Ireland." These words would leave the Bill precisely as it stood originally, save only that the words implied ecclesiastical divisions, and possibly jurisdiction, where there was none.
§ MR. J. G. PHILLIMORE
said, he must express his surprise that the hon. and learned Solicitor General should have advanced so untenable a position as that the spiritual supremacy of the Crown was part of the common law of the land. Why did Sir Thomas More, who knew the law of his country, lose his head? Why, expressly because he denied the supremacy of the Crown to be part of the common law. The fact was, his hon. and learned Friend could not overturn the admirable argument of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) with regard to the Church of Ireland. The truth was, it was impossible 810 for any one who looked forward to the future, or backward upon the past, not to regard this Bill without very considerable apprehension. Could it be supposed, after the portion of the petition which was read by the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies, that if they established synodical action in the Colonies, that Convocation was not the real object of the measure, and that they would not some years hence be met by a demand to place the Church of England at home upon the same footing as the Church of England in the Colonies. He would remind the Committee of the acts of extravagance committed by Convocation in 1717, which had led to a suspension of its powers; and he asked whether they were willing to extend to the Colonies a principle productive of such mischief? The hon. Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) said he was for the Bill, because the Colonial Legislatures would never consent to it if that House did not. This was precisely the reason why that House should not pass it. It was said that the Church only wanted to be put upon the same footing as the dissenting bodies; but those who used this argument forgot that, by the preamble of the Bill, power was sought to enforce "rules and regulations." The Wesleyans had not this power. These words being used, he wished to ask whether there would be an ecclesiastical tribunal established to enforce the laws so made; and also whether, if power was given to enforce them, the argument was not got rid of that the Church and the dissenting body would be placed on the same level?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he must protest against the course taken by the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down. They were now for the fifth time in the course of the evening discussing along with bonâ fide Amendments proposed with respect to the phraseology of the Bill, the principle of the measure in every imaginable form. And then hon. Gentlemen complained of the confusion that was introduced into the debate, and one hon. Member even proposed that the Chairman should leave the Chair because of the difficulty of understanding what they were about. Now, if any one wanted a recipe for producing utter confusion and insurmountable difficulty in discussing any Bill, he would say mix up the discussion of general principles with that of every possible detail and every possible Amendment, and the result will be 811 entire confusion. He would not follow the hon. and learned Gentleman when he said that the prayer addressed to the House of Commons by the members of the Church in the diocese of Toronto, for what they called synods, implied an intention to have Convocation in the Colonies. This was the first time that he had heard from the mouth of a lawyer that synods and Convocation were the same thing. [Mr. J. G. PHILLIMORE: Synodical action was the expression.] Synodical action had nothing to do with it. Because the petitioners spoke of synods, it did not imply a wish for Convocation. There was no fear of Convocation in the province of Canada. What the petitioners meant was perfectly well known. They wanted meetings of some kind through which they could make rules and compacts among themselves for the practical government of their own local affairs. Wanting that he did not think it was too much for them to ask, on the part of our colonial fellow-subjects, that, when matters in which they were deeply interested were at stake, the principles and details of the Bill, which would give them the necessary powers, should be treated with the respect which in Committees of that House was always given to questions about railways or turnpike roads.
§ MR. NAPIER
said, it now appeared that the real object and intention of the Bill was not to interfere with the Statute of Henry VIII. so far as it applied to the Colonies, but with the common law of the land as applied to the supremacy of the Crown. This was the object of the Bill, and it ought to be distinctly stated. The common law, however, already provided a remedy. Why should not the advisers of the Crown advise Her Majesty to give a licence to the colonial clergy to meet? In that case their proceedings would be sent home to be confirmed by the Privy Council. But every argument which he had heard for the Bill only served to make him more distrustful of it. The Amendment now under consideration made matters worse, though the Bill was already inconsistent and confused.
§ MR. SERJEANT SHEE
said, he agreed with the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin that the whole Bill was a mass of confusion; but he attributed much of that impression to the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself. He (Mr. Serjeant Shee) had been endeavouring to understand the real meaning of the "United Church of England and Ireland 812 in the Colonies," but he confessed his inability. As he understood the observations of the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Napier) they were to this effect:—"It is essential to the existence of the United Church of England and Ireland in the Colonies that that part of the common law which acknowledges the supremacy of the Crown of England should go along with the Church of England." There was this absurdity in this—that no person recognised the supremacy of the Crown of England, except persons who were the subjects of the Crown of England. Then was it meant that the United Church of England and Ireland was a Church to which none but persons subject to the Crown of England could belong? It was said to be a Catholic Church. It was not only not a Catholic Church, but it could not be one. If it was meant to say that wherever this United Church of England and Ireland existed, it was absolutely necessary that the persons belonging to it should believe in the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Queen of England, then, from that moment they were relieved from the difficulty. One difficulty which must overtake the carrying out of this scheme would be that, in almost all the Colonies—and it was very discreditable that it should be so—the members of the great United Church of England and Ireland would be in as miserable and disgraceful a minority as they were in Ireland. Great difficulties would also arise in consequence of the diversity of opinion on theological questions which might be found to exist between the heads of the Church in the Colonies and those in England and Ireland.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 43; Noes 78: Majority 35.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
said, he thought the definition of bishops and clergy was not sufficiently accurate. He was afraid that the words "the United Churches of England and Ireland" would be overridden by the words "bishops and clergy," and that, by the true legal construction of the words Roman Catholic bishops and clergy might take part in these meetings.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, the words were not capable of receiving this interpretation. The preamble of the Bill gave the key to its construction, and, according to that, "bishops and clergy" would always be held to be the same as 813 "bishops and clergy of the United Churches of England and Ireland."
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he thought the omission of all mention of diocese would lead to great complication.
§ MR. G. BUTT
said, he would point out that in Colonies where there were four dioceses, as there were in Australia, the bishops and clergy of all the four, according to the clause as then amended, might in future hold one general meeting together. The hon. and learned Solicitor General had stated that one great object of the Bill was to give the bishops in the Colonies jurisdiction and power to regulate the conduct of the clergy, but he (Mr. Butt) must contend that the Bill would be inoperative in effecting that object, and that there was nothing in it which would give the bishops the power which it was thought desirable they should possess. The Bill had certainly the merit of being exceedingly brief, but he thought it would fail in any attempt to remedy the evils which bad been complained of. He would recommend the hon. and learned Solicitor General to take the Bill home with him, and try and snake it more intelligible.
§ MR. T. CHAMBERS
said, he thought the Bill was open to a much greater objection than had been taken by the hon. and learned Member for Weymouth. It provided that nothing—In any law, rule, usage, or authority, should extend, or be construed, to prevent the Metropolitan of any Province, or the Bishop of any Diocese in the Colonies of Her Majesty, together with the lay members of the United Church of England and Ireland, from meeting together," &c.The only construction to be put upon that was, that the bishops and clergy throughout the whole of the Colonies might meet together, with all the lay members of the United Church of England and Ireland.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he suggested that the Committee go no further than this clause at the present sitting, and that the Solicitor General consider it further at his leisure.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he would point out that there must be some new limitation of the jurisdiction to be exercised under this Bill. It would be highly inconvenient to have different regulations in different dioceses.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, he would suggest that the jurisdiction be exercised "within such colonies respectively." He would assent to the 814 right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) to stop at this clause and give the measure his serious consideration before it was next considered, for the purpose of doing which he should take the advice of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. G. Butt) and "take the Bill home" with him.
§ House resumed: Committee report progress.
§ Notice taken, that Forty Members were not present; House counted; and Forty Members not being present,
§ The House was adjourned at half after Eleven o'clock.