§ MR. PACKE
moved for leave to introduce a BillTo relieve Dissenters from the payment of Church Rates in certain cases, and otherwise to amend the Law respecting the making, assessing, and collecting Church Rates in England and Wales.The object of this Bill was to pay respect to the consciences of Dissenters by relieving them entirely from all payments towards the worship of the Church of England, and at the same time to place the maintenance and repair of the fabrics upon a firm and satisfactory basis. He understood from the noble Lord the Leader of the House that the Government would not oppose the introduction of the Bill, and he trusted that, under these circumstances, the House would allow it to be read a first time, reserving the discussion for a subsequent stage.
§ MR. HADFIELD
said, he must oppose the introduction of this Bill, unless he heard some further explanation of its provisions than had been given by the hon. Gentleman. As a Dissenter, he regarded with great jealousy any measure coming from the other side of the House; and when the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord J. Russell) and the hon. Baronet the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Sir W. Clay) had given notice of their intention to introduce measures upon this subject, he could not but think that a third Bill was altogether unnecessary.
§ SIR WILLIAM CLAY
said, he would recommend his hon. Friend not to oppose the introduction of the Bill. For his own part, fie would welcome any attempt to attain so desirable an object, from whatever quarter it might come.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that he would not oppose the introduction of the Bill, but should reserve to Government the right to deal with it as they thought fit when they saw its provisions. He would also recommend the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield) not to oppose it at this stage.
§ MR. HADFIELD
said, after what had fallen from the hon. Baronet and the noble Lord, he would not press his opposition.
Motion agreed to; Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Packe, Mr. Sotheron, and Mr. Miles.
Bill read 1°.