HC Deb 01 August 1855 vol 139 cc1609-11

Order for Committee read.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair."


said, he thought the principle proposed to be dealt with was too important to be discussed in an unpractical manner. At that advanced period of the Session it would be hopeless to expect the passing of the Bill, and, therefore, any lengthened discussion would be simple waste of time. He doubted, too, whether the Bill would effect the object which the hon. Member who had charge of it (Mr. Ferguson) had in view, as the suppression of a canonry would not lead to the distribution of its funds among the poorer parishes, but the tithes would be expended in the parishes from which they were derived. He should, therefore, move, as an Amendment, that the House should go into Committee that day three months.


said, he would second the Amendment, and he thought it would be advisable to consider maturely the scheme proposed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners before deciding upon a measure of this nature.

Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day three months, resolve itself into the said Committee," instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, he was not inclined to withdraw the Bill upon the plea suggested of the lateness of the Session, but, in the interest of the Church itself, he felt bound to ask the House to proceed with the measure.


said, he agreed in the principle of the Bill, which was to increase small livings, and especially that the property belonging to deans and chapters in certain places should be applied to that object. That was a principle which he would like to see more extensively carried out than it had been, for, although he had always spoken in favour of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, he did not think they had paid that attention to local wants that they ought to have done. At the same time, whilst concurring in the principle of the Bill, he differed from the hon. Gentleman (the Member for Carlisle) as to the mode in which he proposed to carry it out. He thought, for instance, that it was quite unnecessary to suspend the canonry for the purpose; for the income of the dean and chapter of Carlisle was a very large one, and under the system of improvement of their property which was now going on, he believed there would be a considerable surplus, quite sufficient to provide for what the hon. Gentleman wanted. All that was necessary was a legislative enactment, directing that that surplus should be used in the first instance for supplying the local wants of Carlisle. With those views he would recommend the hon. Gentleman not to press the Bill at present; but he (the Marquess of Blandford) so far sympathised with him, that he would use every endeavour in his power to carry out the object of providing for local wants out of the surplus property of the cathedrals.


said, he had supported the second reading of the Bill, but hoped that further proceedings upon it would be postponed until the next Session of Parliament.


said, that to show the necessity for the measure, he would call attention to the fact, that in the city of Carlisle there were four parishes, containing 26,000 inhabitants, whose spiritual interests were cared for by four incumbents and two curates. The aggregate of the incomes paid to those four incumbents were only 500l. per annum. In the parish of St. Cuthbert the Church revenues amounted to 2,200l. a year, while the stipend of the incumbent was only 150l.; and in St. Mary's parish the incumbent only received 74l. 10s. 8d. a year, while the Church property produced 1,080l. Such a state of things required alteration, and it would be in vain to expect anything from the Ecclesiastical Commission. He thought the people of Carlisle had reason to complain that a shilling of their tithes should be applied to any other purpose until the spiritual wants were amply provided for. It was said that the tithes, if the measure were passed, would return to the parishes to which they belonged; but power could be given to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to provide out of the fund thus obtained for the wants of the parishes requiring assistance. He considered that the proposed Bill was a practical measure for Church reform, and that it ought to be passed.


said, he would recommend the withdrawal of the Bill, because if it were then persevered in it would lead to no result.


said, he would suggest that the debate should be adjourned, and that they should apply themselves to the consideration of business of more pressing importance. He considered that the principle of the Bill was not clearly defined, and that the machinery was not perfect.


said, he must appeal to the House, whether they were not throwing away their time by continuing the discussion.


said, he hoped his hon. Friend who had charge of the Bill would divide on the question, and he would support him.


said, that if the question were pressed to a division, it would place some of them in a position of great difficulty. So far as he was aware of the character of the Bill, he would be rather inclined to support the principle of it, but if he were called upon to say aye to the Motion for going into Committee, it seemed to him that he would be assisting to throw away the day, because they must know very well that, if they should go into Committee, the measure would give rise to long debates, and the time allotted for business on that day would be entirely absorbed. He would not wish, however, to negative the principle of the Bill, but thought it would be much better to have an opportunity of discussing the measure on a future occasion than to commit themselves then one way or the other. He should therefore move, as an Amendment, that the debate be now adjourned.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the debate be now adjourned."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 21; Noes 36: Majority 15.

Question "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

House in Committee.


said, he was satisfied with having affirmed the principle of the Bill, and would not then proceed further with it, as he considered that it would be useless to attempt to carry the measure through that Session.

House resumed. (No Report.)

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