HC Deb 22 February 1856 vol 140 c1223

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if it was the intention of the Government to introduce any measure during the present Session calculated to place the lessees of Church property on a more just and equitable footing than that in which they were placed under the existing Acts of Parliament. The House was aware that in some parts of England, especially in Durham, a large quantity of land was held on these leases, which were always for twenty-one years, but they were invariably renewed every seven. Parliament had now interfered, and put a stop to any further renewals, but gave power to enfranchise the tenements on terms to be fixed by the Ecclesiastical Commission, but the terms proposed were in many cases most arbitrary and unjust.


said, the House was of course aware that a Committee had been appointed for the express purpose of inquiring into the conduct of the Ecclesiastical Commission, and particularly the manner in which this matter had been dealt with by them. The interests of the people of Durham would be cared for, as the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ingham) was on the Committee. He could give no intimation of what course would be taken until after the Committee had made the Report.