HC Deb 18 July 1856 vol 143 cc1060-2

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

Clause 1.


said, he should move the substitution of July for September. In 1853, the House had been promised that the Roman Catholic charities should be only temporarily exempted from the operation of the Act, but that promise had not hitherto been redeemed. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Baines) had, however, pledged himself to introduce a measure of this kind next Session, and the object of the Amendment was, that the right hon. Gentleman might redeem his pledge early next Session, when there would be a full attendance of Members.

Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 1, to leave out the word "September," and insert the word "July" instead thereof.


said, he could not accede to the proposal. The House had determined in favour of a Continuance Bill, but he had never heard of one extending only over ten months. How could he answer for any delays which might take place in carrying the Bill through this and the other House next Session? Yet if it had not received the Royal Assent by the 1st of July, all those charities would, from that time, if the hon. Gentleman's Amendment passed, be completely unprotected.


said, he was of opinion that the Bill ought to be general, and that all exemptions were objectionable. He was persuaded that the popular feeling would be strongly opposed to the continued exclusion of Roman Catholic charities from the operation of the measure.


said, that it had been admitted on the previous day, by the hon. Members for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) and North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) that there were special circumstances affecting Roman Catholic trusts which would render it undesirable that they should be included in the Bill in its present form. After the pledge which had been given by his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to bring in, early next Session, a Bill which should include Roman Catholic charities, he trusted that no objection would be made to the continuance of the present Bill for another year.


said, he would adduce the case of the Crime and Outrage (Ireland) Act as a precedent for the continuance of an Act of Parliament for a shorter period than one year.


said, that the special reason for continuing that Act for ten months was, that Irish Members who wished to discuss it could not be present at the end of the Session. There was no such reason for continuing the measure before the House for ten months instead of a year.


said, he should support the Amendment on the ground that it was objectionable to continue partial legislation upon the subject, and that the Government had given a pledge to introduce a general measure. Having, in his capacity of Chairman of the Mortmain Committee, examined into the circumstances of many of the Roman Catholic charities, he believed that there was no reason whatever for their exemption, and that they would not suffer from being subjected to the Board as it was now constituted.


said, that there was nothing magical in twelve months any more than ten, and, as the present Bill was a measure which would require a good deal of legal discussion, it would be desirable to bring it on before learned Gentlemen went on circuit, which they did early in July.


said, he could only repeat that he would bring in a general measure upon the subject early in the next Session, and he hoped that there would be ample opportunities of discussing it before July. That he had promised to do, and he had no doubt that he should be able to fulfil his promise; but he wished to avoid involving himself in a pledge that the Bill should pass before July.


said, he was clearly of opinion that the duration of the Bill should be limited to next July.


said, he should support the Amendment, because he had a distinct recollection that the noble Lord the Member for the City of London pledged himself, when the Bill was first introduced, that within two years he would bring in, another measure to meet the case of the Roman Catholic charities.

Question put, "That the word 'September' stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 58; Noes 46: Majority 12.

House resumed.

Bill reported without Amendment.