§ SIR GEORGE GREY moved for leave to bring in a Bill further to amend the Act relating to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and to continue the Act concerning the management of Episcopal and Capitular Estates in England. The object of the Bill was to carry into effect the recommendations of the Select Committee which sat last year, with regard to the leasing and management of Ecclesiastical Estates. The Bill was to some extent in unison with that which had been introduced by a noble Lord (the Marquess of Blandford), and he proposed that the two Bills should be considered at the same time, with a view to the consolidation of their provisions, and to the enactment of a measure which might effect a considerable improvement in the existing law.
§ MR. NEATE
said, he would offer his strenuous opposition to any Bill which would tend to facilitate the alienation of Church property, and to diminish the ability of the Church to meet the demands which were made upon its resources by an increasing population. The tenants of Bishops and chapters, were setting up against the Church and the public a claim of tenant right which was extravagant even in comparison with the wildest notions that prevailed in Ulster and Connaught. It was thought that, whenever a lessee of Church estates went to the Commissioners to buy, they were bound to sell. He wished to know what discretion was left to the Church Estates Commissioners, under the existing law, with regard to the sale or purchase of leases of ecclesiastical property. He should take no further steps at that stage of the Bill, but he gave notice that he should oppose it at a future period.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the Church Estates Commissioners were not compelled to sell or purchase, and the object of the Legislature had been to vest in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and the Church Estates Commissioners such powers as would enable them to render the property of the Church most available for ecclesiastical purposes. The terms upon which enfranchisement could take place were fully detailed in the Reports which had been laid upon the table.
Bill "further to amend the Acts relating to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and to continue
the Act concerning the management of Episcopal and Capitular Estates in England," ordered to be brought in by Sir GEORGE GREY, VISCOUNT PALMERSTON, and Mr. MASSEY.
§ Bill presented, and read 1°.