HC Deb 25 June 1857 vol 146 cc344-5

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the Royal Assent has been given to the Bill passed by the Parliament of Canada, "to enable the Members of the United Church of England and Ireland in Canada to meet in Synod, in order that the members thereof may be permitted to exercise the same rights of self-government that are enjoyed by other religious communities?" and, if so, whether such Act does not place the appointment of Bishops in that Church in the Synod as therein constituted, any prerogative of the Crown to the contrary notwithstanding.


said, he was happy to be able to state in reply to the first question of the hon. Member, that the Royal Assent had been given to the Bill of the Canadian Parliament, In answering the second question now put to him he should be very sorry to give in an authoritative manner, any opinion on a point of law beset with many difficulties, and respecting which the greatest lawyers constantly differed. He, of course, alluded to the status of the Church of England in the Colonies and the condition of the Royal Prerogative in reference to that Church. He might, however, state that in passing this Bill the Assembly of Canada conceived they were vesting the appointment of Colonial Bishops in this Synod; and also that in advising the Crown to assent to the measure he had done so under the distinct impression, which he still retained, that the power of appointing those Bishops was vested by the Act in the Synod, as constituted under its provisions.