§ Order for Committee read.
§ MR. DILLWYN moved that the Order be discharged. He did so because he was opposed to the principle of the Bill as it came up from the Committee. The Bill, as he introduced it, recognized the rights of Dissenters; as it came up from the Committee those lights were invalidated. He should oppose the Bill by every means in his power; and he gave notice that as early as possible in the next Session he should introduce his original Bill on the subject, and keep the question in his own hand.
§ MR. LOWE
, in justice to the Committee, whose decision was thus impugned, wished to state exactly what it had recommended; he was not going for a moment to suggest that they should proceed with the Bill then, but the House ought to know what were the recommendations the hon. Member repudiated with so much scorn. What the Committee proposed was this—that in all Church of England schools, where the contrary intention was not expressly manifested in the deed of settlement, the children of Dissenters should be admitted without being obliged to learn the Catechism or attend the services of the Church of England. That was one concession. In the case of the Ilminster School the trustees were displaced merely because they were Dissenters, after the usage of 150 years, during which Dissenters had been appointed trustees. The Committee recommended that where twenty-five years' usage could be shown of the appointment of Dissenters they should be competent to be trustees, notwithstanding any doubt as to the construction of the original instrument. This was another concession. Both these concessions were proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Belfast (Sir Hugh 998 Cairns), supported by the right hon. Member for Carlisle (Sir James Graham) and the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Stanley), and almost unanimously agreed to. The House, therefore, could judge how far the hon. Gentleman was justified in treating with so much contempt the decision the Committee had arrived at after full consideration, and the amendments by which such positive benefits were conferred on the Dissenting body.
§ MR. G. HOPE
, as a Member of the Committee, regretted the course the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) had taken. The opinion of the Committee was that the Dissenters derived more benefit from the Bill as amended than they would have done from the measure as originally introduced. The Bill, as it first stood, would not at all have remedied the evil complained of as to the appointment of trustees.
§ Order discharged.
§ Bill withdrawn.