HC Deb 20 July 1859 vol 155 cc134-5

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving the second reading of the Bill, said, his object was to facilitate the voluntary commutation of church rates in the same way as tithes were commuted. He laid great stress on the voluntary arrangement of the church rates, for he was satisfied if it were not voluntarily done it would not be done at all. He proposed to have a body of Commissioners—he did not care how they were formed, he would suggest the Charity Commissioners—who should have power, whenever a parish called them in, to arbitrate in the matter, to look over the church-rate expenses of the parish, say for fifty years, to see what were the yearly expenses; to judge whether any of those expenses could be spared, too see in what state of repair the church was, and to determine, under all these circumstances, what the parish ought annually to provide for this purpose; and on the parish showing that they had provided a fund which would meet that demand in all time coming, the Commissioners should then have power to discharge the parish from the payment of church rates for ever. It might be said that the parishioners could form such a fund now. So they could, but then they had no assurance that church rates would not still be levied, and it was to prevent this from being done that he proposed his Bill, which he hoped the House would read a second time.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill he now read a second time."


did not say the Bill would not have afforded a way of getting out of the difficulties which had beset them for so many years, but he thought the House would hardly be inclined to consider such a proposition when they had already adopted the principle of total abolition. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would consent to withdraw the Bill, especially as, if even the principle was agreed to, it could not be passed this Session.


proposed to adjourn the debate to Wednesday next.


looked upon the proposal as an attempt to settle by a compromise that which had been already settled by public opinion in a different manner. He objected to any adjournment of this measure, for he did not conceive that there would be found a sufficient number of members who would support to a successful issue the Bill. He should therefore move that it be read a second time that day three months.

Amendment proposed, "To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day three months.'"

Question proposed, "That the word 'now,' stand part of the Question."

Amendment and Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill withdrawn.