§ Order for Consideration, as amended, read.
§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
said, he should move, after Clause 1, to insert the following clause:—The said Ecclesiastical Commissioners shall hereafter pay over to the said dean and canons, or permit them to retain, one half-part of the share of divisible revenues of one other of the said suspended canonries, and the said dean and canons shall pay and apply the same unto and equally between the said vicars choral, in augmentation of their present emoluments.The adoption of that clause would only do justice to the vicars-choral, who were in his opinion fully entitled to the provision which he desired to make for them.
§ Clause brought up, and read 1o.
MR. H. BERKELEY
said, that all gentlemen who were desirous to secure the proper performance of the services of the Church of England, especially in our cathedrals, ought to support a proposal for giving a fair remuneration to the lay clerks, whose position had during a long series of years been continually becoming 1694 worse and worse, and whose emoluments were now entirely inadequate to the proper remuneration of their services. He should, therefore, vote for the clause.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, he was sorry that it was not in his power to accede to this Amendment. He had already carried the proposal for dealing with the suspended canonries to the furthest limit to which it was expedient to go. The hon. Member for Bristol had spoken of the vicars-choral as though they were I clergymen, but in fact they were nothing more than the singing men of the choir. It was quite competent for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to raise the stipends of the vicars-choral out of the Cathedral funds without legislative interference.
§ MR. G. W HOPE
observed that he should be happy to see further remuneration granted to these persons.
§ MR. VANSITTART
observed that, even if the right hon. Gentleman agreed to the Amendment, the revenues of five and a half canonries would remain to the Commissioners. He thought that the claim of the vicars-choral was a very just, one.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause be now read a second time."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 27; Noes 44: Majority 17.
§ Lord JOHN MANNERS
observed that the whole tenor of modern legislation had been to respect the local claims of parishes, and he, therefore, wished a clause to be introduced to the effect that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners should have due regard to such claims before they appropriated tithes. The great tithes of Wraysbury, which were £392 a year, were proposed to he given to the Military Knights and the two livings of Windsor. The net revenue of the clergyman of the parish of Wraysbury was£86 a year without any house to live in. They ought first to satisfy the just claims of that parish, and then he should have no objection to improve the condition of the Military Knights of Windsor.
Clause (Local claims in respect of Tithes) brought up, and read 1o.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, that if neither the clause nor the Bill were passed the proceeds would go to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and would be appropriated to increase the small livings generally, but not necessarily the living of Wraysbury. The Chapter of Windsor was on a totally different footing. The other chapters were no precedent for it, nor was it a precedent 1695 for the other chapters. The proposed arrangement was fair and equitable, and he hoped the Committee would not assent to the anomalous clause proposed by the noble Lord.
§ MR. G. W. HOPE
said, that Wraysbury would be left by the Bill precisely as it was before, and, in fact, Wraysbury had no claim.
§ MR. VANSITTART
said, he hoped the noble Lord would not put the Committee to the trouble of dividing.
§ Question, "That the Clause be now read a second time," put, and negatived.
§ Clause 2 (Appropriation of Profits of Eighth Canonry to Churches),
§ MR. E. P. BOUVERIE
said, that if they went on nibbling in this way at the source of revenue of the common fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, they would very soon have other claims as irresistible, and the common fund would disappear. It was a retrograde step in legislation which was gradually bearing fruit with the greatest possible advantage. He, therefore, felt it his duty to divide the Committee against the clause.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, he did not propose the clause as part of a general policy, and it would not become a precedent.
§ SIR JAMES GRAHAM
observed that whatever specialty might have been in the case of Windsor there was a waiver on the part of the Crown of its rights. If the clause received the sanction of Parliament it would reverse the principle on which the common fund was placed.
§ MR. WALTER
said, he thought that it was a great oversight in the composition of the Ecclesiastical Commission that some stipulation was not laid down that parishes, the tithes of which were dealt with, should be considered in reference to their spiritual wants before the money was applied to other purposes. But that was not proposed to be done by the present Bill, and he could not support a clause which established in that case exceptional legislation, which was not applied to other cases.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That Clause 2 stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 39; Noes 13: Majority 26.1696
§ Clause 3 (Mode of ascertaining Amount of Payments to be retained),
§ ADMIRAL WALCOTT
said, he would propose an Amendment in Clause 3, the effect of which would be to exclude commanders and masters in the navy from the privileges of naval knights. The intention of the bequest was that these persons should be exclusively lieutenants in the navy.
§ Amendment proposed, in Clause to follow Clause 3, line 5, to leave out from "knights" to "it," in line 7.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Bill to be read 3o To-morrow.
§ House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.