HC Deb 09 July 1862 vol 168 cc128-30

Bill, as amended, considered.


begged to move the introduction of a clause to follow Clause 7. The effect of the Amendment was to repeal so much of 1 & 2 Vict., c. 110, s. 21, and 18 Vict., c. 15, ss. 1, 2, & 3, as regarded registration and re-registration of judgments, &c.

Clause agreed to.


said, he wished to move a clause to the effect that from and after the passing of the Act, no sequestration founded upon or for giving effect to any judgment for debt entered up against any beneficed clergyman should issue against the profits of his benefice or any portion thereof, provided that nothing contained in the Act should affect the provisions of the 24 & 25 Vict., c. 134, in relation to sequestrations issued against the benefices of clergymen becoming bankrupts, nor the provisions of any other Act authorizing the issuing of sequestrations of the profits of benefices of clergymen for any special purpose.

Clause (Limitation of Sequestrations) brought up, and read 1°


said, that he could not assent to the clause. As by the new Bankruptcy Act the person of an indebted clergyman was protected, so by the proposed clause would his property be unassailable. It could not be intended that clergymen should be permitted to contract debts with impunity. He had been informed by a tradesman in large business that the extension of the bankruptcy law to non-traders had proved a serious affair to him, as it frequently happened now, on applying for payment, he was met by an announcement that the creditors had been called together, and therefore he must be content with a certain percentage of the debt. Many clergymen without livings, who had incurred debts, had taken that course.


said, that the clause proposed to carry the existing law a step further, and to prevent a benefice from being taken in execution; but there was this dilemma—either it would or it would not be an obstacle to the recovery of debts owing by clergymen. If it would be, was the House prepared to encourage the non-payment of debts by clergymen with valuable benefices? If it would not be an obstacle, then how were creditors to obtain payment, except by driving a man into bankruptcy?


said, that he thought the clause would be useful in checking the contraction of debts and the granting of credit.


said, that he would support the clause, as likely to be beneficial to the community. A clergyman was a public servant, receiving certain payment for his services, and the half-pay of an officer might as well be seized as the income of a benefice.


said, that he could not vote for the clause, which appeared to belong to the Clergy Relief Bill rather than to the measure before the House. If the revenue of a benefice was public property, how could the principle of the Bankrupt Act be reconciled with that doctrine? In the case of half-pay, the court consulted the office from which the pay was received as to how much should be set apart for the payment of the debts; but in the case of a benefice the court sequestrated the income. He did not believe the clause would operate beneficially towards clergymen in compelling them to have recourse to the Bankruptcy Court.


said, that he also thought the clause would be injurious to clergymen, as it would prevent them from raising loans by way of annuities.

Motion made, and Question, "That the said clause be now read a second time," put, and negatived.


said, he rose to move the omission of the first clause, which would unsettle the established practice with respect to notice.

Further Consideration postponed till Wednesday 23rd July.

House adjourned at six minutes before Six o'clock.