HC Deb 24 June 1862 vol 167 cc987-9

said, he rose to move for a Return of Grants, &c., by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the year 1861. He had put a similar notice on the paper a month ago, but abstained from pressing it then, in consequence of a representation made to him that it would occasion considerable inconvenience.


said, he hoped the Motion would not be pressed. A Committee was now sitting, within the scope of whose inquiry the information asked for clearly came; and until that Committee made its Report, it was undesirable to call for such voluminous Returns.


said, it was rather hard on his hon. Friend, who had given notice of his Motion a month ago, to get such an unsatisfactory reply.


said, he had explained at the time to the hon. Member that the request for delay was made in consequence of a communication from the Earl of Chichester, the Chairman of the Commission.


said, that in his opinion the information asked for was very valuable, and that the House ought to insist upon any return which could throw light on the proceedings of the Ecclesiastical Commission. He hoped some assurance would be given by the Government, that when the plea of inconvenience no longer held good, the Returns would be granted.


said, there was not the smallest desire to withhold any information. It was simply a question whether the trouble and expense of printing these Returns separately ought to be incurred, when they might be included in the proceedings of the Committee.


said, that he scarcely felt inclined to withdraw his Motion. Some of the information asked for in the Returns, especially with regard to the order of necessity in the judgment of the Commissioners, would be very valuable. Many gentlemen would be glad to offer large benefactions if they knew what was likely to become of them. On those points the Report of the Commissioners was not at all satisfactory.


said, that he hoped the Government would not decline to grant the Returns. A great deal had been said about the expense of printing Returns; but when the matter was looked into last year, it was found to be comparatively a trifle.


said, the matter stood thus. The House having appointed a Select Committee to inquire into the whole question of the Ecclesiastical Commission, the question was, whether they would order the Returns before the Report of that Committee was presented. The Committee might probably be already in possession of the information required, or of such information as might render the Returns unnecessary. The usual course was, when a Committee was appointed, to abstain from inquiry until the Report was presented.


said, that he sup- ported the Motion, and would support any Motion calculated to enlighten the minds of the Church party, and stimulate their zeal.


said, that he, as a member of the Committee, was under the impression that the information asked for would be found in the evidence given before the Committee, which would shortly be published.


said, that he hoped his hon. Friend would insist on the Motion There were large charities belonging to the borough he had the honour to represent, and an impression existed that they were not fairly distributed. The fact was they were under the management of one party.

Name of Benefice or District. County. Diocese. Population. Area Average net value prior to Grant. Offered Benefaction met or not met. Grant to meet Benefaction. Grant made without Benefaction being offered. Number indicating order of necessity in the judgment of Commissioners. Reasons for refusing to meet Benefaction.
Endowment. Pew Rents. Fees. Parsonage. Total.