§ MR. H. SEYMOUR
said, he rose to move for a Committee to inquire into the present state of the Ecclesiastical Commission, and to report to the House whether the Ecclesiastical Revenues could not be more advantageously administered for the interests of the Church than they were at present. As he understood that the Motion was not to be opposed, he should not feel it necessary to detain the House at 1393 any length. The hon. Gentleman, after tracing the history of the Ecclesiastical Commission from 'its first foundation through the various changes which had been made in it, and referring to the various Committees which had sat on the subject, said his object was to take up the inquiry where it had been left by the last Committee in 1856. He wished the Committee to inquire how the revenues had been administered since that time; and how far any of the suggested improvements were worthy of consideration.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that on the part of the Government he was willing to assent to the appointment of the Committee, as they thought that there was sufficient grounds for an inquiry. At the same time it must be admitted that immense benefit had been derived from the exercise of the powers vested in the Ecclesiastical Commission.
§ MR. DEEDES
said, that he should not oppose the Motion on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Commission in the face of the adherence of the Government. At the same time he did not think that sufficient grounds had been laid, for the proposed Committee. The labours of the Ecclesiastical Commission had been incessant, and directed to the fulfilment of the behests of Parliament. As a Member of the Commission, he did not shrink from inquiry, but repeated interference tended to impede their action, and that action ought not to be interfered with unless some real reason was shown.
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, that although the hon. Member might be satisfied with the working of the Commission, a large body of hon. Members of that House held a contrary opinion. He therefore thought the Committee a most expedient measure.
§ MR. E. P. BOUVERIE
said, he doubted that any good would result from the Committee, which, he thought, would be premature. They had not as yet had time to test the results of the previous inquiry. He believed that the only use of the Committee would be to dispel the delusions that existed respecting the Commission.
§ Motion agreed to.
Select Committee appointed,
To inquire into the present state of the Ecclesiastical Commission, and to report to the House whether the Ecclesiastical revenues cannot be more advantageously administered for the interests of the Church than they are at present.