HC Deb 21 July 1864 vol 176 cc1874-6

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."

MR. KINNAIRD moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."— (Mr. Kinnaird.)

The House divided:—Ayes 18; Noes 40: Majority 22.

Original Question again proposed,

"That the Bill be now read the third time."

MR. WARNER moved the adjournment of the House.

Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Warner.)


said, that the other night the hon. Member for the Elgin Burghs (Mr. Grant Duff) stated that the Church of Scotland did not object to the Bill, and quoted the authority of an eminent member of that Church, Dr. Lee. He (Mr. Kinnaird) would therefore, with the permission of the House, read some portions of a letter addressed by the rev. Doctor to himself. Dr. Lee wrote— I hold the same opinions (substantially) which you have so well expressed regarding the Scottish Episcopal Church Disabilities Bill. My friend Mr. Grant Duff, in alluding to my proceeding in this matter in the General Assembly, quite mistook my position and sentiments. My own opinion of this measure was never any secret. I have always regarded it as a violation of the Articles of Union, and as involving a virtual establishment of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, of which surely the Church of Scotland has reason and right to complain. This Bill reaches much further than its immediate and ostensible object, and it is not on account of its ostensible object that its concocters and promoters chiefly value it. They know well that it will serve for ulterior ends of far greater importance. I believe, however, that the Church of Scotland would hardly have succeeded, however early or strenuous her opposition had been; and the attempt on her part to raise opposition now would probably result only in injury to ourselves. The Bill seems to be on the eve of passing the Commons. I cannot help expressing my wonder that no Scotch Member except yourself has taken the ground which you have taken. In fact, neither the Church of Scotland nor Presbytery is in any sense represented in Parliament. Most of the Scotch Members appear to know very little more about Scotland than the English Members, and with few exceptions they regard such questions as this through the medium either of Episcopal feelings or of some form of Dissent. There can be no doubt that a large body of the most intelligent of our ministers hold the sentiments you have expressed, and generally speaking the ablest of them hold these sentiments most strongly. Another leading minister of the same Church, referring to other real disabilities, which he hoped Parliament would consider another year, says— The Church of Scotland would no more think of re-ordaining an Episcopal than a Presbyterian minister. Let the law of the Church of England be rendered such as to permit her Bishops to recognize Presbyterian 'orders,' and one objection to the Bill will be removed. If the Bill pass in its present shape, the members of the Established Church of England will be allowed to acknowledge as ministers those ordained by a particular section of Scottish Dissenters, but not those ordained by the Established Church of Scotland. A more monstrous piece of intolerance it is impossible to imagine perpetrated in this country.… Nothing can be more unjust than the exclusion of Her Majesty's Scottish chaplains from the royal chapels of England, and there being no provision for the maintenance of Presbyterian worship in the British Court and Legislature when they happen to be in England. Constitutionally the Church of Scotland is on terms of exact equality with the Church of England, and if men are to hunt out disabilities, let them find one in the Scotch Members of the Legislature being summoned to England, without their being provided with such means of worship as are enjoyed by their Colleagues of the Episcopal persuasion … Mr. Duff's account of what passed in the General Assembly was not correct. I am sorry I have not now a spare copy of the newspaper reports of the discussion, but both Dr. Robert Lee and I, though not agreeing in many things, expressed our opinion as opposed to that of the majority of the Committee, which was that the Assembly should not petition against the Bill. P.S.—I find I have omitted another very serious Presbyterian grievance, which ought to be redressed. Chapels are built with Government money for army stations, and yet chaplains of the Established Church of Scotland holding Her Majesty's Commission are refused admission into them, with the troops under their charge, because these chapels have been consecrated. Standing almost alone as he had done, he had been unable to stop this most mischievous and cunningly devised Bill; but he would fain hope that its originators had unwittingly awakened a slumbering feeling, which would not be hushed again till real disabilities were removed, and the Protestant Church of England was rescued from the would-be grasp of men who see a sister, though a corrupt one, in the Church of Rome, but a great schism in the National Church of Scotland.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question again proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."

MR. WHALLEY moved that the Bill be read a third time this day month.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day month."—(Mr. Whalley.)

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

The House divided:—Ayes 34; Noes 10: Majority 24.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3o, and passed, with an Amendment.

The Order of the Day for the Third Reading of the Bill having been read about three o'clock in the morning, the discussion which followed was not reported.