HC Deb 08 June 1865 vol 179 cc1269-70

said, he wished to ask, Whether a licence has been granted to the Convocation of Canterbury to repeal or alter any of the Canons of 1603, or to obtain the sanction of the Crown to any New Canon; and, if so, whether a Copy of it will be laid upon the table? If no such licence has been granted, he wished to know whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to recommend Her Majesty to give Convocation permission to repeal or alter any of the Canons of 1603?


Sir, the other night I stated that the Archbishop of Canterbury had been informed that while the Crown did not invite the concurrence of Convocation to the proposed alteration of the clerical subscription, if the licence of the Crown was asked Her Majesty would be advised to grant it, for the purpose of enabling Convocation to alter the Canons, in order to bring them into conformity with the Bill now before Parliament. The licence has not yet actually been granted; and what has taken place is this: An Address was presented to her Majesty by Convocation, praying for a licence to alter the 36th and two following Canons in terms which had already been agreed upon by Convocation. The Archbishop was informed that the prayer of the Address could not be granted in that form, because its effect was to ask by anticipation the consent of the Crown to a specific alteration, and to a new declaration to be made by the clergy, before it was ascertained what might be the ultimate decision of Parliament upon the Bill now before it. The Archbishop was, therefore, informed that if the prayer of the Address was merely for a licence in more general terms it would be granted. There will be no objection when the licence is granted, which will be very soon, to lay it on the table, together with the correspondence which has passed on the subject.