HC Deb 09 May 1865 vol 179 c48

said, be would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the proceedings against Constance E. Kent and the refusal of the Reverend A. D. Wagner, Perpetual Curate of St. Paul's, Brighton; and also of a person calling herself Superioress of St. Mary Hospital, an Institution attached to that Church, to give evidence of certain facts on the ground that the same became known to the said Reverend A. D. Wagner "under the seal of confession" and to the said Superioress under some like pretence—Whether the Government will introduce any Bill this Session for the purpose of preventing such persons as the Reverend A. D. Wagner from officiating as clergymen of the Church of England and receiving the emoluments thereof; and whether the Magistrate was justified in allowing the said Reverend A. D. Wagner and the said Superioress to refuse to give evidence on such grounds?


said, in reply, that Her Majesty's Government bad no intention of proposing to Parliament any Bill of the kind referred to by the hon. Member. The case to which the Question referred was one which was heard before a full bench of magistrates, and he was not aware that the magistrates did allow any witness examined before them to refuse to answer any questions which they believed to be material to the ends of justice. They received sufficient evidence to justify the committal of the prisoner for trial. If at the trial any witness refused to answer questions, the Judge who presided would deal with the case according to his discretion.


said, he would give notice that he should at an early day call attention to the subject on the Motion for going into Committee of Supply.