§ MR. SELWYN
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Bishopric of Nelson, New Zealand, had not continued vacant for many months in consequence of the refusal of Her Majesty's Government to assent to the consecration of a successor, although such successor has been nominated by the Bishop of London, at the request and with the subsequent approval of the Synod of the diocese, and whether such assent has not been requested by the Archbishop of Canterbury and by the Bishops and other members of the Church in New Zealand, without asking for any Patent, or for the grant of any temporal dignity or coercive authority. He also wished to ask, whether the assent of the Crown has not been given in a similar case in reference to Rupert's Land?
§ MR. CARDWELL
replied that it was quite true the succession to the Bishopric of Nelson had remained vacant for some time in consequence of the inability of the Crown to give a sanction to the appointment of a successor in the usual way; that inability having been occasioned by the difficulties which had arisen in law in consequence of the decision of the Privy Council in the case of Natal. The Bishops of New Zealand had presented a memorial to the Crown, in which they prayed that they might be permitted to surrender their Letters Patent, and that their successors should be appointed without Letters Patent. They further prayed they might be permitted to fill up vacancies in their own body by their own inherent right, without Letters Patent or Royal Mandate. That memorial from the Bishops of New Zealand was accompanied by a minute from the Ministers of New Zealand, objecting to the creating of corporations within the colony by the act of the Crown without their advice, and objecting to any arrangement by which any quasi-jurisdiction of the Bishops of New Zealand should receive any authority from the Crown. Under these circumstances, and considering the difficulty with which the matter was beset since the decision of the Privy Council, it had been the opinion of Her Majesty's Advisers that a Bill on 1989 the subject should be prepared and submitted to Parliament, as they were desirous to have the opinion of Parliament before any further action was taken. With regard to Rupert's Land, the Bishop there was waiting for consecration at the time when the decision of the Privy Council was given, and therefore, to obviate any inconvenience in that case, not Letters Patent, but by the advice of the Law Officers, a Royal Mandate was given for the consecration of the Bishop.
§ MR. SELWYN
said, he wished to know-when the Bill to which the right hon. Gentleman referred would be introduced?