§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Beresford Hope.)
§ MR. DICKINSON
said, he must oppose the Motion. He thought the Bill should be brought before them when it could be discussed. The House ought to know how the original Act had worked, and he would suggest that this Bill ought not to be hurried through the House, but that it would be sufficient to add it to the Annual Continuance Bill instead of making it perpetual.
said, the Bill consisted of two parts—one dealing with the resignation of Bishops, and the other relating to the appointment of Bishops coadjutors. With regard to the latter, no instance had occurred, since the House passed the Bill originally, of its being brought into operation, but nothing had occurred to throw suspicion on its principle. The part having reference to the resignation of Bishops had worked satisfactorily. Under its clauses, two Bishops had resigned because of age, and their duties had been fulfilled by more vigorous men—a most desirable thing in an age when the episcopal office had become one of the most active that could be filled. Bishop Short, of St. Asaph, and Bishop Sumner, of Winchester, had resigned, and a third, Bishop Philpotts, had taken the formal steps for resigning, when his life was—he could not say cut short, for he was 90 years of age—but brought to a termination. If the second reading were taken now, there was no objection to let the Bill stand for Committee on Friday, and probably they would learn in the meantime whether it was desirable to make any Amendment in it. He (Mr. Gladstone) did not think it would be advisable to alter the character of the Bill, unless such was the general wish of the House; but if any alteration were necessary it could be made on going into Committee.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Friday.