§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that he could not claim any originality in the matter, as it dealt with a question which had been entirely threshed out. It had been considered by a Committee of the House of Lords and by a Royal Commission; and so far, 48 therefore, as inquiry outside the House was concerned, he could safely say that it was altogether exhausted, and that the time had come when some further steps should be taken. The evils that existed in the system of patronage in the Church of England had been clearly proved, and were so well known to the House, that he could take up any part of the short time that remained by describing them. The Church, at any rate, was anxious to diminish these evils, almost all the clergy and the great majority of laymen being in favour of the Bill. The measure had been submitted to nearly every Diocesan Conference in England, as well as the Central Council, containing representatives from the various Conferences, and all alike had expressed approval of it. Moreover, a very large number of gentlemen belonging to the various Dissenting Bodies in the country had expressed cordial approval of the principle of the Bill, although they did not commit themselves to its details. His proposals were not to be construed as containing any attack, either upon private patronage or upon lay patronage, both of which were, in his opinion, of the greatest value in their ecclesiastical system. So far from wishing to destroy the system of private and lay patronage, he should desire to see it extended, though in an improved form, under the provisions of this Bill. The first evil in the present system which the Committee had pointed out was the secrecy with which these transactions were conducted; many of the other evils could not exist to anything like the present extent if publicity could be secured. One object of the Bill was, therefore, to secure publicity by providing that a register should be kept by the Bishop of the diocese, so that everything connected with advowsons should be known. Then there was a provision by which, before any clergyman could be instituted to a parish, notice was to be given to the parishioners, who, if they pleased, might lay before the Bishop certain definite grounds of objection to his appointment. Those grounds must consist of physical, mental, or moral incapacity for the duties of his office; and if the Bishop should consider them proved, he was given the power to refuse to institute to the benefice. It might be said that the power to refuse to induct existed at the present time; 49 but the power was of so vague and theoretical a character that the Bishops hardly ever acted upon it. It was the object of the Bill to make this power clear and unmistakable. The second cause of the evils connected with patronage was the sale of the office of minister of a parish—in other words, of the next presentation. If a living were full, the next presentation could be sold; but if vacant, it was illegal to sell it. A sale was legal if made only the day before the occupant of the benefice died; but if it were wrong to sell the living the day after his death, it was wrong to sell it the day before. In consequence of no moral guilt attaching to the parties, and also of the uncertainty of the law, it was evaded all over the country. In some cases the contract was made when the church was full; but the payment of the purchase money was deferred until the avoidance took place. In other cases the purchase money was paid at the time of the contract; but the vendor paid interest on it until the avoidance. In both cases the sale was practically completed when the living was empty and the law was evaded. A clerical agent wrote—In a case which came to my knowledge a patron had two livings, and presented a relative to one of them. The second living subsequently became vacant, and was offered to and accepted by the relative, in lieu of the one he held. At the instance, however, of the patron, he retained legal possession of the first living until the patron had effected the sale of the next presentation, and then resigned it. It is obvious that this transaction was, in effect, the sale of a void presentation, and the price paid was regulated accordingly. The transaction was, however, perfectly legal, and was carried out with the full knowledge of the Bishop of the diocese.The real object of the present law was perfectly clear; it was to prevent the sale of the office of the minister of the parish; but the law had failed in practice, and the result had been frequent scandal and great dissatisfaction. The object of the present Bill was to prevent these abuses by forbidding altogether the sales of next presentations. A Bill for this purpose passed this House 10 years ago, and went up to the House of Lords. The proposal had also received the approval of the Royal Commission. Since that time public opinion had ripened. But then it was said by some hon. Gentlemen opposite that the objections which he had put forward applied also to the 50 sale of advowsons. Now, he held that there were two essential differences between the sale of an advowson and the sale of the next presentation to it; and the first difference was one of principle—one was a sale of property, the other was a sale of a spiritual office. The Bishop of Exeter said, in a charge quite recently delivered by him—It is permissible to sell the office of patron, but wrong to sell the office of parochial clergyman. The office of patron is treated as property; property under the obligation to discharge very solemn duties, but still property to be dealt with and protected, like all other property.Then the Royal Commissioners added in their Report—There is a difference in principle between the sale of the advowson, which is the parting entirely with his trust and its accompanying advantages to the patron, and the sale of the next presentation, which is the allowing of another, for a pecuniary consideration, to discharge a duty which, so long as that trust is vested in the patron, it devolves upon him to perform.And the second difference between the sale of an advowson and of a next presentation lay in the degree of evil caused by it. From the evidence upon which the Report of the Royal Commission was founded, it was perfectly clear that the evils arising from the sale of an advowson were not to be compared with those connected with the sale of the next presentation. The scandal was immeasurably greater. In his evidence Sir Robert Phillimore said—The sale of next presentations, in my judgment, opens the door to simony in a way that the sale of advowsons does not, and your Lordships are perfectly well acquainted with the fact that it leads to a very great scandal in the mode in which the next presentations are put up to auction;and he went on to say—The real scandal arises from the auction and sale of the next presentation.He did not put forward his clause for the abolition of the sale of next presentations by any means as a perfect clause; it was a very difficult one to draw so that it could not be evaded; but he had introduced into the Bill a provision prohibiting the re-sale of an advowson until five years had elapsed from the last sale. He was quite prepared to consent to proper Amendments being introduced in Committee; but he appealed to the House not to wait for theoretical 51 perfection, but to pass this measure, and so apply an immediate remedy without injustice or hardship. But these corrupt transactions had been enormously facilitated by the easy means of evading the law, which was furnished by donative benefices. This question had been considered very closely by the Lords' Committee and the Royal Commission. The Lords' Committee reported as follows:—The attention of the Committee has been specially called to the evils arising from the present state of the law relating to donatives. The patron of a donative is not required to present his clerk to the Bishop for institution, nor is the clerk required, as all other beneficed clergymen are, to resign to the Bishop, but to his patron; while, on the other hand, the acceptance of a donative ipso facto vacates any preferment which the donee may have previously held. Abundant evidence has been adduced to show that the exceptional privileges attaching to donatives have been made use of to facilitate simoniacal and corrupt trafficking in preferment.The manner in which the operation was conducted so as to evade the law by means of donatives was stated in the evidence before the Lords' Committee. One witness stated—A clergyman called upon me one day a few years ago, and requested me to carry out the sale of an advowson; he was an old family client; he was the patron and incumbent of the living; he knew perfectly well that his Bishop objected to accept a resignation in cases where the patron was also the incumbent, and had made a sale; and he told me that he had arranged with a particular clerical agent, who kept two or three of those donatives in his pocket, to purchase one of those donatives for £100. He was then, having sold his own living, to appoint himself to this donative; and then, when the living thereby became vacated, and the purchaser was presented to the living that was sold, he was to sell back the donative to the clerical agent for the same price that he gave for it.There were very few donatives in existence; not more than 60 or 80; and many of them were being used for purposes quite unobjectionable; but it was necessary to take steps to prevent the possibility of any of them being used for corrupt purposes. This Bill proposed that donatives should come within the jurisdiction of the Bishops like presentative benefices; and it was difficult to say what argument could be urged against it. As Sir Robert Phillimore had said, such a provision would be a benefit to the Church, and no injury to the patron of a donative, 52 who would only suffer when he intended to make an improper use of it. Then he came to the Law of Simony. The existing law was frequently embarrassing to a clergyman's conscience when he had made his declaration on the subject, for nobody knew quite accurately what the law as to simony really was. The law was misleading and ambiguous. He, therefore, proposed to substitute a declaration that certain things had not been done, these being specified in a Schedule, and including all cases which undoubtedly constituted simony. Those were the provisions of his Bill. He was fully aware of the difficulty of the case, and that the provisions of the Bill would require careful consideration; and many Amendments might, no doubt, be suggested. There was a Bill before the House by the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham), in which he made certain other proposals upon the subject. If any Amendments could be suggested to the present Bill, arising either from the provisions of that other Bill, or from any other quarter, he should be very glad to consider them. Therefore, if the House should be in favour of reading this Bill a second time, he should not object to its being referred to a Select Committee, as he wished the Bill to be made as perfect as possible. The Bill was his contribution towards putting the Law of Church Patronage on a proper footing; and he fully believed that, if passed, it would have the effect of remedying the evils that existed, and of imparting greater strength and vigour to the Church of England.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. E. Stanhope.)
§ MR. ILLINGWORTH
, in rising to move the Amendment of which he had given Notice—namely,That this House, while prepared to abolish all traffic in sacred offices in the National Church, objects to a measure which gives fresh sanction to the sale of advowsons, and would fail to put an end to the scandals of the existing system of patronage,said, that he might be allowed to express the gratification and satisfaction felt by many Members on that side of the House that the hon. Member (Mr. Stanhope) had at last found an opportunity of bringing forward this Bill, 53 when there was, at any rate, some slight chance of both sides of the case being stated. There had been gross misrepresentation on the subject, as was shown by an extract from a speech by an hon. Member behind him, in which that hon. Gentleman stated that he thought this was a most excellent Bill, and he should have given it his hearty support, but it was blocked by Mr. Illingworth, the Member for Bradford, and 10 or 12 more of their Nonconformist Friends in the House of Commons. The hon. Gentleman confessed he could not quite understand on what principle they blocked it, except that the Nonconformists did not want the Church to be reformed, as a reformed Church would be stronger and more able to resist attacks from without than an unreformed Church. He (Mr. Illingworth) was glad of this opportunity, in order that not only himself but many other hon. Friends might clearly show to the House that not only had their conduct been consistent and not underhand, but, on the other hand, it had been actuated by the highest principles towards the Church as a religious Institution. When he was down in his own constituency, a friend of his gave him a letter which had been sent from the office of the National Church Reform Union, in which he was personally taken to task as having blocked the Bill. Besides that, the Bishop of Oxford, at the Diocesan Conference, did not hesitate to use, not only untruthful language, but made most ungenerous and un-Christian insinuations. It might be, of course, that the right rev. Prelate was misinformed; but it was no light matter for a dignitary of the Church of England, and a Member of the other branch of the Legislature, to bring charges and throw out insinuations against Members of that House, who were quite as sensitive as he was in regard to acting conscientiously, without previously making himself acquainted with the actual facts. He ventured to assert that political progress, or the progress of religious liberty, or the real welfare of the Established Church, had had no more implacable enemies than those who now or formerly sat on the Episcopal Bench. In reference to the measure brought in by the hon. Gentleman, it had been insinuated that those interested in this matter were not acting from the highest motives. He asked the House whether it was not 54 largely due to his hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham) that Churchmen were now aroused to the injury which this system of Church patronage was doing to the Church itself. Perhaps the House would allow him to relate what took place in regard to two Bills of the hon. Member opposite. He sought to have their introduction as an unopposed Motion, and over and over again he sought to carry the second reading after the hour on Wednesday afternoon which prevented any discussion, and when only unopposed Business could be taken; but there was one exception to this, and that was that he tried to take them a little after 2 o'clock one morning when the House had been exhausted by the Rivers Conservancy and Floods Prevention Bill. The hon. Member proposed to initiate a discussion on the second reading of his Bill when the House was very thin. It was not expected the Bill would be introduced to the House, and it was impossible that any report could appear in the Press. The hon. Member himself had, unfortunately, been rushing into print; and he had not hesitated to insinuate that their tactics were not quite of a worthy character. The hon. Member spoke upon the Rivers Conservancy and Floods Prevention Bill; and he made an appeal to the Government to suspend the debate on account of the late hour, and then, after 2 o'clock, he himself proposed to begin a discussion on the second reading of a Bill, in their judgment, not less important. With the leave of the House he would in a few words tell them what had been the experience of the last few years in regard to legislation, or attempted legislation, on this subject. In 1874 a Committee was appointed by the House of Lords to inquire into the question of the sale and exchange of livings. The proposals of that Committee were, as might have been expected from the character of its nomination, of the mildest possible kind; for whatever the other House failed to represent, it, no doubt, thoroughly represented property and vested interests. In the recommendations of that Committee there was no proposal to deal with either next presentations or the sale of advowsons. All they proposed was to confer some new powers on the Bishops in order to enable them to deal with corrupt presentations. Individual property in presentations and 55 advowsons was left untouched in any form. The Bishop of Peterborough brought in a Bill based on the recommendations of the Committee. It passed the second reading without a division, and then it was referred to a Select Committee. It was evident during those earlier and, in one sense, unopposed stages that there was by no means unanimity in the other House as to what was the remedy and what was the disease in the National Church in regard to patronage. The Bill was modified to some extent in that Committee. Then it passed the third reading, and made its appearance in this House in 1875. He wanted to ask who were the parties who prevented that Bill from passing into law on that occasion? Surely his hon. Friend was not charged with obstructing at that stage. That Bill made no progress in this House. The Conservative Party were in power at that time. It had three or four years after that of unbroken supremacy in this House of Parliament, as it always had in the other; but there was no attempt made to deal with the grievous offence of Church patronage. It could not be held that this House was overcharged with prospects of legislation so that there was no time to bring on other important questions. It was true that a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate the subject; but the composition of the Commission was such that its Report could not be considered exhaustive or national in its character. The hon. Member would, no doubt, tell them that his proposal was based on the recommendations of the Royal Commission. He failed, however, to see in the present measure any reference to sales of livings by public auction, which were considered to be a scandal to the Church of England as by law established. When they were told that they ought to be satisfied with the Report of the Royal Commission, he would ask how many curates were examined, and how many aggrieved parishioners? There were in all only 23 witnesses; two were members of the Commission; one was secretary to five or six Bishops; and, in the main, the witnesses were clergymen of the Church of England. If the Commission wanted to see the extent of the scandal and the strength of the national feeling, it might have been right to have examined the President of the Metho- 56 dist Conference, and have asked for the opinion of his Denomination of the buying and selling of sacred offices. But the Church was treated as an imperium in imperio, and those outside it were kept at arm's length in regard to the management of its affairs. The time, however, was approaching when this would be no longer possible, if the House of Commons was to be responsible for the government of the Church. Why was it that the House of Lords, with its ample leisure, had not again ventured upon legislation? If it had, they would have learnt how far it was now prepared to go in the way of Church reform. In 1874 the recommendations of the Lords' Committee and the Bill of the Bishop of Peterborough were of the most meagre and timid character; but the Royal Commission went a great deal further; and, as public opinion was evidently on the move, if a little time were given it would be possible to carry a measure more worthy of Parliament than that now before it. Out-of-doors, the public did not recognize the distinction drawn by the hon. Member between the selling by retail of the next presentation and the selling by wholesale of the advowson; and he repelled with warmth the insinuation that the reform of the greater evil would do any injury to the Church. As a Church it could only be saved and cease to stink in the nostrils of the people—["Oh, oh!"]—he was using the words of the Bishop of Peterborough, spoken on this subject in the House of Lords—when it cut itself entirely free from the purchase or sale of clerical offices in any form. Of the 7,000 advowsons, one-seventh were always on sale; and it was very probable that the pressure of the times, and the pending changes in the Land Laws, would increase the number in the market. All that this Bill did was to prevent re-sale within five years. It was well known that a curate had little chance of promotion without wealth and favour; and if his father had a few thousands and proposed to buy a next presentation, and this Bill would say to him that he should not do that unless he had a few thousands more and could buy the advowson too, and though he could not re-sell the remaining interest for five years, there was nothing to prevent him raising money upon it. At a meeting of the Deanery of Eccles, Man- 57 Chester, the clergy were found to be equally divided about this Bill; and in any general meeting of 2,000 or 3,000 persons, when all the facts were stated, the Bill would not receive the support of one in 100. Those who looked forward to a radical reform of the Church of England did so in no spirit of hostility to the Church. It could not be said that Dissenters had many grievances left; but they had a profound conviction that there was no effectual cure for the abuses and anomalies connected with the Church, except disestablishment and disendowment. There was not a timber that the dry rot had not seized. Many Churchmen felt that the Church would be better without State patronage and State control. It could not be denied that great abuses and anomalies existed in the Church; and it was unreasonable to expect that a democratic House of Commons should spend its time in a mere attempt to reform and re-cast an ecclesiastical system of government. In the United States, where religion was free, more had been done during the past 50 years in the cause of Christianity than had been done in this country with its Church Establishment and its high-placed ecclesiastic dignitaries. He begged to move his Amendment.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House, while prepared to abolish all traffic in sacred offices in the National Church, objects to a measure which gives fresh sanction to the sale of advowsons, and would fail to put an end to the scandals of the existing system of patronage."—(Mr. Illingworth.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. RAIKES
held that the subject dealt with in the Bill had no necessary connection with the larger question of Church Establishment, and was of opinion that, so far as the measure was an evidence of increased interest taken by Churchmen in legislation, with a view to Church reform, it ought to be hailed with satisfaction. At the same time, he could not approve of it in its present shape. It was impossible to separate it altogether from the larger and bolder measure of the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham), and he confessed he preferred the latter, because it 58 was based upon an intelligible principle. Not often did he find himself in agreement upon ecclesiastical matters with the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Illingworth); but, like that hon. Member, he was unable to understand how it could be ranked as a sin to sell the next presentation, while it was a conspicuous virtue to sell an advowson. The question could be argued on moral grounds in connection with the Bill of the hon. Member for Huddersfield; but his hon. Friend (Mr. Stanhope) had given up the moral question altogether, by making provision for the transfer of advowsons, while absolutely prohibiting the sale of next presentations. He did not see how they could legislate upon the lines of this Bill without adding a clause providing for compensation. While the sale of advowsons had been frequently found convenient as a territorial incident, yet he did not see that it had worked so well for the Church as the transfer of next presentations during the last half century. Taking the good and the bad together, and admitting that the bad had been only too frequent, he was yet prepared to say that he believed the opportunity which had been given to the great mercantile classes of this country to associate themselves as patrons with our Church system, and the means of bringing in men of the middle class to positions of eminence and usefulness in the Church, had been very cheaply obtained at the expense of the evils which they all deplored. In the North of England it would be found that large numbers of men of no landed connection, who had made great fortunes, and whose sons had been trained at the Universities, would be unwilling to let their sons enter the Church unless as men of business, and as practical men they could look forward to making provision for them in the form of a positive stipend. That being so, he believed the sale of next presentations had been largely beneficial during the last half century. As to the alleged immorality of the traffic in sacred offices, he supposed that question must have been given up by those who voted recently for the Walton Vicarage Bill. He had no doubt that the hon. Members for Huddersfield and Bradford, true to their convictions, voted against that Bill, as he had, with equal consistency, voted for it. In regard to next presentation, his hon. Friend had introduced provisions 59 in the latter part of his Bill, which, if they stood alone, would have enabled him cordially to support the second reading. It seemed to him that if a Bishop were authorized to refuse to ratify any presentation to which he thought there was anything equivocal or unsatisfactory attached, they would provide a much more satisfactory and. perfect remedy for such abuses as had been referred to. If they brought such a provision into Clause 25 of the Bill, he believed they would do nearly all that was necessary to prevent these scandals. It would also be of very great importance if they inserted a clause to prevent sales by auction. There were some provisions of the Bill which appeared to him to be of a most irritating and unfortunate character, and which he trusted would be removed before the measure became law, if it ever did become law. He referred to the opportunities afforded by the mandate of the Bishop inviting the parishioners to pick holes in the coat of the clergyman, which would arise from the power given to any two parishioners of making representations affecting the moral character, or dealing with the physical or mental infirmity of the clergyman who was to be presented to the benefice. That communication was to be a privileged communication; and, therefore, there was to be no check upon the impulses of any of the parishioners. After a formal inquiry into the antecedents of the clergyman presented to the benefice, he should like to know of what possible usefulness that clergyman could be if two members of the Commission happened to be opposed to him and the rest in his favour? These were matters of which Churchmen could not speak too seriously or too carefully. He was bound to say that the resolutions passed at the Diocesan Conferences had been in favour of the Bill; but those resolutions simply amounted to this—that they approved of the Preamble of the Bill and nothing more. If this question was to be settled it seemed to him it would not be settled by a measure which only halfheartedly accepted the principle upon which the agitation was based, and, at the same time, wholly disregarded the rights of property, and which, therefore, had the double fault of conflicting with the moral theory from which it sprang, and with those doctrines of respect for property, which he hoped were not pecu- 60 liar to the Upper House, but which he trusted were equally recognized in this House. If the course taken by a particular Deanery in Lancashire had been taken in other Deaneries, it would have been found that the Bill of the hon. Member for Huddersfield was, in many cases, preferred to that of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. Stanhope). If the Bill was sent to a Select Committee, it might be accompanied by the more drastic measure of the hon. Member for Huddersfield, so that the Committee might decide what portion of either could be rendered useful and satisfactory.
§ MR. E. A. LEATHAM
said, he regretted that the Bill had come on at an hour at which it was impossible adequately to discuss its provisions. But he wished very briefly to state why he felt no enthusiasm for the measure, and yet why he was unable to support the Amendment. In a great deal of what had fallen from his hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. Illingworth) he heartily concurred. He placed no reliance upon testimonials, declarations, and Commissions, so long as they left the root of the evil untouched. The evidence with which he had so frequently troubled the House proved that all these precautions were mere cobwebs when they were brought into conflict with the ingenuity of clerical agents, and with the state of the clerical conscience, such as it had become through the mischievous teaching of the traffic in livings. The House must remember that the root of the evil was not, as the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. E. Stanhope) seemed to think, the secrecy which surrounded the transactions, or even the impurity and scandal which had gathered round the system. It was the system itself—the common sale of a public and solemn trust. This was a thing so repugnant to all our ordinary notions of what was right, and safe, and honourable, that nothing but long usage could have reconciled us to its perpetuation. It was not too much to say that if proprietary interests had not twined themselves around patronage, we should long ago have swept away the right of carrying the cure of other men's souls to market. And what he wished to point out was that, even if the Bill before the House became law—though we might have brushed away some of the scandals 61 which attached to the traffic, the worst scandal of all would remain, and that was the traffic itself. For it was not the next presentation, it was the advowson, which was the favourite article of merchandize, and for obvious reasons. The bulk of this traffic was carried on by clergymen, and clergymen being prohibited from purchasing next presentations for themselves, went naturally into the advowson market for what they required, while the whole advowson being purchaseable at a trifle more than the next presentation, there was no sufficient reason why they should not do so. Mr. Stark, who catered delicately for the clerical appetite, in a recent circular, advertised particulars of of 110 adowsons, but only of 22 next presentations. The Bill, therefore, before the House would only touch a fraction of the traffic; and he should like to show, if there were time, that any moral considerations which impelled them to prohibit the sale of next presentations equally impelled them to prohibit the sale of advowsons. He was aware that an attempt had been made to-day to set up a moral distinction between the two transactions. They were told that the man who only sold the next presentation retained his trusteeship, and was still responsible to the parish. This was a practical fallacy. The man who sold the next presentation for all practical purposes, and probably for his lifetime, made as complete a renunciation of his trust as if he had sold the advowson outright. Again, the motive of the man who sold the advowson and of the man who sold the next presentation were identical. It was the desire of turning his trust into money, and of the two offenders he thought the advowson seller the bigger, because be put a bigger sum into his pocket by the sacrifice of his trust. The motive of the purchaser, too, in 99 cases out of 100, was the same. He purchased an advowson, not from a laudable desire to become the patron of a parish, but with a view to the next presentation, and with an eye to his own preferment. The immorality, therefore, in either case was the same. It was the trafficking in trusts. Well, if this was his (Mr. Leatham's) opinion, and if he regarded the Bill before the House as most incomplete and inadequate, he might fairly be asked the question why he was not going to support the hon. 62 Member for Bradford's Amendment? His reason was a very simple one. So far as the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire went, he went upon the clear understanding that this species of property was permeated through and through with the notion of a trust; and it was because he (Mr. Leatham) never would believe that when they had once seriously begun to deal with this species of property upon that basis, Parliament would ever cease dealing with it, until they had made the trust supreme, that he should vote for the second reading of the Bill.
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, that on the understanding that his hon. Friend opposite had offered to allow his Bill to be referred to a Select Committee, and would offer no objection to the Bill of the hon. Member for Huddersfield being referred to the same Committee, he thought that would be the best means of dealing with the question.
§ MR. ILLINGWORTH
could not concur in the suggestion of the hon. Member for Oldham, as he did not look upon the Bill as containing any merits whatever.
§ MR. RICHARD
said, that as the discussion had been very partial and unsatisfactory, and as there were many hon. Members who desired to express their views, he should move the adjournment of the debate.
§ It being a quarter of an hour before Six of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned till To-morrow.