§ MR. HEALY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Did he officially authorise the letter, published on the 22nd inst., signed by his secretary, apologising for having addressed the Protestant Synod as "the Synod of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland," and consenting to address that body as "the Synod of the Church of Ireland," if so can he state under what circumstances the latter title has been officially given, is he aware that the Government have always hitherto refused to the Disestablished Church the title it claims, that in the draft charter which the Government was asked to 135 sanction they struck out the words "Church of Ireland," inserted by the representative body, that as in the Marriage Act of 1870, members and clergymen of this church, are designated "Protestant Episcopalians," the Irish Registrar General, acting under the advice of the Law Adviser, Dublin Castle, directed clergymen of the disestablished religion to enter their church in the marriage register as the "Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland;" that the Lord Lieutenant, in the recent order as to precedence, published in The Dublin Gazette of April 3rd, styles its bishops "Protestant Episcopalians;" that at the last census members of this denomination numbered only 639,574 as against 3,960,891 Catholics, 470,734 Presbyterians, and 103,107 persons of other persuasions, and do the Home Office intend officially to style the Disestablished Church by a title calculated to give offence to other religious bodies in Ireland, while the Irish Government avoids the title complained of?
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I am unable to say any more on this subject beyond what I said the other day, when I said I wrote officially to the Irish Government to ask what they considered the proper designation, in order that the same course may be pursued in England and Ireland in this matter. When I get the answer I will inform the bon. Member. I can assure the hon. Member that I will take care that the practice which, so far as I can learn, has not been inconsistent hitherto, will be the same, and that a consistent rule will be laid down.
§ MR. GIBSON
I have given the right hon. Gentleman private Notice of a Question on this subject as follows:—Whether the name "Church of Ireland" was the name uniformly given by the Irish and Imperial Legislatures to the Church of Ireland, and whether that does not appear in 28 Henry VIII. c. 5; 17 & 18 Charles II. c. 6; 6 Geo. I. c. 3; 14 & 15 Vict. c. 72; the Act of Union, the Irish Church Act, 1869, &c, &c.; whether, on May 1, 1882, he did not himself, in an official letter to the Archbishop of Armagh, use the words in reference to the said Church, "the Archbishops, Bishops, clergy, and laity of the Church of Ireland in Synod assembled;" and, whether Mr. Godfrey Lushington's letter of April, 1885, now ob- 136 jected to, did not merely follow the usual practice of the Department?
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
No, Sir; I do not think any settled practice existed, and I think it is very desirable that the matter should be settled. It is clearly a matter in which the same practice should be pursued in the Home Office as by the Irish Government, and therefore I have addressed an official letter, and I have not yet received an answer to it.