§ MR. CRAVEN (York, W. R, Shipley)
I beg to to ask the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Sir J. Mowbray), whether it has been with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Commis- 1681 sioners that the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, in granting leases on the Belsize Court estate, have inserted a clause prohibiting the erection of any chapel or meeting-house for any congregation dissenting from the Church of England as by law established, and also prohibiting the use of any tenement demised by such leases for any ecclesiastical or other purpose in connection with any church, sect, or body of people dissenting from the Church of England; whether it is the practice of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to insert such prohibitions in leases issued by them; and, if only in certain cases, what cases; and if the Ecclesiastical Commissioners insert such prohibitions in any of their leases, do they do so in virtue of any statutory authority, or on their own responsibility only?
§ SIR J. MOWBRAY (Oxford University)
The clause in question was found in the leases granted by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster previous to the surrender of their estates to the Commissioners. It will also be found in some leases granted by the Dean and Chapter, with consent of Commissioners, after the estates passed to the Commissioners. But in 1889 the existence of the clause having come to the knowledge of the Commissioners, they instructed their solicitors that no such clause should be inserted in future. It has not been the practice of the Commissioners to insert such prohibitions in leases issued by them.
§ MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Commissioners continue to insist on the covenants in respect of the existing leases?
§ SIR J. MOWBRAY
I have no authority to speak for the Commissioners, but, seeing that the matter is one for their discretion, and that the enforcement of the covenant would be inconsistent with what has been done in regard to the leases of the last three years, I presume that they would not insist upon it.
§ SIR W. LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
Is there any clause in the leases prohibiting the erection of public-houses?