HC Deb 31 March 1892 vol 3 cc369-70
MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (, &c.) Carnarvon

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is aware that a Committee of Convocation is now sitting for the purpose of preparing canons bearing upon clergy discipline; and whether, in view of this fact, he will postpone the Second Reading of the Clergy Discipline (Immorality) Bill until such Committee has presented its Report? May I also ask whether the paragraph in yesterday's Times is correct—that it is the intention of the Government not to press the Second Reading of the Bill before Easter?


I have not seen the paragraph in question, and I can only say, in answer to the hon. Gentleman's question on that subject, that I am desirous of getting on with the Bill before Easter; but, as the House is aware, there is much business to be done before Easter, and I am not very sanguine on the point. As regards the question on the Paper, I do think it very desirable that the clergy in Convocation should have an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the Bill, and I trust that they will do so. I cannot pledge myself to imperil the passage of the Bill by waiting an undue length of time for such expression of opinion.

MR. PICTON (Leicester)

Are there any recent precedents which would justify the House in waiting on the decision of Convocation?


The hon. Gentleman will observe that I said nothing about waiting for the decision of Convocation. What I said was that it was very desirable that the House should have the opinion of the clergy expressed; in any legislation affecting that or any other body we are always glad of such an expression of opinion.