§ MR. PAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for the Epping Division of Essex, as an Ecclesiastical Commissioner, whether, in view of the very large ecclesiastical revenues received from the County Palatine of Durham, and of the present condition of the coal industry in that county, the Commissioners will carefully consider the desirability of reducing their royalty rents pending the issue of the Report of the Royal Commission?
§ SIR H. J. SELWIN-IBBETSON (Essex, Epping)
In answer to the hon. Member, I have to say that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' royalty rents are largely based upon sliding scales, varying for the most part with the selling prices of coal, but in some of the coking collieries with the selling prices of iron. Whenever the opportunity occurs, either in the granting or renewing of leases, or on application on behalf of the lessors to be placed on the sliding scale, the Commissioners will endeavour to extend the adoption of this principle as, in their opinion, the most equitable. The Commissioners, therefore, do not consider it necessary to reduce their royalty rents as suggested.