§ MR. BALLANTINE (Coventry)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it has been brought to the knowledge of the Crown, as patron of the living of St. Michael's, Coventry, that the vicar has exercised powers given him by a local Act, namely, 19 Geo. III., c. 60, to levy a rate upon the parish, that distraints have been made upon the goods of a large number of the parishioners in consequence of their refusal to pay the rate, and that grave disorder is apprehended when the goods seized are offered for sale by public auction; and whether the action of the vicar in putting this Act into force was instigated by instructions from the Crown as patron of the living?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
From causes of a personal nature there have been disputes for some years between the vicar of St. Michael's, Coventry, and the parishioners. I am not aware that any instructions from the Crown would be necessary to enable Dr. Mills to enforce the payment of the rate, to which he is entitled by the Act quoted by the hon. Member; nor am I aware that any such instructions were given.