§ MR. CYRIL DODD (Essex, Maldon)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the multitude of the Amendments placed on the paper to the Established Church (Wales) Bill, and to the fact that many of them would appear to be controversial and important, he would consider the propriety of, at the earliest possible date, proposing to this House a Resolution limiting the time for the Committee stage of the Bill, and dividing it so that on each portion of the Bill a reasonable time may be afforded for thorough discussion, such time being made known beforehand to the Committee in order that they may utilise it for the consideration of the more important Amendments rather than those of less importance, and, at the same time, giving to the Speaker or to the Chairman of Committees further power to assist the Committee by enabling the Speaker or Chairman of Committees to guide the Committee by his expression of opinion as to which were the important Amendments, and empower the enforcement of such opinion by the Speaker or Chairman; and, whether he would, in the first instance, confer with the Leader of the Opposition in this House to see if he could obtain his assistance in formulating such a Resolution to facilitate the business of this House?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir W. HARCOURT,) Derby
This is a very large proposal in the way of altering the procedure of the House, and I cannot undertake to discuss it with the hon. and learned Member in answer to a question.
§ SIR FREDERICK MILNER (Notts, Bassetlaw
I beg to ask the Secretary 812 of State for the Home Department whether, in the event of the Bill for the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Church of England in Wales becoming law, tithe will have to be paid, as at present; whether it will be collected by Government Officials, and if prompt payment upon a fixed date will be enforced; and whether, in the event of special distress, any rebate can be allowed?
§ MR. ASQUITH
The tithe rent-charge falling under the provisions of the Welsh Church Bill will continue to be payable half-yearly on the 1st of January and the 1st of July. It will be payable to and collected by, not Government Officials, but County Councils, who will be responsible for handing over to the Welsh Commissioners such amount as will be required for satisfying vested interests. There is nothing in the Bill requiring County Councils to insist on prompt payment, or preventing them from making rebates. But if the amount received by them is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Welsh Commissioners for the satisfaction of vested interests, the deficiency will have to be met out of the County Fund. The power of a County Court to remit any tithe rent-charge exceeding two-thirds of the annual value of the land will still continue.