§ MR. E. H. HULSE (Salisbury)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for West Salford whether he is aware that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have definitely refused to contribute any sum towards the repair of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, although they are in receipt of at least £25,000 per annum from the capitular estates in the diocese surrendered in 1864; and whether the Commissioners are correct in stating that the sum of £10,000, granted for the Fabric Fund on such surrender, was from the Capitular Fund and not from the Common Fund of the Commissioners?
§ MR. LEES KNOWLES (Salford, W)
It is a fact that the Commissioners have expressed their inability to make a contribution out of the Common Fund towards the repair of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral. The Commissioners are not in receipt of an income from the capitular estates in the diocese at all approaching £25,000 per annum. At the time of the commutation in 1864 the Chapter were placed in possession of a larger income than they had previously derived from their estates. It is not the fact that the sum of £10,000 was granted for the Fabric Fund out of the capitular property; but such a sum was advanced out of the Common Fund.
§ MR. HULSE
Is my hon. Friend aware that the terms of the Order in Council dated October 11, 1861, expressly stated that £10,000 was to be paid as a further consideration for such transfer, and that due allowance was made for such sum granted to the Fabric Fund in fixing the amount to be paid to the Dean and Chapter; and, further, may I ask my hon. Friend if the Ecclesiastical Commissioners absolutely refuse to assist the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury in their efforts to save one of the best-known architectural monuments in the country?
§ MR. LEES KNOWLES
Speaking without notice, I have to say that the Commissioners are unable to admit my hon. Friend's argumentative construction of the Order in Council, and it is doubtful whether the Commissioners have such a power as that suggested in the last Question.
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)
asked whether the income referred to had not been enormously reduced by the fall in the value of land.
§ MR. LEES KNOWLES
For some years after the commutation the Commissioners were paying to the Chapter considerably more than they received from the estates formerly belonging to the Chapter. At the present time the income received by the Commissioners is not one-fourth of that named in the question.