HC Deb 23 June 1898 vol 59 cc1266-75

Before the Amendments to this clause are entered upon I have to say that I have, on command from the Queen, to signify to the House that He Majesty has been pleased to place at the disposal of Parliament, for the purpose of the Benefices (No. 2) Bill, He Majesty's interest in benefices in the patronage of the Crown and of the Duchy of Lancaster.


On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask if shall be in order in moving the Amendment which stands in the name of my honourable Friend the Member for Denbighshire— Page 5, line 34, after 'all.' to insert the words 'cathedral deaneries, canonries, archdeaconries, minor canonries.' The object of the Amendment is to apply to the higher dignitaries of the Church the same rules as the Bill applies to the holders of livings. Under clause 2 the bishop may refuse to institute if the presentee is unfit for the discharge of his duties by reason of physical or mental infirmity, pecuniary embarrassment, grave misconduct, evil life, and so forth, and the question I wish to ask the Attorney General is, why should not these rules also apply to the holders of the higher ecclesiastical offices—deans, canons, archdeacons, and minor canons? It may be said that this Bill applies to benefices in the ordinary sense, and to benefices only, but I would ask, is there any reason whatever why the grounds for refusing to institute a clergyman to a benefice should not also apply to the higher clerical positions? The act of the matter is that a great many of these appointments are made by the bishops and the Crown, and I ask the House to apply the same rules to them as to the minor clergy.


said that a similar Amendment had already been considered by the Grand Committee. The circumstances surrounding the superior Church dignitaries were entirely different from those which surrounded the ordinary clergy. Many of them were appointed by the Crown, and there was no parish to consider. It would be very difficult at the present stage to insert the words proposed.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon, etc.)

The reply which has been given by the learned Attorney General to my honourable Friend is a very extraordinary one. He says that circumstances are entirely different in respect to these superior Church dignitaries, that there is no parish to be considered, and that they were not appointed by patronage. Take the argument that there is no parish to be considered. Surely the influence of these functionaries is much wider than that of a mere parish priest, and consequently it is very much more important that the second clause of this Bill should be operative as far as they are concerned. The Attorney General says that a parish priest shall not be instituted if he suffers from mental or physical infirmity, or if he is guilty of grave misconduct, but that it is not material in the case of a prebendary or a dean.




The right honourable Gentleman says that there is no parish to be considered, but what does it matter whether it is a parish or a diocese? The spiritual interests of the people within the sphere of influence of these functionaries will be seriously affected if they are guilty of grave misconduct. What does it matter whether they are presented by a bishop or not? The Solicitor General in his Amendment proposes to include the benefices in the patronage of the Crown. If these are to be included, why should not positions like that of a dean or prebendary and other positions in the gift of the Crown be also included? I do not suppose that any of these dignitaries would be guilty of grave misconduct, because the Crown would not appoint such persons, but the interpretation placed on the words by the Attorney General would include excessive ritual and doctrine, and these high officials are the very worst offenders in this respect. Take the speech of Canon Knox Little, in which he defied the House of Commons and everybody.


I rise to order, Mr. Speaker. The whole scope of this Bill is to regulate the way in which a bishop may institute or admit to a benefice. Not one of the positions mentioned in the Amendment is a benefice, and to not one of them does a bishop admit or institute, except he is the patron.


I must say this Amendment does appear to me to be out of order. If these words were introduced into the Bill, it would leave them unworkable altogether, because the whole Bill deals with persons instituted only.


I fully see that, Mr. Speaker, and if these words are introduced it will be necessary to move a consequential Amendment.


It is not in order to put down an Amendment of this description, which requires new machinery to carry it out, without giving the House at the same time an opportunity of seeing the clauses which contain the whole of the proposed scheme. I must call on the next Amendment.


moved— Page 5, line 38, after 'chapel,' insert 'and districts formed for ecclesiastical purposes by virtue of statutory authority, and includes benefices in the patronage of the Crown, but does not extend to any of Her Majesty's Royal Chapels, or to any Royal peculiar, nor to any cathedral or capitular preferment, or dignity, nor to any chapel belonging to any college, school, hospital, inns of court, asylum, or public or charitable institution.'


I move to omit the words, "nor to any cathedral or capitular preferment, or dignity," which I think will enable me to raise the point I was debating in another form, and also indicates the point which my honourable Friend proposed to come on the Amendment he put on the Paper. The learned Solicitor General evidently considers under the Bill as it stands that probably the word "benefices" might be construed to refer to these cathedral positions. I do not see why, if you are going to inhibit the institution of an ordinary parish priest because he is guilty of any of the offences mentioned in clause 2, you should protect deans, archdeacons, and canons. I move, Sir.

Question put.


In the first place, the evils against which this Bill is directed have not been felt with reference to the cathedral and capitular appointments.


Offences against ritual are being constantly committed.


The honourable and learned Gentleman must be aware that the particular evils against which this Bill is directed have not occurred among the dignitaries mentioned, and if the Amendment were accepted the whole machinery of the Bill would be rendered impracticable. I think it would be very undesirable to leave out these words.


asked if a capitular preferment would come within the operation of the Bill.


replied in the negative.


Although there may not have been any gross cases in recent years in connection with these dignitaries, he would be a bold man who would say that deans, canons, or archdeacons have never been guilty not merely of ritualistic extravagances, but of graver offences, and he would be equally bold who would say that such offences will never occur again. It appears to mo, therefore, that the Solicitor General ought to accept this Amendment. I may say that it is within my own knowledge that one of the reasons why this Bill meets with hostility is that it is felt to be unfair to single out a portion of the clergy and to subject them alone to its operation.


If the honourable Gentleman, at the beginning of the Report stage, had put down this Amendment, I should have been opposed to the alteration, but as the Amendment stands now it is absurd. I hope the honourable Gentleman will not persist.


The noble Lord forgets that this Amendment is quite voluntary, and I am bound to say that I think the suggestion of the honourable Gentleman opposite a reasonable one. This Amendment is a very peculiar one. First of all, a "benefice" is to include benefices— in the patronage of the Crown, but does not extend to any of Her Majesty's Royal chapels or to any Royal peculiar, nor to any cathedral or capitular preferment or dignity, nor to any chapel belonging to any college, school, hospital, inns of court, asylum, or public or charitable institution. Is it feared that a dean may come out badly, or that a minor canon may fall?


I am bound to sympathise with the Amendment of the honourable Gentleman opposite, but I feel it would he very difficult to insert it at this stage of the Bill. I think it a very unfortunate thing that if the Government proposes to deal with the purification of the Church, they should deal with those least able to help themselves. But for the fact that I have moved so many Amendments already, I should certainly have put down an Amendment to the same effect as the honourable Gentleman.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 227; Noes 90.—(Division List No. 165.)

Allhusen, A. H. Eden Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Lowles, John
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Finch, George H. Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne Lucas-Shadwell, William
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fisher, William Hayes Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Austin, Sir J. (Yorkshire) FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose- Macaleese, Daniel
Bailey, James (Walworth) Flannery, Fortescue Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Balcarres, Lord Fletcher, Sir Henry McArthur, C. (Liverpool)
Baldwin, Alfred Flower, Ernest Malcolm, Ian
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Folkestone, Viscount Maple, Sir John Blundell
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Forwood, Rt. Hon. Sir A. B. Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.
Barry, Rt Hn A H Smith- (Hunts) Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Bartley, George C. T. Fry, Lewis Milbank, Sir P. C. J.
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Galloway, William Johnson Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin Garfit, William Milton, Viscount
Beach, Rt Hon. Sir M. H. (Brist'l) Gedge, Sydney Monk, Charles James
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants) Gibbons, J. Lloyd Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Beresford, Lord Charles Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans) More, Robert Jasper
Bethell, Commander Giles, Charles Tyrrell Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. J. Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Biddulph, Michael Gordon, Hon. J. Edward Mount, William George
Bigwood, James Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E. Muntz, Philip A.
Bill, Charles Goschen, Rt Hn. G. J. (St. G'rg's) Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Blundell, Col. Henry Goschen, G. J. (Sussex) Murray, C. J. (Coventry)
Boulnois, Edmund Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Murray, Col. W. (Bath)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Myers, William Henry
Brookfield, A. Montagu Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs) Nicholson, William Graham
Bucknill, Thomas Townsend Gretton, John Nicol, Donald Ninian
Bullard, Sir Harry Greville, Captain Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.
Butcher, John George Gull, Sir Cameron O'Brien, P. (Kilkenny)
Carvill, P. G. Hamilton Gunter, Colonel O'Connor, A. (Donegal)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs) Hall, Sir Charles Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G. Pierpoint, Robert
Cecil, Lord Hugh Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Hare, Thomas Leigh Pretyman, Ernest George
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.) Heaton, John Henniker Pryce-Jones, Edward
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Helder, Augustus Purvis, Robert
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. H. Hermon-Hodge, R. Trotter Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Charrington, Spencer Hickman, Sir Alfred Rankin, James
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down) Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead) Redmond, William (Clare)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hobhouse, Henry Richards, Henry Charles
Colomb, Sir J. Charles Ready Holland, Hon. L. Raleigh Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)
Colston, C. E. H. Athole Howard, Joseph Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.
Compton, Lord Alwyne Howell, William Tudor Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.
Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow) Howorth, Sir H. Hoyle Royds, Clement Molyneux
Cornwallis, F. Stanley W. Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice- Russell, Gen. F. S. (Chel'm)
Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D. Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H. Jenkins, Sir John Jones Rutherford, John
Cranborne, Viscount Johnson-Ferguson, J. E. Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles
Cripps, Charles Alfred Johnston, William (Belfast) Savory, Sir Joseph
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn. Sir U. Seely, Charles Hilton
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Kemp, George Seton-Karr, Henry
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H. Sharpe, William E. T.
Curzon, Viscount (Bucks) Kenrick, William Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Kenyon, James Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Davenport, W. Bromley- Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Sidebottom, W. (Derbysh.)
Denny, Colonel King, Sir Henry Seymour Smith, J. Parker (Lanarks)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P. Knowles, Lees Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Donkin, Richard Sim Lafone, Alfred Spencer, Ernest
Dorington, Sir J. Edward Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks) Stanley, Lord (Lancs)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lees, Sir E. (Birkenhead) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Dyke, Rt Hon. Sir W. Hart Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset) Strauss, Arthur
Edwards, Gen. Sir J. Bevan Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a) Strutt, Hon. C. Hedley
Fardell, Sir T. George Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Sturt, Hon. H. Napier
Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward Loder, G. W. Erskine Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)
Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r) Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l) Thorburn, Walter
Thornton, Percy M. Whiteley, G. (Stockport) Wylie, Alexander
Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.) Wyndham, George
Tritton, Charles Ernest Williams, J. P. (Birm.) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Valentia, Viscount Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Verney, Hon. R. Greville Willox, Sir J. Archibald Younger, William
Warr, Augustus Frederick Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.) Wilson, J. W. (Worc'rsh., N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther
Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E. Wodehouse, E. R. (Bath)
Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon- Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Healy, Maurice (Cork) Priestley, Briggs (Forks)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Holburn, J. G. Randell, David
Bayley, T. (Derbyshire) Holden, Sir Angus Reid, Sir Robert T.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Horniman, Frederick John Rickett, J. Compton
Billson, Alfred Humphreys-Owen, A. C. Roberts, John B. (Eifion)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Robson, William Snowdon
Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn) Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Roche, Hon. J. (East Kerry)
Brigg, John Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Broadhurst, Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Schwann, Charles E.
Brunner, Sir John T. Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)
Burt, Thomas Kitson, Sir James Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Knox, E. F. Vesey Spicer, Albert
Caldwell, James Labouchere, Henry Steadman, W. Charles
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Lambert, George Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Channing, Francis Allston Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Clough, Walter Owen Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Colville, John Leng, Sir John Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Dalziel, James Henry Lewis, John Herbert Tully, Jasper
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Lough, Thomas Wallace, R. (Edinburgh)
Dillon, John Maddison, Fred. Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Doogan, P. C. Maden, John Henry Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)
Duckworth, James Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen) Walton, J. (Barnsley)
Dunn, Sir William Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport) Wayman, Thomas
Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan) Moss, Samuel Wedderburn, Sir William
Fenwick, Charles Norton, Capt. Cecil Wm. Williams, John C. (Notts)
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Nussey, Thomas Willans Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.) Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')
Gourley, Sir E. Temperley Paulton, James Mellor Yoxall, James Henry
Grey, Sir E. (Berwick) Pease, J. A. (North'mberland) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Philipps and Mr. Lloyd-George
Harwood, George Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Pirie, Duncan V.

Amendment proposed— As an Amendment to the Solicitor General's Amendment, to leave out the words 'nor to any chapel belonging to any college, school, hospital, inns of court, asylum, or other public or charitable institution.'"—(Mr. S. T. Evans.)


I might recommend this Amendment on two grounds—first of all, because it is the first Amendment I have moved on this Bill, and the only Amendment which I propose to move on this Bill; and secondly, I might recommend it on the same ground as that taken by the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich. With regard to the last Amendment of my honourable Friend behind me, I did not take part in the discussion upon it, but I voted for that Amendment practically as an abstract Resolution, because it expressed my view. But here, Sir, these benefices attaching to colleges and schools, hospitals, inns of court, asylums, and public and charitable institutions are not at all on the same footing. There is no reason whatever, if you apply this Bill to benefices, as the word is ordinarily understood, why you should not apply the same provisions to those who are appointed to similar ecclesiastical offices by masters and chapters of colleges, and authorities of that nature. I think the machinery of the Bill would be quite applicable to appointments of this kind, and that the Bill ought to be extended to them.


opposed the Amendment.

Amendment negatived, without a Division.

Report concluded.


I beg to give notice to fix the Third Reading stage for Tuesday.