HC Deb 10 July 1899 vol 74 cc325-423


Order for Committee read.


Three instructions to the Committee on this Bill stand on the Paper. The first and third, standing in the names of the hon. Member for Mid Glamorgan and the hon. Member for South Molton, are both out of order and for the same reason. They do not propose to amplify or to extend in any way the operation of the Bill. They are in the nature of alternative proposals and of a nature which, if carried, would be destructive to the principle of the Bill. Such motions are not in order as instructions. The object of these instructions would have been appropriate as an amendment to the Second Reading, and for raising a Second Reading debate, but it has been ruled before in this House, and I rule now, in accordance with those rulings, that such motions are not in order as instructions. The second instruction on the Paper, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Merthyr, is out of order, because it proposes to apply the provisions of the Bill to a subject matter which is foreign to the purpose of the Bill The object of the Bill is to give relief front rates upon the tithe rent-charge of beneficed clergy. To propose to apply it to schools and colleges is to propose to apply it to a certain class of lay impropriators who are altogether outside the object of the Bill. The instruction is, therefore, out of order, and the House will now go into Committee.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 1:—


The first Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Flint Burghs is out of order, because it proposes to postpone the consideration of the enacting clause until after the definition clause has been disposed of, which is contrary to the custom of Parliament. The second Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs is in the wrong place; it should come after the word "benefice." The same remark applies to the third Amendment, and also to the Amendments in the names of the hon. Members for Merthyr Tydvil and Northampton. The Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for West Carmarthen should come in the definition clause. That in the name of the hon. Member for Hereford is in the wrong place. I call on the Member for Swansea District.

MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)

I shall not move, Sir.


The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for North Monmouth must be taken with another Amendment which appears lower down on the Paper, winch applies a wholly different class of relief as an alternative to this clause. It would, therefore, be the proper course to move to strike out this clause and embody the proposal in a new clause. The Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Flint Boroughs should also be raised in the definition clause. That in the name of the hon. Member for Mid Glamorgan it somewhat vague, and is better raised by a statement of the value of the particular rent-charge. There are several Amendments to that effect lower down. The Amendment of the hon. Member for South Molton would convert this Bill, which is one for the relief of the clergy, into a Church Discipline Bill. The next Amendment of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil should come in the definition clause, and the same remark applies to the Amendments of the hon. Members for Market Harborough and Pontefract. Then the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for South Molton anticipates its proper position by a word or two. The first Amendment therefore in order is that of the hon. Member for Anglesey.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE) (Carnarvon, &c.

I beg to move the Amendment standing in the name of my hon. friend the Member for Anglesey. It is practically the same as that of which I hail given notice at an earlier stage. It proposes to limit the relief granted under tins Bill to cases where the value of the tithe rent-charge is £200 a year. I think the Committee would do well to accept this Amendment for two or three reasons which I now propose to give. The House of Commons has decided that the clergy had a grievance; it has decided that they are too highly rated, and, therefore, I cannot go behind that decision. But it has not decided the principle on which that relief should be given; nor has it decided the extent of that relief. The only thing which is proposed by the Bill is that a certain remedy shall be applied to a grievance under which it is declared the clergy are suffering. It is admitted that our system of local taxation requires a good deal of readjustment and that the clergy are not the only ratepayers who suffer from the present system. It is admitted further that these grievances will have to be dealt with thoroughly and drastically in the course of the next few years. Therefore the only reason for passing this Bill is to extend temporary relief to classes of the community which are unduly pressed and reduced to a certain measure of distress by the present incidence of taxation. If that is the only reason for passing a crude measure of this kind, I think it would be very much better that the operation of the Act should be limited to those cases where the distress is undoubtedly real. The Committee will find upon reading the evidence given by clergymen themselves before the Royal Commission on Local Taxation that this is a suggestion which commended itself to the majority of the witnesses called. I find from a Memorandum prepared by the hon. Member for Tunbridge and appended to the Report, that he sent out a circular on this subject to 2,000 clergymen—at any rate, he received under 2,000 replies. I cannot understand upon what principle he selected 2,000 out of 13,000 clergymen affected by this Bill, but the response he received shows that only 1,600 regarded their cases as sufficiently distressing to require the attention of a Royal Commission.


I sent out only 3,000 circulars.


That makes my case still stronger. I think there are cases where the clergy may be suffering acute distress owing to the charge levied upon them, and those cases the House has decided to deal with. But I do ask the House to exercise the discretion which the hon. Member for Tunbridge himself has exercised. He is a friend of the clergy, and is not likely to err on the side of excessive severity in his treatment of them. He evidently thinks that there are only about 3,000 cases that require the attention of the House of Commons. Why should this Committee, which is not very disposed to vote public money for the relief of the wants of the clergy, proceed to give it in 13,000 cases, when the hon. Member himself thinks that only 3,000 cases require attention? He included in his Memorandum samples, as it were, of the letters which he received from the clergy. One of his correspondents, Mr. Lloyd, gives his opinion of what the remedy should be. He says that every man should have as a living wage at least £120 free of all deductions, but that taxes might be imposed on all he received over that amount. Now, my proposal is much more liberal than that. This clergyman, whose view is approved by the hon. Member for Tunbridge, simply pleads for exemption in respect of incomes of £120. I propose to improve upon that, and to extend exemption to £200, and in that I hope I shall have the support of the hon. Member for Tunbridge. Let us draw a line between really necessitous clergymen and those who are not in actual distress, owing to the present incidence of taxation. There were several clergymen who gave evidence before the Royal Commission, but, with one single exception, they all approved of the suggestion that the relief should be extended to the necessitous clergy. One clergyman examined was Mr. L. Ellis. He was asked if the grievance which he had been speaking of could not be met by means of some relief to the poorer clergy, and he answered in the affirmative. Mr. Manners-Sutton, another clerical witness, said the same thing. Mr. McPherson—who represented the distressed clergymen, and was there to plead their cause, having been chosen for that purpose, possibly, because he was a Scotchman, and therefore most likely to get money—was asked whether he would not be satisfied if relief were granted at the present moment to clergymen whose incomes were under £160. He said he was not prepared to answer that, but he added that the clergy naturally preferred that half their rates should be paid, whether their incomes were £1,000, £500, or £100. That need not be argued; it goes without saying. But the witness was pressed to say whether the clergy would be satis- fied, for the moment, if this relief were granted to those in real need. He replied that, for the moment, they might be. Seeing that this is only a temporary measure of relief, and nobody suggests that it is a complete or final answer as far as the grievances of the clergy or anybody else are concerned, I think the Committee would do well to accept my Amendment. The whole system of local taxation is in a chaotic condition; it is full of inequalities and injustices, not merely to the clergy but also to laymen. The Royal Commission has recommended that there should be some redress granted all round. The whole point therefore is this: if you are going in for a temporary measure of relief, why not confine it to those clergy who are really necessitous, and then await the introduction of a measure which will rest the whole system of local taxation upon a basis that will be fair to everybody all round? The worst of a measure of this kind is that it means that the redressing of the grievances of one section or class of the community imposes an additional burden on others who are suffering quite as badly. I therefore propose to limit it as much as possible. Several witnesses were called before the Royal Commission to prove the grievances of different classes of the community, and their evidence has not been challenged. One case given was that of a quarry owner who, for sixteen years, had paid hundreds of pounds as rates, and all the while had got nothing out of his quarry. Then there was a metropolitan gas company which complained that it was rated four times as heavily as a competing company in an adjoining union. It is obvious that people are suffering from grievances which require to be redressed. Mr. Cassels was the only lawyer who gave evidence in favour of the parsons, and they made the most of him and quoted his opinions, although he challenged the views of all the judges of the land. What did he say? He gave the case of a shopkeeper who paid £50 rates, and was doing a good trade. Next door to him was another shopkeeper, who, although he paid the same amount of rates, was making practically no profit; yet there was no distinction drawn between the two; the man who was practically a bankrupt had to pay just as much as the man who was thriving. I do not see exactly how this illustration was applicable to the parson, but I admit it shows grievances which ought to be redressed. What, however, I would like to point out is that, while you are relieving the parson, you are increasing the rate payable by the tradesman. Now, let me take the case of a clergyman who is receiving £500 a year from tithes. Upon that at present he has to pay £50. in rates. Under this Bill he will get off with paying £25. Compare his case with that of a shopkeeper who is rented at £150. As the rates average 6s. or 7s. in the pound, he also will have to pay £50. He possibly finds it quite as much as he can do to make both ends meet; yet, while the wealthy clergyman is to get his rates reduced by one half, the burden upon the trader is to be considerably increased in order to make up the £25 given to the parson. I think that that is exceedingly unfair, and I therefore submit that my proposal to limit the relief to clergymen whose incomes do not exceed £200 is in no way Unjust. Such an income probably represents £150 net, and it is perhaps unfair to ask the recipient to pay £20 or £30 in rates out of that. You ought to relieve him, but surely there is no necessity to give relief to the man who is in receipt of £500. This is a Bill which can only be justified on the plea of urgency. There is no principle of rating laid down in it, and there is no real grievance redressed; it is simply a rough-and-ready method of meeting an emergency. The only possible case that can be made out for this Bill is the one of poverty on the part of the persons to whom the relief is extended. There may be cases of poverty made out in the case of clergymen whose gross tithe is under £200, but there really cannot be a case made out for giving £50 a year to a clergyman who is in receipt of £1,000 a year. On what possible grounds could a grant be made out of the pockets of the taxpayers in such a case? I appeal to the House of Commons, as a matter of fair play to the thousands of poor shopkeepers in the country who are suffering far more grievously, that their burdens should not be increased for the purpose of relieving the rates of gentlemen who are in receipt of large incomes. It is an exceedingly unfair proposition, and I hope the House of Commons will not accede to it. Rates are steadily on the increase, and if the House passes Bills of this character they will continue to increase. There are classes in the community which deserve quite as much consideration from this House as the parsons and the landlords, and therefore I do urge that, if this Bill is to be passed at all, it should be passed in a form which will limit its operation to real cases of distress, and will not relieve the burdens of people who are very well able to bear them. I beg to move:

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 5, after the word 'rent-charge, to insert the words, 'under the value of £200 a year.' and."—(Mr. Lloyd-George.)

Question proposed, "That those words proposed be there inserted."


The Amendment which the hon. Gentleman has just moved, as is natural with regard to the view those who act with him have lately expressed, is one which is directed against the whole principle of the Bill. The hon. Member has endeavoured, and has done so with great ability, to maintain that the object of the measure is to relieve distress. Hon. Members are perfectly entitled to hold their own views as to what the object is, but the same may be said of those who are responsible for the measure. The object ascribed by the hon. Member has nothing to do with the principle underlying this proposal. It is true that a large section of the clergy have carried on their work under very great difficulties and on very limited incomes, but there I are, as the hon. Member admitted, many other people who do that But people are not rated, except in the case of the clergy who are owners of tithe rent-charge, on their income. They arc rated on their houses, and the proposal has never been made that a man should be rated more because he was a rich man, although he lives in a moderate house. It is because the system under which the owners of tithe are rated is, in the opinion of the Government, unjust and requires amendment that the Bill has been introduced. If the Government were willing to adopt the view of the hon. Member, his proposal would not meet the difficulty, nor would it do anything to meet the eases where there is real distress. The Amendment which the hon. Member has moved on behalf of his colleague is not exactly the same as his own Amendment earlier on the Paper, which is clearer, because it defines what the value should be. This Amendment leaves it a matter of doubt whether the value is to be rateable value or commuted value. If we abandoned the principle of the Bill, which we have declared to be a reform of local taxation, and accepted the view of the hon. Member, this Amendment would not carry out his object, and limit the relief to the poor clergy. The hon. Member entirely ignores the fact that the limited incomes of imcumbents are made up from various sources. The effect of the Amendment would be most inequitable if the desire is to give relief to those of the clergy who are less well off. Take the case of an incumbent with an income from tithe on its commuted value of £210 a year. This clergyman would be outside the limit of relief proposed in the Amendment. Another incumbent near might have an income of £150 a year arising from tithe, but this income might be added to from other sources, such as pew rents, etc., bringing the total up to between £300 and £400. Under the hon. Member's proposal the incumbent with the larger income would receive relief, while the incumbent with £210 a year would be excluded. Therefore the poorer clergyman would get no relief. The Government cannot accept the Amendment, because it would be unjust in its working. It would at the same time be opposed to the object we have in view—namely, by this measure to initiate a system, which we hope will be permanently adopted, no doubt, in a modified form, with regard to the local taxation of this country.

SIR WILLAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

The right hon. Gentleman has declared that the principle of this Bill has nothing to do with the poverty of the clergy. I hope that that will be borne in mind. You may depend upon it that it is only a sentiment of sympathy with that class of the clergy who are really impoverished and the feelings which have been aroused in their favour which form the slightest justification for this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman talks of the principle of the Bill. Yes, but what we want to know is what is the justification for the Bill? The right hon. Gentleman has made some extraordinary statements on this subject of the clergy being the only people who are rated on their incomes. I know that you have given back something to the landlords, but I thought that the landlords were rated on the income derived from land. This is the situation of the tithe-owner; he is precisely in the same situation as to the manner in winch he derives his income. It is not a professional income at all. You will say no doubt it is a justification for your Bill that you have already mulcted the general public for the benefit of one class, and that that is a justification for robbing the general public in favour of another class. That is what is called the principle of the Bill. Let us examine that principle. You committed the injustice at that time under the pretence of poverty. Nobody will pretend that the Agricultural Rates Bill was not passed in consequence of the fall in the price of produce. Now you are going to do the same thing for another class, and what will happen? I will tell the right hon. Gentleman. In every rural parish of this country there will be two men who are the richest men in that parish, and they and they alone will receive from the pockets of the public this dole. I have had some experience of country parishes, and I know that those two persons are the squire and the parson, and those are the two men who will only pay half their rates. That is the principle of the Bill. Now we understand exactly what it is. It is founded upon the proposition that the wealthiest men are those who are to have the most grant out of public money. It is said this is the income of the clergy. I absolutely contest that. The tithe has never been, taken as a whole, the income of the clergy, either before the Reformation or since, either before the Commutation Act of 1836 or since. You might just as well say that of a man who has £500 a year primarily and nominally paid to him, but which is subject to a mortgage or rent-charge, or some other reduction of that kind. There fore, it is perfectly untrue to take the tithe rent-charge and say that is the income of the clergy. It never was at any time. Tithe rent-charge has been always charged with the rates, and with the support of the poor under the Act of Elizabeth. Therefore the principle of your Bill is founded on an entire fallacy. A clergyman with an income of £500 a year never was entitled to £500 except subject to those deductions. The case is very much as if a landowner went before the overseers and said, "The rateable value of my property is so much, but my property is mortgaged for three-fourths of its value, and therefore I ought only to pay one-fourth of the rate." That is the principle of your Bill. We hope to be able in this Committee—so long as we are permitted to do so—to make the country understand that this is the principle, and I think the more it is examined the more it will be found to be utterly unjustifiable, and to be one of the worst kinds of class legislation, of legislation which is taking from those who have not in order to give to those who have. Because, let it be remembered, the poorer clergy do not, generally speaking, derive benefit from tithe. Therefore the very scope of the Bill, in dealing with tithe only as regards the clergy, is dealing not universally, but generally, with the wealthier class of the clergy. That is a proposition of which anybody who has studied the question will be perfectly well aware. I saw in the paper to-day—I do not know whether it is correct—that, on dividing the sum appropriated to incumbencies in England, the average to each incumbent upon a division would be £455 a year. Of course that means that a great many livings must be very much above that figure. Do you really believe you can justify to the people of this country, either the people who inhabit the large towns or those in the country parishes, this picking out a particular class of the community and giving to them a relief to which on any sound interpretation of law they are not and never were entitled? This proposal is unjustifiable, because it relieves the clergy of a payment to which they were subject, and which they have always taken over with their livings, and the clergy had no right to take those livings except under such conditions. I support the Amendment of my hon. friend because at least it has something to justify it, and that is the position of the poorer clergy. That is the only sort of justification to be offered for a measure of this character. As for taking the money of the people of the towns for the purpose of subsidising the larger incomes of the wealthier clergy, that is a thing which cannot be justified for a moment. We are told, indeed, that Parliament has nothing to do with the Church. Convocation has told us that all we have to do with the Church is to rob other people in order to pay her. That is said to be the province of Parliament in relation to the Church, but I think the Church should get this miserable pittance from other sources. This money is not to be distributed to the poor and those who want it, but is to be thrown broadcast for people to scramble for without any regard to whether it is going to do good in a particular place where it is to be given, or to a particular person on whom it is to bestowed. That, I venture to say, is repugnant to the common sense and the sentiment of common justice of the country, and I shall certainly support the Amendment of my hon. friend.

MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

I desire to move an Amendment. We are told that this question has nothing to do with charity, but that it is a case of justice; that it is not a question of dealing with the poverty of the clergy, but it is simply to remove an injustice in the rating of the tithe rent-charge. What I should like to know is, if it is an injustice to rate the tithe rent-charge belonging to the clergy, why is it not an equal injustice to rate the tithe rent-charge which goes to colleges and schools? There can be no question about it that the rating of the tithe rent-charge payable to colleges and schools has reduced the amount of money which would otherwise have been devoted to scholarships and fellowships. We are told that this is an act of justice and not an act of charity, but I want to know why the tithe rent-charge of schools and colleges is not also dealt with at the same time? It has been stated that personal incomes are not rated, but I know from personal experience that in Monmouthshire colliery owners have had to pay 8d. a ton as a charge upon the coal even when they have been producing coal at a loss. I beg to move:

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— After the word 'the' to insert the word 'commuted'"—(Mr. D. A. Thomas.)

Question, "That the word 'commuted' be there inserted," put and agreed to.

MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)

The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Agriculture has told us that this would affect the principle of the Bill. I do not see that it can affect the principle of his measure if that principle be to give relief to those who need it most. My hon. friend below me has said that if this is the principle surely it should be made permanent, and not established only for two years. If it is intended as a reform of local taxation, why not introduce a Bill affecting all tithe-payers and not one particular class? If this be an injustice it has been going on for sixty-three years, and no attempt has ever been made to remedy it. This Amendment asks that relief be given to those who need it. I have in my hand a list of livings in which the tithes are considerably more than £250. There is a living in a parish in Dorset with a commuted tithe charge of £1,500, and you are going to relieve a clergyman with that income of half his rates. Can it be seriously urged that any reform of local taxation—which, I presume, means placing taxation on the shoulders of those best able to bear it—would relieve a man with an income of £1,500 a year? Then there is the living of Hatfield, a very historic parish, which contains the residence of the Prime Minister, which has a commuted tithe rent of £1,876, and the rector is to have half his rates paid. Can it be said that these gentlemen are mom unduly burdened than other ratepayers? The proposals of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire operated in favour of the poor, but you are giving relief to gentlemen with incomes of over £1,000. It would have been thought that hon. Gentlemen opposite, as representing the Church, would have limited this relief to the necessitous clergymen. Why, one would imagine that the Treasury had a kind of gold mine, from which they were scattering gold all over the country. The hon. Gentleman the Member for the Woodbridge Division said that there were seventy livings in the Diocese of Norwich with incomes less than £100 a year. Very well. There you have a place where you could relieve necessitous clergymen; but surely it cannot be said that you are relieving necessitous clergymen when you are relieving gentlemen with incomes of over £1,000 a year. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman this question: Does he think that in rural parishes it will be for the benefit of the Church that ratepayers should be compelled to pay half the rates of clergymen with incomes ten times greater than their own? Nothing will arouse greater hostility in the rural parishes, and the clergy know it. Why did not the Lower House of Convocation thank you for your Bill the other day? Why, they hardly accepted it, and the previous question was only negatived by one vote. Nothing is more calculated to make the ratepayers smart under a sense of injustice and to raise hostility to the Church. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see the force of this Amendment. This is only a temporary measure; it is not to be put on the Statute Book as a permanent measure of local taxation. Let it therefore relieve those necessitous clergymen, and not ask the taxpayers to pay for clergymen with large incomes.


I hardly think that the right hon. Gentleman grasps the point that lies at the base of my hon. friend's Amendment or the observations of my right hon. friend. The question we want an answer to is this: Why are you drawing a distinction between one class of tithe rent owners and another class? We could understand it if in response to the numerous representations which clergymen have made to you since you came into office you said: "Yes, you are valuable supporters of the present Government, and we will do what we can to help you in your distressed condition." We could understand then why on the basis of this interim Report you are asking that some relief should be given to necessitous clergymen. But that is not what you have done. You have brought in a Bill based, not on the particular circumstances of any class of tithe receivers, not on the necessities of the clergy, but on some injustice discovered with re-regard to the incidence of local taxation. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to say why, if it is just to pay half the rates of a tithe rent-charge owner who happens to be a beneficed clergyman, it is not also just to pay half the rates of the descendants of the men who bought tithes in the reign of Henry VIII.


The hon. Gentleman is now discussing an Amendment of his own which appears later on the Paper.


I was only replying to the observations of the right hon. Gentleman, and I have no desire to raise the general question. When the right hon. Gentleman is challenged on the pecuniary limit, he replies that it is a matter of justice, and that it does not matter whether the clergy are paid a large sum or not. If that is the principle, why do you not relieve the colleges and private persons who are owners of tithe rent? The right hon. Gentleman says that in the case of colleges the tithe rent is income; but where in law can he find a distinction between a tithe rent charge paid to a clergyman and a tithe rent-charge paid to a college? Why is it income in one case and not in the other? I deny that it is income—it has always been treated as property. I submit that the right hon. Gentleman in his answer has not met the point. He has not shown us any real logical ground for distinguishing between the clergy and other tithe rent-charge owners. If he says that he is not animated with a desire to assist the clergy, I will only reply that that is contrary to many of the declarations made by Ministers.

* MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)

I think it is perfectly patent, whatever may be the reasons adduced by Ministers of the Crown in this House, that this Bill can only in justice be based on the theory which the country entertains, namely, that the necessitous clergy alone should receive assistance from it. That appears to me to be the only defensible view to take in favour of this measure. It is somewhat significant that in the course of this Debate not a single Tory Member has spoken in defence of this extraordinary measure, and that is not surprising, considering that many hon. Members opposite represent great democratic constituencies such as Manchester, Leicester, Sheffield, and other great towns. The Bill has been repudiated by the Ministerial candidates at a recent election. A year or two ago we had a similar measure for assisting the clergy of this country by granting large subsidies to their sectarian schools. A very respected and worthy member of this House representing an East End constituency then told us that it was his habit whenever a clergyman approached his platform to gently push him off. After this Bill passes there will be many hon. Members who will desire to push the parson off their platforms. The object of the Amendment of my hon. friend is to provide that this relief or just payment, which ever it may be called, should be granted to the poorer clergy, and that the richer clergy should not receive this benefaction out of the public purse, which benefactions, I may remind the Committee, will be taken out of the important and useful grants which the county councils have been in the habit of applying for various purposes in counties and county boroughs. We must not forget, as indeed has been admitted by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Agriculture, that the clergy have various other sources of income which supplement what undoubtedly in many cases are very small stipends. I observe that in the ancient times to which the interim Report of the Commission refers the oblations were subject to rates. But although offertories, pew rents, and the benefactions of generous parishioners which come now and then in the way of the clergy are sources of income, none of these are subject to local taxation. There is a church down on the coast of Kent, well known to many Members of I the House—the church of the Parish of Lydd, connected with the great church of Canterbury. The revenue of the clergyman of that church includes the commuted tithe £1,381. But that is not the only source of income of the incumbent. He receives a very large grant from the Government in respect of the troops who are marched to his church from the neighbouring camp of Lydd. Then, although the tithe is commuted at £1,381, he is allowed an enormous percentage of deductions before arriving at the assessable value, which amounts to only £767, or little more than half of the total of the commuted value of the tithe rent-charge. On what principle of justice are the farmers—who are very heavily taxed for the tithe in the adjoining Romney Marshes—to contribute their proportion of the additional £50 a year presented out of this fund to the parish clergyman of Lydd? In the next parish of Midley there is an old ruin. No church exists at all. There is merely the gable end of an old church, which has been in ruins for three hundred or four hundred years. The tithes of that parish are now handed over to the rich neighbouring parish of Folkestone. It is a ludicrous conception of this Bill when such instances as I have quoted are adduced to describe it as doing justice. Now, I have had letters from several clergymen in the division of Lincolnshire which I represent asking me to support this Bill. I have not the honour to be supported by many clergymen. In my division of Lincolnshire, out of seventy-six clergymen seventy-two are my political opponents. Of the remaining four three have written to me to ask me to vote for this Bill, but two of them have discovered since they wrote me that they wrote me under a complete hallucination, and that the Bill will give them no relief at all. One finds that his benefice, which is attached to one of the Cambridge colleges, does not come under the Bill. If the Bill had been based on the principle of justice surely a college living would have been given some relief. Take another case. There is a rich living in my division where the un-unfortunate clergyman did a very foolish thing—he bought the living. I have done my very best for some years past to help him, as a benevolent friend of the clergy, over the various quagmires into which he every now and again gets plunged. His living is what is called sequestrated, and the Bishop of the Diocese has put in some legal functionary who seems to be kept a sort of an appendage to the Bishop; and that man is now in charge of the spiritual interests of this parish. The poor rector or vicar is a waif and stray, wandering from one end of the country to the other trying to earn a precarious living as locum tenens. When the Bill was introduced he thought he was in sight of the Land of Goshen, and pictured himself back again in his happy living; but now I am told the Bill does not apply to livings which have been sequestrated, and where the person in charge of the spiritual interests of the parish happens to be in the position of a receiver


It will apply just the same.


Well, he has taken legal advice.


That is another thing.


The advice is not mine. I am not learned in ecclesiastical law. But he has taken the advice of some learned chancellor or legal functionary, and he is told that he will still have to wander like a spiritual Arab over the length and breadth of the country and that he would get no relief. There is only one other clergyman who seems to be a beneficiary under the Act who has appealed to me to support it. His income is £600 a year. His ancestors bought the living, which has been gently handed down from father to son, and I suppose, unless the law is altered, that will go on for ever. His income, as I have said, is £600 a year. He is, I believe, an eloquent preacher, but his congregation is small. That is no fault of his, because the bulk of his parishioners are dissenters. His collections are also small, averaging less than 2s., and his congregation is less than twelve. On what grounds of justice—and this Bill is put before us purely as an act of justice—is this gentleman to get a benefaction of £30 a year? I do not think we are asking anything at all unreasonable in suggesting that this measure should be confined to the poor and necessitous clergy whose commuted tithe rent-charge stands at the figure of £200 a year. I beg to support the Amendment of my hon. friend.


I wish to challenge a statement made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite and by several other hon. Members at a previous stage of this Bill, that the tithes when originally given were given partly to the support Of the poor. The right hon. Gentleman used that as an argument for voting against the Second Reading.


That has nothing whatever to do with the Amendment before the Committee.

MR. WARNER (Stafford, Lichfield)

There has been a very extraordinary defence made by the Government in their opposition to this Amendment. I am not at all surprised that the Minister for Agriculture is the only person on that side of the House who speaks in favour of the Government proposal and against the Amendment, because votes are very seldom looked at by constituents, but speeches are; and speeches in the House of Commons in favour of this Bill would probably be exceedingly unpopular. Therefore it is not surprising that hon. Gentlemen are maintaining a discreet silence on the subject.


The hon. Member should not judge other people's constituencies from his own.


By what other standard should I judge them than by that of my own constituency, especially when mine contains rather more than the average number of clergy; and, therefore, I am still more surprised at the interruption. What I want to know is the extraordinary principle that the Bill is run on. It is called justice; but the only case that the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Agriculture gave was where a benefice got £210 a year from the tithe rent-charge, and under this Amendment it would not be excluded, but if the next living had only £150 a year from tithe rent-charge and £200 a year from other sources of income it would be excluded. That is an exceedingly good reason for saying that where the whole income of the living exceeds £200 it should not be exempted, and if the right hon. Gentleman will accept that proposition surely there is ability sufficient on either side of the House to draft Amendments to meet the difficulty; that is to say, that where the whole income of the benefice, including the value of the house, does not exceed £200, the clergy should get advantage of the provisions of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman says that we ought not to curtail the extent of the Bill to prevent the relief of the richer clergy, because that would be very unpopular. Well, I will take, not his own county, or even the county of Stafford with which I am connected, or the City of Bristol, but the poorer places in those agricultural districts the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Agriculture is so anxious to relieve and where he did so much for the landlords. Take Somersetshire, where the rates amount to £14,000, or the more grievous case, the county of Essex, where the land is going out of cultivation because of the difficulty of paying the high rates. Surely that is a county where something should be done to alleviate the hardships of the poorer clergy. But if you leave the Bill as it stands, and do not cut off the relief to the richer parsons, you increase the rates in Essex to the extent of £1,500 a year—and that in a county that is going out of cultivation because the rates and taxes are so high upon it at present! That is a very serious case and one which agricultural Members in this House ought to think seriously about, before they vote for this haphazard addition to the revenues of the Church of England and for putting an additional burden on the ratepayers of the country. It may be said, "You ought not to want to reduce it, because it is already such a small sum—only £86,000 a year." Yes, but that is a very large sum. I will put it in this way. You are adding at one swoop, out of the unwilling ratepayers' pockets, 30 per cent. to the endowments of the Church during the last 200 years. That is too much to give to rich persons. I should not object if this Bill had proper safeguards such as is proposed by this Amendment, in order to ensure that all the money that you give goes to the needy parsons who have a difficulty to make both ends meet—either to the poor men who are working in our great towns for a miserable pittance of less than £100 a year, or to those engaged in the country districts who have not enough to keep their houses in a proper state of repair—but you give this money to those clergymen whose living is worth £1,000, and in some cases £2,000, who are perfectly able to take care of themselves. I hope to hear somebody on the opposite side of the House give some reason why you should tax the poor to subsidise the rich clergy of this country. I trust that later on, if not to-day, this Bill will be so curtailed as to avoid this great injustice.

* SIR H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

I am not going to discuss the general question of the Bill on this Amendment. The Amendment itself is sufficiently serious, not only for the matter which it contains, but also for the declaration which the Minister in charge of the Bill has made, and which has been already powerfully emphasised by my right hon. friend the Member for West Monmouth. The Minister in charge of the Bill, said that it was entirely a Bill to be looked at in the light of justice, totally irrespective of the means or the position of the persons receiving the grant. (Ministerial cheers.) That sentiment was cheered—that it is the abstract right of the tithe-owner who pays rates to have half his rates paid to him because it is professional income. How does the right hon. Gentleman apply that principle?


I stated that no case had been brought forward by the Opposition to meet the challenge we had given—namely, that a clergyman is rated upon his income at a higher rate than anybody else's income. I did not use the words "professional income."


I will take the word "professional" out, but I do not see exactly the force of the right hon. Gentleman's argument, if it does not apply in the sense in which I apply it—viz., that the tithe-owner is to be relieved from the payment of his rates under the circumstances stated. The relief is to be given in both cases in the same way. I will put it in a concrete form. I will take Amersham, in Buckinghamshire. The net amount of the tithe in Amersham is £1,150 a year. The rates are paid by the landlord, and they were £286, and there was awarded to the clerical titheowner at Amersham a rent-charge of £1,500 a year, which covers both his tithe and rates. If we go to Wiltshire, there is a very strong case in the parish of Melksham. There the tithe is £976 4s. 4d., the rates were £178 2s. 8d., and the rent-charge is £1,278 8s. 10d. If I go to Mold in Flintshire, I find the tithe is £1,314, the rates £270, and the tithe rent-charge £1,645. I want the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee where is the justice of taking public money, raised by the general taxation of the country, in order to make a present to gentlemen receiving incomes of between £1,000 and £2,000 a year. It is idle to say that the case for the Bill is not based upon the poor clergy. Were it not so the Bill would be laughed out of the House of Commons. I think the poor clergy have a very strong case. I said so on the Second Reading, but I do not think this is the proper way to meet it; on the contrary, I think it is a radically wrong way. Is it right to give this relief to a man who is receiving an income—income from property—of £1,600, £1,700, or £1,800 a year, and say to the urban taxpayers or the rural taxpayers that that man has a right to have one-half of his rates paid out of the general taxation? I shall support this Amendment on the principle that if this Bill is passed it should be confined to the poor clergy, to the people who are necessitous, and that the money proposed to be voted should not be lavished as it was under the Agricultural Rating Act, when you gave the owners of very valuable land in large towns the same contribution that you gave to the poor landowners like those of Essex. Hon. Gentlemen are the best judges of their own business, and they know whether this is a happy precedent to follow now. At all events, we know now that what we are going to divide upon is not the merits of the Bill, or whether this is a right mode of giving relief—that was decided on the Second Reading issue—but we are going to divide upon the question, Is it right or wrong that this relief should be confined to those who deserve it, and not given to those who are far better able to do without it than the vast masses of the people?


The right hon. Gentleman has asked a question, and, after the manner of the Opposition, he has selected for himself and for them what the issue before the Committee shall be; and naturally he has placed the question in a light which will be most agreeable to his friends. But I again repeat what I said before, that as it is the right hon. Gentleman's undoubted right to give his own description of the issue before the Committee, so it is undoubtedly the right of those of us who are responsible for the Bill to put the issue before the Committee as it appears to us. Certainly it is not as described by the right hon. Gentleman. He quoted certain cases from a Parliamentary Return in which additions were made. That has nothing to do, as far as we are able to see, with the line which is to be taken in regard to the payment of rates. The additions in respect of rates affect only the sum which has been already agreed upon by private arrangement between the tithe-owner and the tithepayer previous to the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836. The effect of that Act is to rectify in some cases, to vary in others, but to make permanent in all, the arrangements arrived at previously between the two parties—the titheowner and the tithe-payer. The difference in the amounts referred to by the right hon. Gentleman is accounted for by the additions made in those cases where the bargain is regarded by the Commissioners as a bad one to the tithe-owner, or by deductions made in the other cases where the bargain is thought to be unfair to the tithe-payer. Whether the rates are high or low in no way affects the question now under consideration, but solely the property of the tithe-owner as fixed before the passing of the Act and subsequently confirmed by the Act. The right hon. Gentleman said that the cases he referred to could be quoted to any extent; it is true, because these arrangements were made previous to 1836 in 50 per cent. of the cases. The question is asked, Are you going to give this relief to a man whose income is from £1,000 to £1,200 a year, the same as to a man whose income is between £200 and £300 a year? My reply is "Yes." The right hon. Gentleman asks the reason why, and, although I stated it before, I have no objection to state it again. The position of the owner of tithe rent-charge to whom this Bill applies as a ratepayer is one, we contend, of injustice, comparing him with other ratepayers in the same position in regard to the property on which they are rated. In the case of the majority of ordinary ratepayers their rates amount to 1 or 2 per cent. of their incomes, whereas the owner of tithe rent-charge pays at the rate of 20 per cent. That is the reason why we say that, whether the income is great or small, it is just that Parliament, if we are dealing with a reform of this question, should deal with it as a whole, and not limit it in the manner indicated by the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman.

MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

If the argument the right hon. Gentleman has just used is the argument on which the Government are going to defend their proposals, I should like to put to him once more a question which has already been asked more than once—namely, why, if this is going to be a complete and logical measure, do you not give the same relief to a person who has exactly the same claim to it, the lay impropriator of tithes? He derives his income from precisely the same source as the beneficed clergy, and he is rated in respect of his income upon the same excessive scale as the clergyman is. If, therefore, that is ground for granting relief in the one case, it is obviously ground for granting relief in the other. It is totally impossible to represent this measure as anything but an illogical and half-hearted scheme. There is one other question I should like to put to the right hon. Gentleman in reference to the argument of my right hon. friend the Member for Wolverhampton. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman what he conceives to be the income of the tithe-owner the day before the commutation. The income received by the parson is the amount of the composition, and not one halfpenny more, and therefore it is a complete fallacy to treat the sum awarded at the time of the commutation, which included the gross payments in respect of rates in addition to the amount of the net income he has been receiving before, as though that were or ever has been the income of the parson.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

The right hon. Gentleman has asked the Committee to confine their attention to the principle of this Bill, and I think we should better understand the principle if we keep out of mind altogether the fact that it has anything to do with the clergy. What is the principle of rating? Rating has simply to do with property; it has nothing to do with the incomes of the people who pay the rates. The principle of rating has nothing in the world to do with any argument about income. That is quite beside the mark. The arrangement is that a certain proportion of the cost of bearing the public burdens should be raised from land, and that that proportion should be the first charge on the land—as upon all other property. So that in the case of the tithe rent payer, if he paid £100 a year for rates and received £300 for tithe, he never received £400 a year, his income was £300, the £100 being simply taken as first charge for the public burden. The rate has purely to do with how much is it fair to raise from certain classes of property to meet the public burden. There is a very important principle involved in the Bill—one which will deeply stir the mind of the public when once it is realised—and that is, whether or not you should shift a certain portion of the burden which has hitherto been borne by land from land to other kinds of property or taxation. It is not a question of whether we should relieve the clergy, or whether they pay in rates a larger or a smaller proportion of their income than others. The question is: Shall land pay such a proportion towards the public burdens? You are touching one of the most important principles of English law, the disturbance of which will shatter the Party opposite. Recent elections prove this. Nothing has stirred the heart of the people more than the feeling that the land does not now bear its fair share of the burden. In the face of these facts, is it not trivial to base this measure upon a principle? Would it not be politic to base it upon temporary expediency? The whole Bill has that aspect. In the first place, it is for three years only; secondly, it affects half the rates. Why not the whole or three-fourths?


Order, order! The hon. Gentleman is talking at random upon nearly all the subsequent Amendments. I must ask him to confine himself to the Amendment before the Committee.


I beg your pardon, Sir. I was going to appeal to the Government to regard this as a matter of temporary expediency, and not to take the dangerous step of basing it upon any principle. If that suggestion is adopted this Amendment is an admirable one. Let the Government say that they propose this as a measure of temporary relief for a distressed portion of the community, and appeal to the sympathy of the country. That is the ground upon which to base it, and in all good nature I make that suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman, believing that it will most commend this Bill to the country.


This Bill, we are told, has nothing to do with the necessities of the clergy, and is not formulated in this House to remedy the results of the hardship which the clergy are suffering in consequence of the reduction in the value of tithe. The argument is that this is a measure of justice to a very heavily-rated section of the community—a section of the community who, we are told, pay rates upon the whole of their income. I deny that from the outset. The clergy pay rates upon that part of their income derivable from rateable property, just as everybody else pays on their income from a similar class of property. The right hon. Gentleman said he was fully in agreement with the opinion of the House that this was only piecemeal legislation, and that ultimately the whole question of the burden on rate able and non-rateable property would have to be dealt with. Therefore even at its best, this is only a graduated piece of justice, and it is put forward merely as a modicum of justice until the whole question can be dealt with. The point I want to make is that money is required for giving this measure of justice to the clergy. Where does that money come from? It comes from the Local Taxation Account, which is distributable amongst——


The hon. Member is anticipating future Amendments. I must ask him to confine himself to the one before the Committee.


I was leading up to my argument, which is that as this is a measure of justice to the clergy it is pro tanto a measure of injustice to those rating authorities who have to find the money. I think that probably upon that line I may be permitted to argue.


I do not think that that is the question before the Committee. The question before the Committee is whether those who receive a larger tithe rent-charge than £200 are to be struck out of the Bill; whether the Bill is to be made applicable only to those who are in receipt of tithe rent-charge below £200.


Of course I submit to your ruling, but when you have heard my argument I think you will change your mind. If this be a measure of justice to the clergy, it is a measure of injustice to the towns. I would ask the House to limit that injustice by reducing in accordance with the terms of this Amendment the justice to the clergy. That is the argument I desire to develop, and I think it is coherent and, taken as a whole, in order. You cannot pick this money up on any Tom Tiddler's ground; you are going to obtain it from a fund which is distributable amongst all the rating authorities of the country. Out of the total number of assessments in the country the towns have the largest proportion, and therefore in proportion to the justice you are dealing out to the clergy you are dealing out injustice to the towns, because you are taking money from the towns and urban districts and handing it over to the clergy. That being so, is it not desirable that the injustice should be limited to the smallest possible amount which will enable you to relieve the most necessitous cases? This is a fine which the towns and rating authorities of the country will have to pay in order to augment the incomes of the clergy, and I suggest that the fine should be reduced to the smallest possible amount in order to keep the injustice within the closest possible limits.

MR. LOGAN (Leicester, Harborough)

The right hon. Gentleman says that he does not base his case for the Bill on the poverty of the clergy, but I do base my opposition to the clause upon the ground that I represent a large number of very poor people who cannot afford to pay their contribution towards the half of the rates of which the clergy are to be relieved. I heartily support the Amendment before the Committee, because under it the gross injustice to the poor of the country will be minimised to a certain extent. The right lion. Gentleman in charge of the Bill talks about injustice. Is he prepared to go down into the country and argue before men who receive 12s. a week that, as an act of justice, they should contribute out of their miserable wage a portion of the rates of the clergy? The clergy are in marry cases poor, but the great majority are in affluent circumstances compared to the Men upon whom they live, and who will have to contribute to the livelihood of these gentlemen out of their scanty earnings. I am astonished that the right hon. Gentleman who has charge of this Bill should have the nerve to introduce it—a Bill which, looking at it in its native hideousness, will compel a man in Devonshire earning 10s. a week to contribute to the living of a man with £10,000 a year.


How much will he contribute?


I am asked how much will he contribute. It need be very little, indeed, out of a weekly wage of 9s. or 10s. The hon. Gentleman has endeavourved to prove that the tithe rent is an increment, but as we understand it it is nothing of the kind. I desire to support the Amendment because this Bill without it will do a very great injustice to the other classes of the community. I object to the clergy being assisted out of the pockets of those who are worse off than themselves. This Bill, whether the Amendment is accepted or not, is another bribe in the face of a General Election, and as such I have great pleasure in endeavouring to reduce the amount of it.

* MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

I think it was unfortunate that an hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House was obliged to bring his speech to so premature a conclusion; because he was the only one on that side who rose to break the conspiracy of silence which we have to meet, and from which the country will draw its own conclusions. The President of the Board of Agriculture is opposed to the Amendment on the ground that this is an act of simple justice. That we deny, but assuming that view is sound, it is not a measure of justice to the whole, but only to a section of the tithe-payers, and it is because the Amendment now before the Committee to some extent limits the injustice of this measure that I give it my support.


If the hon. Member for the Harborough Division knew anything about cottage property he would know that the man getting 9s. a week pays no rates; they are paid for him under composition by the landlord, and the amount is so small that it is never taken into consideration in fixing the rent. With regard to the suggested injustice of this Bill, I might give one illustration of a rector I know, who, ever since he has had the living, has paid £25 a year more rates than a person occupying a similar house. In twenty years he has paid £500 more in rates than his neighbours, and now because we suggest that the ratepayers should take on themselves a burden which they ought to have taken long ago we are told it is unjust to the ratepayers. There is no injustice at all.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I was much surprised to hear the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Dorset say that a man who occupied a house at £9 a year paid no rates.


I said nothing of the kind. I said a man earning 9s. a week paid no appreciable share of the rates.


No, because the landlord pays it, and he gets it out of the rent, and what is more, the happy land-land gets 30s. off for paying it. Then he tells us a parson in his neighbourhood pays more rates than his neighbour, but what does the neighbour get his money out of? If he got it out of the tithes I could quite understand he would be hardly treated if the parson did pay more. But the parson gets his income out of the tithes, and he, like every tithe-owner, robs the community of the amount he gets out of the tithes. I am perfectly impartial on this Amendment, because I would take away the tithes under £200 a year, and I would take them away over £200 a year. I would take them away from the lay and from the clerical impropriator. It seems to me that this Amendment is not only of an impossible character, but it is one which will not hold water. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Agriculture has immortalised himself by muzzling dogs, arid now he seems to me to be trying to muzzle the supporters of the Government as if they were mere dogs. I do trust that this, and I implore hon. Gentlemen opposite not to sit stolidly silent but to find their tongues and say that they will not be treated in this way by the right hon. Gentleman. (Cries of "Question.") Why don't hon. Gentlemen opposite get up and make speeches upon this subject instead of crying out "Question, question"? There the hon. Member opposite sits lolling in that way——


Order, order. "Lolling" is not an appropriate expression to use, and I hope the hon. Member will withdraw it.


Then I will withdraw it at once, and I may say that the hon. Member sits in a most graceful attitude. The question has been asked if there is any person who pays rates upon his income; but do not colliery owners and quarry owners pay rates upon their income? That is a matter of hard fact, and very often they pay on a good deal more than their income. Now what is the Amendment? It is that the clergy receiving above £200 a year should not benefit by this dole which is being given. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has read through the evidence given before the Committee, but if he has done so he will have seen that a large number of clergy came forward as witnesses, and they said that it was only fair that this dole should be limited to those who had salaries below £150 per annum. A gentleman named Davis—a most estimable person—said he thought that £150 was about the correct figure, and I agree with him entirely. A pastor is a man—or ought to be—who does not preach the Gospel for his own benefit, but for the benefit of other people, and provided that he gets a small and reasonable income he ought to be satisfied. What did Oliver Goldsmith say in his "Deserted Village"? He said: "Passing rich on £40 a year." Surely a clergyman to-day is "passing rich" on £200 a year, and I do not want us to give him any help. Comparing the number of clergy receiving £200 a year, and the number of those receiving above that amount, if you gave nothing to those above £200 a year, you would be able to allow to the remainder not only half the rate on the tithe but the whole of it. If we are to treat this matter from the point of view of the State giving to these clergy a fair and adequate income, we certainly ought to do it in regard to the poor and not in regard to the rich. There are a number of livings with incomes of over £1,000 per annum. I should like to know how much the dissenting minister gets in a parish where the clergyman is receiving £1,000 per annum. The clergyman receives this money from the poorest of the poor, and he also receives a portion from the dissenting minister, who often only gets from £60 to £70 a year, and yet you call upon him to pay an extra amount of rates in order that the clergyman of the Church of England may receive a reduc- tion of £60 per annum upon his rates. The thing is positively unfair and unjust. I cannot really understand how any hon. Gentlemen opposite, looking at the matter in a fair way, can fail to agree with us that at any rate this reduction should be allowed only to those clergymen with salaries below £200 per annum. As a matter of abstract historical logical justice we ought not to give this money to the men who really have already a sufficient income, and have a far greater income than the average clergyman in any part of the world. It is nonsense to talk about a clergyman in a small country parish with £1,000 a year not having too much. I should like to see the whole of the money put into one fund and paid out according to the services rendered. If this were done the Church of England would be able to pay these clergymen without "sponging" on the community and without asking us to help men who are getting £1,000, £2,000, and in some cases £3,000 per annum. (Mr. TALBOT: "No, no.") The right hon. Gentleman says "No," and perhaps he knows a great deal more about it than I do. I am not myself in the Church, and I do not represent a university; therefore, I do not enter into these details like the right hon. Gentleman opposite. But the right hon. Gentleman is an able speaker, so I will sit down to let him get up and explain how many livings there are above £1,000 a year, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will follow me.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid.)

The real ground for this Bill is that there are a certain number of livings in the country where the parsons feel the pinch of poverty, and this is the real ground on which this measure is brought forward. The right hon. Gentleman opposite knows perfectly well the position of these poorer clergy, and yet he proposes to still further endow the rich livings of this country. The right hon. Gentleman is driven, in opposition to this very reasonable Amendment, to say that he does not do it to relieve poverty, but as an extension of what is fair and just in what he calls the principle of rating. But there is no principle of rating underlying this Bill at all, and no rating principle can be adduced by anybody on that side of the House in opposition to the Amendment of my hon. friend. The right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill says you ought to deal with all clerical incomes alike, and you ought not to tax professional incomes. But what sort of an income is dealt with in this case? The right hon. Gentleman says it is income, but I contend that it is not income at all. Suppose a man was appointed to a living two years ago, and it was worth £600 or £800. That man knew that out of that sum there would be certain deductions for rates and other matters amounting to about £200, and he knew that the net amount he would have was not £800 but £600. Now that man under this Bill is having a gift given to him of £40 a year. It will not do for the right hon. Gentleman and his friends to say, "We were forced to do something for the poor clergy, but we could not give £10 a year to a man with £150 a year without giving £40 to a man with £600 a year." The amount paid to the clergy is not income. The doctor has his patients, the lawyer his clients, and the shopkeeper his customers, but the incomes of the clergy are not founded on this principle. I venture to say that in many parishes in the country the people from whose land the tithes come do not go to that particular church at all. Therefore, how can you call it income in the sense of a man who earns his money in a profession like that of the law or of medicine? The whole case made out is not one of principle at all, but one of dole. You were content when the Agricultural Rating Bill was before this House with the statement that it was a mere temporary expedient, and now it is said that because the Agricultural Rating Act relieved those in occupation of agricultural land we ought to do the same for the parsons. The Secretary to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in answer to a question, stated that: The landowner having had his turn, the tithe-owner now thinks that his time has come. You have pretended to give the farmer this relief, and now you say it is the turn for the Church. Supposing a widow had a sum of money left her three or four years ago, or at the time when Home Rule was before the country, when Consols were very high—I believe they got up to 115. Why should you not extend this principle, and make up the loss to this lady which she has sustained in consequence of the fall in the price? But these clergy- men have an association, and we find the hon. Member for Tunbridge sending leaflets broadcast to the poor clergy in the rural districts, inviting them to put their wails and sufferings before Parliament. I do not know exactly what the price of a curate is, but he was priced and valued by the hon. Member opposite at £150. It is curious to note that in some of the instances which are given in the evidence there are livings specified, and one witness—the Rev. Mr. Jepp—who is a justice of the peace and deputy-chairman of Quarter Sessions, said he thought there should be a uniform abatement in every benefice, because he thought "one man's services were as good as another theoretically." I do not suppose that we should have had this complaint if the Bill had been confined to the propositions contained within the four corners of this Amendment, and I should be very much surprised if the richer clergymen are not unanimously of opinion that this relief should be given to the poorer clergy. I do not know what the Rev. Mr. Jepp has to complain of, for his living is worth £323 a year and his net income is £244, while the whole church accommodation in his parish is only 450. Can it be said that that man is badly paid for administering to the spiritual needs of his congregation, when he cannot possibly get more than 450 people in his church? I know many Nonconformist ministers, who have much larger congregations, would be very glad if their incomes were brought up to £244. I will give another instance where the gross income of the living is £272, and this will be excluded if this Amendment is carried. Now, the net income in this case is £188, but what is the population of that parish? I daresay the Committee will be astonished to hear that the entire population is only seventy-nine people all told. The question is whether you ought to give relief to this man, who has only got seventy-nine people in his parish, and who already gets this large sum of money. This Amendment is most pertinent to this particular case, for the church accommodation in this instance is only sixty. This clergyman cannot stow more than sixty people when his church is full, and I have no doubt that he has ample room for his congregation. Is that a case in which you ought, under this Bill, to take money out of the public funds to assist these people? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University said there were not many livings worth £3,000 or £2,000 a year, but in this very Return there is a living in the county of Norfolk where the gross income is £1,254, which is more than an Under Secretary gets. The right hon. Gentleman says the clergyman has to pay curates £300, but if he does not do the work himself but employs curates to do it for him he ought to pay them. I do not think his work is so great that a curate is necessary. In the parish to which I have just alluded the church accommodation is only 365, and such cases might be multiplied over and over again. I think, however, two or three cases are as good as two or three dozen, and I do not want to weary the House. These are instances given from the appendix to the Report, and they are very material to the question which the Royal Commission considered. If the Government are bound, as a temporary expedient, to have recourse to the public funds in order to put money into the pockets of the clergy, why do you not confine your generosity to the case of the poor vicar and the poor rector? We are quite astonished that you should come to the public funds at all for this purpose. I suppose the noble Lord the Member for Rochester will claim that the adherents of the Church number ten millions. If that is so, all it means is that each member of the Church should give another twopence a year out of their own pockets. Do you really have so little regard for the comfort of your clergy and so little regard for their power of usefulness that you are prepared to say that the members of the Church of England will not put their hands in their pocket to provide another twopence per head per annum to make up this £87,000 which is proposed to be voted to the Church by this Bill? I do appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite who are supporters of the Government to vote according to their consciences on this question, and if they do so, I believe they will be bound to go into the lobby to prevent these public funds from being give to those men who are already amply remunerated.

MR. CRIPPS (Gloucestershire, Stroud)

With regard to this particular Amendment I would appeal to hon. Members opposite to consider whether it would not be wholly inconsistent with every prin- ciple of rating ever applied in this country to make a difference in rating where a man was receiving a large income or a small one. Would any hon. Member opposite suggest that if a man only possessed five or six houses his property should be rated differently to that of the man who owns a much larger number? If this Amendment is carried in its present form it will have this effect, for it is inconsistent with every principle of rating which has been carried in this House.


Why not reduce the rating upon the houses?


What I am trying to point out is that if this Amendment is carried it will make this Bill absolutely inconsistent with every principle of rating in this country by making a distinction between large owners and small ones. I challenge any hon. Member opposite to give a single illustration to show that the circumstance of a man deriving a large or a small income from the same kind of property has ever been made a reason for altering the rating of that property. That is what this Amendment seeks to do.


This Bill is the illustration.

MR. MCKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)

In this very Bill a distinction is drawn between the same kind of property where it is held by a clerical person and a layman.


I think that interruption shows that my point has not been appreciated by the hon. Member. I am not going back to the whole question, but I am now dealing with this particular Amendment, and I am perfectly ready to admit that there is that distinction. What I wish to point out is that every member of the Royal Commission, except one, quite irrespective of politics, came to the conclusion that a distinction should be drawn between the two classes of property. It is not a question of poverty. The Agricultural Rating Bill was put forward because in the opinion of Sir Alfred Milner a certain class of property was really paying double what it ought to pay. That is the simple fact. I should like to refer to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton, who is an admitted authority on such topics. We say in this Bill, not that this property should not be rated, but that it has been rated on a wrong basis and a wrong principle. That is the whole case, and it has not been met by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. It is an argumentative and difficult point, and the Royal Commission, having spent twenty or thirty days in hearing evidence, and having devoted an enormous amount of attention to it, came to the conclusion that tithe rent-charge was unjustly rated. Starting from that premises we ought to have immediate legislation such as is now suggested to remedy the injustice. I go further, and say it is the first step in the reform of local taxation so far as our recommendations are concerned, The only way to remedy matters of this kind is to seek for injustices and deal with them one by one. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton referred to what was done in 1836, but what was done then is quite irrelevant to what we are now discussing. The object then was to have in all cases rateable property assessed on the same basis in every instance. That was simply all that was done, but that has nothing on earth to do with the proper principle and basis upon which rating should be assessed. Speaking for myself, I cannot for a moment argue that this is not rateable property, or that it should not be rated as other property. The question is, is it so rated at the present time or not? The Royal Commission thought not, and therefore we ought to deal with this tithe rent-charge on the same basis as other property. The theory of this Amendment is to deal with property in different ways according as a man has a large or a small amount. It is absolutely inconsistent with every principle of rating, and apart from the question of poor man's prejudice, I do not think a single responsible Member with any knowledge of rating will rise and say that the principle involved in this Amendment is one that can be adopted without upsetting the whole theory and principle of rating in the country.


The hon. and learned Member has challenged us on the main proposition that property ought to be rated on the same footing, whatever its value may be, and he asks us to point out an exception to it. This Bill is the exception. He says with reference to land generally that no enquiry is made whether the income a man derives from it is £100 or £1,000. That is perfectly true, but you rate all land alike, and you do not rate all tithe alike. You have introduced a personal distinction; you have violated every law of rating by basing this Bill on the principle of personal distinctions. The Government were wise enough not to raise the question of personal service. The right hon. Gentleman in charge of this Bill never uttered the words "personal service." He knew what a rotten principle they involved, but the hon. and learned Member has let the cat out of the bag. If this Bill is to be based upon personal service, is the personal service to be the same in the case of the man who gets £1,500 a year as in the case of a man who gets £200 a year? The moment you come to personal service you must assess that service. But if that is to be assessed, why not the rectory house as well as the tithe rent-charge, and everything else from which an incumbent derives any income? The hon. and learned Gentleman has ruined this Bill. Now that we have got rid of the poverty argument and got on the ground of personal service, I think the contents of this Bill are utterly destroyed. I was longing all the time that we should get to personal service, because greater nonsense was never talked on the subject than by the Royal Commission from the Report of which the hon. and learned Gentleman has quoted, though really he is only quoting himself. I suppose the hon. and learned Gentleman is the original and sole discoverer of personal service, but as a foundation for this Bill it cannot be maintained for a moment. If the discussion on this Amendment has been somewhat extended, it is due to the fact, that the right hon. Gentleman immediately the Amendment was moved started upon the fundamental principles of the Bill. If the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to discuss the fundamental principles of the Bill, surely Members on this side are entitled to follow him. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Stroud said the fundamental principle of the Bill was that all property should be rated alike, but then you introduce a Bill which distinguishes between tithe given to the owner of a benefice and tithe given to other people. Is that the fundamental principle of the Bill? I think we on this side ought to be extremely obliged to the hon. and learned Member.

MR. HALDANE (Haddington)

Like the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down I rise to express my satisfaction that the hon. and learned Member opposite has recalled the Committee to the real point at issue. We have heard of the property argument based on the Report of the Royal Commission. Hon. Members opposite defend that Report but the Bill condemns it. The Commissioners proposed that there should be a deduction which would represent what it would cost to employ a curate. But the Bill throws that overboard, and proposes to pay half the rates, whether a curate is employed or not, and it draws no distinction between the cases winch the Commissioners recommended as fit for deduction and cases to which no such consideration was given. What is the use of quoting to us the Report of the Commission as an argument in favour of the proposal we are now discussing? What is the gravamen of the attack on this side? It is that you are not treating this property in the ordinary way. I should have thought that the Government would take some steps to bring under review the case of the Queen v. Sherman. As long as that case stands you are not entitled to make the reduction you are now setting up. If that case is wrong why not take it to the House of Lords? That tribunal will not be prejudiced in any appeal brought on behalf of clergymen of the Church of England. We have challenged the Solicitor-General on previous occasions to say that we are wrong, and he has not got up to defend the principle of this Bill. In face of these considerations it must be held that the Bill is really based on a footing of kindliness and a disposition to assist the clergy who are in difficulties. I sympathise with them, but it is impossible for us to look at the matter on any other footing. The £200 limit is at the bottom of the controversy, and on that we must go to a Division.


It is really distressing to see the inaccessibility of the other side of the House to argument, or at any rate to statement. Her Majesty's Ministers have told the House over and over again that this Bill is founded, not on mercy, but on justice. This Amendment is, however, based on the theory that the Bill is founded on mercy; but if the Bill is founded, as my right hon. friend has informed us, on justice, there is no reason why the amount should be limited. Before I part from the argument of mercy, let me say that I feel personally what the Government do not feel—that this Bill is to be largely defended on grounds of mercy. That is not the official view, and that is not the view in which any hon. Member on this side will vote. He will vote for justice and mercy. There is no ground whatever for the Amendment. Justice is our plea. The hon. and learned Member for Stroud stated that this Bill is an alteration in the method of rating to bring it into accord with justice. The Bill to my mind leaves rating exactly where it is, but provides some of the late on the ground of justice. I am a disciple of my hon. and learned friend as to the method. He says that the grievance is that a sufficient deduction has not been allowed, and that it is necessary, in order to place the owners of the tithe rent-charge in the same position as the owners of other rateable property, to provide by legislation for further reductions. If this Bill has not taken precisely that method, it may perhaps in its career through this House be brought into accord with it. I have an Amendment myself which is based on the principle of deducting a certain amount and allowing for it. I think the Bill may be open to amendment in respect of method. All I wish is to appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite to accept the grounds on which the Bill is based, and to reject from their minds all notion of mercy and all ideas of distressed clergymen going about looking for bread to give them strength to preach their sermons on the next Sunday. We have nothing to do with that in this Bill. It is to be solely discussed upon the principle of justice, and on that ground I think the present Amendment is entirely misconceived and must have emanated from the mind of an hon. Gentleman incapable of appreciating the high principle of justice. I, for my part, mean to stand on the ground of justice, and I am accordingly bound to vote against this Amendment, which is based on the ground of mercy.


My hon. friend who has just spoken has defended the Bill on the ground of justice, but has altogether forgotten the fact that although this Bill is based on the eternal principles of justice it is only to last for two years. If ever there was a Bill which, on the face of it, bears the character of urgency it is this measure. It is to meet a pressing case, and we are warned that when the Royal Commission finally reports this as well as other questions affecting local taxation will be dealt with at the same time. If you limit the application of this Bill to cases where the tithe rent-charge is under £200 a year you would, as the hon. and learned gentleman opposite contended, be allowing a reduction of £100 a year for personal service, because the result is exactly the same whether you pay half the rates on £200 or deduct £100 in respect of service. If a man gets over £200 a year we are assuming that he is overpaid, and we do not propose any deduction in that case. In carrying out this principle we are acting more fairly than if the Bill is left as it now stand. Instead of giving an equal reduction to all, you are giving very much to the very rich, less to the less rich, and nothing at all to the poor.

* MR. OLDROYD (Dewsbury)

One statement has been made by the hon. and learned Member for Stroud (Mr. Cripps) which ought not to go unchallenged. Perhaps he rather despises the criticism of hon. Members on this side of the House, but we ought at all events to adhere to facts, and I distinctly challenge the accuracy of some of his statements. The hon. and learned Member said that in the case of those tithe-owners to whose incomes a certain sum for rates was added under the Commutation Act, that that was done for the purpose of establishing a rateable property. I challenge that statement on the ground that the tithe was rateable property before, and that therefore there was no necessity for the change.


The question is in whose hands the property was.


My contention is that it was already a rateable property, and that rates from time immemorial had been paid upon that property. The only change made by the Commutation Bill was to transfer payment of the rates to the man who received the tithe rent, for which purpose a sum was added equivalent to the then existing rates. At the very opening of the Debate in 1836, when the Commutation Act was passed, Lord John Russell entered upon this question. He did not introduce his Bill under a Ten minutes' rule, but he gave a very explicit statement of the circumstances of the case and of the line upon which the Government proposed to proceed, and one of his allegations was distinctly that it was for the purpose of uniformity that that procedure should be adopted. When the Commissioners came to look into those cases they found several methods of communication already in existence. In some cases the tithe-payer was the farmer, and in some cases he was the incumbent, and it was necessary that there should be one uniform method. Therefore Lord John Russell in introducing the Bill gave a very good reason for the procedure he proposed, and that was because, as he said, it was desirable that the incumbent should rank himself with other parishioners as a fellow-ratepayer in the parish, and that their interests should be identical to get the rates progressively lowered. Therefore I contend that the statement of the hon. and learned Member is incorrect, as is proved by the reason assigned for that procedure which was given by Lord John Russell in introducing that Bill. The hon. and learned Member also said that the basis of rateability in the case of tithe-rent charge was different from that of other property, and he entered upon a discussion of the personal element, that the tithe rent-charge was receivable on account of services rendered by the clergy. But that is contrary to all the facts of the case, and the misconception arises from the fact that hon. Members have had regard to the destination of the income rather than to its origin. All the tithe rent-charge arose and issued out of the land. That is the fundamental principle of the charge, and therefore as it issues out of the land it is rateable property. If we try to arrive at the reason why from time immemorial that property has been rateable we must go back to the time when tithe was levied in kind, when the parson went into the field and took the tenth sheep or the tenth portion of the produce, whatever it might be; and under those circumstances it was very reasonable when a man came into the field at the time of harvest—not at seed time, or the time of harrowing, or ploughing, or labouring—that he should at least pay rates on the property which he came and took from the industrious farmer who brought the crops to maturity. He was an illustration and an instance of those gentlemen who received their income but who "toiled not neither did they spin." He came and took the fruits of the soil. These are the facts of the case, and it is but reasonable that he should pay the rates on that portion of the produce which he took away. Therefore I am unable to see how the hon. and learned Member, or any other Member who advocates this Bill, has established that there is any injustice in the rating of the tithe rent-charge like all other property. Seeing that the principle of justice fails, it seems to us on this side of the House that we can only account for the introduction of the Bill on the ground that it is an act of mercy or charity. That being so I shall support this Amendment, because I believe it will reduce the amount of pillage which will be dishonestly drawn out of the general taxpayers' pocket, and put the balance in the hands of men who will know how wisely to spend the money.

* MR. MOULTON (Cornwall, Launceston)

Hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House have appealed to these benches to accept the principle on which the Bill is said to be based—namely, that of justice—and they have thought that we were rather hard in declining to accept it. I will tell them why we decline to accept that basis for the Bill. We maintain that this plea of justice is a pretence which is not only false, but demonstrably false. In truth the real interest of this Debate to see how long the farce of pretending that this grant is not an endowment will be kept up. It is because it is an additional endowment of the Church of England that I support the Amendment. I do not care whether the Amendment is the best mode of stopping the proposed grant. It reduces it, and I am determined that I will keep that additional endowment as small as I can. One thing is quite certain, that unless the Government exercise such discipline over those men of their Party who understand the subject as to keep them from speaking it will be impossible to maintain this farce. I was delighted to see and hear the hon. and learned Member for Stroud—not that I underrate his ability; I have too often been his foe to do that—getting up and saying he would make short work of the Amendment, because he could show that it would be an excrescence on the whole rating system. He was right in this, but the Amendment is an infinitely less ugly excrescence than the Bill itself. I felt sure that although he might make short work with the Amendment, he could not speak for many minutes without making shorter work with the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill. When I came into the House I heard the hon. Gentleman challenge the Opposition to controvert the proposition that a clergyman who was a tithe-owner was the only person rated on his income. Well, the proposition was so absurdly stated that I was not surprised that it was not answered from this side of the House. The answer was reserved for the hon. Member for Stroud himself. Before he had finished three sentences of his speech he pointed out that the owner of every rateable property was rated on the income of that property, and therefore every person whose property consists of rateable property, if he is foolish enough to consider his income as the gross income of that property, is rated on that income. But if either he or a clergyman is sensible enough to realise that his true income is the net income of that property, neither he nor the clergyman is rated on his income. The whole case lies in a nutshell. It does not matter whether the tithe is in the hands of a layman or is an endowment of a benefice. Since the Act of Elizabeth no human being has ever been the beneficial proprietor of the gross tithe. He has only been the beneficial proprietor of the net tithe, and if you choose to attach the tithe to a benefice, all the income you have thus given to the benefice is the net tithe, and you have no business to talk about that income being rated. It it not until after it is rated that it becomes an income. When you turn to the Tithe Commutation Act—which has been described in various language by different Members, but which was drawn in the simplest possible language—what do you find? The framers of that Act took care that every tithe-owner got into his hands in the first place the gross tithes, in order that they might be doing justice in making him the person who was to pay the rates, so that after paying the rates he would be left in possession of the net tithe. There was no mystery about that. The object of the Tithe Commutation was simply to put the gross tithe in the hands of the tithe-owner, because he was unquestionably the man who had to pay to the community its share of the revenue, which left him in possession of the only property he ever had in it—namely, the net tithe. I should very much like to hear any hon. Member on the other side of the House get up and deny that that was what was done by the Tithe Commutation Act. Well, the consequence is that the lay impropriator or clergyman is in receipt of the net tithe. How does the lay impropriator get it? Why, he buys it. What does he pay for? The gross tithe? No, he pays for the income that comes out of the net tithe, and when he gets the net tithe, he gets all that he purchased. Now let me turn to the clergyman. How does he get it? He accepts a living with certain duties, and in return he gets the net tithe. He purchases it not by a capital sum, but by an undertaking to do certain work, and that is just as much a purchase of the net tithe, and not, therefore, the gross tithe, as if he paid £2,000 for it. The hon. Member for King's Lynn, I think it was, suggested that there should be a reduction of the rate upon tithes for personal services; but the clergyman has acquired the net tithe in return for personal services.


I beg the hon. and learned Gentleman's pardon. I did not make that statement.


Well, perhaps I ought to have referred to a suggestion by the hon. Member for Stroud. Let us hear no more about deductions for a curate or deductions for personal services. The clergyman not had to pay a capital sum to acquire the right to take that net tithe. The clergyman had to undertake that he would do something for it; and do you mean to say that it is in accordance with either justice, or any principle of rating, that a man can deduct from the income of rateable property the cost of acquiring that property by himself?


I must invite the hon. and learned Gentleman to approach the consideration of the question now before the House. The argument he is addressing to the Committee is not relevant to the Amendment.


I should accept instantly your decision, Mr. Lowther, but I would point out that this is a question of reducing the endowment. We say, therefore, we are justified in disregarding the plea of injustice, and restricting the increase to as small an endowment as possible. I am now dealing with the suggestion that it is an injustice, because there are certain services by which the clergyman gets possession of the tithe. I leave myself entirely in your hands, but I submit that my argument is very relevant to the question of whether this is a matter of justice in which all tithe is to be treated alike.


That question is raised by a subsequent Amendment.


I think I may remind you that we were challenged by the hon. Member for Stroud to go into this very matter. However, I accept your ruling, and pass on. We are dealing in this case with an Amendment which says that only the poorer clergy should have this endowment. Now I can quite understand why the Government oppose an Amendment like this, just as can understand why they give no relief to the lay impropriator. They do not know who he is, and he might be a Liberal. The poor clergyman may know enough about poor people to be a doubtful supporter of the Government. But there is no doubt about the rich clergyman. It is safe to go firm upon that. The consequence is that they naturally oppose the suggestion that the relief should only be given to the poorer clergymen. Now, on what principle is that to be done, that we should give this relief to all the people who own tithes? Is it to be said that it is a question here of the nature of an income from tithes? It is admitted that there is no case whatever in which a property should be increased by a gift from the State in this way to the owner. What was said in regard to the Agricultural Rating Act? That the relief was given to the tenant farmer, and that it was ridiculous to suggest that the landlords would receive it. If this is to be considered as a case, not of poverty, but of endowment—well, then, the last shadow of any justification for bringing in this Bill must go, and it must he looked upon as a deliberate gift to the rich in proportion to their wealth.

CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

If any hon. Member is justified in sup- porting this Amendment, it is a man like myself, who represents one of the largest and poorest parishes in South London. Much has been said about the poor country parson, but not a word about the poor London parson. London is paying out of all proportion in regard to this Bill, to support the country parson. We are called upon to produce £19,000 for the relief of parsons, rich and poor alike, throughout the country, while of that sum we obtain only about £900. When my poor constituents go to Kennington Oval, they see it swarming with country parsons enjoying their ease, and looking on at cricket matches; they think it a hard case that they should be rated to further add to the luxury and comforts of the rich parsons. I speak on this question as a Churchman. If there is any desire to improve the position of the poor parsons throughout the country, the best way is to allocate some of the huge funds in possession of the wealthiest Church in the world for that purpose. When I tell my constituents in South London that the Archbishop of Canterbury has an income three times that of the Prime Minister, and draws £15,000 a year, and when they see all round them poor clergymen, Church of England as well as Nonconformist, doing, not the light work of the country parson, but more heavy and magnificent work in the poorest parts of London, I think they will say that it is the duty of the higher parsons in the Church of England to allocate some of these huge funds to the poor clergy. Reference has been made to personal service. Does it not occur to those who make such references that the Church of England is based upon personal service? Are not advowsons bought and sold every day in the open market, and whoever buys an advowson has imposed on him the necessity, within six months, of appointing some one who will give personal service. This Bill endows the Church of England; it endows equally the rich and the poor parson, but it endows the rich parson in a degree out of all proportion to that which it endows the poor parson. Furthermore, it endows the rich landlord who has been already relieved of the rates on agricultural property. The shop-keeper is rated at an average of 6s. or 7s. in the £, and has the greatest difficulty in making both ends meet. And yet this over-rated citizen, who works quite as hard as the London clergy, and far harder than any country clergyman, is called upon to re-endow out of his scanty earnings a Church to which probably he does not belong. The poor Roman Catholics, after they have made great sacrifices in order to pay their own clergy, have further to pay the parson of the Established Church, and furthermore, they arc called upon to augment to a certain extent the value of the advowsons. The ratepayers of London have good reason to feel that they are not being treated with anything like justice by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. The principle on which this Bill is based is "To him that hath more shall be given," and giving less to the poor man than to the rich. If the Church of England is in need of funds, surely it is possible to do what was done by the Protestant Churchmen in Ireland. As soon as their endowment was practically taken away, the Irish Protestants put their hands into their pockets, and in most instances doubled the income of the parsons. We say it is the duty of the richest Church in the country to do what is done every day by the Nonconformists. What we feel most keenly in London is that those who belong to Nonconformist churches should be called upon to pay twice over, and out of all proportion to their means.

MR. LEWIS (Flint Burghs)

The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has spoken for a large urban constituency. I have been waiting in vain for any hon. Gentleman on the other side, a representative of a large urban constituency, to get up in his place and defend this Bill. This Bill is to some extent on the same principle as the Agricultural Rating Act, under which London lost £400,000 a Year. I would ask if the representatives of London and the great urban constituencies are going to allow another vast amount of money to slip through their fingers, and to be paid in larger part to the rich clergy of the country. The hon. Member for Stroud said that this Amendmend, if passed, would be inconsistent with every principle of rating. Well, the Government which the hon. Gentleman supports have done many inconsistent things in the past, and there is no reason why they should not do another. Take the case of the Voluntary Schools Bill for instance. In that case they departed from every principle upon which public schools had been treated before. I believe if it were put to the taxpayers of the country, and a plebiscite taken upon it, it would be found that 99 out of every 100 would reject the Government proposal without the slightest hesitation.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 155; Noes, 251. (Division List, No. 230.)

Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Allen, W. (Newc.-under-Lyme) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H. Pease, J. A. (Northumb.)
Allison, Robert Andrew Holland, Wm. H.(York, W.R.) Perks, Robert William
Ashton, Thomas Gait Horniman, Frederick John Pickard, Benjamin
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Hy. Humphrey-Owen, Arthur C. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Atherley-Jones, L. Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Pilkington, Sir G.A (Lancs, SW)
Austin, M. (Limerick, W) Jacoby, James Alfred Price, Robert John
Baker, Sir John Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E. Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Joicey, Sir James Reckitt, Harold James
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Rickett, J. Compton
Billson, Alfred Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Birrell, Augustine Kearley, Hudson E. Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Kilbride, Denis Robson, William Snowdon
Broadhurst, Henry Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Runciman, Walter
Buxton, Sydney Charles Labouchere, Henry Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Caldwell, James Lambert, George Schwann, Charles E.
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Langley, Batty Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lawson-Sir Wilfrid (Cumb land Sinclair, Capt. John(Forfarsh.)
Causton, Richard Knight Leng, Sir John Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Cawley, Frederick Lewis, John Herbert Souttar, Robinson
Clough, Walter Owen Lloyd-George, David Spicer, Albert
Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Logan, John William Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Crilly, Daniel Lough, Thomas Steadman, William Charles
Crombie, John William Lyell, Sir Leonard Stevenson, Francis S.
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Macaleese, Daniel Strachey, Edward
Dalziel, James Henry MacDonnell, Dr M A(Queen's C) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Davitt, Michael M'Dermott, Patrick Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Ewan, William Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)
Dillon, John M'Kenna, Reginald Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Donelan, Captain A. M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Ure, Alexander
Doogan, P. C. Maddison, Fred. Wallace, Robert
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Maden, John Henry Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Duckworth, James Mellor, Rt. Hon. J.W.(Yorks.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Dunn, Sir William Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Wedderburn, Sir William
Edwards, Owen Morgan Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Weir, James Galloway
Ellis, John Edward Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen) Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Evans, Samuel T.(Glamorgan) Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith Morley, Rt Hon J. (Montrose) Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Morris, Samuel Wilson, H. J.(York, W.R.)
Flynn, James Christopher Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid,)
Foster, Sir Walter(Derby Co.) Moulton, John Fletcher Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Norton, Capt. Cecil William Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh N.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Nussey, Thomas Willans Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Gold, Charles O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Woods, Samuel
Gourley, Sir E. Temperley O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W. Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Gurdon, Sir William Brampton Oldroyd, Mark
Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Malley, William TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Palmer, Sir Charles M.(Durham Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur
Harwood, George Palmer, George W. (Reading)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Paulton, James Mellor
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Baird, John George Alexander Bartley, George C. T.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Balcarres, Lord Barton, Dunbar Plunket
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r) Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Beach, Rt Hn Sir M. H. (Bristol
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Banbury, Frederick George Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Barnes, Frederic Gorell Beckett, Ernest William
Bailey, James (Walworth) Barry, Sir Francis T.(Windsor) Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Milner, Sir Frederick George
Bethell, Commander Goldworthy, Major-General Milton, Viscount
Bigwood, James Gordon, Hon. John Edward Milward, Colonel Victor
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Monk, Charles James
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Goschen, Rt. Hn GJ(St George's Montagu, Hon. J. Scott(Hants)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Bousfield, William Robert Goulding, Edward Alfred More, Robert J. (Shropshire)
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Graham, Henry Robert Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh
Bowles, T Gibson(King's Lynn) Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Morrell, George Herbert
Brassey, Albert Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Morton, Arthur H A (Deptford)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Greene. W. Raymond-(Cambs. Mount, William George
Brookfield, A. Montagu Greville, Hon. Ronald Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Bullard, Sir Harry Gunter, Colonel Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)
Butcher, John George Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bute)
Carlile, William Walter Halsey, Thomas Frederick Nicholson, William Graham
Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Nicol, Donald Ninian
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W. Northcote, Hon Sir H Stafford
Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbysh.) Hanson, Sir Reginald O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hardy, Laurence Pender, Sir James
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Hare, Thomas Leigh Penn, John
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Heaton, John Henniker Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W, Helder, Augustus Pierpoint, Robert
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Henderson, Alexander Pilkington, R.(Lancs, Newton)
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Hermon-Hodge, R. Trotter Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Charrington, Spencer Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Chelsea, Viscount Hobhouse, Henry Purvis, Robert
Clare, Octavius Leigh Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Pym, C. Guy
Clarke, Sir E. (Plymouth) Hornby, Sir William Henry Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E Houston, R. P. Rankin, Sir James
Coddington, Sir William Howard, Joseph Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Howell, William Tudor Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chs. Thomson
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Round, James
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hudson, George Bickersteth Royds, Clement Molyneux
Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W. Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Cox, Irwin E. Bainbridge Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Rutherford, John
Cranborne, Viscount Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Cripps, Charles Alfred Jenkins, Sir John Jones Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Savory, Sir Joseph
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Curzon, Viscount Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H. Seton- Karr, Henry
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Kenyon, James Sharpe, William Edward T.
Davies, Sir Horatio D.(Chat.) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Denny, Colonel Keswick. William Simeon, Sir Barrington
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kimber, Henry Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Digby, J. K. D. Wingfield- Knowles Lees Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lafone, Alfred Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand
Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dlxon Laurie, Lieut.-General Spencer, Ernest
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Doughty, George Lecky, Rt Hn. William Edw. H. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Leighton, Stanley Strauss, Arthur
Doxford, William Theodore Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans.) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Drucker, A. Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (L'pool) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Uni.
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Thorburn, Walter
Fardell, Sir T. George Lorne, Marquess of Thornton, Percy M.
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lowe, Francis William Tollemache, Henry James
Finch, George H. Lowles, John Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Loyd, Archie Kirkman Tritton, Charles Ernest
Fisher, William Hayes Lucas-Shadwell, William Usborne, Thomas
FitzWygram, General Sir F. Macartney, W. G. Ellison Valentia, Viscount
Flower, Ernest Maclean, James Mackenzie
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) M'Iver, Sir L.(Edinburgh, W.) Ward, Hon. Robert A.(Crewe)
Galloway, William Johnson Malcolm, Ian Warde, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.(Kent
Garfit, William Martin, Richard Biddulph Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Gedge, Sydney Massey-Mainwaring. Hn. W F Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Gibbons. J. Lloyd Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H.(City of Lon) Melville, Beresford Valentine Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Williams, Jos. Powell- (Birm)
Giles, Charles Tyrrell Milbank, Sir Powlett Chas. J. Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)
Gilliat, John Saunders Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart- Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Wyndham, George Young, Commander(Berks, E.)
Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H. Younger, William
* MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)

I rise to move the Amendment which stands in my name, and I venture to think it is one which is well worthy the consideration of Her Majesty's Government. The Amendment will have the effect of placing the Bill on all fours with the Agricultural Rating Bill of 1896, of which it is said to be the corollary. While the tithes from agricultural land have fallen in value from 100 to 68 per cent., urban tithes levied on land have increased in value. Moreover, clergymen in country districts are dependent almost wholly upon the tithe, but the clergy in towns are not so dependent, and do not require this relief. The income of the urban clergyman is derived principally from pew rents, and he has many means of increasing his income if he only does his duty.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 5, after the word 'rent-charge,' to insert the words 'derived from agricultural land.'"—(Mr. Nussey.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


The hon. Gentleman fails to realise that whether the tithe rent-charge arises out of agricultural land or not, the effect on the owner is the same. The tithe rent-charge in urban districts is governed by the same laws, the same conditions, as that derived from agricultural land, and its incidence is the same. Therefore I see no reason for drawing a distinction between the two classes of owners, more especially as the Committee have already decided in a most emphatic manner that it is undesirable to draw any such distinction.


I hardly think the right hon. Gentleman fully appreciates the very able and interesting speech of the hon. Member who moved this Amendment. What is the principle of this Bill? That tithe rent is certainly rateable, but that certain deductions should be made in respect of services. There is a great distinction between the parson in the country and the parson in the town. The parson in the town has direct remuneration for his services by his pew rents and Easter offerings, and in large towns the congregations can reward the services of their ministers. But the same reward is not open to the country clergyman. The deduction which might be reasonably made for services in the case of the country parson cannot on the same terms be made to a London parson, because he is specially paid for his services. Therefore my hon. friend's Amendment is absolutely in conformity with the only principle of this Bill, as laid down by the hon. and learned Member for Stroud, when he asks that a distinction should be drawn between these two classes of clergymen.


I think the right hon. Gentleman was not quite right in the impression that he gave the Committee in regard to the difference between the tithe on agricultural land and tithe on suburban land. There is really a distinction between agricultural land and suburban land, and we are giving relief to the tithe-owners of agricultural land really because tithe has fallen in value. But the right hon. Gentleman knows that the value of tithe on suburban land is increasing all over the country.


I think there is very strong reason for supporting my hon. friend's Amendment. The bargain made in 1836 was a bargain advantageous to the tithe-owners; therefore my hon. friend was right in saying that in towns where there has been no reduction in the tithe the clergy are not entitled to this relief.


Those who voted in favour of the Amendment previously before the House are logically bound to vote for this. It is perfectly true that the value of £100 tithe rent-charge varies according to how it is derived from the land, but it is not on that account that we commend this Amendment. The object of this Amendment, as I understand it, is to distinguish between necessitous cases and those where there is no necessity at all. It is impossible to study the evidence before the Royal Commission without coming to the conclusion that a real grievance was placed before the Commission. That arose, I do not say the whole of it, but a great part, from the Agricultural Rating Act of 1896. It was because the clergymen were left out of that Act that they now come forward and claim this relief, and now say that they are assessed at a much greater amount than they have ever been assessed before. I think they have a perfectly genuine grievance in that respect. The Act was thoroughly unjust in its operation its between the different classes and the land itself. I have to pay additional rates in my rural parish because you have given this relief to the land. That is the state of things which we have got to deal with, and the effect of this Amendment is to give relief where the effect of the Agricultural Rating Act is to throw new and additional burdens on the clergy, and that is the ground on which I support it.


There is one consideration which has not been dealt with in this discussion, and that is that, in the case of urban districts where the land is covered with houses no tithe rate ought to be charged at all. It is a great injustice that it should be charged, but it is, though not a single ear of corn grows upon the land nor is an animal fattened upon it. I do not think, however, that we should lessen any of those charges which have been properly made upon it. I observe from the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman that this Amendment is not brought forward on the ground that it is desirable to give to the clergy the same kind of relief given two years ago to the agricultural land. One ground after another upon which the Bill is defended is being given up, and we may soon find ourselves faced by a Bill which logically has not a leg to stand upon.


My right hon. friend said that this was not a question of necessity but of justice. He puts it this way, that these unfortunate clergy for about fifteen centuries had been paying more than they were entitled to do. My only surprise is that the right hon. Gentleman did not suggest that they should have compensation for the amount which they had paid during that time. I listened with attention to my hon. friend who moved the Amendment, and when he commenced I had an open mind, but he thoroughly convinced me, and nobody on the other side has dared to tackle the Amendment. The object of this House is not only to pass legislation, the country expects these questions to be thoroughly thrashed out. We are in the position of fishers trying to angle the arguments of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and though occasionally an hon. Gentleman gets up and nibbles a little, he will not swallow the bait and meet our arguments in an honest and frank manner. The difference between London and the country with regard to this question has been pointed out, but one thing which has not been dealt with, and which has always been urged by country clergymen, is that in a great many parishes there are no wealthy men and the clergyman has the Voluntary schools and the subscriptions to the blanket fund and so on thrown upon his own hands; but that is not so with regard to the urban clergy. If we accept the Minister of Agriculture as spokesman, who tells us we ought in justice to restore what the clergy have been deprived of all these centuries, we should not vote for this Amendment.

MR. J. H. ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

There is a clear distinction between the case of the minister in the country and the clergyman in the town. In the country the clergyman is dependent almost, if not quite, entirely upon the tithe. I do not think this is the case with the clergyman in the towns. Owing to their different surroundings they cannot live wholly on the tithes. In the case of London, a few clergymen will obtain this relief simply because they happen to be parish clergymen, and therefore entitled to receive tithe, but by far the greater number of clergymen, who are in charge of voluntary churches, will not receive any relief whatever. Upon that practical ground I support the Amendment.


My hon. friend below me has put me in rather a difficult position, because before I heard him I thought it would be a good thing to put the whole burden on those living in towns, in order that it might waken people up as to the doings of the present Government. But, having listened to my hon. friend, I shall support his Amendment, because if it is passed I think it will minimise the evils of this Bill.

MR. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

I shall also vote for this Amendment, although I think it might have been put in a different form. I think it will eventually come all right. It is not a question so much of where the tithe comes from, but where it goes to, and it should go to the clergy who derive their income from the land. This Amendment will exclude the clergymen of the towns, no doubt, but I would much rather that it should have been worded in a manner which would have made it direct than in the indirect way in which it at present stands.


I am sorry the Government cannot accept this Amendment, because this proposal was placed in the forefront of the argument that as the landowners had received relief the tithes should receive the same. There was not a witness who gave evidence before the Royal Commission who did not not base his proposal on that principle. The proposal to extend the relief to all titheowners in town as well as in country, whatever the basis of the ownership of the tithe might be, goes beyond the case which had been made out by the Commission on Local Taxation, and beyond the fair interpretation of the recommendations of that Commission. There is no proof of any demand being made before the Commission for relief on behalf of clergymen who derived their tithe from property other than agricultural land, and I challenge hon. Gentlemen opposite to produce any. Is it fair that the community should be taxed in order to benefit the urban clergy, who have never even complained or made out in any way that they had a grievance? In the urban districts the Church is enormously rich. There was a Bill down from the House of Lords with regard to one diocese in Manchester, where some property of the church was sold, and the price obtained for that property was so large that the bishops and archbishops in the House of Lords came to the conclusion that it was too large to divide between the four canons, and they appropriated some to the other cathedral clergy. The property of the clergy in towns has increased enormously in value, owing to the increase of population in the towns and the industry of the population, and it is most unfair to tax those people for the benefit of clergy who are already deriving great advantages from the urban communities.


I shall support this Amendment. Many of my constituents are people who have been called in this debate Churchmen, meaning merely Anglican Churchmen, and it is a curious fact that I have not received a single letter from squires, landowners, farmers, or even labourers, asking me to vote for this Bill. I can quite conceive the hon. Members representing urban districts having had appeals made to them to vote for it, but none have come to me. One thing might be suggested in support of the Bill, but it has not been, namely, that this money is being given for services rendered. That argument might make the Bill more attractive to the farmer and the labourer, who might feel that they, out of their small incomes, were relieving the Anglican clergy. I think this Bill should be limited to those clergy who derived their income from agricultural land.


I also support this Amendment. I do so on the ground that as this really is a Clergy Relief Bill, the relief should be limited to those who really need it.

MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)

There is one very good reason why this Amendment should be carried, and that is, if it is carried it will reduce the amount which the Government proposes to give the clergy under this Bill. It is no reason, because the Government gave the landlords something to which they were not entitled, that they should not have been consistent, and give the parsons something as well. They did not do so, and it is only natural that the parsons should now ask for this relief. I do not agree with what the Church teaches, though many devout men that I know do; and if you allow the working men to look upon a certain number of the clergy as mere mendicant friars, you will not increase their respect for the Church itself. I support the Amendment because I believe the Bill is a bad Bill from beginning to end, and anything which reduces its evils must be good.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 98 Noes, 181. (Division List, No. 231.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Cawley, Frederick
Atherley-Jones, L. Billson, Alfred Clough, Walter Owen
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Caldwell, James Crilly, Daniel
Baker, Sir John Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)
Barlow, John Emmott Causton, Richard Knight Davitt, Michael
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir C. Lambert, George Rickett, J. Compton
Dillon, John Leng, Sir John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Donelan, Captain A. Lewis, John Herbert Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Doogan, P. C. Lloyd-George, David Runciman, Walter
Edwards, Owen Morgan Logan, John William Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Emmott, Alfred Macaleese, Daniel Schwann, Charles E.
Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan) MacDonnell, Dr. M. A.(Qu'n's C Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Flynn, James Christopher M'Arthur, William (Cornwall Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) M'Dermott, Patrick Souttar, Robinson
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H John M'Kenna, Reginald Spicer, Albert
Gold, Charles M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley M'Leod, John Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Gurdon, Sir William Brampton Maddison, Fred. Thomas, A.(Carmarthen, E.)
Haldane, Richard Burdon Maden, John Henry Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Harwood, George Morgan, W. Pritchard(Merth'r Wallace, Robert
Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Morton, Edw. J. C.(Devonport Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Warmer, Thomas Courtenay T.
Hogan, James Francis O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Wedderburn, Sir William
Holland, Wm. H.(York, W. R.) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Weir, James Galloway
Horniman, Frederick John O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Oldroyd, Mark Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Jacoby, James Alfred Perks, Robert William Wilson, J. H.(Middlesbrough)
Joicey, Sir James Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Jones, David Brynmor(Swans.) Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Mr. Nussey and Mr. Goddard.
Kilbride, Denis Reckitt, Harold James
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hill, Arthur (Down, West)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Denny, Colonel Hobhouse, Henry
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Houston, R. P.
Bagot, Captain J. FitzRoy Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Howard, Joseph
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dorington, Sir John Edward Howell, William Tudor
Baird, John George A. Doughty, George Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Balcarres, Lord Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn
Balfour. Rt. Hon. A. J. (Man'r Doxford, William Theodore Hudson, George Bickersteth
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Drucker, A. Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Bartley, George C. T. Dyke Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart Jolliffe, Hon. H. George
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Fardell, Sir T. George Kennaway, Rt. Hon Sir John H
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd. Kenyon, James
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol Finch, George H. Kenyon-Slangy, Col. William
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants.) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Keswick, William
Bethell, Commander Fisher, William Hayes Kimber, Henry
Bigwood, James Flower, Ernest Knowles, Lees
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lafone, Alfred
Bousfield, William Robert Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Laurie, Lieut.-General
Brookfield, A. Montagu Galloway, Wm. Johnson Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Bullard, Sir Harry Garfit, William Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Butcher, John George Gibbs, Hn A.G.H.(City of Lond. Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn (Swan.)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans Lockwood, LL-Col. A. R.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Giles, Charles Tyrrell Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Livep'l)
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Godson, Sir A. Frederick Lopes, Henry Yards Buller
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Goldsworthy, Major-General Lorne, Marquess of
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Gordon, Hon. John Edward Lowe, Francis William
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Charrington, Spencer Goschen, Rt Hn G. J.(St George's Lucas-Shadwell, William
Clare, Octavius Leigh Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Coghill, Douglas Harry Goulding, Edward Alfred Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Cook, F. Lucas (Lambeth) Greville, Hon. Ronald Melville, Beresford Valentine
Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford) Gull, Sir Cameron Meysey-Thompson Sir H. M.
Cornwallis, F. Stanley W. Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo. Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cox, Irwin E. Bainbridge Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm. Milner, Sir Frederick George
Cranborne, Viscount Hanson, Sir Reginald Milton, Viscount
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Hardy, Laurence Milward, Colonel Victor
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Helder, Augustus Monk, Charles James
Curzon, Viscount Henderson, Alexander Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter More, Robt, Jasper (Shropshire
Morrell, George Herbert Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chs. Thomson Tollemache, Henry James
Morton, Arthur HA (Deptford) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Mount, William George Round, James Valentia, Viscount
Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute Royds, Clement Molyneux Wanklyn, James Leslie
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent
Nicholson, William Graham Rutherford, John Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Nicol, Donald Ninian Samuel, Harry S.(Limehouse) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington Seton-Karr, Henry Williams, Jos. Powell (Birm.)
Pender, Sir James Sharpe, William Edward T. Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Sidebottom, William (Derbysh. Wortley, Rt. Hn. C.B. Stuart-
Pierpoint, Robert Simeon, Sir Barrington Wyndham, George
Pilkington, R. (Lancs. Newton Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Smith, Hon. W.F.D. (Strand) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arey
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Purvis, Robert Stock, James Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Pym, C. Guy Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Thorburn, Walter
Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W. Thornton, Percy M.

The Amendment which I have to propose raises rather an important point, and it seems to me that a great deal of confusion exists in regard to this matter. In reply to a question, the right hon. Gentleman said that it was not correct to say that the sum was generally added in respect of rates. It was only added where the rates had been previously paid by the tithe-payer and not by the tithe-owner. If that were true, that would show that this had been added in respect of rates only in a very few cases. I must, however, quote against the right hon. Gentleman the evidence given before the Royal Commission on Agriculture by the Secretary to the Board of Agriculture (Mr. Elliott). In answer to a question by Mr. Little: No. 39,058. Would it be right, do you think, to say that the large majority of the cases were those where rates had been paid by the tithe-payer? Mr. Elliott replied: I think a very large proportion undoubtedly fall into that category. He also stated: It seems to have been a very general practice for the tithe-payer to pay the rates instead of the tithe-owner. Therefore the answer of the right hon. Gentleman conveyed somewhat of a wrong impression when he said that it was not correct that a sum was generally added in respect of rates, because Mr. Elliott states that it must have been the general practice.


I did not intend to mean by that answer that the sum added in respect of rates was only in a few cases. The hon. Member referred only to a particular sum.


I think that hon. Members will agree with me that Mr. Elliott's evidence shows that the tithe-payer pays the rates, and not the tithe-owner. My contention is that a very large sum was added to the composition paid by the tithe-payer to the tithe-owner, and paid by the tithe-owner in the shape of rates. I think it is quite clear, from the evidence given before the Royal Commission on Local Taxation, that it was a very general practice that money was added for the payment of tithes. This morning I received—as I have no doubt many other hon. Members did—a communication from the Tithe Rent-charge Owners Union, which professes to deal with this subject. It says: There is abundant and indisputable evidence that, so far from having anything added to the tithe in 1836, the reverse was, in fact, the case in a very large number of instances. I cannot understand why a gentleman in the position of the secretary to the union should have thought it right to endeavour to mislead the Members of this House in this matter, for these statements are misleading if the figures which have appeared in the public Press—notably in the Daily News—are correct. It was stated in the Press that there were 4,784 cases dealt with, and out of this total no less than 4,743 tithe-owners had their incomes increased at the time of commutation, and only forty-one had their incomes decreased, and twenty-five of these incumbents whose incomes were reduced averaged about £12 apiece. Therefore I contend that the Tithe Rent-charge Owners' Union know perfectly well that they have a very bad case indeed when they endeavour to mislead the House with facts of this nature before us. The amount that was added fur the rates was a considerable sum indeed. It is very difficult to get at the precise amount which was added, but I will quote the evidence given by Mr. Alfred De Bock Porter, the secretary to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which owns £300,000 a year tithes in every county. In answer to a question he said: I have taken four parishes in Northumberland, four in each Riding of Yorkshire, six in Nottinghamshire, six in Suffolk, six in Gloucestershire, six in Redford, six in Sussex, six in Denbigh and Flint, and six in Glamorgan, and I have made a summary of them. From this summary it would appear that, taking these cases, the composition payable by the tithe-payer at the time of commutation amounted in the aggregate to £24,512, the rates which were also paid by the tithe-payer (the parson having his income net) were £5,708; those two added together made £30,220, and I find that the rent-charge allotted on the aggregate to all those was £30,751 or about £500 more. The average rate over the whole taken at the time of commutation on that group of rent-charges was 4s. 7¾d. in the £, whereas in 1894–5 according to the Local Government Board they were 2s. 4½d. The average of the old rates at the time of commutation came to about 5s. in the £. Therefore, they were commuted at that price. if these figures are correct which have appeared in the public Press it means that no less than £244,569 was added to the tithe-owners' income for the payment of rates. As regards the rates payable to-day the right hon. Gentleman estimates the amount by which the tithe-owners will be affected by this Bill at £175,000. I may be told that all tithe-owners are treated alike, hut if that be so, it makes the ease fur the Bill all the worse. The right hon. Gentleman puts the total affected by this Bill at £2,412,000, but if we take Mr. De Bock Porter's figures as accurate it would work out at £602,000 which the clergy were paid for rates at the time of the commutation in 1836, and that shows how much the clergy have benefited by the reduction, seeing that at the present moment they only pay £175,000. These commutations were enormous in many cases. I have read the evidence given by one of the Members for Dorsetshire, which shows that, in many cases, sums were added to the in- comes to a very large extent indeed. He says: In the above thirteen parishes On an actual tithe of £5,174 no less than £1,926, or 37¼ per cent., was overpaid in 1893. Now, that £1,926 was added to the tithe-owners' income, which was not paid in rates in 1893 because the rates have decreased. I think that is the evidence of a gentleman who will be accepted on the other side, because he has made a special study of this question. The right hon. Gentleman stated that it was a very great hardship indeed to the tithe-payers that they had to pay this enormous burden which was added through the rates being commuted. I have a case here which I think is a very striking one. There is a parish in Buckinghamshire where upon £1,500 the owner has to pay no less a sum than £347 for rates. I think that is a very large sum indeed. At the present moment if that gentleman pays rates at 2s. 6d. in the £ he will pay £125, whereas at the time of commutation he paid £347, which was added to his income for the payment of rates. Therefore, he has been receiving £222 for the payment of rates during the whole of the years which have elapsed since the tithes were commuted. I ask the right hon. Gentleman is it fair or right that, after the tithe has been commutted on so high a scale, and after such au enormous amount has been added to it for the purpose of paying rates, you should now come to the general ratepayers of the country to ask them to pay these rates over again? I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman will only apply his mind to this question, he must see that this is an undoubted case of hardship, and I would ask him whether he thinks that such a state of affairs will commend this Bill to the rural ratepayer. There are many towns where the ratepayers pay extraordinarily high rates for their houses, and it is a notorious fact that many public improvements are stopped in many of our great towns because of the fear of putting up the rates, and yet the Government are actually taking this money from these already overburdened ratepayers to pay half these rates which had a large sum added to them at the time of commutation. It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman is doing the very worst thing he could in the interests of the Church. (Mr. Long: "No, no.") I should like to give the right hon. Gentleman a few instances from his own County of Essex where there are now tithes paid to the extent of 7s. an acre. I say that this is a clear case that the amount was added to the tithe-owners' income, and now the right hon. Gentleman comes to the ratepayers again and asks them to pay another half of these rates. I trust to the right hon. Gentleman's own sense of fairness to accept this Amendment, and not let it go forth to the country that it is a reproach to the Government that they brought in a Bill practically makes the tithe-payer pay the rates of the clergy twice over. I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman will give attention to the matter he will see that my Amendment is not only in the interest of the ratepayer, but also in the interest of the tithe-owner, and I feel sure that nothing will stir up hostility to the Church more than the injustice which will be done if this Amendment is not accepted. I beg to move—

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 5, after the word 'rent-charge,' to insert the words 'which had no addition at the time of commutation as an equivalent of rates and taxes.'"—(Mr. Lambert.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


If the Amendment is accepted it will defeat what the Commissioners, who carried out the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836, laid down as being the main object of the Act. They indicated quite clearly that their object was to make the position of both parties the same, both with regard to that period and the future. The hon. Gentleman has told us that a large sum was added to the tithe in order to meet the rates, and I gathered from his concluding remarks that it had come from the tithe-payers, but it is a complete delusion to say that that sum came out of the pocket of the tithe-payer. Previous to the passing of the Commutation Act many people had arrived at an arrangement, and in some cases the tithe-owner included in his private arrangement a stipulation that the tithe-payer should pay the rates and pay the balance left over to the tithe-owner. The difference be- tween the net tithe receivable and the total sum only affected the tithe-owner. It made no difference to the tithe-payer whether he paid the money to the tithe-owner or to the rate collector, for he had already made an agreement with the tithe-owner by which he had agreed to act, as it were, as his agent and to pay the rates.


The rates were provided for.


No; that is not so. The object of the addition in such cases was, as the Commissioners said, that in both cases, whether the tithe-owner paid the rates or not, the ultimate settlement should give him the gross amount to which he was entitled before. The Commissioners say: Circumstances connected with the payment of parochial rates may occasionally form a ground for applications to increase or diminish the sum named by the great amount of composition on rates. We understand the main object of the Tithes Commutation Act is to perpetuate in the form of tithe rent-charge the same thing the parties themselves have treated as tithes during the seven years previous to Christmas 1835, with the exception of certain specified cases and subject to a variation in all to the extent of one-fifth of the whole of such sums. While doing this it is also the purpose of the Act to put on the same footing the tithe-owners who have paid their own parochial rates and the tithe-owners whose rates have been paid for them by the tithe-payers, and therefore in two parishes in both of which tithes have been treated as worth £600, the tithe-owner in one has received £600 and paid his own rates and in the other the tithe-owner has received £400 and £200 has been paid for him as rates, that £200 must be added to the £400 to make up the tithe-owner's real average and put him on a footing with his neighbour. To draw a distinction between them now would be to do a great injustice to those who received an addition in order simply to put them On a level with those from whose tithe no deduction had been made. In the circumstances I hope the Committee will resist the Amendment.


I am not disposed to quarrel with the statement of the right hon. Gentleman as to what took place at the time of the Commutation Act, but I want to examine the principle of the Bill. First of all, I was very glad to hear from the right hon. Gentleman the admission that what the tithe-owner was entitled to was not the whole of the tithe, but the composition. The composition was the tithe less the rates. Taking the gross tithe to be £100 and the rates £20, the right hon. Gentleman has now admitted that all the tithe-owner is entitled to was £80.


I said nothing of the kind. I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but——


You did not mean that.


I have endeavoured to make it clear that what I meant was that the tithe-owner was entitled to £100.


Would the right hon. Gentleman let me see the Report? The Report of the Commissioners distinctly states that what the tithe-owner got was the composition arrived at by private arrangement with the tithe-payer. I am sorry to say that I am old enough to remember the time when the tenth sheaf was taken out of the field. That of course was where there was no composition. Now I will take it that the rates at that time were £20 out of £100, and the tithe-owner, agreeing with the landowner, consequently got £80. That was the net tithe, winch was his property. Then Came the Commutation Act, which was perfectly fair, which added to his income the amount of the rates in order Chat the clergyman should pay them. The fallacy which lay at the root of this whole question is the belief on the part of the clergy that they were always entitled to the £100 without deduction. We do not understand that before commutation they were only entitled to the net tithe, whether they compounded or not. It is an entire fallacy to suppose that they had any hardships in this matter as it has worked out. That is material to the claim of justice. They are better off than they were before commutation, because, the rate being less, therefore the net tithe was greater, so far from being a grievance. They are in a better position than they were supposing at the time of the commutation the rate was 5s., and it is now 2s. 6d.; they are 20 per cent. better off. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Long) nods his head, but in that case what is the meaning of the Bill? The right hon. Gentleman has spoken with great accuracy and frankness, but his speech is a condemnation of the Bill. The fact that the rate has fallen was a great compensation for the fact that the tithe rent-charge had fallen. The fact is that the Bill is based on a complete misapprehension of the whole ease. The Government ought to look at the real facts and know what they are. The alteration in the rates is one of the most material elements in the problem. It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman has proved that there is no foundation for this reform of rating.


I do not know on what principle the right hon. Gentleman manages his own private affairs in connection with rating, or whether he considers it an adequate consolation for losing 30 per cent. of his income that his rates should be diminished by one-half at the same time, which is the consolation he offered to the clergy.


I specially guarded myself from including the consideration of the fall in the rent-charge, but I alluded to it because the Government declared that that has nothing whatever to do with their Bill.


I would only point out to the Committee that whatever other merits the speech of the right hon. Gentleman might have, it is not addressed to the Amendment before the House.


It was addressed to the Bill.


It might have been addressed to the Bill at large, but not to the Amendment. The hon. Member opposite moved an Amendment in which he endeavoured to draw a distinction between the case of the tithe rent-charge to which there was an addition at the time of the commutation and of that to which there was no addition. There is really not a single argument in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman which dealt with that distinction, and therefore the support the right hon. Gentleman has given to the Amendment is very slight and scant. The right hon. Gentleman said the whole root of the difficulty of the Bill and the grievance of which the clergy complain, is that they think they are entitled to the full tithe rent-charge without deductions. I can only say I have never heard any clergyman, however solicitous of the rights of his order, put forward a contention so preposterous as that. The only contention I have heard put forward by the clergy is that they possess for services rendered a rateable property, that they desire that that property should be rated on equitable terms, and that the terms on which they were rated at the present time were not equitable. The right hon. Gentleman knows far too much about the subject to be dragged into the vulgar fallacy of supposing that there was no claim properly to be urged by the clergy on account of the private arrangement which they made before the commutation period with regard to the payment of rates. AV hen that commutation was made all those private arrangements were swept away, and what was put in their place was this—that the clergy were to be entitled to the whole of the tithe rent-charge, subject to the rates, that might properly be paid upon the account of that property. On that arrangement the right hon. Gentleman seems to base the contention that any reform of an injustice, if injustice there was, is quite impossible. Are hon. Members prepared to say that because these inequitable rates have been levied for ten or twenty years or for a generation or two, therefore no reform can be claimed by the persons who are paying these rates? Such a contention it is quite impossible to maintain, and the distinction which it is attempted to draw between two kinds of clerical tithe-owners is an impossible, illogical, and unhistorical distinction.


The right hon. Gentleman has unconsciously given away the case against the Bill; he has admitted that the state of things left at the time of the Commutation Act was that the clergy in respect of the tithe rent-charge were to be entitled to the proceeds of the tithe, subject to the payment of the rates.


Of a rate.


Let us know what we are fighting about. The clergy in 1836 who paid rates received only that amount of the tithe which remained after the rates had been paid. That is admitted by the right hon. Gentleman. Whether they compounded or did not, they received the residue of the tithe. For what do they receive it now? Exactly the same thing. Therefore where is their grievance as compared with 1836? There would be a grievance if the rates had greatly risen in the meantime, but instead of rising they have fallen. That has been proved over and over again. So why is it that the clergy have less comfortable incomes now than then? If it is so it is because of the fall in the prices of agricultural produce, which has brought down the value of tithe rent-charge. That is not dealt with in this Bill and is not the ground of the Bill. If the ground of the Bill bad been charity and mercy, as we thought it was—it was the only conceivable ground that we could imagine—there would be some cause for our compassionate consideration whether we should meet it or not on the plea of a reduction in their incomes owing to the fall in prices. But, no, the Bill is put forward to remedy an injustice. Where is the injustice as compared with 1836? You have to go behind 1836 to find the injustice you seek to amend. But do you amend it? If the law of rating was unfair let us alter the law; but we leave the law of rating as it is, and we are to pick out from all the incomes derivable from land, directly or indirectly, in the way of rental or rent-charge, a particular part of that rental which came to the beneficed clergymen, and we are to say these are to receive a dole or gift out of the beneficence of Parliament, and all the other holders will receive nothing at all. The Bill is not a solution or an amendment, or founded on any claim of justice. The claim of mercy has been repudiated, and it is out of the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman himself that evidence has come that that is not the case.


As I understand, the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury bases his argument entirely and solely upon the fact that the value of the tithe rent-charge is diminished by 50 per cent. But the hon. Member for Stroud has told us that this Bill has been introduced to remedy the iniquity arrived at in the year 1836. Now, the arrangement of 1836 has been regarded even by tithe owners as not merely equitable, but as advantageous. The right hon. the First Lord of the Treasury said that it was quite inequitable that rates should be levied upon this class of property.


Everybody admits that tithe is a rateable property.


Then there is no injustice at all, even though the clergy have got to pay rather more than they expected. I commend to the right hon. Gentleman, very respectfully, an answer given by Mr. De Bock Porter, Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Commission, who said, "My view is that, on the whole, tithe commutation was a wonderfully equitable arrangement." The right hon. Gentleman said it was inequitable; then I do not understand the Bill. If it were equitable in 1836, why do you wish to alter it now? And if it were inequitable, what about Mr. De Bock Porter? Anyone who has studied the references to the Act of 1836 must acknowledge that it is perfectly clear that in cases where there was composition, not only very fair sums, but large sums were added to the tithe rent-charge, and an extraordinary sum was added in respect of the rates. Take the case, for instance, of the parish of king's Haven. The tithe composition amounted to £1,370, and the rates paid by the landlord to £116, a total of £1,500. But the tithe rent-charge was commuted at £1,755, or an addition over the rates and composition of £255. What was that addition for? If you are seeking to relieve these people, tell us what reason there was for adding that large sum of £255 over and above the composition and rates. The truth is, that the clergyman made arrangements to accept a certain lower sum than the tithe when the rates had to be paid by the tenant on the farm. There is a very interesting passage which I would quote from a very learned hook dealing with this subject— 'The Commissioners are directed to estimate the value of the tithes without making any deduction therefrom on account of any Parliamentary, parochial, county, or other rates, charges, and assessments to which tithes are liable; and whenever the tithes shall have been demised or compounded for, on the principle of the rent or composition being paid free from all such rates, charges, and assessments, or any part thereof, the Commissioners are to regard that circumstance, and to make such addition on account thereof as shall be an equivalent. A regard to this circumstance was, in fact, very generally necessary, and in most of the agricultural parishes the valuation of tithes had always proceeded upon the principal of deducting from the amount to be paid the estimated amount of the rate; and this latter, being retained by the occupier, was a compensation to him for the larger amount of rate assessed upon the laud held by him, in consequence of no rate being actually paid upon the tithes. This system, although irregular and informal, was probably found convenient, and worked no injustice, so long as the parish was entirely agricultural, and nothing rated but the land. But in parishes partly agricultural and partly manufacturing, or where large houses were subjected to a heavy portion of the rate, the injustice and inconvenience of such a system were obvious, for the land thereby enjoyed a benefit to which it was not properly entitled, there being nothing to compensate the householder and manufacturer for the increased amount of rate which they had to pay in consequence of the exemption of the tithe. The system, nevertheless, continued to be very common up to the time of the commutation of the tithes; so much so, that in many instances the liability of the tithe to the payment of any rates had been overlooked or forgotten, and many of the parochial agreements first made and sent to the Commissioners contained no notice of or provision for the rates, and were consequently returned by them, in order that the sump equivalent to the rates might be added. The rent-charge now payable instead of the tithe is to be subject to all Parliamentary, parochial, and other rates, charges, and assessments, in like manner as the tithes commuted from such rent-charge have theretofore been subject.' And then the author goes on to say:—"As a proposition of law, we cannot assert now" that services ought to be deducted, or that it is "a fact deducible from scientific axioms too clear for controversy." That discussion we purposely decline, preferring to say merely that Rex v. Joddrell does not convince us that there was any difference in the legal liabilities of the tithe-owner and the occupier of land. If any case should arise in which the facts show that the rule, though formally applied according to the statute, which work injustice to the tithe-owner, there will be no more difficulty in relieving him than in relieving one landowner as against another. But the facts of this case call for no such interposition. It is now, therefore, clearly settled that there is no difference between tithe or tithe rent-charge, and any other hereditaments in their relative liabilities to be rated; but that tithe and tithe rent-charge are to be rated upon an estimate of their net annual value. Now, the book from which I have been quoting is "A Practical Treatise on the Law relating to the Church and Clergy," by Henry William Cripps, M. A., Q.C., late Fellow of New College, Oxford, Recorder of Lichfield, and Chancellor of the Diocese of Oxford, for whose views upon the matter, as a lawyer, we have the utmost respect, when not tainted by political surroundings, or by his extraordinary position on the Royal Commission.

MR. ABEL THOMAS (Carmarthen)

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House said that the tithe-owner i n 1836 was inequitably dealt with. That very likely might have justified bringing in this Bill at that time, but I cannot see how it justifies the Bill of the present day. Every clergyman of to-day has accepted his tithe rent-charge for services he is going to render, knowing exactly how much rates he would have to pay on that tithe rent-charge, and therefore it is no injustice that they should be called upon to pay the rates. I cannot conceive of any instance of a clergyman who in 1836 did not at the time of commutation have an addition made as an equivalent of the rates and taxes. It is quite true that in some instances the clergymen themselves paid the rates. But in these cases the tithe rent-charge was immediately increased by the amount of the rates. In other cases where other people paid the rates it was sometimes against the clergyman, and sometimes very much in his favour; but in the end he succeeded in getting the best of it when the tithe rent-charge was commuted. I venture to think that when this Amendment is carried, there will not be a single person in the whole of Great Britain who will be entitled to claim that half his rates shall be paid by somebody other than himself. I am so satisfied of that that if the Amendment is carried I could not oppose the Bill any more. I am perfectly certain that there are not twenty clergymen in the country who will be able to get anything out of the Bill at all. Every clergyman who, since 1836, has taken a living in which he is to be paid by tithe rent-charge has known exactly what he is doing; and there can be no injustice in maintaining the agreement into which he has entered.


I propose to vote against the Amendment. After going fully into the matter, I am bound to say I cannot see that any distinction can be drawn between those owners of tithe rent-charge and their successors who had no addition made in 1836, as an equivalent of rates, and those who had such addition made to the tithe rent-charge. My contention is that the Tithe Commissioners provided for all the rates that were paid in 1836 or to lie paid, and that is a very strong reason why we should not reduce the rates on the tithe rent-charge by one-half, as proposed by the Bill.

* MR. PLATT-HIGGINS (Salford, N.)

asked how the mover of the Amendment could discriminate between the man who paid his own property tax, receiving £150 from his tenant, and another whose tenant paid £5 property tax for him and handed him only £145! The discrimination seemed to him absolutely untenable. He differed also with the right honourable Member for West Monmouth, who had argued that by the Commutation Act the tithe owner had benefited by the fall in rates. Tithe owners had benefited just as all other ratepayers, neither more nor less, but the benefit did not accrue from the Commutation Act. That Act provided that if the rates on a tithe of £100 amounted to £20, then the owner received only £80, but clearly if the rates fell to £10, it would be £90 that the tithe owner would be entitled to receive from the tithe-payer.


I think that those who have heard the Debate will conic to the conclusion that this is one of the most valuable Amendments introduced, because it has drawn three admissions either from the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill or from the Leader of the House. The first one is this. The right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill not only admitted, but argued, that the sole function of the Tithe Commissioners was to estimate the gross tithe, so that it might be put into the hands of the tithe-owners. He was obliged to take up that position, because the hon. Member who moved the Amendment pointed out that certain tithe-owners got not only the rates and the tithe, but subsequent additions, and therefore he pointed out that that which guided the Commissioners in all cases was the intention to put the gross tithe in the hands of the tithe-owner. We quite agree with that. We quite agree that the additions which were made in certain cases were for the purpose of remedying any inequalities which might arise from a private arrangement that had existed before the Tithe Commutation, so that all tithe-owners alike should be in possession of the gross tithe. Then the Leader of the House came on the scene, and he admitted that the person who took the whole of the tithe commutation (whether layman or clergyman) took it subject to the payment of the rates; and finally there came the admission of the right hon. Member in charge of the Bill, that those rates had fallen. Therefore, putting these three admissions together, we have this—that the Tithe Commissioners gave to every tithe-owner the complete gross tithe which he took on terms of paying the rate, and that rate had fallen. If you put these three things together, and hunt for the injustice, it occurs to me that you will take some time to find it. That tithe, which fluctuated with the price of agricultural produce, and which was meant so to fluctuate, is less burdened by rates than it then was. What I want to know is whether, after these admissions, there is any injustice left which the persons who in 1836 accepted the Tithe Compensation Act can now complain of.


An hon. Member asked just now what we were fighting for. We contend that the clerical holder of tithe rent-charge, when the Commutation Act was passed, was allowed a sufficient sum of money to enable him to pay his rates over and above the tithes he received. If so—and the fact cannot be disputed—it seems a great injustice for the Government to come forward and say that the community shall put their hands in their pockets to enable the clergy to pay their rates on the tithes they now receive. (An HON, MEMBER: Who pays the money?) An hon. Member asks me who pays the money. Of course it is impossible to convince certain hon. Members opposite of the injustice of the present proposal, but perhaps they will allow me to quote the evidence of Mr. Farquharson, who when he was in this House sat on the Conservative side. That gentleman gave evidence before the Royal Commission on Agriculture in 1894, fully bearing out the contention of those of us on this side who say that the clerical tithe-owner has made a very considerable profit since the Act for the Commutation of Tithes was passed. Now, what did Mr. Farquharson say: 31,995. I think you would like to say something as regards the tithe question?—I should like to do so. What is it von would like to say as regards that?—I wanted to give evidence before the Royal Commission on tithes, but my evidence was refused Lord Basing, who was the Chairman, because he said that this Commission was only to inquire into the best way of redeeming tithes, and not as to the excessive character of the tithe. I submit that the tithe all over England is very much higher than it was ever intended to be by the Tithe Commutation Act. The object, I believe, of the Tithe Commutation Act was to give to the tithe-owner the same net value after the Act passed as before, and in order to do that they sent round Commissioners to ascertain what the average net value had been of the tithe to the tithe-owner for the preceding seven years. That average was to be part of the par value for the future, but as in the future the tithe-owner would have to pay rates, they also said to him: 'What has been the average rate in your parish during the past seven years? 'The average rate at that time was very high on account of the old Poor Laws. What period are you alluding to at this moment?—I am speaking of the seven years preceding the Tithe Commutation Act, which I think was 1836. The consequence was that they made enormous additions to the par value of the tithe in order to enable the tithe-owner to pay rates in future. Take the instance of a tithe-owner who said: 'The net value of my tithe has been £100 on an average for the last seven years, and the rate in the parish on an average of the past seven years, has been 10s. in the £.' The Tithe Commissioners said: 'Very well, your par value in the future is £150—that is £100 to give you your old net value, and £50 with which to pay those rates.' But the moment that the new Tithe Act came into force, the new Poor Law came into force, and the rates which had been 10s. in the £ went down to 2s. 6d. in the £. The consequence was, this tithe-owner, who ought only to have had £112 10s.—that is, £100 for himself, and £12 10s. for rates—got £150, leaving him £137 10s. for himself, and £12 10s. for the rates. It would be so easy, if the Government were in the mind to do it, to take the Tithe Commissioners' reports, be- cause in nearly every instance they keep them separate. You see in one column in the net value of the tithe, and in the next column you see what is added for rates, and those two columns added together make the par value now. What I submit ought to be done is this—you should say: 'Very well, strike off the whole of that column of the amount added for rates, leave the tithe-owner what was intended to be his real tithe, and let the tithe-payer in the future pay the rates on the tithe, Whatever they are, high or low.' I could instance a parish in Hampshire—the parish of Tadley; in that parish they actually added 19s. in the £ for rates, making the par value at the time nearly double what it ought to have been. I wrote two or three years ago to ascertain what the rate at that moment was, and, if my memory serves me, it was Is. 3d. in the £. There are parishes in Essex and the Eastern Counties where the Poor Law has been badly administered. There you will find now, of course, the tithe is enormously high on account of these additions for rates. In the face of these figures, I say that there is no injustice whatever done at the present time. On the other hand, the Government propose to do a gross injustice to the poor of this country, by taking from them money wherewith to pay the rates of those men whose rates were fully allowed for, and who are today making a considerable profit on the Act of 1836. The hon. Member for one of the Divisions of Dorsetshire took me to task at an earlier period of the evening for saying that the man who dwells in a cottage and receives his miserable 9s. or 10s. a week—for this is the wage that is paid in Dorsetshire—made his contribution to the relief of the clergyman. He pays it in his rent, however small the proportion may be. [Ministerial laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen may laugh, but would they be able to pay the rates if the land was unoccupied, and there were no farmers or labourers there to earn the rent for them? I am surprised that the Government, while claiming credit for doing an act of justice, should still persist in doing what is undoubtedly an act of gross injustice to many of the poor people of this country. It is an act for which, I am thankful to say, they will have to answer to the country by-and-bye.


An hon. Member opposite spoke a few minutes ago of the case of a person who paid the inhabited house duty on behalf of his landlord. He said it was exactly as if it were a case in which the rent was £150, but instead of the landlord paying it the tenant pays £145 rent and £5 inhabited house duty; and he quoted that ease as perfectly analogous to the one which is at the foundation of this Amendment. But he did not state the whole case. It is exactly as if the tenant had undertaken to pay £5 towards the inhabited house duty, and it had been reduced to 30s. He then comes to the House of Commons and says, "It is true I agreed to pay £5, and that it is now reduced to 30s., but I appeal to the House to reduce it further to 15s., because it is too high." He has already profited by his bargain to the extent of £3 10s. at the expense of the general body of ratepayers, and says, in effect, "Although I have made a profit of £3 10s. out of this transaction, I insist upon the Government putting another 15s. in my pocket." But that is not the whole case. The First Lord of the Treasury has put it as if the rates were deducted in the first instance out of the gross tithe, and afterwards added to it. What really occurred was this. There were agreements in existence between the tithe-owners in the country and the landowners, whereby the burden of the rates was cast entirely upon the landowner. But these agreements were long-standing agreements; they were not agreements that had been entered into a few years before the Tithe Commutation Act. They had been entered into some ten, twenty, or thirty years before, and at the time the rates were not very high. Seven years before the Tithe Commutation Act was passed the rates in this country were low, but the landlords were under the impression that one result of this Act would be that the rates would go up; they therefore thought that the best plan for them was to stick to their bargain. But the rates have gone down by something like three-quarters in certain cases. The First Lord of the Treasury said, if there is a reduction in the rates it is a reduction which is common to all ratepayers in the United Kingdom. Yes, but all the ratepayers in the kingdom do not come to the House of Commons and ask us to pay half the balance; and, what is further to the point, they do not get this compensation in lieu of rates added on. The rates have gone down in the rural districts from which most of these tithes are derived, and the clergymen benefit from the reduction. That is not the case in the towns, where the rates have gone up very largely. Whereas the rates of the gentleman who was relieved by the general body of ratepayers have gone down from 9s. in the £ to 2s. and 3s. in the £, the rates of the persons who are called upon to relieve him have gone up from 2s. and 3s. to 6s., 7s., and sometimes 10s. in the £. The Report of the Land Tax Commission, upon which the Bill is founded, is one complete suppression of the salient facts of the case. These gentlemen say that the rates on the tithe rent-charge were only 2s. 6d. in 1883, and that now they are 3s. But why do they not go back to 1836, which is the crucial date? At that time the rates on tithe were 9s.; since then the burden of the general rural ratepayer, including the parson, has been relieved by grants in aid from the State to the amount of millions of pounds, while the rates of the urban ratepayer have been doubled, in some cases quadrupled. (Ministerial laughter.) I hope that when the time comes it will not be forgotten that the grievances of the urban ratepayer are regarded by hon. gentlemen opposite as a fit subject for laughter and ridicule. (Ministerial laughter.) I do not think that that laughter will continue after the next General Election, for hon. Gentlemen opposite will not then be here to laugh.


I have to offer my apologies to the hon. and learned Member for Stroud for my complete misconception of his attitude in arguing this subject. From my experience of his great legal learning I had come to the conclusion that he must necessarily thoroughly understand this question, and I was therefore surprised to see the attitude he has taken up in the Debates in this House and in Committee. My confidence in the hon. Member has been entirely destroyed. I have had placed in my hands a work written by him on the subject of tithe and tithe-rent charge, and I should like to read to the Committee the head-notes of one single page of this work. They are most peculiarly appropriate to the subject now under discussion. The first head-note is: "Equality of rating necessary," the

second, "Application of this rule"; the third, "Application to tithe rent-charge"; the next, "Is this to be the principle upon which tithes are to be rated?" another, "Difficulty of applying such a principle," and "Error and incorrectness of the principle." As a champion of the Bill the hon. Member has refuted every principle on which this Bill is based in the impartial book he has written on the subject. If you go behind the statutory settlement of the question you have got to re-open a state of things which already has the success of sixty-three years behind it. To do that in this partial manner without a full inquiry, and in the teeth of the strong opposition, not only of hon. Members on this side of the House, but of the towns throughout the country, is, I venture to think, a very grave mistake. The Amendment of my hon. friend proposes to leave the statutory settlement as it stood in 1836, and I appeal to the Committee to accept that Amendment.


I should like to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture why it was that in addition to the amount of the rates £58,000 was added in 1836.


I have explained the point more than once. Two sums were added to what the hon. Gentleman who spoke last night called the composition, but which ought to be accurately described as the balance of the composition. One sum represented the average of the actual rates paid during the preceding seven years. In addition to this where the Tithe Commissioners found it necessary in order to secure a fair bargain they were empowered to allow an increase of 20 per cent. or a decrease of 20 per cent. In the Parliamentary Return there were cases on both sides, as the Commissioners had thought the bargain unfair to the tithe-payer or the tithe-owner.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 151; Noes, 264. (Division List, No. 232.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Bolton, Thomas Dolling
Allen, Wm. (Newc.-un'r-Lyme) Barlow, John Emmott Broadhurst, Henry
Allison, Robert Andrew Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Bryce, Rt. Hon. James
Ashton, Thomas Gair Beaumont, Wentworth C. B Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Billson, Alfred Buxton, Sydney Charles
Atherley-Jones, L. Birrell, Augustine Caldwell, James
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Jones, David Brynmor(Swans.) Paulton, James Mellor
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Causton, Richard Knight Kearley, Hudson E. Perks, Robert William
Cawley, Frederick Kilbride, Denis Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Channing, Francis Allston Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Clark, Dr. G.B.(Caithness-sh.) Labouchere, Henry Power, Patrick Joseph
Clough, Walter Owen Langley, Batty Price, Robert John
Crilly, Daniel Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'land Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Leese, Sir. J. F. (Accrington) Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Dalziel, James Henry Leng, Sir John Randell, David
Davies, M Vaughan-(Cardigan) Lewis, John Herbert Reckitt, Harold James
Davitt, Michael Lloyd-George, David Richardson, J.(Durham, S. E.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Logan, John William Rickett, J. Compton
Dillon, John Lough, Thomas Roberts, John H. (Denbighsh.)
Donelan, Captain A. Lyell, Sir Leonard Robson, William Snowdon
Doogan, P. C. Macaleese, Daniel Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) MacDonnell, Dr. M. A.(Qu'n's C Schwann, Charles E.
Duckworth, James MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)
Dunn, Sir William M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Edwards, Owen Morgan M'Dermott, Patrick Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Evans, Sir F.H. (Southampton) M'Ewan, William Souttar, Robinson
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) M'Ghee, Richard Steadman, William Charles
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond M'Kenna, Reginald Stevenson, Francis S.
Flynn, James Christopher M'Laren, C. Benjamin Strachey, Edward
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) M' Lend, John Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Maddison, Fred. Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbt. John Maden, John Henry Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks.) Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Gold, Charles Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Ure, Alexander
Gurdon, Sir William Brampton Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Wallace, Robert
Haldane, Richard Burdon Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr) Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Harwood, George Morley, Rt. Hon. J. (Montrose) Wedderburn, Sir William
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport) Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Hazell, Walter Moulton, John Fletcher Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Hedderwick, Thomas Charles H Norton, Capt. Cecil William Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Nussey, Thomas Willans Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Holland, Wm. H. (York, W.R. O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.) Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)
Horniman, Frederick John O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Oldroyd, Mark Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William Yoxall, James Henry
Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E. Palmer, Sir Chas. M.(Durham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Lambert and Mr. Evans.
Joicey, Sir James Palmer, George W. (Reading)
Aird, John Brassey, Albert Cranborne, Viscount
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Cripps, Charles Alfred
Allsopp, Hon. George Brookfield, A. Montagu Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bullard, Sir Harry Cross, Herb. Shepherd(Bolton)
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Butcher, John George Cubitt, Hon. Henry
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Carlile, William Walter Curzon, Viscount
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh
Baird, John George Alexander Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbysh.) Dalkeith, Earl of
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.) Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Banbury, Frederick George Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Bir. Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-
Bartley, George C. T. Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Dorington, Sir John Edward
Bathurst, Hon Allen B. Charrington, Spencer Doughty, George
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Bristol) Chelsea, Viscount Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants.) Clare, Octavius Leigh Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.
Beckett, Ernest William Clarke, Sir E. (Plymouth) Drucker, A.
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Coddington, Sir William Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart
Bethell, Commander Coghill, Douglas Harry Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D.
Bigwood, James Cohen, Benjamin Louis Fardell, Sir T. George
Bill, Charles Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Blundell, Colonel Henry Compton, Lord Alwyne Finch, George H.
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W. Fisher, William Hayes
Bowles, Capt. H. F.(Middlesex) Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge Fison, Frederick William
FitzWygram, General Sir F. Laurie, Lieut.-General Purvis, Robert
Flower, Ernest Lawrence, Wm. F.(Liverpool) Pym, C. Guy
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry Rankin, Sir James
Galloway, William Johnson Lecky, Rt. Hon. William E. H. Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Garfit, William Lees, Sir Elliot (Birkenhead) Rentoul, James Alexander
Gedge, Sydney Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Richards, Henry Charles
Gibbons, J. Lloyd Leighton, Stanley Ridley, Rt Hon Sir Matthew W.
Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H.(C. of Loud.) Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swan.) Ritchie, Rt Hon Chas. Thomson
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans) Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Giles. Charles Tyrrell Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Robinson, Brooke
Gilliat, John Saunders Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Round, James
Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Liverp'1) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Goldsworthy, Major-General Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Gordon, Hon. John Edward Lorne, Marquess of Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Lowe, Francis William Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Goschen, Rt Hn G.J.(St. Geo.'s) Lowles, John Savory, Sir Joseph
Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Goulding, Edward Alfred Lucas-Shadwell, William Seely, Charles Hilton
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Macartney, W. G. Ellison Sharpe, William Edward T.
Green, Walford D. (Wed'bury Macdona, John Cumming Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Malcolm, Ian Simeon, Sir Barrington
Gretton, John Martin, Richard Biddulph Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Greville, Hon. Robert Massey-Mainwaring, Hn W.F. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Gull, Sir Cameron Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormsk.)
Gunter, Colonel Melville, Beresford V. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Meysey-Thomson, Sir H. M. Stewart, Sir Mark. J. M'Taggart
Halsey, Thomas Frederick Milbank, Sir Powlett C. John Stock, James Henry
Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord George Mildmay, Francis Bingham Strauss, Arthur
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W. Milner, Sir Frederick George Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Hanson, Sir Reginald Milton, Viscount Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier
Hardy, Laurence Milward, Colonel Victor Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Hare, Thomas Leigh Monk, Charles James Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G.(Ox.Univ.)
Heaton, John Henniker Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants. Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Helder, Augustus Moon, Edward R. Pacy Thornburn, Walter
Henderson, Alexander More, Robert J. (Shropshire) Thornton, Percy M.
Hermon-Hodge, Robert T. Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.) Tollemache, Henry James
Hickman, Sir Alfred Morrell, George Herbert Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Hill, Sir E. Stock (Bristol) Morrison, Walter Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hoare, Ed. Brodie (Hampstead Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Valentia, Viscount
Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Mount, William George Wanklyn, James Leslie
Hobhouse, Henry Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Ward, Hon. R. A. (Crewe)
Holland, Hon. Lionel R.(Bow) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Hornby, Sir William Henry Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Howard, Joseph Myers, William Henry Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Howell, William Tudor Newark, Viscount Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Nicholson, William Graham Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Nicol, Donald Ninian Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Williams J. Powell- (Birm.)
Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice- O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Willox, Sir John Archibald
Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies Pease, Herbert P. (Darlingt'n) Wodehouse, Rt Hon E.R (Bath)
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Pender, Sir James Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Jenkins, Sir John Jones Penn, John Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Wyndham, George
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Pierpoint, Robert Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir. J. H. Pilkington, R.(Lancs, Newton) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Kenyon, James Platt-Higgins, Frederick Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Pollock, Harry Frederick Younger, William
Keswick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Knowles, Lees Priestley, Sir W. Overend (Edin. Sir William Walrond and
Lafone, Alfred Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. E. Mr. Anstruther.

The next four Amendments are out of order. If they were accepted they would extend the scope of the Bill to colleges and schools, which Mr. Speaker has ruled are outside the scope of the Bill.


I have an Amendment to insert the word "now" after "rent- charge." I handed it in earlier in the evening.


The hon. Member will see that the same idea is carried out in better wording by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil,


On a point of Order you, Sir, have ruled that these words would be out of order, but would I be in order if I were to move to leave out the words in the clause in order to insert words of similar import to the Amendment? Perhaps before giving your ruling you will allow me to explain that there is a clear distinction between the words "attached to" and the words "not severed from." I have studied the matter very carefully, and I myself draw a great distinction between the two phrases.


I have had no notice of the Amendment, and I cannot know what was in the hon. Gentleman's mind.


This Bill is based upon the recommendations of the interim Report of the Royal Commissioners, and in all their references to the subject the words they use are "not severed from a benefice." There are many cases where the tithe attached to a particular benefice is derived from a different county altogether and therefore has been severed in a way not intended in this Bill, and it would be quite in accordance with the ruling of Mr. Speaker to draw the distinction I have indicated. There is a very wide distinction indeed between the words "attached to" in the Bill and the words "not severed from" in the interim Report.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 5, to leave out the words 'attached to' and insert the words 'not severed from.'"—(Mr. D. A. Thomas.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'attached to' stand part of the clause."


I really think we ought to have the advantage of hearing the right hon. Gentleman on the point.


I really did not know whether the hon. Gentleman was proceeding to move an Amendment, or whether he was arguing whether the Chairman should accept the Amendment he had in his mind. It now turns out that the speech was devoted to the Amendment he had in his mind. I confess I cannot follow the reason why the words "not severed from" should be inserted. The words "attached to" clearly convey the meaning we wish to convey—namely, that the tithe rent-charge attached to a benefice is to be affected by the Bill. I do not know whether the words "not severed from" would extend the operations of the Bill to the tithe rent-charge not devoted to the maintenance of a benefice, but I am assured the words "attached to" will carry out the object we have in view.


In some cases a tithe rent-charge may be held to be attached to a benefice, although it cannot be said to be not severed from it. The Amendment raises a legal question of considerable importance, and I think we ought to have the views of the Solicitor-General upon it.


The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Stroud always uses in his Report the words "not severed from," and not the words "attached to."


I, too, have studied the Report from cover to cover, but I cannot find the words "attached to" in it. I do not know that they are a legal term at all, and perhaps the Solicitor-General would enlighten us as to where they came from. They are not words of art at all. It may be said that the tithe is attached to the tithe-owner, but it would be much more accurate to say that the tithe-owner is attached to the tithe. He is, indeed, very much attached to it. I have tried to ascertain whether it is perfectly clear by these words that the Bill is only intended to deal with parochial incumbents. The Second Reading speech of the right hon. Gentleman was not at all clear on this point. I desire to have it made perfectly clear that these words will not extend the benefits of this Bill to other tithe in the hand of other clerical appropriators. The tithes are divided as follows:—In the hands of clerical appropriators, £680,039; in the hands of parochial incumbents, £2,212,350; in the hands of lay appropriators, £756,205; and held by the authorities governing schools and colleges, £196,056, making in all the respectable sum of £4,040,000. It has been said by the right hon. Gentleman that it is not intended to extend the benefits of this Bill to tithe which is held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The Committee is well aware that a large amount of tithe is held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.


This does not seem to be relevant to the question before the Committee. The only question before the Committee is that the words "not severed from" should be inserted instead of the words "attached to."


I was only dealing with the question whether the Bill is intended to apply to tithe held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.


That question does not arise on this Amendment; it may arise at a later stage.


I shall ask the question in this form: If the words "attached to a benefice" are allowed to remain in the clause, does that cover tithe in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners? These are not legal words at all, and it is important to ask whether or not they will cover the tithes to the extent of £380,000, which exist now in the hands of clerical appropriators other than parochial incumbents.


In the case of tithes in the hands of lay impropriators which have been severed from a benefice, should those lay impropriators in their generosity choose to donate those tithes hack again to the benefice and thereby attach them to the benefice, would those tithes so reattached come within the scope of the Bill? If so, it is perfectly clear that if those tithes so alienated are again attached to the benefice, a large quantity of tithes will be brought within the scope of the measure which at present are not relieved from taxation by virtue of this Bill.


I do not know whether the movers and sup- porters of this Amendment have succeeded in explaining to the House the difference between the meaning of the words "attached to" and that of the words "not severed from." We prefer the expression "attached to." Conceivably there might be cases where tithes which had been attached to a benefice had become severed therefrom, and are afterwards attached again. We intend to include all cases where the tithe is attached to a benefice. The words would not apply to tithes in the hands of clerical appropriators, as they are not attached to a benefice. As to whether the words would include the cases where tithes at present are in the hands of lay impropriators, but are afterwards attached to a benefice so that in the future the incumbent has the benefit of them, I answer that in the affirmative.


In that case it is clear that this £87,000 will not be enough.


Unless I get a far more satisfactory answer I shall be compelled to proceed to a Division. As the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill told us he did not know, I was appealing to somebody who did know——


I did not say I did not know.


You said you did not know the distinction between "attached to" and "not severed from." There is a very wide distinction. The Solicitor General in a vague sort of way does see that there is some distinction. Although the right hon. Gentleman may not understand or appreciate that distinction, it was appreciated by the Conservative Members of the Parliament of 1892–5, when I moved an Amendment bearing upon this very point, and they supported me.


After the answer of the Solicitor-General we really ought to reconsider our position. A lay impropriator who has tithes now does not get any diminution of his payment of rates, and I cannot imagine any wealthy Churchman in the future presenting any clergyman with £3,000 or £4,000 or the interest of it for the purpose of carrying on his Church. He cannot be so idiotic as to do it if this B111 is passed. He will buy tithes, and present them to a benefice, and the clergyman will immediately get the benefit of half the rates. If the Solicitor-General is right this is not an act of justice in any shape or form. It cannot be justice that tithe which now pays its own rates should immediately it is presented to a benefice pay only half its rates. If it is justice the Bill should have been framed to include lay impropriators. This is a very serious point, and I shall vote for the Amendment.

SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

The discussion has shown that this Amendment is a much more important one than the House realised. I gather that any tithe, whether in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners or anyone else, if it becomes attached to a benefice, will get the benefit of this reduction of rates. See what injustice that will work. In the neighbourhood which I represent the Ecclesiastical Commissioners own a very large amount of tithe. They may attach those tithes to a benefice in any part of the country, and those parishes in Durham will be expected to make up the rates which are lost upon those tithes should those tithes have been attached to parishes outside our own county with which the communities in Durham have nothing whatever to do. It is a very important matter when you realise the enormous sums that may be given away in this shape.


The answer of the Solicitor-General that any tithes which may in future be attached to a benefice will come within the scope of the Act puts quite a different complexion on this Bill. We had realised that the richest Church in the world could not support her ministers, and that while the poorer Churches were making heroic efforts to support their own this one preferred to come to the State and ask for an endowment. But we did not think it was going to inaugurate a system of cheap charity, through which by selling or giving a tithe to a benefice you would thereupon put your country under contribution to supplement your gift by something out of the public pocket. We read that in old days somebody was squeamish enough Rot to give unto the Lord that which cost him nothing, but our great Church has got quite above such ideas. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners own tithes which bring in about £300,000 a year, and that sum they can use for the benefit of the Church. According to this edition of the Bill, they can force the Nation to supplement that sum out of public money by something like £20,000 or £25,000, by the simple device of using those tithes in specie to increase the value of benefices instead of giving the money increment themselves. Therefore this Bill will enable the Church, at the will of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, after getting this endowment of £87,000 a year, to increase it by something like £25,000 or more per annum. But that is not the only thing. It at once makes a brisk market for the tithes that are in the hands of the lay impropriators, because if anybody wants to endow a church they will get sufficient money to buy a tithe—a taxed tithe, a rated tithe—from the lay impropriator, and that having been once presented to a benefice, half of its rates will be borne by the public, and as a consequence the gift will be increased by a compulsory contribution from the public purse. This Bill was stated to be based on justice—not on mercy, not on endowment. Will anybody explain the justice of enabling a person, because he chooses to give to the Church in one particular form, to compel the public to join him in the gift, when if he gave it in money he could not so force them? If this is to be the meaning of the Act the plea of justice is ludicrous. It was unsound before, but under these conditions it becomes comic. I trust we shall go to a Division, in as much as no more important opportunity has been given for showing the false pretensions upon which this Bill is put forward.


The right hon. Gentleman has estimated the cost of this Bill at £87,000. That we know is to be paid by the general taxpayer of the country, awl will be deducted from the funds of the ratepayers. In view of this Amendment I ask, does that amount include these possible or even probable future additions to the existing rates to which the Bill is now applicable, because, if so, as my hon. and learned friend has said, this estimate of £87,000 does not cover the case. I think upon that ground we ought, before these words are passed, to have an assurance from the Government as to whether they intend that it is to be governed by the existing condition of the rates, or whether it means in the future to have an unlimited and speculative amount which may be added to at any time in consequence of the explanation of the Solicitor-General. I am sure the House has derived as much benefit from his explanation as front the speeches of other hon. and learned Members who are supporting this Bill, and the more we can get those distinguished Gentlemen to speak the more will this Bill be damaged in the eyes of everybody who understands its framework. I ask deliberately whether this £87,000 is to be the be-all and end-all, or whether you mean to have an elastic power to increase this imposition upon the taxpayers of the country, and this loss to the general ratepayer.


The right hon. Gentleman congratulates himself and his Party upon the fact that certain learned Gentlemen on this side of the House have spoken, because, he tells us, whenever they speak they help the case of the Opposition. That being so, I cannot help regretting that he does not rest content with the speeches we make. The right hon. Gentleman asks whether in our calculations we have estimated for any future attachment of tithes to benefices which may lead to an increase of the sum paid in respect of rates. The estimate we have made is, as is usual in such cases, one which allows a considerable margin, and the actual result may be very much less than the estimate, as was the case with the Agricultural Rating Act. In regard to the condition of future tithes the explanation given by the Solicitor-General is one with which we entirely agree. So far as this Bill is concerned, it being a temporary measure, extending over 2½ years, pending the final settlement of the larger question, our object has been to make it the law that in the case of tithe rent-charge attached to a benefice half the rates should in future be paid. That being so, whether the tithe is attached to the benefice at the immediate passing of the Bill into law, or whether it becomes attached by a subsequent act of the present impropriator, the effect and result of this Bill will be the same.


I venture to think that it could never have been the intention of the Government that it should be possible for the public funds to be forced to supplement gifts to the Church in the manner which has been described. Such a grossly extravagant proposal would amount to little short of a public scandal. I am quite sure hon. Members opposite do not realise what this means. Suppose it is conceded that the amount of rates which are attached to tithe rent-charge is excessive and that it is perfectly right that reductions in those rates should be made by the inartistic process of a grant at large. This reading of the Bill by the Solicitor-General goes much further than that. It does not mean that the bonâ fide tithe-owner is henceforth to be relieved of his rates, but that every form of endowment which may hereafter he given to a benefice, if advantage is taken of the machinery of buying a tithe, should be supplemented by the State. I am perfectly sure that could not have been the intention of the Government, but unfortunately the President of the Board of Agriculture has committed himself to an explanation which on examination cannot possibly be adopted.


I cannot think that this is a point the Government ought to try to settle to-night, after the admission which has been made. The Church or any other worthy institution receives a great deal of honour and admiration from the country. But when that honour comes to pounds, shillings and pence, and

when those pounds shillings and pence are taken from the pockets of the poor ratepayers, that honour and admiration will not be quite so great as they would have been if the money had been obtained in other ways. The country, when they have an opportunity of speaking, will very soon decide against such proposals, and the vote next Wednesday in a certain part of London will be greatly influenced by these proceedings; other places have already spoken.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee proceeded to a Division:—Ayes, 249; Noes, 135. (Division List, No. 233.)

Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Doughty, George
Allsop, Hon. George Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Chamberlain, J. Aust'n (Worc'r Drucker, A.
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Charrington, Spencer Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart
Chelsea, Viscount Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Clare, Octavius Leigh
Baird, J. George Alexander Clarke, Sir Edward(Plymouth) Fardell, Sir T. George
Balcarres, Lord Cocharane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E. Fellowes, Hon Ailwyn Edwd.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Coddington, Sir William Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J(Manch'r
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W.(Leeds Finch, George H.
Banbury, Frederick Georg Coghill, Douglas Harry Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Bartley, George C. T. Colston, C. E. E. Athole Fisher, William Hayes
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Compton, Lord Alwyne Fison, Frederick William
Beach,Rt.Hn.SirH.M.(Bristol Cook, F. Lucas(Lambeth) FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-
Beckett, Ernest William Cooke, C. W. R.(Hereford) FitzWygram, General Sir F.
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cornwallis, Hennes S. W. Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Bethell, Commander Cox, Irwin Edward B. Galloway, William Johnson
Bigwood, James Cranborne, Viscount Garfit, William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Cripps, Charles Alfred Gedge, Sydney
Bond, Edward Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Gibbons, J. Lloyd
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Gibbs, Hn AGH (City of Lond.)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cubitt, Hon. Henry Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans
Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex) Curzon, Viscount Giles, Charles Tyrrell
Brassey, Albert Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Gilliat, John Saunders
Brodrick Rt. Hon. St. John Dalkeith, Earl of Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Brookfield, A. Montagu Dalrymple, Sir Charles Goldsworthy, Major-General
Bullard, Sir Harry Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Gordon, Hon, John Edward
Butcher, John George Denny, Colonel Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Carlile, William Walter Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Goschen, Rt. Hn GJ(St. George's
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Dighy, John K. D. Wingfield- Goschen, George J. (Sussex)
Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbysh.) Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Goulding, Edward Alfred
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Dorington, Sir John Edward Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Green, Walford D.(Wednesb'ry Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Lorne, Marquess of Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thompson
Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Lowles, John Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Gretton, John Loyd, Archie Kirkman Robinson, Brooke
Greville, Hon. Ronald Lucas-Shadwell, William Round, James
Gull, Sir Cameron Macartney, W. G. Ellison Royds, Clement Molyneux
Gunter, Colonel Macdona, John Cumming Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles MacIver, David (Liverpool) Ryder, John H. Dudley
Halsey, Thomas Frederick M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)
Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Malcolm, Ian Seely, Charles Hilton
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Martin, Richard Biddulph Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hanson, Sir Reginald Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F. Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Hardy, Laurence Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Helder, Augustus Melville, Beresford Valentine Simeon, Sir Barrington
Henderson, Alexander Milbank, Sir Powlett C. John Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Hermon Hodge, Robert T. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)
Hickman, Sir Alfred Milner, Sir Frederick George Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hill, Sir Edw. Stock (Bristol) Milton, Viscount Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Milward, Colonel Victor Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Johan M.
Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Monk, Charles James Stock, James Henry
Hobhouse, Henry Montagu, Hon. J. S. (Hunts.) Strauss, Arthur
Holland, Hon. Lionel R.(Bow) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley
Hornby, Sir William Henry More, Rbt. Jasper (Shropshire) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Howell, William Tudor Morgan, Hn. F. (Monmouthsh.) Talbot, Rt Hn. J.G.(Oxf'dUniv.
Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Morrell, George Herbert Thorburn, Walter
Hozier, Hon. J. H. Cecil Morrison, Water Thornton, Percy M.
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Tollemache, Henry James
Hutchinson, Capt. G.W. Grice- Mount, William George Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Jackson, Rt. Hn. WM. Lawies Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute Valentia, Viscount
Jebb, Richard (Claverhouse Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Myers, William Henry Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E, (Kent)
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Nicholson, William Graham Welby, Lieut-Col. A. C. E.
Kemp, George Nicol, Donald Ninian Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S. Wharton, Rt. Hon. Jno. Lloyd
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Keswick, William Penn, John Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Knowles, Lees Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Lafone, Alfred Pilkington, R.(Lancs., Newton) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh, N.)
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Pollock, Harry Frederick Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Lecky, Rt. Hon. William E.H. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Purvis, Robert Wyndham, George
Leighton, Stanley pym, C. Guy Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn(Sw'nsea. Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arey
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Rankin, Sir James Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Rasch, Major Frederick Carne TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Rentoul, James Alexander Sir William Walrond and
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'1) Richards, Henry Charles Mr. Anstruther.
Allen, Wm.(Newc.-und.-Lyme Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh. Goddard, Daniel Ford
Ashton, Thomas Gair Clough, Walter Owen Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)
Atherley-Jones, L. Colville, John Gurdon, Sir William B.
Barlow, John Emmott Crilly, Daniel Haldane, Richard Burdon
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Dalziel, James Henry Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Davies, M. Vaughan-(Card'g'n) Harwood, George
Billson, Alfred Davitt, Michael Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-
Birrell, Augustine Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hazell, Walter
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Dillon, John Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H.
Broadhurst, Henry Donelan, Captain A. Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Doogan, P. C. Holland, Wm. H. (York, W.R.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Horniman, Frederick John
Buxton, Sydney Charles Emmott, Alfred Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Caldwell, James Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Jacoby, James Alfred
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Evans, Sir F. H. (South' ton) Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Ed:
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith Joicey, Sir James
Causton, Richanl Knight Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Cawley, Frederick Flynn, James Christopher Jones, David B. (Swansea)
Channing, Francis Allston Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire)
Kearley, Hudson E. Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Kilbride, Denis Moss, Samuel Spicer, Albert
Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Moulton, John Fletcher Steadman, William Charles
Labouchere, Henry Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stevenson, Francis S.
Lambert, George Nussey, Thomas Willans Strachey, Edward
Langley, Batty O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid(Cumb'land Oldroyd, Mark Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry) Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Palmer, George W. (Reading) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
Leng, Sir John Paulton, James Mellor Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)
Lewis, John Herbert Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Logan, John William Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.) Ure, Alexander
Lough, Thomas Perks, Robert Williams Wallace, Robert
Lyell, Sir Leonard Pickersgill, Edward Hare Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Macaleese, Daniel Power, Patrick Joseph Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Price, Robert John Wedderburn, Sir William
M'Dermott, Patrick Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.) Whiteley, George (Stockport)
M'Ewan, William Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
M'Ghee, Richard Randell, David Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
M'Kenna, Reginald Reckitt, Harold James Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
M'Leod, John Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Maddison, Fred. Rickett, J. Compton Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Maden, John Henry Roberts, J. H. (Denbighs.) Woodhouse, Sir JT (Huddersf'd
Mellor, Rt. Hon. J.W. (Yorks.) Robson, William Snowdon
Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Mr. Herbert Gladstone and
Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.) Mr. M'Arthur.
Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose) Smith, Samuel (Flint)

Question put accordingly, "That the words 'attached to' stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 243; Noes, 134. (Division List, No. 234.)

Allhusen, A. Henry Eden Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Fardell, Sir T. George
Allsopp, Hon. George Charrington, Spencer Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chelsea, Viscount Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J.(Manc'r)
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Clare, Octavins Leigh Finch, George H.
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Clarke, Sir Edward(Plymouth) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cochrane, Hn. T. H. A. E. Fisher, William Hayes
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Coddington, Sir William Fison, Frederick William
Baird, John George Alexander Coghill, Douglas Harry FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-
Balcarres, Lord Cohen, Benjamin Louis FitzWygram, General Sir F.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Man.) Colston, C. E. H. Athole Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Compton, Lord Alwyne
Banbury, Frederick George Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Galloway, William Johnson
Bartley, George C. T. Cooke, C. W. R (Hereford) Garfit, William Johnson
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W. Gibbons, J. Lloyd
Beach, Rt Hn Sir M.H.-(Bristol) Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Gibbs, Hn AGH(City of Lond.)
Beckett, Ernest William Cranborne, Viscount Gibbs, Hon. Vicary(St. Albans)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cripps, Charles Alfred Gilliat, John Saunders
Bethell, Commander Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Bigwood, James Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)) Gordon, Hon. John Edward
Bill, Charles Cubitt, Hon. Henry Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Blundell, Colonel Henry Curzon, Viscount Goschen, Rt. Hon. GJ(St George's
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Goschen, Gemge J. (Sussex)
Boscawen Arthur Griffith Dalkeith, Earl of Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex) Dalrymple, Sir Charles Gray Ernest (West Ham)
Brassey, Albert Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Denny, Colonel Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P. Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)
Bullard, Sir Harry Digby, J. K. D. Wingfield- Gretton, John
Butcher, John George Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Greville, Hon. Ronald
Carlile, William Walter Dorington, Sir John Edward Gull, Sir Cameron
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Doughty, George Gunter, Colonel
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbys.) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Drucker, A. Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm) Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Hanson, Sir Reginald
Hardy, Laurence M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Robinson, Brooke
Hare, Thomas Leigh Malcolm, Ian Round, James
Helder, Augustus Martin, Richard Biddulph Royds, Clement Molyneux
Henderson, Alexander Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F. Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Byder, John Herbert Dudley
Hickman, Sir Alfred Melville, Beresford Valentine Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Hill, Sir Edw. Stock (Bristol) Milbank, Sir P. C. John Seely, Charles Hilton
Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Milner, Sir Frederick George Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Hobhouse, Henry Milton, Viscount Simeon, Sir Barrington
Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Milward, Colonel Victor Smith, Hon. W. E. D. (Strand)
Hornby, Sir William Henry Monk, Charles James Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Howell, William Tudor Montagu, Hon J Scott(Hants.) Stanley, Lord (Lanes)
Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn More, R. Jasper (Shropshire) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Hutchinson, Capt. G.W. Grice- Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm' thsh.) Stock, James Henry
Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies Morrell, George Herbert Strauss, Arthur
Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Morrison, Walter Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Uni.
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Mount, William George Thorburn, Walter
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Thornton, Percy M.
Kemp, George Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Tollemache, Henry James
Kennaway, Rt Hon Sir John H Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray
Kenyon-Slayney, Col. William Myers, William Henry Valentia, Viscount
Keswick, William Nicholson, William Graham Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Knowles, Lees Nicol, Donald Ninian Wanklyn, James Leslie
Lafone, Alfred Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Pease, Herbt. Pike(Darlington Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Lecky, Rt Hon William Edw. H. Penn, John Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Pilkington, R. (Lancs, Newton) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Leighton, Stanley Platt-Higgins, Frederick Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Lewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans. Pollock, Harry Frederick Williams, J. Powell- (Birmg.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Willox, Sir John Archibald
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh. N.)
Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham Purvis, Robert Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath)
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (L'pool) Pym, C. Guy Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Wyndham, George
Lorne, Marquess of Rankin, Sir James Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.
Lowles, John Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arey
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rentoul, James Alexander Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Lucas-Shadwell, William Richards, Henry Charles
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matt. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Macdona, John Cumming Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Sir William Walrond and
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Robertson, H. (Hackney) Mr. Anstruther.
Allen, W. (Newe-under-Lyme) Davies, M.Vaughan-(Cardigan Horniman, Frederick John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Davitt, Michael Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Atherley-Jones, L. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Jacoby, James Alfred
Barlow, John Emmott Dillon, John Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Donelan, Captain A. Joicer, Sir James
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Doogan, P. C. Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Billson, Alfred Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire)
Birrell, Augustine Emmott, Alfred Kearley, Hudson E.
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Evans, S. T. Glamorgan) Kilbride, Denis
Broadhurst, Henry Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton) Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith Labouchere, Henry
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lambert, George
Buxton, Sydney Charles Flynn, James Christopher Langley, Batty
Caldwell, James Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Lawson, Sir Wilfred (Comb.)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Goddard, Daniel Ford Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Causton, Richard Knight Gurdon, Sir William B. Leng, Sir John
Cawley, Frederick Haldane, Richard Burdon Lewis, John Herbert
Channing, Francis Allston Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Logan, John William
Clark, Dr. G.B.(Caithness-sh.) Harwood, George Lough, Thomas
Clough, Walter Owen Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Lyell, Sir Leonard
Colville, John Hazen, Walter Macaleese, Daniel
Crilly, Daniel Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Dalziel, James Henry Holland, Wm. H. (York, W.R. M'Dermott, Patrick
M'Ewan, William Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.) Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
M'Ghee, Richard Perks, Robert William Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
M'Kenna, Reginald Pickersgill, Edward Hare Thomas, Abel(Carmarthen, E.)
M'Leod, John Power, Patrick Joseph Thomas, Alfred(Glamorgan, E.
Maddison, Fred. Price, Robert John Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Maden, John Henry Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Mellor, Rt. Hon. J.W. (Yorks.) Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Ure, Alexander
Mendl, Sigismund F. Randell, David Wallace, Robert
Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr) Reckitt, Harold James Walton, Jno. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Morley, Chas. (Breckonshire) Richardson, J. (Durham, S.E.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose Rickett, J. Compton Wedderburn, Sir William
Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Moss, Samuel Robson, William Snowdon Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Moulton, John Fletcher Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford) Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh. Wilson, H. J. (Yorks, W. R.)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Smith, Samuel (Flint) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Oldroyd, Mark Spicer, Albert Woodhouse, Sir JT(Huddersf'd
Palmer, Sir Charles M.(Durham Steadman, William Charles
Palmer, Geo. Wm. (Reading) Stevenson, Francis S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur.
Paulton, James Mellor Strachey, Edward
Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley

Question put and agreed to.

It being after midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.