HC Deb 22 February 1904 vol 130 cc548-9
SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

To ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he will state what steps have been taken by the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty to relieve the poorer benefices from payment of first-fruits and tenths; and whether arrangements can be made under the existing law for giving similar relief from payments of fees for presentation or induction to the poorer benefices out of the funds of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) The governors of Queen Anne's Bounty are now empowered to make grants to benefices not exceeding £200 a year in net annual income, and still chargeable with first-fruits and tenths, or either of them, to meet the sums from time to time becoming due in respect of these charges. They have communicated with the incumbents of all benefices still chargeable with first-fruits and tenths, and have received applications in respect of 750 benefices. Of these, 366 have been relieved of payment; 85 proved to be ineligible, as exceeding £200 per annum in value; the remainder are under consideration. The suggestion in the second part of the Question cannot be carried into effect without legislation.