§ MR. BLACK (Banffshire)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, under reference to Clause 1, Sub-section 2, of the Churches (Scotland) Bill, whether it is the meaning and intention of the Government that the term adherent occurring in that sub-section shall only apply to the families of bona fide communicants, and to those persons who prior to the union were by themselves or their parents bona fide and permanently connected with the Free Church as adherents; and, if so, whether he is willing that words be introduced to make this clear.
The hon. Member also had the following Questions on the Paper:—
§ MR. BLACK
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury, under reference to Clause 1, Sub-section 3, of the Churches (Scotland) Bill, whether it is the meaning and intention of the Government that the direction to the Executive Commission as to appropriating funds for the support of ministers of the legal Free Church and for the general purposes of that Church should apply only to funds originally contributed for the support of ministers or for general purposes, or whether it is the meaning and intention of the Government that funds given by the original contributors for other specific purposes such as the christianising of the natives of India or Africa should be permanently taken away from these beneficiaries and distributed amongst ministers of the legal Free Church working in Scotland.
§ MR. BLACK
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury, under reference to Clause 4, Sub-section 1, of the Churches (Scotland) Bill, whether it is designed that the definition of property in question contained in that sub-section should be extended so as to include about £300,000 of bequests to the Free Church by persons dying since the date of the union not adhering to the legal Free church; and whether any clause will be added to the Bill making provision for dealing with such questions arising after the Executive Commission is dissolved.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think the hon. Member had better defer until tomorrow the Questions dealing with these very important matters. I have been considering the question of public business in connection with this Bill, and I have come to the conclusion, somewhat reluctantly, that we must interrupt for a day our proceedings upon the Aliens Bill in order to take the Second Reading of this Bill, so that we may be able to ga on with it on the first available opportunity. I therefore give notice that I shall take this Bill first to-morrow, and my learned friend the Lord-Advooate-will open the debate and deal with all the points raised by the Questions.
SIR HOWARD VINCENT
When will the Aliens Bill be resumed?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think all those who are specially interested in the Commission would have raised no objection to the proceeding that suggest. On. 789 the contrary, I think it would be extremely convenient that my learned friend should have an opportunity of stating the general policy of the Government on this question so that the Churches specially interested may be able to consider the subject between the Second Reading and the Committee stage of the Bill.