HC Deb 26 November 1906 vol 165 cc1248-9

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that notwithstanding the terms of The Churches (Scotland) Act, 1905, by which Commissioners were appointed to allocate property between the Free Church and the United Free Church in Scotland, and to make provision for the equipment of the Free Church in Leith, where there are fifteen United Free Churches, and in Aberdeen, where there are twenty-six United Free Churches, no church building of any kind has been allocated to or provided for the Free Church congregations in these towns; and, if so, and seeing that the Act gives the Commission power to make special arrangements in such cases, will the Secretary for Scotland bring the matter before Lord Elgin, the Chairman of the Commission, so that steps may be taken to remedy the existing hardships presently suffered by the Free Church congregations in Leith and Aberdeen.


The whole responsibility for the proceedings under The Churches (Scotland) Act is with the Commission, but I am informed that the Churches in Leith and Aberdeen have been allocated in accordance with the statistical regulations of the Act, there being no dispute that the United Free Church congregations were entitled to this property under those provisions. The hon. Member is probably aware that the Commissioners have issued a Memorandum which explains their policy, and shows they are alive to the difficulties which the Free Church may experience in such circumstances. It does not appear to me that I can properly or usefully intervene.