HC Deb 26 February 1907 vol 169 cc1525-54
MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)

moved a Resolution declaring that the levying of compulsory assessments in Scotland for the purpose of defraying the cost of rebuilding or repairing churches or manses of a particular denomination was inequitable and unjust and ought to be abolished forthwith. This long standing grievance in regard to ecclesiastical assessments was, he said, altogether out of harmony with modern conditions, and added to this was the fact that these assessments were an imposition which was resented and the liability for which was repudiated by many for conscience' sake, as they were intended for churches and manses of the Established Church to which many who paid the assessments did not in any way belong. There were two classes of people who might object to this Motion. The first class consisted of bigoted Churchmen who clung to ancient privileges however oppressive they might be, and demanded their legal pound of flesh. The other class comprised the rabid Dissenters who wished to keep this question as an open sore for sectarian purposes. These two classes, he was glad to say, were in Scotland small in number and speedily diminishing in power and influence, and he did not think this House need consider them at all on the present occasion. He would, therefore, not waste time in meeting any objections which these two classes might raise. He intended to take a broad view of the system of ecclesiastial assessments and ask what the present system meant, and by the present system he meant the system as modified by the Act of 1900. Briefly, what were the assessments of which complaint was made? They were assessments for the Established Church of Scotland only. However beneficial the ministrations of any Free Church might be, however wide might be its sphere of usefulness, no assessments could be levied for carrying on its work. The Free Church might even have a majority of the parishioners in a parish, but it could not levy an assessment such as that complained of. An assessment of this kind might be levied for a church which had only a minority of the population as members. It could be readily understood how these assessments came to be made. In the old days the burden of maintaining the parish church and manse was imposed upon the heritors or landowners within the parish, and indeed the parish schools were so maintained in Scotland up to the passing of the Education Act of 1872. At the time these assessments were first imposed they were perfectly fair and reasonable. In those days every one did go, or was supposed to go, to the Established Church, and the assessment was perfectly fair and reasonable because it was believed to be for the benefit of the whole community. The assessment was made in the time of Cromwell on the valued rent, and it was revised at the time of the Restoration. Things went on until the Peterhead case in 1802, in which it was held that such assessments in burghs or in districts partly burghal and partly landward should be based on real rent. The position was further accentuated by the Valuation Act of 1854. In other words, buildings as well as land were to be assessed to defray the cost of re-building or repairing churches and manses of the Church of Scotland. As towns extended and buildings increased, people far removed from the church suddenly found themselves liable to an assessment for the re-building of a church to which they did not belong. Working men who had become owners of their houses, and who had no knowledge of any such liability were brought within the ecclesiastical net. This liability could not be estimated or foreseen as certain. Such assessments were now out of keeping with the spirit of the age, which demanded that taxation should be certain. Refusals to pay the assessments were frequent, and it was needless to say that scandals had occurred when an attempt was made to put the law into operation. In short, there were passive resisters for conscience's sake. The Church of Scotland itself, realising the gravity of the situation, tried in 1884 to pass a Bill through this House dealing with the subject, thereby acknowledging the existence of a grievance. That Bill provided that the assessments were to be levied on the old basis of valued rent which obtained prior to the Peterhead judgment. The Bill, however, did not pass; but in 1900 a Bill was passed designed to meet the grievance of the small feuar; by it the heritors at a meeting could decide that the assessments should be imposed on two thirds of the valued rent instead of the real rent There was also an important provision by which a small feuar, whose rent did not exceed £50 in value, was to be altogether exempt, and those whose rent was above £50 had a deduction made of that amount. There was this condition, however, attached to that provision—that the Kirk Session of the parish church should undertake to make good the difference. He was not going to recite the long and painful struggles which had taken place in Scotland against these assessments. It was not a pleasant story. He, however, would take three cases only which had occurred since the passing of the Act of 1900. First, there was the Selkirk case, which took place in 1904. Repairs to the manse were undertaken at a cost of £2,000; and the imposition of the assessment for these repairs was resented. The border spirit was aroused and a burning sense of injustice ensued. The collection of the assessment was obtained only after bank accounts, rents, and wages had been arrested and actions at law were raised for the recovery of the assessment and the expenses. Four sturdy dissenters stood firm to the end, and their goods were seized to be put up for sale by public auction. All this happened, not in the middle of the 17th century, but in January, 1905. At the last moment some anonymous donor came forward and paid all the outstanding arrears of the assessment, so that the scandal of the public auction was avoided. The second case was that of Coldstream, a town of about 1,500 inhabitants. There were two United Free Churches in the town, and, if he was rightly informed, the majority of the people attended those two churches. The Established Church required re-building, and a scheme was brought forward shewing that it would involve an expense of £4,000, which was to be paid by the heritors or landowners in ten years by assessments of from 7d. to 9d. in the pound per annum. There were 146 heritors in the parish, and 100 of these were small feuars with rentals under £50, for whose benefit the Act of 1900 was really passed. The Kirk session, in spite of the recommendation of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland "to avoid friction, and take advantage of the Act of 1900," refused to assist in the building of their own church, and, so far as he knew, they still maintained that position, with the consequence that 100 small feuars who ought to be exempted from the payment of assessment, if the spirit of the Act of 1900 had been carried out, were assessed. The third case was that of South Leith Manse, which was raised last year. He had a personal interest in that case, because some 2,000 of his own constituents were involved, although they lived in Edinburgh, and not in South Leith where the church was situated. That came about because the old ecclesiastical parish of, South Leith overlapped into East Edinburgh. The result was that 3,752 people were assessed for the repairs of the manse, of whom 1,722 lived in Leith, and 2,030 in Edinburgh. It was only fair to say that at a subsequent stage the Kirk session of South Leith undertook the relief of the small feuars, and to make good the difference as they were empowered to do under the Act of 1900. A bare recital of the facts disclosed a grave scandal. The cost of the repairs on the manse amounted to £522; but a roll had to be made up of the feuars, and the cost of the making up of that roll, together with the cost of collection, amounted to £408. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland, when a question was put to him last year, rather insinuated that that was not the state of matters; but he had in his hand a certified copy of the cost of collection and of making up the roll, and there could be no doubt about it. Then there were gratuities to certain officials, making up the total cost to £999. But that was not the whole story. If the whole had been paid that would have been equal to an assessment of one half-penny in the pound; but it was decided to impose an assessment of five-eighths of a penny. In other words £1,250 were raised to pay for alterations on the manse which cost £522. That showed that this system of compulsory assessments involved a grave injustice, and that it ought to be abolished altogether. That was the only remedy. Lord Balfour of Burleigh obtained a Return in the House of Lords in 1881, which showed that for the ten years to December 1879 £420,827 had been raised by these assessments, or an average of £42,000 a year. He had asked for a Meturn last year of the small feuars who had been called upon to pay the assessments with in the last ten years; but that Return had not yet been laid on the Table of the House. There, however, was a Report made to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1897 for the ten years 1885 to 1895, and the amount of assessment raised in those years was £267,564, while the voluntary subscriptions amounted to £248,500. That was a very much smaller average than for the previous period. As to the position of the Church in this matter, he made bold to say that what she would lose in money she would gain in grace. She ought to depend on the liberalty of the Church of Scotland itself, and of the people of Scotland, for the means to carry on religious observances. He had had sent to him that afternoon, from a very distinguished Churchman, a state of the case as presented by an official of the Church of Scotland. All he could say was that the financial part of this document must surely have been compiled by some very junior assistant, who, to put the matter as mildly as he possibly could, did not understand the proper way to state figures. This document stated that the amount spent in rebuilding or repairing the churches of the Established Church for the decennial period amounted to £233,000, of which 77 per cent. was raised by voluntary effort. That was stating the case in an invidious way, because it left out of the account the sum spent on building and repairing the manse and of rebuilding the churches and the manses. The assessment imposed for these purposes during the same period was £26,000 against voluntary contributions of £65,000, and he maintained that that was not a fair way of stating the case, because, on a previous occasion, they referred to a Return granted by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, making the amount £42,000, and they disingenuously played upon the figure of £42,000 a year instead of £26,000. He had heard that a good many people were alarmed at this proposed abolition of assessment, because they said that by taking such a course Parliament would make a present to the landlords. He, however, was not alarmed on that score. The Government proposed to introduce a Valuation Bill, and in that Bill the lairds could be easily dealt with. He had already pointed out that the liability of land for the burden of maintaining the parish schools was abolished in 1872, and in 1868 Church rates in England were abolished under Mr. Gladstone's Bill. He would give one quotation from Mr. Gladstone's statement on that occasion, because it was peculiarly applicable to Scotland. Mr. Gladstone said— I own my personal opinion is that for all practical purposes the Church of England would be greatly, not weakened, but strengthened and confirmed by removing wholly out of action and out of view all petty causes of irritation and disaffection such as those which arise from time to time in the attempt to administer the law of Church rates. He thought that that was the opinion which ought to prevail in regard to Scotland. He had not declaimed against the state of things which existed in Scotland and which many thought to be a great injustice, and he had not drawn harrowing pictures of the scenes brought about by the imposition of these assessments. He had preferred to base his case on a simple statement of the facts, and he thought the time had come when the Government should deal with this matter. Last year he himself introduced a Bill dealing with the subject, but a private Member's Bill had very little chance of passing. He was glad to think, however, that at least one member of the Government, and that the member who had to reply, was pretty deeply committed in regard to this question, because he found that when the Bill of 1900 was before the House the Lord Advocate said— I am in principle in favour of the total and immediate abolition of this assessment. Now the right hon. Gentleman had an opportunity of redeeming that pledge, and he hoped the Government would see their way to introducing a Bill for the purpose. In conclusion he would say that he had a stronger reason than any which he had yet urged for the abolition of this assessment. There was at the present time a cessation of ecclesiastical strife in Scotland and a desire for closer unity among Pres- byterian Churches. Unlike the case of England, there was no bar to such unity, and it was advised by the greatest thinkers and most influential leaders in religious matters. Rising men in the Church were more and more impressed with the absurdity of present divisions and wished to get rid of these artificial bars to unity. He claimed that this was a step in the direction of unity, and he was not without hope that the Churches themselves would agree on a basis of unity and come with the united demand to Parliament for ratification. For these reasons he moved the Resolution.

*MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

seconded the Resolution and said that as a member of the Established Church of Scotland he did not regard the proposal as in any way hostile to that Church. If it were carried into effect he believed it would remove one of the most serious blots which existed on the dignity and usefulness of the Church of Scotland. He could not see why any opposition should be given to the Resolution, but wherever that opposition might come from he could not see how it could come from those who supported the late Conservative Government, because that Government so fully recognised the indignity to which the Church was being subjected that they themselves actually passed a Bill to remove these grievances. The grievances really originated from a House of Lords decision in a case relating to the Church of Scotland, and it seemed a curious thing that whenever the House of Lords interfered with a Scottish Church question it had the same result as when a cat was admitted to a cage full of canaries. It was so in regard to the Peterhead case of 1802. Under the decision of the House of Lords, not only large landlords but small feuars had been brought in, and this had led to a great scandal. It had given rise to passive resisters and to a condition of affairs which was detrimental to the Church of Scotland. This state of things existed till 1900, when the Conservative Government brought in a Bill to remedy it. If it had been a thorough-going Act and had abolished the assessments altogether there would have been no scandal, and his hon. friend and himself would not have been making their present—he hoped—eloquent appeal to the House. The Act which the Conservative Government passed was a temporising one. The Government had not the courage of their convictions, and instead of putting the matter right they tried to hush it up. On that occasion he ventured to prophesy—it was a dangerous thing to prophesy especially when what one said was recorded in Hansard—that no such subscriptions as were contemplated would be raised to benefit the ratepayers. He was sorry to say that his prophecy had been more than justified. Let them take the case of Old Machar, in the neighbourhood in which he lived. It was necessary to make some repairs on the manse, but the small feuars objected. They said that inasmuch as the incumbent was a bachelor he ought not to have so many bedrooms, and they also said that the fittings should have been made of ash instead of oak, and having made these and other unseemly remarks they refused to pay their rates. The rates were small and it cost more than they were worth to collect them, and the levying of them created a scandal to the Church of Scotland which ought to be removed. He would point out that this was a Resolution and not a Bill, and he understood that the only objection on the other side of the House was that there would be some difficulty as to details. It was also said that it would involve giving money to the landlords. It was not often that they were accused on that side of the House of quixotically handing over money to landlords, and if this method were adopted it was possible that before the end of the session they might have an opportunity of wiping out that stain upon their escutcheon. There was a precedent for this proposal in the Bill of 1900, and for these reasons he had great pleasure in seconding this Resolution. As he had already explained he did so in no spirit of hostility to the Church of Scotland, but because he believed that so long as these assessments existed they would be detrimental to that Church.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the levying of compulsory assessments in Scotland for the purpose of defraying the cost of rebuilding or repairing churches or manses of a particular denomination is inequitable and unjust and ought to be abolished forthwith."—

*SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgowand Aberdeen Universities)

said he envied the power of the mover and seconder of this Resolution of imparting interest to a question which did not appear to possess much of that quality to the outsider. They were so accustomed to their English colleagues saying that Scottish debates were of no interest, that it was quite refreshing to listen to two speeches, which he had the misfortune to follow, which invested the subject with so much vatility and freshness. It was not so abstruse a question, however, as their English colleagues might think. It was capable of clear exposition and also involved the interest of human nature showing itself in manifold directions which was calculated to raise the sympathy of many parts of the House. What were the simple facts? More than three centuries ago a certain assignment was made of property to the Church of Scotland. By a statute law which met the justice of the case as it then stood, the burden of supplying religious ordinances in a place where they could be carried on and a house for the teacher of those ordinances was laid upon the landlords. If they had regard to the history of Scotland it could not be said that the landlords were unjustly treated when it was a bargain struck between them and the Church. The Church of Scotland suffered heavily; its property went elsewhere, being transferred by not altogether scrupulous means to other hands. The burden was laid on the landlords and they were not now anxious to get rid of it. It was only by a decision of the House of Lords, a decision which the leading lawyers fully uphold, that the burden laid on the landowners, the heritors of Scotland, was transferred from them to a much lower class, which was much less able to bear the burden; a body varied in its constitution, much less homogeneous in its religious belief, and belonging to the numerous religious dissenting bodies which had sprung up round the Church. However just in law the decision was it gave rise to the inconvenience which had been felt since, but which had never been felt before. However serious the inconvenience might be, hon. gentlemen sitting opposite had the very last right to bring that up against them. The hon. Member for Kincardineshire had said it was quite impossible for any one on the Unionist benches to oppose this resolution after the policy put forward by the Conservative Government and the Conservative Party in past years. But they could retort with far more force that nothing could be more impossible for hon. Members opposite than to denounce in terms of great indignation an abuse which they had not found a remedy for and after consistently fighting against all attempts to remedy it. Between 1868 and 1889 seven Bills were brought in and each of those Bills was denounced in no measured terms by members opposite. They were told they were shuffling aside the real difficulty and getting rid of a liability that ought to remain on the people taxed; that the Bill was unjust because it sought to relieve those subjected to a fair and reasonable burden from that burden. He remembered in the discussion on the Bill of 1899 the Secretary of State for War said he would be no party to anything which would remove a burden which had existed for years and fell on every class of landowner, and that he objected to the Bill, not because it relieved everybody, but because it relieved some persons unjustly. Those were the persons who said this resolution would only be opposed by bigoted Churchmen who sought their pound of flesh, or rabid disestablishers. Had they not been endeavouring during the last twenty or thirty years to release these more impecunious ratepayers—those who might have less sympathy with the Church for which those endowments were made? And had they not been trying to do that in the teeth of the opposition of hon. Members opposite? Every argument that could be used was adduced to defeat their efforts and it was not until the year 1900 that a Bill was passed giving the relief demanded. The Bill released everyone to the extent of £50 of rental. The real object of it was not to relieve to a certain extent the richer or larger landlords, but to see that all those with less than £50 of rental should be relieved. They were now asked to consent to £42,000 a year being taken off the shoulders of the landlords. He confessed that in spite of these denunciations and although not antipathetic to the landlords, he was not prepared to put £42,000 into their pockets at the expense of the Church. He was inclined to say that if the landlords were wise they would take warning by the prophetic words of the hon. Member for Kincardineshire, who plainly foretold that this small gift would be made the stepping-stone to more serious plunders. They knew something of the intentions of the hon. Member for Edinburgh. He had given a clear indication of his proposals in the Bill brought forward last year. That Bill simply abolished all assessments for ecclesiastical purposes, and sought to provide no other application for this £40,000 or £50,000 a year, which was to be put into the pockets of the landlords. It was a strange attitude for hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were accustomed to denounce those who neither toiled nor spun, who lived on the unearned increment, and were the drags upon all advance, that they should now think it necessary to draw away from the Church of Scotland—from the Church which was the Church of the poor of Scotland—the means for providing religious ordinances and religious light in many a lonely highland valley where poverty reigned supreme. It was strange that they should transfer it to a class into which they promised, if their professions were worth anything, to have their knife sooner or later. According to a Return issued by the Church, 77 per cent. of the cost of building churches down to the year 1895 was borne by voluntary contributions in the churches, and only 23 per cent. by their assessors. If they put the whole burden of maintaining these religious fabrics upon voluntary subscribers and members of the Church, was the analogy exactly as close between England and Scotland as the hon. Member for Kincardinshire wished them to believe? In England the Church was vested in the rector or vicar, and was his property. In Scotland, the Church fabric was the property of the landowner or the heritors. The Church had no property whatever in the manse or in the churches of the country. They were proposing to sweep away completely from the Church what was its undoubted property, and to throw on the poor a burden which had hitherto fallen upon people who were ready to bear it, who were not anxious to be relieved of it, and who were only anxious to relieve their poorer brethren of it. They were taking this money out of the pockets of the Church, and asking the Church to provide those fabrics, which were to be the property of someone else, and over which they were to have no power as owners. So far from the tax being open to the epithets applied to it in the Resolution, those epithets were much more applicable to the proposals indicated by the hon. Member for Edinburgh and embodied in the Bill which he put before the House last year. He would say that that Bill was inequitable and unjust, that it ought not to become law, and that it would only become the law of the land at the cost of the poorer classes of Scotland, depriving them of the great privilege of a valuable public property.

MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

said that certain incidents, which had already been alluded to by the hon. Member for Kincardin shire, were useful as showing what had happened since the passing of the Act of 1900. His excuse for occupying the time of the House was the deep resentment and feeling of injustice which still existed in the minds of thousands of his constituents over this question of the manse in the parish of Oldmacher in Old Aberdeen. In 1903 this manse was assessed to a collection of £2,100 for its repairs or partial reconstruction, and in the collection of that sum no less than £700 expenses were incurred. How was that expense; incurred? Mainly through the Act of 1900, by which feuars were assessed as heritors, with the result that there were from 6,000 to 7,000 of these heritors who had to be assessed to the collection. Most of these heritors had nothing whatever to do with the matter, for instead of residing in Old Aberdeen or near the church manse, which was situated in the city of Aberdeen, they were two or three miles away. They had no benefit from the ministrations of the ministers, and they had no idea at all, until the very last moment, that they were to be assessed. When they were called upon to pay there was naturally great dissatisfaction. If might interest the House to learn how the £700 spent in collecting the amount assessed was made up. Among the items were:—Statutory intimations to heritors of assessments, £81; scheme of division, £114; collection and administration of assessment, £149; second notice to heritors, £26; final notices, £35; legal proceedings, £47. Six heritors were summoned, and the goods of those who resisted were sold under execution. He thought he had said enough, therefore, to justify the deep resentment which still existed, though the incidents occurred some years ago. He put a Question last year to his right hon. friend the Secretary for Scotland calling attention to the case, and asking whether the Government intended to do anything. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Government were alive to the dissatisfaction with which these proceedings were regarded, but that they were not prepared to bring in a Bill Last year, when told of the dissatisfaction and disapproval which existed, the Lord Advocate said that if the majority of Scottish Members were wise they would be content to go step by step on this question of ecclesiastical reform in Scotland, and devote all their energies to getting passed such a Bill as was introduced last year. Considering that ten to one, if not a greater majority, of Scottish Members were in favour of this reform he hoped that a Bill to bring it about would be taken in hand by the Government, and he believed that no greater measure of peace for the Church, both established and non-established, could be carried.

*MR. McCALLUM (Paisley)

in addressing the House for the first time, said he knew full well that many Members around him were anxious to speak, and he would endeavour not to detain the House for more than a few minutes. He heartily approved of the Motion, which was one of great importance to Scotland. Two-thirds of the people of that country were believers in voluntaryism and supported their own ministers and built their own manses. The hon. Member for Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities spoke with considerable enthusiasm and great weight both on church and school matters, and they honoured him for his experience. But those who were acquainted with Scotland and ecclesiastical matters as well as he was, could scarcely bear out the statement that the Church of Scotland was the Church of the people. In the Highlands three-fourths of the people worshipped in churches belonging not to the nation but to those who had contributed the funds for their erection. The hon. Member for Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities had said that the funds belonged to the Church of Scotland, but if there were time it would not be difficult to show that the funds belonged to the nation. That had been shown all through Scotland, and he hoped that when a change came greater than that proposed by the Resolution they would be able; to show that fact fairly to the nation in seeking for disestablishment and disendowment on the basis of justice. The Resolution stated that this Church rate which they had had for well nigh 200 years, but especially within the last fifty-two years, was inequitable and unjust, and ought to be abolished. The hardship was manifestly very great. Those people who supported the voluntary principle, and built their own churches and manses, were yet called upon to build the manses of those who attended the parish church. How did the parish churches support their ministers? They did not contribute one farthing to their support. They in no wise helped to make them live better and nobler lives by adding to their comforts and by contributing to their salaries. Was it not very hard that those outside, who did all this for themselves, should be asked to help those who did nothing of the kind? He would give one or two examples of what he meant. In the borough of Paisley they had thirty-four dissenting churches, and seven parish churches. In 1882 they had the manse tax for the repair of the Abbey Manse, which cost £2,820. A number of people objected to pay on conscientious grounds. Time after time threatening notices were issued, and proceedings were taken against five who objected. These proceedings were withdrawn within the next three days, because it was seen that they were working on dangerous ground. Those who took the action against the objectors were advised by friends that they had better pay the balance out of their own pockets, so that upwards of 200 of the objectors did not pay the tax. He believed that was the origin of the Bill of 1884. The question had been asked —What is a heritor? On this point a well-known authority wrote— Who were the heritors of the parish" The landowners of the parish certainly. He read the definition of the term given in the latest edition of "Chambers' Encyclopædia" published three years ago—'Heritor, in the law of Scotland is the owner of land in a parish-liable to public burdens. The heritors, collectively, have vested in them the fee of the church, and churchyard. They repair the parish church or manse or rebuild them where necessary.' It was in that sense that the term 'heritor' had been used for hundreds of years in Scotland, and it was something new for the parishioners of Selkirk to learn, 237 years after the Act of Charles. II. was passed, that all of them who were proprietors of houses in the burgh and parish were heritors. The Court, by immemorial usage, ruled that each set of heritors should bear the half of the expense in future. Immemorial usage, in the case of Selkirk, had gone for nothing, in their counsel's opinion, which was a little surprising. Then there was the question of equity, which, in a case where a religious institution was concerned, should not be disregarded. Let them see how the attempted change would work. Ten years ago, there was a piece of waste ground in Dunsdale Haugh, which was not worth more than £2 or £3 a year. Fortunately for Selkirk an enterprising firm feued that ground, covered it with mills and other buildings, and filled the mills with machinery. That firm had been paying the sum of £19 16s. 4d. yearly as feu duty to the burgh, and would be paying a good deal more by and by. The mills and machinery stood on the valuation roll at £750, and the firm was called on to pay an assessment of 1s. 1½d. per £ on that amount. Was it reasonable, equitable, or just that the land should go practically free and that the mills and buildings and machinery should have to bear an assessment of £42 3s. 9d. for repairing the parish manse? He thought there could be but one answer to that question. Again, during the forty years that had elapsed since the parish church was built, the people of other religious denominations had provided churches for themselves, and manses for some of the ministers, at a cost of £17,000 or £18,000. If the people in Selkirk had provided churches and manses, was it reasonable, equitable, or just, that the same community should be called upon to pay two-thirds of the cost of a manse to the parish church, whose members were more able to pay for it than the members of any other church in town? In this instance, in Paisley, it was the wealthiest church in the town, and yet those attending it had not contributed a single farthing to the stipends of their two ministers. They had to go outside the church for this tax to carry out their legal obligations, although they could have carried out their moral obligations by paying every farthing themselves. He cordially supported the Resolution because he believed that it proceeded on the right lines. This was the fringe of a greater question, it was part of a great case of privilege, and the sooner they made progress with it the sooner they would be able to proceed with disestablishment and disendowment, [Opposition cries of "Oh."] What they wanted he believed, was free land, a free church, and free schools. The rates levied in Scotland during the ten years up to 1879, amounted" to £420,000, and no less than £219,000 had been collected in this way during the past nine years. Under these circumstances he appealed to the House to support this Resolution because the abolition of these compulsory assessments would prove an unmixed blessing to the people of Scotland.

*MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)

said the speech to which they had just listened was of special significance as pointing out that the counsel, which the mover and seconder had no doubt quite sincerely given to the Church, was approved by the opponents of the Church as a step on the road to disestablishment and disendowment. He did not wish to dwell upon the historical position of this question, because that point had been very ably dealt with by his hon. and learned friend. He believed above all things that the Church of Scotland was for Scotland the national Church, that the religion preached in that Church was the national religion, and that her ministers were regarded as doing the nation's work. The churches and manses for which these assessments were levied were the property not of the Church of Scotland but of the heritors of the localities. The assessments were the result of the long historical association which cast upon the owners of land the duty which in 1572 became a statutory duty of maintaining the fabric of the parish church. He admitted that the friction which had arisen in the past was because of the decision given in the Peter head case, but the advocates of disestablishment and disendowment had made use of the grievance in order to inflame public feeling against the Church, and had resisted the legislative attempts to remedy the grievance in order to have a lever to promote the cause of disestablishment. It was inconsistent and illogical for the supporters of this Motion to come forward now and taunt the Opposition with not having removed this grievance, when the present supporters of the Government were the Party who had in the past resisted any attempt to deal with in. It had been suggested that there were hard cases where assessments were imposed upon those who had no facilities for worshipping in the parish church. For example, it was contended that an assessment might be imposed upon feuars for a church in which the seating accommodation had been divided amongst the heritors. If such a case could be proved to exist, undoubtedly it would be a case of hardship, but in point of fact there was no such case. As to the argument that the position of the Church would be strengthened by relying on voluntary contributions, and the argument that as church rates were abolished in Engand in 1868, these assessments should now be abolished, he denied that there was any analogy between church rates in England and heritors' assessments in Scotland. The circumstances in the two cases differed entirely, and if the Church of Scotland were to be asked to rely solely upon voluntary contributions she would be placed in a most anomalous and unjust position. As a matter of fact at the present moment she did rely to a considerable extent on voluntary contributions. [Cries of "No."] Even taking he figures quoted by the hon. Member for East Edinburgh, it appeared that she relied on voluntary contributions to the extent of 45 per cent. He asked the House to consider what would happen if the proposition of the hon. Member were worked out in practice. Let them take the case of a parish in which there was one big landowner, and a large number of small and poor landowners. At present the cost of repairs of the manse fell primarily on the large landowner, and, it was said by the Chief Secretary in the debate in 1900, that that was an excellent social obligation which he did not wish to see altered. Of course, the large landowner took this liability into consideration when he purchased the property, if it was purchased; he discounted it in the price which he paid. He knew that there would pass to him with the property this obligation, and according to the standards of any ordinary prudent man he would naturally take that into account. Hon. Members opposite said that this excellent social obligation ought to be removed from the landowner, and that they ought to trust to his generosity. But supposing he was not generous, what was to happen? Supposing that he did not profess the Protestant religion and that he did not see fit to contribute anything of the assessment, what would be the result? They would impose the burden on the shoulders of those who were least able to bear it—on those who would work their fingers to the bone to bear the burden. They would do that for the relief of whom? For the relief of the large landowner. The Motion now before the House was a proposal to disendow the Church of Scotland in order to endow the landowners of Scotland. That was the long I and short of it. He must say that it was a novel proposition to come from the Liberal Party. The hon. Member for East Edinburgh had attempted to excuse this extraordinary proposal by saying that they would not leave the money with the landowners. [Cheers.] Hon. Members opposite cheered that statement. He expected the cheer, and he admired the candour of hon. Gentlemen, but he deplored their political ethics. He asked them to see what the proposal came to. They were robbing Peter in order to pay Paul whom they had denounced on every platform in the land. That was amazing, but what was far more amazing was the excuse which they offered, namely, that by-and-by in the process of time when Paul's back was turned they hoped to be able to pick his pocket. If these were the intentions of hon. Gentlemen opposite, all he could say was that they agreed very fitly with the aims of the advocates of disestablishment and disendowment in the past. If these were the tactics which hon. Gentlemen who supported the Motion intended to pursue, then he could assure them that the attack would fail, because the Church of Scotland was far too strongly entrenched in the hearts not only of its own followers, but in the hearts of all Scottish people. By the help of the Government majority they might carry this Motion; they might carry a Bill to disestablish and disendow the Church; they might dethrone the Church of Scotland from its immemorial position in the polity of Scotland, they might despoil it of its wordly goods, but there was one thing they could I never do—disestablish it from its place in the hearts of the Scottish people or disendow it of their love.


said he was not prepared to defend any principle in this Motion which would allow parish money to be handed back to individuals, and he thought that if a Bill were drafted probably some provision would have to be made by which parish money should belong to the parish. He had learned to appreciate the value of that doctrine by the fact that in the Highlands of Scotland he had observed that parish money raised by ecclesiastical assessment? was devoted to the repair of churches and manses which were certainly not wanted for the religious needs of the people. It had seldom fallen to his lot to notice a more scandalous misuse of public money than the levies which were made for maintaining churches and manses which were perfectly useless in parts of the country for the religious ordinances required by the people. Another aspect of the question was the waste that occurred in levying the assessments for ecclesiastical purposes. In the South Leith case, to which the hon. Member for East Edinburgh had referred, the money wanted for repairs was £522, and the amount of assessment was £1,250. The Church of Scotland, of which he was a member, would have to devise a different system of raising the money before it recommended itself to the Scottish people, and it was on that ground that he supported the Motion. He knew that in the Highlands of Scotland this parish money was devoted to the repair of churches and manses which were perfectly useless, so far as the religious requirements of the people were concerned, and there were numerous cases where there was scandalous extravagance in the cost of the levy. He sincerely believed that the Church of Scotland would benefit if some change were made in the operation of the existing law.

*MR. COCHRANE (Aryshire, N.)

said that the hon. Member who had just sat down had laid considerable stress on the cost of collection of the assessment, but he failed to see that that cost would be overcome if the Resolution before the House was translated into a Bill and passed into law. The hon. Member for East Edinburgh, in somewhat strong terms, had complained of these compulsory assessments as being unjust and inequitable. He quite recognised that there were some hon. Members who considered all rates and taxes unjust and inequitable. The hon. Member for East Edinburgh had entirely failed to show how these assessments were unjust and inequitable. They had been sanctioned through long centuries by custom and had been embodied in Acts of Parliament, and to do away with them would be doing something which would be unjust and inequitable in a far greater degree. At present the manses and the buildings of the churches belonged to the heritors, and if the obligation for repairs was transferred from those to whom the fabrics belonged and thrown on to others to whom they did not belong it would be an injustice a hundred times greater than any at present experienced. The hon. Member had entirely failed to point out what he proposed to do with the money. Did he propose to relieve the landowners entirely of their obligations for repairs of churches and manses, and was this to be a bribe to the landowners to induce them not to resist attacks upon the outposts of the Established Church? He would remind the hon. Member that the worst characters in history were not those who accepted bribes, but those who offered them. He himself was a heritor, and a member of the Church of Scotland, and he certainly would not envy anyone who would endeavour by the offer of any sums of money to weaken the allegiance of men in that position to their church. He ventured to say that no real grievance at present existed. Since the Act of 1900 was passed any grievance which existed had been removed. [Cries of "Oh, oh."] One clause of that Act provided that— Thirty days public notice shall be given of any resolution to impose an assessment according to the real rent. The object of this provision is to allow an opportunity to those interested in avoiding friction in the parish to consider the matter, and, if they think proper, to make an arrangement to relieve the smaller heritors. The object of giving them thirty days was that there might be an opportunity afforded to the Kirk Session to make up their minds whether they would assess the small feuars or not, but the use of the thirty days had been turned in another direction, and a certain amount of agitation had been raised during their continuance. The feuars had been told that they would be assessed, and in the case of South Leith, the meetings of heritors were disturbed by people who thought they were going to be assessed, whereas when the Kirk Session met they decided that they would find the money and relieve the small feuars altogether. The whole matter therefore was a storm in a tea-cup. If the hon. Member could suggest some means which would prevent this agitation from being got up he would have his most cordial support. While on the one hand a greater measure of disestablishment and disendowment had for been spoken of by the hon. Member Paisley, the hon. member for East Edinburgh had pointed out with feeling that there never was a time when there was a greater approach to good feeling and good will among the churches and less jealousy of the Church of Scotland than now existed. He was not going to pit one Church against another, but let him ask hon. Members to remember the good work which had been done and was being done by the Church of Scotland, whose record was such that any churchman might be proud of it. Was this the time for hon. Members to point the finger of scorn at it and take even the smallest step or aim any blow against that Church? He regretted if in former years any differences had arisen between the ministers of the different churches, but no reflection of that kind arose now, because they saw the minister of one church frequently occupying the pulpit of another church, and the ministers were now all of them meeting in social work and associating themselves in the common cause of religion. He asked therefore whether this was the time at which any cause of friction should be introduced between one body and another. An hon. Member had spoken of the old Abbey Church, of which he thought every Scotsman was in his heart proud. Scotsmen abroad, although they might have been abroad for years, one and all recalled their early days in regard to the churches in which they and their forefathers had worshipped. It would give rise to a deep feeling of regret to every Scotsman, not only in this country but all over the world, if they were to make the repair and maintenance of these buildings more difficult than at present. He hoped therefore that hon. Members would not press this Resolution. Why should they raise these questions which had slumbered peacefully for so many years? [Cries of "No, no."] As one who lived in Scotland he had heard nothing of them for many years, and not even a whisper of anything in the nature of a general wish for disestablishment. If hon. Members could see any way in which the legislation of 1900 could be improved he would be one of the first to support them in a proposal of that character, but to take away from the Church of Scotland these endowments would in his opinion be unjust.

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Thomas Shaw,) Hawick Burghs

said that in the course of a very interesting debate they now learned, very much to their surprise, that the Church and manse rates, which did not exist in Ireland and had been abolished for forty years in England, were an outpost of the Established Church in Scotland. He did not think that the Established Church was so mean as to say that. It was very significant that two members of the Established Church had moved and seconded this Resolution, and said they did so in the interests of the Church of Scotland. He thought these taxes were inequitable and unjust, and he did not now, speaking officially, vary from the attitude which he had assumed in 1900. The hon. Member for North Ayrshire had said these questions had been slumbering peacefully for years, but he was afraid he had not kept himself up to date, because hardly a single year had passed without some storm centre arising in regard to them. Now it was Aberdeen, then it was Selkirk, and then Coldstream, and whereas the country was entirely in accord in regard to education, and there was educational peace, this question was found to be the bar to social harmony in certain districts. This was caused by the levy of rates for churches and manses, and he thought that his hon. friend was mistaken if he supposed that all over the country there was not a deep sense of grievance at this levy being enforced by law. No doubt it was quite true that they could not have fabrics without money, but their position was that it was wholly inequitable and unjust to have a levy for such purposes. It was doing a poor service to the Church of Scotland to represent that this perfectly inequitable and unjust impost was bound up with her interests otherwise. He congratulated the House on this debate. It was opened with great knowledge and skill by the mover and seconder, and he had little to complain of in the answers from the opposite side. The hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, who always addressed the House with force, had painted the picture with lurid colours. But he (the Lord Advocate) did not think the matter was so serious as he had made out. According to the hon. Member the Liberal Party had a bad record in this matter, as they had always opposed the Bills introduced to remedy the grievance. That was because the Bills were shuffling Bills. In 1876 it was proposed not to abolish the assessment, but to alter its basis. Another Bill with a similar purpose was introduced in 1884. In 1887 a Bill was brought in with the idea that this tax should be removed from the shoulders of owners of houses and property paying up to £100 a year in rent. He did not understand exceptions of that sort. Either this was an unjust impost on property or it was not. In the case of that Bill the intention was simply to get rid of the agitator so that complaints against the levy might no longer be heard. Then came the Bill of 1900. It was said to be a Bill that would remove the grievance from those who were most subject to agitation; and therefore the line of £50 rental was fixed. The owners under that figure were not relieved, but they could be let off at the will of the Kirk Session of the parish—a kind of novelty in the taxation of land of which the House had never seen the like before. He and other Liberal Members at that time protested, and said that the best way to deal with the question of Church and manse rates in Scotland was not to reshuffle or readjust the assessments, but to take them away altogether. For nearly forty years this injustice had gone on. What took place 300 years ago? The owners who ought to have kept this up were not Presbyterians at all, but Roman Catholics. The Church was not the Church the hon. Member alluded to, but another Church altogether. The Protestantism of that day was a Protestantism which embraced the whole population, and the idea of applying to people now to support an Establishment which did not represent the whole population or any thing like it, and to leave the burden of this rate on people who did not believe in the Established Church, was unjust. These assessments were paid by owners of land and houses who went to churches of their own, paid their own ministers, built and repaired their own churches and manses. Now came the claim that these people should, in addition, pay an assessment for the manses and the churches of the Established Church. A sense of injustice was caused by this irritating impost. Therefore, when his hon. friend said that the hon. Member for East Edinburgh had adopted epithets in his Motion, he thought no one who was not entrenched in ecclesiastical prejudice, but who was able to look outside to the good sense and plain dealing of the question, could doubt for one moment that these epithets "inequitable and unjust" were truly applied to this case. Then another amazing statement had been made by his hon. friend, who said that peace had been secured by the Act of 1900. Had anyone ever heard the like of that? The cases that had occurred since that peace-giving Act were these. In the followings year, at Perth, there was great excitement because the congregation there would not do what their friends and neighbours did, viz., pay their own way and make a levy among themselves or their friends who believed with them, and so there was a sale of goods and household furniture by auction, as the House would be distressed to hear. The dissatisfied and protesting ratepayers were all put to that trouble and the locality to that disturbance on the warrant of the sheriff. Was it wise to talk of that kind of thing as an outpost of the Established Church? He thought that was a very dangerous line to take, and he would not recommend its use in this House. In 1903 there came the question of Selkirk. A household defence association was formed for the purpose of resisting the assessment of the owners of house property. Selkirk was the home of dissent in Scotland. They had got large sums for the propagation of what they called their Presbyterian evangelical religion in Scotland, and that these households should be taxed for the building of churches in which they did not believe, and for the building of a manse for a minister who was not their minister, seemed to be an outrage on the decencies of the situation. His hon. friend said that this had quieted down, but it had quieted down in a way which demanded considerable scrutiny. In 1904 the same question caused irritation, and in 1905 there was irritation in Aberdeen because those who were assessed felt that they were treated unjustly; and there were also the Coldstream and the Leith cases. Therefore, what he said with regard to the Act of 1900 was that, not only had it not produced peace, but it seemed to have involved the people in more and more dispeace, and had brought matters to such a pass that Parliament at an early date must make a definite declaration on the subject. In Ireland such a tax was unknown. The state of matters in England was almost stronger. In the year 1868 there were Church rates in England, and what happened was best described in the Statute of 30 & 31 Vict. Here was the preamble to that Act— Whereas Church rates have for some years ceased to be made or collected in many parishes by reason of opposition thereto, and in many other parishes where Church rates have been made the levying thereof has given rise to litigation and ill feeling. And whereas it is convenient that the power to compel payment of Church rates by legal process, of law should be abolished, be it enacted— and so on. That preamble, applied to legislation in England, described with perfect accuracy the situation of affairs in Scotland at this moment. It was argued that they would make a present to the landlords. He was very much against doing that if he could help it. He would be glad to assist any persons in distress, but he did not like doing it by Act of Parliament. The present to the landlord argument was best answered in the Scottish way. He would take the Coldstream case, where everybody was surprised at the assessment. Everybody was always surprised at the assessment to Church rates, it was such an outrage on the decencies of the position. If it was a yearly assessment they could commute; if it was a ten-yearly or even a twenty-yearly assessment they could commute. But what would happen in individual parishes of Scotland no man could judge. In some parishes there had not been any such assessments for 100 years, and in some they would probably not be made for 100 years to come if Parliament was so cruel as to keep the law on the Statute-book. The matter would not bear examination, and the thing could not be actuarially accomplished; there were no definite data of periodical payment to enable such a task to be performed. Then there was another argument to which he had been expressly desired by an eminent member of the Church of Scotland to refer. The argument was that the Church of Scotland ought not to be asked to pay for the maintenance of the buildings of the Church because the Church had no right of property as a church. Of course, that sounded very good. The answer of the free-rent tenant was, "If I am to do my own repairs I beg of you to confer upon me the right of ownership in the property." He had never before heard such a proposal. The Church of Scotland had not bought the land upon which those buildings were erected, it had not built the premises or maintained the fabric, and it had not expended anything except that which was raised from sources of taxation. It was argued that the Church ought not to be asked to pay for the maintenance of a building in which it had no right and

property as a church. But that proposal really meant that if they compelled them to repair the property in which they were enabled by law to sit rent free, that could not be done except by declaring them owners for all time. But nobody was asking to dispossess them of it. The only proposal was that, being where they were, they should do what their friends and neighbours all round them did, namely, pay their own way according to the tenets of their own Church. He thought the true argument in this matter went a good deal deeper than it had been put. In 1900 he said on this question—

"I object to the Bill for the simple and cardinal reason that it recognises and reaffirms the continuance of the assessment with which it deals, whereas I am in favour of the total and immediate abolition of this assessment."

He adhered to that view, and he was authorised by the Government to say that they adhered to that view, and that therefore they accepted the Resolution. He would quote a little more from the same speech. He then said—

"To promote religion by levying rates is not in my opinion any part of the duty of the State, in fact it is not a service but a disservice to religion itself; and the same observation applies to the levying of rates for the purpose of promoting the convenience or saving the pockets of those who profess a particular style of religion or hold particular views as to church government."

He did not think those who had spoken against this Motion realised the strength of the establishment in Scotland. Compared with other religions communities in Scotland the Church of Scotland was, relatively speaking, wealthy, and knowing as he did the remarkable attachment of the members of that Church to their principles he could not think that that Church would be injured by doing what every other religion in Scotland did, namely, pay its own way.

Question put.

The House divided.—Ayes, 177; Noes, 39. (Division List No. 28.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Barker, John Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.
Agnew, George William Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Black, Arthur W.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Barnard, E. B. Bowerman, C. W.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Barnes, G. N. Brace, William
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Barran, Rowland Hirst Bramsdon, T. A.
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E. Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Brigg, John
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Beale, W. P. Brocklehurst, W. B.
Brunner, J.F.L. (Lancs., Leigh) Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) O'Dowd, John
Bryce, J. Annan Higham, John Sharp O'Mara, James
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hodge, John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hogan, Michael Parker, James (Halifax)
Chance, Frederick William Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Cheetham, John Frederick Hudson, Walter Pirie, Duncan V.
Cleland, J. W. Jenkins, J. Power, Patrick Joseph
Clough, William Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Jones, Leif (Appleby) Radford, G. H.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E Grinst'd Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Rainy, A. Rolland
Cremer, William Randal Kearley, Hudson E. Reddy, M.
Crosfield, A. H. Kelley, George D. Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Crossley, William J. Kilbride, Denis Rendall, Athelstan
Dalziel, James Henry Laidlaw, Robert Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Delany, William Lundon, W. Robinson, S.
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Lupton, Arnold Runciman, Walter
Dolan, Charles Joseph Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Duffy, William J. Lyell, Charles Henry Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Seddon, J.
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Mclean, Donald Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Sherwell, Arthur James
Elibank, Master of MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Erskine, David C. M'Callum, John M. Simon, John Allsebrook
Evans, Samuel T. M'Kean, John Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Eve, Harry Trelawney M'Killop, W. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Everett, R. Lacey M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim S.)
Farrell, James Patrick M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Soares, Ernest J.
Fenwick, Charles M'Micking, Major G. Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Ferens, T. R. Maddison, Frederick Summerbell, T.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Manfield, Harry (Northants) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Ffrench, Peter Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Markham, Arthur Basil Thomasson, Franklin
Findlay, Alexander Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Flynn, James Christopher Massie, J. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Fuller, John Michael F. Meagher, Michael Walsh, Stephen
Fullerton, Hugh Menzies, Walter Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent
Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S. Micklem, Nathaniel Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Molteno, Percy Alport Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Glendinning, R. G. Mond, A. Watt, H. Anderson
Glover, Thomas Montgomery, H. G. White, George (Norfolk)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Morley, Rt. Hon. John Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Morrell, Philip Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Gulland, John W. Morse, L. L. Wilkie, Alexander
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Murphy, John Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Myer, Horatio Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Norman, Sir Henry Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Haworth, Arthur A. Nuttall, Harry Young, Samuel
Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. M'Crae and Mr. Crombie.
Hedges, A. Paget O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F Dalrymple, Viscount Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Ashley, W. W. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Gov'n Salter, Arthur Clavell
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fell, Arthur Starkey, John R.
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Boyle, Sir Edward Forster, Henry William Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hamilton, Marquess of Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Carlile, E. Hildred Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Younger, George
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Heaton, John Henniker
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Ed'ds) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Henry Craik and Mr. Mitchell-Thomson.
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Hills, J. W.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hunt, Rowland
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Courthope, G. Loyd Nield, Herbert

Adjourned at five minutes after Eleven o'clock.