HC Deb 07 May 1909 vol 4 cc1383-95

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


In moving the second reading of this Bill, I propose to the House no object with which the House is not already familiar, and I make no proposal that is, either in form or substance, not based upon recent procedure. My proposal is founded on the unanimous support of earnest and zealous Churchmen in the great districts to which the Bill applies. We have the good will and support of the leaders of Nonconformity, who wish well to this reorganisation of the forces in connection with the Church. It is right that the House should require some statistical information. I may tell the House that the present diocese of York, as at present constituted, notwithstanding the great reductions which have been made from it in recent years by the creation of other dioceses, contains a population estimated at about 2,000,000; with clergy of about 1,000; benefices numbering not less than 655. It has dimensions of about 100 miles long by 45 miles wide. I think it is not necessary to do further than to point to these to establish the proposition that such a Christian oversight is admitted in modern practice to be too great for a single diocesan, however distinguished and however zealous.

By the proposals we ask this House to sanction the removal from that, as we see, overburdened charge of a population of 840,000 people, of about 260 clergy, of parishes or benefices numbering 158, and; to take off an area of about 40 miles by 16 miles. This proposal was initiated in the time of the revered prelate who, until lately, was the Archbishop of York. It is not a proposal put forward by an old man, who might naturally think that he had too great a responsibility. I am in a position to say that the newly created archbishop most heartily concurs in the proposal, and thinks it is most necessary that the reorganisation of the Church forces in this district should take place. The figures which I have read to the House, if altered at all by the course of events, are bound, so far as one can see, to be altered in the direction of making it more necessary to deal with this redistribution of forces. For, as the Bill stands, the new diocese will include the district of Doncaster, around which are imminent those great developments in mineral properties which must necessarily attract to this district a large aggregation of population, and lead to the establishment of great industries, and other industries accessory to them, and in many other ways render necessary an increase and improvement of spiritual organisation in that part of the country. I hope the House will extend a favourable consideration to our proposals. If I may anticipate the objections which may be raised to this proposal by the notices which stand on the Paper, I may remark that if there be those who think we are proposing too large a stipend for the new bishop, it is open to us to say that all this Bill does is to give the new bishop a smaller stipend than any created under any previous Act. I believe that under no previous Act there has been a less stipend than £3,000 with a house, and £3,500 without a house, provided for a bishop. If it be said that the bishops are not to be trusted to exercise due disciplinary authority over their charge, it is open to us to remark that all we do tends to increase directness of oversight and closeness of supervision in diocesan affairs. And, lastly, I do not know whether it is going to be said to-day that until the question of disestablishment is decided upon by Parliament this House ought not to consent to the creation of a new bishopric; but if it is I may remind the House this Bill adds no new seat to the number of bishops in the House of Lords, and, except by the voluntary subscriptions of the faithful, it creates nothing approaching a new vested interest. I think I may appeal to the sense of fairness of this House to let us, in the short time before us this afternoon, have our second reading, and not to give countenance to those Parliamentary methods which would unfairly put upon us any unreasonable responsibility for many evils which some people may think may arise from the existence of the Established Church, and allow our proposal, which we say is right in policy and modest in magnitude, to be judged by the House upon its merits, and decided in accordance with the wishes of those devoted Churchmen whose zeal has made it possible for us to come before the House to-day.


I rise to move the Amendment which stands in my name upon the Paper—to leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, "having regard to the extravagant and inequitable endowments now attaching to the archbishoprics and bishoprics of the Church of England, this House declines to assent to the creation of fresh bishoprics except their creation be accompanied or preceded by a scheme for a large reduction of the incomes and properties now belonging to the various Sees," instead thereof. The present emoluments of the bishops in the Church of England are extravagant and excessive. If they were reduced by a proper and reasonable figure there would be enough saved to double the number of bishoprics, and not only that, but there would be left over a large balance for the beneficed clergy and curates. In no country in the world are the bishops endowed as they are in the Church of England. No Roman Catholic bishop I know of has a salary to be compared with the salary of the bishops of the English Church; certainly very few have as much as is proposed to be given under this Bill. There are various bishops—Arme- nians, Greeks, and so forth, and bishops of the Churches of Ireland and Scotland— and in none of these cases are the salaries at all comparable to those of the Church of England. The only salary I know comparable to that of the bishops of the Church of England is the salary of the Archbishop of New York, which rises from £3,000. Why is a bishop to get more than the average salary of a Cabinet Minister? It is proposed in this Bill that the minimum salary should be £2,500, but I notice with some interest that the maximum salary is not stated. The maximum salary, I believe, remains, as provided by the principal Act at £4,200, and there is no reason why efforts should not be made to increase the subscriptions and endowments so as to run this bishop's salary up to £4,200 a year. That, of course, is largely in excess of a Cabinet Minister's salary and yet a Cabinet Minister discharges, or is intended to discharge, far more important duties. I must not be understood to say that I do not think Cabinet Ministers' salaries are high enough or that they should be levelled up to those of the bishops, but I think the bishops' salaries should be levelled down to the salaries of Cabinet Ministers. There is no added dignity to a bishop by a large salary, and certainly there is no additional respect paid to him for it. I remember the case of Bishop Fraser, the Bishop of Manchester, one of the best loved bishops that there ever was in the English Church. He was a bishop of the people, and a man commanding universal respect. When he accepted the bishopric of Manchester he made it a condition that he should be allowed to sell his palace, and after some difficulty, in persuading the authorities that it was desirable, he managed to sell it. He then lived at a place called Cheetham Hill, where he had a roomy and convenient house for about £150 a year, and lived according to his own account on something less than £1,400 a year. He did not lose any respect or dignity because he lived on a small income. On the contrary, he was exceedingly popular, and the public liked him better because instead of riding in his carriage he went by tram every morning. A good deal of the emoluments so called of the bishops consists in their palaces. I do not know that they are much valued, because very often they are heavy burdens round the bishops' necks. This Bill entrusts the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with the duty of finding a fit residence, and we have no security whatever that the official residence the Ecclesiastical Commissioners will obtain will not be far more than the income of the bishop would support. Many of the present bishops would be glad to sell their palaces if they could. I have had the honour of staying with some of them, and I have been more than once struck by the air of impecuniosity there is about the palaces and the gardens, and it is highly undesirable that the bishops should be weighted in that kind of way. I think hon. Members will recollect the pitiful wails in the newspapers of the Bishop of London some time ago, in which he deplored the fact that he was unable to live on £10,000 a year largely because of the cost of his palace. In this Bill there is no security whatever that extravagance of that kind will not recur. The endowment in the Bill is not only too large, but it is of the wrong sort. The Bishopric of Sheffield ought to be wholly endowed from the Archbishopric of York. There is no reason why the whole cost should exceed £1,500, and the whole of that ought to come out of the revenue of the Bishopric of York. The Archbishop of York gets £10,000 a year, and as he is going to be relieved of so large a part of his duties and burdens I think it is only fair that he should be asked to bear the whole cost, because £1,500 a year out of £10,000 would not amount to much. The revenues of the Church of England are ample to endow another bishopric without voluntary subscriptions. What are called voluntary subscriptions are often not voluntary subscriptions at all. The beneficed clergy know that if they do not subscribe to the bishopric their chance of preferment in the future is exceedingly small. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"] I do not say that a bishop exactly looks to see whether a clergyman subscribes to his endowment and says, "If he has not subscribed I will not give him anything," but there is always that idea at the back of the man's head. The unfortunate donor also has to pay through the nose. The salaries of bishops have the sanctity of antiquity, which so many of the bishops themselves have.

An inquiry into this matter has been frequently asked for, and the basis of the inquiry has been the poverty of the clergy and the desirability of diverting some of the income of the bishops to help the poorer parishes, which, in my opinion, is a most desirable object. No Government has appointed any Commission or inquiry to investigate the question of the readjustment of incomes which is so desirable. This Bill, just like other bishopric Bills, proceeds upon the assumption that no inquiry is needed, and that we should go on upon the old, old lines with the appointment of old men at extravagant salaries without any further consideration being given to the matter. In 1908 Mr. Humphries Owen twice asked the Prime Minister for an inquiry, and upon each occasion his application was refused. I should like to point out that a great deal might be got for these purposes not only from the Archbishopric of York, which is the parent of this new diocese, but also from no less a person—I hardly dare to breathe his name— than the Archbishop of Canterbury. This Archbishop not long ago sold Addington Park for £45,000. I do not know whether anybody knows where the money has gone to, but no attempt was made by the ecclesiastical authorities to divert any of the money to the necessities of the parochial clergy, and it all went to the Archbishop. I know that in a large measure it went to the purchase of a new house at Canterbury, for which the sum of £30,000 was given. Why was not a large part of that money diverted to-the necessities of the parochial clergy, and also to setting up new bishoprics where the necessity has arisen? In the Bishopric of Southwark and Birmingham Bill, £15,000 was assigned to the new residence of the Bishop of Rochester. I think he might have been content with a smaller emolument and a smaller house. The poverty of the clergy, as is well-known, is excessive. I know that bishops have to go to the expense of keeping up palaces, and they have to spend in many cases a large amount of money which they cannot afford. This Amendment declares that the emoluments of the Church of England are extravagant and inequitable considering the needs of the great body of the Church of England. As a matter of fact, they are greater than those of any other Church, and the time has come to cut down, at all events, this extravagance when you are proposing to establish a new bishopric. I do not think a bishopric should be established on a higher basis than £1,500 a year, which is quite ample, and although it may not enable the bishop to pose as a great society bishop, it will be enough to enable him to take his proper place amongst his friends. I beg to move.


I beg to second the Amendment.

Question proposed: "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir William Robson)

This is a private Bill, and I need scarcely say that the Government would not think of putting pressure upon their supporters in regard to it. At the same time, I am bound to observe that it is a measure which the Government would find it extremely hard to discover any reasons for not passing. It is a highly meritorious proposal, the object of which is to increase the means of supervision which are essential to the working of the Church. My hon. Friend who has moved the Amendment has made a reference to the extravagant way in which these endowments are distributed. I certainly am not going into any controversy with my hon. Friend as to the force of the arguments which he used. If it be a fact that the endowments of the Church of England are now extravagant and inequitable, this Bill does not err in that direction, because the bishop will be the poorest of the bishops. If members of the Church of England choose to endow this bishopric, it is out of the scope of any Government to oppose them. The whole matter is very simple. If the members of the Church of England are prepared to provide for the cost of this bishopric I do not know how any person in Parliament or out of it can in any way say that they shall not. Under these circumstances I think that the House will be laying down a new principle if it refuses to give its assent to the Bill. It is not a Government Bill. The Government have taken up no position with regard to it. They have no right to oppose it, and so far as I am personally concerned I shall support it.


I do not think that the House of Commons will put any obstacle to the passage of this Bill. As long as the Church stands in its present relationship to the nation that relationship compels the Church to come here and the nation is bound to do its duty by the Church. Under existing circumstances you have a responsibility towards the Church of England, and you should not put any obstacles in the way of the Church performing its duty. I think that the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment did not give an accurate description of the situation which at present prevails Not a penny of money required for this bishopric is asked from the nation. Not one penny is asked from this House towards the salary of the bishop. The Members of the Church of England have given the best proof that they believe that the scheme is a good one for the reli- gious work of the Church of England. It is easy to say that bishops have large salaries. There is a good deal to be said on that subject, but that is not a question that comes in on a case of this kind, because we are not reviewing the episcopal style of living. The unfairness would be to put one bishop in a different category to another bishop who might be performing similar duties. That would be obviously unfair. I do not appeal to people because they are Churchmen, but to those who have regard to the religious character of the nation as a whole. A step of this kind is a self-sacrificing step for the purpose of increasing the utility of the Church of England and of the religious welfare of the nation. We know how enormously the population of this part of Yorkshire has increased. There are certain physical duties which have to be performed by bishops which amount to physical hardship. When the population of a diocese increases to a great extent it is absolutely necessary from a merely physical point of view that the bishop should have relief. So long as the Church of England remains a national church, the nation owes a duty to the bishops so long as their energies are devoted to those duties which the nation expects from them. They occupy an excellent position in the religious life of the nation, and all kinds of people are willing to bear testimony to the good they do. The Bill is a simple business measure. The increase of population requires it. This is not the time to discuss the general position of the bishops or of the position of the Church of England. There is a relationship at present between the nation and the Church of England. We have simply to ask ourselves what is our duty to persons in this relation to a great institution? Our duty surely is not to put any obstacle in the way of that institution performing the work which is expected from it. If you throw out this Bill you will be putting an obstacle in the way of the performance of the religious and social duties of the Church, and, therefore, I support the Bill, which is making no demands on the public funds either as to the income of the bishop or as to his residence.


I desire to make an appeal to my hon. Friend the Member for the city of Exeter not to persist in his opposition to the Bill. And I think I am in a position to appeal to him, for this reason: I think I share with him entirely his views on Church discipline. I have always voted in favour of Church Discipline Bills, and I believe—although the hon. Member did not say so—that his real reason for opposing the Bill (if he told me privately), is that he thinks the bishops of the Church of England are not doing their duty at the present moment. One of the reasons why the bishops are not able to enforce discipline is because the dioceses are too large. The bishop is much more likely to enforce discipline in the Church if he has a small diocese than if be has a large one. He can do his duty in the administration of Church affairs better when the diocese is small. I think, from the Government's point of view, the learned Attorney-General has taken up an entirely wise position this afternoon. The position of the Government is a position of neutrality. The hon. and learned Gentleman does not see any reason why this Bill should be opposed, and thinks it should be given a second reading, and be sent to a Committee. The hon. Member for the city of Exeter said he opposed the Bill on the ground of salary. That was his sole reason. £2,500 a year was, he thought, too much for the bishop, and his salary should not be more than £l,500. We all know the calls on a bishop's purse. Almost everywhere he goes about his diocese he is asked for subscriptions, and he is supposed to give up a certain sum in that way. If he is crippled in his resources it makes his position very difficult. Under this Bill not a penny is to come out of the public funds. The whole of the money is being voluntarily subscribed, as I know, and I have subscribed myself. We have £10,000 more to get; but it will be an inducement to subscribe that balance if this House will read the Bill a second time. I believe the money will be forthcoming. I venture, therefore, to appeal to the hon. Member. I could imagine his position if a penny of the money were coming out of State funds; but it is not. It is money being voluntarily raised. I hope especially he will accept my first appeal. I agree with him entirely on the grounds of discipline in the Church of England, and I should support him in any reform that could reasonably be secured.


I have been asked to say a few words in opposition to the Bill, and on these grounds. I have no objection to the bishops of the Church myself, but there are worthy churchmen who think that money should not be spent on any more bishops; but that it is more essential that it should be spent on the poorer livings. I speak for a great number of moderately minded people who think that the establishment is not as efficient as it ought to be because the lower grades in the Church are so grossly underpaid. For that reason I oppose the Bill. I think we ought to put it on record that if any more money is to be spent on the Church it should be on the poorer livings and on the stipends of the worst paid curates.


I hope I may be allowed to pronounce one or two sentences in connection with this great subject. I have the honour to be one of the vice-chairmen of the House of Laymen in the northern province, and I am perfectly sure that this proposal will be cordially welcomed by almost every member of that great assembly. I also support the Bill because I have had some experience in the sub-division of dioceses in the county of York; I was treasurer of the fund which founded the diocese of Wakefield, and I can bear witness to the success of that subdivision and to the great impetus given to the work of the Church in that part of the country. But having said that, I hope I may be allowed to speak for one moment for myself. I am certainly one of those who desire an extension of the episcopate; but I do not wish for—on the contrary I should strongly oppose—any undue extension. I believe that the number of men who are really qualified to be guides and rulers in the Church is more limited than is supposed, and unless we have a supply of bishops well equipped in learning an extension of the episcopate will be disappointing. We do not wish to see the bishop an enlarged rector, but a man capable of discharging the highest episcopal duties. In some quarters I do not think there is due regard to the necessary expenditure of the office. The office of bishop must necessarily be somewhat expensive. He must have such means as will enable him to perform his onerous duties without undue pressure upon the family finances. He must also have assistance of a business character in the form of secretaries and other agents of that kind. These are charges on the episcopal funds, and the bishop has only a certain residue remaining to him for the performance of the duties attaching to his office. I, therefore, think the emoluments arising to the bishop under this Bill are most moderate, and I doubt very much whether the bishop can thoroughly, fully, and rightly discharge his duties, on a less income. The hon. Member who proposed the Amendment desires the reduction in the emoluments of bishops, and that reduction is practically carried out in this Bill, because it is perfectly certain, that when new bishoprics are founded the income will be limited, and the large aggregations of income in the hands of one or two men will not continue in the case of the new sees. I welcome this increase in the English episcopate, and I am quite sure it will be highly salutary. There is no doubt that Sheffield is very far separated from York, and I believe this is a most wholesome reform in our ecclesiastical system. I believe it will be the model which will lead to other reforms, and avoiding the dangers which I have mentioned, the opening up of a prospect of a happy future of extension and expansion in the Church, both in the northern and southern provinces.


I must say I do not understand the argument of the hon. Gentleman who spoke last below the Gangway. The hon. Gentleman is apparently going to oppose this Bill because curates are underpaid, and because in the case of a large number of livings the incumbents are not sufficiently paid. Of course, those two statements are absolutely correct, but I would ask the hon. Gentleman how he supposes that opposing this Bill will benefit these two particular classes for which he has such a great attachment. If the funds which are provided to pay for the new bishop were to come out of ecclesiastical funds there would be some reason for the hon. Gentleman's argument, but as I understand it these funds are voluntary funds, which have been provided by the beneficence of the people connected with Sheffield in order to create this new bishopric, and if that is correct, and I believe it is, there can be no question that poor incumbents

or poor curates will in any way suffer if this Bill should become law. I do not often rise in this House to support the second reading of a private Member's Bill, but I have very great pleasure in supporting this measure, because I believe the work of bishops is extremely hard, and the good that they do is very great, and that, especially in quarters like Sheffield, the onerous work at present cast upon the bishop of the diocese should be distributed, and some of it placed in the hands of another bishop to assist him. The hon. Gentleman who sits below the Gangway says the emoluments to be granted to this bishop, £2,500, are too large, but I cannot see anything in his speech which would show that they are too much. I am surprised that he should oppose these emoluments, because I think he has already supported on his own side of the House the increase of the salaries of Ministers. The salary of £2,500 is by no means too large for a very dignified and great office, and it is a salary which is given in many a public office, and it cannot be contended that the work of a bishop is less onerous than that of the gentleman who presides over a great public Department. I am inclined to think that the real objections to this Bill are not those which are put forward. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is a Churchman. I gather that he is, but I cannot understand why he, representing Devonshire, should come forward and object when really this is a matter which concerns Sheffield. I cannot see that it concerns him or any person with whom he is connected. I hope the House will give a second reading to the Bill this afternoon.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 96; Noes, 69.

Division No. 86.] AYES. [4.5 p.m.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harwood, George
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cleland, J. W. Heaton, John Henniker
Balcarres, Lord Clough, William Helmsley, Viscount
Baldwin, Stanley Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Hemmerde, Edward George
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Craik, Sir Henry Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Crooks, William Henry, Charles S.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hill, Sir Clement
Beck, A. Cecil Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Hobart, Sir Robert
Bellairs, Carlyon Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Duckworth, Sir James Horniman, Emslie John
Bennett, E. N. Elibank, Master of Hudson, Walter
Bignold, Sir Arthur Everett, R. Lacey Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bowles, G. Stewart Faber, G. H. (Boston) Lamont, Norman
Bridgeman, W. Clive Fell, Arthur Lane-Fox, G. R.
Brooke, Stopford Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis
Bull, Sir William James Gill, A. H. Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Castlereagh, Viscount Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Morpeth, Viscount Ridsdale, E. A. Waring, Walter
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Rose, Charles Day White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Whitehead, Rowland
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Sherwell, Arthur James Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Saff. Wald.) Shipman, Dr. John G. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Pointer, J. Steadman, W.C. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Younger, George
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.) Yoxall, James Henry
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. S. Roberts and Sir W. H. Holland.
Rees, J. D. Walsh, Stephen
Remnant, James Farquharson Walton, Joseph
Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.) Hart-Davies, T. Murphy, John (Kerry, East)
Agnew, George William Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.) Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)
Barnes, G. N. Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hazleton, Richard O'Dowd, John
Bowerman, C. W. Higham, John Sharp O'Malley, William
Brigg, John Hodge, John Parker, James (Halifax)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hogan, Michael Redmond, William (Clare)
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Richards, T. F.(Wolverhampton, W.)
Byles, William Pollard Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)
Cameron, Robert Kennedy, Vincent Paul Rowlands, J.
Cooper, G. J. Kilbride, Denis Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.) Seddon, J.
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lewis, John Herbert Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Delany, William Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Sloan, Thomas Henry
Duffy, William J. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Spicer, Sir Albert
Esmonde, Sir Thomas M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Thorne, William (West Ham)
Evans, Sir S. T. Maddison, Frederick Watt, Henry A.
Ffrench, Peter Meagher, Michael White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Flynn, James Christopher Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Glover, Thomas Money, L. G. Chiozza TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir G. Kekewich and Mr. Radford.
Halpin, J. Mooney, J. J.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)

Main Question put and agreed to. Bill read a second time and committed to a Standing Committee.