§ (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Welsh Commissioners shall by Order transfer the property vested in them by this Act, as follows:—
- (a) they shall transfer to the representative body—
- (i.) all churches;
- (ii.) all ecclesiastical residences, together with any movable chattels held and enjoyed with or as incident to the occupation of any such residence, by the incumbent for the time being of the office to-which the residence is attached;
- (iii.) all funds or Endowmernts specially allocated to the repair, restoration, or improvement of the fabric of any such church or ecclesiastical residence;
- (iv.) all glebes: subject to the payment by the representative body to the Welsh Commissioners of a sum equal to the value of such part of the glebe so transferred to them as does not consist of private benefactions, such value to be determined by the Welsh Commissioners, regard being had to the tenancies, charges, incumbrances, interest, and rights subject to which the glebes are transferred to the representative body;
- (v.) all private benefactions;
- (vi.) if so requested by the representative body, any burial grounds which before the date of Disestablishment have been closed under or in pursuance of the provisions of any Act of Parliament or of any Order in Council made there under;
- (b) of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer the burial ground of any ecclesiastical parish so as to vest the same in the existing incumbent during his incumbency and on the determination thereof—
- (i.) where the burial ground is situate in an area in which the Burial Acts, 1852 to 1906, are in force or in which a burial ground has been provided under the Public Health (Interments) Act, 1879, or a local Act, in the burial authority, or where the burial authority is a joint committee, in such one or more of the authorities represented on that committee, or in trustees on their behalf, as the Welsh Commissioners think fit;
- (ii.) where the burial ground is situate in a rural parish, or in a part of a rural parish in which the Burial Acts, 1852 to 1906, are not in force, in the council of that parish, or,
1741 if there is no council, in the chairman of the parish meeting and overseers of that parish; and
- (iii.) in any other case, in the council of the borough or urban district in which the burial ground is situate:
- (c) of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer any tithe rent-charge which was formerly appropriated to the use of any parochial benefice to the council of the county in which the land out of which the tithe rent-charge issues is situate:
§ Provided that where such land is not situate in Wales or Monmouth-shire they shall transfer the tithe rent-charge to the council of such county in Wales and Monmouth-shire as the Welsh Commissioners think fit:
§ (d) of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer any other property which was formerly appropriated to the use of any parochial benefice (including the money paid under this Section by the representative body in respect of glebes) to the council of the county in which the ecclesiastical parish to the use of which the property was so appropriated is situate: Provided that if such ecclesiastical parish is situate in more than one county the property shall be transferred to such one or more of those councils, or be divided between them as the Welsh Commissioners may think fit;
§ (e) they shall transfer all other property vested in them to the University of Wales.
§ (2) Save as otherwise provided by this Act, all property transferred under this Section shall be held subject to all existing public and private rights with respect thereto, and all tenancies, charges, and incumbrances which may at the date of transfer be subsisting therein, and in the case of all such property, except tithe rent-charge transferred to a county council, to the existing interests of all persons who at the passing of this Act hold ecclesiastical offices in the Church in Wales, and in the case of such tithe rent-charge to the obligation to make such provision as is hereinafter mentioned in lieu of such existing interests.1742
§ (3) Where property of any such class as aforesaid has before the date of Disestablishment been sold, redeemed, or otherwise converted, or where any moneys are at that date held upon trust to be applied in the building, purchase, or repair of, or to make good dilapidations in, property of any such class as aforesaid, the proceeds of sale, redemption, or other conversion, and such moneys as aforesaid or the securities in which such proceeds or moneys are for the time being invested, shall be dealt with in like manner as if they were property of that class:
§ Provided that this Sub-section shall not apply to money (not being a private benefaction) which is the proceeds of sale or is held on trust to be applied in the purchase of glebe or to the securities in which any such money is for the time being invested.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), paragraph (iv.), to leave out the words:
"subject to the payment by the representative body to the Welsh Commissioners of a sum equal to the value of such part of the glebes so transferred to them as docs not consist of private benefactions, such value to be determined by the Welsh Commissioners, regard being had to the tenancies, charges, in cumbrances, interests, and rights subject to which the glebes are transferred to the representative body."
The Amendment for some weeks stood in the name of the hon. Member for Morley (Mr. France), but since the Division last Friday l the hon. Member has removed his name, and the Amendment is left standing in my name only. It deals with two quite separate and vital points. The words proposed to be left out are words which compel the representative body set up under Clause 13 to repurchase at a valuation, all the ancient glebes now in possession of the Church in Wales. That is one point. If that Amendment is carried, the Bill is so drafted and the glebes are put in such a position that they will remain, as I think they ought to remain, in the possession of the Church in Wales. That is the second point. Obviously, both those points are of vital importance. Let me give, not in detail but roughly, some idea of what, the proposal is. It is to leave to the Church some £30,000 odd per year in addition to what is already being left to her. These glebes represent an income which forms 1743 the difference between the concessions which the Government made yesterday, and the fuller amounts which was moved for by the hon. Member for Morley last Friday, with certain small differences. The glebes here include two quite distinct sets of glebes, the parochial glebes and the capitular or diocesan glebes. I propose that those parochial and diocesan glebes should remain part of the property of the representative Church body, but before giving reasons in support of that, I think it is necessary to point out that you are by your concessions yesterday, and by the other Clauses of the Bill, leaving to the Church a very considerable amount of glebe, including the glebe of the two parishes to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made reference. That is rather curious.
I do not want the question in this Debate to be misrepresented as it has already been misrepresented in this House. The case against glebes as produced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was put with regard to two specific and illustrating parishes, the parishes of Dolwyddelan and Beddgelert. I have turned up the report of the Royal Commission, and in the Appendices in Volumn I., pages 8 and 9, I find that in both Dolwyddelan and Beddgelert, there is no ancient glebe, and therefore no glebe which is to be confiscated. The only glebe in possession of those Churches is glebe purchased out of the Royal Bounty Fund, and it will remain to the Churches, so that really the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that you had a great grievance in the parishes of Dolwyddelan and Beddgelert utterly goes by the board and is utterly out of the question we are discussing, because that glebe, like a great deal of other glebe, is the result of purchases since 1662. It will therefore remain a grievance, for the grievance, I suppose, will continue if it is as great as the Chancellor of the Exchequer made out, and there will be still further representations from the Welsh Liberal Members in this House to deal with glebe of that kind. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] I am very glad to hear the hon. Member does not agree with that. He is ready to leave this glebe to the Church, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer considers it a grievance.
Let me come to the main point: the title of the Church to this glebe and the position we take up, namely, that glebe, the oldest and the best established with the 1744 most clear title of all the Endowments of the Church, should be left to the Church in Wales. The words which I propose to leave out are quite new, and have not appeared in any former Bill. They are the harshest proposals in what we regard as a harsh Bill. The moment you Disestablish the Church and plunge it into confusion financially and in its organisation, you say the representative body of the Church is to find a capital sum to buy back the ancient parochial and capitular glebe amounting to over £30,000 a year, and representing a capital sum, I suppose, of over £300,000. That is the proposal in the Sub-section. I will gladly give way to the Home Secretary now if (hat is not so. It is perfectly clear, if these words mean anything, they mean that all glebe shall be handed over to the representative body subject to full payment for that glebe, and the representative body will have to find some £300,000 to buy back these parcels of land and fields scattered in parishes throughout Wales. We believe that to be a particularly harsh proposal. It forces the Church to raise a large sum of money at this very difficult moment, and forces it to spend that money upon these glebes without allowing the representative "body to invest the money as it might like to do. It is perfectly clear; the Subsection says all glebe is to be handed back to the representative body subject to full payment.
You are going to compel the Disestablished and Disendowed Church to repurchase the land of which it has long had possession and to invest her money in land. That is dictation to the Church as to what it should do with the meagre resources you are leaving her. The very nature of the property should make you loath to do that. After all, in these days it is not a good investment to have land in Wales. If there is one country where it is most desirable to be oat of land it is Wales. I speak from a certain amount of personal experience, as my father has been anxious to get rid of land owing to its depreciation in Wales. I know of a farm in Devonshire which was refused to my grandfather not so very long ago when he offered £6,000 for it, and the vendors are now willing to take £4,500. Land is depreciating in value at an enormous rate owing to special taxation and to the very general fear there is that this particular form of property is going to suffer. You are, however, going to compel the Church 1745 to spend the meagre sum you are leaving to her in purchasing these bits of land all up and down Wales, which I submit, whether rightly or wrongly, are, depreciating in value. I hope we shall get some concession on that point, because it is really reasonable that we should have free play with our money.
You produce no shadow of evidence to show that glebe is a tax. You produce no shadow of proof that glebe was ever granted by the State. You have never said that glebe was given to the community or for the use of the community as a whole as beneficiaries. The whole argument on the other side is that glebe was given to the community, not by the State, not as a tax, but by private donors for masses for the soul. That is the only argument which has been produced in this House. You do not say it is national property. On the contrary, you say it was given by private donors in return for certain services which are certainly not, if your view is correct, national or secular services in any sense of the word. There certainly is far less relation between masses for the dead and gifts to the Museum in Wales than there is between masses for the dead and the holding of services in these ancient parish churches. There has been no attempt in this case, as there was in the case of tithe, though we maintain that was never supported by any argument or by any really historical truth, to show there is any difference between Welsh glebe and English glebe. There is no difference at all between the title of the Church in Wales and the Church in England to these ancient lands, absolutely none. The Home Secretary's whole argument is that the Church in England has a right to tithe, but that in Wales tithe is a tax imposed by England. That is his theory. He says there is a difference between Welsh and English tithe. But there is no difference, and hon. Members have never suggested a difference between English glebe and Welsh glebe, and if you take away the glebe under these Clauses of the Bill there is no glebe in England or Scotland that is safe. There is not a shadow of argument in favour of leaving to the Established Church of any other country, either Scotland or England, any of these things. What is the character of these glebes? They are small parcels of land, it may be a field or two, upon many of which have been built parsonage houses or which provide the garden for the incumbent's house.
1746 On some of them churches have been built You differentiate in this Bill between ancient glebes built over and ancient glebes which are supposed, in the language of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to remain undeveloped, which are either let or used for grazing purposes as agricultural land.
What is the history of these glebes? These glebe lands are the oldest possession of the Church; they are probably the oldest possession to which a title and tenure can be shown by any corporation or any private individual. You can trace them right down to the Donations of Cadog, through the Middle Ages, through the Reformation; you can trace these lands right the way back to the Book of Llan. Dâv, long before frankalmoign was ever heard of. It is interesting to know that glebe was most certainly the original form of Endowment of the early Celtic Churches, and we have in the records of the consecration of the first Cathedral at Ripon the announcement that inquiry was made as to the land held by religious persons, bishops, and clergy of the ancient British Church, despoiled and taken away by the heathen Saxon. We have this on record; and the earliest records in Welsh history affecting property in Wales deal with lands in the possession of the Church, some of which are owned to-day, and the tenure and title of the Church to which can be traced. That argument, therefore, requires something more than has been said on the other side to justify alienating these glebes and taking them away. The theory of the Under-Secretary that glebe is national property does not fit in with it. The hon. Gentleman has many legs to his stool, and when one does not fit he tries another; either it is a Parliamentary title given in 1662 or it is a tax. At any rate, the one theory put forward is the theory of frankalmoign. I have looked that word up in the dictionary in the Library of the House of Commons. Stroud, on page 762, says:—Our old bookes describe fmnknlmouin thus: When lands or tenements were bestowed upon God: that is, given to such people as are consecrated to God or to the service of God.Then we have the term Aumone, which is defined as tenure by divine service. It is clear there is an absolute distinction as between frankalmoign and tenure by aumone. In frankalmoign, as the Home Secretary says, a large portion of the glebe is concerned, but I submit it is only glebe given between certain dates. It is perfectly clear the whole theory of frankal- 1747 moign was not that any particular service was required, but that it was an Endowment given to a particular parish church for the maintenance thereof. About £17,000 a year is being received by the Church in this respect; and, according to the parochial deeds, this money was given in frankalmoign or before frankalmoign was heard of to maintain the minister in the parish.
The essential point of these gifts was that no such conditions, as the Home Secretary makes out, were ever imposed, and no such conditions were enforceable in any secular court. Cope of Lyttelton, a great authority on this subject, makes it perfectly clear that this condition was not an essential. The first essential was that the gift was given to the maintenance of the Church in a particular parish and to the maintenance of the minister. If there was a condition— and it was very seldom the case— it implied or imported a particular service; it was purely a custom. It was the custom of the Church in the Middle Ages to say masses for the souls, not only of the donors but of any person who died in that neighbourhood, and where they had a faithful donor it was natural that, believing in masses for souls, that would be one of the services included. But it was only one small part of the work of the minister. These glebes were given subject to that condition. They were in exactly the same position as chantries. Chantries were taken away and the money given to chantries was taken away in the reign of Henry II., and if they stood in the same position as glebes, surely the glebes would have been taken away when the chantries were despoiled? Chantries in Wales, as in England, have been Disendowed and alienated.
Now we come to another large amount, which also has been secularised, and which might have been given by frankalmoign, and that is the glebe given to monasteries. That has been secularised, as everybody knows, up and down the country. A point has been made by hon. Members opposite that certain hon. Members here who are defending the Church are in the possession of land which was once monastic property. But the monasteries were Disendowed. The only way in which these ancient glebes in possession of the Church in Wales are gifts in frankalmoign was this: In the thirteenth century the feudal idea pervaded Wales to a certain extent, but by no means completely. There 1748 are very few manors in Wales, and the whole system of tenure in Wales is very different from what it is in England. In the greater portion of Wales these glebes exist to-day. I maintain that the title to a large amount of this ancient glebe goes right back before the day of frankalmoign. There is another glebe, a parochial glebe which dates from Reformation times. But there are several parishes where the Endowment is an ancient monastic Endowment which passed into private hands. I gave an instance only last week in which two citizens of London repurchased Endowments which had been alienated and gave them back to the Church by deed. That was in the Elizabethan period, and you now propose to alienate them once more, so that this land and tithes will go through a second operation of Disendowment and secularisation.
Surely it is a most extraordinary principle to put forward in this House that land which has been in possession of the Church and used for the Church since the Reformation should be now alienated because certain alleged but not proved conditions are not altogether fulfilled. That strikes at the root of the whole principle on which charitable trusts of any kind are held. The Charity Commissioners every day are dealing with trusts in connection with which there are lapsed or obsolete objects, but where the main object of the trust is still in existence. Subsidiary objects, like saying masses on Sunday morning for the repose of the soul of particular persons, are disregarded by the Charity Commissioners, and by any body which is entrusted with the administration of trust property. The Under-Secretary for the Home Office, who is a lawyer, somewhat laboured this point: that because a trust does not carry out to the letter the objects for which it was given, therefore it should lapse. If that is the case, there is not a City company, there is not a college in any one of our old universities, which would have a shadow of title to a penny of the funds they now hold. It is perfectly clear that the intention in this matter must be taken into account. I am not a lawyer, and I do not propose to argue it from that point of view, but it seems to me perfectly clear that the intention of the donors of these ancient glebes was to maintain a minister of religion and the service of the Church in a particular parish. That seems clearly to have been the intention of donors of all periods, and that intention is being 1749 carried out to-day. That was the object associated with the Church, with the parish, with the consecration of the Church. These glebe lands were given for the maintenance of the minister and to support the services in that Church, and that is, for what it is worth, the theory I put forward as the origin of glebe.
Let us get back to the general argument that you must disendow the Church. You propose to take away from the Church money to which it can show a perfect title. Let us also look at it from the point of view of expediency. There are different kinds of expediency. Is it expedient to press your Disendowment proposals so far? The hon. Member for Swansea District (Sir D. Brynmor Jones) made a most generous assertion in this direction yesterday. He said, "It is religious equality that we want, and if on the financial terms we differ from the Government, we shall continue lo support the Government, because the main question of religious equality far outweighs anything else." Let us look at it in respect to glebe. Why is it worth your while to take away from a Church, which is an exceedingly poor Church, which is struggling along with all the other religious bodies in Wales, these small parcels of land that are dear to them by every tie of sentiment, and are associated with the services of the Church, and essentially with the resident parish clergy? In dealing with Wales you cannot attach too much importance to the enormous value of having a resident minister of the Gospel of some denomination in these poor parishes among the hills of Wales. I attach vital importance to that point. We know of a large number of parishes in Wales where the only resident minister is the minister of the Established Church, and although the Nonconformist bodies are doing magnificent work, which is increasing, I believe, from day to day, they have been unable in many parishes to do anything but send an occasional itinerant minister or preacher to hold services in those parishes.
The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Edgar Jones) told us yesterday that he has been in every parish up and down Wales. I cannot go so far as that, but there are an enormous number of parishes in Wales, the poorest agricultural parishes, where this glebe is of enormous value in supporting a resident ministry, which is not sectarian, as it is often represented in this House, which is not so bitterly sectarian as hon. Members opposite try to make out, 1750 and if there are any grounds for it being sectarian, it is solely due to attacks being made upon it in the form of Disendowment and Disestablishment, and to political agitation against the Church, and not in any way due to agitation on the part of the ministers of the Church in Wales against Nonconformists. I believe there has been a growing feeling among the ministers of the various denominations in Wales, and that many Nonconformist ministers in Wales feel, that you should have something in the nature of these glebes left in these poorer parishes to form a basis for a ministry in those parishes, and the Church would gladly endeavour to do as much as they could in the matter. To take away this, the most significant form of Endowment, the glebe lands associated with the ancient parish churches up and down Wales, is really a repudiation of the Church and of the religious ministrations of its ministers, and I believe there is a growing distrust in the minds of many of the most religious Nonconformists in Wales against taking away this money and devoting it to what we call secular objects. I have read what Alderman John Owen, in North Wales, and other people well-known in Wales, have said upon this subject. Quite a number of well-known ministers in Wales have clearly stated they do regret spending this money upon things like museums, or purely secular education, or these indefinite eleemosynary things, which may be anything from the best kind of hospital to the worst kind of wash-houses, which are not so valuable in the interests of the Welsh nation as the objects on which the money is now being expended.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Ellis Griffith)
I think the Committee will thank the hon. Member for the very fair and temperate way in which he has put his case. I think it is the first occasion on which we have had a speech of this kind from him on this matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] I do not wish to change the calm atmosphere into which the Debate has come. I quite recognise it is an important question. The hon. Member divided his speech into two parts, which I will call the subsidiary point and the main point. The subsidiary point was that under the Bill we were compelling the representative body to buy glebe, and that as land, according to him— although I have my doubt upon the point— was falling in the market, it would inflict a considerable 1751 hardship on the representative body. He said it was the harsh object of the Bill. That, in our view, is a misinterpretation of the Bill. Our object was to enable the representative body either to keep the glebe and pay for it or to hand it over to the Commissioners. To avoid the possibility of a difference of opinion upon this point, I may say we are willing to accept the Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave) and another hon. Member, to insert the words:—Provided that nothing in this Subsection shall render it obligatory for the representative body to purchase any glebe.I say that to get rid of the hardship. There is an end of the subsidiary point.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I must not be misunderstood. It does not touch the substance of the hon. Member's speech. It was only a subsidiary point as he called it. The Amendment we shall accept will make it perfectly clear that the representative body will have power to keep the glebe and pay for it, or hand it over as it is. I tome to the main point whether we are entitled to take this glebe at all. That is the substance of the controversy, so far as this particular Amendment is concerned. It was pointed out more than once yesterday— I am not sure whether the hon. Member made the point to-day— that as we had given up Queen Anne's Bounty it logically follows that we ought to give up glebe and tithe. That argument was often repeated yesterday. Perhaps I may be allowed in a few sentences to point out what, in my view, is the differentiation which separates glebe on the one hand from Queen Anne's Bounty, the Parliamentary Grants and the Royal Bounty Fund on the other. In the first place, the Royal Bounty Fund was given to the Church after the date fixed in the Bill to determine private benefactions. All the private benefactions after 1662 are to be retained by the Church. The funds that were dealt with yesterday were given to the Church after 1662, and therefore what we did yesterday— I do not put it higher than this— was consistent with our 1752 definition of a private benefaction. Tithe and glebe were given anterior to 1662. Hon. Members opposite say that that improves their title. I quite understand that contention, but there is this differentiation— that the funds we were dealing with yesterday were given since 1662, but those we are dealing with in this Amendment were given anterior to 1662. In the second place, the funds we were dealing with yesterday were given to the Church as it is to-day; a Church with the same creed, the same discipline, the same liturgy, and the same organisation, whereas glebe was given to a different Church, not to a Protestant Church, not to a Church under the headship of the King, but to a Church in connection with the See of Rome. In the third place, the funds we were dealing with yesterday were given to the Church when it was one of many religious sects. The funds we are dealing with to-day were given to the Church when it was the one possible Christian body, when everybody, not merely technically, but in fact, belonged to that religious organization— when the Church, to use the words of Hallam, really was co-extensive with the nation. Yesterday we were dealing with the funds, which were really accumulated income, since 1702. The corpus from which that income was derived formed part of the fund alienated under this Bill; therefore I think it is quite consistent with what we did yesterday to take away the glebe under the Bill as we propose to do. There is one additional point I should like to mention, and I commend this to my Welsh friends. Yesterday we were dealing with funds which were given to the Church in Wales, in some part as a return for private benefactions— that is to say, when Queen Anne's Bounty made a donation to a particular parish, in a great number of cases the £100 was given in consideration of an equal subscription from the people who lived in the locality. I think it would have been a very different thing from what we are doing to-day, to say that the consideration which induced the private benefactor in that case to subscribe his equivalent should be taken away from the Church. Therefore, I am prepared to defend the concessions of yesterday, as I am prepared to defend the retention to-day.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
What about the funds of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners? They have been given in the same way to meet private benefactions.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Surely there is Welsh Ecclesiastical property alienated under the head of "money alienated from the Ecclesiastical Commission."
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
None of that, at any rate, has been given by private benefactors. May I put the case that, I submit to the Committee, justifies the alienation of this form of property? It is sometimes made a subject of complaint against us that we have different reasons for different class of property. Why not? If these properties are different, the considerations are different. The Noble Lord, with that regard he always has for the amenities of controversy, suggested that we invented reasons according to the requirements of the occasion. That may or may not be so, but, at any rate, really tithe and glebe stand upon such a different footing, and the considerations are so entirely different from one another, that naturally our case is different in regard to each, and there is no occasion to say we invent reasons. Whatever reasons we have would of necessity be different in the case of tithe and glebe. Ancient glebe in Wales comes from two sources. First of all it comes from the ancient tribal laws of Wales. As I understand it, the contention of hon. Members opposite is that not only was there continuity between the pre-Reformation and the post-Reformation Church, but that really the present Church in Wales represents, in status and in property, the old Celtic Church of Wales. It is not irrelevant to inquire how the old Celtic Church was sustained. Hon. Members opposite who have studied any book on the old Welsh laws, know that the system of land tenure in Wales was a tribal system to this extent, that land could not be alienated from the tribe. There was only one way in which the tribe could lose its hold of the land, and that was by conquest by another tribe— not an infrequent occurrence in those days. As long as the tribe maintained its independence there was no way of alienating the land. But, on the other hand, there was the religious organisation of the tribe. How was the religious organisation of the tribe maintained? It was by a series of fictions which I know will endear them to the hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite, because lawyers are addicted to legal 1754 fictions. The occupant of the land knowing he could not give the land to the Church, because it was not his to give, got the consent of the chieftain, as the representative of the tribe, and he gave, not the land, but the usufruct of the land. The usufruct was no good to the monastic Church and the monastic house. The occupant said, "If you give me back the usufruct I will give you so many measures of bread and flesh and honey, and what not." That is the simple history.
When the Normans came, this tribal system was in a state of disintegration, and the Norman barons said, "We do not understand, and we have not time to understand, the tribal system. We are too busy in other directions. What we understand is individual ownership. What is happening about this piece of land? Is it true that you give to the Church so much bread and so much flesh and so much honey? If that is so, why not give the land to the Church." And by virtue of the Norman Conquest, the old tribal land became the land of the Church in quite a new sense. It was the Norman conquest, too, that imposed the system of tithe upon the Welsh people for the first time. I quite agree with the hon. Member that simultaneously with this tribal system there gradually came the holding which, although not technically known as frankalmoign, was a gift to the Church in return for spiritual services. There is one manuscript between 1032 and 1061 in which King Griffith gave land to the Church quit and free from all legal service except only daily prayers for the souls of the Kings and Princes of Wales. Fortunately or unfortunately they disappeared some time ago. Both before the Norman Conquest and after, there were gifts in frankalmoign. Who was the donor? Of course the donor was a private person. After individual ownership of land was established as part of the law of this country, the private donor gave land to the Church. He gave it to God and the Saints and the incumbent. That is not so technical as one would think, because I believe there is a reference in the Domesday Book to a very serious complaint against St. Paul for tresspassing on neighbouring territory. It was looked upon as in a certain sense belonging to the saints as well as to the incumbent.
Here arises a point that the Noble Lord (Lord Hugh Cecil) has made more than once in these Debates when he has said, "Do not talk to me about the community. In those old days no one knew 1755 about the community in the sense that we do now. No one knew about the nation." I think there is a good deal in that contention. The mistake he makes is, that when he talks about the Church, he talks about ecclesiastics. But the Church consisted not only of ecclesiastics, but included laymen as well, and when a gift was made in this way for the benefit of the religious house, it was not merely given to God and the Saints and the incumbent, although that was the technical form of the gift, but it was also given for the benefit of the Church as the only religious organisation, and the only social organisation looking after the people's interests. Some time ago the hon. and gallant Gentleman and I had a little difference of opinion about this tenure in frankalmoign. He purported to quote what I said in a previous Debate, and his recollection did full justice to his inaccurate memory. What I said, and what I repeat to-day, is this. My contentions are two. I say, in the first place, that the great bulk of land given by way of glebe in private benefactions, was given infrankalmoign, and the tenure was in order to say prayers for the donor when he was dead. On Tuesday night we had a very long debate upon a so-called concession by the Government upon two Amendments. There was one manuscript Amendment by the Noble Lord on which he and his Friends said. "What we really want is a panel of jurists, and we feel certain that a panel of jurists will decide in our favour" I will give them a panel of jurists upon this point to see whether they will be content with the authorities I will quote upon these two propositions. First of all, the hon. Member (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) referred to frankalmoign, and he says he went to the Library and saw a dictionary and he quoted from the dictionary. I submit that a difficult and controversial matter of this kind really cannot finally be disposed of by a quotation from a dictionary in the Library of the House of Commons. We must go a little further afield in our investigations before we can come to an opinion that we can really rely upon. The hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite weeks ago referred to Maitland. There is a section in Maitland, on page 218, upon this tenure of frankalmoign. What he says is this:—At the beginning of the thirteenth century a large and ever-increasing quantity of land was held by ecclesiastics, regular and secular, in right of their Churches, by a tenure commonly known as frankalmoign.1756 The next jurist I am going to call is Ayliffe, who wrote a book on the Canon Law, published in 1726. I am glad to see that first on the list of subscribers was the Archbishop of Canterbury. Therefore I might almost quote it as an official document. The then Bishop of St. Asaph was also a subscriber, so that the case becomes almost irresistible. What he says is this:Glebe is that land wherein the Endowment of the Church consists, and which according to the Papal law ought to be entirely free and exempt from all secular taxes and payments whatever.….When I say-that glebe shall be free from secular taxes, it is only to be understood that a parson should not be charged for his glebe, to send out either man or horse like Militia and the like, because it is a spiritual revenue and held in frankalmoign.There was a Royal Commission inquiring into the law of England respecting real property in 1832. The Commissioners included a great many well-known names, and they reported that frankalmoign is a tenure by which land is usually held by the Church. At any rate, it is usually held by the Church, not, of course, as far as the bishops and officers in very high positions were concerned, but most of the parochial land was held in frankalmoign.
Now come to the next point. Does frankalmoign, or does it not, mean these prayers for the dead. Professor Maitland is perfectly clear upon that point. Littleton, the great fifteenth century lawyer, who wrote the first text book on the English Law of Real Property, says:—They which hold in frankalmoign are bound o right before God to make orisons, prayers, masses, and other Divine services for the souls of their grantor and feoffor, and for the souls of their heirs which are dead.Blackstone, in his book, is equally clear, and Challis, who was a recognised authority, in his book on the "Law of Real Property," says:—No definite or specified services could be reserved to the land or a gift in frankalmoign, but a general obligation was implied to say prayers and masses for the souls of him and his heirs.5.0.P. M.
That being so, it is quite clear that that trust can no longer be fulfilled. An Act of Parliament really was passed which made it impossible for the Church to fulfil that condition. If the Church now tried to fulfil it, it would lead to great hostility from hon. Members from Liverpool, because, as I understand it, they have a mandate that if any man not only does it, but thinks of doing it, or gives an indication that he would like to do it, they eject him and imprison him, and they will not give him any life interest such as we give to the clergyman. If the trust can no longer be fulfilled, what is the right course to take? These lands were given to provide 1757 hospitalities, to give alms, to do other works of charity in the places where Churches were founded, and to have prayers said for the souls of their founders, their heirs, and all Christians. That is a comprehensive term which nobody would think was coterminous with the Church of England at the present time. Under this Bill we attach a new trust to these lands. The hon. Member was mistaken in talking about museums in this connection. None of the glebe goes to museum purposes. It cannot be given to museums or to wash-houses, which are introduced in these Debates for rhetorical purposes from time to time. Under these circumstances, if I have satisfied the Committee that these lands were originally given for purposes that can no longer be fulfilled— and remember these lands were given to the Church when it was co-extensive with the nation as a whole, and when the Church did really represent the people, not only technically, but as a matter of fact— we say that in future, instead of saying prayers for the dead, which is no longer possible, these lands should be used in order to minister to the welfare of the living. That is the underlying principle of the Bill. Whether they were given to the nation or community originally for the purpose of saying prayers for the dead, the next best thing we can do is to use the lands to the best advantage for the community generally. I trust the Committee will come to the conclusion, so far as glebe is concerned, apart from the ancient character of this property, which, of course, does not appeal to us on this side in the same way as it appeals to hon. Members opposite, that, if you look at it from the point of view of its origin and purpose in the life of the community, and if you look also to the fact that we propose to replace the trust by a new trust, they should reject this Amendment, and allow glebe to be used for public purposes.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I trust I shall say nothing to disturb that atmosphere of the Debate upon which the Under-Secretary has congratulated the Committee. As to the grounds of differentiation between glebe and Queen Anne's Bounty, I am glad that, after naming every single ground adduced in this Debate for taking away any form of Endowment, the Under-Secretary at last got to the particular ground of frankalmoign in connection with glebe. Even if all he said were true, it had no bearing on the argument that the 1758 Endowments had been given for laudable objects expressly connected with prayers for the dead, and yet because prayers for the dead are no longer a part of the general practice of this country, he suggests that that is a ground why the Grants should be taken away. A Grant was made to All Souls' College with the express stipulation that the souls of all those who fell at Agincourt should be prayed for in All Souls'. The souls are not prayed for, but nobody would suggest, because those who fell under Henry V. at Agincourt are no longer prayed for, that therefore that seat of learning and research should have its Endowment taken away, and have its funds allocated to some purpose which the Mayor of Oxford thought more desirable in the interest of that important city. So, too, at Canterbury a bell is tolled at six o'clock in the morning. Why? Because a Grant was made for the purpose of commemorating in that way the death of the Black Prince. No prayers are said to commemorate the Black Prince, but nobody says that Canterbury should be Disendowed, pro tanto, on that account. It is altogether beside the point.
It is important that we should under-stand the operation of this Clause. The Under-Secretary has announced that he will accept an Amendment, and alter the operation of the Clause. I will come to the point raised by the Amendment, but, taking the Clause as it stands, all glebe is transferred to the representative body of the Church, and then that body is permitted to repurchase some of it, such portion as is not, as I understand, covered by glebe given from private sources since 1662. It does not cover glebe given from unknown sources, if such there be, since 1662. It does not, if I understand the Clause aright, owing to Amendments already accepted by the Government, cover any glebe, if such there be, obtained from mixed sources— that is to say, from private benefactions, if such there be, and from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. I think that is what the Clause means as it stands. Now we gather that the representative body of the Church, if they do not care to take over the portion of glebe not in these exceptions, need not do so, but can hand over that glebe to the Welsh Commissioners. Have I stated the meaning of the Clause accurately?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
Subject to an Amendment further down 1759 on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for North-West Durham (Mr. Atherley-Jones), which specifically excludes glebe out of Grants by Queen Anne's Bounty. That will be accepted.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I think, in the main, I am right in saying that the operation of the Clause is— setting aside glebe covered by the exceptions already admitted— that the whole of the glebe is transferred to the representative body, and that that body need not take over any particular portion of the glebe. I agree that, to a certain extent, alleviates the onerous and harsh nature of this transaction, but it does not alleviate it altogether, because when would the representative body not take over such glebe? It is bound to do it if it can. Clearly, it would be deterred from taking over glebe only by the view that by so doing it would lose money. Does not that throw a flood of light on the onerous and harsh nature of the whole operation? The whole operation remains not so much a case of the representative body being asked to repurchase the glebes, but in the main, I should put it, that the representative body is given the glebes, and then that property is heavily charged— that is to say, the representative body has to find, I think, a large capital sum, and yet administer all the property which it still feels bound to administer. I think in the main— modified by the concessions the Government are prepared to make— the representative body has the whole of the glebes, and having the whole has to make large payments to the Welsh Commissioners in respect of those parts of the glebes not covered by the concessions the Government has already made. That is a very onerous form of property, because glebe is scattered sporadically over the whole of the country. The costs of maintenance of such property are very heavy, and if you put any charge upon it— because that is how we regard it— you are putting on it an addition to the existing charges, public and private, which it already bears. Sub-section (2) of the Clause shows that this property has already considerable charges upon it, and on the top of all the existing charges those who continue to own the property, if they so please, will have to find an enormous sum of money, and hand it over to the Welsh Commissioners.
I submit to anyone with a knowledge of land in Wales or in England that that 1760 would spell bankruptcy. Even admitting you own point of view, there can be no reason for carrying out your purpose by that method. It would surely be more appropriate, since the Welsh Commissioners are to retain the greater portion of glebe, and since they are to have the greater portion of all the other property of the Church, to say that the Welsh Commissioners are to buy out the Church rather than that the Church should buy out the Welsh Commissioners. We do not accept the reasons urged by the Under-Secretary for making this differentiation; but supposing you are right — we think you are wrong — clearly you are acting in a harsh and onerous manner in asking this body to administer that large estate, to find a large sum of money, and to hand it over to the new body to whom you give the bulk of this particular Endowment, and also an enormous majority of the other property of the Church. It is worse than that. The representative body have to discharge a great number of varied objects, many of which are ancient. They cannot be dealt with in a modern way, but these Commissioners have only to discharge new and very simple objects. It has to devote money to county councils, or universities, or elsewhere. So you are really showing no consideration in the method which you employ; you are pursuing a method so harassing and so onerous that it would render any scheme of a like character bankrupt inside two years.
If you mean your concessions, such as they are, to be of any effect, then I do submit that you have not taken the pains to proceed in a manner which would render your action tolerable to the minds even of those who agree with you in your purpose and admit that your reasons for pursuing that purpose are allowable. That is all I say as to the first part of the Under-Secretary's speech. It is necessarily a very dry and technical subject. What is the operation of this Clause? If ever there was a large sum of money which had to be found out of these properties, it would be a tax on the Church. It is also a tax on the community. Every argument which you use in this and other Debates must show that to find this large sum of money in respect of property scattered accidentally and sporadically over the whole of Wales must place indirectly a great burden on the particular farmers and labourers who happen to pursue an agricultural avocation on those particular pieces of land. 1761 The only case ever made for saying that tithe may be regarded as a tax— we do not admit it— was put forward by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Gladstone), And he more or less admitted that it was not so. He said that those who occupy or farm the land feel that this is somehow a tax on their productive capacities. How much more is that the case where over the whole of the glebe scattered over a large tract of country you say that this enormous sum has to be found by the Church, which has to maintain the property in repair, and handed over to a totally distinct body. So even those who agree with your purpose and admit the force of your argument will say that this is a method which is most onerous and must inflict great wrong and hardship, not only on the Church, but also on the agricultural population which happen to pursue their avocation on the ancient glebes which you are going to take away.
What was the case made by the Under-Secretary for refusing in respect of glebe any adhesion to the argument which persuaded the Government to give way in the case of Parliamentary Grants under the Royal Bounty? He thought it sufficient to enumerate and he turned to every single argument which has been used by the Government in respect of each proposal for depriving the Church of any part of the Church's Endowment. He tried to safeguard himself by saying, "There is no use in bringing charges of inconsistency against us. The more arguments we have the better our case." But that is not so. If those arguments are inconsistent, we are driven to the conclusion that the Government have no consistent argument to cover the whole of their case on the one hand, and, en the other hand, to the conclusion that in this particular case no one argument suffices, but that every single argument we have ever heard used has to be brought forward. The Under-Secretary began by saying he differentiated the case of glebe from the case of Royal Bounty dealt with last night because Royal Bounty was after the date 1662. When I endeavoured during dinner hour last night to ascertain what was the reason on which the Government were proceeding in the case of the Royal Bounty, I put forward that supposititiously because the Royal Bounty comes after the date 1662. The Home Secretary arriving somewhat wearily, so far indulged me as to say I was totally wrong and that that was not the 1762 argument, and that the argument was that this represented accumulated income.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am very sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman. He stated yesterday that I had said earlier in the Debate that the reason I put forward was that Queen Anne's Bounty was made since 1662. My reply was that that was not the reason which I had put forward earlier in the Debate, though it might be a good one, but the reason I had put forward earlier in the Debate was because it represented accumulated interest.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
That is not my recollection, not does the interruption detract from the fact that in this case of the glebe you put forward the whole array of all the arguments which you have used, that those arguments are inconsistent, and that when we put them together and see what they amount to they only amount to one argument, and that argument may briefly be called the national-cum-trust argument. It is the only one left. The first one, that it was before 1662, would not cover the case. The Home Secretary has himself said that if we can show that private benefactions have been given to the Church, he is perfectly ready to listen to that argument. Merely fixing a date like 1662 does not dispose of our contention that these are private benefactions and that a glebe cannot be a tax. A gift of land if is a gift of land. It was given by somebody and we my justly complain that the Home Secretary will not permit us here or elsewhere to have the panel of jurors who might be summoned to decide whether concrete gifts of land before 1662 were or were not private benefactions. So that argument does not serve your purposes. It is gone. Take accumulated income. I do not know if such a case exists. I pass that by. The Under-Secretary, feeling as he did on this question of glebes the difficulty of his task of differentiation in it from the treatment by the Government of Queen Anne's Bounty, had to go back to those pre-historic arguments which figured so largely in the First and Second Reading, and of which we have heard so little during the Committee stage. There was "tribal lands." It turns out that the argument of tribal lands was no use unless you brought in the Norman barons in their mailed armour. Well, I thought that was gone. I thought the Norman barons in their mailed armour was the favourite battle horse of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whereas frankalmoign was the 1763 favourite battle horse of the Under-Secretary for the Home Department. But neither of those horses will do. They will not run. They have been scratched. There is nothing left in the whole of your argumentative arsenal, no effective weapon except — [HON. Members: "Stable."] That is mere dialectical interruption. I put my arguments seriously forward in order to obtain light on this matter as to whether there is ground and reason in the Government case. I am meeting your case. We think you ought to meet our case. We think the claim of private benefaction, the claim of prescription, the claim of no failure, and so on, in each glebe in each separate part of your attempt to disendow the Church should be met, and we say your case does not meet that. I think that that is how this Debate should be conducted.
I say that in respect of glebe this amalgam or this mechanical mixture of the national and the trust arguments, namely, that the money given to the Church in the past was given to the nation— which we think bad history— and that because the majority of the nation now are not adherents of the Church of England, therefore the trust failed— which we think to be bad law— we say that this bad history, as we believe it to be, and this bad law, which we know it to be, make bad politics. How can you apply even this argument, of what I call the national cum-obsolete trust argument, to the case of glebe? The inconsistency of the two is in this case more glaring than in any other case, because in order to work the part of the argument which declares the trust has failed, the Under-Secretary even to-day has once more trotted out frankalmoign. He was sorry to abandon that plea. Obviously, if there is anything in it, it does not harmonise with the national argument. If the property was given in order that prayers should be said for the soul of the donor, then the argument that it was given to the community is gone. But I turn for one moment to the argument that the trust has failed more particularly in this case because glebe was given in order that prayers should be said for the soul of the donor. How does the Under-Secretary know that? He quoted Professor Maitland this afternoon. Professor Maitland does not know that glebe was given universally or generally for that purpose, and if it was, not given generally it is no argument at 1764 all. On the contrary, what he says in the in the history of English law is:—Sometimes the prayers of donors are distinctly stipulated for and occasionally they are definitely treated as services done in exchange for land;When he says that he is dealing with all glebes.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
The next sentence is—thus for example the donor applies to himself the gifts in consideration of the said service of prayer.The right hon. Gentleman stopped at a semi-colon.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
The whole sentence is governed by the two words "sometimes" and "occasionally." Therefore it has no general application, and it is no argument on the side of the Government for the treatment which they propose to extend to glebe. Unless it is generally true that glebe was generally given as the consideration for prayer for the soul of the donor, that argument in the direction that the trust has failed is of no use to the Government in this particular case of the glebe. But we all know— we need not be great masters of research, like Professor Maitland, to know— every boy at school knows that the practice of giving Endowments for and in return for prayers for the souls of the donors was, as far as could be, extirpated throughout this country by Henry VIII., and subsequently. That is not denied. How was it extirpated? In all cases of monastic land those Endowments and those glebes were taken away from the Church on the precise ground that they were given in consideration of prayers for the souls of the donors. What is left is that in which such close and even vindictive searchers as Henry VIII. and Oliver Cromwell could not detect any trace of the case on which the hon. Gentleman is resting the whole of his contention. There may be an exception here and there. Does he propose to have a new Commission as to whether any of them are exceptions? The overwhelming presumption is that any Endowment of glebe which escaped that rigorous attempt, prosecuted during many decades, to extirpate this practice in this country of holding property in consideration of giving prayers was not so held, and it must be clear that whatever glebe was still the property of the Church was devoted as we maintain, to the maintenance of Christian worship in parochial Churches and for the subsistence of the incumbent of those Churches.
1765 So that part of the argument, I think, has gone, and the Government, in order to make good their case, must rely almost solely on what we may call the national argument. On the national argument we say that the practice which you advocate in connection with glebe is contrary to the whole practice of the law of this land. There is no other case known in which the money given at an earlier date is diverted from its purpose simply because the number of beneficiaries is smaller, and the amount of money is in excess of the needs of those beneficiaries. There has been no case cited, and you are going against the whole tradition and procedure of Chancery Law in this country. But we go a great deal further than that. If you are justified in urging that plea— I do not think you are— the natural logical and charitable outcome of the position you take up would be that the money should be devoted to concurrent Endowment of various religious bodies in Wales. You have not made out the case that the trust has failed on the ground that it is no longer needed for the original object; and, even if you had made out that case, you would be bound, according to the law and practice of this country, and by the doctrine of cyprés, to find out the object most nearly in character and intention to the object of the original donor. You do not do it. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil(Mr. E. Jones), who made such an interesting speech last night, said that they will not do it.
Why, I want to know, do you reject concurrent Endowment? We have had one reason from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who based his case for the rejection upon two instances referred to by the hon. Member for Flint Boroughs. They have picked out the glebes in poor parishes, the majority of which are inhabited by Nonconformists, and it is said that this has so burned into the souls of the people that they will not look into those matters. The Bishop of St. David's has pointed out that those glebes are not in the parishes which the Chancellor of the Exchequer said he knew so well, and an hon. Member pointed out that those glebes are not going to be taken away from the Church. I ask why do you depart from the doctrine of cyprés? And the hon. Member opposite was unable to explain to me why he was able to say that the Welsh people agree with him in this matter. His historical sense overrode the rulings of the Chair. What the effect of such a speech would be upon the population, the poor miner in Wales who had no objection to 1766 hon. Member's history, we can well imagine, for in the course of last night's speech he worked upon our feelings by telling us that curates were only paid £6 a year, although the incumbents were enjoying those large revenues derived from the glebes, I am informed authoritatively that in 110 parishes to which he referred the average annual value of the total Endowment was only £6 a year, and the curate got the lot. It is upon these single and inaccurate instances——
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I think the hon. Member is wrong— in fact, I know he is wrong. Here you have single instances of hard cases which are handled oratorically over and over again by hon. Members until they raise up a spirit of bitterness in Wales that prevents the Welsh people from seeing that it is not in their interest, and that it is not really in accordance with truth and conscience, to refuse concurrent Endowment; or, if they refuse that, then it is because they wish to take away this Endowment from the Church merely because it is not their own Church. The case of the Government upon the question of glebe is contrary to the legal practice of this country and contrary to the jurisprudence of the whole of the civilised world. The hon. Member for Swansea last night asked why we did not take our case to The Hague. My answer is that it has been there already. I mentioned this on the Second Reading, and referred to the Californian case, and the plea of Mexico before The Hague Tribunal was precisely the plea of the Government, that the funds were national, and that their use had become obsolete because the majority of the population had ceased to be Catholic. These were No. 2 plea and No. 3 plea before The Hague Tribunal, and they are the pleas which the Government have advanced. The tribunal was composed, among others, of Sir Edward Fry, and of one of the greatest authorities in the whole of Europe on these questions, and that tribunal unanimously cast the Government of Mexico on those two pleas, and therefore destroyed by anticipation the plea of the Government that the use of this property has become obsolete and that it is national property.
You are seeking to effect this object by methods which are harsh and odious, and 1767 for what? For a sum which must be called trumpery. A number of your own supporters ask you to leave to the Church £47,000 out of a total of £250,000 a year. [An HON. MEMBER: "No; £47,000 extra."] You say we may have £15,000 of that £47,000, but you must have the balance. Does the Committee realise the absurdity of this to any intelligent and impartial observer of our proceedings? The total Endowment of the Church in Wales, in round numbers is £260,000, a little less than the sum of £268,000 which we voted to ourselves the other day. You are haggling against some of your own supporters over a sum of £30,000. I do not know whether you realise what a figure you are cutting in the country, when you urge us on grounds of law and division to acquiesce in this. Why do you do it? I did not know until yesterday, when I listened to the hon. Member for Carmarthen and the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil. I beg that the Committee will not introduce into this historic Church, religious acrimony and political contention. There are Englishmen whose Saxon forefathers' liberty, property and life, and in some cases polities, were embroiled with the religion of those days, and why? Largely because in the 17th and 18th centuries the people were actuated sincerely by religious motives. They were also actuated by the fear of foreign menace, which was deeply bound up in those days with our condition in this country. Does anyone wish to revive that at a time when we can no longer altogether ignore historic possibility that we in this country may have a condition of foreign entanglement and foreign menace again? But that force which drove our forefathers into this extreme course of religious acrimony may revive, and there is the new fear that religion, embracing all these religious bodies, may lose her grip upon Europe. You may, I do not deny, rejoice in the rivalry between those religious bodies, but each of them is a regiment in one army, and we ask that the rivalry should not be pushed to the extent of disarming, even partially, even one regiment in the host arrayed against the hordes of materialism.
§ Mr. E. JONES
I promise the Committee that I will give them some facts which will create a sensation, without any argument of mine or any indulgence of the historic sense, or imagination, or anything else. In reference to what I said 1768 last night about the parishes, I adhere to my position. I have had an intimation from the bishop, with whom I have settled the controversy. It was all a question as to the meaning of certain sentences in the Book. I have a very sad story to tell in reference to a case in the centre of the town of Merthyr Tydvil. This story is such a sad one, and there are such painful difficulties attached to it, bearing directly upon this question of glebe, that I want to be as careful as I can in explaining exactly the position. I am going to give the particulars as they were given in the Church Commissioners' Report, and leave the Committee to draw their own conclusions. In order that the necessarily painful aspect may be kept in its proper sphere, I may explain at once that I am not in any way associating the bulk of the zealous members of the Church with this particular grievance. I am sure the Committee will see and agree with me, when I am done, that the bulk of zealous and sincere Church people in Merthyr Tydvil are very much to be sympathised with, and however much people on the other side sympathise with them, I sympathise more. I shall have to say some things that will be rather hard and probably severe about the incumbent, but I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not doing that in reference to the present incumbent as a person at all. I shall deal with the system and the incumbent simply as X or Y, or whoever may be occupying the living and administering the glebe. The position in regard to Merthyr glebe is this: First of all, it is necessary for me to say one word to the Committee as to the real meaning and intention of glebe.
I think hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite will agree with me that it is not technically and strictly accurate to say-that the glebe was given for the maintenance of the minister as such. The glebe was really given in ancient times for the maintenance of the house of the minister. That is a very important distinction, and the figures for Merthyr Tydvil, where it is an ancient glebe, are very interesting because they put the distinction between the two things very clearly indeed. The maintenance of the minister was provided for at Merthyr Tydvil by an ancient tithe of £429 per year, and then, of course, the glebe was given for the maintenance of the house and rectory. I may, in passing, point out that in the old days associated with the monastic houses that glebe was given for the maintenance of the house in 1769 this sense, that it was from off this glebe land that the layman, as the Under-Secretary put it in his masterly speech, as well as the clerics got their poultry and their produce and often their fish, and they got all that by working, and a good deal of the produce of the glebe had to be worked for and laboured for by the clerics and laymen themselves. I am not going to inquire whether this old glebe in Merthyr was given as frankalmoign for the purposes of the ratepayers, since the Committee I am sure will agree with me that however pertinent and powerful might be those historical arguments, the case as I am putting it, is a serious scandal as it is and very much stronger. Hon. Members will assume and in their minds think of this hollow at the bottom of a valley with these acres of land surrounding this ancient rectory given as I have said to maintain the table of the house side by side with the £429 per year of tithe that was given for the maintenance of the minister. We start then from a point of view which will enable us to understand how the evil has arisen in modern times, and why the people of Merthyr are since suffering under this great grievance, and I do not believe there will be a single Member on the other side who will justify the continuance of the present state of things after I have done.
If you will imagine that position, hon. Members can see two things. First of all, our great grievance in Merthyr specifically applicable to this glebe is, of course, that if this glebe had remained an open space around the rectory, it would have been one of the amenities of Merthyr that it has required very badly during its long industrial history, longer than that of any other industrial town. But it was Parliament that came in and destroyed and removed that. Parliament came in only in recent times, and this grievance, so far as it is applicable to the Endowment of glebe at Merthyr is not an old thing, but something that has been forced on the people there by recent Acts of Parliament. The glebe was a very ancient glebe, and what Parliament did was this, and it did it through the application of the Church and on the pressure of the Church in recent times, when this Disestablishment agitation had arisen in Wales, when they had their eyes opened, and when my great predecessor, Henry Richard, from Merthyr, who was the father of the Disestablishment agitation, was present in this House, those Acts were passed to enable the incumbent for the time being to grant leases, mining 1770 leases and building leases, of ninety-nine years, with the result that three things happened to this glebe in Merthyr. The first is that, generally speaking, the whole of the glebe has been practically built over, and the modern trading streets of Merthyr are built upon the glebe.
§ Mr. E. JONES
I am coming to that. Three things have happened. As a result of this action of Parliament in connection with the Establishment upon this ancient Endowment that was given, there, at any rate, as an open space for the people of that neighbourhood and for the parishioners of Merthyr Tydvil. The first thing that has happened is this. That the incumbent of Merthyr Tydvil has become the most important landlord with which the town has to deal. Now I have got to say this: I said I was attacking the incumbent as the product of a system, and I repeat I am doing nothing with him as a person. I said it was painful, and I want to do it with as little personal offence as I can. As the result of this system, the incumbent of Merthyr Tydvil has become the most oppressive, the most impossible, and the most exacting landlord of all the exacting landlords, and they are worse in South Wales than in any part of the country, that we have got in the whole country. I can give illustrations of this. Let me give one. The very last day I was in the town of Merthyr, some weeks ago, an arbitrator was sitting with regard to some of this glebe land. The position was this. Merthyr has aspired during recent times to become a county borough, and through the charter of the King has been made a county borough. Having been made a county borough, it became necessary, as Members will understand, to enlarge the town hall and to build municipal offices. Next to the town hall was a small plot of glebe land. It was the disused playground of a long disused school. It was of no use to the rector. He was making no use of it, and apparently could make no use of it. That is my answer to the Noble Lord's interruption about holding up land. There it had been for many years, a dumping ground for nuisances and an eyesore in the very centre of Merthyr, and an insanitary place. The county borough naturally, pressed for an extension of its offices, makes an appeal to the representative of this National Church, as it styles itself, with such emphasis on the capital N, 1771 and one would have thought that this. National Church would have taken a common pride in the common growth of the borough and of the community. But nothing of the sort. Not an inch of land could they get on any consideration, and they were compelled to seek compulsory powers to compel this representative of the National Church to give this bit of disused land for the extension of the town hall. The last day I was in the town of Merthyr an arbitrator was sitting on the price of it as the result of those compulsory powers. A valuer had fixed it at £4,000 for the corporation and the rector had fixed it at £15,000, and the arbitrator was to try and arrive at some via media.
If the incumbent could thus treat the county borough, whose powers as a public authority are well known, and who could in the end get compulsory powers, then hon. Members, and especially some behind me here, can realise what some of the tradesmen of Merthyr have had to put up with during the last few years, when their leases have been falling in, in the manner of premiums and exactions and oppression in the raising of ground rents and the increase of increments of land value. You cannot find a case in any town where the most extortionate landlord has been oppressing the community as in this particular case in Merthyr Tydvil. With regard to my second point, which is worse unfortunately, and which I do not want to state too forcibly, as it is bad enough in itself, upon this glebe land as upon many other centres in market towns in the past, little public-houses grew up, cheek by jowl, one next door to the other. Those have remained, and hon. Members can judge of the effect of such a situation in a great industrial town such as Merthyr Tydvil has become. Those little public-houses were the swamp out of which came all the social mosquitoes that have poisoned the moral life of Merthyr Tydvil and been responsible for much of its irreligion in the years that have gone by. In connection with those same public-houses the borough of Merthyr Tydvil has more difficulty in closing undesirable ones than would any private individual. When some of us suggest that under those conditions it would be very much better for the administration of those things to be in the hands of a body that would serve the parishioners, we are told if we proceed in this way to close up those dens, that we are robbing God and destroying 1772 the cause of religion in the borough of Merthyr Tydvil. That is the accusation against us. The Noble Lord opposite, who has interrupted me, took exception yesterday to my demurrance to his statement that the Church was at the present time using those funds in the best possible manner. I will ask him in two or three minutes if he is able to agree.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I never said anything of the sort. I said that if we wanted the Church's funds better administered, that this Bill is not the best way, but that it would be by reorganisation of the Church.
§ Mr. E. JONES
The Noble Lord challenged anybody to say that the Church now was not using the Church funds in the best possible manner. The third point is that slum property grew up upon this glebe land, and the worst kind of slum property, and Merthyr had to seek compulsory powers to remove it. Again, we got more difficulty than we have in the case of private owners, and a good deal of that slum property still remains. The remainder of the story is this, and it consummates this here into what I do submit to the Committee is a scandal which ought to make every loyal Churchman here as the bulk of the Churchmen in Merthyr do, feel ashamed that such a state of things has been allowed to accumulate for such a considerable period of time. From those public houses, from those premiums, from those extortions upon the community that I have mentioned, the money has not gone to the parishioners and the service of God. I find very great difficulty in getting at the truth about this matter. I do not know who is responsible. I suppose in the ultimate resort the rector himself is responsible. I have had friends, some Churchmen, endeavouring to discover how much the incumbent gets personally himself as his income from these properties in Merthyr Tydvil. We cannot find out, we shall not find out. There has not been an orderly Easter meeting there for a long time. The last broke up in hopeless confusion because the people would insist on having some kind of statement or balance-sheet as to how much money was being obtained by the incumbent from the properties in Merthyr Tydvil. The Committee will see my difficulty when greater authorities than private individuals that have been endeavouring to elicit information have failed in their inquiries.
1773 6.0. P. M.
I have been looking up the Diocesan Calendar of. Llandaff, in which the net income of the incumbent is given as £500 per annum, and in the Official Returns to the Church Commission that amount taken from the Diocesan Calendar is repeated. So that so far as the parishioners of Merthyr are allowed to know from the Official Book of the diocese, the net income of the incumbent is £500 per year. I turn to Crockford, which people there are not acquainted with, but persons interested in these matters turn to, and there the net income of the incumbent and the gross is not given, is given at £1,030, which is a slight discrepancy from the £500 given in the Official Report. When I turn to the Return submitted by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who have cognisance of these incomes when portions of glebe are sold, I find the income of the incumbent stated in this way. First of all, old glebe existing previous to 1703, £1,581; tithe, £429; new Endowment after 1703, £55; private benefaction, £50. When giving evidence before the Church Commission the representative of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, Mr. H. De Bock Porter, was pressed further with regard to the facts about Merthyr Tydvil. After he had been pressed three or four times— this is in 1905— the chairman at last put it to him specifically: "What is the net income of the incumbent in Merthyr Tydvil?" Mr. De Bock Porter replied, "I should assume it is something near £2,000 a year at the present time." [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Why not? I will say why not in a moment. But that is only an assumption. I am informed that it is very much more. I am told that during the past few years a tremendous number of leases have fallen in and great premiums have been paid. It is impossible to get the facts. I have challenged the Rector of Merthyr Tydvil to prove that he does not get at least £3,000 a year; and if the present system is allowed to continue I venture to say that very soon that incumbent will be getting £5,000 a year out of this particular property and this particular glebe.
Let me come back to the point as to the application of these cases to the argument we have been putting before the Committee. Looking at these facts, at the conditions under which the property is being administered, the state of these public houses— I am told, though I have not been able to verify it, that the incumbent 1774 actually owns the principal hotel, the Castle Hotel— [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] I will say why not in a moment. This ancient glebe, given to the parish of Merthyr Tydvil at a time when the incumbent was given for his own private income £400 or £500, was never intended to provide a princely income of this sort for the incumbent for his own personal use. Having regard to the manner in which it has been dealt with, I submit to the Committee that if this ancient glebe and its produce is used for the benefit of the poor, the downtrodden and the sick, for hospitals and nurses, it will be very much nearer the object for which the donor gave it than if it is utilised, by a private individual, in the way I have described. The gift of this living is not in the hands of the bishop. It is not for any ecclesiastic in Wales to promote anyone to this Blue Ribbon of the Church for a character that may have been earned by worthy scholarship or activity earlier in life. The gift was in the hands of the Marquesses of Bute; but, since the Marquesses of Bute have become of recent years Roman Catholics, the presentation of the living has gone to the University of Cambridge.
There is the whole position. When the people of Merthyr Tydvil, through an unworthy representative like myself, come here and contend that in rearranging these matters, in arranging that for the future, without touching life interests of the present incumbent, the produce of this ancient glebe shall be utilised for the poor, the sick, and the needy amongst the parishioners— and unfortunately there are many of them in the centre of this old town— we are told that we are robbing God and the service of God. I daresay there are many Members who, if they succeed in defeating this Bill, so that these things continue, the evils grow and become accentuated, these public houses flourish, and the slums remain, will go down to their constituents and say "We have prevented these people in Merthyr from destroying religion and driving it out of the land." I have very great sympathy with the Church people of Merthyr who have' the pall of this black shame upon them in all their efforts to raise the unfortunate amongst the community. I know that there are large numbers of the best and most zealous Churchmen there who will welcome the day when they will be able to stand before the poor and the suffering in that town, where, through a system of this kind materialism is prevalent enough 1775 as in other places, and show that the Church, while providing what is reasonable for her incumbents, will make a proper use of the produce of Endowments of this character for the parishioners for whom the property was originally given.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I do not propose to follow the remarks of the last speaker, though not from any want of interest in what he has said. I may point out, however, that if you were to deal with great questions of this kind on individual instances, I do not think that even the best institution in the country could possibly stand. I am sorry to say that so long as human nature is as it is, you will always find instances of black sheep, however carefully you attempt to safeguard any institution for public purposes. I do not know this particular incumbent; I am talking of him simply as X Y Z. Nothing but unfair prejudice is brought about by dealing with the subject in that way, and by attempting to judge this question of glebe by the fact that in Merthyr Tydvil, by an Act of Parliament, as I understand, a particular incumbent has used his glebe in a way which, if what the hon. Member says is right, every right-minded man would deplore in the strongest possible way. But may I leave that which, after all, is only one illustration, into which I do not want to go, and deal with the question from a general standpoint? Am I right in understanding that when the Amendments have been introduced the position will be that, if the representative body desire to purchase glebe, they will have what I may call the option of doing so on the specified terms? I understand that I have the assent of the Home Secretary to that statement of the position. That being so, I do not want to deal further with that point.
I want to come to what the Under-Secretary said on a somewhat legal and technical question. No one who understands Ecclesiastical Law will deny that, at any rate, a large number of glebes are held under the tenure known as frankalmoign. I could not in any sense deny a proposition of that kind. But what does frankalmoign mean? It was simply the first form of freehold tenure as against the ordinary feudal tenure, and it meant that for religious purposes land was held free from secular services. That is exactly what we are saying. We are saying that these glebes in their origin were given for religious purposes only, 1776 entirely free from the ordinary secular services which were incident to all other forms of feudal tenure. In other words, you cannot have a stronger argument in favour of the proposition that glebes were given for religious and religious purposes only, than to say that they were held under the tenure of frankalmoign. I do not want to go too much into technical points, but the Under-Secretary will recollect perfectly well that when all other old forms of tenure were abolished under Charles II., frankalmoign was retained. It was retained for this reason, that it was a form of freehold property of safer tenure than any other known to the law at that time, and held on the basis that no secular duty or secular service arose in connection with the land, but that it was dedicated to religion and religion only. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman will deny any of those statements. If I am right, to say that the tenure of glebe is a tenure in frankalmoign is to admit the whole argument which Churchmen have ever brought forward with regard to the origin of their title in connection with glebe under the head of frankalmoign. It is religion and religion only, and no other purpose that a tenure of this kind in the "whole history of our law has been either attributed to or used for.
Let me come to the second proposition of the Under-Secretary. He said that amongst other purposes glebe in certain cases was given for religious services, and, amongst them, prayers for the dead. He went on to deduce from that that because, according to the general view, prayers for the dead are no longer allowed in the English ritual, therefore the purposes for which these lands were given have failed, and you are entitled to use them for secular objects. The answer to that is complete. There is no principle of law which says that if one of the incidental purposes of a trust happens to fail you are for that reason to alienate the fund from all the other religious purposes contained in the trust, whatever they may be. I am perfectly certain that as a lawyer the Under-Secretary will not controvert the statements I am making. I do not think he can. When you have a trust fund comprising a large number of religious purposes, will he say that because one of them may no longer be in use, but all the others are, there is any principle of law as regards trust funds that allows a general confiscation and secularisation of that trust given and 1777 dedicated to religion? I challenge him to find a single instance in the law books which in any way substantiates what he said, or makes effective the argument that he put to the Committee. On that point what my right hon. Friend said is quite right, as the Under-Secretary for Home Affairs will fully realise. The Chantries Act was an Act of Henry VI. We know that where land was dedicated to what were called superstitious uses, that is only for prayers for the dead, it was confiscated under the Chantries Act. That is an entirely different point. The Under-Secretary must know, if he has had experience in Ecclesiastical Law matters, that there are many cases involving the question whether or not Ecclesiastical property comes under the Chantries Act, and whenever it is found that the nature of the trust is for superstitious uses only—that is, only for prayers for the dead—the Endowments are alienated and used for other purposes. I really cannot imagine his technical arguments having the slightest weight. Let me admit everything he said. Let me assume that Professor Maitland was wholly right. I do not, by the way, think Professor Maitland is by any means always a safe guide. I think in many respects he is not a safe guide. But let us take the extracts made by the Under-Secretary for Home Affairs, and let me apply them to his own legal proposition. I do, however, still claim that you could not find any safer title in English law at the present time than that by which glebes are held under the tenure of frankalmoign; held, not only by a securer title, but for religious purposes. Let me go back for one moment to the hon. Gentleman's next argument, because I think that was an extraordinary one. He went back to the history of the legal origin of title, which is practically common to all countries—it is not peculiar to us—but, I think, he left out one step in the process.
I believe it is universally true that private property was, of course, unknown in the early origins of society. You have what is known as the tribal system. After the tribal system—I do not want to be too technical—but everyone knows that in this respect you did not have private property —you had what is known as condominium or family property, which was very much dealt with in Roman Law. It is also perfectly well known that during the stage of tribal law or of family property you never had anything except what is called 1778 usager. That is a common matter of archæological knowledge. What has that to do with the present proposition? The same process of evolution has affected every inch of property which was held in common ownership, either in this country or in other countries. Is it believable, if I may put it so, that the hon. Gentleman, whose power and ability I quite recognise, to substantiate a claim to confiscate our glebes and to secularise our property, has got to go back to some text-book of exposition of a system of land tenure which is applicable to land of every kind, and has no special applicability to glebe at all? Exactly the same arguments would invalidate the possession of every private owner of property at the present time. If you go back long enough it is all common tribal ownership, then family property, then usufruct, then feudal tenure. You never had this principle of what I call private ownership. If you are to confiscate glebes on that basis, there is not one inch of property in this country that could not be confiscated on the same principle. Before I come to say what is the truth as regards glebes—I do not use the word in an offensive way—let me deal with another argument of the hon. Gentleman. He was very anxious, as I understood him, to differentiate the position of glebe, not only from the position of the fund of Queen Anne's Bounty, which comes from Parliamentary Grants, but also what is called Bounty Fund sources. That, I think, was the purport of what he said.
To slightly repeat what I said yesterday, may I say why the differentiation on that basis cannot be made? I do not quote the hon. Member for this purpose nor the Home Secretary; they take a different view. I quote the Prime Minister and the Solicitor-General, who both draw a distinction. They said, and said distinctly, that Endowments given to an Established Church are no longer applicable as regards their original title on Disestablishment. Take that proposition. What is the difference between the case of Queen Anne's Bounty and the Bounty Fund and what you are doing with regard to glebe? I do not take any particular date. I take the broad principle. As the Solicitor-General said, let us look at this on broad principles; do not let us obfuscate our minds by a great deal of technical detail. Everyone, he said, knows that there is a difference between an Established and a Disestablished Church that should tell on their Endowments. We Churchmen wholly deny that from top to bottom. But, if you 1779 start from that place, which has been, in my view, the strongest argument put forward from the opposite side—if you start from that premise, you have this inevitable result. There is no difference whatever whether you are dealing with the Bounty Fund or glebe—although you are attempting some ground of difference—though you reserve one to the Church and confiscate the other—although they both stand practically in the same position.
Let me say one or two words now as to what is the real meaning of glebe. You could not in the old days consecrate a Church in this country. In fact, you could not only not consecrate a Church, but you could not have a manor farm, as the old lords of the manor desired, without a parsonage house, and the parsonage house carried with it a glebe. Therefore in the very origin you could neither have a consecrated Church in this country nor a manor farm without you provided the means for a minister. That is the origin. Here you have property which was essential at the outset in order that you must have a consecrated Church at all. Because it was a principle of old times—I will just read one or two extracts to show what I mean in a moment—that the Bishops would not consecrate a Church without you provided both means and glebe. That is the simple reason why it was provided. Can you imagine a more religious origin? Can you imagine an origin that gives a firmer title to the Church at the present moment? I need not talk about the provision for a resident minister. Under the old practice in order to have a minister in the sense of having a consecrated Church, you were bound to provide—I think it was a very just provision—both house and glebe for his maintenance and sustenance, quite irrespective of tithe altogether. Let me— though I should have thought that this was a self-evident proposition — quote two Bishops. Bishop Gibson was a Churchman, and one of the greatest authorities as regards the law, practice, and history of our Church during the Middle Ages. Speaking of glebes, Bishop Gibson says they were:—Of such absolute necessity that without them no Church could be regularly consecrated.Can you have stronger words than those? That is the origin of glebe. Without glebe you could not have your Church consecrated at all. Whatever may be the truth as to the Trust Funds which the Under-Secretary for the Home Office has 1780 dealt with, what does it matter? The real purpose of glebe was that without it you could not have a consecrated Church as is stated by Bishop Gibson. Let me take another illustration—in a very well known illustration—from the year 1102. I think that is far enough back to satisfy the most voracious appetite for archæological detail. Everyone knows the great position of Archbishop Anselm. He said:—Churches are not to be consecrated till all things necessary are provided; therefore, any owner who desires to consecrate a Church or to have his manor farm in the parish to prepare——"What?a suitable house and glebe to the satisfaction of the Bishops, and for perpetual use——Now what?free from all secular purposes.
Mr. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS
Does the hon. and learned Gentleman say that Archbishop Anselm was referring to the Church in Wales?
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
What has that to do with it? I am always attentive to the hon. and learned Gentleman, for he has studied, I realise, this matter very much from an opposite point of view. I will answer him, if I may. What really does it matter for this purpose? Will anyone with the slightest legal or archæological knowledge of the religious life of Wales and England assert that glebe had a different origin in the one country to the other? I am perfectly certain that the position cannot be substantiated. What I am saying is this: It is the same as frankalmoign, an expression which the Under-Secretary is so fond of referring to. It says, "free from all secular purpose." That is the tenure of frankalmoign, which the Under-Secretary has quoted as an argument against us. It affirms in the strongest possible way everything churchmen say on this question. May I give one other extract I happened to come across to-day. Although it goes a little further than glebe, still glebe is involved in it. It is of great authority. It says that the ordinary living or the venue of the parsonage is of three sources. There is what is commonly called the glebe. Another is tithe and—listen to this !— "which is part of our goods rendered to God." The third is other offerings bestowed upon God and His Church. I want to ask in that simple spirit of justice and right that one appreciates: how can it be said at the present time, having regard to the origin and character of glebe, that it ought to be confiscated as part of 1781 the Endowment of the Church? I do not understand that hon. Members put it in any other way except on special legal grounds. I say, on those special legal grounds, properly understood, every argument is in favour of the attitude which Churchmen have taken up on this question. I deny altogether that there has been failure or obsolescence as regards the uses of these great trust funds. This is one of the greatest of the indignities which you are putting on Churchmen: taking away from them what is surrounding the parsonage house and all the parochial glebes to which they have the strongest title, and which have always been dedicated solely to religious purposes.
§ Mr. GEORGE GREENWOOD
I have not hitherto said anything in these Debates, and I will only detain the Committee for a short time. But I should like to say at the outset, that it seems to me rather doubtful whether this Amendment, with the Amendment which has been promised to it, can stand exactly in the terms in which it now stands. It seems to me compatible—though that can easily be put right—with this meaning: that it is obligatory for the Commissioners to transfer glebes, except those arising from private benefactions, but that it would not be obligatory for the representative body to purchase them. Some variation of the words may be found necessary. The hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs in bringing forward this Amendment said that glebe was the oldest of Church Endowments, and that it was a pre-Reformation Endowment. A great deal has been said about the intentions of pious founders in these matters. It seems to me that in the case of all pre-Reformation Endowments, more especially in the case of glebe, we know, for instance, that the donors made the gifts subject to this contingency: that masses should be celebrated for their souls, and it seems to me that if there has been any spoliation and confiscation, that spoliation and confiscation took place at the Reformation, because these old Endowments came to what was really the Church of Rome, and were taken and handed over to a Church, which was certainly not the Church of Rome. I quite admit that after the Reformation there was no taking from one religious body and handing over to another. But what did happen? I have heard over and over again in these Debates that the Church to-day is the identical Church of the pre-Reformation. I even heard the hon. Member for Denbigh 1782 Boroughs quoting the Prime Minister. I am very glad indeed that he looks upon the Prime Minister as infallible in these matters. I hope he will also regard him as infallible in other matters, but I do not think that the Prime Minister ever exactly said that the pre-Reformation Church was identical with the Church of to-day. If he did, then, with all due respect, even if twenty Prime Ministers said it, I should say it was "a fond thing vainly invented." What we ask is that when these propositions were brought forward the Gentlemen who bring them forward should condescend to give us a little information. We ask what they mean by "identical" and by "Church"?
Professor Freman long ago pointed out that there were five or six different meanings to the word. It may mean a number of things. It may mean a number of ecclesiastical corporations sole or aggregate; it may mean the nation ecclesiastically organised; it may mean one religious body among many; it may mean the spirituality as opposed to the laity. For instance, we find in the Statute for Restraint of Appeals "that part of the1 said body politic called the Spirituality, being usually called the English Church." It may mean one religious body among many, and it may mean, as it does in Hooker, a nation ecclesiastically organised, but in any case it is clear that there is nothing like identity. It might be as well said that this Parliament is identical with the first Parliament that ever sat. The only thing you can get is a certain kind of corporate continuity; but what, after all, is the essence of a Church? Surely the essence of a Church is the doctrine it teaches and the religion it teaches. I think it was Lord Halsbury who said in the Scotch Free Church's case:—'The identity of a religious community described as a church consists in the identity of its doctrines, creeds, confessions, formularies and tests.Is it actually going to be maintained—as was said by the Noble Lord opposite (Viscount Wolmer)—that the doctrines of the Church at present are the same practically as the doctrines preached in the time of St. Augustine? Some time ago I made myself very familiar with an extremely able book written by the Noble Lord's grandfather, Lord Selborne, in which he says, using a phrase of Gibbon's, that the minutest application of the theological microscope shows that there is no difference between the doctrine of the Church 1783 in the day of St. Augustine and now. I am not a theologian, but that is the most amazing statement I ever read. What was the doctrine at the time of St. Augustine? It was the doctrine of Pope Gregory the Great, the great exponent of hagiolatry, demonology, and monastic asceticism, and to be told that the doctrine of the Church of England now is the same as the doctrine In the time of Pope Gregory the Great is to make a great demand on one's credulity.
§ Sir HILDRED CARLILE
May I ask the hon. Gentleman, has he forgotten that we have exactly the same creeds now as in the time of St. Augustine?
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
I am dealing with an Amendment with regard to glebes, and I am dealing with the question as to whether the old founders gave these glebes, as we have already been told in a great many instances, in order that masses might be said for their souls. What does the Church say about masses? It says that they are blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
I say I am perfectly right. The Articles say that they are blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits. I am quite confident that I am right, and I am equally confident that the Noble Lord is wrong. Will the Noble Lord produce his prayer book? I am giving my recollection, and I remember, when I was debating this subject once with a learned Canon, he said that the Church of England could be found in Magna Charta, and that it existed long before. Of course, you had in Magna Charta the words Ecclesia Anglicana, no doubt Anglican Church, but if you look into it further you will find this passage:—John, by the grace of God, King of England, etc … know that looking to God, etc.… We have granted as underwritten by advice of our venerable fathers, Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church … of Master Pandulf, sub-deacon and member of the household of our lord the Pope. That the English Church shall be free and shall have her rights entire and her liberties inviolate, and we Will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English Church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm, and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III.Yes, but free from what? Free from the interference of the Pope? Certainly not. 1784 But that the capitular and conventual elections in the Church of England shall be free from Royal interference, and for that he had obtained the ratification of Pope Innocent III. There could not be a stronger example. It was, as Mr. Brewer says, a political necessity which established the Royal Supremacy at the time of the Reformation. The Church up to that time had been under the supremacy of the Pope, which supremacy was changed for that of the Royal supremacy. To argue that the Church of to-day is identical with the Church of the pre-Reformation seems to me to be one of the most preposterous arguments ever put forward. It is said that the Church is now carrying out the intention of the pious founders of these benefactions, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. George's, Hanover Square, said that, in his view, it would be immoral to interfere with the intentions of those men who founded these hundreds and hundreds of years ago. I cannot consent to that view of ethics at all. It seems to me that a man has no right to dictate from his grave for all time exactly how his property is to be administered. Of course, we know that titles are fortified by length of time. They have the legal title. If they had not we should not require an Act of Parliament. But "uses" are not fortified by time and the longer the uses are in existence the greater the presumption that these uses are not fit for the present day. After all, to leave their property as glebe is not the natural right, if one may use that ambiguous term. There is no natural right to leave your property by will. It is a privilege which the State allows you simply because the view is that on the whole it is best for the interests of the community at large that a man should be allowed within certain limits to leave his property after death. But there is a rule against perpetuities, and when a gentleman named Thelusson tied up his property from generation to generation the law stepped in and said that should not be allowed in the future. Looking at these very old Endowments, the presumption is strongly that by reason of their age these uses are unfit for the present time. We have had many cases in which that is carried out by the Legislature. I remember when I used to work for the Endowed Schools Commission that I had constantly to deal with gifts of property to provide doles for the poor. There is no reason why the money should not still 1785 be distributed as doles for the poor, but the Endowed Schools Commissioners had powers, and very properly used them, to apply these doles for education. And if hon. Members will look at the Report of the Commission they will learn all about it. I have now handed to me the exact text of the article about the mass. It is Article 31, and it says this—…
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I really suggest this is not a very desirable thing to discuss across the floor of the House.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
So I did, and I will explain. I see exactly where the hon. Member was misled. He refers to current doctrines. He does not refer even to the official doctrines of the Church of Rome, still less, of course, to the doctrine that existed in the time of Gregory the Great. The matter has been repeatedly argued in recent ecclesiastical controversies, and the view that I ventured to put forward when I interrupted the hon. Member is that if he will look into the matter and read the article for himself, he will see that it is not a very desirable thing to bring what is really a sacred matter into this matter of controversy.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
If the hon. Gentleman does not read the first part he misrepresents the whole thing.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
The Noble Lord said this was not in the article. He distinctly said that. Now I claim my right to read it:—Wherefore the sacrifice of the mass in which it was commonly said that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and the (lead to have remission of pain and guilt were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The hon. Member must see that the hole point of his argument was that the mass, in the sense used in the fifth century, were condemned as "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." There he is entirely wrong, and it is idle to quote words which referred to a different period.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
I have no doubt that the Noble Lord would introduce the mass into the Church of England.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have allowed the hon. Member and the Noble Lord to show 1786 that they take opposite views on a particular question, and I hope they will leave the matter there.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
I do not wish to pursue this matter any further, and I only referred to it because I was interrupted by the Noble Lord opposite. I was saying that the Report of the Commissioners who reported in 1884 on the city companies was signed by Lord Derby and the* Lord Chief Justice of England, and they recommended that an Act of Parliament should contain provisions whereby in the case of any benefaction under a will or other instrument earlier than fifty years before the date of the Act, it should be competent to the proposed Commission to direct the application of the funds to objects of acknowledged public utility without the necessity of paying regard to the intentions of the founder. I do not argue that where there is no real necessity to interfere, you, shall interfere, but there is a principle which seems to be neglected. If it is for the benefit of the community—and having: regard to the circumstances of the Church of England in Wales, it certainly is—to interfere with the directions of the old founders whose property was confiscated at the time of the Reformation, then I think it is aptly expressed that it is within the legal as well as the moral competency of the State to do so.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I will not follow the hon. Member who has just sat down in his historical or unhistorical disquisition. I will only observe that his argument, if it be an argument, is one equally for Disendowing the Church in England as in Wales. [HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] I am very glad to get that admission, and I want to know now what becomes of the argument, the sole-argument I know of for this Bill, that it ought to be carried simply because thirty-one Welsh Members demand it. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who said that? "] We see now the utter hollowness of the position. We see that it is a piece of opportunism. This Bill is intended to lead up to Disestablishment. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."] If Mr. Whitley calls me to order I will obey, but I am not going to obey the interruptions of hon. Gentlemen opposite who do not like the logic of my arguments. Now we see perfectly well that this Bill is intended to lead up to the Disestablishment and the plundering of the Church of England, because, if the 1787 hon. Member's argument has any application at all, it applies equally to taking away the glebe from the Church of England. I think we have now got a very valuable admission from hon. Members opposite. I rose chiefly to correct two or three misstatements made by the Under-Secretary for the Home Department in reference to the effect of this Amendment. He stated that no part of the glebe which was taken away would go for museums, "out that is not true. In addition to the parochial glebe, there is £9,000 a year of glebe now vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners which formerly belonged to episcopal and capitular corporations. That glebe, under Clause 18, will go to general purposes and one-eighth to other purposes. Therefore it is not correct, and you may just as well tell the House and the country what is to be the destination of this glebe taken from the Church. The Under-Secretary made another misstatement, which I think the Home Secretary confirmed, to the effect that no part of the glebe was to go to baths and wash-houses. I do not attach any particular importance to that, but as regards parochial glebe, which is the greater part alienated by this Clause, it comes under the operation of Clause 18, which says:—
"Property formerly appropriated to the use of parochial benefices shall be applied in accordance with the scheme made by the county council and approved by the Secretary of State to any charity, eleemosynary or public purpose of local or general utility."
Surely baths and washhouses, even in Wales, are a purpose of public and general utility. Surely the Government can tell us the real effect of their Amendment. I am sure the country has a right to know the sort of purposes to which the property of the Church is to be put. I will take another mis-statement. I interrupted the Under-Secretary when he differentiated between glebe and other forms of property, because he said that part of it had gone towards meeting private benefactions, and I said that you ought to treat the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the same way. That is absolutely true. There is also ecclesiastical property in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners which consists partly of land that is glebe, which may have been applied to a private benefaction in order to augment a poor living. The differentiation the Home Secretary 1788 tried to make between glebe and the Queen Anne's Bounty which they gave us yesterday, is one which breaks down immediately, because if there is anything in it they should apply the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at the same time. It is impossible for the Government to differentiate between the treatment of these different kinds of property. They sought for an excuse after they gave us the Queen Anne's Bounty. They then trump up a perfectly different excuse for taking away the tithe or the glebe. There is no argument for taking the glebe. I know an argument was brought forward by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock Burghs (Mr. Gladstone) in a speech that gave great pleasure to the House a week ago, for taking the tithe. He said the payment of tithe is exceedingly unpopular and irksome, and it would be better for the Church not to have the tithe. Can it be said that that argument applies to the case of glebes? There is no argument of that kind in the case of glebe which is not a tax The Home Secretary says tithe is a tax, but he does not contend that glebe is a tax. Glebe was the first form of gift to the Church, and there is no reason whatever for taking it away.
The Government are simply casting about for excuses, and their policy comes to this: They are going to have as much Disendowment as the Liberal Churchmen will allow, and they will give us as little Endowment as they are able to do, and at the same time square the Welsh Liberal Members. What were the chief sources of glebe as laid down by the Under-Secretary? He told us, first of all, that some of the glebe was tribal land, and as for the rest it was in frankalmoign. I am not going to deal with the arguments of the Under-Secretary upon an historical point, and I will take his definition. He says there are two parts—one the tribal land and the other part in frankalmoign. In that case is it any argument for taking it away. If the tribal glebe was given to the Church before the system of feudal tenure was introduced, the title of the Church to it is the strongest possible that has come down through the centuries. Take the other glebe given in frankalmoign. I am not going to quarrel as to whether the definition given by the Under-Secretary is right or wrong, but what does it convey? It conveys with it the responsibility of saying prayers for the dead. He says quite rightly that the trust has failed. Are you going to revive the trust by this Bill? 1789 Are prayers to be said for the dead by the county councils after they have taken the glebe? The position is absolutely ludicrous. I know the ordinary way of dealing with these cases, because I have had the privilege of being for five years a Charity Commissioner. The ordinary way is that where a trust fails or partially fails, you utilise the property under the doctrine of cy-près for the nearest possible object, but it is never the practice of the Commissioners to take away the property altogether, and that is what you are doing now under the doctrine of cy-près. The property which had been given for saying masses for the dead was passed on to the Church for its general use, and it has remained with the Church ever since.
After that settlement was made, now you come forward with a new precedent without bringing forward a single argument for a change, except that all the thirty-one Welsh Members desire it. You come forward with a perfectly new plan, under which you propose to take the money away, and devote it to other purposes absolutely alien to the purpose for which the money was given. We regard the taking of the glebe, as a very vindictive part of the general policy of the Dis-endowment of the Church, which has been denounced, not only by Liberal Churchmen opposite, who have had the courage of their opinions, but also by many Nonconformists in the country, and by nobody more strongly than by a leading Nonconformist in Cardiff, Mr. Henry Rad-cliffe. When I quoted this gentleman's name the other day I was told he was not a Nonconformist, but a Churchman, but on that point I think I knew a little more than hon. Members opposite, because Mr. Radcliffe wrote a long article in the "Western Mail" only this week, in which he said that the statement by hon. Members opposite that he was not a Nonconformist was the first he had heard of it, and ho said he had been a Nonconformist all his life, and as a Nonconformist he objects entirely to the proposals of this Bill. Mr. Radcliffe added that if the proposals of this Bill could be submitted to a Referendum in Wales, they would be rejected by a majority of at least 90 per cent, of the people. It is a very great pity these proposals cannot be submitted to a Referendum. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but I am perfectly certain if this were submitted to the Referendum, and especially if this Clause were, submitted to the Referendum, the 1790 Bill would never become law. If there is one Clause more unpopular than another, if there is one proposal in the Bill more calculated to wound the feelings of Churchmen, and if there is one thing for which there is less justification than anything else, it is this proposal to take away the glebe. I shall certainly for these reasons support this Amendment to the utmost of my ability, and I sincerely hope many hon. Members opposite who have pressed for concessions before, but who have not got very much up to the present, who last Friday pressed for this because when they asked for that £47,000 a year it included glebe, and whose co-operation and support we value—[Laughter.] That interruption shows their co-operation and support is valuable to us and very objectionable to other hon. Members. I say I earnestly hope they will have the courage of their opinions, and, as they voted last Friday for saving the glebe, I trust they will do so when this Amendment is put to the Committee this evening.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Herbert Lewis)
Perhaps I may be allowed as one of the few survivors of the debates of 1893 and 1895 to say a few words in this discussion. It is the first occasion upon which I have addressed the House in connection with the proceedings under this Bill. I feel that, while the subject under debate is certainly one of the most contentious character that can arise under this Bill, the argument on the whole has been conducted with an absence of bitterness and with a feeling of consideration for others which makes it very remarkable indeed. I hope whatever I may say I may not add a single drop of gall to the present discussion. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has suggested the advisability of a Referendum. If ever there was any measure or any Parliamentary proposal about which it could be said the opinion of the country had been taken with the unmistakable definiteness which attaches to a Referendum, it is certainly this Bill.
§ Mr. HERBERT LEWIS
It was an argument put forward by the hon. Gentleman himself. It is, of course, impossible to keep other questions out of our political controversy, but I can recall in Wales, 1791 election after election, in which practically the only subject that was under discussion, or that at any rate bulked so largely as almost to obscure every other question, was this question of Disestablishment and Disendowment. Surely, so far as the will of the people in Wales is concerned, the results of past General Elections may be regarded as being sufficient. I would remind hon. Gentlemen that if England had declared its will in this respect only once by a majority similar to that which has been obtained in Wales, no one would have stood in the way, and the desires of England would have been conceded at once. I cannot help referring to the entrancing speech which was delivered the other day by the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University (Lord Hugh Cecil). One illustration used by him was the case of a man who on his death bed left property to the Church. He said a man at that time was not thinking of the State or of the community at all; he was, as a matter of fact, thinking of his own soul. The Noble Lord gave us a picturesque illustration of that man upon his death bed with the breath of a nameless place hot upon his brow, giving and giving largely of his land to the Church. We have heard a good deal from the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and others, of considerations that have failed. If ever there was a consideration that has failed, and failed from the beginning, it is that consideration. The property was given to the Church under a misapprehension. There is not a single individual here who would say that the gift was not really made to the Church under a misapprehension. It was received by the Church, let us charitably hope, in perfect good faith, but it was received by the Church under a misapprehension. We are entitled to say, and we have a right to say, that a gift of that kind, a trust of that nature, a trust which failed from the very beginning, given to an institution which during centuries did represent the nation in its religious aspect, may surely, now that the Church in Wales only represents one-quarter of the religious people in Wales, be given to the service of all.
The right hon. Gentleman opposite referred to the case of All Souls College, and he asked whether we would propose to disendow All Souls College. I am not aware there is a suggestion that we propose to disendow All Souls College, either at the present time or at any other 1792 time. I am not going to refer to the objects to which the property is to be given hereafter, but the right hon. Gentleman does know we propose to make an Endowment something similar to that of All Souls College at the present time. After all, I am not aware there is any test at the present time which excludes any citizen, or the son of any citizen, from membership of All Souls College, and we are only too glad to see the ancient Endowments are applied to purposes of that kind. The institution to which this property was given was an institution which, in its time, performed what we regard now, or rather what some people regard, as secular functions. It ministered to the sick. It relieved the poor, not as an hon. Gentleman said on the other side, as they were relieved at the castle gate; it was a part of its necessary functions to relieve the poor. It maintained learning in those days. Those are the kind of purposes to which the proceeds of glebe can be applied under the Bill. Is it wrong for the Church, is it a betrayal of its own trusteeship in regard to property that has been acquired as I have described, to regard the matter from the point of view of a nation that for forty years has asked that it should be devoted to the service of the people as a whole? The Church now represents the minority in Wales, and we have a right to ask that this particular kind of national property shall be applied to national uses.
The hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) practically asked this question: The Committee has decided that the Church in Wales is to be disendowed, is it right to press Disendowment so far? The hon. Gentleman who is at present leading the Opposition put another question. He asked whether it would not lead to a great deal of irritation in Wales. I regard glebe, and it is so regarded throughout Wales, as one of the visible symbols of that dissension and that constant conflict that has been going on in Wales for the last seventy years. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment is always predicting that if this Bill passes into law it will create great friction in the future, and it will be a great sundering and dividing factor in our life. The hon. Gentleman represents certain boroughs in Denbighshire. Is he not aware that in those boroughs, and in any number of other small towns in Wales, there has been during the past thirty or forty years, 1793 owing to the bitterness which this question has aroused, a chasm between Church people and Nonconformists which in some respects is unbridgable? I have had a great deal of experience of two of the largest towns he represents. If I may say so without any offence, I was well acquainted with two of them for many years before his eyes first saw the light. I know something of the social circumstances of those towns and of others like them in Wales, and it is this question, of which glebe is one of the outward and visible signs, that is the sundering factor between Church people and Nonconformists in those towns. I go further and say that when this has been removed and when glebes have become, by the process which is suggested in this Bill, private property, it will cease to be a symbol of division. I believe the nation will gain enormously, and that the unity of the nation will be far nearer than in the present day, when these causes of division are in existence. The hon. Gentleman asked whether it was worth our while to press for the value of the glebes for so small a gain. I would remind him that the amount is not small in the case of Wales, but I venture to ask whether it is not worth the while of the Church to get rid of that cause of offence.
I now come to a question which the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs said was vital. He said it was necessary to retain the glebe in order that there might be a nucleus Endowment in every parish for the purpose of maintaining a resident minister. That is an argument which has been used very often in the course of these Debates. As a matter of fact, the number of parishes without a resident minister in Wales, although outwardly it may appear to be considerable, yet, if examined, in the light of the residence of Nonconformist ministers, it will be found that these parishes are very frequently served from their own boundaries far more effectively than they could, be served even from the place where the clergyman resides. I know the case of a parish in my own district where there is no clergyman at all, and where the parish is united with another parish. There are scores and even hundreds of parishes thus united in Wales, and if the Church is allowed to unite parishes for ecclesiastical purposes, why should not the Nonconformists be allowed to do so? In the very same parish, there is no clergyman, but there is a minister in actual residence, and it is not too much to 1794 say that practically the whole of the religious work of the parish is done by Nonconformists. I have been making inquiries lately with regard to some of these parishes. I do not intend to trouble the House with details, but I can assure it that the argument upon which so much stress has been laid is fallacious. Wales is a country which has been covered by the ministrations of religion. There are nearly 5,000 chapels in Wales; they have found their way into every part of the country, and nowhere in the whole world are the religious minstrations of the people attended to to such an extent as in Wales. If the effect of this Bill were to deprive Wales—and that is not intended by us, nor will it be the effect—but if it were to deprive Wales altogether of the ministrations now given by the Established Church, the gap, so far as that is concerned, would be filled almost instantly by the Nonconformist bodies, which are ready to extend their fields of labour wherever opportunity offers. Moreover, in the parishes to which I have alluded, parishes which have no resident minister, it must be remembered that local preachers and deacons play a far more active part than is generally recognised. Those who are dependent upon an Endowed ministry usually leave everything to that ministry, but those who are not so dependent make shift for themselves, and some of the very best religious work done in Wales has been done by non-ordained men who have devoted the leisure hours of their lifetime to that service, which they regard as the very highest and the very best. These are the men who are asking for Disestablishment and Disen-dowment. They are the men who have slaved and toiled for religion all their days. You may think them wrong, but at any rate you will give them what they deserve, and that is credit for sincerity. I claim credit also for sincerity when I say that we look forward to the future of Wales with the highest hope and confidence. We do not share in the slightest degree the apprehensions that have been expressed on the other side of the House. We do not. desire to ridicule them in any way, but knowing our country as we do, knowing its history and especially the history of recent days, knowing the expansive power of Free Churches in Wales——
§ Mr. HERBERT LEWIS
I was on the point of concluding. All I desire to say is this, that the apprehensions of hon. Gentlemen arising out of the loss of the glebe are entirely without foundation. The other day my hon. Friend the Member for Carmarthen Boroughs made an observation which was entirely misinterpreted on the other side of the House, and, without intending any offence, I propose to repeat it. He said, "Let hon. Gentlemen opposite have more faith in their Church." I venture to repeat that, and to urge hon. Gentlemen opposite to have faith in the power of their own Church—a free Church in the future, untrammelled and unshackled. I ask them to dismiss from their minds any apprehension that Wales will suffer. We are all agreed upon this, that religion in Wales in the future does not depend upon the presence or absence of glebe. I will go further and say this, that the absence of glebe will certainly not be detrimental to the Church in the future, because it will have removed a visible sign and symbol of those privileges against which the Welsh people have, in the past, protested, and will, as I believe, conduce to that happier future which we trust is in store for Wales.
§ Viscount WOLMER
The hon. Member who has just sat down has asked us Churchmen to have more faith in our own Church. I propose to accept the assurance that he did not mean that statement in an offensive sense. But I can say at once that if he uses it in that way he entirely misconceives the position that we occupy in regard to Disendowment. Of course, we know perfectly well that neither this Bill nor any other Bill can permanently wreck the work of the Church. We know perfectly well that the Church, as a whole, will emerge stronger from this ordeal than she went into it. That has always been the result of persecution. But it does not justify persecution; it does not make the wrong of persecution right. We know perfectly well that whatever is done in this House will not have any effect on the spiritual future of the Church of England. That is beyond the power of this House. But it does not give this House a free hand to do what it likes with the finances of the Church. It does not make what otherwise would be wrong right. It does not entitle this House to play ducks and drakes with the property of the Church to suit the convenience of the moment. I would assure the hon. Member that it is not the case we 1796 attach any spiritual value to Endowments. But we are fighting for the Endowments of the Church because we think it would be a national sin that money which has been devoted to the service of God should be taken away and devoted to secular purposes.
The hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary to-day again commented on the fact that glebes were given in frankalmoign. I think that has been very ably dealt with already on this side, and I will content myself by saying that one thing, at any rate, emerges from the controversy that is clear, and that is that if glebes were given in frankalmoign to the Church it is perfectly clear that they could not be national properties: they were given to the Church. The Under-Secretary for the Home Department has said that he could give us a panel of jurists to deal with the issue whether this property was given to the Church under trust and whether the trust is now being fulfilled by the Church. But she is prevented from doing so by Act of Parliament, and therefore the panel of jurists would decide in his favour. All that we are asking is that the Government should give us a panel of jurists, a panel of live jurists. It is quite easy for them to quote Maitland and other great authorities to a given effect. We can give other quotations to a contrary effect. If the Government believes that their theory is capable of being submitted to a panel of jurists, we only ask that they should so submit it. Let us have this legal question cleared up once and for all. One thing emerges from it; even the Under-Secretary himself does not claim that all glebe was given under the conditions which he has named. He only says the greater portion of it was so given. Does this Bill only propose to confiscate that glebe which was given under those particular conditions? Not at all. This Bill confiscates all ancient glebes, and I am going to submit to the Committee that the Under-Secretary's argument is perfectly valueless if he admits it only applies to a portion of glebe in Wales, and if he is going to use it as a reason for taking away all glebe in Wales. That is only an argument for taking away that portion of the glebe in Wales which comes under the category of the right hon. Gentleman's condition. I will further say that he is condemned on his own theory, because his argument is this, that this glebe was given for prayers for the souls of the dead. Parliament prevented that trust from being 1797 carried out. Accepting that theory for the moment, when Parliament prevented that trust being carried out, when it prevented prayers being said for the souls of the dead, did Parliament say that, having done this, it prevented the Church carrying out its title to the glebe, and did Parliament, by so doing, take away the glebe? Not at all. The hon. Gentleman says that at the moment when Parliament prevented the Church from saying prayers for the souls of the dead, Parliament maintained the title of the Church to the glebe land which she was then enjoying and now enjoys. So it is perfectly obvious, even on the showing of the hon. Gentleman, that the Church enjoys the title to glebe independent of saying masses for the souls of the dead. There was another argument of the Under-Secretary with which I should like to deal. He said that there was a great deal in the argument advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University (Lord Hugh Cecil) yesterday, that land in the Middle Ages was left, not to the community, but to the Church. I am not at all sure that he did not concede the proposition, but he said that the Church comprises not only ecclesiastics, but the laity as well. That, of course, is perfectly true, but the Church only comprises the laity in so far as they are Churchmen. In modern times the Church never comprised those laity who were outside the Church, and in the Middle Ages it did not comprise laity who were outside the Church, for they were called then by the opprobrious name of heretics.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
It has been a matter of legal decision that the Church has no right to keep out any parishioner who wishes to enter the parish church.
§ Viscount WOLMER
The hon. Member is confusing the law at the present moment as to what constitutes a parishioner with what as a matter of ecclesiastical fact is membership of the Christian Church. We are not talking about the law, but about the motives of donors of Church Endowments. We on this side hold that the property was given to the Church and not to the community. The hon. Gentleman opposite says, "But the Church comprises the laity," to which we reply that it only comprises the laity in so far as they are members of the Church. Therefore the fact that the Church is no longer co-extensive with the Welsh nation does not invalidate the Church's title to the property in the 1798 slightest degree. The fact that less than half the Welsh nation are Nonconformists and have gone outside the pale of the Church does not invalidate the Church's title to the property left to her many centuries ago. I see several prominent Nonconformists in front of me. I put it to them that if they were starting a chapel with a congregation, and that chapel received an Endowment, and if after a number of years a half or a quarter of the members of the chapel quarrelled with the governing body of the chapel and marched out and built themselves a new chapel, would they be entitled to a proportionate share in the Endowments of the original chapel? Do they admit the right of every dissentient body of chapel-goers, when seceding from their chapel, to carry with them a proportion of the ancient Endowments of their chapel?
§ Viscount WOLMER
The hon. Member cannot give me a general answer, because he knows perfectly well that I am not supposing an impossible case. I am referring to what is continually happening at various intervals, when we see secessions from various religious communities. It has never been maintained until this moment that the fact that a certain body of the congregation have left a chapel or Church, takes away the right of the remainder to enjoy the whole income and Endowments of that chapel or Church. As my hon. and learned Friend (Sir A. Cripps) has pointed out, this glebe was left to the Churchy as he instanced by quoting Saint Anselm, because St. Anselm and the leaders of the Church in the Middle Ages always insisted that before a parish could be started and organised, (here must be a manse, with glebe land and parsonage house. My hon. and learned Friend has proved that, both for Wales and for England, by quoting St. Anselm. I see the Home Secretary shakes his head. Does he deny that St. Anselm had juisdiction over Wales? I should be very much obliged if he would tell us, because he seems to attach such great importance to the different positions which Wales and England occupied about this period of history. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. E. Jones) says that St. Anselm did not have ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Wales. I do not think the hon. Gentleman can be fully acquainted with the facts of the case. Is he not aware that St. Anselm appointed the Bishop of St. David's in the year 1799 1115, when he appointed Bernard, a monk of St. David's, to be Bishop of St. David's. Does the hon. Member still say he had not ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Wales?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The hon. and learned Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) quoted St. Anselm in the year 1102. The Noble Lord is referring to a later date. We all admit that in 1115 St. Anselm had ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Wales.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The quotation made by the hon. and learned Member referred to the year 1102. Our contention is that at that time the See of Canterbury had no jurisdiction in Wales. We all admit that in 1115 the See of Canterbury had jurisdiction. We are all agreed that there was a period when the two Churches were separate, and as they are now joined, there must be some time when they became joined. We put that date at 1115.
§ Viscount WOLMER
Does not the right hon. Gentleman see that if he admits, as he must admit, that St. Anselm had jurisdiction in 1115, he must also admit the conclusion of the argument put forward by my hon. and learned Friend, because the canon of 1102 was still in force in 1115. Therefore, adopting the right hon. Gentleman's own hypothesis, from 1115 at any rate; it is proved, on the argument of my hon. and learned Friend, that glebe was necessary, because the authorities of the Church would not allow new parishes to be created unless glebe was provided at the time. At last we are all agreed on that point. An hon. Member opposite has told us, as we have been told before, that we are not entitled to this glebe because it was left to the Church of Rome and is now being enjoyed by the Church of England. He mentioned me by name as having a particular crank or some odd theory, and one to be pitied for my ignorance, because I was under the delusion that the Church to which I belong was not in the line of continuity from the date of St. Augustine.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
I understand the Noble Lord to say that the doctrines of the Church of England at the present time were not materially different from the doctrines of St. Augustine, as was stated in his grandfather's book.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I do say so, and so does every Churchman who has devoted attention to the subject. I do not know whether the hon. Member belongs to the Church of England.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I am certainly not going to argue across the floor what the Church of England does believe and what it does not believe. This is not a suitable place for doing that. I ask those hon. Members opposite who do not belong to the Church of England to allow Churchmen to say what is their religious faith without being subjected to continual criticism and ridicule from those benches. I would further say to the hon. Gentleman that, on his own showing, his case is not advanced by one single iota. His argument was that this property was taken away from the Church of Rome at the time of the Reformation, and was then given to the Church of England.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I am sorry if I misunderstood the hon. Member. I certainly understood him to say that the plunder did take place at the time of the Reformation, and that the money was voted to the Church at the time of the Reformation.
§ Mr. G. GREENWOOD
I said distinctly that there was no taking away from one religious body and giving to another, and that there was a continuity with regard to corporations, but that under the Reformation, especially of Elizabeth, quite a different religion was established; therefore, if you are to regard the Church's doctrines as essential, it became a different Church from the pre-Reformation Church.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I understand that the hon. Member's point is that the Church's title to this property is, as it were, a Parliamentary title.
§ Viscount WOLMER
If that is the argument of the hon. Member, it does not help his case forward one single iota, because only yesterday he and his Government voted that the money which the Church has received from Parliament should be retained by the Church. Having once conceded the principle that the money which 1801 Parliament has given to the Church since the Reformation should be preserved to the Church, it is not open to hon. Members opposite to come down with this absurd fantastic theory that there was, in fact, a change in property at the time of the Reformation. The position of hon. Members in this respect is absolutely contradictory. They have not a single logical leg to stand upon. Having once given way on the question of Parliamentary Grants, if they have any respect for logic at all, they are bound to allow the Church to retain the property which they argue she has received by Parliamentary title. Further, I will ask hon. Members to answer this argument, because I do not think we have had it answered so far. All this talk about the change of belief of the Church, which we Churchmen bitterly resent, does not help hon. Members opposite, and never has helped them, because you have before you the case of the Dissenters Chapels Act. That Act, we maintain, establishes a principle in this country of which the Church of England is as much entitled to take advantage as any Nonconformist or any other Church in the country. I would ask hon. Members who have not done so to read the Debate on the Second Reading of the Dissenters Chapels Act. I believe it was one of the most magnificent Debates that ever occurred in this House. Mr. Gladstone made one of his greatest speeches, Lord Macaulay made a speech which will live as long as the English language lives, and Sir Robert Peel made a most magnificent speech. I would specially ask hon. Members to read the speech of Lord Macaulay, because he lays it down that the principle upon which that Bill was founded was the principle on which civilisation is founded —that is to say, the principle of prescription. We say it is quite right and just that, in the case of a Nonconformist chapel which has a certain amount of freehold property, if the congregation have used that property for twenty-five years without interruption, then we think it only fair and just that there should be no power of turning them out because they have altered their theological standpoint somewhat. We think that right, but why not extend the same provision to the Church of England?
I press this argument on hon. Members opposite. They tell us that this glebe was given to the Church in frankalmoign. They tell us that the Church has now altered her beliefs, so that we are not entitled to 1802 the use of that property. I ask them how they conscientiously square that with their approval of the Dissenters Chapels Act? Why is it right that Nonconformists should be allowed to change their beliefs every twenty-five years and still maintain their property, whereas the Church is not allowed to change her belief even though it occurred 300 years ago, if it ever occurred at all, and, having done so, be held to forfeit her right to her property? I submit that the thing is not just. It is not right; it is not reasonable that there should be one law for the Nonconformists and another law for the Church in this respect. All we demand is that the Dissenters Chapels Act should apply to the Church as it applies to Nonconformists, and then we know that this property will not be interfered with. I would call the attention of hon. Members opposite to another detail of the Dissenters Chapels Act, which applies particularly to this Clause. The Dissenters Chapels Act, of course, only applies to that Nonconformist property which is not bequeathed to a chapel under a trust deed. It only applies to that property which is held without a trust deed, that is to say, it is to be exactly the same property as constitutes the majority of the Endowments of the Church, that is to say, that property which is in exactly the same position as the ancient Endowments of the Church of England. We ask Nonconformists how they can, in common logic and common justice, approve of the taking away of this money from the Church, which the Church has enjoyed, in our belief, for 800 years, and in their belief for 300 years, and no one on either side of the House alleges that the Church is now making improper use of her property.
But there is another side of the ease which I should like to put. I would suggest to them that this raking about of the musty facts of ancient history is not really pertinent to our decision on this Amendment. I suggest to them that that is not really what matters, and what ought to govern our decision in this case. What ought to influence our action is to decide what are the facts here and now, and not to say that the Church lost her title to this property 300 years ago, therefore we will come now, 300 years afterwards, and put right what ought to have been put right 300 years ago. We should not go to the ancient controversies about the origin of glebe, but we should ask ourselves: Is this property now being used well by the 1803 Church, can the use of that property be improved, will it be for the service of the community if the conditions under which that property is held are altered, and, if so, how can what is best be accomplished? These, I suggest, are the questions which we ought to ask ourselves. In that connection, I should like to ask hon. Members opposite to remember the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer last Friday. He was practically, from the Government point of view, opposing this Amendment because the only real substantial difference between what the hon. Member (Mr. France) asked for and what the Government granted was this Amendment, and therefore the Chancellor of the Exchequer was opposing this Amendment. He went into a long diatribe about two villages in Wales which he knew thoroughly, and from these general instances, of course, he, as usual, deduced his general proposition. The only mistake he made was to give the names of the villages because that enabled us to see at once that he was no more correct in the facts that he gave than he was in the case of the Dartmoor Shepherd or the small tailor's shop in Cardiff, and whereas none of the glebe that he spoke about as ancient glebe was in the parishes, and as it could not be confiscated under the Bill, it could not have been at all germane to the subject which he was discussing.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I will refer the hon. Member to' the Noble Lord (Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart) who, I believe, owes his seat largely to that famous incident.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
May I ask, on a point of Order, whether the Noble Lord is entitled to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer made statements which were untrue and inaccurate?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must recognise that we often have two opinions in this House. He put his view quite rightly in the first place, but we cannot have continual interjections.
§ Mr. HEMMERDE
Is the Noble Lord entitled to repeat almost verbatim the exact argument which has been used twice before about the two Welsh villages?
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is a matter for the judgment of the Chair whether repetition is carried to an extent which comes under the Standing Order. It is a point which I endeavour to watch, perhaps not as strictly as some hon. Members would like, but I must be allowed myself to interpret that Standing Order.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I hope hon. Members opposite are satisfied now. I was not going to labour very long the point about the Chancellor of the Exchequer's inaccuracy with regard to these villages he knew so well in Wales. If we did that in every speech we made we should never have time to discuss anything else. I merely mention that to show that in our opinion on the question, "Is tithe at present held by the Church, apart from all question of origin, the best manner in which that property could be used?" The Chancellor of the Exchequer by his argument did not meet our argument at all in this respect. Now I pass to the only other argument that is at all germane to this aspect of the question which has been advanced by the hon. Member (Mr. Edgar Jones). He made a very long speech, in which he dwelt entirely upon one individual instance of maladministration of glebe in Merthyr with which he was acquainted. The hon. Member proved that, if we accept every one of his facts as gospel truth—and I am not disposed to question them, because I know nothing at all about the circumstances of the case—in one case glebe at present is being very badly administered by the rector of the parish. That is not sufficient ground for taking away the whole of the glebe from all the parishes in Wales. It would be quite as reasonable to say that beacause Admiral Byng was shot for cowardice in the eighteenth century therefore all British admirals in the eighteenth century were cowards. Hon. Members opposite are always trying to do 1805 it. They cite some abuse, and they say therefore the whole system is bad. Do hon. Members opposite not think it would be perfectly possible for us to point to cases of Nonconformist parsons or Church of England clergymen who are not carrying out their duties? But should we be entitled by simply being able to point to one instance, as the hon. Member did, to say that therefore the whole system is bad? Such arguments are only of use to stir up prejudice and partisanship, which ought not to affect the calm deliberations of this Committee. I again ask what good are we going to do by taking away glebe from the Church. Hon. Members, like the hon. Member (Mr. Edgar Jones), say the Church is not managing her glebe at the present moment in the way she ought to manage it, and we should be perfectly ready to submit to any scheme for the reorganisation of the Church's finances. Any scheme of that sort we would welcome. The point I wish to put to hon. Members opposite is, Do you think it right that the Church in Wales should be deprived of this property, that it is going to benefit the community to deprive her of that property, that the cause of religion, and that the cause of national health and well-being is going to be benefited by the Church being despoiled to this extent? I find it very hard to believe that that would be the case. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil tells us what dreadful materialism exists there and in other towns in Wales at present. We all recognise that, and that is one of the reasons why we feel it is unjustifiable, dangerous, and wrong, to lay down in an Act of Parliament that things spiritual are less important than things material, for that is what we are doing in this Bill. We regard it as a fatal principle for the welfare and health and honour of Christianity in this country.
We regard it as a disgrace to this nation that this High Court of Parliament should take away property which is being used for the purposes of religion and devote it to secular objects. That is why we desire that the Church should be allowed to retain her glebes. What good are you going to do by taking away this property from the Church? Nonconformists in the statistics they gave before the Royal Commission only claimed 42 per cent, of the population in Wales, and as they deny the Church possesses the remaining 58 per cent., it is obvious that there is a section of the community which is not 1806 touched by any religious organisation. Therefore we say that the Church should have the funds in every district of the country that she has ever possessed in order that she should be able to maintain her organisation there and to carry out the work of religion in those districts. We regard glebes, therefore, as one of the most valuable parts of our property. I do ask why the Government have not accepted the Amendment. We heard rumours that they were going to accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Morley (Mr. France). They have accepted half of it. Why have they rejected the other half which relates to glebes? I can only ascribe it to the hostility of hon. Members. The hon. Member for Carmarthen Boroughs (Mr. Llewelyn Williams), on hearing even that the Church was going to be allowed to retain Queen Anne's Bounty and the Parliamentary Grants, was as furious as a dog who had been robbed of his bone, and he felt that the whole of his case had been injured, that he himself had been insulted, and that his programme and propaganda had had ridicule cast upon it. Why? Because the Church is to have £15,000 more than was at first proposed. It is such a spirit of hostility to the Church as is shown by the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Edgar Jones) and the hon. Member for North Somerset (Mr. King)—not by most of the hon. Members on the other side of the House—who desire to take all you can from the Church, and let the Church retain as little as possible, that has obliged the Government to resist this Amendment.
I would ask hon. Members who have not already done so to read a letter in to-day's "Times" from the Bishop of St. Asaph. That gives one of the strongest arguments that could be brought forward in favour of the Amendment. It is quite short, but the facts it contains are undeniable. It shows the awful hardship and disorganisations that are going to be imposed on the Church by this taking away of property.
The hon. Member for Kilmarnock Burghs (Mr. W. G. C. Gladstone), in his most excellent and brilliant speech, said his party ought to vote in favour of his Amendment if they thought it right, irrespective of what we did on this side of the House. I would say to the hon. Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs that that noble argument holds good in the case of this Amendment, and if he and his Friends were consistent in supporting the larger proposal, they are bound to support the proposal in 1807 all its different parts. Half of the Amendment has been granted, and we now ask for the other half. I say to those hon. Members that if they voted then for what they thought right—we all admired their courage and good faith in doing so—they are bound to vote for this Amendment as well. We are grateful to those Liberal Members who have proposed that the Church should be allowed to retain her glebes. We honour them for the good feeling they have shown towards the Church, and for the peaceful way they have tried to act as mediators in this controversy. We thank them for their proposal, but it must be understood that, although we approve of their action, the acceptance of the Amendment will not diminish our hostility to the Bill. As long as it robs the Church of a single penny we shall oppose it, because we think it is mean beyond description to take any of the property of the Church for a rich community.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the Chairman withheld his assent and declined then to put that Question.
§ Mr. R. PEARCE
My objection to paragraph (iv.) is that it does not go far enough. If the Amendment had been to strike out the words "All glebes" I would have been satisfied with it, and I think it would have satisfied hon. Members on this side of the House. I have listened with a great deal of care and admiration to the able speech in which the Noble Lord (Viscount Wolmer) gave a valuable exposition of the feeling of an earnest Churchman anxious to do what he believed to be best for the nation to which he belongs. There is a difference between communion and community. There is an argument about this matter which has not been much presented to the House, although it has been alluded to once or twice. I refer to the rights of the parishioners. It has been constantly assumed—in fact it has grown into an article of faith by reason of the convenience of the expression—that the property in question is Church property. It has also been assumed with something like the same inaccuracy that the property is national property. So it is in one sense national property, and so it is in a figurative sense, as assumed on the other side, that you may look upon it as Church property. It is property, the benefits of 1808 which belong to the parishioners of each particular parish, so that the parishioners in each parish are as separate from the parishioners of other parishes as pebbles on the beach. Take the position of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Why should there be any difficulty about their consent? It is because they cannot mix up parish properties under one head. The property is held by the incumbents for each particular parish. If you look at the question from that point of view, you have to remember that glebe is held by an incumbent on condition that he performs the services of the Church; he can only hold it as long as he performs the services. That fact shows that it does not belong to the Church, to the incumbent, or to the nation; it belongs to the parish. In this controversy the property is thrown down like the body of Patroculus to be torn into pieces by different parties. The property belongs to the parishioners in each particular ease. If you take into account the parochial system, which I agree is somewhat antiquated, and may be called archaic, this Bill does not say what is to be done for the parishioners, and it would help towards a solution of many of the difficulties we are now in if it did so.
It is agreed that to some extent the Church in Wales no longer performs the religious services which this property was given in each parish for, not because the Church is not willing or able to do so, but because the parishioners themselves do not desire it. That is the origin, foundation, and right of this Bill. They have said that they do not desire that this parish property should be applied any longer to the purposes for which it is now devoted. What is to be done? Let me say at once that I am weary of the recriminations that have gone on from one side of the House to the other over this very interesting and somewhat serious subject. Take the point made a little while ago by the hon. Member for Dudley (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen). He asked whether, following the doctrine of cy-près, anything could be done for baths and washhouses under the Bill. Why, certainly. He will remember that cleanliness is next to godliness, and you can deal with the property in that way, if need be. The Church unquestionably in the main, without exalting any particular person or depreciating any other person, has done its duty faithfully all through. I reverence the work of the Church in all ages, whatever its forms or beliefs or ceremonies. I wonder that those representing the 1809 different Churches cannot agree about this question, instead of fighting in this House over the property of the Established Church as if the property were essential to its prosperity or to the prosperity of the people of Wales. The Noble Lord (Viscount Wolmer) admitted, in the course of his long and interesting argument, that even if the property is severed from the Church the Church will continue to do its duty. Certainly, every Church does. Why? Because it is full of the real pure spirit of religion. If you look at the history of all the religious reformations which have taken place, you will find that in the course of time religions have been marred by this spirit. If you start with Moses in the wilderness, you will find that by the time the Founder of our Faith had come, the money-changers in the Temple had spoiled the original simplicity of that fabric. Compare the spirit of the Founder of our Faith with the views expressed in this House to-day by men of the most admirable virtue and courage, and you will find how upon the real spirit of religion, pure and undefiled, there has come a veneer, a smear of Mammon, which makes them fight for that property, the mere shekels, the £ s. d., as if that were a thing in the least degree essential to the prosperity of the Church. Whereas, in point of fact, it is a hindrance to the Church. Outbursts of religious faith one after another have always begun——
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
The hon. Member cannot make these general observations on the particular Amendment before the Committee.
§ Mr. R. PEARCE
I was showing as far as I can why the Church should not have glebe, and that it rested on this kind of argument that glebe and property of all kinds does harm to the Church, and that it develops the spirit of Mammon, and that there never was a more certain thing to destroy the spirit of religion than when Churches begin to accumulate property, and that every religious outburst came from people who had no Endowments, and as Endowments increased the religious and spiritual influence of the Church was lessened. Recognising that and desiring to do the utmost justice to the views of lion. Members opposite, I ask them to give up the first two words of this Clause as well as all the rest, and to say that "all glebes" shall be struck out and shall not go to the representative body. Look at the spirit in which the hon. Member for 1810 South Bucks approached this question. There is no more amiable Christian man so far as I know, nor one with a more pure spirit or who is more desirous of doing what is right. But he is fighting for property. What appear to him the flowers of Eden remain in him still, but the trail of the serpent is over him all. Mammon wasthe least erected spirit that fell from Heaven.Mammon brings up in my mind the hon. Member for Oxford University, who tells this House that without property the Church could not do good. If he reflects for a moment, he will see that that is not so at all. What is really useful in the Church is not the property. Then, speaking of Mammon, suggests to me another figure in that great Parliamentary Debate, and I have in my mind that when Mammon made his oration in that Parliament Beelzebub proceeded—With graveAspect he rose, and in his rising seemedA pillar of state: deep on his front engravenDeliberation sat and public care;And princely counsel in his face yet shone,Majestic though in ruin: sage he stoodWith Atlantean shoulders fit to bearThe weight of mightiest monarchies: his lookDrew audience and attention still as night.And thus Beelzebub urged his devilish counsel. Scattered over the whole of this argument has been this notion, that property is the salvation of the Church. I beg hon. Members, for whose religious feelings and desire to do good in their time and country I have the greatest respect, to give up this notion altogether, and to let this Bill pass without the glebes.
§ Mr. EVELYN CECIL
I was really very much astonished at the speech to which we have just listened. No doubt it was dictated by religious fervour, but that only makes me more astonished that the hon. Member was prepared to take away the property which, in the opinion of most practical people, is helping religious work. If he will only turn his attention to what has occurred to the Disestablished Church in Ireland, I hardly think he would maintain the theory which he has just submitted to the House. He would find that Disestablishment in Ireland since 1869 has led to a marked decrease in the number of clergy and the closing of many churches in the South and West of Ireland. Before Disestablishment the clergy in Ireland numbered about 2,050. Now they number only 1,460, which is quite inadequate to the requirements owing to the large size of the districts to be administered. All that 1811 certainly does not prove his theory that taking away Endowments increases the chance of religious influence throughout the nation. Parishes have had to be grouped together, in one case, I believe in the diocese of Meath, eleven parishes have to be grouped together for want of being able to get a resident minister or clergyman, and I cannot conceive that the hon. Member, were he to study the condition of the Church in Ireland after these years of Disestablishment since 1869, would have ventured to come forward with the theory he has expressed to the House. I do not know if I need press the matter a little further, but it is perfectly true to say that Disestablishment in Ireland, at any rate, has not promoted unity. It has done very much the reverse. Each minister is on the look-out to keep those of his flock who subscribe to the general funds, because he has been despoiled of all the Endowments which the Act of 1869 took away.
The burden of proof, when attacking this glebe or indeed any of the other properties of the Church which this Bill takes away, ought to lie with the Government. The Government seeks to invalidate a title of centuries of prescription, and it is the Government which it is called upon to prove the justice of this demand. Under this Clause it is proposed to enact the contrary, and that without such a condition the glebe should be taken away from the Church. You cannot, I submit, upset a clear title by a mere dispute or doubt about what happened centuries ago. The hon. Member for Appleby, I think, said yesterday that if there was a doubt or dispute the Church ought to have the benefit of it, and on such a principle it is absolutely essential that such a proposal as this should not be passed; that the question of the Church's title should be fairly considered, and that above all this title to the glebes should not be done away with by a Clause in an Act of Parliament such as this. After all, glebes were given to the Church for the purposes of the Church, and they are still being used for those very purposes. Hon. Members opposite talk about the breach of continuity of trust on the part of the Church. I cannot myself conceive a greater disregard of the donors' intentions than the conversion of religious Endowments to secular purposes. The donors in the case of these glebes undoubtedly gave them for religious purposes; the Bill is undoubtedly confiscating them to secular purposes; and such a proposal is entirely contrary to the donors' 1812 intentions, and is as near a breach of trust as anything of the kind could well be. Then we come back to the Under-Secretary and his doctrine of frankadmoign. Glebes were given by landowners to the Church in trust for the care of the souls of themselves and their heirs, and you are not carrying out the purpose of that trust if you hand the property to county councils, as if they would say prayers for those pious donors.
But what I also want to point to, is a somewhat different aspect of the question. If these glebes are trusts for the care of the souls of the donors and of their heirs, it cannot be said that such trusts were trusts for the community. Whatever else it was such a trust was not a trust for the community. It was a trust to say prayers for the donor himself and his heirs, but it certainly was not a trust in any sense for the community at large. Therefore the contention is entirely set aside that you have any right to take this trust, which was given by the pious donor for prayers to be said for himself and his heirs, and turn it to another object which has nothing whatever to do with his intentions or with a gift to the community, because the gift was not a gift to the community in trust for the community. In this matter it is worth while to call the attention of the Committee to a statement by a legal authority of much eminence— I am speaking of Coke, who, in his notes upon Littleton's "Tenure," expressly refers to the desuetude of the obligation or trust to say prayers for the dead after the Reformation, and states that "the substitution of the present legal services of the Church, that is, the Prayer Book, is a complete compliance with the obligation." This is a construction which might be said to give effect to the cy-près doctrine, and Coke's opinion on such a point as this is one which deserves much consideration and respect. When he urges in this explicit fashion that he considers the obligation of saying prayers for the dead, after the Reformation took place, was sufficiently carried out—to use his own words, "is a complete compliance with the obligation" —was completely carried out by the use of the legal services of the present day; that is to say, the Prayer Book, I think that goes a very long way to prove that the glebe ought to remain in the possession of the clergy.
The inconsistency of the theories that are advanced by the Government require further notice. I deny that the trust 1813 given by the donors was for the community. But let us for a moment admit it, for the sake of argument. The Church, it is said, is to lose her property, because, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer more particularly alleges, there was no continuity at the Reformation. It is true that is not the opinion of the Prime Minister, but I believe it is the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the same time urges that the community is to keep the property, although it was transformed at the Reformation from a Roman Catholic community to a Protestant body. So that the two theories are entirely inconsistent. He wants to take away property from the Church on the ground that there is no continuity, and he wants to give it to the community which has changed just as much as the Church. As I am on the subject of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I should like to refer, on this general question of Endowment, to his observations last Friday. He referred to two parishes, which he named, and he said all the property was given to the Church perhaps, but not to the present Church. He took two parishes which ho says he knows thoroughly, and gave us particulars about them; but the remarkable thing about it is that there is no ancient glebe whatever in either parish; and, if he is arguing that this glebe ought to be taken away from the Church because it was anterior to 1662, I can only call his attention to the fact that in both those parishes there is nothing of the sort whatever. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would like to have the precise particulars of these parishes. In the parish of Dolwyddelan, there are eighty-four acres of glebe purchased by Queen Anne's Bounty in the year 1763 and in the year 1785, so that, there if; no ancient glebe whatever in that case. It may be worth while to add also that there is no tithe of any sort in that parish, so that the parish is not a particularly happy one for him to take as an illustration.
If I take the other parish, Beddgelert, I find there are 105 acres of glebe purchased in 1764 and in 1814 by Queen Anne's Bounty, so that there is no question of continuity of the Church in either of those parishes to which the right hon. Gentleman referred; and it does seem to me bard enough that we should have to fight our position in regard to confiscating the property of the Church on general grounds, but when a Member of the 1814 Government like the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes forward and quotes parishes which in no sense carry out his contention, and, indeed, are illustrations which might be considered to carry out precisely the contrary sense—and, further, I observe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that these are typical cases —then I think the Government case cannot have very strong grounds in its support. This whole theory of the rights of the community is subversive of public and private property. Reference has already been made in these Debates, I believe, to the property of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which would be confiscated by the Government on precisely the same principle as that on which they are attacking the property of the Church, if the theory of this Bill is to be carried out to its logical conclusion. No property is safe if this theory of confiscation is permitted to stand. If we really believe in the necessity of religious influence throughout the community, I should have thought that it would be wiser and better that all denominations should be allowed to enjoy their property to the full, that they should be able to apply the money which they possess to the extension of religious influence throughout the community, and that no single denomination or set of denominations should set upon another in a manner which is not conducive to Christian amity or helpfulness. If I may support that argument by words far more eloquent than any I could profess to be able to use I would quote to the Committee the opinion of an eminent Nonconformist preacher, respected alike in his own denomination and throughout the kingdom, I am referring to Dr. Campbell Morgan who, with regard to the operation of this Bill, says:—In these clays, when the forces of the devil and materialism are threatening the religions life of the country, I feel that nothing ought to he done to perpetuate strife among the forces of spirituality. Without discussing the question whether the Endowments of the Church were all righteously gotten, I am convinced that the Free Churchmen would greatly and to the power of their spiritual testimony if they left, the whole of these Endowments to the Episcopal Church.I commend those words to the Committee, and I cannot but trust that they will be digested and carefully considered and given effect to, if possible, before we come to a decision this evening.
§ Mr. HEWINS
An hon. Member who spoke on the other side expressed the hope that we should not indulge in recrimination. I can assure you that I have not the least intention of in any way departing 1815 from that exhortation, but I do wish to examine somewhat carefully the arguments put before the Committee by the Under-Secretary earlier in the day. I should like to say I was very much surprised at the line of argument he pursued. I do not. want to use any hard words at all, but, looking back at the great events which have taken place in past times, I confess, with no intention of being discourteous, that I was impressed with a certain sense of the irresponsibility which the Under-Secretary displayed. The contention he put forward, if I remember rightly, and I took a note at the time, was that, at any rate, large parts of glebe land were left on a trust, and that that trust had not been fulfilled, and hence this Bill. As a matter of fact, the conclusion I anticipated from the arguments of the Under-Secretary was that in strict justice those Endowments should be handed over to the Roman Catholic Church. There is no difficulty in fulfilling the trust from the point of view of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church is perfectly continuous in Wales and in England. I do not pretend to know about her creed or organisation, but I cannot help thinking that the Roman Catholic Church would have no difficulty in providing the necessary organisation to fulfil the trust, and that, seemed to be the logical conclusion of the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument. Why did he not come to that conclusion? Because, obviously, you cannot found the argument for the secularisation of this particular class of Endowment, you may have a number of other arguments for other objects, but that of secularisation certainly cannot be deduced from the argument which the hon. Gentleman used. When, as a matter of fact, the organisation is there, and is far the largest in Christendom, you cannot say the trusts have failed from that point of view. Therefore, I think the hon. Member must face the logic of his own position, and if he tries to get out of that logical conclusion of his argument I shall entangle him in another consideration to which I will refer.
We have heard a great deal about the continuity of the Church. That really has been the key of many of the discussions we have had in this House during Church Debate. Many of us have devoted a great deal of time to the study of these questions. I cannot myself imagine any more important subject, especially at the pre- 1816 sent time, than the relations between the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, the great Nonconformist body and the great secular world outside. The subject is so important, and the Debates upon it are so necessarily significant, that in this House, which is very ill-fitted to discuss some of the problems concerned, the discussions are necessarily somewhat vague, and we cannot talk openly and freely about those stupendous problems around which gather so many memories and associations, and which concerns the highest act of man. You cannot in this House, when you are fighting a Bill, go into all the considerations which are, in fact, really relevant. We have heard a great deal made of this argument of continuity, and I should like to ask the Under-Secretary whether he really thinks it was relevant to this particular Bill. I am not going to discuss, imitating the hon. Member for Swansea Borough, great topics like the validity of Anglican Orders I will not go into them. But let us see whether this argument of continuity is really relevant.
What happened at the Reformation? I suppose the essential new departure in the sixteenth century was not what the Under-Secretary incorporated in his arguments, the question of masses for the dead. That was not the case. The essential thing was the substitution by Henry VIII. of the Royal for the Papal supremacy. That is established, and in saying that I am not relying upon my own unenlightened authority, but I am quoting the authority of, I suppose, quite the greatest student we have had for many generations in England of the Tudor period, a man who knew more about it than anybody else, the late Dr. James Gairdner, a very loyal son of the Church of England. He maintained, with his unique knowledge of documents of the period, that from his point of view the essential thing was the substitution of the Royal for the Papal supermacy. That was accompanied by various other things. What happened? The people heard vague rumours of what was going on in London, and news came down to them, I daresay in Wales, about the execution of the Carthusians, Fisher and Moore, and so on. But they were not really conscious of any great change. Almost before the great mass of the people in the Church knew about these things, certainly before they realised their significance, other changes took place. Edward VI. came to the throne, and Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, and the same process was 1817 repeated. It was simply a question of administering a particular oath to the bishops and incumbents. It was not in any degree the picture that we have had drawn so many times in the course of these Debates of the handing over of sets of Endowments from one body to another. Nothing of that kind ever took place. You must keep that in mind when you consider the question of the continuity of the Church and its bearing on these Clauses. These great theological questions have nothing whatever to do with the points at issue.
In justification of that, I will take the hon. and learned Member's speech and show how he has provided for the destruction of his own argument by other parts of the argument that he used. He told us that a portion of the glebe land was given in frankalmoign, and that the other portion was private land. I think he would be a very bold man who would undertake to dogmatise upon that organisation and its relation with the manorial organisation. People have dogmatised in the past and the next generation has almost invariably proved them wrong. When I first went up to Oxford, some twenty-eight years ago, there was a theory on these matters commonly accepted by everybody, which is entirely out of fashion at the present time. He would be a very bold man indeed who would undertake to say what was the precise signification of these questions in relation to Church Endowments. What we do know is that a natural, inevitable outcome was a certain theory of Royal patronage, and a certain theory of the relation between the Crown and the temporalities of the Church. I would like very much to get some common ground of argument which would be accepted by both sides in this discussion. We all know what a tight hold the Royal power kept on the temporalities of the Church generally. It is in virtue of that relation, and its continuance and extension in certain directions, that the various oaths and tests were employed in the sixteenth and subsequent centuries. What does that come to? Let me put it from the point of view of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman appears to be dealing with the general question. I have been waiting for him to connect his remarks with the subject before the Committee. I invite him to come to the Amendment under discussion.
§ Mr. HEWINS
The theory of Royal patronage in these matters is of the essence of the question. That is why I was dealing with it. It is this theory which bears upon the position of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. They take the view that this is public national property. They can only take that view on the theory which grew out of those to which I have, briefly alluded, that there was some kind of allocation of national property under the Royal power for these religious purposes. But you cannot in any way, at the time of which we are speaking, talk of the nation or of the community in the sense in which we do at the present time. That conception was entirely absent. It is wholly a modern creation. If you went back even as late as the sixteenth century, and still more if you went back to any earlier times, and talked about glebes or any other part of the Endowment being national property in the sense in which the word is used here, they would not understand what you were talking about at all. The theory of the nation or community, as a matter of fact, grew up here, as in other parts of the world, subsequent to that period. If they want to establish the view that this is national property in the sense in which they use the term, the Government have to take the conception of Royal Grants or the allocation of a certain amount of Royal revenue for the services of religion, and establish the connection between that conception and the conception which they hold at the present time. If I had the opportunity of travelling a little beyond the Chairman's ruling, and was permitted to adduce the evidence of some of the tenures under which glebe and other things were held in olden times, I think I could convince the Committee that the very doctrine on which they rely for seizing these Endowments goes against them. There is the Parliamentary title which you have in 1534, 1559, and 1662, and innumerable Acts which confirm and strengthen that original Parliamentary title. The question the Committee has to decide is, in the first place, whether that title, which grew out of an older title, is not sufficient for anybody who holds these Endowments.
If hon. Members opposite pressed the view which I am criticising, what does it come to? If the purposes were no longer being served, or if the glebe was more than sufficient, they might argue, with a fair share of reasonableness, that there was some case for the State to step in and re-allocate the money. But that does not 1819 point to the seizing of glebe for the purposes contained in this Bill. If it points anywhere, it points to concurrent Endowment. But if the other religious bodies do not want concurrent Endowment, the conclusion is that you should not devote the money to secular purposes, but leave it where it is. There is no case for secularising it. We have had no answer to the case put so eloquently the other night by my Noble Friend on the question of the Parliamentary title which the Government propose to upset. I suggest that the Under-Secretary, in the reasons which he has given for confiscating glebe, is treading on exceedingly dangerous ground. Unless he is perfectly satisfied, not only that his historical case and the conclusion he draws therefrom are sound, but also that the contrary theory which I hold is not correct, he is doing rather a dangerous thing in putting that kind of argument in circulation. It has played a very dangerous part in times past in upsetting the foundations of society, and he should not put it forward unless he is prepared to act in accordance with it in a very much larger matter than he is proposing at the present moment. I think I have disposed of, at any rate, one part of the hon. Member's case, and the first part of his case, in which he attempted to differentiate the question of glebe from Queen Anne's Bounty, really falls with it. I am not going over the ground about the selection of the date 1662. I do not think that is at all necessary. The ground he chose to differentiate on, that that enjoyed by the Church to-day is enjoyed by a Church that is a different Church to that to which it was given, has historically nothing to do with the case. It is totally irrelevant on the ground of English and of mediaeval law. It is totally irrelevant on all grounds of Parliamentary title.
If you take the point of the hon. Gentleman as to the national character of former Endowments and the non-national character of the organisation which enjoys those Endowments now, it equally falls to the ground. I cannot conceive, nor do I understand, how hon. Members opposite, many of whom are close and careful historical students, can ever argue that way; can argue as if you had a nation and a national organisation before even the conception of law ! Therefore I support my hon. Friend. I may further say that, supposing we take the last part of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment with regard to 1820 what the Commission of 1832 said, those donations have absolutely nothing whatever to do with it. They do not prove his own point. The Commissioners were careful to say that only some parts were given, which proves that other parts were not given. He has not advanced his case at all by the authorities he has cited. For these reasons I do ask the Committee to fall into line a little more in this matter. I have had occasion in the course of the work and studies I have conducted in times past to examine a great many documents bearing upon these particular institutions, upon glebe, and upon the organisation of the parish. I say, and I say advisedly, and with full conviction that the truth of what I say can be established to the letter, that in the character of the activities, the beneficent activities, carried on in the parishes, in the general organisation, and in the relationship between priest and community where he resides, there is an absolute correspondence between the present day and times gone by. If you examine into the history of any particular parish, and trace it back generation after generation, I venture to say that with the exception of a very few instances, this condition, this binding up of vicar or rector with his own parish, this personal interest that he would have to take in the parish, has been a very beneficent institution. I myself am surprised that at the time when we have an agitation on the other side and an agitation amongst people outside this House, that those holding land should live up to their responsibilities and perform the duty appertaining to that position — I am astonished that hon. Gentlemen opposite should seek to destroy one of the most precious living links with the ancient period when that conception of public and private duty was universally established. When we have had this made a permanent part of our parochial organisation, something familiar and efficient for many generations, upon such trivial grounds— why there are millionaires on that side of the House who could buy up the whole of the Welsh Church—it seems to me a pitiful and contemptible thing to engage in a course of action such as this.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
I am not a millionaire, and I do not respond to the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. I do not intend to follow him into the very interesting but rather discursive questions and propositions that 1821 he has put forward. I cannot follow him into the opinion that there is no donation at all from any King of glebe or Church land which may not be affected by this Bill.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
I understand that as part of the hon. Gentleman's argument he has put forward that none of the glebe land or Church land in Wales which is to be given to the representative body— on terms that they are to pay for it— came from Royal donation?
§ Mr. HEWINS
None came from Royal donation? I never said anything of the kind. I did not go into it.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Then I am sorry I misunderstood the hon. Member. I certainly understood that part of his argument was that the State or community had taken no part at all.
§ Mr. HEWINS
No. I spoke of Royal patronage in the Middle Ages as giving hon. Members on the other side something of a case—if I may say so—by which they might claim.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Then I think the hon. Member for Aston Manor said that there were no donations of glebe land or Church land given in ancient times in Wales for the benefit of the community. More than one hon. Member on the opposite tide, I think, suggested that, and I only rose for the purpose of combating any suggestion of that kind. It so happens that only a day or two ago I came across a most interesting, valuable, and scholarly work, entitled "Landmarks in the History of the Welsh Church," written by the Bishop of St. Asaph. Almost at the commencement of the work, in a quite impartial way, without any regard whatever to pending controversies, the Bishop explains what were the original Endowments of the Church in Wales. One of the first grants—a most interesting and pathetic one—is a grant made to St. Dubricius, who died in 546; that is to say, in the sixth century, before St. Augustine had arrived from Rome to evangelise the then Pagan England. Particulars of this grant are contained in an old book, "Llan Dav." The Committee will pardon me if I read out some of this, as it raises one or two definite points:—Be it known that Pepian, King, son of Erb, gave the maenor of Garth benui up to the black marsh, with 1822 wood, field, and water, and the casting a net of King Constantine, his father-in-law, across the river Wye to God and Dubricius, Archbishop of Llan Dav, and to Junapeins, his cousin, for his soul and for the writing of his name in the Book of Life with all its liberty, without any earthly census and sovereignity, greater or smaller, except to God and St. Dubricius and the servants of the-Church at Llan Dav for ever.And Pepian, in his writing to St. Dubricius, said that it was to be held for everAs a House of Prayer and Penitence an Episcopal habitation for the Bishops of Llan Dav.and what are the elements to be effected juridically with the Grant. First of all Pepian at this time was king of part of what we would now call Glamorganshire, or if not King, perhaps overlord or chieftain, and the people of that part of the country were in that time subject not to the common law, but to the old comradeship which was in many respects very similar to the laws existing among the barbarian nations of the Continent of Europe. You have the chief of the community granting what? Granting a maenor, and the Lord Bishop in a note explains the meaning of maenor, which is not the same word as manor, and as a matter of fact the Lord Bishop's note is in accordance with the latest discoveries of those investigating Welsh antiquity. Minor or manor we find in the old Welsh laws is not a manor or lordship, but an area marked off by boundary stones, and therefore what you have is that this chief handed over to the Church an area for this maenor, and over which he exercised such jurisdiction as a tribal chief could exercise, and this he handed over to the Church. Then followed the parcels which are more adequately described, and we can hardly identify the parcels with any certainty, and then follows the consideration:—For his soul and the writing of his name in the Book of Life.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
If the right hon. Gentleman will pardon me that is hardly the consideration but rather the object of the gift.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
The Noble Lord is quite right, I think, but I think he misunderstood my use of the word. This is one of many deeds I may say, and in their wording they puzzled the Roman lawyers of that time. Many of those deeds already referred to are very much like this deed. I am only trying to analyse this deed. So this is what in modern times we expect to find: it was handed over for his soul and for the writing of his name in the Book of Life—a pathetic echo-from the distant past, to which we listened 1823 with the utmost respect. Now comes something else:—With all its liberty, without any earthly census and sovereignity, smaller or greater, except to God and St. Dubricius and the servants of the Church of Llan Dav forever.The Chieftain loses hold of all that. They were no longer subjected to the jurisdiction of Pepian, but became subjects to the Church, to God, and to St. Dubricius. The Chieftain loses hold of them, and the Church became the sole sovereignty of these ecclesiastical assets, and the Church secured immunity from all the obligations that attached to the soil. That is quite a common form. There is nothing very remarkable about it, but there is a distinct saving of this area of land from all tribal ownership, jurisdiction, or authority, or what you like. And then it goes on that from that time St. Dubricius held the land by a form that at that time was a legally binding form, and which is only a declaration of the method of making the deed in order that it might be "for ever a House of Prayer and penitence and episcopal habitation for the Bishops of Llan Dav." The object of that was that it was to be a House of Prayer and Penitence, not for the clergy only, but for the whole of the inhabitants of the manor, who became tenants and subjects of the Church. That I think is the broader and fairer construction.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
The right hon. Gentleman quoted that it was to become a House of Prayer and Penitence and an episcopal habitation for the bishops, but I did not gather whether he was also quoting the words "for all the inhabitants of the Manor."
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
No; I was construing this document. I do not complain of the hon. and learned Gentleman's interruption. It is, of course, for him to criticise it, and I am inviting criticism as this kind of discussion must arise, but I "hope the hon. and learned Member will not think I am unfair if I put my own construction upon the words.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
I referred to the formal consideration and my point was that when you come to construe these last words showing the object, it is a gift by the King to be devoted to a general 1824 spiritual object, and especially these last words, in order that it might be "for ever a House of Prayer and Penitence and an episcopal habitation to the Bishops of Llan Dav," you have there a double purpose. I cannot go into the general matter, but these Welsh Churches were of a monastic type, Dubricius, of whom we know very little, was followed by a large number of saints, and by putting together all sorts of bits of information we have gathered a certain amount of knowledge about the condition of Wales in those distant times which were called the ages of the saints, and one thing emerges from it—that the Churches which existed were numerous and were, I will not say popular, but expressed the general sentiments of the inhabitants, who were then Roman Catholics, and when the Romans left the island there still remained Christianity, which became fairly well organised during the Roman administration. That is the view we take. What I gather is that this is the constitution of something that became a monastic Church, and if we knew the facts we would find that Dubricius, or somebody acting as his successor, had organised a monastic Church there. There were numerous such Churches all over Wales, and ultimately they became the Mother Churches of the Churches which subsequently became parish churches. That was a long development which took place during many centuries. That is the origin of it. Now the Lord Bishop explains, and seems to me to assume, that he would not disagree with the construction I am placing upon it. The Lord Bishop says:—This maenor, afterwards called Lann Garth (now Llanarth), was the place of residence of some of the Bishops. In Pope Nicholas's Taxatio of 1291, it was valued at 10 marks, and its vicarage (already established) at 40s. In the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535 the vicarage is estimated at £10 3s. 4d. and part of its tithes went to the Cathedral. In 1835 its vicarage was accounted £300 gross per annum. The Patrons were the Chapter.That is an instance which I picked up by accident in this most interesting book, and the cases are not all uniform. Some of them contain instances of quite a different kind. There are charters in which a free tribesman, a nobleman, gives a parcel of land to the Church, but he, unlike King Pepian mentioned, who could give his whole manor, was trammelled by the law of the tribes. The free tribesmen in Wales held land not according to any tenure known to our later system of law, but according to very complicated rules based upon the notion that a certain family group was the owner of the land, 1825 and accordingly the private landowner was not in a position to do what we should call make a good title to any part of his possessions, however large. In the Book of St. Chad there are a number of cases which show how the difficulty was got over to the, interests of the Church, the individual, and the fabric concerned. You find a large number of persons joining and signifying their assent. The family group joined together in alienating property to the Church and converting the ground so alienated into Church land, and the Church in some form or other transfers back the usual right of the land to the donor upon the terms that the donor is to grant certain rents to the head of the Church Established. I have ventured to trespass a little longer than I intended upon the time of the Committee, but I have done so because I thought they were quite relevant points made on the other side. Of course our support of this measure does not depend upon the origin of this at all. I said that in the speech I delivered on the First Reading of this Bill, but, seeing that hon. Members do think that the origin of these things is of importance, I must point out that a very considerable portion of this land must have been covered by grants in the time I have mentioned, which, whatever the legal form meant, they were creating Church institutions which was to be for the benefit of everybody. That was the point I intended to make. This is still Church land. It may be that, owing to the carelessness of the bishops or owners, it has been lost to the Church; but I have not the least, doubt that a good deal of the glebe now attached upon the terms mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for South Bucks to the incumbents of parishes came after Norman times, and does not come quite in the same category as this, although it is still in the category of land defined for the maintenance of an ecclesiastical officer who formed part of a great system, and was intended for his maintenance in discharging duties of a public character.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Certainly, no hon. Member on this side can have the slightest complaint in regard to the tone or substance of the speech which the right hon. Gentleman has just addressed to the Committee. I intend to make some observations upon his speech, but before doing so I wish to make some criticism on the course which the Debate has taken. It certainly would not be true to complain of the right hon. Gentleman's speech that 1826 it was in any sense reckless or, as far as I know, inaccurate. But I think we have grounds of complaint against several of the speakers on the other side on that ground. Take the speech of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil. I will not deal with the substance of it, because it seems to me so irrelevant. He gave the case against a rector of whom I do not wish to say a word, but I know one single fact, and all I will say is that the rest of the hon. Member's observation on this point must be taken with a certain amount of caution. He told us that the vicar had recently sold to the town, or had been compelled to sell to the town, a plot of land for municipal buildings for £4,000, and that the rector had claimed £15,000. That was the kind of point given in the manner of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but what are the facts? He forgot to add that this land was impressed with a trust confining its use to educational purposes, and therefore whatever money was received, whether it wa3 £4,000 or £15,000, was not going, as I understand, into the pocket of the rector, but was to be applied to educational purposes. That is one instance. The hon. Member gave the Committee to understand that there was a number of absentee incumbents in Wales in the eighteenth century, who employed curates to do their duty, and grossly sweated them by only giving them £2, £3, £4, and sometimes £6 a year. It turns out when this statement is examined, that so far from that being true, half the curates did do the duty of incumbents, and over and above the £6 a year they took the whole income attached to the living. I do not want again to do more than mention the astonishing inaccuracy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he stated that the glebe at Dolwyddelan and Beddgelert was entirely ancient glebe. As a matter of fact, it turns out when you consult the authority, the appendix of the Report of the Royal Commission, there is no ancient glebe in either of those parishes, and the whole of the glebe has been bought in comparatively recent times out of Queen Anne's Bounty Fund. Then we come to the Under-Secretary. He made a not very important but a very curious inaccuracy. He told us we had totally misunderstood the meaning of this particular Sub-section dealing with glebe. We had thought it meant to impose a duty upon the Church to re purchase glebe, and he said that was entirely contrary to the intentions of the Government. They had 1827 never intended that for a moment. They had always intended it should be open to the Church to buy the glebe if they liked. When you come to look at the White Paper circulated by the hon. Gentleman himself, it appears to have an entirely different sense. He says, in this White Paper:—The glebe will be transferred in toto by the Commissioners to the Representative Body of the Church, who, however, will have to pay in return a sum equal to the value of such part of the glebe as does not consist of private benefactions.That is a compulsory payment put upon the Church. I am quite ready to believe the hon. Gentleman for a moment was forgetful, but that is characteristic of the whole way in which this subject is constantly dealt with by the other side. Let me come to the substance of the hon. Gentleman's defence for this particular proposal to take glebe, the frankalmoign theory. Perhaps this is the most convenient moment for me to say what I have to say about the right hon. and learned Gentleman's (Sir D. Brynmor Jones) argument. I listened with the greatest possible attention and interest to the ancient Charter which he read to us from the Bishop of St. Asaph's book, but the conclusion I drew was precisely opposite to the conclusion he drew himself. It seems to me impossible for King Pepian or whoever he was to have expressed more clearly in his own language that the gift he was making was a gift to God and St. Dubricius for the benefit of his own soul. It was an offering to the Church, as the representative of Heaven upon earth, and to have held that King Pepian, when doing that, was making a gift which was to the benefit of the community and which might fairly be taken by a county council for a museum would, I think, have made him open his eyes very wide indeed. I venture to say no more wild conception of what was in the mind of King Pepian could have been presented to the Committee. All that kind of reasoning is utterly un-historic. It is attributing to people in the sixth or seventh century, ideas absolutely foreign to their natures and to their surroundings. To suggest that the gift was made for the benefit of the community because indeed there was to be erected a Church which was to be a place of prayer and penitence, which is the whole and sole ground of the hon. Gentleman's contention, is to erect a theory to justify the spoilation of the Church fit only for the logic of "Alice in Wonderland" or one of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas. If I had 1828 not heard it, I should not have been able to imagine anyone would have suggested reasoning of that kind, mere archaeologist's guesses, as it appears to me, widely divergent from the truth, seriously as an argument in the British House of Commons that you should Disendow an ancient Church.
What does the hon. Gentleman's doctrine of frankalmoign come to? He entered into a very elaborate argument on that subject, and quoted what he called a panel of jurists. He says glebe was given to the Church commonly in frankalmoign—I agree—and that frankalmoign involved a trust—these were the very words he used: "That the proceeds thereof should be used in order to say prayers for the soul of the donor." He apparently considered that was the sole and only purpose, and that, if that could not be performed, the trust had failed and the land ought to be taken back from the successors of the donee. Can anything be more widely improper than such a conclusion? I deny altogether there was anything in the least like a trust; I am not talking technically but in our conception of it. The substance of the thing is this: Land was given to the Church and the Church's prayers were given to the donor of that land in gratitude for the gift. No doubt the donor made it a common part of his gift that such prayers should where possible be offered up. [HON. MEMBERS: "What Church?"] That is not the point now. I really think the House of Commons should show more intelligence.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The hon. Gentleman's conception of repartee is somewhat strange. I venture to submit the whole doctrine is entirely misconceived by the Under-Secretary, and I must say I think the Committee has a little reason to complain of the way he dealt with his chief authority. He read a small portion of it, but he did not read the whole. I am not going to read the whole book, but I would desire to read the rest of the passage to which he referred:—At the beginning of the 13th century a large and ever-increasing quantity of land was held by ecclesiastics, regular and secular, in right of their Churches or religious houses by a tenure commonly known as frankalmoign, free alms, libera elemosina. The service implied by this tenure was in the first place spiritual, as opposed to secular service; and, in the second place, it was an indefinite service. Such, at least, was the 1829 doctrine of later days. We may take this latter characteristic first. At all events, in later days, if land was given to a Churchman and there was a stipulation for some definite service, albeit of a spiritual kind, for example a stipulation that the donee should sing a mass once a year or should distributa a certain sum of money among the poor, the tenure thus created was called, not frankalmoign, but tenure by divine service; the tenant might perhaps be compelled to swear fealty to his lord, and the performance of the service might be exacted by distress or by action in the King's Courts. On the other hand, if the tenant held in frankalmoign, that is, if the terms of the gift (as was often the case), said nothing of service or merely stipulated in a general way for the donee's prayers, then no fealty was due and only by ecclesiastical censures could the tenant be compelled to perform those good offices for the donor's soul that he had implied by or expressly undertaken. Perhaps this distinction was admitted during the latter years of the period with which we are now dealing; but we shall hereafter see that in this region of law there was a severe struggle between the Temporal and the Ecclesiastical Courts, and very possibly an attempt on the part of the former to enforce any kind of service that could be called spiritual would have been resented. The question is of no very great importance because stipulations for definite spiritual services were very rare when compared with gifts in frankalmoign."That is the whole paragraph, and I submit that no impartial person would say that if these services had not been performed the gift would not have remained perfectly good in law at that time and for ever after.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
These are the words: "And only by ecclesiastical censures could a tenant be compelled to perform those good offices for the donor's soul which he had implicitly or expressly undertaken."
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I read the whole of the paragraph, and it is plain it meant it was part of the religious duty of the incumbent to say prayers for the soul of the donor, just the same as it was part of his religious duty to hold his other services, and to perform his other spiritual duties. It is exactly the same at the present day. If the hon. Gentleman goes into the University Church at Oxford or Cambridge he will find that the preacher begins with a prayer, in which he refers to the benefactors of the university of his own college, and in my judgment it is a very admirable practice, dating no doubt from ancient time, when it was customary to say prayers for the dead. But to suggest that the whole property of the university is held on the condition of saying that prayer is to reverse the whole common sense of the case. May I just, by way of illustration, take a modern example. I am told, and there are many hon. Gentlemen opposite who will correct mc if I am wrong, that a great many of the Nonconformist chapels of the Calvinistic Methodist Church in Wales are 1830 held upon trusts which require the preaching of what I understand are known as the five points. I am told, and again hon. Gentlemen will contradict me if I am wrong, that as a matter of practice those five points are scarcely ever dealt with. Would it be tolerable on that ground that the chapel should be taken from that Church because those five points are not commonly mentioned or pressed, and it may be not now actually held by the great majority of those who worship in the chapel. I say that such an act would be a robbery, and if it were proposed in that case of Nonconformist Churches I shall bitterly oppose it. I ask for the same justice in the case of my own Church.
Let me pass to another part of the argument in which the hon. Gentleman sought to make a distinction between this kind of benefaction and the benefaction of Queen Anne's Bounty. He said that Queen Anne's Bounty was peculiar in its relation to the income of the clergy. But that is not an accurate way of stating it. Anyone who knows the history of Queen Anne's Bounty, knows that it consists of property which was originally—I do not wish to use controversial terms—exacted by the Pope from the clergy of this country and of Wales. It was a matter of perpetual discussion and contest between the Kings of England and the Pope as to whether that property was rightly exacted, and statute after statute was passed forbidding its exaction. But the force of ecclesiastical trade unionism was sufficiently strong to compel payment to the Pope. Then came King Henry VIII. It is a great delusion to suppose that the anti-papal statutes of King Henry VIII. were anything new. I do not think it possible to name a single statute of Henry VIII. which was not a revival of a statute passed in a previous reign. His anti-papal action was political and not religious. It merely re-asserted, in a more vigorous form, it is true, every contention constantly put forward by English kings and by the English Church. What did he do in this particular case? He not only forbade the payment of first fruits and tenths to the Pope, but, if I may liken him to the present Government, he put the money into his own pocket. That is the true history of the matter. Except in very distant times it was first paid to the Pope, then to the King, and it came back from the Crown when Queen Anne came to the throne to the Church itself.
1831 It seems to me that if it were national property then it is equally national property now; it cannot belong both to the clergy and to the nation. If ever it was national property, it was given back to the Church by the Crown which was enabled to do so by the Statutes of Parliament. I think it was a purely Parliamentary gift in the sense that it was confirmed by Parliament in 1703. It was confirmed after 1662, and that seems to be the only intelligible ground on which the Government proceeded in giving it back to the Church by the so-called concession of yesterday. How does glebe stand? Is is not in exactly the same position, except only that it never passed into the hands of the Crown. Are we to be told that the fact that it passed for a certain time into the hands of the Crown makes any difference in equity between the Endowments of glebe and other property of the Church before the Reformation. I do not agree with the opinion put forward by the hon. Member for Peterborough, who seems to have studied this question from a rather external point of view. He seems to think that the Reformation made a complete and entire change. I should prefer to agree on this matter with Professor Freeman and with the present Prime Minister. Whether it was or was not an essential part of the reform both of Henry VIII. and of Elizabeth, it was, at any rate, confirmed in 1662. It was a part of the same political movement from the time of Henry VIII. It was actually completed in 1662, and its effect was confirmed by Parliament giving to the Church the property in glebe which she at present holds. That was after the vital date which the Government has fixed. There was no distinction whatever between the confirmation by Parliament of Queen Anne's Bounty in 1703 and the confirmation of the other Endowments of the Church in 1662. I believe that this reply deals with the other three grounds on which the Under-Secretary defended this proposal. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil made an attack upon the Church based upon a single incident in Merthyr Tydvil. I do not know, but I rather gather from some passages in his speech that he did not intend to make any general attack on the activity of the Church in Wales at the present day, but if he did I am content to rest the case of the Church, as far as that is concerned, on the testimony of 1832 great men like Mr. Gladstone and the present Prime Minister. I need not quote the well-known passages again. We all remember the eloquent passage in the speech of the present Prime Minister, in which he paid the highest possible testimony to the work of the Church in Wales, and then finished:—But, alas! too late.Yes, Sir, but why too late? Why was it that the Church failed to do her duty in the past century in the way she is doing it now? Is not the reason largely to be sought in the fact that she was struggling, as the hon. Member said yesterday, with a grinding poverty, that she had not enough money to keep her buildings in repair, and that 110 of the livings were, on an average, but £6 a year. I do not say it was the only reason. There were many others, but it was one of the reasons. I say that was a serious matter, and to say that by depriving the Church of funds you are not doing an injury to her, is to fly in the face of common sense and of experience. The Noble Lord the Member for the Newton Division (Viscount Wolmer) referred to a letter from the Bishop of St. Asaph in this morning's "Times." Let me read to the Committee—and it shall be almost my last word—one single paragraph from that letter:—I take my own Diocese of St. Asaph with a population of 313,233. What happens there if the Bill passes as it stands to-day? My successor will have only the bare walls of the Bishop's Palace, every stone of which was built and paid for since 1791 by two of my predecessors, who were men of large private means. The whole of the episcopal income will have been taken away. The cathedral, founded in 580 and restored, indeed well nigh rebuilt, by Churchmen within the last 100 years, will be left without one penny for Dean or Canons or choirHe might have added, "or for maintenance."There are 209 parishes in the diocese, and of these parishes 112 will be left without one single penny of their ancient Endowments. There are 300 clergy in the diocese; of these 100, being unbeneficed clergy, will be turned adrift at once without compensation. Our churchyards, the majority of which have been enlarged by the generosity of churchmen, will, if unclosed, be wrested from us; to many of us they are the most hallowed spots in the land.That is the description of the Disendowment portion of this Bill. That is what your Bill means, and to tell us, whether you intend it or not—for my own part, I cannot doubt that some of you do intend it—that that is not an injury to the Church, is really to trifle with the plain meaning of the English language.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Noble Lord has made a speech which, in the main, would not raise strong feeling upon this side of 1833 the Committee, but in his concluding remarks I think he wandered a little wide of the question, and quoted from a letter of the Bishop of St. Asaph who, in purely fanciful language—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"]—I shall establish what I am saying—describes the effect of this Bill. Anyone who heard the Noble Lord read that passage could not fail to believe that all the Endowments of the Church of England would cease to be paid from the passing of this Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] That would be the impression left on anybody's mind. It is necessary, as this passage has been read, with the leave of the Chair and of the Committee, to remind the Committee once again what the position of the Church will be when this Bill is passed and if this Amendment is not accepted. The Endowments of the Church are £260,000 a year. Those Endowments are now subject to the life interests, so that if we must count life interests now, we must also count life interests as they will be after the Church is Disestablished. There is left to the Church for all time after Disestablishment, as the Bill now stands, £102,000 a year out of the £260,000. That does not look like total impoverishment.
§ Mr. McKENNA
That does not look like total impoverishment. There will remain also to the Church the life interests in the remaining £158,000 a year, which are not worth less than £57,000 a year. If you reckon the £260,000 as the total revenue of the Church, which includes life interests, you must equally reckon life interests after Disestablishment. The value of these life interests, added to the £102,000 a year, comes to £159,000 a year out of the £260,000. Power has been given in the Bill, and I understand the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are willing to exercise their power—power has been gvien to them and to the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty further to pay to the Church a sum amounting to £31,000 a year. Add those figures together, and you get a total of £190,000 a year out of the £260,000 a year. I ask any fair-minded man—[An HON. MEMBER: "You are not fair-minded"]—Whether I am fair-minded in this controversy does not matter, I am asking any fair-minded man whether the description of the Church after Disestablishment-given by the Bishop of St. Asaph in the smallest degree represents the truth?
§ Mr. POLLOCK
Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to put a question? Is the £31,000 which is to be given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty included in the £260,000 at present given to the Church?
§ Mr. McKENNA
They do not receive an annual sum of that kind from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. So far as income is concerned it would be an additional income. Let me in fairness to the hon. Member explain that they would year by year receive an additional capital amount, but they could not use it as income, consequently the immediate effect of passing the Bill and of Disestablishment will be that they get it as income instead of capital. They are not left in a destitute condition.
§ The CHAIRMAN
We have only a few minutes left now, and I understand the right hon. Gentleman wishes to reply.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The general effect of the inaccuracy of the bishop's statement was that he made no allowance for life interests, and he made no allowance for the £102,000 a year out of the £260,000 which the Church keeps, and the picture which he drew gave the impression that these two facts, which are great facts, did not exist. Now let me draw attention to another aspect of the question. It is constantly being stated that no one has alleged in the course of this Debate that the Church has not used her Endowments properly in Wales. That is true, but it must be understood that that allegation has only been refrained from because we are all aware that in not using her Endowments properly the Church is not her own mistress, and it would be unfair to charge the Church with the improper use of her Endowments in respect of reasons which are not under her control. But with that limitation, that the Church is in no way to blame, I most unhesitatingly assert that the Endowments of the Church of England in Wales are not well 1835 administered. I will support again what I have to say with facts and figures. [Interruption.] This rudeness is quite uncalled-for. After all, hon. Members opposite are defending what they regard as a great religious interest. That cannot be supported by personal rudeness. I have taken the figures from the county which I represent. I have not selected that county because the figures tell one way or the other. I do not know how they tell in other counties. I have selected the figures of the particular county of Monmouth because it is the county that I know best, and I was able, consequently, more rapidly to pick out the names of certain parishes. This is how the Endowments stand in the county of Monmouth. The total of the ancient Endowments which would be alienated from the Church under the Bill amount to £21,430, and of that amount £3,169 is the value of ancient glebe which will be alienated. In this county sixteen parishes, with a population of 6,428 souls, and 848 communicants, absorb no less than £5,437 of the ancient Endowments—that is to say, upwards of a fourth of the whole of the Endowments of Monmouthshire, and £1,135 of the glebe, or upwards of a third.
I really want hon. Members opposite to understand how this question affects the minds of Welshmen in Wales. It is what I know and what I see, but what they have never appreciated. Monmouthshire is a religious county. All the children in Monmouthshire, you might say without exception, go to Sunday School, and most of the people go to chapel or church. It is not a bit like England. The people are not indifferent. They are in the main religious. They see 848 communicants absorbing glebe to the value of £1,135 a year, and total Endowments to the value of £5,437. I could increase the number of parishes and show the wrong division of the Endowments in the county. In these sixteen parishes the amount per head of the Endowments is no less than £6 8s. 3d. The amount over the whole county is 18s. 5d. The amount of the glebe in these sixteen favoured parishes is £1 6s. 9d. per communicant. The amount through the whole county is 2s. 9d. That is to say, in these sixteen favoured rural parishes the communicants have ten times the amount of Endowments per head that you get through the whole county. That does not represent the whole case. That is not what appeals Sunday by Sunday and day by 1836 day to the minds of the farmers and labourers in these rural parishes. In most, if not in all of them, you will find a Nonconformist chapel, and sometimes two or three. You will see these Nonconformist chapels paid for and supported by the adherents of the particular persuasion. It is idle to talk about the grinding poverty of the Church. To these Nonconformists it is a rich Church. They have no Endowments of £200 per church. Nothing of the sort. They see a church of fifty-three communicants monopolising Endowments which they regard as national, and then hon. Members talk about the grinding poverty of the Church. Who are the communicants of the Church of England in these rural parishes? They will be found in nearly every case to consist of the landlord——
§ Mr. McKENNA
I say it without prejudice. I have no desire to create any prejudice. I am only dealing with the question of the alleged grinding poverty of the Church in Wales. I have taken sixteen parishes in my own county with an average of fifty-three communicants each, and I say I know from my own experience, and anyone who knows Wales knows it to be true, that the communicants belonging to the Church of England are on the average richer than the communicants belonging to the neighbouring Nonconformist chapels. In these rural parishes the Nonconformists who go to their chapel—[Interruption.] They will not listen. They make appeals to hon. Members on our side who are Liberal Churchmen and broadminded Nonconformists and they ask them to support their Amendment because they allege they can make out a case. When it is sought to answer them, even if they do not agree they might at least listen, and if they do not listen themselves, they might at least allow me to get a fair hearing. In Wales the Nonconformists in these parishes which absorb so large a portion of the ancient Endowments, see week by week that this money is used to maintain the Church of the few and of the rich, whilst they are supporting, out of their gifts and by their own endeavours, the Churches which in the truest sense of the word are really the National Churches in Wales. It is said that this property of glebes was given to the Church of England, and must be treated in the same manner as private benefactions. No, Sir, we have respected private benefactions, although they were given to the Established Church, and if the argument of the 1837 hon. and learned Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) was worth anything, it would apply as much to private benefactions. We have respected private benefactions because we have recognised that they were given to the Church of the minority in Wales, which is no more than a private sect.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I mean that in Wales the Church of England is no more entitled to be considered the National Church than the Baptists, the Congregationalists, the Methodists, or any other denomination. The Noble Lord does not understand opinion in Wales. He is accustomed to England, where there is a Church party, and a vast mass of indifferent people, who care nothing about High Church or Low Church, one way or the other. In Wales it is not so. In Wales the Churches are alive and active. There is hardly a child in Wales who is not brought up to go to Sunday school. That is quite different to what is known in England. The people of Wales say that the claim of the Church of England to be regarded as national is an arrogant and wrong claim which ought not to be allowed, and they object to a Church which they know is far and away the richest Church in Wales absorbing Endowments which were given not to a Church of that kind—I do not mean in doctrine—and not given to a Church representing only a fraction of the people, but given at a time when the gifts which were received were gifts in truth to the Church of the whole nation.
An attempt has been made to divide us on this side of the House on the subject of the Amendment which was accepted yesterday dealing with Queen Anne's Bounty. The Noble Lord the Member for the Hitchin Division (Lord Robert Cecil) two days ago started to make a speech in this House on the subject of Queen Anne's Bounty. It was on an earlier Clause, and he began his speech with an effort to distinguish the case of Queen Anne's Bounty from the other Endowments. At that time I had not stated to the Committee that it was the intention of the Government to accept the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend. What does the Noble Lord do to-night? Having two days ago started to differentiate the case of Queen Anne's Bounty, now that a concession has been made he says there is no difference to be drawn in the Endow- 1838 ments. I can assure my hon. Friends—and I am quite certain that the hon. and learned Member for South Bucks will not contradict me—that if they were to vote in favour of this Amendment to leave glebes to the Church, the hon. and learned Member would say there is no possibility on any ground, argument, or reason, by which they could not leave tithe to the Church. I think I am right in that.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The case of tithe would be quite as strong a fortiori—[An HON. MEMBER: "Quite as poor."] We have taken the view that no one can have listened to these Debates day after day, as I have done, without realising that there is an irreconcilable difference of opinion between the two sides of the House, both on questions of principle and questions of fact, and on the inferences to be drawn from them. I would beg hon. Members opposite who attach some importance to the views which we who know something of the people of Wales, express. We look upon these ancient Endowments as having been given to the Church at a time when the Church was the nation, when the two were indivisible, and when a gift to one was a gift to the other. Now that the Church of England in Wales no longer represents the people, now that it is a fact that religious life in Wales is mainly carried on by the Nonconformist bodies, and now that it is a fact that the richest denomination in Wales is the Church of England, we are entitled to ask that these ancient Endowments given to an organisation which at the time represented the whole of the people, should once more be devoted to the purposes of the whole of the people. The Noble Lord the Member for Newton (Viscount Wolmer), with perfect sincerity, charged us with robbing the Church of funds devoted to the service of God. He really is not expressing either our desires or our actions. He would be the last to dispute that the Church, whose history he knows, always regarded as part of the religious purposes of the Church the care of the sick and the education of the poor. I do not think that can be disputed. Do not let us prejudice this case with talk about museums and wash-houses and other foolish things, if I may say so. [An HON. MEMBER: "Museums are in the Bill.] We will deal with museums when we get to the Clause on that subject. We will hear 1839 all the criticisms hon. Members have to make about museums and wash-houses when we get to Clause 18. The utmost that could possibly be advanced to the museums is £3,000 out of a total of £370,000, and yet that fact has been seized upon as a reason for vilifying the whole purposes of this money, which will truly be devoted to the religious welfare of the people, not in the Noble Lord's sense, I admit, but in the sense in which the Church always understood its duty. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
Really, I would appeal to hon. Members to allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed. The interruptions of hon. Members necessarily retard debate.
§ Mr. McKENNA
When we get to Clause 18 we shall be only too willing to hear all parties upon the purposes to which the money is to be devoted. We have only to say now whether these ancient Endowments were really intended for the benefit of the whole people or the benefit of a sect which is the richest sect in Wales, and upon that issue I think there can be only one decision.
§ Mr. ALFRED LYTTELTON
Last Friday Liberal Churchmen in this House voted for the retention by the Church in Wales of £47,000 of the income which is being taken away from it. I hope they like the speech which they have just heard, giving them what I suppose we must call reasons for going back on the vote which they then gave, and for going back on the speeches in which with great force they urged upon the Government the course which they suggested. The right hon. Gentleman began his resistance to the present proposal, which is of a much more modest character, with a statement about the Bishop of St. Asaph, which I venture to say must have been heard by every Member of this House with the profoundest resentment. The right hon. Gentleman ventured to say that the Bishop of St. Asaph had suppressed the truth with regard to life interests in the letter which he wrote in this morning's "Times." The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head.
§ Mr. LYTTELTON
I am in the memory of the House. I distinctly say that he impugned the veracity of the Bishop of 1840 St. Asaph in this particular matter. Let me read the passage. He begins:—What happens, then, if the Bill passes as it stands-to-day? My successor will have only the bare walls of the Bishop's Palace, every stone of which was built and paid for since 1791 by two of my predecessors, who were men of large private means.
§ Mr. LYTTELTON
Yes—The whole of the episcopal income will have been> taken away.I am addressing Gentlemen of the House of Commons, not attorney's clerks. Who will dare to say, after the extracts which I have read, that the Bishop of St. Asaph can be accused of ignoring life interests, when he begins the very passage which I have read, and which I have continued to-read at the request of the Home Secretary, not with "I shall be deprived,", but "my successor will be deprived." It cannot escape even the meanest intelligence that when a man says my successor will lose this or that, he is not dealing with his own, life interest, but with future life interest. Then we have had the oft repeated story about life interest, and about allegations made that you are entitled to take the present value of life interest and reckon it among that which is left to the Church. Everybody knows that it has never been suggested by any human being in such a case as this, that you could turn men who are living a life of devotion in Wales into the street, divested of every penny they have. Who has ever contended, who has dared, even amongst the most prejudiced, to suggest such a thing? The necessity therefore is, and the necessity of plain obligation and the plainest fair dealing, to leave these men during their lives in possession of their incomes, and who has ever said that you are entitled to reckon that in again and capitalise it? But that is part of the right hon. Gentleman's method, and it does not even stop there. He reckons the £30,000 which has been given in the past, but he does not reckon that in the £260,000. He was going to add the £30,000 in the future which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had liberty to give, but of course he must take the other side of the account, and add the £30,000 to the £260,000. I am really ashamed to notice these arguments again, but they must be dealt with, because in the last moment of these Debates the right hon. Gentleman condescends to use them. Then we have the right hon. Gentleman going back upon that which is admitted by every honest controversialist in this House, that the Church of Wales is a poor 1841 Church. Nobody in these Debates, except, I believe, the right hon. Gentleman, has ever ventured to deny that. Let me quote again from this letter, written by an authority who I have never found wrong on a question of fact—the Bishop of St. Asaph. He says:—The concession promised yesterday by the Home Secretary will give this diocese £1,210, which, divided among the clergy, would be £4 each.There is the concession which is supposed to have bought, though I cannot believe that it has—those Liberal Churchmen who only last Friday said that glebe, among other subjects, should be taken out of the Bill and restored to the Church. We are asked, again, by the Home Secretary, to go back into history, but I cannot do it at this stage. He has again asked us to treat glebes as gifts to the community. The Chancellor of the Exchequer tried his hand at this argument the other day, and by way of giving to the House specimens of his own local knowledge as germane to this question, he cited the case of two Welsh parishes with which he was intimately acquainted. What did he do it for? He did it for the purpose of showing that they had a largo amount of glebe, and that that glebe was ancient, and that, being ancient glebe, it should be devoted to the purposes of the community—that is to say, it justifies wresting property from its present owners. What are the facts? If he had looked at the Report of the Royal Commission appointed by his own Government, he would have seen that the parish of Beddgelert has 105 acres, not a single acre of which in the whole parish is ancient glebe. He would have found, if he looked again at the Report of the Royal Commission, that in the other parish he mentioned, Dolwyddelan, they had eighty-four acres of glebe in that parish, and not one single acre of it ancient. That is a specimen by the man who, after all, comes hero with the highest official rank, speaking with
§ the closest attention, and warranting that be is speaking of that which is within his own local knowledge of that which is material and germane to the proposition which his Government is supporting, and we find, so far from it borne out by the official figures of the Commission appointed by his own Government, not one single acre of ancient glebe is to be found in either parish. Is that a style of controversy in this great and important subject which Liberal Churchmen are proud of. They made speeches last Friday most earnestly exhorting not merely the Government but those on their own side to support them in the view they took. Are they to be driven back from the position they took up by arguments such as we have heard this evening, and from the Chancellor of the Exchequer; when those arguments are found to be absolutely unfounded. The Home Secretary himself, and this is a proof of what a wretched case he must have, has gone back upon the old device of scandalously abusing one of the most eminent of his antagonists by imputing to him want of truth and want of candour, and so endeavouring at this stage of this evening to deflect the people who are against him and ought to-be against him, and who had the courage last Friday to express it. I most earnestly trust those Gentlemen, who showed rare courage on that occasion—for I admit it is courageous to vote against your own party—will show the same courage now. I cannot imagine anything that is more likely to bring up that courage to men of chivalry and men of sense than the speech of the Home Secretary.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'such' ['such value to be determined'] stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 277; Noes, 222.1845
|Division No. 469.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Barton, W.||Byles, Sir William Pollard|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Beale, Sir William Phipson||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)|
|Adamson, William||Bentham, George Jackson||Chancellor, Henry G.|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Chapple, Dr. William Allen|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Boland, John Plus||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Booth, Frederick Handel||Clynes, John R.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bowerman, C. W.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Brace, William||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Brady, P. J.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Cotton, William Francis|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Bryce, J. Annan||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Crooks, William|
|Barnes, G. N.||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Crumley, Patrick|
|Cullinan, John||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Joyce, Michael||Radford, G. H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Keating, Matthew||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Kilbride, Denis||Reddy, Michael|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||King, Joseph||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lambert, Richard (Cricklade)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Doris, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Richards, Thomas|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Leach, Charles||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lundon, T.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Lynch, A. A.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Robinson, Sidney|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Maclean, Donald||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Falconer, James||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macpherson, James Ian||Rowlands, James|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Curdy, C. A.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Field, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Manfield, Harry||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Gill, A. H.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Glanville, H. J.||Martin, Joseph||Sheehy, David|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Shortt, Edward|
|Goldstone, Frank||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meagher, Michael||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Millar, James Duncan||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Molloy, M.||Snowden, Philip|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius, Galway)||Mooney, John J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hackett, J||Worrell, Philip||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Morison, Hector||Sutton, John E.|
|Hancock, J. G.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Muldoon, John||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro, R.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Hardle, J. Keir||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, James Henry|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nellson, Francis||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Nolan, Joseph||Thorne, W. (West Ham)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Norman, Sir Henry||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hayward, Evan||Nuttall, Harry||Wadsworth, J.|
|Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wardle, George J.|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Doherty, Philip||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Dowd, John||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Grady, James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Henry, Sir Charles||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Webb, H.|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Malley. William||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Hinds, John||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Hodge, John||O'Shee, James John||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wiles, Thomas|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Outhwaite, R. L.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Parker, James (Halifax)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Hudson, Walter||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Hughes, S. L.||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Winfrey, Richard|
|John, Edward Thomas||Phillips. John (Longford, S.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pointer, Joseph||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Baird, John Lawrence||Baldwin, Stanley|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Banbury, Sir Frederick George|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Balcarres, Lord||Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barnston, Harry||Grant, J. A.||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Greene, W. R.||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc, E.)||Gretton, John||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Haddock, George Bahr||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Rawlinson, Sir John Frederick Peel|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Bird, Alfred||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Blair, Reginald||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Harris, Henry Percy||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Boyton, James||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Royds, Edmund|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Helmsley, Viscount||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool, Derby)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Butcher, John George||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Stanier, Beville|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Horner, Andrew Long||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Cassel, Felix||Houston, Robert Paterson||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cator, John||Hunt, Rowland||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Cave, George||Ingleby, Holcombe||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jackson, Sir John||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cecil, Lord R (Herts, Hitchin)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Swift, Rigby|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Werc'r.)||Keswick, Henry||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kimber, Sir Henry||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Courthape, George Loyd||Larmor, Sir J.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Valentia, Viscount|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Croft, Henry Page||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col A. R.||Welgall, Captain A. G.|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Mackinder, H. J.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Macmaster, Donald||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Fell, Arthur||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Winterton, Earl|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Malcolm, Ian||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mildmay. Francis Bingham||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Fleming, Valentine||Mount, William Arthur||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Forster, Henry William||Newdegate, F. A.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Younger, Sir George|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Nield, Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen and Mr. Ormsby- Gore.|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Goldsmith, Frank||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
§ It being after half-past Ten of the clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 28th November, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Business to be concluded at half- 1846 past Ten of the clock at this day's sitting.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 284; Noes, 221.1851
|Division No. 470.]||AYES.||[10.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Molloy, M.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Griffith, Ellis J.||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Adamson, William||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Gwynn, Stephen Luclus (Galway)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Hackett, J.||Morrell, Philip|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Morison, Hector|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hancock, John George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Arnold, Sydney||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Muldoon, John|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro, R.|
|Atherley-Jones Llewellyn A.||Hardie, J. Keir||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Nannettl, Joseph P.|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Neilson, Francis|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Barnes, George N.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Norton, Captain Cecil|
|Barton, W.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nuttall, Harry|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hayward, Evan||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Boland, John Plus||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Dowd, John|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Grady, James|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Brace, William||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Brady, P. J.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Malley, William|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Higham, John Sharp||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hinds, John||O'Shee, James John|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hodge, John||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Carr-Gomm H. W.||Hogge, James Myles||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Howard, Hon, Geoffrey||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hudson, Walter||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Clynes, John R.||Hughes, S. L.||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||John, Edward Thomas||Pointer, Joseph|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)||Radford, G. H.|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Cullinan, J.||Joyce, Michael||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Keating, Matthew||Reddy, M.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Kilbride, Denis||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||King, J.||Richards, Thomas|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Doris, W.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal West)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness)||Leach, Charles||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lundon, Thomas||Robinson, Sidney|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lynch, A. A.||Roch, Walter F.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Roe. Sir Thomas|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Maclean, Donald||Rowlands, James|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Falconer, J.||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Macpherson, James Ian||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Ffrench, Peter||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Field, William||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Manfield, Harry||Sheehy, David|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Shortt, Edward|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Gill, A. H.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Martin, Joseph||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Smyth, Thomas F.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Snowden, Philip|
|Goldstone, Frank||Meagher, Michael||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Sutton, John E.||Wardle, George J.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Tennant, Harold John||Webb, H.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Thomas, J. H.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnen (Glas.)|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Young, W. (Perth, E.)|
|Thorne, William (West Ham)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Toulmin, Sir George||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Ure, Rt. Hon. Sir George||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fell, Arthur||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Baird, J. L.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mackinder, Halford, J.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Macmaster, Donald|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fleming, Valentine||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fletcher, John Samuel||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Malcolm, Ian|
|Baring,. Maj Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gibbs, G. A.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Barnston, Harry||Gilmour, Captain John||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldsmith, Frank||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Grant, J. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Greene, W. R.||Nicholson, William G. (Peterseld)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gretton, John||Nield, Herbert|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Norton-Griffiths, John|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Haddock, George Bahr||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bird, A.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Blair, Reginald||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Boyton, James||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hamilton, Marquess, of (Londonderry)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Harris, Henry Percy||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Helmsley, Viscount||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Burn, Colonel, C. R.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Butcher, J. G.||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Rawson, Lt.-Col R. H.|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Royds, Edmund|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hape, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Cator, John||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Horner, Andrew Long||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cave, George||Houston, Robert Paterson||Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Norwood)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hunt, Rowland||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Jackson, Sir John||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Stanier, Beville|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Joynson-Hicks, William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Keswick, Henry||Starkey, John R.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Kimber, Sir Henry||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Larmor, Sir J.||Swift, Rigby|
|Croft, H. P.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Lee, Arthur H.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lewisham, Viscount||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Lloyd, G. A.||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Tuillbardine, Marquess of|
|Valentia, Viscount||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Walker, Col. William Hall||Wills, Sir Gilbert||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Watford)||Winterton, Earl||Younger, Sir George|
|Welgall, Capt. A. G.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Wheler, Granville C. H.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Remnant and Sir H. Craik.|
|White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again"—[Mr. McKenna]—put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday, 30th December.
§ The Orders for the remaining Government business were read and postponed.
§ Whereupon, Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of 14th October, proposed the Question, "That this House do now adjourn."