§ 26. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the total of signatures against the Established Church (Wales) Bill now reaches 538,985; and whether the Government proposes to proceed with the Commitee stage of the Bill without taking any action on this petition?
§ Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers may I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether a question of this nature is not an abuse of the Orders of the House and of the practice of interrogation, seeing that when a Petition is presented it is then referred to the Committee on Petitions, and that they analyse it? I submit that it is not in order to question a Minister on the subject of a Petition until the Committee has reported. The question is simply put down to expioit a certain subject.
§ Sir J. D. REES
May I ask if the numbers have mounted up since then, and whether a petition signed by a large proportion of the adult population of Wales should not receive consideration before the Committee stage is proceeded with?
§ Mr. McKENNA
If the hon. Member listened to what was stated by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Swift MacNeill), he would appreciate that the numbers are an indeterminate factor until the Committee have reported on the petition.
§ Sir J. D. REES
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman why he refers me to a private Member when the Speaker has heard what that Member has said, and ignored it?
§ 69. Captain TRYON
asked the right hon. Member for Morpeth, as Chairman of the Committee on Public Petitions, if he will state how many petitions have been received from Wales and Monmouthshire, respectively, for and against the Established Church (Wales) Bill since the introduction of that Bill; and what is the number of signatures received, respectively, for and against the Bill in the same period?
§ Mr. BURT
One thousand and forty-eight petitions, containing 511,074 signatures, against the Established Church (Wales) Bill have been presented to the House up till and including 19th July from Wales and Monmouthshire. In the same period one petition, containing one signature in favour of the Bill, has been presented from Scotland; but none from Wales and Monmouthshire.