HC Deb 06 May 1912 vol 38 c32

asked the Prime Minister whether it is proposed by the Established Church (Wales) Bill to prevent the clergy of the Church in Wales being represented in the Convocation of Canterbury and the laity of the four Welsh dioceses in the House of Laymen; what precedents there are for interfering with the composition of Convocation; and whether, in the interests of religious equality, he will insert a provision in the Bill to prevent the Wesleyan Churches in Wales from being members of the British Wesleyan Conference?


The Prime Minister has asked me to reply to this question. After the date of Disestablishment the bishops and clergy of the Church in Wales will cease to be members of or be represented in the Houses of Convocation of the Province of Canterbury. The Bill takes no cognisance of the position of the laity in the House of Laymen, which seems to be an extra-legal body. The Act of Submission of the Clergy (25 Henry VIII., c. 19) is an instance of statutory interference with Convocation, and all the Acts creating new bishoprics affect its composition. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the writ of summons was issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the whole of his province, or whether it was issued merely to those whom he selected, and whether it was issued with the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury or of His Majesty the King?


I believe it was issued on the authority of His Majesty the King.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to say whether the interference with the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury proposed in the Bill can legally be made without assent of the Convocation?


I understand so.

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