§ Mr. HEWINS
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the fact that the English Benedictines were dispossessed in the sixteenth century of so-called Church lands, now held by Nonconformists and Nonconformist bodies, and that the said English Benedictines had continued from the earliest times to the present without any breach or interruption, he would take steps to disendow the said Nonconformists and restore the 773 property they held to the representatives of its former owners, and the uses for which it was intended?
§ Mr. McKENNA
No question can arise in regard to property held by the Benedictine monasteries of which they were dispossessed on dissolution in the reign of Henry VIII., since the Pope, whose authority the Benedictines would certainly recognise, and Parliament, acting together, recognised its alienation. This property, if held by Nonconformists, is in exactly the same category as the property of the same character now held by private individuals; and in all probability came into their possession by way of gifts or purchase from such private persons. If lay impropriators generally were to decide to give up this property I have no doubt but that Nonconformists would do the same.