HC Deb 04 February 1913 vol 47 cc2075-134

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the property vested in the Welsh Commissioners by this Act, other than the property transferred to the representative body and burial grounds, shall be applied as follows:—

  1. (a) The property formerly appropriated to the use of parochial benefices and 2076 transferred to a county council shall be applied, in accordance with a scheme made by that council and approved by the Secretary of State, to any charitable eleemosynary or public purpose of local or general utility;
  2. (b) All other property to which this Section relates shall be applied in the first instance towards payment of the expenses of carrying this Act into execution (exclusive of any expenses incurred in the administration of any scheme made by a county council) and, subject thereto, shall be applied by the University of Wales by way of payment either of capital or annual sums, or partly in one such way and partly in the other, for the benefit of the following institutions, that is to say, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, the University College of North Wales, the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, the National Library of Wales, and the National Museum of Wales, so, however, that the ultimate share of each such University College shall be one-fourth, and of each of the other institutions one-eighth, of the total amount so distributable.

(2) In framing schemes under this Section as to the application of property formerly appropriated to the use of parochial benefices, due regard shall be had to the wants and circumstances of the parish in which the property is situate or from which it is or has been derived, and of the parish comprising the ecclesiastical parish to which any such property was attached, and generally to the circumstances of each particular case.

(3) A scheme made under this Section may be amended or revoked by a scheme made and confirmed in like manner as the original scheme.

(4) Every scheme made and confirmed under this Section shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after it is confirmed, and shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.


I beg to move in Sub-section (1), paragraph (a,) after the word "applied," to insert the words,

"to the support and maintenance of some one or more religious denomination in the parish in which the property was formerly appropriated."

This Amendment, which was also moved in Committee, though not in the same words, deals with a point, which to us on this side, is of great importance, namely, the objects to which the residue which is not to be handed back to the representative body is to be devoted. The objects set forth in the Bill are county council schemes, the colleges of the University of Wales, and the National Library. To my mind it is rather peculiar that the Government have dropped one of the objects which was originally in the Bill, namely, the National Museum, which they found unpopular in the country, and have wholly illogically left in the library. We on this side of the House do not think that that is a very great improvement. The objects on which you are going to spend this money—this £150,000 or £200,000 which will eventually come into the secular authorities after all the life-interests have been paid, and you have handed back the money to the representative body—are objects which we regard as excellent in themselves, but wholly subordinate and secondary, and better provided for as a private charity or out of State funds which come up for review on the annual Budget, or out of rates which are under the control of the ratepayers. You are proposing to spend money upon what, after all, are secular objects, administered by the secular authority. They are not devotional or religious objects in the highest and truest sense of the word. The amendment gave rise to one of the most interesting discussions in the whole Committee stage of the Bill. The House was profoundly impressed by the clear line of demarcation drawn by my Noble Friend the Member for Oxford University between the objects upon which you propose to spend the money and the objects upon which it would be spent if our Amendment were carried. We put forward in all seriousness one more plea for concurrent Endowment. I always remember one phrase of the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon a very important occasion, namely, the Third Reading of the Insurance Bill.

On that occasion with a small handful of Unionists I voted against the majority of my party and supported the Third Reading, because he used a sentence which to my mind was very remarkable. He said, "he who looks furthest and looks longest is the best judge in this matter," and I voted as I did because on that occasion it did seem to me looking far ahead you could see something beyond it. On this occasion I want the Government and their supporters to look not to the immediate situation, but to look far ahead, to the future position of Wales, of the country to which the Home Secretary and I belong. Looking to the future in Wales, I believe that instead of having this money devoted to county council schemes and universities it would be of far more value in the life of Wales as a nation, and far more value to the Welsh people that this money should be expended upon wholly religious objects, using the word in its highest sense. I believe I can show the House that there is need of these Endowments to-day among all denominations. I know the Nonconformist say, "We do not like to take this money. We shall be accused of taking this money of the Church for ourselves." I would far rather the Nonconformist ministers took the money for themselves than that the Welsh county councils should take it for themselves. I think the dog-in-the-manger attitude, "We must take this money from the Church, but we do not want it ourselves," is a far worse, far lower attitude, than if they came forward and said, as they can say honestly, "We are burdened, every denomination in Wales, with a huge chapel debt. We find that in every denomination in Wales our ministers are very poorly paid. We are struggling to get a higher type and better educated ministers. The proportion of graduates among our ministers is small. Many of our chapels are not served with the fulness that we should like. Much of the pastoral work has to be left to laymen who have not had the training which will fit them to compete in many of the industrial districts with the growing intellectual and moral unrest, as well as the various social conditions around them."

That would be a position which I should respect far more than the position taken up now, of saying that they refuse this money; and looking far ahead, I consider, in the vital interests of Wales, that the money which has been used for religious purposes should go on being used for religious purposes, and I believe that that money will be needed for those purposes more and more as the years go by. Looking to the tendency of the present day, you will find the universities amply provided for by grants and aid of that kind. You will find hospitals subscribed for by private generosity. You will have libraries and these objects admirably supported by all sections and all shades of political opinion in Wales. What I do see in Wales to-day is the great difficulty of any church getting sufficient money to provide for the ministry and for itself. In support of my argument I may refer to the memorandum of Archdeacon Evans and my Noble Friend the Member for Oxford University in the Report of the Royal Commission. I will refer to some of the facts -which they cite, and some of the evidence which they excerpt in this connection. The first point to which I would like to draw the attention of the House is this great question in Wales of chapel debts. They say, on page 129:— The following table shows that the chapel debts of the Calvinistic Methodist denomination have doubled in thirty years, although £871,702 was collected towards their reduction. And the table is indeed remarkable. In 1896, the debt on the Calvinistic Methodist denomination in Wales was £330,000 odd. In 1908, it was £668,000, in spite of the great efforts which that denomination had made to collect money to pay off that debt. They say:— The interest paid on chapel debts in 1008 was £19,0"0 odd; nearly twice the amount collected in 1908 towards the Calvinistic Methodist Denominational Fund, out of which grants are made to weak churches and forward movements. Those figures are most remarkable. In spite of the great work which is being done in Wales to-day by these denominations, you have this growing burden of debt. In spite of the almost superhuman efforts made to wipe out the debt, you have it increasing. Turn to the other denominations. The chapel debts of the Congregationalists in 1906 were £318,000. It is noteworthy that the chapel debts of the Wesleyan denomination are a comparatively small amount, only £87,000, but then the Wesleyan body have, of course, a well established connection with England, and it is on the whole a wealthy denomination.


It is much smaller.


Yes. Pretty nearly every denomination in Wales to-day has this large burden of debt on its chapels. The result is that you have large amounts of seating accommodation unused, and that their ministers are not adequately paid, and you have an ever-increasing demand for further and further subscriptions. In a most interesting paragraph headed "inadequate provision for the ministry," several interesting circumstances are cited. I may quote this:— Under these circumstances it is clear that the adequate maintenance of the ministry is impossible without a strong central sustentation fund. The financial witness of the Calvinistic Methodist denomination said, we have not any sustentation fund as yet. It is a dream of ours to be realised in the future perhaps.' One can see after a statement of that kind that these bodies are in need of money. They are in need of money that these debts may be wiped out, and that further provision shall be made for the ministry. Then it goes on lower down to say:— From the figures given in the county statistics for the receipts towards both maintenance and ministry in the Congregational denomination, it would appear that not far less than one-third of the ministers in the Welsh Congregational Churches, receive less than £80 a year, while more than one-tenth receive less than £60 a year… The inadequacy of this provision for maintainence is generally recognized— and they give references to about ten witnesses— and the difficulty of the position is increased by the growing importance rightly attached by Welsh Nonconformists to higher education for the miuistry. The Calvinistic Methodist diary for 1000 marks about 14 per cent, of their ministers as graduates, a percentage that falls to 9 per cent, for Congregationalists (Congregational Year Book), to 5 per cent, for Baptists, and 5 per cent, for Wesleyans. Is it not perfectly clear from that that the ministry of the Nonconformist denomination in Wales is not on the financial footing on which it should be to cope with the growing needs of Wales? And, after all, what is it we have been urging all through against your Disendowment proposals? It is that in our denomination, strive as we will, the Endowments of the Church are inadequate to-day to meet the needs of Wales, the needs of furnishing a religious ministry and religious services in the Principality to a growing population, and not merely to a growing population of the industrial districts of Wales, but among those distant scattered rural parishes, where the poverty is probably greater than in any other part of Great Britain except the Highlands of Scotland. Anybody who knows the rural conditions up in the mountains of Wales must see that in the long run, looking to the forces that are at play to-day a purely voluntary system, an endowed system is bound to fail in those districts. After all, in those mountain districts so remote, where the wealthy people tend more and more to leave, and where many of the best labourers migrate to the towns and mining districts, there are left behind the people who cannot afford to support any minister of any denomination, and it is in their interest, looking to the future of Wales, that I conceive this Amendment to be of vital importance indeed. The ground on which concurrent Endowment has been scoffed at is that it would be unworkable. I admit that it would probably need a religious census, or at any rate it would need an impartial body for its administration. But its difficulties I believe are small indeed compared with the great gain that would be achieved in the future. Take any of the mining districts of Wales—Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire, or any of the mining centres—can anyone say, who knows anything of the Principality, that it will be of greater benefit to religion in Wales that you will have some county council schemes or that you will have money to give to libraries? Surely it would be far more advantageous to the population in Wales if the money were to be spent in paying off chapel debts, in paying ministers of religion, and in founding a central sustentation fund for the maintenance of ministers to the religious needs of the people.

I do not wish to go at length into the subject which we discussed in Committee upon this Bill. I spoke then of the difference between what we mean by religious objects and what some hon. Members on the other side consider to be sufficiently religious. We may be content, after that Debate, to leave the subject, though surely it must be borne in mind that, if this Bill is passed into law, it is very doubtful whether the hopes of any hon. Members opposite will be realised—I mean the hopes that they have that, after Disestablishment, there will be some uniting of religious forces in Wales, and some further coalescence of religious forces. Of course, after the speech of the hon. Member for Carmarthen District (Mr. Llewelyn Williams) it does not seem to me to be very likely that there will be any such feeling; after the kind of sneers we have had from time to time from the Under-Secretary to the Home Office, sneers about about the bishops and so forth, I do not think it will be likely that there will be any drawing together of the denominations. But if there is one thing that would make for union, one thing that might help to heal the wound which this Bill is causing, and to bridge over the gulf which will be created if this Bill becomes law, separating for generations Churchmen from Nonconformists in Wales, it would be concurrent Endowment; it would be the idea, that we should come together to work for religious purposes. [An HON. MEMBER: "We will never come together."] That is not the view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer or of many hon. Members opposite. The whole case for Disestablishment is that if you remove the State connection from the Church in Wales there will be a great reunion of Christian bodies. I say that the only thing which would make for that would be that you should not secularise those ancient religious Endowments, but that you should have a central sustentation fund, and begin by a fair and just apportionment of the money for religious purposes among the religious denominations in Wales. Meet the question in a truly religious spirit and see if some arrangement cannot be come to, and then I do not despair of some reunion of the Christian bodies in Wales. But if you include these proposals in your Bill—the libraries, the universities, and the schemes of the county councils— then I do firmly believe that you will create in Wales a permanent barrier against any coming together between the ancient Church and the Nonconformist bodies in Wales.

I further believe that concurrent Endowment would make for a growing tendency among Nonconformist bodies to come together, and I personally am anxious to see that. After all, our idea of the Church is that you shall have a truly catholic Church, a Christian organisation with true corporate feeling, and I believe that if anything could assist in bringing that about, nothing would do it better than a scheme for concurrent Endowment among the religious denominations in Wales, if you are to take this money away from the Church at all. What are the main points? They are that the Endowments of the Church in Wales are totally inadequate to the needs of her religious objects. But if you take them away, and say that they are more than adequate, then do not spend them upon secular objects, but spend them in such a way as will make for the advancement of religious objects. I have endeavoured to be as conciliatory as possible in tone in speaking to this Amendment, for I wish it to be met by Nonconformists in the spirit in which I put it forward. Let no one think that my opposition to this Bill as a whole is in any way weakened, or that I think the Church is adequately Endowed, or that it is right to take these Endowments away. The whole tendency of these Debates has been generally to the effect that if you are to inflict this injustice on the Church, if you are to take away this money, then there is need of money on the part of the religious bodies in Wales, and that it would be handed over to them instead of doing what Government propose to do, namely, to look round for any decent object they can find on which to spend it. First, it was proposed to give money to museums, and then they dropped the museums. Spend it, I say, as it has been spent for the last 250 years, on doing the highest religious service, namely, maintaining the living exposition of the Gospel of Christ throughout the parishes and the hills of Wales.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I will not attempt to enter upon the arguments put forward by my hon. Friend, and certainly they could not be improved upon. But there is a line of argument of a wider character which might be taken on this question of the secular use of these moneys. We hear continually from Liberal Members representing Wales about their having been sent here by the Welsh people as a whole in order that they may carry out their wishes in this House. The Under-Secretary for the Home Office the other day put the matter very shortly, when he said:— It is the Nonconformists who have sent Welsh Members here to represent their views. I deny absolutely that Liberal Welsh Members in this House represent the views of the whole of the Nonconformists in Wales. I deny that Welsh Liberal Members represent the views of the whole of the Nonconformists on this particular part of the Bill, because I myself have perfectly good reason to know that there are thousands and thousands of Nonconformists in Wales who, though in favour of Disestablishment and in favour on the whole of Disendowment of the Church in Wales, are most certainly and most strongly opposed to the application of money which comes from the Church to secular purposes, and to using it against that which is the national characteristic of the Welsh people, the characteristic which is involved in the very point of his Amendment and the very point of the whole question before the House, namely, the innate religious feeling which is a distinguishing feature of their lives. It is for that reason, if for no other, that I consider this Clause in the Bill unutterably bad—bad because it goes against the very idea and the very life of the people who are supposed to have sent hon. Members here to carry out their wishes. The Under-Secretary for the Home Office further on in his speech the other day said, speaking on this Amendment:— It is an Amendment which no doubt may reflect a certain amount of suspicion amongst Churchmen, and not only amongst Churchmen but amongst those Nonconformists who are entirely against the secularisation of this money. There is not only that to be considered in regard to this Amendment. Look at the way in which the money is proposed to be divided in Wales. Some of the money is to go to the county councils. Will the House consider whether there is any county council in the whole of this country that would hand over from any surplus or any extra money a single halfpenny if they could keep it for themselves? Look at the results which would follow from this proposal, if it be carried. Take Anglesey, the constituency which the Under-Secretary for the Home Office represents, the amount of money which would go to that constituency from the Church would be somewhere about £8,770 a year, and this in a district which I do not think any hon. Member can honestly say is thickly populated. At the opposite end of Wales, in the South, you get the Rhondda Valley, the most thickly populated part of the whole of the Principality. Under the division to county councils, the amount of money to be spent in the Rhondda Valley is £170. Could anything more ridiculous possibly be imagined in the way of dividing this money among county councils throughout Wales? The Under-Secretary has certainly this to his credit, that he will have a most excellent platform when he goes to address his constituents, for he will be able to say that he has obtained £8,770 for the purposes of the constituents whom he represents in this House. I agree that it would be very convenient if a large number of Members of this House could find themselves in a position to say the same thing; but I do not think that is a very happy or a very laudable thing to be able to say for oneself when it is a question of religion and a question of robbing the Church. Perhaps the House will do me the honour to remember that I belong to a religion whose authorities about thirty years issued a manifesto in which they said that they laid no claim whatsoever to any of the money about which we are speaking at the present moment. Therefore I speak without any possibility of there being any hankering in my mind for any of the spoils of the Church. The whole idea of secularisation is against the purposes and uses to which this money has been put, and is abhorrent to every single man who considers religion to be one of the greatest things in this world, as most men do. The very idea that this money shouldbe taken in this manner to be spent on anything which the Government can find on which they can decently spend it is a disgrace to the Government, to the Gentlemen sent from Wales, and to the Liberal party, who say they are sent here to represent the constituencies of Wales. I am certain that a very large number of the constituents of those hon. Gentlemen do not for one single moment realise, believe or want what this Clause attempts to do.


This, I think, is the first time the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) and the Noble Lord (Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart) have acted together as the Proposer and Seconder of an Amendment of this kind. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Denbigh Boroughs told us he wished to be conciliatory, but I do not think anyone who attempted to be conciliatory would once more refer to the old "banners of the dawn." The Noble Lord said that something or other was disgraceful, and that is not exactly a conciliatory tone either. He referred to a resolution passed by the body to which he belonged thirty years ago. May I commend the exact words of that resolution to the Noble Lord's consideration, and see how far his Church confirms the view that he has taken upon this Amendment? These are the words:— At a general meeting of the Roman Catholic arch, bishops and bishops of Ireland which was held in Dublin on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of October, 18(17, the following resolution was unanimously passed: 'That notwithstanding—'


It was a manifesto of 1885 to which I was referring, and not that.


This is a little older, and an older precedent will, I am sure, appeal to the Noble Lord.


That is not what I was referring to.


The Noble Lord refers me to one thing, and I would refer him to another. He said his was thirty years ago, and this is 1867, so that we are not very far apart. I will read it, and I am sure he will pay some deference to a resolution like this passed by the Roman Catholic archbishops and bishops of Ireland. It was quoted during the discussion on the Irish Church Bill in the House of Lords in 1869, so that the authority is beyond suspicion. This is the resolution:— That notwithstanding the rightful claim of the Catholic Church in Ireland to have restored to it the property and revenues of which it was unjustly deprived, the Irish Catholic bishops hereby reaffirm the subjoined resolutions of the bishops assembled in the years 1833, 1841 and 1843, and, adhering to the letter and spirit of those resolutions, distinctly declare that they will not accept Endowment from the State of the property and revenues now held by the Protestant Establishment nor any State Endowment whatever.' The Noble Lord, although he belongs to a Church that will receive none of these Protestant revenues, and which will receive no State revenue of any kind, is here suggesting to Nonconformists to do what his own Church will not do. With regard to this Debate, we had had the advantage of having thoroughly gone into the subject on a previous occasion. I had the opportunity of speaking then, and I referred to the Irish precedent, and to the various secular purposes upon which the money was spent then, much more secular, if I may use the phrase, than the purposes in this Bill. I know that that is no justification as far as hon. Members opposite are concerned. I also referred to the purposes for which this money was originally applied. That, of course, is controversial ground between us. The hon. Gentleman who proposed the Amendment in Committee referred to those purposes, and said that the real question was whether we were doing anything in this Bill which applied this money to purposes entirely alien from those for which it was originally given. It is now spent upon religious purposes in this sense, and let me use plain words, although I do not wish to be offensive, that the money is used in paying the stipends of the clergy. No doubt it is spent in paying men for the religious and devotional services which they perform. Our contention is that the word "religion" has a much wider sense than the narrow sense in which the Noble Lord and the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs have referred to it in this controversy. I do not think that they will dispute that the money of the Church was, in the past, spent not merely on devotional purposes, but on other purposes, spent not merely on spiritual and sacramental purposes, in the strict sense of those words, but also used as alms and in hospitality to the poor, and so on. There is no doubt about that, and the only real question, as far as we are concerned, is this: Can this money be used fairly in accordance with the requirements of the original trust, and having regard to the use by the original beneficiaries? We say the purposes of this Bill do that. The hon. Member, I suppose, approves of dropping the museum?


If you are going to expend it on some other secular object, one is as good or as bad as another.


The moment you get away from devotion, all other things are secular; it does not matter whether it is a museum or a wash-house; all other things are non-spiritual and non-devotional, and are equally secular, and therefore there is no distinction, according to hon. Gentlemen opposite. May I say that that is a point of view which I do not think represents the views of Churchmen in Wales. No doubt that view represents a certain phase of opinion and Church thought which I do not think is very greatly represented in the Principality of Wales. For my own part I think the view will come rather as a shock to a great many Churchmen that the moment you depart from the trust of paying clergymen for services, then every other service is equally secular and equally reprehensible. I do not think that will commend itself to Welsh Churchmen. Whatever purposes this money was given for it was given for the purposes of the people generally, and it is now used upon a particular sect. You come to us and say, as I understand the Conservative position, "We strongly object to taking any of this money away, but you have under this Bill against our wishes taken a certain amount of money. Our opportunity now is, under Clause 18, to discuss the allocation," and the hon. Member tells us that almost worse than the taking away of the money are the objects on which the money is to be spent, and we are told, "The least you can do is to devote all this money taken from the Church to religious purposes amongst other denominations." Let us consider that view. If this Amendment were adopted the Clause "would read:" The property formerly appropriated to the use of parochial benefices and transferred to a county council shall be applied to the support and maintenance of some one or more religious denominations in the parish of which the property was formerly appropriated." I know the hon. Member knows Wales and its local affairs and county councils, and does he really think that the county council is a body to share the money amongst the various denominations of the various parishes in Wales? After a moment's consideration he must see that that is a hopelessly impossible case. What we Nonconformists say is this: In principle as far as we are concerned it is impossible for our acceptance, and in practice it is absolutely unworkable. I do not care to whom you gave the money, how could you do it? You would have the county council to consider claims from the various chapels in the villages of Wales, and suppose you had claims from Baptists and Independents and Calvinistic Methodists, and so on. Of course, there would not be claims from those bodies. The Noble Lord, speaking on behalf of Nonconformists, said that there are a good many of them who want concurrent Endowments. Does he really seriously think that? There may be individual Nonconformists who are selected for the honour of opening bazaars, simply because of their Nonconformity, and not because of their wealth, but can the Noble Lord give me the name of any representative of Nonconformity in Wales, or any kind of resolution passed by any Nonconformist meeting in Wales in favour of that, or has any Nonconformist Member from Wales ever in this House said a word about this? How can the Noble Lord really get up seriously in this House, representing the premier constituency of Wales, and say there is a strong feeling among Nonconformists on this matter when not a single resolution has been passed at any public meeting or at any Nonconformist gathering upon this question although the Bill has been before the House of Commons for months. Does the Noble Lord really think that is the case?


I know it is perfectly true.


Will the Noble Lord tell us some of the details upon which he arrives at that conclusion? It would be much more satisfactory. I do not know whether he includes his co-religionists among Nonconformists for this purpose, but will he tell us of any resolution passed at any public or private meeting in Wales by Nonconformists in support of his views? I think his silence is much more eloquent even than his speech.


I could tell you names, but I have no right to mention them across the floor of this House without having the permission of the gentlemen concerned.


The Noble Lord may have had private conversations.


If you wish to have it, it was at a meeting of Nonconformists in a hall entirely Nonconformists, and they passed a resolution condemning the Disendowment proposals of this Bill.



That is a very different thing. The Noble Lord, I think, was not following my argument. I dare say there are a great many who condemn our proposals as to Disendowment, but that is not what we are on now. What we are on now is allocating the money, and I am sure the Noble Lord will see that that is a different question. I was sorry to hear the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs say that this was the only chance of peace in Wales. The suggestion is an impractical one. He says it is a little unworkable, but that the details will form themselves. He knows the public opinion of Wales as far as Nonconformity and Liberalism are concerned is really practically unanimous against this proposal, and it is a thousand pities that the hon. Gentleman should say that the only hope of peace is upon a certain contingency, which I think, in his heart of hearts, he must realise is impracticable. It may be right, it may be wrong, but that is the Nonconformist point of view. We cannot receive a subsidy from the State. We think that this is national money. That is the only ground of justice for this Bill. We do not propose to take from the Church any money which, in our view, is not national and public money. That being so, when we say that the Church has no right to this money, it would be contrary to all the principles of Nonconformity for Nonconformists to come forward and say, "Give us our share." The hon. Member, who made a very conciliatory speceh, compared Nonconformist ministers to the dog in the manger.


Nonconformist members, not ministers.


The dog in the manger, as I understand it, is supposed to have an opportunity of getting something for himself, but he will neither take it for himself nor allow anybody else to have it. That does not apply here. We do not get anything out of this Bill. And, after all, it is not we who determine this matter; it is the Nonconformists of Wales. I do not believe there are more than two or three ministers in Wales who have ever said a word in favour of concurrent Endowment. As I have said before, this proposal is wrong in principle and impossible in practice. You are offering to give Nonconformists money which they cannot possibly, in accordance with their principles, accept. Under these circumstances I have only to reaffirm our strong belief that this Amendment embodies a suggestion which the Government cannot accept, in that it proposes that county councils should allocate money between denominations who do not want it. The only denomination which could accept it would be the Church itself, and the effect of it would be to Re-endow the Church with every penny taken under this Bill.


The hon. Gentleman opposite has again taken the objection that the result of this Amendment would be to entrust the county councils with the distribution of money amongst various denominations. It is not the Amendment which gives the county councils this power. It is due to the framework of the Bill, for which the Government are responsible. At this stage we have to take the framework of the Bill as we find it, and the hon. Gentleman might have saved himself the trouble of taking that objection to the Amendment. It is not the form of distribution that we should desire, but it in no way militates against the value of the Amendment. Another objection taken is that the money is national, and that Nonconformists, as a matter of principle, cannot accept it. That seems to me a most extraordinary position to take up. I do not accept the statement that it is national money; but assuming that it is, it means that the money has been given in trust in the past for religious purposes, and the view of Nonconformists is that that trust is now being carried out by a body which no longer represents the whole community, but that one denomination is administering a trust which was intended for all. If that is so, by what right do Nonconformists say that they entirely decline to take their share of administering this fund? If it is so impossible for them to administer their share of the trust, they have no right to interfere with the Church, which is doing her best to administer it.

No one can pretend that the purposes to which the money is to be devoted in any way approach the original intentions with which the money was given. I do not think that Nonconformist bodies have any right, if they are going to take this money away from the Church, to refuse to assume at once their share of responsibility for carrying into effect the trust which, according to them, was laid upon the whole community, irrespective of any particular denomination. It is all very well for the hon. Gentleman to say, "What are we going to get out of these proposals?" I understand that, under the allocation of this Bill, Anglesey will receive £8,770 a year. Nobody can deny that the purposes to which this money is to be devoted are purposes which can be provided for out of the rates. Is it not obvious that when the hon. Gentleman goes to constituents it will be perfectly possible for this Bill to be commended to them on the ground that it has saved £8,770 on the rates? I do not say that that is the object of the hon. Gentlemen in supporting the Bill, but it will be a good electioneering compliment which can be paid by Gentlemen on that side. At any rate, the hon. Gentleman has no right to say that those in Wales who are going to receive this money are getting nothing out of the Bill. Very hard things have been said about us. I remember a remark about Gentlemen whose hands were dripping with the fat of sacrilege. I will not apply any such language as that to the other side, but such statements which have been applied to us can also be applied to their conduct. We have heard a great deal about money being taken from the poor farmers in Wales. As a matter of fact, it is paid by the landlords; but according to the supporters of the Bill it is taken from the poor farmers and others who have earned it by the sweat of their brow. Now that it is to be given as an actual subvention of the rates, why are these poor farmers and labourers to be rated over and above their fellows? Why are they to be called upon to pay a higher subvention to the rates than others? On this particular Amendment the actual granting of this money to the county councils does not arise; but now that that position has come about, you have no right any longer to take the money from these men if it is not to be applied to the purposes for which it was originally granted. You have no moral right whatever to take this money and devote it in such a way that it represents an extra rate on one particular class.

The hon. Gentleman alluded to the purposes for which this money was formerly intended, and he stated that it is now being spent in paying the stipends of the clergy. That obviously means that it is being spent on the provision of religious services. No religious service is possible without a properly ordained minister to carry it out. The hon. Gentleman stated that formerly the money was used for the relief of sickness and other purposes of that kind. He must remember that that first charge upon this; fund was always the provision of religious services, and that these eleemosynary purposes came after. We are perfectly prepared to say that if it can be proved that there is more money in the funds of the Church in Wales than is required for the provision of religious services the surplus should be used for eleemosynary purposes. But you have no right whatever to suggest the taking away of the money from religious services when it is obvious that already there is too little money to carry on the work of the Church as effectively as even hon. Gentlemen opposite would like to see it carried on. It has also been objected that a religious census would be required before the fund could be allocated. I do not know why there should not be a religious census. I have never heard an effective argument against it on the other side. If that were to be the result it would be both admirable and useful. Why Nonconformist bodies should think that that is an effective argument against concurrent Endowment I fail to see. The whole matter may be summed up in a sentence. You have no right to take away this money from the Church. Unless you are prepared to find some other body to administer it in the spirit and for the purposes originally intended, you have no moral right whatever to do what you are doing under this Bill, to take the money as you propose and devote it to secular purposes. That is the greatest indictment that can be made against the Bill it is one which will be felt most strongly throughout the country, and will eventually fructify in the strongest opposition to the Government's proposals.


My justification for taking part in this Debate is that I am a Welshman and can claim to know something of the feeling of my fellow countryman on this particular subject. I have been a constituent of the Noble Lord opposite (Lord N. Crichton-Stuart) and can claim to know something of the factors responsible for his return to the House. It is perfectly true, as he said, that Welsh Disestablishment did not play an important part in his election. It is equally true that opposition to Welsh Disestablishment did not play an important part therein. The real explanation is that Cardiff is the least Welsh place in Wales. Anyone familiar with Cardiff knows perfectly well that the cosmopolitan character of the people is such that it separates Cardiff entirely from any other part of the Principality. I have listened throughout these Debates, and there have been occasions, especially a few weeks ago, when one would have concluded that there was a genuine desire on both sides to approach the question with a view to arriving at a compromise. When we suddenly near wrangling about "robbing God" one naturally resents such a statement, because that is not the feeling that actuates Members on this side of the House in their action on this particular question. The proposal that we are considering at this moment is, I admit, a proposal that must of necessity appeal to many people at first hand as being a fair and equitable proposal. It seems such an easy matter to go to an audience, especially, if you like, an English audience, and say that all we have asked the Government to do in this matter is to share equally between the religious bodies the money they have taken from the Church. I submit the answer to that is that the real claim of Wales in this matter is for freedom. The primary object of Nonconformists in this matter is to have religion free and unfettered. They say, "We are not desirous of State interference; we are not desirous of State Endowments; we are prepared to control our religion and our own denominations, and we are prepared to pay for our different denominations."

If the real object is to obtain peace in this matter, surely the Nonconformists themselves ought to be the best judges of their own position! Everyone speaking from the other side of the House say: "We, as members of the Church of England, believe that we are the best judges of our situation." They say to Nonconformists on this side that, notwithstanding anything you may say, we claim to be the best judges of our position. If we have to admit that fact—and I very frankly admit that hon. Members opposite should be the best judges—they must give credit to the Nonconformists themselves for claiming that they are the best judges of their situation. All the evidence up to now goes to show that, not only would this proposal not obtain peace, not only would it not be popular, not only is it not wanted, but, on the contrary, every Nonconformist body in Wales is strongly and deeply opposed to the suggestion. Let us see how it would work out in practice. The suggestion is to share the money equally or proportionately, I presume, amongst the different religious bodies. Take a large number of people not attached to any particular denomination. What happens? They are to be claimed as Churchmen. There the first friction arises as to these particular people not associated with any particular denomination. As to the second point, What is going to happen in your council elections? You are going to have all religious strife, all religious bickerings, every little Bethel is going to turn out at the county council election, and instead of the best interests of the people being considered, you will have all this religious strife and bickering enter into your contests. The Noble Lord the Member for Cardiff said that one thing is certain— the county councils will stick to the money. Who are the county councils? The county councils are the representatives of the people, duly elected representatives of the Welsh people themselves. Surely if they are democratically elected, and the choice of the people; if they are returned to express the wish of the majority of the people; we can only conclude that they will spend this money in a way that meets with the general needs and wish of those who elected them?


My point is this: In Anglesey you have about £8,700 coming from the Church; in the Rhondda Valley you have £171. If the Anglesey County Council sticks to its money there will be very little among a very large population in the "Rhondda Valley, and too much for the smaller population in Anglesey.


That only shows the disparity and the disadvantage—as between Anglesey and the Rhondda Valley —that the latter has been suffering from all these years. That does not alter the situation in the least. Incidentally, if you are going to make it such a parochial question as that would do, you are at a disadvantage, though having it administered by the county council would cover a much wider area, and you would be more likely to get more equality. That, I submit, is the real answer to the Noble Lord. But we have also to approach this question from the standpoint of whether this Bill and whether this proposal does really weaken the religious cause in Wales. Let us forget for a moment Church and Chapel, or any particular denomination. I frankly say—and I think there can be no better judges than the Labour leaders as to the tendency of the times—that there is a materialistic tendency. I can quite conceive of arguments being adduced from the other side of the House to this effect: "If that is admitted, surely this is not the time to separate the State from religion?" They might say that. My answer to that is this, that no religion can stand the test of public opinion unless it is a religion founded upon freedom. Let me put this point: No hon. Member from the opposite side surely will suggest that helping the sick, the orphan, and those in distress, is a purely secular object? I submit that these are the very essence of religion. I submit they are the true greatness of Christianity. If you are going to limit your definition of Christianity to that of purely devotional service, you are justified in calling this a purely secular object.

You have no right to place such a narrow interpretation as that upon it. If the Nonconformist bodies in Wales were to come forward and say that this, in their opinion, was a real solution, there would be the strongest possible argument for supporting the Amendment. Whilst, however, the fact remains that the Nonconformist bodies say, in spite of our difficulties and our limitations, in spite of the fact that we have been handicapped in the past—and we admit our difficulties—we are yet prepared to go on our own way free and independent. On the other hand, I submit this. Let us assume that this proposal is going through. Whatever the money is devoted to, if in any parish there is a majority of Churchmen their influence upon the county council will be directed to having it spent in accordance with their wishes. If the majority is Nonconformist, the opposite will be the effect. In any case, the fact of its being spent by local bodies responsible to the people will ensure that it will be spent in accordance with the wish of the majority. Whilst it is dfficult to approach this question without strong feeling, I submit that If the result of Welsh Disestablishment will be, as I believe it will, to ensure generous consideration for the Church, which I frankly admit has done real good work, and is to restore good feeling, I do not think the Church will suffer. On the contrary, I believe the Church will benefit; but I am perfectly sure that instead of promoting harmony between Nonconformists and Churchmen, concurrent Endowments would lead to difficulties far greater than those already stated to the House.


I agree that the closing portion of the speech of the hon. Member who has just just down was of a conciliatory character, but I cannot agree with him that the action of the Government in this Bill in taking away Endowments from the Church can benefit the Church in the long run. If I may say so with all respect, I think the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken and the speech of the Under-Secretary to the Home Office who spoke before him, constitute the greatest condemnation of the Disendowment proposals in this Bill that I have ever heard in the House. For what do their arguments come to? They say it is quite impossible that this scheme of concurrent Endowments should be carried out; that under no conditions whatever would the Nonconformist bodies accept this money. This Clause 18 is to my mind the one which should be the justification of the Disendowment proposals previously carried out in the Bill. You have taken Endowments from the Church which hon. Members admit are being properly used at the present time, because the Church is carrying out her work efficiently and well. You have taken her Endowments and you can only justify that when you come to this Clause by the objects to which you devote these funds. When we seek to find out what the allocation of this money is, we find that the proposals of the Government are constantly changing. As has been pointed out, at one time they included national museums. Now they are searching high and low to try and find objects to which this money can be properly and suitably devoted. To my mind they have absolutely failed to justify the means they have adopted in allocating this money, and taking away the Endowments of the Church at all. After all, I believe— though I dare say my opinion will not be shared upon the other side of the House, but I have had some opportunity of judging from meetings in a good many parts of the country—that this Bill is increasing in unpopularity throughout the country, and the principal reason of the unpopularity of the Bill is the fact that these funds which are being taken from the Church, which have been enjoyed by the Church for centuries and to which the Church has a prescriptive right recognised in law, are to be devoted, not to purposes of religion, to which they were devoted for years, but to purely secular objects.

Something was said just now by the Noble Lord who seconded the Amendment with regard to the unequal distribution between the different parts of the country that would result from a division of this money, owing to the fact that the county councils would not distribute the money proportionately to every county throughout Wales. The hon. Member who proposed this Amendment referred to a central sustentation fund, and, to my mind, under concurrent Endowments the difficulties would be easily got over by establishing a central sustentation fund from which the money could be equally distributed to all the different religious denominations throughout the Principality. There is a difference of opinion which apparently it is very difficult to get over between the appreciation by hon. Members on the other side of the House and on this in the description of religious objects. The hon. Member who has just spoken referred in a perfectly conciliatory manner to objects which we all admire— objects of charity, of almsgiving, of helping the poor, and so one. We on this side of the House value these objects as good and excellent in themselves, but they are not in themselves really religious objects, but are the result which flow from religious life and from religion as the source.

Personally, I cannot help feeling that if by this Bill you dam the source and injure religion itself, you will injure the result of religion, and you will seriously affect the fulfilment of those valuable objects now performed in Wales. We have had one argument freely adduced in this House during the course of this Bill in regard to national property. We have had the argument that when this money was first given to the Church it was given to the Church as a whole, and that the Church and nation at that time were co-extensive, but that as time went on different bodies dissented from the Church and split themselves into other churches, and that consequently the Church is no longer the Church of the nation as a whole and is not entitled to enjoy all these Endowments. I think that is putting the argument used by hon. Members on the other side very fairly. If there is one conclusion more than another to be drawn from that argument it is not that the money should be devoted to secular purposes, but that it should be retained for religious purposes. That is what we suggest. We are making an offer to the other side and to the Nonconformists in Wales in all sincerity—an offer which we perfectly recognise they could not suggest themselves. We admit that we regard it as the second best course to pursue. We believe it is entirely wrong to Disendow the Church at all, but, if you do Disendow the Church, we say we make you this offer in all sincerity in order that religion may be properly upheld in the Principality in the future.

I was very much struck with the arguments used by the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs in proposing this Amendment. I cannot help feeling that one of the great misfortunes that will result from this Bill is the fact that the work of all religion will be hampered by it. The hon. Member who has just spoken said that there was an amount of apathy and indifference in the world that has to be attacked by religion at the present time. It is quite true, and there is work for all forms of Christianity to fulfil. Differences that did exist years ago, and acute differences unhappily, between different religious denominations are gradually dying down. Christianity is being carried out, and we are certainly getting nearer that unity of religion which all well-thinking men desire. The pity of it is that this proposal in the Bill will postpone and hamper that tendency, and instead of allaying religious strife it will arouse and embitter it. With all sincerity we make this offer to the religious bodies in Wales in the cause of religion, and we believe that if it is accepted those religious bodies will be able to work together for the same cause of Christianity in co-operation with one another, religious strife will be allayed, and this tendency to future unity will go on.


I quite recognise the sincerity of the hon. Member who has just spoken, and other hon. Members opposite who have spoken during these Debates. I wish the Mover of this Amendment were in his place. I have no desire to discuss with him nor with any hon. Member opposite the objects to which this money is proposed to be put by the Bill, because I know that at once we should disagree as to what are and what are not religious objects. I could not help recalling, when my hon. Friend below the Gangway was speaking about religious objects, the words of the Apostle in the New Testament that religion pure and undefiled before God is to visit the fatherless and the widow, and so on. I do not think there could be any more religious object than that of relieving the sick and the poor. I wish to call attention to this question of concurrent Endowment. No hon. or right hon. Gentleman could have made a more earnest appeal to Nonconformists than the hon. Member who moved this Amendment, but I should like to ask him and other hon. Members who spoke in favour of it if they have consulted the Welsh people, and Welsh Nonconformists especially, upon this subject of concurrent Endowment? During the whole of my public life I have been accustomed to mix with Nonconformists and gather with them at all sorts of conferences and Synods, and I have never in my experience heard any proposal in any of those assemblies in favour of concurrent Endowment. I have been wondering what would have happened if we, on this side of the House, had proposed in this Bill that this money should be devoted to Nonconformist ministers. I can understand there would have been not a little excitement among hon. Members opposite, but Nonconformists do not want, and will not have this money which is taken by this Bill from the Church.

It is true that Nonconformist ministers are very poor and poorly paid, and so are some of the Episcopalian clergy in Wales; but poor as the Nonconformist ministers are in Wales, they will not have this money on any condition whatever. It is to their credit, notwithstanding their poverty, that they do not wish to have their salaries increased by grants from these funds which are now being taken from the Church of England. A good many statements have been made in this House about the origin of some of the Endowments belonging to the Church. Everybody knows that whatever else may have led to their origin, Nonconformity did not, and therefore to give any of this money to Nonconformists would be to prostitute that money which was never intended for them, because when some of those Endowments were created, Nonconformists had barely been called into existence. I have been accustomed to saying outside this House, and I do not hesitate to say it inside, that the Nonconformist ministers of religion who need Endowments are not the kind of ministers for Nonconformist pulpits. The ministers who are suitable for Nonconformist pulpits will seldom need Endowments, because the voluntary gifts of the people are usually sufficient to support them. I wish, of course, that their salaries were larger, and I have listened with great sympathy to what has been said about the poverty of some denominations, but, on the whole, I think it is greatly to the credit of Nonconformists in Wales that they do not ask for, and will not have, any share in this money.


The speech which the hon. Member who has just sat down has made shows how impossible it is for those on the opposite side of the House and those on this side to draw any nearer on this question of concurrent Endowment. We believe from first to last that this Bill is doing a grievous wrong. We are against devoting the funds of the Church to secular purposes, because this is the first time that such a thing has been proposed in an Act of Parliament. I know it is said that in the case of the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, the funds of that Church were secularised, but I maintain that the aim and endeavour of the Bill for Disestablishing the Irish Church was that the funds should receive very much the same treatment which we should like to see adopted in this Bill. I am aware that various Grants were made to Maynooth and other bodies, but it is a notorious fact that the Irish Bill did admit the principle of concurrent Endowment, which this Bill does not. It is difficult not to feel the respect which I think is clue to Nonconformists for not desiring to have any share of this money; but, on the other hand, it is difficult to reconcile that with the fact that, although they are not prepared to receive any of the money they are prepared to devote the large sums of money taken from the resources of the Church to secular purposes. It is rather like the Free Trade doctrine which is openly claimed by hon. Gentlemen opposite to be the only possible doctrine with regard to economics, but which says it is perfectly legitimate to protect labour and absolutely wrong to protect the produce of labour. In this case it is wrong for Nonconformists to receive money which comes from Church of England sources, but it is not wrong that large sums coming from the same sources should be handed over to the county councils and go to semi-religious purposes which may and probably will, if the scheme of the Lord Chancellor is carried out, save very large payments out of the rates. I can hardly see the logic of Nonconformists refusing to accept anything which belongs to the Church, and at the same time ignoring the fact that these large sums which will accrue to the Welsh county councils will go to relieve what otherwise would be a very great expense to the Welsh community.

We are repeatedly told this is a generous Bill. We are told again and again that the terms offered by the Government are generous and liberal. It is difficult to follow that line of argument. We cannot, of course, agree with regard to the national character of the funds. The Liberal party claim they are national, and we say they are not. We say these funds belong to the Church, and that the Church of England in Wales has done nothing whatever to forfeit her right to them. It is surely commonly recognised that if you are going to Disendow a religious body you must be able to prove among other things that the Church administers to a small section of the population, and that it is grossly over Endowed. I do not think any of these conditions apply to the Church of England in Wales, and I do not see that the Liberal party has ever been able to show there is any logical reason why the Church should be Disendowed. The reason often put forward by various Members is that the Church was Endowed with certain funds at a time when it was co-extensive with the whole population of Wales, and that as the Church no longer administers to the needs of the whole of the community she should forego these funds. It seems to me, if the Church has altered in any degree, the community has certainly altered very much more. The Church is still willing to administer to the needs of the community, and it is not her fault if certain members of the community do not care about accepting her ministrations. I do not see that any argument has been adduced to show it is right to Disendow the Church. We are told the Church is different now from what it was before the Reformation.


I would remind the hon. Member that we have decided that question in an earlier part of the Bill. We are dealing now with the uses to which the funds should be put, and not with the question or the merits of Disendowment.


I am sorry if I have gone beyond the purpose for which I originally rose. Once more, I can only say I do not see that any reason has been adduced to show that concurrent Endowment is not a very much better scheme than that proposed in the Bill.


I understand the proposal is that that part of the money which is not going to be handed over to the Church should be applied by Nonconformists to what is called "religious purposes." The Church, in any event, cannot complain that its own share would not still be used for religious purposes, and I suggest to hon. Members opposite that it is for the Nonconformists themselves, through their representatives in this House, to decide what, in their opinion, are the purposes and objects to which this money is to be applied in future. I will also remind them, without going into the origin of the funds with which we are now dealing, that most of the tithe in Wales was by no means payable to the Churches but to the monasteries, and the monasteries were in part educational institutions.


Where were the monasteries at that time?


I would refer the hon. Member to the opinion of Mr. Willis-Bund, who is probably the highest authority on the history of the Celtic Church living to-day. The hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) based his arguments on what he suggested was the need of Nonconformists for funds, and he spoke about the desirability of cooperation between the Church and Nonconformists in Wales. He said speeches that had been delivered on this side of the House were not calculated to bring about that co-operation. I do not think the tone of the speeches of the hon. Member himself either are calculated to attain the end he professes to have in view. He referred to-day, for instance, to the standard of education among the Nonconformist ministry in Wales and to chapel debts. It is not the first time the hon. Member has dealt with those points. He has dealt with them on several occasions, not with the object of proving there was any need among Nonconformists for the money with which we are dealing to-day. May I repeat what I said on the Second Reading, that the Nonconformist ministry is as well educated and as cultured as the ministry of the Church of England, although the means at our disposal have been considerably less in the past? In case there be any doubt in the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite, may I read what was said by Sir Harry Reichel, of Bangor College, himself the son of a bishop? Speaking at the Church Congress in 1908, he said:— When I first came to Wales, Lampeter turned out a better type of man, taking him all round, than the best of the Nonconformist colleges. The position is now reversed. Lampeter men are quite outclassed by the students of the colleges who enjoy the full advantages of the new system. Therefore the suggestion of the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs that the Nonconformists need the money for the education of their ministers must of necessity fall to the ground. The hon. Member went on to what he called the debts of Calvinistic Methodists, a denomination with which I am myself associated. The suggestion of the hon. Member was that the debts of that denomination were such that they were unable to perform their work and to maintain their religious services. He forgot to point out that, whilst it is quite correct to say the debts have been doubled in the last twelve years, they have been doubled because new chapels have been put up, schools have been added, parsonages have been provided for the ministers, and libraries have been instituted. Whilst 'he said the total debts amounted to £600,000, he forgot also to add that the income of that denomination alone is over £200,000 a year. Far from being an impediment to the work, far from being a burden, as the hon. Member has suggested, it is perfectly well known that this denomination is probably the richest denomination in Wales to-day, and has not the slightest difficulty in obtaining money on the security of its members at from 3 per cent, to 3½per cent. The hon. Member suggested that the result of these chapel debts was overdue seating accommodation. That is an argument constantly used from the other side. Let me point out that the Commission itself, in its Report, showed that the parish churches in Wales are situated in remote corners, far from the masses of the population, and if anything can be said about seating accommodation being too large, let me give one figure. The seating accommodation of the chapel is 2.77 to each communicant, and that of the churches to the number of communicants is 2.86. Therefore the disparity between the number of communicants and the seating accommodation in the Church in Wales is greater than is found in the Nonconformist chapels.

The argument underlying the whole discussion on the other side to-night is this: It is suggested that Endowments are essential in the interests of religion. It is suggested that in the Church they are necessary and that in the Nonconformist chapels they are desirable. The hon. Member who has just sat down has suggested that we are attacking the Church in Wales notwithstanding the fact that it is making good use of its Endowments. I have said before, and I repeat, that we are attacking the Church because it is not making a proper use of its Endowments. It is said on the other side that the Church in Wales is progressive and active. So it is, but it is active and progressive where it is not endowed. Figures have been already given in this House to prove that the whole of the Endowments of Newport, Cardiff, and Swansea only amount to £1,000 per year, and it is well known to anyone who has the slightest acquaintance with the religious life of the Principality, that the Church is active and progressive, not in the rural districts, but in those towns. The real position is this, that hon. Members opposite are arguing in favour of Endowments from the success which has attended the Church not where the Endowments are, but where the Church is dependent upon voluntary effort. An hon. Member objects to that, but he can give me his answer when he comes to speak. I will take my own Constituency. That constituency enjoys 1–27th of the Endowments in Wales. The Nonconformists outnumber the communicants of the Church by eight to one. Twelve of the churches have less than twenty communicants, five of them have less than ten, and anyone who is acquainted with religious life in Wales, especially in the rural districts, must admit that Endowments far from assisting the Church have been its curse. Let me give three parishes in Anglesey. The Endowments of these three parishes amount to £2,200 a year besides parsonages and glebes, and they have only 200 communicants. So great a scandal was it, so much was it admitted by the laymen of the Church themselves, that twenty years ago a Bill was drafted—I do not know whether it was introduced into this House—to Disestablish the Church and pool the Endowments. I venture to say that if any effort had ever been made by the Church to pool its Endowments and apply them to where they were most needed, to transfer them as they ought to have been from the rural districts where they were wasted, to the towns whore they were most needed, little would have been heard of the proposal for the Disendowment of the Church at the present day.

9.0 p.m.

Then the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs concluded with an appeal for union and co-operation. If there is no co-operation it is not our fault. If the religious life of Wales shows so much bitterness and so much strife it is not due to Nonconformist bitterness or bitterness in the mass of the Church people. It is clue more to men who have been brought into the Church, to men like the Bishop of St. David's who have left Nonconformity for the Church, and have added to their zeal for religion all the bitterness of the convert. The hon. Member said he hoped, and a good many of us share the hope, that there may be a possible reunion in the future. I think it is quite possible, for this reason, that the strongest, if not the largest Nonconformist denomination holds to-day identically the same creed as the Church of England and they left it over a hundred years ago not on the question of doctrine but on a question of Church government. I was sorry that none of the three Welsh Members on the other side were present in the House yesterday when we were discussing the question of Convocation, and when the question of the future constitution of the Welsh Church was under consideration. I venture to say, and this is probably the last thing I shall say in connection with this Bill, that if the Welsh Church is capable of adapting itself to the needs of Wales, to mould its creed and adapt its liturgy to the genius of the Welsh people, a great success awaits it and the time may yet come when it will become a great power in my native land.


I do not know that I should have risen but for the last two speakers on the other side. Let me bring the House back to what this Amendment means. It is a very much wider and deeper Amendment than either of the hon. Members appear to understand. It is an Amendment moved so as to prevent what I believe to be an unprecedented and wicked action, namely, the diversion of fluids which have been devoted to religious purposes and the turning of them to secular purposes. That is the wider aspect of the question. The hon. Member opposite is very properly proud of belonging to the richest denomination of Welsh Nonconformists and he gave us details. What have they to do with the Amendment? I am glad to hear him say that. I am glad the hon. Member is a member of a denomination which is well off, and I hope all the others may be equally so.


I was answering the point put by the Member for East Denbigh.


I see the relevancy of it now. These bodies are devoted to religious purposes, and I am glad that money has been devoted for that purpose, but I venture to suggest the richest denomination in Wales or in England has room for more money, of which it could make good use even if it can borrow at 3 per cent., which is a better rate than Consols. What I want to get from the hon. Member is this. Does he or does he not think that money is an advantage to a religious body in its work? If a religious body has got lots of money, surely it means that it is more prosperous and more useful for its work. He shakes his head. Does he mean that it is better off without it?


I did not mean that. I meant that it was better off when it was dependent upon the voluntary efforts of those who attended the Church; that it was much more likely to be successful in that case, than when, like the Church in Wales, it is dependent, not upon the self-sacrifice of its members, but upon the self-sacrifice of their ancestors.


If a church has an income of £200,000 a year, would it not be better if it was £210,000 or £250,000 a year? It reminds me of the passage in Voltaire, where there is a discussion of a poor man with a millionaire, and the millionaire is terrified at the difficulty of dealing with his money, and the poor man turns to him and says, "Misery for misery, I prefer yours." Misery for misery, give me the rich Church in preference to the poor Church. An hon. Member laughs. We are accustomed to the way in which this Debate is conducted, and we shall expect his speech turning the matter into ridicule when the time comes. I am seriously discussing the subject, and I hope I am not using too strong an expression when I say it is almost cant to tell me that money is not useful for religious purposes. I do not care whether it is South London or East London, or the poorer parts of any large town, money is useful for religious purposes in the present circumstances. The hon. Member for the Colne Valley (Mr. Leach) and an hon. Member who spoke from the Labour Benches, both said that providing for the widow and orphan was a religious purpose. Yes and no. Every poor rate and every workhouse provides for the orphans and for widows. There is absolutely no direct connection between that and religion at all. It is work to which an agnostic or an athetist can contribute as well as a Christian. It is work which is frequently done by people who are avowed agnostics and avowed atheists. Many avowed atheists I happen to know are exceedingly moral men and exceedingly liberal in providing for these purposes, but they are pronouncedly hostile to religion in any shape or form, and they are perfectly honest about it. No doubt they think that atheism or agnosticism is a sufficient guide through life. I am protesting that it is not sufficient for the bulk of the people of any community or any country. Hon. Members like the hon. Member for Colne Valley, who ought to know better, dare to get up and half quote a verse in St. James's Epistle and say that— Pure religion and undefiled before God is to visit the fatherless and the widow and then to stop the quotation. To say that is in any sense of the word a real defence of anything but by the purest materialism—


Will you complete the quotation?


Certainly I will. and keep himself unspotted from the world. When you say you can preach that in any Nonconformist chapel and can get sufficient money out of those you are addressing, I say that if you speak to them about keeping themselves unspotted from the world there is some doubt whether you will fill your pews so satisfactorily. A preacher who preaches that in season and out of season—I am not speaking of Nonconformists alone, but of other denominations as well—is less likely to fill his pews and keep his pew rents up to a high figure, even in a fashionable chapel in the West End. Political aspirations make a very good subject in certain chapels. The hon. Member has been preaching a narrow materialism. It is narrow materialism to tell us that merely giving money to widows and orphans is a definition of Christianity in any shape or form. It is the narrowest form of atheism which any Socialist has ever preached in the East End of London. I am speaking possibly rather heatedly on this point, but it is because I believe religion to be the essence of our life in England. I am not defending the property of the Church of England. That does not come up at this moment. The question before us is, Are you going to devote to secular purposes, even to such good purposes as feeding the poor or giving it to hospitals, money which has been devoted to God and religion? You tell me that philosophy is just as good as religion and is just as useful, provided it produces the same results, and that so long as a philosopher visits the fatherless and the widow he is just as much a religious man as the Christian. That is untrue. When you are dealing with a nation, you want a mainspring. May I quote an extract, which puts into English far better than I could do it what I have been saying. It is in the book of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour). He writes this when dealing with Positivism:— What has Positivism to say to the obscure multitude who are absorbed and well-nigh overwhelmed in the constant struggle with daily needs and narrow cares. ‖Does it offer consolation to those who are in grief, hope to those who are bereaved, strength to the weak, forgiveness to the sinful, rest to those who are weary and heavy laden? If not, then whatever its merits, it is no rival to Christianity. It cannot penetrate and vivify the inmost life of ordinary humanity. I ask the hon. Member for the Colne Valley to carry that lesson home to himself. Do not say that the materialistic result of giving a certain amount of money to the orphan or the widow is religion. It is a thing which can be done by the most wicked man on the face of the earth, and it is certainly not a test of religion. Why did the hon. Member who spoke last say that he would not take this money? Why should not any Nonconformist body take it? If it is right to take it away from the Church of England, where if has been used for religious purposes, why should not Nonconformists take it? It is not confined to denominations represented by the last two speakers from the opposite side. There are other religious bodies, Jews and so forth, who would take their share in what came to their parish. They have given us no reason at all for refusing it. What is the reason at the back of their minds? They want money, like everybody else, for religious purposes. Why do they not take it? They say definitely that no Nonconformists will touch a penny of this money, and that it is no good our thrusting it upon them. What is the reason? Are they thinking that money got in a certain way does not do good to the recipient any more than it does to the donor? I suppose the Labour party think that is an old world superstition.


They do not believe a word of it.


I quite understand the hon. Member's view. He says that if money comes to him, let it come in any way. As Horace says— It does not smell. Get money somehow, and it does not matter how it comes. Why do Nonconformists decline to touch it? If they think it is right to take it away from the Church, why do they not accept it? Is there a lingering doubt in their minds that this is money that ought not to be taken from the Church? Is it because they think that the price of blood may not bring altogether a satisfactory result with it? If that is not the reason, what is it? They decline to take for religious purposes money which has already been used for religious purposes. I have heard no shadow of reason from the hon. Members opposite as to why they think it right to decline to take it, except the old superstition that sometimes ill-gotten goods bring no gain. I am going to protest on a much wider ground than this. This is a thoroughly bad precedent. You are taking money which is devoted, rightly or wrongly, to religious purposes, and you are devoting it to secular uses. Is it going to stop there? I submit certainly not. We are told from the Labour Benches a few minutes ago that Agnostics, Atheists, and Materialists are very largely on the increase. Of course, as they regard it, the money is devoted to superstition, and ought to be devoted to secular purposes. Quite rightly they take that view. It is the only logical view to take. But do not Nonconformist Members, who are using the assistance of people who believe that in getting this money taken away from the Church of England and diverted to secular purposes, see that this is a precedent which certainly is not going to stop at the money of the Welsh Church? It is going to be carried to its logical and proper conclusion, and if you believe religion to be a superstition, and a stupid superstition, it is a mere waste of money to use it in extending that superstition and working for it, and therefore it ought to be used for secular purposes. It is a logical, a fair, and a proper position to take up, but it is a position which no member of a Christian body ought to lend himself to, and he ought to oppose it in the most bitter way he can the first time it is suggested in the House of Commons.

Instead of that, we have Nonconformist Members opposing this Amendment. It will not stop there. It will not stop at the Church in Wales. It will go to the Church in England. Do you think it will stop there? Do you think the £200,000 a year which the hon. Member mentioned, is going to be held sacred for long? He told us that the parsonage house has been built and the bricks and mortar are still there. Do you think the magnificent edifices we see in London are going to stand? Once you adopt this principle of taking away money devoted to religious purposes, I do not care what religious purposes, and devoting it to secular uses, you are on the down grade. You are doing it with the assistance of the Agnostics, the Atheists, and the Materialists, and very properly and rightly from their point of view. This is not going to stop there, and if you do it for that reason you carry it on, and when the next time comes it will be quoted against you that on this occasion the House of Commons made a precedent, and a very bad precedent indeed, when, by a majority which included not only Materialists, but in many cases, the members of religious and Christian communities, they voted for the desecration of funds devoted to religious purposes and diverted them to secular purposes of any kind, whether those secular purposes are good or bad. I have spoken with some feeling because this is a matter on which I feel deeply, and I hope sincerely the House will think once, twice, and three times, before they decide not to press the Government to make a concession. It is not that the property of the Church is at stake. The Amendment does not raise that at all. Assuming that the property of the Church of England has gone, I most earnestly ask anyone, whether Churchmen or Nonconformist, on that side of the House to vote for devoting the money to religious and not secular purposes, and so prevent this evil and wicked precedent.


I understand the hon. and learned Gentleman does not admit that it is religion to visit the fatherless and the widow.


I never said so.


It is the result of religion, but not religion itself. I should have thought it was religion. I cannot help recalling the passage in St. Matthew where he gives an account of the Last Judgment Day, and where some sat upon the right hand of the Judgment Throne, and some on the left, and those upon the right hand are commended because they have done service to the Almighty by visiting the sick, clothing the naked, and looking after the destitute, and visiting those who are in prison, and they are puzzled for a moment. They do not comprehend that this is a Divine Service, and they ask, when did we do all this for the Almighty? And the reply then comes: "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me." I regard that as a very direct, explicit assurance from the Scriptures that care and relief of destitution, poverty, and misery is Divine Service.


I am not a member of the Church of England, as the hon. Member (Mr. Gladstone) is, but, as a Nonconformist I wish to answer the question submitted by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Kawlinson) from the Nonconformist standpoint. He says that no reason has been assigned upon this side of the House why we cannot accept some of this money for religious purposes within the Nonconformist churches. Many of us have for many years supported the principle of Disestablishment, but if at any time the Nonconformists were to accept the invitation which has been submitted to them that they were in favour of Disestablishment with the idea of obtaining some of the spoils of Disestablishment, they would be open to the sneers of many members of the Church in Wales that our advocacy of Disestablishment was for ulterior purposes. It would be impossible for the Nonconformist Churches in Wales to partake in any way of the funds of the Established Church. Notwithstanding the fact that there are very considerable debts upon many of the Nonconformist Churches in Wales, there is yet sufficient money in Wales to carry on all the work which is necessary for the Principality without falling back upon the funds of the Church. I am not at all sure that sometimes a little debt upon a Church is a very Bad thing. It brings out very often the loyalty of its members to their Church. We are accustomed in Nonconformist Churches, not only in Wales, but also in England, to pay our way and to pay our ministers, without relying in any way upon any Endowments. I do not think we could for any reason accept this money in the way proposed. I feel assured that it would be impossible for Welshmen who have advocated Disestablishment to submit themselves to the charge of having acted from what might be termed an ulterior motive. I hope hon. Members opposite will not think that we are unmindful of the apparent generosity with which they are offering us these funds.


This has been a Debate in which it is rather difficult for hon. Members on both sides to express their views in a way comprehensible to one and the other. It seems an extraordinarily difficult thing for us to secure any sort of understanding of our point of view from hon. Gentlemen on the other side. The hon. Member opposite (Sir W. Howell-Davies) spoke in the same strain as many others who spoke before him about the raising of money for Church purposes being good for the people themselves. I quite agree that it may be good for the richer people in the Church. It may be good for them to feel that they should make greater sacrifices and contribute more than they are doing now. But we have to consider the poor of the Church—those to whom, among others, the Church is ministering. It is obvious that if you take away money which is being well used for the purpose of ministering to the poorest in the congregation it will be those who will suffer. You might apply exactly the same argument to people who subscribe to hospitals. You might say that it would be a very good thing for rich people who subscribe to hospitals to have the money taken away and given to something else in order that they might feel the stimulus involved in denying themselves some luxury in order to make up what was taken away from the hospitals. It might be a good thing for them, but would it be good for the people in the hospitals? You may talk very magniloquently about making greater sacrifices, but you have to remember those who will have to suffer, certainly during the first stages of the operation of this Bill, if it ever becomes law.

What seems to me extraordinarily difficult is to make hon. Gentlemen opposite understand the difference between what we call spiritual work and social work. Speaker after speaker has got up, some with quotations from the Bible and some without, to try to demonstrate that the work which is to be carried out with this money when taken away from the Church is really religious work. They would like to make themselves think so, and they would like very much to make other people think so, but really in their hearts of hearts, cannot they see any difference between that social work and religious work? [An HON. MEMBER: "What is religious work?"] It is very difficult for me to explain, but I was going to try if the hon. Gentleman will give me time. The hon. Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs (Mr. W. G. Gladstone) quoted a very well-known passage, and he seemed to think that visiting the sick and the poor is exactly the work that is going to be carried out by the use of this money. I do not think it is in the least a parallel case. At any rate, it is work that should be done with their own money and not with other peoples. It means a different kind of sacrifice, though it is work not unconnected with religion. Our view is that this money belongs to the Church. There is no use going on to argue that point. We have said so again and again, and nothing that has been said on the other side has convinced us that we are wrong. Another hon. Member quoted a Scripture passage in the same sense. I think I can see their point of view, and I would like to try to make them see ours. All the work they are claiming this money for is work that can be done by the State and out of the rates. It is not necessarily religious work at all. Would it be any comfort to go to the widow and fatherless and, instead of giving them the ordinary spiritual counsel which a religious minister would give, to say to them, "There is a book in the library which was not there before, which you and your children can read. It has been given by the State under this Act." To my mind, that would not be the sort of comfort the widow and fatherless would value very much if at all. It seems to me that there would be no need for social legislation at all if there was perfect Christianity in this country. Is that proposition approved by hon. Members? [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Very well, I say what is wanted is more religion and not less. [An HON. MEMBER: "More Christianity."] Well, Christianity is religion, and it is my religion. Surely hon. Members opposite do not contend that Christianity is not religion?


If the hon. Member is appealing to me I would say that Christianity is a much more comprehensive term than your or my religion.


We must have some religion, and Christianity is my religion. I say if you had perfect Christianity you would have no need for social legislation. It would not be necessary to have legislation in order to make masters treat their men properly, nor would it be necessary in connection with family relations, or any of those other so-called social questions which we are constantly saying require very much attention in this House. We should be doing more good in all those directions if we left religion to work out those problems in its own way. I say this measure will hinder, instead of helping, religion. One is a matter of this world only, but the other is a matter that connects us with another world. I do not know if hon. Members understand what I mean by that. I mean that social work is a question of relieving people in this world of their actual worldly troubles, but religious work is keeping them in touch with the higher world, the higher aspirations, the greater hopes of something to look for and to comfort them, and to make them patient under their troubles. [An HON. MEMBER: "They are combined."] Of course, they are both combined, but what I say is that to do these things in a spiritual way is more effective. Religion appears to me to be something like the ladder Jacob saw in a vision stretching from heaven to earth, the top reaching heaven and the bottom fixed upon earth. Those who went up and down upon it are the saints of religion in all ages who have kept up the connection either by preaching and teaching or by influence and sympathy, connecting the lowest of us on this earth with the highest aspirations of another world. Religion and social work are totally different things. You cannot replace one by the other, and in supporting this Amendment we believe that rather than this money should be given to work which we consider should be done by the State or the public by taxes or rates it should still remain at the service of some religious body to be used by some religious spiritual person in a spiritual way, and not be given to county councils librarians, and others. I ask hon. Members opposite not to imagine that county council clerks and public librarians can take the place of ministers of religion.


I should not have intervened but for the speech of the hon. Member for Cambridge University. No doubt he is quite sincere from the standpoint in what he said, but I can assure him that those of us who do not view this question from the same point are quite as anxious as he for the prosperity of Christianity. My standpoint is faith in the intrinsic value of truth and Christianity. They will prosper whether you have money behind them or not. The money will come from the people who believe in Christianity. We have an object lesson in Wales on this matter, in the fact that the people out of their own hearts and their free will offerings are maintaining their religion, because they love it and because they believe it has a great mission. We are blamed to-night because we do not take some of these Endowments from the English Church in Wales. It is impossible for us to take that money. We are four denominations. We do not look at the same truths from the same standpoint, but we desire to carry our work in our own way, which has been most successful in the past. We believe in religion, but some of the Members on the other side take a very narrow view of what religion means. I was very glad to hear the hon. Member for Kilmarnock quoting those verses from St. Matthew, and we believe that if the man is touched in his heart he will carry out those works, and if he does not carry out those works of charity and faith in daily life he has not been touched with the spirit of Christianity in its true and best sense. We have been blamed as being irreligious to some extent by some hon. Members on the other side because we cannot see from our standpoint our way to take this money to carry out our own view with regard to religion. But if our view is wrong we are willing to pay for it, and we have paid for it. Every chapel in Wales is a monument of a freewill offering of the people willing to do what they can for their fellow man in all manner of ways.


Why not keep-things as they are?


No. There is a greater principle than all that in it. Some of us Welsh people have come to London, and we maintain Welsh causes in London because we believe in them. We have about thirty or forty Welsh places in London, and we provide for poor girls in shops, medical students, and all the young people who come flooding to our churches year after year. We maintain our chapels week after week and month after month, and while we do not desire to blame the Established Church in London, and do not say anything with regard to the work which they are doing, yet they must have out of this fund £450 a year. Which is the most spiritual of the two? The hon. Member said that the Nonconformist preacher was not so outspoken with regard to the sins of the world as the clergyman. I ask who is the most outspoken in Wales to-day with regard to the condition of things? The Nonconformist minister has been in the forefront at all times to do what he can to raise up the nation to a higher level of spiritual activity. I want hon. Members on the other side to understand that we do believe sincerely in this matter. We believe religion to be outside the State altogether. We do not want the Church touched which is most sacred with ourselves. We want to work out our own salvation because we believe in it, and because we believe in the intrinsic value of the religion in our hearts, and that it will carry the world before it, and that one day the world will come to the feet of the Master, through these voluntary gifts given through the hearts of the people for the sake of the principles in which they believe.


I wish to refer to some remarks which were made by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock Burghs. It is quite true that the quotation which he gave is from Saint Matthew, but the real point raised is this: In order to educate the Christian spirit which gives the result described in the text he quoted, you ought not to take away funds which are now being used for devotional purposes. Surely there is all the difference between spiritual work and social work. Of course, spiritual work ought to result in good social work, but you must have the Christian spirit in the first instance. That is exactly where I join issue with what was said by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock Burghs and many hon. Members on the other side. We do not deny that these good social works may be good Christian works. The question is where you will get the motive to perform works of that character. You do get it from the devotional spirit, which develops the Christian spirit, and these funds which you are now dealing with are at the present time devoted to this devotional work. If you are to have this outcome in Christian spirit, you ought certainly not to take away funds which are now being used to promote the Christian spirit which necessarily precedes the Christian work. One other word as regards the question of concurrent Endowment. I think hon. Members on the other side forget certain things in which there is what I may call concurrent Endowment at the present time. I may take four illustrations which are perfectly well known in this House. There are £30,000 of Endowments at present for Presbyterian ministers in Ulster. Will any Nonconformist here venture to say that funds of that kind which are used for the stipends of poor ministers in Ulster are in any way detrimental to Christian work or the Christian spirit in Ulster? All statistics show exactly the contrary.

It is a question which we may well put to Members on the other side of the House: Are they prepared to say that funds used in this way for devotional purposes, funds that came directly from the State, have any other result than to promote the Christian, spiritual feeling which we think so necessary as regard spiritual and Christian work? Take, again, the Church in Scotland. There you have what we should call a Nonconformist Church from the Anglican point of view, which is the Established Church, that is, the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. Does anyone say, looking to the history of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, that they have in any way suffered in their religious and spiritual life, or in any way rendered less high that life from the fact of having received this Endowment? It is exactly the contrary. The funds are wanted for devotional purposes, and they are being admirably used to the present day. Take another instance which will perhaps come home more closely to the Members on the other side. We know, as regards places of worship and Nonconformist chapels, that they are relieved from the payment of rates if they are used only for devotional purposes. That is Endowment by the State in the strictest sense of the term. It does not matter whether you relieve them by £5 or £10 a year, or give £5 or £10 a year in money. At the present moment every Nonconformist chapel in this country has an Endowment of that character. Can any hon. Member on the opposite side say that because of an Endowment of that character the spiritual work of those places of worship is worse done? We heard from the hon. Member who has just sat down that Welsh Nonconformist bodies in London are doing splendid work. Is that work hampered or rendered less efficient because the chapels in which it is carried on are relieved of the payment in rates? Really it is a quixotic notion which will not bear examination when one comes to examine the facts. There is just as much Endowment in this relief from the rates as about any Endowment of which we have been talking. I agree with what an hon. Member has said, that so far from in any way interfering with religious work, it is assistance which Nonconformists readily take, and which they find to be useful in carrying out their religious work.


If the hon. and learned Gentleman will allow me, I would reply that one of the Welsh chapels in London allows a portion of their hall to be used by a polytechnic and education society, and in consequence they have to pay rates to the amount of £80 a year.


Is not that a good example of what I was saying, that so long as chapels are used solely for spiritual purposes, they are relieved of the rates? Of course, if they are used for polytechnic purposes or other than spiritual purposes, they have to pay the rates; but the point I wish to emphasise is that this relief from rates in respect of places of worship used solely for religious purposes, is an Endowment by the State at the present moment, and I defy any one to say that any harm is done to the religious character of the work carried on by an Endowment of that description. Take the instance of what is called undenominational education, which we know is favoured by Nonconformist bodies in this country. That, is an Endowment by the State at the present moment. So far as Church education is concerned it is not directly endowed in the same way. I am not going into that however. But are Nonconformists going to say that education is worse because there is an Endowment of undenominational teaching by the State? Wherever they have been able to get Endowments from the State the Nonconformists have willingly taken them, and as regards their spiritual and devotional life, those Endowments have worked to their advantage. I do not blame them. Everyone knows that however highly we talk about matters of this kind, we cannot carry on great religious organisations without sufficient funds. We cannot possibly touch the spiritual and Christian life of some of our large populations in our poorer slums without having some means of paying the ministers to go into those districts in an endeavour to introduce the Christian spirit. It must be within the knowledge of everyone that as regards Nonconformist work, which I do not for a moment wish to criticise, there are constant appeals made for funds in order to carry out their spiritual duties more efficiently. There is nothing in that; it is merely acknowledging what must be an admitted fact, that to do the work well, you must have sufficient funds, and that in order to have spiritual agents, you must pay spiritual agents a fair stipend.

Another argument was used by an hon. Member opposite who spoke lately. He said he was afraid that improper motives would be attributed to Nonconformists if, when they were seeking to take Church funds, they accepted them for their own use. I think I am putting quite fairly what he stated. I agree with him up to a certain point; but he must see that that is not what we are arguing now. We are not saying at the present time that the Nonconformist bodies are first of all taking our funds, and then asking for them for their own purposes. What we are saying is something quite different. We say that if religious devotional funds are going to be taken, let us see they are used for religious and devotional purposes and not for secular purposes. Surely when Churchmen have made that statement, the hon. Member cannot sggest that the motives of Nonconformists, if they assented to that proposition, could be impugned in the same way as they might have been impugned if in the first instance, before Disendowment, there had been a proposal to endow certain Nonconformists, Let us put on one side—and I think we have to a great extent—in our discussions, questions of impugning improper motives either the one side or the other. Let the hon. Member have the courage to do what is right. Very often it is the greatest courage to adopt an attitude which primâ facie may appear to be in one's own interest, and therefore the motives are impugned. Does he think it right that these funds now used for devotional pur- poses should be taken away from those purposes and applied to secular purposes or not? The question is whether the spiritual life in this country needs these funds, having regard to our large and poor population, and I would ask him and other Nonconformists to have the courage of their views, and not to be afraid of motives being impugned, and which certainly Churchmen will not impugn? Let them join with us on this important principle, not to allow these funds, which have been devoted to the promotion of Christianity and religious life, to be used for purely secular purposes.


I do not think I have yet spoken on this Bill. I have listened to-night to the flood of learning displayed by Members opposite, but have not been impressed by their views. What most amazes me is the insistence by the Opposition speakers on the value of money as a means of spreading spiritual graces among the Churches. I think they are wrong. I think the gifts of God are not to be bought by money and that there is no room for Simon Magus in matters of devotional concern. For centuries this view has been proclaimed in the history of the Christian Church by its leading men. If you look at Milton's poems you will find that he quotes three great Italians, Dante, Petrarch, and another, each one denouncing in poetry the evils of the gift that Constantine made to the Church. It is therefore quite reasonable that the Welsh Members should take that view. They have had experience, and they know all the advantages and disadvantages. I must say I think it would be a very grave misfortune if the efficacy of the Churches was to be ascribed to money. Is it conceivable that we can pass this Amendment when we have a number of hon. Members, nearly all of them Englishmen, insisting that this money shall be taken by the several sects in Wales, while the representatives of Wales get up and, from the point of view of patriotism and from the view of Christian knowledge and experience, insist that they will not have this money? Under these circumstances it is possible that it can be forced on them or on any of the religious communities? Where is this concurrent Endowment to end? How many sects are to be included? The representatives of Wales seem to be nearly all against it. How can this House be asked to decide at the instance of English Members that Welsh Nonconforming Churches shall accept what they do not want and what they believe would do harm to religion? I need not say which way I mean to vote.

10.0 P.M.


I should like to say, not having spoken before in this Debate, how I have noticed during the whole course of it a note of anxiety lest on a subject so closely involving religion any hard word should be stated. That strain of thought has not been entirely successful, as, for instance, when the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University spoke about these funds now in the possession of the Church in Wales as being possible blood money if they were diverted to other purposes. I think that was an accidental expression of what is generally recognised in this House as an extremely kind heart. When we get talking about religion, we are at times apt to lose sight of the fact that in the main we are all seeking the same end. Can we not get back to first principles and ask ourselves what are the titles of the Church in Wales to this money? That is the first principle, after all. Was this money given, as a part of it was by the State, for those subtle religious and spiritual purposes, theological purposes, if you like, which nobody has been able fully to define? Our contention on this side, which we urge on the consideration of those who differ from us, is that those funds were given to the Church not only for that purpose, but also, and rightly, for secular purposes. To us as a nation we cannot help considering that the Church is standing in the light of a great national trustee, and a trustee whose duties have not been fully carried out, a trustee from whom the intended beneficiaries have drifted away, and in their drifting away have been deprived of some of the funds which the State in loco parentis, so to speak, designed for them. You cannot get back from that injustice and leave things as they are, plus a suggestion of concurrent Endowment. We have the argument that to make sure that the original intentions of the trust should be carried out these founds should be distributed to various agencies for purely religious purposes, whatever they may be, and I am not going to try and define them. That would mean that you would have to have a sort of unholy compact between a whole number of sects and federations and societies, and you would have to settle limits beyond which you would not go, and you would have to say what particular body or society was not in your opinion qualified to become one of the distributors of this fund. I think by that course you would find that the later stage of the matter was in a worse entanglement than it is at present. The hon. Member for South Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) pointed out that you had concurrent Endowment in the relief from local rates which the Nonconformist Churches enjoy to-day. I am sorry so learned an authority on Church history brought that argument in. Does he know nothing of the long struggle Nonconformity had to escape those rates? It is burned within the memory of every Nonconformist who knows the history of his Church. With regard to the present freedom from rates, does he not remember what occurred in connection with a Public Health Act passed in the sixties? In that Act it was provided that Nonconformist Churches, which were growing increasingly important and powerful, should be exempted by the parochial or municipal authorities from all claims to paving charges, which were a very heavy burden. The Church party in London was able to rule London out of the benefit of that concession, and for long years Nonconformist churches have had to pay, and in many cases are still paying, contributions to the very heavy paving charges, while Episcopal Churches erected later are free from that charge. I do not know that any Churchman in this House—the hon. Member for Oxford University, or the other hon. Member to whom I have referred—would think that that was a fair state of affairs. That is not concurrent Endowment in the same form. It is an aid, but the right thing would have been to have made all Churches alike pay their paving rates and pay their local rates.

We made a blunder in this House some years ago, we Nonconformists, when we altered the law with regard to marriages in Nonconformist churches; and, in the same temper that has led people to claim concurrent Endowment, insisted that Nonconformists should be treated like Churchpeople, instead of claiming that Churchpeople should be treated by the civil authorities as Nonconformists were. We cannot get away from this view of the case—that these funds were given to the Church as a trustee, not merely for those high and well-nigh undefinable religious purposes to which frequent reference is made, but for others. The Church was the Poor Law authority, and the only one. She was the education authority, and the only one. She was the visitor of the sick, the comforter of the oppressed, the defender of all who were in trouble. Men who desired to help any of these good causes had only her arm through which to work That time is past. We simply come to say, "Tell us which of these funds have been ear-marked for all time for these specific purposes, and not one of us would for worlds take a penny of that money." Otherwise you have no moral right to take these funds, and, however good in a general way your intentions may be, divert them from their original purposes to one section of the community when they were intended for the benefit of all.

You are not going to get out of that by inviting Nonconformists to share in the plunder. It is not Nonconformists property any more than it is yours. It is the property of the State. You must share in the benefits as Nonconformists, and all others do. You must have no favour over any other section of the community. We have had to-night a long discussion about the secularisation of the funds. We speak of high religious purposes. I do not want to get into controversy about what are such purposes, but I remember that the Divine Carpenter of Nazareth spoke of the healing of the blind, the restoring of those who were sick, and, last of all, the preaching of the Gospel to the poor. There will be no secularisation of the funds in the proposals made by Welsh auhorities in regard to the national distribution of this property for the common good. You may urge your claims to every penny—and you have done so successfully—which is purely spiritual money for spiritual purposes allocated for all time for your one denomination; but over and beyond that, we ask you to give clearer and more cogent reasons than you have yet done for retaining these funds, however good may be your intentions with regard to them.


The hon. Member opposite has made a very interesting speech. Its value was considerable on first impressions, but that value was altogether destroyed by a strong delusion as to the facts of the case. Not a scrap of this money was ever given for any national, social, or civil purpose whatever. No mediaeval person would ever have dreamt of such a thing, and to speak in the terms used by the hon. Member shows how thoroughly remote he is from the point of view of the day in which this money was given. No mediæval person would have ever given a penny towards education except in so far as education was distinctly religious, or have given a penny to the poor except in so far as the poor might be relieved through the Church. The whole conception is utterly remote from that of the day in which these Endowments were given. We have every right to complain of Gentlemen, of whom the hon. Member is an admirable type, most well-intentioned, most sincerely doing what they think is right, but who have not taken the trouble to inform themselves of the very elements of the subject which they are speaking. The hon. Member made a most admirable speech in tone and in sentiment, but absolutely without value owing to its being an expression of boundless ignorance. It is really deplorable that at this time of day we should have vamped up once more this empty pretence that the money which is now being taken was in any respect whatever national money, or given to the nation, or to the society, or to the community, or to the municipality, or to any body of the kind. It was never anything of the sort. Nobody who has ever read a line of history can really argue that it was. I can understand people arguing that it was given to Roman Catholics. But you cannot say both. Do you say that it was given to Roman Catholics? If it was given to Roman Catholics, it was certainly given for religious objects. You cannot say that it is Roman Catholic money, and at the same time say that it is the money of the Welsh nation. Whatever the Roman Catholic Church is, it is not the Welsh nation. You must not contradict yourselves in the course of a single Debate, and even in the course of a single speech, as some Members who defend this Bill are not ashamed to do.

I can understand again—and that is the very point with which this Amendment deals—a person saying that this money was given to Christians as it was known in the Middle Ages. Very well. We propose under this Amendment to give it to Christianity as it is known in the twentieth century. You propose to give it to secular objects quite remote from the original purposes. I can understand your casting aside the pious donor altogether, but you must really make up your mind which of these contradictory cases you are going to adopt. Does any Nonconformist, or any religious person in England or Wales, seriously say that it is better to spend money on any of the objects contained in this Bill, than on preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments? I do not believe there is a single one who will say sol I am quite sure that none of the numerous witnesses that we examined before the Welsh Church Commission would have dreamt of maintaining the position, that as a matter of right it was better to spend the money on any of the objects enumerated in this Bill than on propagating the Gospel according to the teaching of any of the various denominations in Wales. Another hon. Member on the other side said a great deal about the degradation of this Debate because it was a matter of money. It is perfectly true that religion does not depend for its essential life in any degree whatever upon money. Everyone recognises that if you took away every penny from all the religious denominations, religion would still continue. But the work of the religious body would be very considerably limited. People constantly confuse religion in itself. The existence of the Divine reality in the Church—for this purpose I expressly avoid defining what we mean by the Church; undoubtedly we mean different things, but the proposition is equally true whatever definition you accept—the existence of the Divine reality in the Church would go on whatever happened to its material resources. But the number of its disciples would be immensely restricted.

I think it was Dr. Pusey who was accustomed to say that the Catholic Church was once contained in a single upper chamber, and that he would not cease to believe in it if it were again contained in a single upper chamber. That is a very fine saying. But if you look at religion, not in its own essential life, but in the number of disciples that it draws in, and the degree to which it can make the Gospel a means for the healing of the nations, money becomes all-important. It becomes important because it is the means by which religion reaches the world at large. It is like any other mechanical apparatus that is necessary to bring to mankind the valuable gifts that originate in nature. Take water. According to Scripture and long tradition water is accepted as the symbol of religion. But you cannot get water without the proper apparatus; you must have a water supply. It is much the same with religion. Religion is there just the same as water is there. But you cannot get it without the mechan- ism, which you must provide for yourselves in order to obtain it. Money is therefore necessary. What do we really mean by taking away the money of the Church? No one—no one on this side—believes that the Church in Wales will suffer in her essential character by this Bill. Of course not; no one dreams of such a thing. What we mean is that the usefulness of the Church is restricted, especially in the industrial districts in Wales, where there is constant need for more money than is in the hands of all the religious denominations put together; In these districts you injure the work of the Church.

For the purpose of this Amendment what do we propose? We propose that some effort should be made to use the money. If you will not allow us to use it as we believe it ought to be used for the work of the Church, we propose to use it for the work of Christianity—to take Christianity as a whole, to accept as a fact the schisms and separations that have taken place, and to allow all denominations to profit by those ancient Endowments which were, as we conceive, originally intended for the Church. We do not think that a just settlement, but we do take it as a religious settlement. We believe that the Bill, as at present drawn, inflicts injustice and hampers the cause of religion. At the proper opportunity we oppose both. Upon the present occasion if it is not open to us to resist the injustice that is to be wrought to the Church, at any rate, we say, while you are doing this injustice do not also inflict a great injury upon the cause of religion. Surely that is not unreasonable! I cannot believe that the only answer that will be offered to us is that Nonconformists simply refuse the money. Surely this House ought, as the great authority of the State, to sit impartially in the matter? It is not for us to consider what particular religious denomination will accept or reject. It is for us to consider what in the spiritual interests of the whole community it is they should accept. If after that they take the responsibility of handing the money over for some secular purpose, that is their responsibility, not ours. Our responsibility is to say that the money which has from old time been dedicated to religious purposes should, not be diverted to secular purposes. I cannot in this matter believe, if the matter were fairly considered, if hon. Members considered it fairly, apart from all party prejudice, and apart from all ulterior effects, that the mere subject necessarily produces on the general political position, I cannot believe that there would be a serious difference of opinion in this House on such a situation.

I am confident that the overwhelming majority of religious Nonconformist opinion, of Nonconformist opinion that is not actually associated with politics, is strongly in favour of keeping money that has been given to religion for religious purposes. I quite understand that—I think it was the Chancellor of the Duchy who made the point—that no Nonconformist body or no assembly of Nonconformists has claimed any share of the money. I can quite understand they do not put it in that way. They do not say they desire to get something out of the settlement. It is unfair to ask for such a test as that. It is not reasonable to say to people, "We will not give you anything unless you come out and ask for it," because they would then lay themselves open to the accusation in the minds of unthinking people that they were actuated by unworthy motives. But if the question was put, "Do you think the money should be kept for spiritual purposes," I am sure the great mass of Nonconformists would say yes. They have their minds at present altogether confused by an artificial association between Establishment and and Endowment. These people do not understand the history of the matter and do not know how artificial that conjunction of the two ideas is. The case for Disestablishment and Disendowment are altogether different, and the case for Disendowment and the case for rejecting concurrent Endowment are altogether different. What we propose to the House is that you should retain for the particular spiritual purposes of propagating the Gospel the money that beyond all question was given to religious purposes, and not given to secular or municipal or communal purposes. We put it on the ground that no honest man who respects the dictates of justice could deny, and we put it still more when we say that it is withheld from the propagation of religious funds more than ever indispensable and urgently called for in, order that the work of religion may be properly carried out for the benefit of the people of Wales as well as those in other parts of the country. Do not let anyone lay to their consciences the solace that they do not incur a great moral responsibility in the vote they give on this question to-night. A vote against this Amendment will be a vote on the side of irreligion.


The burden of the Noble Lord's speech is that Disendowment necessarily inflicts injury upon the cause of what I may call active religion. When a Church suffers injury inflicted in that way—and I imagine that description will be accepted by hon. Gentlemen opposite—it has been the almost universal observation that that Church, so far from diminishing in activity in the cause of religion, generally receives a great impetus in her work. That may seem a strange doctrine to propound in connection with Endowments. I see the hon. Member for Denbigh Burghs smiles incredulously. Fortunately we can bring it to the test, and from very recent events, and I propose to take two outstanding instances in recent ecclesiastical history in this country and on the Continent as showing that the contention of the Noble Lord is not fully justified. I recollect that in a previous speech of his he said to us on this side that we had no right to support Disendowment simply because we believed that Disendowment would act as a liberating force. But I think we are entitled to take into account the effect it will have in other respects, and I propose to give the House very briefly the two instances I have in my mind. I think no one will question the fact that the decision given some eight or nine years ago by the House of Lords in the famous Scottish Church case was a severe blow at the Church affected, and I ask the Noble Lord to mark this fact. There was as a result an outburst of enthusiasm and devotion in the cause of active religion within that Church which was absolutely unparalleled in the history of that Church since 1843, and the result was that not only was the financial damage very quickly and adequately repaired, but the sum of £300,000 was raised by voluntary subscription. No doubt the outrage was so great that Parliament ought to intervene to see that the trust was carried out in that respect, but the point which I am making is that that which was to all intents and purposes an act of Disendowment had the immediate effect of turning the Church in upon herself and renewing her old enthusiasm. We are all aware that the Noble Lord opposite dwells in a mediaeval atmosphere, and I do not propose to follow him, because I am dealing with twentieth century facts. The other case is even more remarkable, because it is exactly on all fours with what we are discussing to-night, or rather, it is the exact reverse but on the same subject. Some few years ago the State in France resolved to terminate concurrent Endowment, and the effect of that was to deprive every religious organisation in France of large sums of State money which they had previously enjoyed for their work. It is on record that in France the same religious result followed—and I speak with some knowledge of the Protestant bodies there—as in the Scotch case. What is more germane to this particular point is that, at all events, in one case which I have investigated—and possibly it was the same in all the Protestant Churches—the total income from voluntary sources after Disendowment was greater than the income before Disendowment from both voluntary and State sources combined. On the general question of the Noble Lord's speech we have again to confess, as we have done many times during these Debates, that there is a great and almost unsolvable conflict of principle between us. We believe that in the end the principle for which we stand is just, and that is why we feel that it must ultimately prevail.


I should not have risen, but for the remarks of the hon. Member who has just spoken, which, if they mean anything at all, mean that the Nonconformists in this House are supporting this Bill for the sake of benefiting the

Church of England in Wales. Is that true? Because it is alleged that certain Churches have been benefited by Disendowment, do our Nonconformist friends assert that they have taken up this Bill for the sake of benefiting the Church of England? They know it is nothing of the kind. The hon. Member has seized upon one passage in the eloquent and convincing speech of the Noble Lord (Lord Hugh Cecil), and he has tried to satisfy his own conscience by answering that one passage. That is a specimen of the way in which Nonconformists, I do not speak of Churchmen or Freethinkers—[An HON. MEMBER: "What about your own side?"]—I am talking of Nonconformists in this House when I say that is the way they are palliating their consciences when they know that they are deliberately taking away money which is being used for the spread of the Gospel and devoting it to purely secular purposes.

It being Half-past Ten of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of 28th November, 1912, and 30th January, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided. Ayes, 167; Noes, 278.

Division No. 571.] AYES. [10.30. p.m.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Chaloner, Col. R G. W. Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence
Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R. Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Harris, Henry Percy
Ashley, W. W. Clive, Captain Percy Archer Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Astor, Waldort Clyde, J. Avon Helmsley, Viscount
Baird, J. L. Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Cooper, Richard Ashmole Hewins, William Albert Samuel
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Courthope, G. Loyd Hickman, Col. T. E.
Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester) Craig, E. (ches., Crewe) Hill, Sir Clement L.
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Hills, John Waller
Barnston, Harry Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Hill-Wood, Samuel
Barrie, H. T. Craik, Sir Henry Hoare, Samuel John Gurney
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred Hope, Harry (Bute)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Dalrymple, Viscount Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Doughty, Sir George Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Duke, Henry Edward Home, W, E. (Surrey, Guildford)
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Hunt, Rowland
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish- Falle, Bertram Godlray Hunter, Sir C. R.
Bigland, Alfred Fell, Arthur Igleby, Holcombe
Bird, A. Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)
Blair, Reginald Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Denis Fortescue Fleming, Valentine Kerry, Earl of
Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid) Forster, Henry William Kimber, Sir Henry
Boyton, James Gardner, Ernest Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Bridgeman, W. Clive Gibbs, George Abraham Knight, Captain E. A.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gilmour, Captain John Kyffin-Taylor, G.
Burn, Colonel C. R. Goldsmith, Frank Lane-Fox, G. R.
Butcher, J. G. Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Larmor, Sir J.
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)
Campion, W. R. Grant, J. A. Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Greene, W. R. Lewlsham, Viscount
Cassel, Felix Gulnness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Cator, John Gulnness, Hon.W.E. (Bury, S.Edmunds) Long, Rt. Hon. Walter
Cave, George Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hall, Frederick (Dulwich) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover S.)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University) Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth) Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)
M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) 'Randies, Sir John S. Terrell, H. (Gloucester)
Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Rawson, Col. R. H. Touche, George Alexander
Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas Rees, Sir J. D. Tullibardine, Marquess of
Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton) Remnant, James Farquharson Valentla, Viscount
Mount, William Arthur Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)
Neville, Reginald J. N. Rolleston, Sir John Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Newdegate, F, A. Royds, Edmund Wheler, Granville C. H.
Newman, John R. P. Rutherford, John (Lanes., Darwen) White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)
Newton, Harry Kottingham Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Salter, Arthur Claveil Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid) Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood) Wills, Sir Gilbert
Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A. Sanders, Robert A. Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Worthington-Evans, L.
Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge) Spear, Sir John Ward Wright, Henry Fitzherbert
Perkins, Walter F. Stanier, Seville Yate, Col. Charles Edward
Peto, Basil Edward Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston) Yerburgh, Robert A.
Pole-Carew, Sir R. Starkey, John R. Younger, Sir George
Pollock, Ernest Murray Stewart, Gershom
Pretyman, Ernest George Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Ormsby-Gore and Lord N. Crichton-Stuart.
Pryce-Jones, Col. E. Talbot, Lord E.
Quilter, Sir William Eley C. Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Dewar, Sir J. A. Hodge, John
Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda) Dickinson, W. H. Hogge, James Myles
Acland, Francis Dyke Dillon, John Holmes, Daniel Turner
adamson, William Donelan, Captain A. Holt, Richard Durning
Addison, Dr. Christopher Doris, W. Hope, John Deans (Haddington)
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Duffy, William J. Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)
Agnew, Sir George William Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Ainsworth, John Stirling Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley) Hudson, Walter
Alden, Percy Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) Hughes, S. L.
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus
Arnold, Sydney Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Elverston, Sir Harold John, Edward Thomas
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)
Baltour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Essex, Sir Richard Walter Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Barnes, G. N. Esslemont, George Birnio Jones, J, Towyn (Carmarthen, East)
Barton, W. Falconer, J. Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)
Beale, Sir William Phipson Farrell, James Patrick Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Jones, W. S. Glyn. (T. H'mts., Stepney)
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.) Firench, Peter Joyce, Michael
Bentham, George Jackson Field, William Keating, Matthew
Bethell, Sir J. H. Fitzgibbon, John Kellaway, Frederick George
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Flavin, Michael Joseph Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Boland, John Plus George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Kilbride, Denis
Booth, Frederick Handel Gill, A. H. King, J.
Brace, William Gladstone, W. G. C. Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)
Brady, P. J. Glanville, Harold James Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Brunner, John F. L. Goldstone, Frank Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)
Bryce, J. Annan Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Leach, Charles
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) Levy, Sir Maurice
Burke, E. Haviland. Greig, Colonel J. W. Lewis, John Herbert
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Griffith, Ellis J. Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke) Lundon, Thomas
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar) Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Lyell, Charles Henry
Byles, Sir William Pollard Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Lynch, A. A.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hackett, J. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood) Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton) McGhee, Richard
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Hancock, John George Maclean, Donald
Clancy, John Joseph Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Clough, William Hardie, J. Keir MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, south)
Clynes, John R. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Macpherson, James Ian
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) M'Callum, Sir John M.
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) M'Micking, Major Gilbert
Cotton, William Francis Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Marks, Sir George Croydon
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hayden, John Patrick Marshall, Arthur Harold
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Hayward, Evan Martin, Joseph
Crumley, Patrick Hazleton, Richard Meagher, Michael
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Healy, Maurice (Cork) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Davies, E. William (Eiflon) Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.) Middlebrook, William
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Millar, James Duncan
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Molloy, M.
Dawes, James Arthur Henry, Sir Charles Molteno, Percy Alport
De Forest, Baron Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Mond, Sir Alfred M.
Delany, William Higham, John Sharp Money, L. G. Chiozza
Denman, Hon. R. D. Hinds, John Mooney, J. J.
Devlin, Joseph Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Morgan, George Hay
Morrell, Philip Raffan, Peter Wilson Sutherland, J. E.
Morison, Hector Raphael, Sir Herbert H. Sutton, John E.
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Muldoon, John Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Munro, R. Reddy, M. Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)
Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Tennant, Harold John
Needham, Christopher T. Redmond, William (Clare, E.) Thomas, J. H.
Nolan, Joseph Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Norton, Captain Cecil W. Rendall, Athelstan Thorne, William (West Ham)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Richards, Thomas Verney, Sir Harry
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Richardson, Albion (Peckham) Wadsworth, J.
O'Doherty, Philip Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
O'Dowd, John Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
O'Grady, James Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, w.) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
O'Malley, William Robertson, John M. (Tyneside) Watt, Henry A.
O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Robinson, Sidney Webb, H.
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Roch, Walter F. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
O'Shee, James John Roche, Augustine (Louth, N.) White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
O'Sullivan, Timothy Roe, Sir Thomas White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Outhwaite, R. L. Rose, Sir Charles Day Whitehouse. John Howard
Palmer, Godfrey Mark Rowlands, James Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Parker, James (Halifax) Rowntree, Arnold Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Parry, Thomas H. Russell, Rt. Hon, Thomas W. Wiles, Thomas
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Wilkie, Alexander
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Scanlan, Thomas Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Sheehy, David Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Sherwell, Arthur James Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Pointer, Joseph Shortt, Edward Winfrey, Richard
Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Young, William (Perth, East)
Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Primrose, Hon. Neil James Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Pringle, William M. R. Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Radford, G. H. Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)

Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments and New Schedules moved by the Government of which notice had been given.

Government Amendments made: In Subsection (1), paragraph (a),leave out the words "a scheme" ["in accordance with a scheme"], and insert instead thereof the words "one or more schemes." After the word "council" ["made by that council"], insert the words "either alone or jointly with any other such council." After the word "charitable" ["to any charitable eleemosynary or public purpose"], insert the word "or." Leave out the words "or public." At end insert the words, "including the aiding of poor scholars."

In Sub-section (1), paragraph (b), after the word "of" ["University of Wales by way of payment"], insert the words "the appropriation of." After the word "of" ["for the benefit of the following institutions"], insert the words "the university and." After the word "Monmouthshire" insert the word "and." Leave out the words "and the National Museum of Wales." Leave out the words "each of the other institutions," and insert the words "the National Library of Wales." After the word "distributable" ["of the total amount so distributable"], insert the words and that in applying its share each such university college shall have regard to the needs of poor scholars."—[Mr. McKenna.]