§ (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Welsh Commissioners shall by order transfer the property vested in them by this Act, as follows:—
- (a) they shall transfer to the representative body—
- (i) all churches;
- (ii) all ecclesiastical residences, together with any moveable chattels held and enjoyed with or as incident to the occupation of any such residence, by the incumbent for the time being of the office to which the residence is attached;
- (iii) all funds or endowments specially allocated to the repair, restoration, or improvement of the fabric of any such church or ecclesiastical residence;
- (iv) all property which consists of or is the produce of or is or has been derived from Grants made by Queen Anne's Bounty out of moneys provided by Parliament;
- (v) all property which consists of Or is the produce of or is or has been derived from Grants made by Queen Anne's Bounty out of the Royal Bounty Fund;
- (vi) all glebes: subject to the payment by the representative body to the Welsh Commissioners of a sum equal to the value of such part of the glebes so transferred to them as does not consist of private benefactions, such value to be determined by the Welsh Commissioners, regard being had to the tenancies, charges, incumbrances, interests, and rights subject to which the glebes are transferred to the representative body;
- (vii) all private benefactions;
- (viii) if so requested by the representative body, any burial grounds which before the date of Disestablishment have been closed under or in pursuance of the provisions of any Act of Parliament or of any Order in Council made thereunder;
- (b) of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer the burial ground of any ecclesiastical parish so as to vest the same in the existing incumbent during his incumbency and on the determination thereof—
- (i) where the burial ground is situate in an area in which the Burial Acts, 1852 to 1906, are in force or in which a burial ground has been provided under the Public Health (Interments) Act, 1879, or a local Act, in the burial authority, or where the burial authority is a joint committee, in such one or more of the authorities represented on that committee, or in trustees on their behalf, as the Welsh Commissioners think fit;
- (ii) where the burial ground is situate in a rural parish, or in a part of a rural parish in which the Burial Acts, 1852 to 1906, are not in force, in the council of that parish, or, if there is no council, in the chairman of the parish meeting and overseers of that parish; and
- (iii) in any other case, in the council of the borough or urban district in which the burial ground is situate:
- (c) of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer any tithe rent-charge which was formerly appropriated to the use of any parochial benefice to the council of the county in which the land out of which the tithe rent-charge issues is situate:
- Provided that where such land is not situate in Wales or Monmouthshire they shall transfer the tithe rent-charge to the council of such county in Wales and Monmouthshire as the Welsh Commissioners think fit;
- (d) of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer any other property which was formerly appropriated to the use of any parochial benefice (including the money paid tinder this
2016 Section by the representative body in respect of glebes) to the council of the county in which the ecclesiastical parish to the use of which the property was so appropriated is situate: Provided that if such ecclesiastical parish is situate in more than one county the property shall be transferred to such one or more of those councils or be divided between them as the Welsh Commissioners may think fit;
- (e) they shall transfer all other property vested in them to the University of Wales.
§ (2) Save as otherwise provided by this Act, all property transferred under this Section shall be held subject to all existing public and private rights with respect thereto, and all tenancies, charges, and incumbrances which may at the date of transfer be subsisting therein, and in the case of all such property, except tithe rent-charge transferred to a county council, to the existing interests of all persons who at the passing of this Act hold ecclesiastical offices in the Church in Wales, and in the case of such tithe rent-charge to the obligation to make such provision as is hereinafter mentioned in lieu of such existing interests.
§ (3) Where property of any such class as aforesaid has before the date of Disestablishment been sold, redeemed, or otherwise converted, or where any moneys are at that date held upon trust to be applied in the building purchase or repair of, or to make good dilapidations in, property of any such class as aforesaid, the proceeds of sale, redemption, or other conversion, and such moneys as aforesaid or the securities in which such proceeds or moneys are for the time being invested, shall be dealt with in like manner as if they were property of that class:
§ Provided that this Sub-section shall not apply to money (not being a private benefaction) which is the proceeds of sale or is held on trust to be applied in the purchase of glebe or to the securities in which any such money is for the time being invested.
§ Captain TRYON
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), paragraph (a), after the word "body" ["they shall transfer to the representative body"], to insert the words "(i) all glebes."
The effect of this Amendment will be that all glebes will be transferred to the representative body—that is to say, all 2017 glebes will be retained by the Church. This is perhaps one of the oldest forms of Church property connected with obligation in this country, and these glebes have their origin in personal gifts to the Church. Parliament has not given these glebes. It has confirmed the Church in its possession of them, but Parliament has not given them, and we submit that before the glebes should be taken away from the Church the Government ought to prove their claim, as anyone else has to prove their claim before taking property away from those who hold it. We hold that the Government has not proved its claim. Clearly the income from these glebes is, in the first place, not a tax; and, in the second place, the Irish Church Bill affords no precedent whatever for seizing these glebes. The justification visually put forward in that case was that the Irish Church had more money than she needed, and that she was not applying it well. Whatever may be the merits of these two contentions, no one can put them forward against the Church and against the retention of these glebes by the Church. I would also plead that the House should, in considering whether the Church is to retain these glebes, apply to the Church that modern eye which the Government found so extremely convenient when considering the case of Ireland under the Home Rule Bill. There were no doubt good reasons why anybody considering the Irish Bill should only have a very modern eye, but if that is their principle, let them apply it all round and consider the merits of the Church to-day. What has been done has been not to apply the modern eye, but rather the eye of some spiteful research into distant ages, and to try to rake up some story about what the Church did in the seventeenth century. We say that the Church ought to be judged on its merits to-day, and by its undoubted claim to hold this property.
I have listened to the Debates on this Bill, and I have refreshed my memory by reading them. Therefore, I would like to deal with the arguments put forward for the Government. The first seems to be an objection to Endowments of any kind. There are hon. Members opposite who object to religious work being carried out through income which comes from Endowments, but on looking further into the question, I find that the Liberation Society has actually prepared a form of will or bequest urging people, if they cannot see 2018 their way to contribute to their funds during life, to leave something for the "Liberation Society." Therefore, I say you have this extraordinary situation that they do not object to Endowments so long as they are held to attack a Church, though they object to Endowments to carry on religious services. Another objection is that income from glebes comes, as an hon. Member expressed it, from the sweat of the Nonconformist brow. It is a most dangerous doctrine to set up in this country that a Church, or religious body of any kind, is not entitled to receive its income from land which is situated in a particular district where the majority of the people are not adherents of that particular Church. If that is a sound doctrine, it should be applied all round, and if it is applied all round, there is no Church which would not suffer from it. Some hon. Member asked whether Nonconformists would work any less if this Bill were passed, and replying to the question he said, "No, but the result of their toil would go to national purposes." It seems to me a Socialistic doctrine that the results of the efforts of workers should go not to individuals but to the nation. I am not going to discuss the question of Socialism, but I would ask, how can anybody apply this form of Socialistic doctrine to one form of property only, in one part of the country alone, and in that part of the country only to what is held by one particular Church? That is an absolutely untenable position. I think the history of these glebes is a history of continuous effort made through many centuries by the people of Wales to help the religious life of Wales. We had quoted to us by the Leader of the Welsh party a very beautiful passage as to one of the first grants of land made to St. Dubricius in the sixth century for religious purposes. The particulars are contained in an old book "Llan Dav." The curiously worded account says:—Be it known that Pepian, King, son of 1b. gave the maenor of Garth benui up to the black marsh, with wood, field, and water, and the casting a net of King Constantine, his father-in-law, across the river Wye to God and Dubricius, Archbishop of Llan Dav, and to Junapeius, his cousin, for his soul and for the writing of his name in the Book of Life with all its liberty, without any earthly census and sovereignity, greater or smaller, except to God and St. Dubricius and the servants of the Church of Llan Dav for ever.Therefore, for fourteen hundred years that Endowment has gone on for the service of God, and now we, the House of Commons, are asked suddenly to stop that, and to divert it to some purpose other than that to which it should be for ever sacred. 2019 Some suggestions have been made to the effect that there should be a time limit. I do not see any reason why there should be any time limit to the honesty of the English nation. Some Liberals have supported our claim with respect to the right of the Church to these Endowments. They have been attacked, I think unjustifiably, in a violent manner by their colleagues on their own benches. They are spoken of as though they were not Liberals at all. I am not sure that they are not a good deal better Liberals than those who have brought in this Bill. It is a little difficult now-a-days to decide what it is that constitutes a Liberal. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or a Tory."] I should like to call attention to the position of this particular land under this Clause. There are, it is well known, a section of the Liberal party who propose to confiscate all land by taxation. That is their policy, stated shortly. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I do not wish to intervene in the disputes of hon. Members opposite, but what I have stated is true. What do they do by this Bill? They first of all take away land which we think belongs as a matter of absolute right to the Church, and then they proceed to try to sell back to the Church land which we hold to be the Church's own land. Then when the new taxes have been imposed in a few years they will be enabled to confiscate again this land which they have sold to the Church. I do not think a more dishonest proposal has ever been put forward than this. I must remind Members opposite that when these advanced Liberals win a by-election they are hailed by the Prime Minister as victors in the progressive cause. My point is this: Those Liberals who are supporting us in this matter of Church property are more true to Liberal traditions than those who are attacking the Church. When we hear so many appeals made on the subject of friendship and the desire for unity and concord among the Churches, I would suggest that those Liberals who are supporting us are better friends of peace than those who are opposing us. I think we and all members of the Church will remember that, although there have been bitter attacks upon us, and although this Bill will inflict a grievous injury, there are some men on the Liberal benches who by the stand they have made for the Church have done something which will in the future tend to that concord of which their colleagues speak so much, and for which they do so little.
§ Mr. MOUNT
I beg to second the Amendment. My hon. Friend has said that if this Amendment were accepted by the House it would retain for the representative body the glebes which the Church now enjoys. I am perfectly well aware that there is an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the Home Secretary which proposes to make an alteration in the Bill as it now stands, and which would, if carried, no doubt do away with perhaps one of the greatest hardships which the Bill, as it stands, inflicts in regard to the question of glebes. In taking away the glebes you are taking away from the Church property which we say rightly and properly belongs to us, and which has been undoubtedly given to the Church in the past. It is rather interesting, I think, to see what has become of the arguments on which hon. Members opposite based their support of the original proposals with regard to the Disen-dowment part of this Bill. We do not hear any longer of the tax theory of the Home Secretary. We are told no doubt that this property—glebe and tithe—is national property, given originally to the community. We on this side say that that statement is untrue, and that there is no foundation in fact for it. But if there is one kind of property which it is proposed to take away from the Church of which this statement is untrue, it is the glebes, which undoubtedly do belong to the Church, because they were given to the Church, and not to the community. Glebe undoubtedly was not given to the Church as a whole, but was given for the maintenance of a minister, and for the services of a church in a particular parish. I think it is a little interesting to refer to what took place on the Committee stage of this Bill when the question of taking away glebe from the Church was discussed. Like my hon. and gallant Friend (Captain Tryon), I have refreshed my memory in regard to the Debates, and I was interested, on reading again the speech of the Under-Secretary for the Home Department, in which he made an excursion into the ancient and primal history of Wales. Coming to the time when individual ownership of land was part of the law of the land, he said:—After individual ownership was established as part of the law of the country, the private donor gave land to the Church. He gave it to God, the saints, and the incumbents.I quite agree with him. Hon. Members are taking it away from God, the saints, and the incumbents, and giving it to the 2021 county councils for other purposes. I am aware that hon. Members opposite still say that at the time these glebes were given to the Church there was only one Church in the country, but I would ask them whether, if they base their argument on the fact that there are now more than one denomination, they ought not to take this glebe which was given to God, the saints, and the incumbents, for the cause of religion, and divide it among the religious denominations serving that great purpose. If there is any consistency whatever on the part of hon. Members opposite, surely, at any rate, we ought to be entitled to retain from part of these glebes—some part of these Endowments—for the Church. It is perfectly true that private benefactions and other parts of Church Endowments are retained to the Church, but it is proposed to take away from the Church the whole of the glebe and give it to the county councils for other purposes. I say that hon. Members opposite when they base their argument on the fact that at that time glebe was given there was only one Church, ought now, when there are more than one Church, to say that that property ought not to be retained only by one Church. I say we are justified in keeping it, because the Church of England to which this property was originally given, as has been admitted by the Prime Minister in more than one speech, has maintained spiritual continuity, and that it is only as regards those reasonable changes of evolution, which I think every hon. Member opposite will admit are signs of growth rather than anything else in a Church or religious body, that it has changed. I cannot help asking hon. Members opposite whether they believe that other denominations but that of the Church would be able to maintain a really sound title to all their property if no change of evolution were allowed in their doctrine or growth. I support the Amendment, because I believe that if there is one form of property which was originally given to the Church, to which the title of the Church is sound and good, to keep as its own now it is glebe.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Ellis Griffith)
This is the second time that the House has considered this question of glebes. After very lengthy debate some time ago this House decided that glebe was portion of the property of the Church that should be devoted to public purposes. I listened with great attention to the 2022 speeches of the hon. Gentlemen who moved and seconded this Amendment. I think the proposer spoke under a misapprehension in thinking that we are opposed to Endowments of all kinds, because under this Bill the Church retains every penny of the Endowments which it has received during the last 250 years. I mention that not that I expect hon. Members opposite to agree with me, but in order that there may be no misapprehension on the point. Rightly or wrongly—we think rightly—we hold that the property given to the Church before 1662 stands on an entirely different footing from the property given to the Church after that date. It is idle for anyone to say that we object to any Endowment in any form for the Church of England. With regard to this question, I noticed that the two hon. Members who moved and seconded this Amendment were able to keep away from the sacred word "frankalmoign" during the whole of their speeches. I congratulate them upon their reticence in that respect, and I shall follow their example. What I have to say on that question was said on a previous occasion, and I do not wish to repeat it, except to say this: What I submitted to the Committee then was that the greater part of the property by way of glebe was given as frankalmoign, and frankalmoign meant prayers for the dead. The Bishop of St. Asaph, in referring to this subject, says in his book, "Landmarks in the History of the Welsh Church":—These donations were given by powerful chieftains in atonement for crime, and one of the Church's most potent weapons seems to have been a species of excommunication so that these guilty chieftains should offer substantial atonement for their crimes.That seems a long way off from the pious ancestors that we heard so much about in these Debates from time to time, but I can understand that one must not go too meticulously in the origin of these gifts except that when we are referred to these pious ancestors, and when we are asked in their sacred names to leave these gifts, it is just as well that the House should know their origin. The motive of the gifts was personal and selfish. They were given by men who wanted a return for their money. They were not free gifts. They were given for a consideration, and the consideration was prayers to be said for the donor. The donor was, of course, the best judge whether these prayers were necessary or not. It seems to me going a long way in regard to a personal selfish gift of that kind to say that in its origin it I is a religious gift or a gift for some 2023 religious purpose. It is quite true that in carrying out the trust a religious service was necessary, because that was the condition of the gift, but the motive was not religious. It was personal and selfish. What became of these gifts? Hon. Members on both sides are agreed that Parliament can take away any property from anyone, but that is not the question. The question that we who support this Bill must satisfy ourselves and the country on is not that we have a legal right to do this, but that we have an ethical right—that is to say, that our proposals are based upon justice. Going away from the time when these gifts were originally given, and coming to the Reformation, at the Reformation there was no dispute that it became impossible for the organisation which had the property to fulfil the trust on which it is given. I do not suppose that the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University will deny that it is illegal at the present moment for the Church to say prayers for the dead. If that be so—
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
If the hon. Member had been in many churches during the South African war he would have heard prayers for the dead in all these churches.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
Then I understand the view of the Noble Lord is that it is legal for the Church of England to say prayers for the dead?
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
That is the Noble Lord's view, but I would like to hear some of the hon. Members from Liverpool to see what they would say about that. At any rate at the date of the Reformation the Noble Lord will admit that the Church of England looked upon the previous organisation of the whole of this property as idolatrous and superstitious, and it is a curious thing, which I do not allude to except by way of reference, that the monastic property held by this trust, the chantries were devoted by the King to his own purposes, and the purposes of the noblemen who were his friends. Why? Because, I presume, they knew that the reformed Church of England could not perform the original purposes of the trust, and therefore the property must go to someone, so he gave it to himself and to his friends, and I am sure there are descendants of these men who still have the property, and I do not blame, them for that, but a great deal of these chantry 2024 properties are now owned by the descendants of men who then got them. The parochial glebe was held upon similar trust. Our submission to the House is that all those properties were given in order to benefit the soul of the donor. The property went to the general fund of the Church for the time being. Therefore what we have got to consider now in readjusting the trust is, To what general purposes did the property of the Church at that time go? And we say it was not given for religious purposes in the special sense referred to by hon. Members on the other side of the House. It was given for the assistance of strangers and wayfarers and for looking after the sick and the needy.
These were the general purposes at that time, and our view is that you cannot apply this property in more near accordance with the original trust than in applying them for a similar purpose at the present day. I do not want to repeat the old argument which we have heard so often. Our view is that the beneficiaries were the nation as a whole. The Church was the nation on its religious side, and therefore it is impossible now to give it to a Church which is only the nation on its very partial side. It is quite right that these glebes, given for the purposes enumerated, should now be restored to the services of the people as a whole, and that is quite consistent with the purposes of this Bill. We have always held that property which has been given to the Church since 1662 should be retained, but with regard to this property, which is one of the oldest forms of property the Church has, and was given to the Church not as a Church, but as representing the nation as a whole, the Church no longer represents the nation as a whole. It represents only a small section of the Welsh people. In those circumstances, when you have this property given for the nation as a whole, you cannot give it for its original purpose unless you set it aside for general purposes. We are asked to look at this with a modern eye, and we are doing our best. Our view is that we should best consult the original purposes of the trust and do full justice to the Church and the wishes of the pious donor or the guilty chieftain, whichever it may be, by saying that in future this property should not be retained for the purposes of a small fraction of the population, but devoted to the purposes of the people as a whole.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
Without seeking to raise again a question which was debated very fully in Committee, I would like to 2025 answer what has been said by the Under-Secretary for the Home Department, because I think he has not learned much from the Debates which have taken place on this point. Take the first fallacy. He draws a distinction between the Church before and after the Reformation period, or 1662. He means by that one of the dates of the Reformation period. Surely we pointed out often enough that that is a view which is absolutely denied by the Prime Minister and by the right hon. Gentleman, who is recognised as one of the ablest advocates on his side who have spoken on this question, the Solicitor-General. They have both repudiated from top to bottom this view which is again put forward. Their view is so different that I may state it in order to show the extreme contrast. They say there is a difference as regards glebe Endowments, whether you have an Established or a Disestablished Church, and it is on that point they put what we call the confiscation of Endowments, either as regards glebe or tithe rent-charge. Of course, that is poles asunder from the view put forward by the Under-Secretary, and I beg at the outset to repudiate wholly on behalf of Churchmen that there is any truth whatever in the suggestion that you have a different Church or a different body or a different religious community, whether you are dealing with the Church before or after the Reformation. I do not want to emphasise that further. I adopt the words of the Prime Minister, and no one has spoken more clearly and more satisfactorily on that point than he has. Leaving that point, let me come to the other argument, the impossible argument which the Under-Secretary has addressed to the House. First, as regards the origin of these glebe Endowments, it is perfectly well known that they were given, as stated by Archbishop Anselm and Bishop Gibson, because unless you dedicated a glebe you could not get a Church consecrated at all. I may refer to the words of Bishop Gibson, as he is an authority on whom historians rely:—…such absolute necessity for glebes. Without them no church could be regularly consecrated.The Under-Secretary for the Home Department is absolutely inaccurate in suggesting that glebes were given for such purposes, for instance, as the chantry funds. I would point out that we are dealing with the chantry funds, and there again I think the hon. and learned Gentleman is mistaken both as a matter of history and a matter of law. What frankal- 2026 moign means is this: It has no reference to the purposes for which it was given at all; it is the first form of freehold tenure, absolutely free from all feudal duty—in fact, a form of tenure wholly based on religious grounds, and wholly dissociated from all secular duties of any sort or kind. It is an absolute fallacy to quote frankalmoign when, at the same time, you admit that the whole purpose of frankalmoign was religious in its purpose, and not feudal or secular. This is an important point, and I should have thought that it was quite clear and was essential that, in order to consecrate a church, you should have any frankalmoign free from all secular or feudal duties, and therefore not liable to confiscation or escheat. That is an historical legal proposition which no one in any way can find fault with. It is the simple fact. When feudal tenure was abolished in the time of Charles II., frankalmoign was preserved and exists to the present day, because it was the only feudal tenure to which no feudal duty was attached. It was a religious tenure of the Church, and there was no feudal duty at all.
Let me point out the error the Under-Secretary makes in regard to the Chantry Act and what he calls superstitious duties. The Chantry Act only refers to land already confiscated before the date of the Act of Edward VI., and what it really did—it is rather like a Budget Bill, if I may use that illustration—was to give to the King, who then represented the Government, for his use, land already confiscated under previous provisions of the Act of Henry VIII. We are not dealing with that at present. At that date, let me point out, any trust property devoted, for instance, to what was called nonconformity purposes at the present time, would have been, in the eye of the law, a superstitious use. In that day any property devoted to any religious purpose except a particular religious purpose—that is, the religious purpose of the Church—was regarded as ipso facto trust property devoted to superstitious uses. Therefore it is quite idle to quote to-day what was applicable at that day—a day, by the by, of the most brutal tyranny as regards Church matters or as regards superstitious uses. Exactly the same argument would invalidate every Nonconformist trust held by every Nonconformist community at the present time. I hope hon. Members will recognise that I have duly followed what I understood was 2027 the last exhortation of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Home Office—to deal with this subject with what he called the "modern eye." That is what we desire to do as regards all religious trust Endowments, whether in the hands of the Church or in the hands of other religious denominations. It is a monstrous thing to say that you are to test all religious Endowments for religious purposes by adopting the test which was applied in the days of Edward VI. If you were to make it general, there is not a single trust fund applied to any religious purpose of either a Roman Catholic or any Nonconformist body in this country which would stand the test. I protest against that. I think to apply a test of that kind is utterly immoral and utterly inequitable. I am not attacking Nonconformist Endowments; on the contrary, I think it is admirable that they should have Endowments and trust funds to be used for religious purposes.
But what I am finding fault with is this applying to our Endowments a test which, if applied generally, would invalidate every religious Endowment or religious trust fund at the present time held by Nonconformist bodies for religious purposes. If we appeal to equity, then let all religious bodies be dealt with on one footing and in the same way, and leave us our glebe lands, which come from no State Grant or anything of that kind, but have come to us in the same way as the property of all other religious bodies—whether religious Endowments or trust funds—has come from benefactors or other members of any religious communion. In regard to glebes, you cannot draw any distinction which differentiates their position from that of any other trust of any other religious community in the country at the present time. I must give one further answer to the hon. and learned Under-Secretary. He said that the using of these funds for county council purposes or for university purposes was using them in accordance with the cy prés doctrine—that is, according to his interpretation, near to the original dedication. That is wholly and absolutely untrue. I am not going into the question of tithe rent-charges. We know that there is a great difference between the two sides of the House on that point. But there can be no difference as regards glebes. Glebes were in their essence dedicated to religious purposes 2028 only, and you cannot select them out for confiscation without falling into two mistakes—first, confiscating property which is being used for Church funds at the present time, and, secondly, alienating for purely secular purposes what was dedicated originally to devotional and religious purposes. I do not think the Under-Secretary has introduced a single new argument, and I have only risen to say in reference to the arguments he has put forward that they have no foundation either in history or in law, and the challenge which we have thrown out to show that they have any such foundation has never yet been answered in any of our numerous Debates upon this subject.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I did not take part in this Debate in Committee, and I admit it was one of the subjects introduced in the Bill on which I had not come to a definite conclusion in my own mind. I always held that from the Liberal standpoint tithe clearly must be dealt with in the manner proposed by the Bill, but that Queen Anne's Bounty should be left to the Church, whilst the question of Parliamentary Grants and glebes, it appeared to me, occupied a middle position. I am not now giving my views on the question of Parliamentary Grants, except to say, in passing, that I think the House erred on the side of the Church in yielding up those Grants, and I was rather surprised that the Welsh Members did not fight for them more. With regard to the question of glebes, I have very carefully considered it from my own independent standpoint before coming to a conclusion. Unfortunately, the speech of the hon. Member for Morley (Mr. France), who introduced his famous Amendment, did not at all go to the root of the matter. I do not challenge the hon. Member's good faith, or his motives and sincerity, but, at the same time, I learned nothing at all from his speech in reference to the merits of the question. The Debate which followed was more or less confused. This afternoon I listened very carefully to the speeches of the Mover and Seconder, with a sincere desire to find out what was their view of the origin of this property, and who had the best legal and also moral claim to it. They threw no light on that subject, but they referred to tithes, Parliamentary Grants and Queen Anne's Bounty, and the miscellaneous funds or undefined funds which, in their opinion, were better given to the Church than given to the Welsh county councils.
2029 I quite agree that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bucks (Sir A. Cripps) has made a speech of rather a different kind; I think he did go to the root of the matter. But taking the speech of the Mover of this Amendment, he commenced on the false ground that everyone on this side of the House holds the views that Endowments are undesirable. If the hon. Member will not take the trouble to find out what our views are, it is very difficult to come to close quarters in an argument, or to find a solution. The fact of the Endowments, after 1662, remaining in the hands of the Church shows that we are not against all Endowments for religious purposes. If we had held that view, logically we might have formulated a proposal to take away all the Endowments of the Church in Wales on the ground that they did her harm. But no such position is taken up on this side of the House, and therefore what is the use of dealing with the question as if we were in favour of taking all Endowments? As to what one might do privately on the subject is another question. There are differences of opinion. A considerable section in the country believe that Endowments do harm to a church, just as wealth leads to the deterioration of the character of its possessor. There is a good deal to be said for that point of view. But it has not been put forward by the Liberal party. The Independent Methodists do not believe in a paid ministry; they believe in voluntary service, and clearly they could not have Endowments or glebes for the purpose of supporting a pastor, or minister, or priest. If they considered Endowments at all, it would be purely for the public. They do not mind meeting in board schoolrooms, town halls, or mechanics' institutes, or, very frequently, in the open air.
If a political party, especially the party which is represented on the Government Bench, were, in this House, to take up that extreme position, then the speech of the Mover of the Amendment would have been pertinent; but, unfortunately, he seemed to me to confuse certain definite views which are held by some religious bodies, called Nonconformist, with the general position of the Liberal party. The hon. Member who seconded the Amendment apparently suggested that if these glebes were taken away from the Church of England they should be handed over to the religious bodies. Surely he ought to remember that most of those religious 2030 bodies would repudiate those gifts. I do not know whether he remembers the famous article written about a generation ago by a distinguished Wesleyan, one of the leading ministers of that body, the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, who always maintained that the policy of Constantine had injured the Church. It is useless to talk of concurrent Endowment, and there fore I ask hon. Members opposite not to make that suggestion. It cannot be entertained by the other religious bodies—
§ Mr. ALFRED LYTTELTON
On a point of Order, Sir. Is the hon. Gentleman in order in speaking about concurrent Endowments?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The question of concurrent Endowments can be properly-raised on a later Amendment to-day.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I was replying to the remarks of the Seconder, who gave concurrent Endowment as a reason why we should adopt the Amendment. I have, however, concluded those observations, and I am not going to pursue the point. The hon. Member for South Bucks complained that the Under-Secretary had not gone fully into the matter. The Under-Secretary said he did not want to repeat his former speech, and I do not think it is quite fair criticism to complain that he did not reproduce the arguments which he used in the Committee stage. I would like to challenge the hon. and learned Gentleman upon one very definite point. He claimed that at the time these glebes were given they could not have been given to support any other doctrine, because at that time a tyrannical State held that all other doctrines were superstitious. Surely that grants our whole case. If it was the case that any person religiously disposed must leave the funds to this particular Church, and if they left them to any other body they would be supporting superstition, surely that supports the case that the moneys left at that time were subject to State supervision and to State correction. May I point out that the hon. and learned Gentleman entirely ignored the position of the Roman Catholic Church? It is all very well to talk about spiritual continuity. I am not going to say that those who worship in the Church of England are any less attached to her ministrations because of her ancient lineage; but, at the same time, surely an ecclesiastical lawyer of the eminence of the hon. and learned Gentleman cannot come to the House of Commons and to 2031 Parliament, which has again and again imposed its will, its varying will, upon the Church and upon its funds, and then talk as if there had been no interference whatever by this House or by the State with a Church and its funds. Really, the hon. and learned Member has so imbibed the High Church, the high clerical and high Anglican view, that it colours history and his law. I should have thought that any common-sense man in the country would remember that many of those gifts were given when the Church was distinctly Roman Catholic and other gifts were given to it when it was a fighting Protestant Church, burning Roman Catholics. I do rejoice that the hon. and learned Member in the midst of his
§ somewhat biassed law and history should have given us one solid fact on which we can depend, namely, that these Endowments were given to the Church by the direction and command of the State, which said, "If you want to employ them in a religious way this, and this only, is the means of grace that you shall recognise." Under those circumstances I thank the hon. and learned Member for having proved the whole case of the Government, not merely upon glebes, but upon the Disendowment proposals generally.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 248.2035
|Division No. 569.]||AYES.||[4.50 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Jessel, Captain H. M.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Craik, Sir Henry||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Ashley, W. W.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Kerry, Earl of|
|Astor, Waldorf||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Keswick, Henry|
|Baird, J. L.||Croft, Henry Page||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Dairymple, Viscount||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Doughty, Sir George||Knight, Captain E. A.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Kyffin-Taylor, G.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Barnston, Harry||Fell, Arthur||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Lee, Arthur H.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Fleming, Valentine||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Fletcher, John Samuel||Lloyd, G. A.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Forster, Henry William||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gibbs, G. A.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gilmour, Captain John||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Goldsmith, Frank||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S.Geo.,Han.Sq.)|
|Bird, A.||Grant, J, A.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)|
|Blair, Reginald||Greene, W. R.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Gretton, John||Mackinder, H. J.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Macmaster, Donald|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||M'Mordie, Robert James|
|Boyton, James||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Haddock, George Bahr||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Butcher, J. G.||Harris, Henry Percy||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Campion, W. R.||Helmsley, Viscount||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Cassel, Felix||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfleld)|
|Cator, John||Hickman, Colonel T. E.||Nield, Herbert|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Norton-Griffiths, John|
|Cave, George||Hills, John Waller||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Clay, Capt. H. H. Spender||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Houston, Robert Paterson||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hunt, Rowland||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Randles, Sir John S.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Starkey, John R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Rawson, Col. R. H.||Staveley-Hill, Henry||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Stewart, Gershom||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Rolleston, Sir John||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Rothschild, Lionel de||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Winterton, Earl|
|Royds, Edmund||Talbot, Lord E.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Sanderson, Lancelot||Thynne, Lord Alexander||Yate, Col. Charles Edward|
|Sandys, G. J.||Touche, George Alexander||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip||Tryon, Captain George Clement||Younger, Sir George|
|Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Valentia, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Mount and Mr. Pollock.|
|Spear, Sir John Ward||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||King, J.|
|Adamson, William||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Alden, Percy||Falconer, J.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Farrell, James Patrick||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Leach, Charles|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Finench, Peter||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Field, William||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Fitzgibbon, John||Lundon, Thomas|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lynch, A. A.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Gill, A. H.||McGhee, Richard|
|Barnes, G. N.||Ginnell, L.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Glanville, Harold James||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macpherson. James Ian|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Goldstone, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Bentham, G. J.||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Boland, John Plus||Greig, Colonel J. W.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Brace, William||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Meagher, Michael|
|Brady, P. J.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leltrim, N.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hackett, J.||Millar, James Duncan|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Molloy, M.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hancock, John George||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Morrell, Philip|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Morison, Hector|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Muldoon, John|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Munro, R.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Clough, William||Hazleton, Richard||Neilson, Francis|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Henry, Sir Charles||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Compten-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Cornwall. Sir Edwin A.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hinds, John||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eilot||Hodge, John||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hogge, James Myles||O'Dowd, John|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Grady, James|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Malley, William|
|Davies, Sir w. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John|
|De Forest, Baron||Hudson, Walter||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Delany, William||Hughes, S. L.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Dillon, John||John, Edward Thomas||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Doris, w.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvll)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Duffy, William J.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Joyce, Michael||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Keating, Matthew||Radford, G. H.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Kellaway, Frederick George||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Reddy, M.||Sheehy, David||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Shortt, Edward||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Watt, Henry A.|
|[Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clithcroe)||Webb, H.|
|Richards, Thomas||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Wedgwood, Joslah C.|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Snowden, Philip||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Sutherland, J. E.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Sutton, John E.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Robinson, Sidney||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Roch, Walter F.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Toulmin, Sir George||Winfrey, Richard|
|Rowlands, James||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Verney, Sir Harry||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Russell, Rt. Hon Thomas W.||Wadsworth, J.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Walters, Sir John Tudor||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wardle, George J.|
|Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
§ Mr. EVELYN CECIL
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "churches" ["(i) all churches"], to insert the words "and the churchyards adjoining or in use with the same."
Clause 8 transfers the churchyards to the local authority—that is to say, to a non-ecclesiastical body, the burial authority, or the parish council, or the urban district council, or other council as the case may be. My Amendment proposes to retain for the Church representative body churchyards which are adjacent to the churches or in use with the same. On 21st January the Home Secretary made the assumption that we had agreed to the proposal in the Bill that the churchyards should be handed over to the Welsh Commissioners. We had no opportunity of doing anything of the kind. This Clause was closured without discussion, and we had not the chance, and we have only now for the first time a chance, of unfettered discussion upon this topic. Under the Irish Act, when churchyards adjoined the churches, they were retained for the Church body. I admit that the Irish Act is not quite on all fours with the present proposals of the Government, but in this matter it seems to me that the House might reasonably follow the provision in the Irish Church Act, and allow the churchyards to be under the same undivided ownership as the churches themselves. I have added the words, "or in use with the same" because it seems reasonable that in a case where a churchyard is just over the road it should be equally under the same ownership as the church itself. The argument of the Home Secretary, in opposition to my proposal, so far as one could gather it, is that all parishioners have existing rights in the 2036 churchyards, and that therefore the local authority is the proper body to represent them. That is a very poor argument. It is one which, if the Home Secretary chose, he could easily push much further with about as convincing logic. If he says that existing rights in the churchyards belong to all parishioners in such a way that the local authority ought to own the churchyards, he might just as well apply a similar argument to the edifice of the Church itself, and say that because the parishioners have existing rights to sit in a church, therefore the local authority is the proper body to control the whole of the church building.
I should like the Government to apply themselves to this aspect of the matter, and to say whether they consider that the existing rights of parishioners to sit in the parish church will be retained after this Bill is passed, and whether, if they are so retained, they push their argument to the extent of saying that the church buildings ought therefore to belong to the local authority. I shall be glad to hear that the Government draw any satisfactory distinction between the two, and, if they do not propose to adopt the outrageous position of handing over the buildings of the church itself to the local authority, why they think it necessary to hand over the churchyard. In all these Debates the Home Secretary is very sedulous to enforce the existing rights of parishioners, but he is very ready to ignore, and indeed very remiss in enforcing, the existing rights of the Church to her Endowments. Looking at the matter from a practical common sense point of view, there is surely a great administrative disadvantage in the separation of church and churchyard into separate ownerships. It is impossible to 2037 hand them over to different ownerships—to the representative Church body in one case, and to the local authority in the other—without great danger of friction. Hostile local authorities may make themselves most disagreeable. I wish I could believe that in all cases the Welsh local authorities will not be hostile; but I am afraid that history does not teach us that that would be the case. It is only too certain that in some districts, at any rate, the local authorities will do their utmost to spite the owners of church property. They can do so with ease in many small matters. Supposing a church has to be repaired and scaffolding erected with its base on the churchyard, all sorts of objections might be raised by the local authority if the churchyard belonged to them. Similarly, the local authority might cut down trees in the churchyard in order to spite the owners of the church building itself. They might remove fences or forbid Sunday school processions in the churchyard. In numerous similar small, irritating ways they might make themselves extremely disagreeable to the Church representative body. I cannot believe that it is the object of the Government to enable such a state of things to obtain, and, if it is not so, they will surely be disposed to accept my Amendment.
There is another point upon which I should like an answer from the Government. What about modern additions to churchyards? One might naturally have supposed that such modern additions would in all cases be private benefactions under Clause 7, and therefore would belong to the Church representative body. But that is not what in fact will occur. Modern additions will be in two classes; either they may have been made before the date of Disestablishment, or they may be made hereafter. What will occur after the death of the present incumbent, supposing they are made before the date of Disestablishment? As I read the Bill, they will be handed over, lock, stock, and barrel, to the local authority, although it may be the very fact of these modern additions having been made which has prevented the churchyards from being closed, and in consequence, under the provisions of this Bill, transferred to the representative body at its request. That surely is a very hard case, because if there had been no modern additions the churchyard would have gone to the Church representative body. Take the other possibility. Assume that modern additions to the churchyard are made after the date of Disestablish- 2038 ment. What occurs then? I presume that they are private benefactions since 1662, under Clause 7, and therefore will remain in the hands of the representative Church body. So that the old part of the churchyard in such a case will be under the local authority, and the newer part will belong to the representative Church body. Could anything be more incongruous or unreasonable, or more calculated to provoke friction between the two controlling authorities? Such an arrangement cannot do otherwise than cause friction and bitterness to all concerned. We on these benches take this opportunity of calling the attention of the Government to the extremely awkward situation that will arise if they persist in maintaining this Clause as it stands. I am very anxious that they should fully realise the serious position that will arise in many Welsh parishes if they leave the Bill unamended in this respect, and on that ground I would ask them to accept my Amendment without further demur. I would ask them to accept it equally on more general grounds. After all, what I am proposing is not a matter of the principle of the Bill at all. There is not even a question of money in it, to quote the words of the Under-Secretary for the Home Department. Therefore, I think that the Government might accede to my request. There is no principle of the Bill at the bottom of it. There is a great deal of practical cause why the churchyards should remain entirely in the hands of the Church representative body. There is a further reason—that of sentiment. Many people feel keenly and earnestly that where their ancestors have been buried they should be buried themselves, and that where the churchyards have for centuries belonged to the Church where they worship and with which they have intimate associations, they should remain in the hands of the Church. All those reasons appeal keenly to many members whose relatives and friends lie in the churchyards. On that ground, on the ground of sentiment, I cannot but think that the Government will be willing to give way in this matter. My Amendment would meet the feelings and sentiment of those who feel as I have endeavoured to describe, and would remove at least one cause of friction and difference which would otherwise be provoked by this Bill.
§ Mr. CATOR
I beg formally to second this Amendment as my hon. Friend has dealt very fully with most of the points 2039 raised upon this question. It does seem an extraordinary proposal under the Bill that the Churches should be retained by the representative body, while in various circumstances the churchyards will be handed over to the local councils. That cannot in my opinion, and I think in that of everybody who have considered the subject, fail to lead to endless confusion. There is nothing that has a tendency to cause more bitterness than any dual control over any portion of land. The grievance on that ground would be intensified ten-fold if the thing applied to the parish churchyard or the burial ground. Since the Government have thought right to allow the Church itself to be placed under the control of the representative body, it seems impossible to withhold from that body control also of the churchyards. The weak position in which the Church will be under this Bill seems to me that, whereas you are going to take away all her rights, you are, under this Bill, making her retain a great many of her obligations. For instance, with regard to burial, and with regard to marriages—but as we are not going into that this afternoon or into other sacred rites I will refrain—while you are destroying all her Endowments, you are still insisting upon her being compelled to administer the rites of the Church in the same sense as she was compelled to do while she was Established and in connection with the State. But that opens up a very large question, and I shall not detain the House any longer, but merely second the Amendment.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. Hobhouse)
The hon. Member who initiated this discussion based the whole of his arguments, so far as I have been able to follow, upon the contention that the churchyard was the freehold of the incumbent, of those who attend the church for the purpose of worship, and who adhere to her beliefs and creeds. If that was the argument of the hon. Member it was founded upon an entirely mistaken idea of the rights of the parishioners in the churchyard—quite apart from their adherence to the Church as a denomination, and quite apart from their immemorial rights in the churchyard, to whatever creed or denomination they may belong.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
After all it is the use of the churchyard to be saved for the purpose of burial. There is no other use, 2040 save that, I think, of the right of cropping which the incumbent has; there is no other use to which the churchyard can be put. I am quite certain that the particular right of the incumbent to which I have referred is not a right to which the Noble Lord (Lord Hugh Cecil) would look with very favourable eyes. It is very necessary to ascertain what is the exact position of the parishioners as to the church and the churchyard. The Clause that we are discussing, together with Clause 23, transfers the burial ground—putting to one side disused burial grounds altogether—to the various local authorities after the determination of the present incumbent's tenure, but it transfers them subject "to any existing public and private rights of burial therein"—these are the exact words of Clause 23, Sub-section (2). It is therefore important to ascertain what is the exact position of the parishioners in regard to their rights of burial in the churchyard. Every parishioner, no matter to what denomination he may belong, every person, even whether a parishioner or not, who dies in the parish, and even any person who in a parish bordering upon the sea, happens to be washed ashore, has the right of burial in the churchyard. Against this there is no possibility of refusal. I think that may be taken as beyond controversy. It goes further than that, because in 1880 there was an Act passed by this House which gave even stronger rights of burial to the parishioner of a parish. I am not familiar with the controversy which led up to the passage of that Act, but it may be assumed that up to that time the Church of England had refused burial unless the rites of the Church of England were observed. In 1880 an Act was passed which gave, after due notice being given to be buried, any person a right of burial, either with Church of England rites, or with the rites of the denomination to which the body belonged or without any rites at all. I think that the passage of that Act enormously strengthens, if it were possible to do so, the rights of the parishioners as against any rights inherent in the Church as a religious body. It enormously weakens the position held by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and strengthens that held by my hon. Friends and myself.
There is another point. Supposing the representatives of a non-parishioner go and claim for that body burial in a particular churchyard. The consent or refusal of inter depends not upon the incumbent 2041 —as generally supposed—but upon the incumbent and churchwardens. I mention that point for this reason, that the churchwardens need not be members of the Church of England at all. As a matter of fact, they are generally so—certainly the vicar's warden is so.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
Very often it happens that the churchwarden representing the vestry is not a Churchman at all. Therefore the right to bury, the consent to bury, in a case of a person who has no legal claim to be buried in the churchyard depends not upon an official of the Church of England, but upon the consent of the rector and of the churchwardens, two of whom need not necessarily be members of the Church at all. All these facts enormously strengthen the position of those who hold that the churchyard is not in any way the appanage of the Church of England as such, but that it is the property of the parishioners as a local community, composed of whatever denomination the people may belong to, or to no denomination, as the case may be. I am perfectly willing to admit that the freehold of the churchyard is commonly vested, though not necessarily, in the incumbent for the time being, if he happens to be a rector. If he happens to be a vicar, and there is a lay rector, it seems to be exceedingly doubtful whether the freehold rests in the incumbent or not. I am informed by those who know that the better legal opinion is that it does not vest in the incumbent, but in the lay rector. The interest, therefore, of the parishioner is immemorial. The position which is now sought to be taken up by those who represent the Church of England has, as I think, no sound legal basis. It is merely a claim by those who, having through their officials for a long time administered the affairs of the churchyard, desire when the change comes to make the churchyard freehold property. The question has been asked me, "What would happen in the case of recent additions?" The intention of the Government is that recent additions should go over to the representative body.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I will ask my hon. Friend beside me to be good enough to look it up so that I may give it shortly. That is the intention of the Government, that recent additions should go over to the representative body. The hon. Gentleman who opened this Debate talked about spiteful and malicious acts which might be done by the local authority who desired to quarrel with the new Church body. He spoke of them refusing to give ground for the purpose of repairing the church, I think his mind must have dwelt upon the original provisions of Clause 33, because that particular phase has been met by the Amendment which was adopted on that Clause 33. He talked about the difficulty of cutting down trees and that that might be done to the annoyance of the congregation, but at the present moment as the hon. Member is well aware the incumbent cannot cut down trees except for the purpose of the repair of the church, and so far as I know the power of controlling the cutting down of trees, say for exercise, or cutting them down maliciously, would rest in the hands of an authority, the members of which would be elected by the Church people in the parish. The hon. Gentleman then quoted the Irish Act. I agree there is a distinction between the position taken up in this Bill and that pursued under the Irish Act, but that does not obtain only with respect to the churchyard, but in the case of the parsonage houses also. In the one case we have given more—I do not wish to use any term or phrase to which objection might be taken—we have given more in the one case and in the other we have given less. The reason we have given more is not only a vital but is a sound objection to the one part of which I have given expression in the last few minutes, that is the inherent right of the people to be interred in the churchyard.
There is this further distinction. In the case of Ireland you had the general population of the country divided into two classes of religion which really did not approximate in any way to each other. There is no repugnance; on the contrary there is a desire on the part of Nonconformists to be buried in the churchyard of the Church. On the part of Roman Catholics there is not, and has not been for a long time past, any such desire. There was no wish on the part of the general population of Ireland to be buried in ground which in many cases would be for them unconsecrated ground, and from 2043 that point of view, would not be merely undesirable but would often be to them repulsive. That seems to me to mark a vast difference between the two cases. The hon. Gentleman first asks us, not to give something to the Church, but to take away something from the parishioners in Welsh parishes. He asks them to forego rights there in connection with the churchyard of the Church which are theirs from time immemorial, and the Government cannot consent to the abandonment of those rights.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
The right hon. Gentleman, in his reply to my hon. Friends, has entirely mistaken the ground upon which they support this Amendment. My hon. Friend, the Member for Ashton, Manor, was very careful to avoid saying anything about the question of the rights of the parishioners in these churchyards, for this obvious reason, that we attached the greatest possible importance to those rights; we regard them as sacred rights, and would do nothing to interfere with them. The whole speech of the Chancellor of the Duchy seemed to me to strengthen the case already made with great force in favour of the acceptance of this Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman told us with, I believe, great accuracy and considerable fullness what these are at the present moment. He reminded us of the fact that while parishioners had always enjoyed the right to be buried in their own churchyard, that right has been supposed to be unaccompanied with the right of the service to which they belonged, and that in some cases where that service was refused bitter controversy resulted, culminating in the Act of Parliament to which he referred. But surely that strengthens ten-fold the case of my hon. Friends for this Amendment. At the end of his remarks the right hon. Gentleman completely mis-stated the attitude of my hon. Friend and of anybody on this side of the House, for he told us our object is to take away the rights of the people in parishes over their churchyards and to confer them upon the Church. It is quite evident that if we wanted to do that we could not do it by this Amendment, because the right hon. Gentleman told us that these rights were preserved to the parishioners by the legislation to which he referred. Therefore, it is begging the question to suggest that this is a proposal to take away something from the people.
2044 During these Debates it has been frequently suggested upon the other side of the House, and I am sure with complete sincerity, that there is no desire to injure the Church or to arouse bitter feeling or to do anything which would cause injustice. Times out of number Amendments have been moved from this side in the direction of lessening the bitterness and injury. You cannot carry a Bill of this kind without creating great bitterness and doing great injury, and Amendments have been moved to lessen that bitterness as this would do. I venture to say that this is an Amendment of a most reasonable character, and I fail altogether to understand why the Government should refuse to accept it. They have said from the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman that one of their reasons is that they will not take away from people rights which they possess. There is no suggestion that any rights should be taken away. What is the proposal? It is that the churchyard, from time immemorial, formed part and parcel of the churches themselves. The most enthusiastic advocates of Disestablishment or Disendowment will not attempt to deny this, I am sure. They have not been under the sole control of the incumbent, but are under the control of the incumbent and the churchwardens, and the right hon. Gentleman went so far as to remind us of the fact that the wardens of the Church have not of necessity to be members of the congregation. What more protection could you give to people that their rights should be safeguarded than you have in the law, which the right hon. Gentleman expounded and explained, than the fact that this property is in the hands of the incumbent and the wardens, and that these wardens need not, and frequently are not, members of that denomination. I cannot conceive more complete protection for the rights of the parishioners. It was not upon the question of rights or conferring the freehold of the churchyard upon the Church that my hon. Friend moved his Amendment, or that he and my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon recommended it to the House.
My hon. Friend made it perfectly clear that he moved his Amendment on two grounds: one was that you are deliberately trampling by this needless change upon the sentiment of the people. He told us what the sentiment of the people is— how strong it is, how closely it is connected with the Church, and it was on that, to a large extent, he based his claim. Then we come to the authority to which you 2045 propose to transfer it. I confess that I was much amazed that the Chancellor of the Duchy—unintentionally, I suppose—made no defence of the new authorities. Who are the new authorities? In the case of boroughs, they are to be the borough council, and in urban districts, the urban council; but in the majority of cases in towns it will be the borough council; and in the case of rural parishes the parish council; and in small parishes, I gather, that the vicar will be the chairman of a parish meeting.
§ Mr. LONG
I cannot conceive a proposal more calculated to promote controversy and to arouse bitterness than the one you are making here. It is not a great question; it is not a question of money or conferring property. What you are really asked to do is to abandon your project of separating the Church from the churchyard, and not to hand the real control over to others because the incumbent and the churchwardens work together almost invariably with the utmost harmony in safeguarding and looking after such property. You propose to put an end to that, and to say in future that the churchyard must be under the domination of one body which has no control over the incumbent. I venture to say that is a proposal which cannot be justified either upon historical grounds or upon any grounds of sound local government. I believe, quite apart from the unnecessary injustice you inflict upon the Church, that you are doing something which is mischievous to local government. You do not want controversy of this kind introduced into your local authorities, and your borough councils, and above all into small bodies that have not had very much to do, but which have after all worked very peacefully and harmoniously. You are going out of your way to ask them, without any demand on their part, to accept a duty which could easily be made a difficult one, and must end in most cases in controversy leading to bitterness and ill-feeling. I profoundly regret the Government have not seen fit to make the concession asked for in this Amendment. It is not a great one, but it would afford some evidence of their desire to do as little mischief as possible. It is by these acts, small as well as great, that they will be judged when they ask us to believe in the sincerity of their protes- 2046 tations that they mean no harm and have no desire to hurt or injure the Church.
Sir HERBERT ROBERTS
The right hon. Gentleman has knowledge of the conditions which prevail in connection with the churchyards in England. I think it is probably the case that the condition of Nonconformity in England is different from that in Wales, and does not in the same degree affect the situation. If the right hon. Gentleman had any real personal knowledge of what has taken place during the last fifty years in regard to this matter in Wales, he would understand that this is a point which is considered to be of essential importance by the general body of Nonconformists in Wales, and the object of the Sub-section in the Bill is to lessen, at all events, the area of controversy in Wales in regard to a matter which ought to be lifted completely out of the region of controversy of any kind. I hope hon. Members will understand that in expressing our very strong feeling in favour of the continuance of the inclusion of this provision in the Bill we are, as Welsh Members, representing, not only our own personal feeling, but the feeling of all Nonconformists in Wales who have any knowledge of the case, and who are anxious that the difficulty which has in the past done so much to embitter religious life in many parishes in Wales in regard to this matter, should be gradually, at all events, done away with. For these reasons I hope that the Government will adhere to this Clause.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The hon. Member who has just sat down has not given us the slightest solid reason for the statement he has made. In what does the Welsh Nonconformist differ from the English Nonconformist in this matter? I am familiar with both, and I assert that the practice is the same in England as it is in Wales. The full rights of burial are kept under Section 23 of this Bill, and the Welsh Nonconformist or anybody else will have exactly the same rights of burial as they have in England or Wales. All we are asking for is that the people who have had charge of these ancient churchyards from time immemorial should continue to have that charge. No one suggests that they have abused that trust. Can any hon. Member opposite give me the slightest instance where the churchyards have been injured or defaced by those who are at present in charge of them? I know there has been some controversy about the 2047 rights of people being buried there, but it has never been suggested that the owners and incumbents have not kept the churchyards in a way consonant with the feelings of those who have relatives buried there. Look at the power you are putting in the hands of the chairman of the parish council, for instance. Supposing in a country parish in England such a matter as this was brought up. I am thinking of one parish where people are buried who are very dear to me. Suppose there is a lich-gate with certain inscriptions upon it which somebody might object to. Suppose there was a cross or something of that sort. In the days in which I was brought up there was not the same unanimity between Catholics and Nonconformists. Let us suppose that a Nonconformist of the old days is chairman of that particular parish council. In that case it would be his duty to demolish the lich-gate erected by my friends.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Evidently the hon. Member has not been brought up among Nonconformists at all. At any rate what is proposed in this Bill leaves the matter open to that risk, and you are putting the control of these matters into the hands of people who have never before had charge of a churchyard, who might exercise their rights conscientiously according to their views, but not in accordance with the vews of those who have erected those symbols. You are placing these matters entirely in their hands. As regards a question such as that the difficulty would be very great. Who is to have control over any memorial to be put up in the churchyard? Has the chairman of the parish council to say whether I am to be permitted to put a particular epitaph over the grave of some beloved one? Is there to be any control or no control over that matter? You say that you wish this Act to work smoothly, and that you are giving the fullest rights to every parishioner, but we ask you to allow the surveillance to remain with the existing owners of the property, so that they may keep it for the common benefit. I was very glad that the right hon. Gentleman made a pledge on behalf of the Government that all recent additions to churchyards are to be handed over to the representative body, for that is a very important concession. How far those recent additions are to go back I do not know, because we have not been given the details.
2048 The only Amendment upon this point is that of the hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Hoare), which goes back 100 or 200 years, and that would be most satisfactory. No doubt that concession is an advantage, and we fully appreciate the importance of it, but what does it lead one to? Take the case of a churchyard existing now where an addition has been made twenty or ten years ago. I will assume in this case that there is a division between the old and the new part of the churchyard, and under this Bill you will have the position that the old churchyard where the line will have to be drawn will be under the control of the chairman of the parish council and the other part will remain under the control of the representative body, and probably the present incumbent of the church. You would have this peculiarity, that the part of the churchyard where burying had ceased would be under the control of the parish council and the newer part would be under the incumbent, and would be dealt with in that way. Although I am grateful for this concession, it seems to have been granted in the wrong direction, and if the whole of the churchyards cannot be dealt with, I should have preferred leaving the old churchyard in the hands of the incumbent and the new addition in the hands of the local authority. I hope the Government will go further than the pledge they have given and adopt this Amendment because I am certain no harm will be done, and it will remove a great deal of apprehension amongst those who may have been frightened in regard to the authority which in the future will have the control of churchyards.
§ Mr. H. T. CAWLEY
I am afraid the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite is under a misapprehension on this point. I understand my right hon. Friend to say that the intention of the Government was that new additions to burial grounds should come under the control of the representative body.
§ Mr. CAWLEY
If the hon. and learned Member will look at Clause 8, paragraph (b) he will see that it provides:—
"of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer the burial ground of any ecclesiastical parish."
The whole of that paragraph deals with burial grounds. Then paragraph (c) says:—
2049 "of the property not so transferred to the representative body they shall transfer any tithe rent-charge which was formerly appropriated to the use of any parochial benefits to the council of the county in which the land out of which the tithe rent-charge issues is situate."
Obviously those words convey the meaning that there are some burial grounds transferred to the representative body. Then there is Clause 7, which deals with private benefactions, and Sub-section (1) provides as follows:—
"Any property which consists of, or is the produce of, or is or has been derived from, property given by any person out of his private resources since the year 1662."
Recent additions to burial grounds of course will not go over to the representative body if they are made ancient Endowments. I do not think my right hon. Friend made any pledge that recent additions to burial grounds would be dealt with in this way. Recent additions made out of recent benefactions are taken over by the representative body under the Bill as it stands.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The hon. Member says that private benefactions under Subsection (7) include burial grounds, and he refers me to Sub-section (1). Supposing in the year 1800 a person gave an addition to a churchyard, is it intended that that should fall under the burial ground to be transferred?
§ Mr. CAWLEY
That portion of it, and that is the intention. On the last two occasions when burial grounds were discussed, that was distinctly assumed to be so by several hon. Members opposite, and this is not a new point.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I think the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Hoare), to insert after the word "ground" the words "except such burial grounds or parts of burial grounds as have been given by private persons since 1662," would meet the case.
§ Mr. CAWLEY
I do not think those are the right words, and no doubt my right hon. Friend will consider whether other words can be put in. My submission is that the Bill as it stands carries out the intention of the Government to carry over all burial grounds derived from private benefactions. As to the control of monuments and graves within the churchyard 2050 Clause 23, which deals with burial grounds, provides under Sub-section (4):—
"Subject as aforesaid, every such burial ground shall, after the determination of the incumbency of the existing incumbent, be held for the same purposes and subject to the same rules and regulations as if the Burial Acts, 1852 to 1906, were in force."
That places these burial grounds in exactly the same position as the consecrated part, and they are in exactly the same position as consecrated parts of burial grounds under burial boards. If that be so the control of the monuments and epitaphs is in the hands in the first place of the rector. Under the Burial Acts that right is vested in the rector of the parish subject to an appeal to the bishop or archbishop. Whatever that right is it will be the same in the case of those burial grounds, so that there need be no anxiety about any inappropriate epitaphs being put in graveyards which would be offensive to the Church.
On the general points as to the taking over of these burial grounds, my right hon. Friend has, I think, shown conclusively that they are not in any real sense at the present time the absolute property of the Church, or of the rector, or of the churchwardens, or of anybody. There is at the present time that which was deprecated so much by the Seconder of the Amendment, dual control or ownership; but, even if that were not so, and they were absolutely the property of the Church, the arguments which we have applied to other Church property apply equally to this. Our contention is that this property, like all other property, was given to the Church at the time when it was representative of the whole nation. It has ceased to be representative of the whole nation and therefore the benefactors' object is no longer attained. The Noble Lord (Lord Hugh Cecil) said that was a mistaken view of history; the donor did not think he was giving to the community, but to the Church; the Church represented the building he loved and the ritual he loved. If that be true—and I think it is substantially true—the Church was not simply a body to receive benefactions, but it was a body which had duties and obligations to perform. It was, in other words a trustee. There is no doubt it was given to a body which was a trustee for the whole community; it was a trustee of this property for the benefit of every 2051 single member of the parish. It was given to be used for the benefit of the community as a whole. The beneficiaries were the people as a whole, no matter who the actual trustee is imagined to be, and our contention is that the State has by force changed the beneficiaries. At the Reformation the State, against the will of the members of the Church, changed the ritual, changed several rules of the Church, and said, "Only those people who conform to our State-made rules are to be members of the Church." That was carried out against the wish in many cases of Convocation. The Lower House of Convocation voted against the main doctrines of Queen Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity, and there is no doubt the Reformation was carried out against the wishes of a very large number of the lay members of the Church.
Those changes were largely carried out against the wishes of the constituted authorities of the Church, and against the wishes of the lay members of the Church. The State limited property which was to be used for the benefit of the community as a whole to one section, to those who were not anxious enough to maintain the exact usages to which they had been brought up, and that process was completed in 1662, when one-fifth of the clergy were driven out by the Act of Uniformity of Charles II. By those two Acts the State limited to a certain section of the people that which was meant for the benefit of the people as a whole. They changed the original beneficiaries. This Bill goes back to the original beneficiaries. This property is property given by the ancestors of Nonconformists and Churchmen alike, and it has been limited to a certain extent to the descendants of only one section of the donors. This view has been, to a certain extent, realised by the State; it has realised that parishioners have some right to it. The Church has maintained certain rights, but it has really been on the whole and in the main simply the guardian or caretaker of the ancient burial grounds, and it has been so because it has been the Established Church. Now it ceases to be the Established Church, our contention is that this property should be put into the hands of other public authorities to be used for the public as a whole, preserving, as best we can and as much as we can, all rights to the Church to enable her to carry on her services, and doing all we can to see that none of her 2052 legitimate desires or feelings are refused or taken away by anything that may be done in this Bill.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
The hon. Member has spoken, as he usually does, with learning and much acceptance to the House, but I am not sure that what he has said does not serve, after all, to accentuate the fact that in the case of these burial grounds, if in no other case, there has been no other change in the beneficiaries, or in the trustee, or in the nature of the trust, or, least of all, in the fidelity with which the trust has been performed. It is very significant that the Chancellor of the Duchy in his reply to my hon. Friend had to attribute to him the use of narrow and technical arguments which he had not employed, and attacks on popular rights in the parishioners which he had not attacked, and which indeed, far from being attacked by us, are the very foundation and groundwork of our case. They justify us in saying the Church is co-extensive with the nation, even in Wales, and in saying the Church of England, in virtue of the great duties to which it is subject, and which it continues to discharge faithfully, is a Church standing in a position in which no other denomination in this country stands. It is true that the nature of the trust in the case of these burial grounds and the nature of the rights of the parishioners which were the object of this trust did require by modern legislation to be more effectually secured than they stood secured before that legislation; but, as an earnest of the sort of spirit in which these matters are administered by the Church, I may remind the House that the Burial Act of 1880 was passed by the House of Lords before it was ever passed by this House.
It was passed with the consent of the majority of the bishops present and voting upon it. It was supplemented in a subsequent year—I think 1889—by another Act still further protecting the rights of Nonconformists in respect of matters of burial. That was an Act of Parliament inspired by the findings of a Select Committee which was presided over—let hon. Gentlemen opposite take particular notice—by one of the University Members for England, no less a person than that very distinguished man, Sir Richard Jebb, who will not be charged with any shortcomings in his Church proclivities, and it was passed by the Unionist Government then in power. You have all these securities for the full satisfaction of the parishioners' 2053 rights, the non-requirement that the churchwarden should be a member of the Church, and the requirement of his consent, as well as that of the incumbent, for anything being done which could possibly give offence to Nonconformist prejudices. You have the fact that these sort of general securities and a saving Clause keeping them alive have been considered by the Government itself as quite sufficient in the case of the fabrics which are to be handed over to the representative body, with no further protection for Nonconformists, and we say that general saving Clause is quite, and ought to be quite, sufficient in the case of the burial grounds. All this minutiae gone into by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down only serves to show you cannot get rid of all those technical difficulties as regards modern conditions, new burial grounds, and detached pieces, and the simplest and safest way is to accept this Amendment and let things go on as before.
I do not shut my eyes to the fact that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Denbighshire has tried to terrorise us by some very vague and learned observations, in support of which he gave very few particulars, as to the existence of this terrible state of mind in the case of some worthy persons in the Principality of Wales. We should have liked it better if he had condescended to give us more particulars. If there be this general state of apprehension in Wales, I cannot help having my suspicion that it is probably due not so much to the misdoings of those who have the management of the churchyards as to the suggestions of politicians, itinerant and others, in Wales. The one thing which the right hon. Gentleman representing the Government ignored in the whole of his speech was the hopeless administrative inconvenience of separating from the fabric of the church the churchyard, which necessarily forms a principal part of the parishioners' church. It is obvious the churchyard is the most ancient and valuable of what you may call the amenities of the church. It is more than that; it is the most sacred of them all. It is the most sacred of all the attributes of the Church, excepting only the holy things in the Church itself. The joint ownership of the two and the contiguity of the two stand, and ought to continue to stand, as the type and symbol of the fact that this ancient religious community, far from being a sect, is not an exclusive community at all, but is one which 2054 opens it doors at all times of trouble, right up to the very latest and most terrible hour, to the humblest; there are none who are not admitted to it.
§ Mr. KING
I hope the House will listen to me before deciding upon this question, because I have had practical experience of it. For twenty years I occupied a good deal of my energies in being chairman of the burial board in one of the largest parishes of England, and ever since then I have had a special interest in the question raised by this Amendment. Moreover, I gave evidence before the Select Committee to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield has referred just now. It is typical of the ignorance displayed upon the subject. He ante-dated it by just ten years.
§ Mr. JOSEPH KING
You are right at last. I venture to say that anybody who really understands these things will know, first of all, that in connection with these ancient burial grounds there is a great deal of expense incurred for upkeep. There are ancient fences and walls. There are generally pathways through them. There are old tombs that have to be kept tidy or they will become unsightly. There is generally a certain amount of gardening and other care which is necessary, and all of this costs money. Why does the Disestablished Church want to take upon itself that cost? Why cannot it leave that cost to the public authority? Then here is another point. So long as the churchyard is used for the people of the parish generally I say it ought to be under the control of the parochial authority. It is not merely a question of getting permission and paying the fees. There is also the question that the churchyard may be closed against the public use, and a public burial ground may have to be provided. If you give these churchyards over to the Church, it will be their object to close them as early as possible. On the other hand, if they are under the control of a public authority, that authority will have the general interests of the community to look after. I think that is a very important point. Anyone who knows what public authorities have gone through in the matter of providing burial grounds for the 2055 public use will know that it is better to have all the power if possible in the hands of the local authority.
There is also the question of putting up inscriptions in the churchyards. That has been a matter even lately of continual difficulty to all persons who are connected with the administration of graveyards. I could give a good many instances, but I will just give one. I know a rural parish in England where there was a very benevolent gentleman who had great detestation of the Game Laws, and who used to pay the fines of all the poachers in the county. He left money in his will for his tombstone, on which was to be put this inscription, "The friend of poachers." He regarded that as his highest honour, and wished to be remembered for years to come in that capacity. And would you believe it, the rector of the parish refused to allow that inscription. At last, after a petition from the whole parish to the rector, he permitted the inscription to be placed upon the stone, provided it was put in an unknown language. And I could take you, Sir, to the graveyard where that holy man lies buried, and where you may read, L'ami du braconnier. That refers to a typical condition of affairs that is likely to arise when you allow one person or one ecclesiastical authority to control what respectable people ought to have placed upon their tombs or on the tombs of their friends. One other point is this. That undoubtedly the difficulties arising out of the Burial Laws have been more accentuated in Wales than in any other part of the United Kingdom. I have myself brought up at Question Time one or two matters of that kind in quite recent times, showing the religious and denominational jealousy and friction in connection with burials in Wales. I hope the Government will maintain the position they have taken up, and give confidence to the people in Wales whose views have been very well represented by the Member for West Denbighshire (Sir Herbert Roberts). He really does know the people in Wales. Hon. Members opposite do not know the people of Wales, and I have very little doubt that if the House decides this question on its merits, it will negative the Amendment.
§ Mr. DUKE
Although I have had the advantage of hearing the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who spoke for the Government, and the very interesting 2056 speech which came from the bench behind him from the Member for Heywood (Mr. Cawley) I have found it impossible to learn what ground of reason or good feeling there is for refusing this Amendment or for insisting upon the change which it is desired to make. The churchyard stands to every Churchman and to every Christian man, and I think to every humane person, in a position of sanctity, and it arouses considerations which, I suppose, no other area of land in the world could arouse. If, as I think it is, it is right to leave the churches to the parishioners and to the Church which is to be reconstituted in Wales, surely it is right also to leave them the churchyards, and I fail to see why the churchyards should be secularised, so far as that can be done, by putting them under secular control. It seems to me to be one of the most maladroit performances that could be conceived. I will refer presently to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, which was full of accurate statements of the law and reasons so far as it went. The only ground that has been stated for this proceeding is the ground stated in a few vague sentences by the hon. Member for Denbigh, who referred to some bitterness of feeling which has had its origin among people in Wales whom he knows. That bitterness of feeling is not alleged in regard to Churchmen. It is not on behalf of Churchmen. But it is that jealousy and bitter feeling which has given rise to the proposal to put the churchyards under secular control. What excuse is there for that bitterness of feeling with regard to the churchyard? Every man's hereditary right of burial is secured as much by public opinion as it is by Acts of Parliament, and the ancient scandals to which one or two Members have referred are scandals which arose rather in spite of the law than by reason of the law, and which are quite as likely to find their counterpart in a secularly controlled churchyard as they were to find their origin in a churchyard which, at any rate, was under the control of a person who owed religious duties somewhere.
It is not pretended, and the right hon. Gentleman does not say that it is, that it is necessary to secure the rights of burial to Nonconformists. These rights were long ago secured. An explanation pour rire was given by the Member for Somerset (Mr. King), who wants to take care that a man who wished to stigmatise himself as the friend of 2057 poachers should be able to hand himself down to posterity in that way. The only other explanation is that there is in the possession of the churchyards some badge of superiority in the position of the Church. Really, if the Nonconformists of Wales are going to get satisfaction by disestablishing the Church in Wales, cannot they leave the churchyard with its present decencies of surroundings? But no; the precincts of the church are to be violated and to be placed in strange hands so far as the church is concerned. The consecrated land, so far as that can be done by legislative contrivance, is to be desecrated. The place of burial is to be made a place under the control of the parish council, instead of under the control of a man whose life should be devoted to religion in the common interest. Can it be necessary to do this on any rational ground? Is it not a gratuitous concession to that bitterness of feeling to which the Member for Denbigh referred?
This proposal sets up three classes of churchyards. First, there is the churchyard which has been closed, and in lieu of which a burial ground has been provided elsewhere. You leave that churchyard, the God's acre of the parish, vested in the incumbent of the parish or in the Church body. It will remain Church land. There is another class where the ancient burial grounds are completely occupied, and from land provided by a modern benefactor in recent times there has been an addition to the churchyard. That churchyard is to be cut into two. You put the older part on which the church stands, and which is around the church, and which is the most hallowed of all by its associations, under the parish council or some other municipal body, and the modern portion, which is detached from the church, you leave under the control of the incumbent, and you will vest it in the representative body. There is a third class where the churchyard, by reason of its size, is sufficient for all purposes, past, present and probably a long future, and that churchyard, which represents in the most constant way the life of the parish, its religious as well as its communal life, you are going to detach from religious control and hand it over to some municipal or secular authority, and you are to inflict this upon Churchmen who have been from generation to generation, in the vast majority of cases, the trusted and conscientious trustees of ground such as that. I hear some laughter. It is not worth while to take 2058 notice of it. I have said nothing to provoke derision on the part of the hon. Member for Pontefract. I have referred to this matter seriously.
§ Mr. DUKE
I apologise to the hon. Member for Pontefract, but it came from that quarter, probably from a Member more directly interested in the Disestablishment of the Church in Wales. What I was saying with regard to the subject was, why should you change the control of the churchyard, which represents the common life of the parish for so many generations. It is nothing more than a gratuitous wrong to the Churchmen and, I believe, to all the parishioners, to hand the churchyards over to the parish councils.
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
It seems to us Welsh Members from Wales, very interesting to listen to hon. Members opposite. We come from the hills and valleys of Wales where these problems come from. We have listened to the stories of our parents and grandparents, and we have a knowledge of the conditions which actually exist, and of matters within our own memory and during very recent times. It is very interesting for us to come here and hear hon. Members from England talking in an abstract way about what is the legal position. The reason why I felt inclined to scoff the hon. Member opposite was that he referred to those matters which we know exist in an abstract and academic way which is absolutely remote of the facts and of the everyday conditions that we know exist in Wales. We come with the knowledge of complete facts of daily life, and we do not speak from the books of legal right or wrong, and hon. Members for England must believe in our sincerity when we say, that of all the grievances associated with the Church of England in Wales this one of the burial ground has been always far and away, and remain still, the most serious. To the Welshman who is not a communicant of the Church, who does not desire the service of its clergyman, this remains the most serious grievance of all attached to the Establishment in Wales. Hon. Members must believe us because we know. The hon. and learned Member for Exeter (Mr. Duke) probably has never in his mind been able to connect this question of the burial grounds with the iniquity, the injustice, and the intolerance 2059 of the land system in Wales. Unfortunately for the Church, it has been brought home to the Welsh people more poignantly in connection with the burial grounds than anything else, not excepting the leasehold system in South Wales, which is the worst instance of land tenure in the whole country. The difficulty we have had throughout the centuries down to the present moment is that the whole of the land in many of these Welsh parishes is in the hands of a few landlords, keen partisan Churchpeople, who refuse on any terms to give an inch of ground to a Nonconformist for a burial ground or for a cemetery. That is the problem. All through the years Nonconformists, from time to time, have been trying to get burial grounds of their own in many part's of Wales, and there are many parishes where it has been impossible for Nonconformists to obtain land for the burial of their own dead in their own way.
There are many instances where extensions were necessary, and we have even now instances that could be given where a landlord, instead of acceding to the request of the people to set up a burial board since the Act of 1880, proceeds to give an extension of the land to the Church. He had no land suitable for the parishioners in general or for Nonconformists, but he could give a piece of land to extend the churchyard already in existence, so that the parishioners, Nonconformists and others, in that area were absolutely compelled to bury in the churchyard under the conditions imposed upon them by the incumbent for the time being, subject, of course, to the Act that controlled him. Let us see how it works out, and why this matter has sunk so deep into the hearts of the Welsh people. In passing, I may say T was very grateful to the hon. and learned Member for making the House understand quite clearly that the Government, unfortunately, has dealt with these churchyards in three different ways. I think the Welsh people have a claim to ail the churchyards, to the closed ones almost more than to the open ones, for the reason I am going to mention. The illustration given by the hon. Member for North' Somerset (Mr. King) was not merely pour rire. It was typical of examples that are not humorous, and it was an instance of matters which are very painful and which will remain as a deplorable record on the history of the relations of the Welsh people 2060 to the Establishment. It will hardly be believed by the House, yet it is unfortunately the fact, that the names that are to-day accepted by Welsh Churchmen as well as by Nonconformists as the names of men who did more during the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth century for the uplifting of the Welsh people in every respect, remain on the tombstones in the parish churchyards dishonoured and stigmatised. The Welsh people, even now, with the new spirit that the hon. and learned Member has talked about, have no right and would not be allowed to go in and put upon those tombstones the mark of respect that should be given to the greatest and dearest names in our history.
The name of one of the greatest evangelists in Wales stands to-day on a tombstone in one of these churchyards of which the hon. Member spoke in such glowing terms. They have not allowed us to describe him as a "reverend" gentle man. They will not allow us even to describe him as a minister of the Gospel. For all that his tombstone may show he might have been only a friend of poachers and nothing higher than that, and not as his name stands to-day, one of the greatest figures in our history. One of the finest religious poets who has ever written in any tongue has met with the same treatment in the constituency of the hon. Member for West Denbighshire (Sir Herbert Roberts). I am not surprised that he, whom no one will accuse of being a firebrand, as I have* often been accused of being, should stand up here and put upon record the deep feeling there is around this question of burial grounds. I hope hon. Members opposite will allow the Welsh people at least to have an opportunity of removing one of the most ever-ready causes of friction. Hon. Members opposite will be interested to know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself as a young man was carried into Parliament over a battle for the burial of Nonconformists and the smashing down of the gates of a churchyard. Many and many a time have we Welsh people had to take the law into our own hands, over-rule the incumbent, and break down by force the gates that were keeping our dead unburied outside. That was at the whim of the incumbent who was a man with power to impose conditions upon us. Those conditions are imposed now. Hon. Members opposite will say these are small, petty-fogging things, but in that time, in the hour of darkness which comes upon everyone, it is the small 2061 things that stab deepest. They may be things trivial to hon. Members. We have in all these churchyards various little conditions imposed upon us. When we go in —I have gone often myself—we are not allowed to hold a service in our own way as Nonconformists, even in the open air around the open graves. These conditions are constantly imposed upon us. We are told do not do this or do not do the other. We have had enough of it. We say that these churchyards, which nobody on the other side now denies to be churchyards for the general use of the parishioners, should be under some body administering them for all the parishioners, Churchmen and Nonconformists alike, so as to end all these indignities which have so embittered our relationship in the past.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I do not find any fault whatever with the tone of the hon. Member who has just sat down, because he emphasises, what is undoubtedly true, that there are strong feelings, particularly as regards churchyards adjoining the church. The mistake he makes is that the strong feeling is all on one side. There is a strong feeling on our side that these churchyards adjoining churches ought not to be handed over to a merely secular government. If he could show that the maintenance of these adjoining churchyards under existing conditions necessitated in any way any of the injustices to which he has referred, I hope Churchmen would be willing to meet him and recognise the feeling to -which he has called attention. But directly we look into the matter a little deeper as between Churchmen and Nonconformists—if they are to have different views upon this point—every argument, both of sympathy and religious feeling, and deep feeling, is in favour of the attitude which Churchmen are taking up as regards the particular churchyards which adjoin their churches. Let me deal with a particular matter to which the hon. Member referred, and then I will deal with one or two points on which the Chancellor of the Duchy made a mistake as regards the position of these churchyards. I hope we are not going to determine a point of this kind by what the hon. Member (Mr. Edgar Jones) calls the intolerance of landlords. We may have different views as regards the attitude of landlords, but when we come to a religious question of this kind, the burial of the dead, and the best way of preserving the solemn feelings we all have in regard to the churchyards, surely we are not going to 2062 be actuated by our feelings towards landlords, whether they be feelings of favour or disfavour. We are dealing with an entirely different matter altogether. Surely the hon. Member knows there are powers now under which you can have burial boards where it is desirable, and if he has found an obstructive attitude on the part of the landlord which he could not get over, the answer is not to deprive the Churchmen of a right dear to them, but to get the necessary powers in order to do what is right and just as regards the Nonconformist community.
Surely it is better that you should seek to get in a lawful manner the powers you want. We desire you should have them; every Churchman desires that, rather than you should attack us on a point of feeling. It is a point in regard to which we desire to meet you in every possible way. There is not a Churchman at the present time who would not desire to meet Nonconformist communities in every possible way in regard to equality of right in churchyards for the purposes of burial. I am satisfied that is the attitude Churchmen take up at the present moment. Take one matter to which the hon. Member referred; it is a very useful illustration. He has said that as regards people who are held in high honour—I do not differ foam him—that there has been some difficulty as regards the use of the word "reverend" upon their tombstones. He knows that that very question was raised, and can be raised. You could not raise it in future under the Bill, but you can raise it at the present time and carry it to a tribunal, namely, the Privy Council, not the Judicial Committee, but on appeal to the Chancellor. What did the Privy Council say? They held in terms that everyone who was a Nonconformist minister had the right to use the word "reverend" upon his tombstone. This is just the kind of way in which you get unfair prejudice. I dare say the hon. Member has often used the same argument outside that he has just used in this House.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
Then it is an argument he has used for the first time, and, I hope, it is for the last time. I would point out to him that the suggested hardship is absolutely imaginary. Every Nonconformist minister has the right, and it has been laid down by the Privy Council, to have the term "reverend" upon his tombstone, if I it is so desired. I should like to say in 2063 answer to what was said by the hon. Member for the Hey wood Division of Lancashire (Mr. H. T. Cawley) that you have very proper and careful control as regards churchyards in the way of memorials and inscriptions. The hon. Member will admit that you must have some control. Would he rather have principles of this kind which, I agree, appeal strongly to our feelings, decided by such a body as the Privy Council, or would he rather have the ipse dixit of the chairman of the parish council, or someone of that kind, to be final? Surely that is a very serious matter. We all desire that these burial grounds should be preserved under the conditions of solemnity which we all feel, irrespective of our denominations, as regards graveyards. At present you have the best possible guarantees that they shall be decently kept. Does the hon. Member desire to alter that? I cannot imagine any better system in the interests of the parishioners at large than to have a body of that kind in which we all have confidence.
I wish to say one or two words in answer to what was said by the Chancellor of the Duchy in addition to what I have said in answer to the hon. Member opposite, whom I desire to assure again in the very strongest terms that Churchmen desire in this matter to meet all Nonconformists views in every way that they can. I want to say a word or two on what was said by the Chancellor of the Duchy, because I think he did not realise it. Of course, it is quite true that the incumbent holds the churchyard as a trustee. No one denies that for a moment. As a trustee for whom? For the parishioners at large. That trust, as we know, was carefully safeguarded under Clause 23, Sub-section (2), and it ought to be properly safeguarded. No one denies that at all. But what was the other safeguard he referred to and of which I think he misunderstood the meaning? He said the churchwarden may be a Nonconformist. Most certainly. And if you take the Church as it exists at present you have the right in the parishioners both as regards control and burial in the churchyard, quite irrespective of denominational matters altogether, if you like to exercise it. SJ much is that the case that there have been various Acts passed relieving Nonconformists — Nonconformist ministers amongst others—of the burden that is thrown upon them by the office of churchwarden. A churchwarden is not an office of profit. It is what is called an onerous 2064 office, and there are various Acts of Parliament under which Nonconformist ministers have got relief from serving in that office if they do not desire to serve there. But apart from the relief which they themselves have got it is quite true that, as regards this office, it is open to every parishioner, quite irrespective of what denomination he belongs to, and what better safeguard could you have?
Let me come to a question which has not been referred to. Churchmen know perfectly well that there are various ceremonial services part of which take place in the churchyard itself. That was pointed out when we were arguing this matter in the Committee stage, and I think there was sympathy from all sides of the House with that position. It is a very real position. When hon. Members opposite talk about the feelings of Nonconformists, let us meet them in every way. Surely he can realise our feelings at having the adjoining churchyard, which we often use in connection with our Church services, taken out of our control. In fact, if the argument was to be carried out, it applies as much to the Church as to the adjoining churchyard. I hope he realises that Churchmen have feelings as well as Nonconformists. I do not use the word bitter—I do not want to use it—but why cannot they respect our feelings in a matter of this kind? Why are they seeking to deprive us of this old traditional right which we connect with the most solemn of all services, the burial of the dead, and which is not exercised at present in any way either to the detriment of the feelings or of the religion of Nonconformists? That is our view. Let it be clearly understood that we think the Nonconformists have, or ought to have, all equality of use, but leave us the ownership and control, which we now have, because we use these churchyards not only in connection with this solemn ceremony, but also in connection with burial, of our Church ceremonies and services.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The Government, in resisting this Amendment, are taking up a very inconsistent position. They leave to us the fabrics of the churches, and they do so on two grounds—firstly, the ground of religious sentiment which naturally attaches to these buildings, and, secondly, on the plain and obvious consideration of equity that if you take, as they take, the date 1662 as the date at which the Church, as it were, suddenly developed a right to its own property, 2065 the churches would long ago have fallen down if they had not been constantly kept in repair, and sometimes largely restored, by voluntary contributions since 1662; and therefore the actual fabrics must be looked upon as dependent, at any rate, on the modern liberality of Churchmen. All that really applies both to the consideration of sentiment and to the consideration of material upkeep, and it applies to the churchyards as much as to the church—if not in the same degree in the same kind— because it is obvious that the churchyard has always been looked upon, and is to this day looked upon, as part and parcel of the church, as much as a garden is looked upon as part and parcel of the house. It is what naturally surrounds and goes with the building which is situated within it. It is God's acre. It has the atmosphere of sanctity which belongs to ecclesiastical consecration. Also, if since 1662 nothing had been done to the churchyards, and they had been left absolutely derelict, if fences had not been preserved and nothing had been done to keep them in proper order and in a seemly manner, they would have been wildernesses to-day. They would not be places which any decent person would wish to use for the burial of the dead. So that under both heads, both as a matter of sentiment and as a matter of right, acquired by the expenditure of money and care, they belong to the church precisely in the same way as the fabrics which stand in the midst of them.
Against that case the hon. Member makes a case of grievance in respect to the ill usage which he alleges individual Nonconformists have suffered from intolerant incumbents and intolerant landlords. I do not think this general sort of accusations ought to be made against great classes of the community unless they are supported by particular instances of a sufficiently numerous kind to justify a general accusation. I am informed it is quite untrue that the clergy generally exercise whatever functions they have in respect of churchyards now in an intolerant manner in Wales. I dare say there may be this or that individual case, but as an accusation against a class it is entirely untrue. However that may be, it is not an argument for this Clause or for anything in this Bill. It is perfectly plain that if further protection is needed—of course Parliament has given a very large measure of protection —for the sentiments of those who are burying the dead and naturally desire to avoid any disturbance or possible discussion at such a moment, it ought to be given 2066 both in England and Wales. No one can really suggest that it is fair that an English Nonconformist should be insulted at his relative's funeral, and that a Welshman should not be insulted. No Welsh Nationalist has carried the doctrine of nationality as far as that. Therefore, whatever the hon. Member's speech was worth, it was an argument for a new burial ground, so we may set that aside. If protection be needed, let it be given in a proper Bill applied to England and Wales. It does not depend on this Clause or on this Bill. We build on the plain consideration that as the Church is ours, the churchyards also ought to belong to us because they come to us on the same title. They belong to us as a matter of sentiment, as they have been sacred to the use of the Church of England, and they belong to us as a matter of plain material right because the upkeep and care of them has been defrayed at the expense' of members of the Church.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I regret exceedingly that in the last three contributions to the Debate from the Conservative side of the House there should have been ignorance not only of the practice, but of the law relating to burial grounds in this country. I was exceedingly astonished at the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Duke) giving us the picture of three different kinds of burial grounds which would obtain in Wales, while he does not seem to have the slightest idea that there are the same three kinds of burial grounds now under the present law in England. It does not seem to have dawned on any lawyer even on the other side of the House, much loss upon the Noble Lord (Lord Hugh Cecil), that under the law in England you can give up a burial ground round a church to the public authorities, and that it is frequently done. What becomes of all this case that has been built up, partly on sentiment, but mostly on ignorance? Surely it ought to be known that very frequently incumbents and churchwardens are only too glad to hand over burial grounds, when they have no longer any use for them, to a public authority so that they are saved all cost of repair. Hon. Members opposite seem to think that Churchmen all over the country are prepared to put up a fight that these burial grounds are still to be retained in sacerdotal hands. The Churchmen of England are not prepared to go into any such conflict, and if hon. Members opposite think they can rally this country to 2067 such a programme they will find out their mistake in good time. The average member of the Church of England never supported these wayward incumbents who showed prejudice against Nonconformists. That trouble has disappeared, I agree, but at the time the trouble was rampant those vicars had not got the support of the general Church of English worshippers, therefore they will not go out on a crusade of that kind.
Surely what Churchmen would like to see is that the burial grounds, whether closed or not, whether all the interments are complete, or whether there are still some graves partially filled, shall be treated with respect. Hon. Members opposite may not be democrats as I am, but can they imagine any councillor, even a parish councillor, or a district or town councillor, who would dare to face a popular election saying he was going to annoy and insult Church people and destroy the amenities of the yard simply because he was a member of a certain party? The thing is unthinkable. There are not such problems as that, and it shows a total misconception of the whole position in this country when Members make speeches of that kind. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Stuart-Wortley), who is an Ecclesiastical Commissioner, made a speech showing that not only was he entirely ignorant of the real groundwork and sentiment of Nonconformity in Wales, but that
§ he himself does not know the responsibilities of his own Department in this country. I did think they did justice to the dead, though I know the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are not doing justice to the living. I thought the right hon. Gentleman would, at any rate, show that he thoroughly understood the burial position. I regret very much that in this Debate the Opposition have favoured us with about half a dozen Members in attendance, and very seldom until the last few moments with more than ten, although more than 200 were in the House, and when the allocation of time was discussed they said this was the most important thing in the Bill, and there would not be any time to discuss it. They came in at the bidding of the Whips in the Snap Division and marched out again to show their contempt for the arguments brought forward.
§ It being Seven of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of the 28th November, 1912, and of the 30th January, 1913, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already put from the Chair.
§ Question put, "That the words 'the churchyards adjoining or in use with the same,' be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 297.2071
|Division No. 570.]||AYES.||[7.0 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cassel, Felix||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Cator, John||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Ashley, W. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Grant, J. A.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Greene, W. R.|
|Baird, J. L.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Clyde, J. Avon||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Haddock, George Bahr|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Courthope, G. Loyd||Hall, D. B. (isle of Wight)|
|Barnston, Harry||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Larence|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Craik, Sir Henry||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Hewins, William Albert Samuel|
|Bigland, Alfred||Croft, H. P.||Hickman, Colonel T. E.|
|Bird, A.||Dalrymple, Viscount||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Blair, Reginald||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Hills, John Waller|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Duke, Henry Edward||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney|
|Boyton, James||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Hope, Harry (Bute)|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clivo||Fell, Arthur||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Fletcher John Samuel||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Butcher, J. G.||Forster, Henry William||Hunt, Rowland|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Gardner, Ernest||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Campion, W. R.||Gibbs, G. A.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Starkey, John R.|
|Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Kerry, Earl of||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Parkes, Ebenezer||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutstord)|
|Knight, Captain E. A.||Peel, Captain R. F.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Perkins, Walter||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Peto, Basil Edward||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Lee, Arthur H.||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Lewlsham, Viscount||Pretyman, Ernest George||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Randies, Sir John S.||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Ratcliff, R. F.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Ward, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Rawson, Col. R. H.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Lyttclton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Rees, Sir J. D.||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|MacCaw, Win. J. MacGeagh)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Mackinder, H. J.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's||Royds, Edmund||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Mlldmay, Francis Bingham||Rutherford, John (Darwen)||Winterton, Earl|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Wood, John (Stalybrldge)|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Mount, William Arthur||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Neville, Reginald J. N.||Sanders, Robert A.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Sanderson, Lancelot||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Newman, John R. P.||Sassoon, Sir Philip||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)||Younger, Sir George|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Norton-Griffiths, John||Stanier, Beville||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Evelyn Cecil and Sir H. Carlile.|
|O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Stanley, Hon. G. F, (Preston)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cotton, William Francis||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Adamson, William||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Hackett, J.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Crumley, Patrick||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hancock, John George|
|Ainsworth, John Stilrling||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)|
|Alden, Percy||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hardie, J. Keir|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Dawes, James Arthur||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||De Forest, Baron||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Delany, William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Devlin, Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Hayward, Evan|
|Barnes, G. N.||Dickinson, W. H.||Hazleton, Richard|
|Barton, W.||Dillon, John||Healy, Maurice (Cork)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Donelan, Captain A.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Doris, W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Duffy, William J.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mori., S.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Roland, John Plus||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hinds, John|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Brace, William||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Hodge, John|
|Brady, P. J.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Hogge, James Mytes|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Esslemont, George Birnie||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Falconer, J.||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|8uckmaster, Stanley 0.||Farrell, James Patrick||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Firench, Peter||Hudson, Walter|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Field, William||Hughes, S. L.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sidney C. (Poplar)||Fitzgibbon, John||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||John, Edward Thomas|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (prestwich)||Gill, A. H.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Glnnell, L.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Glanville, Harold James||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Goldstone, Frank||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushclifle)|
|Clough, William||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Clynes, John R.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Joyce, Michael|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Keating, Matthew|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Doherty, Philip||Sheehy, David|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Dowd, John||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Grady, James||Shortt, Edward|
|King, J.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molten)||O'Malley, William||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||O'Shee, James John||Snowden, Philip|
|Leach, Charles||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Outhwaite, R. L.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Sutton, John E.|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Parker, James (Halifax)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Parry, Thomas H.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lynch, A. A.||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph (Rotherham)||Thomas J. H.|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|McGhee, Richard||Pointer, Joseph||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Priestley, Sir W. E. (Bradford)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Wadsworth, J.|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Pringle, William M. R.||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|M'Kean, John||Radford, G. H.||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rattan, Peter Wilson||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|M'Laren. Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wardle, George J.|
|M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spaldlng)||Reddy, M.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Meagher, Michael||Richards, Thomas||Webb, H.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Richardson. Albion (Peckham)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Middlebrook, William||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Molloy, M.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Roberts. Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Robertson, John M, (Tyneside)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Robinson, Sidney||Wiles, Thomas|
|Mooney, J. J.||Roch, Walter F.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Morgan, George Hay||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Williams. J. (Glamorgan)|
|Morrell, Philip||Roe, Sir Thomas||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Morison, Hector||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rowlands, James||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Muldoon, John||Rowntree, Arnold||Winfrey, Richard|
|Munro, R.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Russell. Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Nolan, Joseph||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
§ Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government (of which notice had been given) necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Seven o'clock at this day's sitting.
§ Government Amendments made: Leave out paragraph (vi.). Insert the following paragraph:—
§ (viii.) If so requested by the representative body, any glebe or other land, not comprised within any of the above-mentioned categories and not being a burial ground, subject to the payment by the representative body to the Welsh Commissioners of a sum equal to the value thereof, such value to be determined in default of agreement by arbitration, regard being had to the tenancies, charges, incumbrances, interests, and rights subject to which the land is transferred to the representative body.2072
§ In paragraph (b) (i.), after the word "which" ["in which a burial ground has been provided"], insert the words, "not being a rural district."
§ Leave out the words, "Provided that this Sub-section shall not apply to money (not being a private benefaction) which is the proceeds of sale or is held on trust to be applied in the purchase of glebe or to the securities in which any such money is for the time being invested."