§ Considered in Committee.
§ [Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of such sums as may be necessary for payment of principal and interest of any money borrowed by the Welsh Commissioners in pursuance of any Act of the present Session to terminate the Establishment of the Church in Wales and Monmouthshire, and to make provision in respect of the temporalities thereof, and for other purposes in connection with the matters aforesaid."—[Mr. McKenna.]
§ Mr. HOARE
The last thing I wish to do is to look a gift-horse in the mouth. At the same time it is a curious commentary on the proceedings to which we have been reduced by the Parliament Act and the Closure Resolution which the House agreed to yesterday that we should be given three hours for the comparatively narrow issue of the Financial Resolution, but that we should be denied 1137 three minutes to deal with such questions as compensation to curates or the robbery of the churchyards. I had expected that the Home Secretary would have explained the nature and the scope of this Resolution. As he has not done so, the Committee will perhaps bear with me whilst I point out why it is that the Financial Resolution is necessary at all. What it is that the Committee will be pledging the finances of the country to if the Financial Resolution is carried? Why is a Financial Resolution necessary at all? Let hon. Members of the Committee think what is likely to happen when the Bill comes into operation. The three Commissioners will have been appointed. They will be immediately called upon to begin the work of Disestablishment and Disendowment. They will have no funds at their disposal until the clergy in the Welsh dioceses begin to die off, and the life interests fall in.
The first object, therefore, of this Resolution is to provide salaries for two paid Commissioners, something for office expenses and other incidental expenses which will be involved in putting the Act into operation. The first charge, therefore, that will have to be met will be the salaries of the two paid Commissioners. That is a very important consideration. Think, for instance, of the dismay of the two nominees of the Government who have been appointed paid Commissioners if they have no means of obtaining their salaries! As far as I can see from a close study of this Bill, the only two individuals who are likely to gain at all will be the two paid Commissioners. What an appalling calamity if these two nominees of the Radical Government have to go without their salaries for a very few weeks! In order to avoid this great calamity this Committee is asked to place at their disposal the credit of the country. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] We are reduced to a curious state of affairs when the credit of the country has to be pledged to carry out the spoliation of the most ancient part of the National Church. In order, therefore, to carry out this disastrous operation this Financial Resolution is required. If Members of the Committee will look at Clause 30, Sub-section (3) they will find there provided as follows:—
"The Treasury may, if they think fit, guarantee the payment of the principal and interest of all or any part of any money borrowed by the Welsh Commissioners." 1138 In Sub-section (5) it is provided that—
"For giving effect to the guarantee aforesaid, the Treasury, in aid of any money applicable under this Act for payment of principal and interest for the time being accrued, due in respect of any money borrowed by the Welsh Commissioners in pursuance of this Act, may cause to be issued out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom or the growing produce thereof, such sums as may be necessary for payment of the said principal and interest, or of any part thereof respectively." Those few observations explain why a Financial Resolution is necessary at all. I therefore pass from that to the second question that arises, and this is an even more important question for the consideration of the Committee. What is the amount in which the Treasury are likely to be involved by the passage of this Resolution? Members of the Committee will notice that in the Financial Resolution no sum at all is mentioned. That is somewhat unfortunate, and it always seems to me that when a Committee of this House is asked to pledge the credit of the country to a large financial operation, some sum should be placed in the Resolution. I am aware that in this case a difficulty arises, and two contingencies have to be contemplated. In the first place, it is possible that the authorities of the Church might feel themselves bound, in view of the very hard conditions which are offered them, to refuse the scheme of commutation. In that event, the Commissioners would only have to find the amount-necessary for certain forms of compensation to particular officers and owners of particular kinds of property. In that case, the sum to which this Committee would be pledging the credit of the country would be a comparatively small sum. If, on the other hand, commutation is accepted by the authorities of the Church, then the case is very different. In that event, the guarantee of the Treasury would be pledged to a very large extent. I propose to take both those contingencies in turn and to offer to the Committee certain observations upon them, and in the course of my remarks to ask the Home Secretary certain questions which seem to me to be important.
First of all, suppose the Church does not accept commutation. In that event, the Welsh Commissioners will be required at once to find certain sums to compensate certain officials and the owners of certain 1139 kinds of property. In this connection I would refer the members of the Committee to Clauses 14, 15, 16, and 17 of the Bill. In those Clauses they will find that compensation is to be offered to the owners of private patronage; and, secondly, to the holders of certain freehold offices, or certain offices which in the opinion of the Commissioners are analogous to freehold offices. In addition to that, they will have to find a comparatively large sum to pay out the lay owners of tithe. Let me say, in passing, it is very significant of the whole of this Bill that, whilst the rightful owners, the clergy and those connected with them, are deprived of their tithe, the lay owners are to receive compensation. With reference to the owners of private patronage, I do not imagine that the Commissioners will have to find any large sum immediately, for I see that under the Bill they will not be required to pay the compensation until two years have elapsed. By that time some of the life interest will have fallen in, and they will consequently have at their disposal a fund from which they can pay that compensation. Again, unlike the Irish Act, they will have to find not a penny of compensation for curates. The result, therefore, is that the only forms of compensation they will have immediately to find in the event of the Church refusing the commutation are compensations to lay tithe-owners. The Home Secretary shakes his head. I was making that statement on the strength of what he said in the previous Debates we had last year.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
I know the statement to which the hon. Member refers. It is quite an obvious misreport.
§ Mr. HOARE
I am quite ready, of course, to accept what the Home Secretary has just said. I was very much surprised in reading through the Debate last year to find that statement was made, not on one but on two occasions, and that it should have passed uncontradicted. It comes, therefore, to this: The Commissioners will have to find compensation immediately for the holders of certain freehold positions. I want to ask the Home Secretary, before the Debate closes, What is the sum which he estimates they will have to find in this connection? It is important that we should know this sum, for, 1140 if we do not know it, we shall be pledging the credit of the Treasury to the advance of a sum of about the extent of which we know nothing at all. Further, there is another point in this connection. It is quite clear that in questions of this kind many legal difficulties are likely to arise. What is a freehold office, and what is not? What is an office analogous to a freehold office? Legal questions are sure to arise, and I fully agree with what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Hewins), in the course of a previous Debate, that many complicated questions of law will arise, and that the Commissioners and the suitors will be placed at considerable expense in getting those questions settled. No doubt the Home Secretary has made some estimate of what this expense will amount to. I think it would be a very suitable opportunity if, in the course of this Debate, he informed us how much he considers the Commissioners will have to spend under this head, and how much, therefore, the Treasury will be pledged to.
I own I am somewhat shocked by what was said in the course of the last Debate by the right hon. Gentleman who leads the Welsh Radical Members. He said that he did not contemplate that the Commissioners would be placed to any great expense, because they would be given, or he hoped they would be given, very drastic powers for bringing questions to a speedy issue. It fills me with dismay to think of these three irresponsible gentlemen, unnamed and removed entirely from the control of this House, settling expeditiously without delay summarily and, possibly, arbitrarily questions of the greatest importance not only to the Church, but also to particular individuals. I pass from that part of my argument to the second part of it. Suppose, on the other hand, that the Church accepts commutation. What is it then to which the Treasury will be pledged? The Treasury will then be pledged to the raising of a very large sum of money. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] The hon. Member says that is not a fact. May I again refer him to the words of the Resolution and to the Sub-section of Clause 30 that I have just read? No doubt he will have an opportunity later on of explaining how it is, when the Committee is empowering the Treasury to guarantee the expenses of the Welsh Commissioners, that it is not involving the Treasury in a very-large guarantee.
§ Mr. HOARE
If that is the case, I cannot see why we should be called upon to pass a Financial Resolution at all. On two previous occasions we have been called upon to pass a Financial Resolution, and the opinion urged by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil has, I think, never been urged in any of the Debates that have yet taken place. I differ from the view the hon. Member holds. It is my opinion, and I think it is the opinion of the Home Secretary, that if the Church accepts commutation the Treasury will be called upon to guarantee the raising of a sum of money amounting certainly to £2,000,000, and probably to about £2,160,000. In the last Debate we had some very important points brought out with reference to this guarantee, but certain points were left somewhat obscure. The Home Secretary stated that the rate of interest upon which the commutation scheme was to be based would be 3½ per cent. It was also stated in the Debate, and I think he stated the fact, that the rate of interest in the case of the Irish Act was only 3 per cent., and that, therefore, the conditions which were being offered to the Welsh Church in this respect were better than the conditions which were offered to the Irish Church. I have looked up that point, and I cannot find that the Home Secretary was correct in what he said. Reference to the Irish Act shows me that the rate of interest in the case of the Irish Church was not 3 per cent., but 3½ per cent., as in this case. I own I was somewhat surprised to find that fact, in view of what was said several times a year ago. In Section 51 of the Irish Act I find that "commutation moneys paid under this Act shall be calculated at the rate of £3 10s. per centum per annum." That is a very material point, for Members will remember that was one of the points made over and over again with a view to showing that in this one respect the Welsh Church has nothing to complain of. If the 3½ per cent. was a fair sum in 1869 when the Irish Church Act was passed, I maintain that it is not a fair sum now.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am asking whether the hon. Member suggests that the rate of 1142 interest should be calculated at a higher or a less rate than 3½ per cent.?
§ Mr. HOARE
The rate of interest on £2,160,000 should be less. The hon. Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) is a much better expert in financial questions than I am, and no doubt he will press that point later in the course of this Debate. Secondly, in the case of the Irish Church Act, 5 per cent. was allowed for working expenses. In this case only 2½ per cent. is to be allowed. I cannot conceive why that is so, unless it be to give the Welsh Church worse terms than were given to the Irish Church, for I feel sure everyone will agree with me when I say that the last thirty or forty years has shown that this business of life annuities is a very dangerous and difficult one to calculate, and the expense of managing a scheme of this kind, so far from having diminished during that time, has considerably increased.
I think if the Home Secretary would go to any life office he would find that this was the case, and, therefore, if justice is to be done and the analogy of the Irish Church Act is to be followed, not only not a less sum than that given to the Irish Church should be given to the Welsh Church, but a sum greater than the 5 per cent. that was given in 1869. The Home Secretary, in the course of the Debate on the Financial Resolution a year ago, made a great deal of the fact that the latest life tables were to be taken for the commutation. He said he had consulted the tables of 1911 of the Clergy Mutual Society, and that under those tables the clergy, owing to their greater longevity, would come off better than they would under the ordinary tables. That no doubt is the fact, but it is nothing for the Home Secretary to boast about. Of course, when you are compensating individuals for their life interest, you take the latest available tables under which compensation can be accurately estimated, and it is no sort of generosity to point to the fact that the Clergy Mutual tables are taken. If you are going to compensate these clergy properly there are no other tables you could take. The fact that since the Irish Church Act came into operation the average lives have increased somewhat in duration, of course 1143 makes it all the more necessary that the last available tables should be taken, and particularly the tables of an office which deals particularly with the lives of the clergy, like the Clergy Mutual Society.
In this connection I want to impress upon the Home Secretary the difficulty in which this Committee are placed. He told us he was basing his estimate on the report that he had received from a well-known actuary (Mr. Wyatt), and this Committee, before it is asked to pass an important Financial Resolution like this, surely has a right to see that report. Take what happened in the case of the Insurance Act. A number of actuarial reports were made out, and in every case they were laid on the Table and placed at the disposal of hon. Members. I urge that when we are asked to pass a Financial Resolution of this kind we ought not to be required to do it until we have a report of this nature in our hands—a report which directly concerns the matter upon which we are required to give an opinion. We are placed in an even greater difficulty for another reason. The Treasury is to be asked to give its guarantee for a sum which we do not know, to be placed at the discretion of Commissioners whose names we have never heard. Was this House ever before required to give a blank cheque to three absolutely unknown individuals? These individuals, whose names we do not know, are to have very wide powers of discretion, and anyone who looks at the Schedule which concerns the commutation will find that they will be in a position to decide proprio motu many most important questions. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we should be given their names before we entrust to them these very extensive financial powers. The Home Secretary, in answer to a question a week or two ago, stated that he would give their names on the Third Reading of the Bill. But surely this is the proper time. It might influence certain Members considerably in the decision upon which they are called upon to arrive this afternoon. Are any of them Members of Parliament?
What happened in the case of the Irish Church Act? Mr. Gladstone, a great financier, stated in the House that the duties were so important which the Commissioners were called upon to perform that he desired to take the earliest opportunity of announcing their names to the House, and the result was that, in the 1144 Committee stage of the Bill, their names were given, and the House was placed in the position of knowing who it was to whom they were asked to entrust important financial duties. The question is even more important, because the salaries of the Commissioners are to be paid out of a sum, the authorisation of which we are called upon to make this afternoon. What will that mean? It will mean that their salaries will be removed from the Consolidated Fund. They are to be paid out of moneys now belonging to the Welsh Church, and these three unknown individuals will consequently be removed entirely from the criticism of this House. This may, indeed, be the last opportunity we shall have of considering whether these three individuals are fitted or not to undertake these important duties, and I therefore urge, as strongly as I can, on the Home Secretary that we should not be called upon to wait until the Third Reading of the Bill, but should be told at once who these three individuals are. I ask the right hon. Gentleman three questions in regard to this Resolution. I want to know, first of all, what is the estimate of the sum which is to be found for compensation; secondly, will he lay on the Table of the House the actuarial report on which he has based his commutation estimate; and, thirdly, and most important of all, will he state to the House the names of the three officials who are to be called upon to undertake these important duties?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The hon. Gentleman's criticism is not, if he will allow me to say so, quite as acute as the other criticisms which on previous occasions he has directed against this Bill. I am led to the conclusion that it was not quite a figure of speech when he said he was not an expert on financial matters, because he seemed to have entirely misunderstood what rate of interest means in calculating the value of an annuity. He seems to have supposed we were doing an injustice to the Welsh Church by not putting the rate of interest and calculating the present value of the annuity at a higher rate than 3½ per cent. But I remember a great deal of opposition was raised to our putting it so high as 3½ per cent. The fact whether the rate should be 3½ or 4 per cent. must, after all, depend on the Money Market of the day. The hon. Gentleman complains at one moment that our commutation proposals 1145 are unfair and at another moment that they are less fair to the Church than were the Irish proposals. He may make either of those charges or both, but he must keep them separate. If he says they are not as fair as the proposals were for the Irish Church, he must examine them in relation to the Irish Church and not in relation to his general idea of what is fair. It is quite true we do not allow as much as was allowed in the case of the Irish Church for management expenses. In the case of the Irish Church the allowance was 5 per cent., and it was an excessive allowance. We allow only 2½ per cent. I admit that the Irish proposals were more generous to the Irish Church than are our present proposals, but what are we getting on the other side of the account? The Irish Church took the ordinary life tables, and allowed 7 per cent. in respect of the greater longevity of the clergy. But there is a far greater difference between the ordinary life tables and the life tables we authorise the use of than is represented by 7 per cent., and it will be found that the number of years' purchase—and, after all, that is the ultimate test—which the Welsh Church will receive from commutations is considerably higher—the hon. Member for Dudley (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen) shakes his head—but it is the fact it is considerably higher than was given in the case of the Irish Church.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
It is thirteen years in the case of the Welsh Church against 12.8 years in the case of the Irish Church. What I was dissenting from was the expression "considerably higher."
§ Mr. McKENNA
What I stated just now was that, under our proposal, on the estimates of the value of life interests placed before me, interpreting the actual Clauses of the Bill, I am advised that the number of years' purchase of the life interests will be twelve and three-quarter years. That does not include any percentage for management—that is simply 1146 the present value of the life interests taken on the average over the whole of the clergy, and that amounts to twelve and three-quarter years.
§ Mr. McKENNA
This point has nothing to do with age. After taking the individual age of each clergyman and reckoning what the life interest will be worth, we find, taking the whole of the life interests of existing clergy, that the estimate of the present value of the total annuity would be twelve and three-quarter years. I say that that estimate is considerably more favourable to the Welsh Church than was the Irish proposal.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
You said that in the case of the Irish Church it was 12.80. I do not see how 12.75 can be more favourable than 12.80.
§ Mr. McKENNA
In the case of the beneficed clergy in Ireland the total amount—I am speaking from memory now—did not amount to anything like 12.80 years' purchase. If you take the whole amount paid to the Irish Church, including management, compensation to curates and everything else, then it is true that it does seem less. I am now comparing life interests with life interests, and I assert that my original statement was strictly accurate, that, on our calculation of life interests, we are giving much more favourable terms to the Welsh Church than were given to the Irish Church. I apologise for being led into this topic. It is not really relevant to the present Debate, and I only deal with it in order to answer the hon. Gentleman's first charge that our proposals are not as generous to the Welsh Church as were the Irish Church proposals. The second point he made was that our proposals are not fair. Not one word has he said in justification of that charge. My hon. Friend the Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs (Mr. Gladstone) complained yesterday that no opportunity was given to discuss an Amendment which he had put down which would put the value of a life interest under commutation at twelve and three-quarter years' purchase. That is precisely the estimate that we made.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Of course it is not in my power to guarantee anything in this Bill. I shall not be a Commissioner. But 1147 on the best advice I am able to obtain on the words in the Bill, that must be the interpretation put upon it, and, in practice, I believe it will be found that twelve and three-quarter years' purchase will be reckoned to be the true value of the total life interests. The hon. Gentleman's first question was what was the necessity for this Resolution? He answered that in his own speech, and the first answer was, that in order to provide the salaries for two nominees of the Radical Government, we are reduced to pledging the credit of the country. I suggest to the hon. Member, if he wishes to argue this question fairly, that that is not a reasonable interpretation of this Motion. As a Churchman, he asks us to take a fair and liberal view of the claims of the Church, yet in putting that before us, he makes such a charge as that and alleges that we are moving this Motion in order to provide salaries for two Radical nominees.
§ Mr. McKENNA
It is not true. He proceeded to answer it himself in the course of his next question, which was, "What amount is involved?" In determining what amount is involved, the only point he never mentioned was the salaries of the two Radical nominees. He proceeded to argue, quite truly, that we have to buy out the rights of private patronage, and may do it from within six months of the Bill coming into operation. That will be a claim that can be made upon the Welsh Commisioners for the value of the advowson; they will have to meet it, and they must have funds to meet it. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the cost of bringing this Bill into operation will fall upon the capitular estates. In the event, which I trust we may be long spared, of a bishop happening to die, then I admit there would be immediate funds upon which the Commissioners could draw, but in the absence of a life interest falling in, the only immediate sources of revenue of the Welsh Commissioners will be the annual amount of the first fruits and tenths which, in an ordinary year, may not amount to £20.
§ Mr. McKENNA
That is the point I am answering. The Commissioners will have to bear the immediate charge, quite apart from their own salaries.
§ Mr. McKENNA
They will have immediate charges for the purposes of their office. They will have to take an office and pay rent and rates; they must employ clerks, all of whom will have to be paid, and they have, under the Bill, to meet certain immediate charges. They have got to compensate for the loss of the rights of private patronage. I was reported to have said in a previous speech that they have got to be compensated for tithe rent charge; but it should have been the rights of private patronage. They have to pay compensation for any loss of freehold offices. These are burdens which will fall upon them immediately, and to meet which they will have no means. We therefore propose that they shall be empowered to borrow money.
§ Mr. McKENNA
When the Noble Lord discusses this matter, I am sure with the best intentions in the world, he seems quite incapable of doing ordinary justice to his opponents. I stated most clearly that in addition to the salaries of the Commissioners, they would have to take an office, they would have to employ clerks, and they would have to pay compensation for the rights of private patronage and for the abolition of certain freehold offices. All these are matters which will require the expenditure of money, and at the beginning, as long as none of the existing holders of benefices or any of the bishops die, there will be practically no funds in the hands of the Commissioners. Therefore, under the Bill we authorise them to borrow money. Now we go further, and ask for the authorisation of this House to be given to the Treasury to guarantee any necessary loan that may be raised by the Commissioners. The amount of the loan, obviously, must be very uncertain. If, as I have said, it should so happen that a number of the present occupants of ecclesiastical office should die immediately after the Bill came into operation, there would be no need to borrow at all. The amount of the expenses must inevitably be small, but they cannot 1149 be calculated, because they depend upon factors we do not at present know.
§ Mr. McKENNA
We could not have a maximum. We do not know what is the value which will be given for the rights of private patronage. Under the Bill it is not to exceed one year's purchase. We do not think that in the majority of cases as much as one year's purchase will be given.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I should not like to contemplate it. The Bill does not contemplate that, as a maximum, one year's purchase should be given in every case—by no means! It is possibly the maximum in any one case, but it is not possible in all cases.
§ Mr. McKENNA
It is impossible to give an estimate as to the number of freehold offices, and it is quite impossible to determine what the judgment of the Commissioners will be as to the amount of compensation to be given, but in all matters the Treasury will be in a position to decide whether the amount it is proposed to borrow for the purposes I have named is a fairly reasonable amount. I am sure that Noble Lords wish to treat this matter seriously. Assuming that the Bill is to go through, they must surely be anxious to assist the Commissioners in carrying out the terms of the Bill, because it is all to the interest of the Church that the way of the Commissioners should be made as easy as possible. This part of the Resolution amounts to very little. The amount must depend primarily upon the period when existing life interests fall in. In any event it cannot be large. Except for the fact that the Welsh Commissioners will have no income at all at first, it would be hardly worth the consideration of this House. But there is a second factor, problematical also, but far more important. If commutation is accepted by the Church, the Welsh Commissioners will have to borrow immediately a sum exceeding, it is quite safe to say, £2,000,000. That sum, of course, must depend upon the value of the life interests at the moment. As hon. Gentlemen know, the value of the life interests of the clergy from year to year depends upon the value 1150 of the tithe rent-charge, which is in itself a varying factor. It so happens that the value at the present time is a rising value. Consequently, such estimates as were made in 1906 as to the total value of the life interests of the clergy are to-day considerably below the mark. The only estimate which I can speak of as being an accurate one is twelve and three-quarter years' purchase. In 1906 the annual value of the property upon which the twelve and three-quarters might be calculated was, I think, £157,000. To-day I believe the sum would be considerably larger. Consequently, while I know one factor, the twelve and three-quarters, I do not know the other factor which is the total value, but certainly it would amount to over £2,000,000 sterling.
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
Does the right hon. Gentleman say the whole of the £2,000,000 is to be paid at once? I do not-take it to be so from Sub-section (3) of Clause 18—it can be paid over in proportion.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I do not think that Sub-section really raises the point. I will look further into it. But whether immediately or not immediately, the Welsh Com missioners in all will be liable to pay to the Representative Body a sum exceeding £2,000,000. They can only obtain that sum of money by borrowing, and unless they have a Treasury guarantee for the loan they could not borrow at anything like as cheap a rate as we have estimated they can borrow in our commutation proposals. It may be said that, inasmuch as the whole cost of bringing this Bill into operation falls upon the transferred capitular estates, and ultimately, therefore, upon the University of Wales, any additional burden upon the funds of the Commissioners is not a national matter, but a matter only affecting the University of Wales, and is not therefore a fit subject for a Treasury guarantee. If that were the whole of the case, I should admit that there would be something in the argument, but it is not the whole of the case. We are able to offer certain terms to the Church by way of commutation, because we hope and expect to obtain the necessary capital sum with the assistance of the Treasury guarantee. If we cannot obtain, that sum in that way, we could not offer as favourable terms to the Church by way of commutation, and consequently it is not merely a matter affecting the Welsh University, but it is a matter affecting the 1151 Church in Wales, and it is therefore with a view to a whole national settlement affecting all parties in Wales, the Church and the University alike, that we ask the House to give us a Treasury guarantee for the loan which the Welsh Commissioners will have to raise. If the hon. Member who objected to the proposal succeeded in his object and defeated us upon the present proposal, the first and greatest effect of his victory would be that the same terms of commutation could not be offered to the Church. I hope the hon. Member will understand, now that we are drawing to a close of the dispute over this Bill, that once the Bill is through everyone will have a common interest. No one will wish to injure the Church. We shall all be only too anxious that the Bill shall work in the most favourable way to all the parties concerned. We are asking the House of Commons to assist the operation of the Bill by a Treasury guarantee. I admit that it is essential to the Bill. The Welsh Commissioners could borrow the money without a Treasury guarantee, but if the House of Commons refused its guarantee, we should still go on. We should still borrow our money, but instead of borrowing at 3½ per cent., or 3¾ per cent., or 4 per cent., we should borrow at 4¼ per cent., or 4½ per cent. We should still pay our way, but we could not give such favourable terms to the Church.
§ Mr. McKENNA
No doubt we should, but as it stands this proposal in itself would operate favourably to the Church, and I trust that hon. Members will not be so misled by their prejudices against the Bill as to vote against a proposal which is really in their own interests.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I do not think the Home Secretary need flatter himself that we are at the end of this controversy. We are only just beginning. You may score a technical point by placing this undiscussed Bill on the Statute Book, but it will not be there very long, and we are likely to have this controversy all over again, under much fairer conditions than we have had in the last two 1152 years. The Home Secretary questioned a remark that I interjected in criticism of his statement that the terms of commutation in Ireland were considerably less favourable than those given in the case of Wales in the present Bill, and I pointed out to him that taking his own figure in his speech of last year, the difference was that in the case of Ireland it worked out at 12.8 years' purchase, and in the case of this Bill it works out at a slight fraction over thirteen. I want to know where is the considerably greater advantage in that very small difference. The Home-Secretary thought fit to question my remark, but I have it here. This is what he said on 13th June last year:—In the case of Ireland, the number of years' purchase worked out altogether at 12.8 years purchase. That included a bonus, and the reckoning of the life-interest on a 3 per cent. table. We propose to give 12.75 years' purchase.He goes on to make certain additions—2½ per cent. for management, and a certain amount because you gave an extra year to the clergy, and he said that comes altogether to just over thirteen years' purchase. I really want to know, in the face of that statement, how on earth the Home Secretary can really pretend that these terms are considerably more generous than those given to the Irish Church. If the right hon. Gentleman will consider the matter for a moment, he will see that they are much less generous. Longevity has greatly increased since the time that the Irish Church Bill was passed, and I do not think the small difference between 12.8 and thirteen really represents the increased longevity that has to be dealt with.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I am talking of the effect when the new tables are applied. The effect of the old tables in Ireland on the allowance made was 12.8 years' purchase. The effect of these new tables is that the allowance made is just thirteen, and having regard to the increased longevity the difference is not sufficient. The right hon. Gentleman forgot another very considerable point of difference. In the case of Ireland, you gave compensation to the curates. In the case of Wales, you give no compensation whatever. Does not that make a great difference to what you are giving in respect of commutation?
§ Mr. McKENNA
No; the hon. Member has put the compensation to curates in the Irish case on the wrong side of the account. 1153 Compensation to curates is included in the total. If you take out the compensation to the curates in the Irish case, which historically we all know was given in many cases where it ought not to have been given, and consider only the balance given to the beneficed clergy, it amounted to nothing like twelve years.
Sir A. GRIFFITH BOSCAWEN
The language used by the Home Secretary last year clearly did not take into account the question of curate's compensation. He talked right through of 12.8 years' purchase.
§ Mr. McKENNA
That is the capital sum paid in compensation, representing 12.8 times the annual value of the property. The beneficed clergy did not receive the whole of it; the curates received some of it.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Only a small number of them. A good many of the other curates got lump sums, which did not come into the reckoning on the annual value of the property at all. What an exceedingly inconvenient position we are in to-day! The Government give us three hours in which to discuss the Financial Resolution. We can raise, if we like, a discussion on the terms of commutation, and we can allude, though we can do no more, to the fact that curates are omitted, but the whole thing is farcical, because we have no opportunity, as they have taken away the Committee stage of the Bill, and as they have denied us any Suggestion stage, of making any alteration in the terms which may become apparently necessary in consequence of our Debate this afternoon. It really is the most farcical proceeding which was ever performed in the House. It is all on a par with the way this Bill is being treated right through. Take the guillotine that we had two years ago. It was very similar to what we are doing now.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
We can discuss the terms of commutation, we can show that they are very unfair, and we can show that you are offering to the Church a bargain on which she may be a heavy loser, and it is in the interests of the Welsh people and not in the interests of 1154 the Church that there should be commutation at all. We do not want commutation. We are simply doing it to oblige you.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I said that in the general interests of peace it would be better to have commutation if you gave us fair terms.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Did they not? The commutation proposal was made by the hon. Member (Mr. Gladstone).
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
In seconding I said it would certainly be to the advantage of both sides, and especially of the Welsh county councils, if there was commutation, and the Church would not object to it if the terms given were fair; but we do not consider that the terms given are fair. They are better than the terms which were originally introduced but they are not fair to the Church now. In the case of Ireland, the Irish Church gained considerably, because, owing to the fact that there were more clergy in Ireland than could be employed after Disestablishment, a large number of the clergy made a special bargain with the Church body, and took a certain amount in the way of compensation, and left, and the Church body was able thereby to make a very considerable profit. No one suggests that the same thing is going to happen in Wales, because we are determined, whatever you do, to employ as many clergy after Disestablishment as before. [An HON. MEMBER: "Would churches be closed?"] We hope to have no churches closed, though I dare say hon. Members opposite would like to see it. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Certainly by the votes they have given in this House they have shown from time to time that that is what a great many of them desire. We hope, not-withstanding the hard terms given for commutation, and other terms in the Bill, to keep all the churches open, and not to dispense with a single clergyman. That makes a considerable difference under the terms of commutation, because the Irish Church was able to make considerable profit, so to speak, by means of commu- 1155 tation—by means of the clergy making bargains with the Representative Body for less than they were entitled to. That will not happen in the case of Wales, and I think that point should have been taken into consideration when the terms were settled by the Government. The whole situation is embarrassing to the last degree. Look at this Financial Resolution generally; and here I blame the Parliament Act. The Financial Resolution was brought in really to be a very small matter indeed. It was merely to apply to the payment of the salaries and expenses of the Commissioners, and to the cost of buying out the lay patrons. In the first instance, the amount of money which would have had to be borrowed by the Commissioners under the Bill as originally drafted, and therefore the amount which would have had to be guaranteed by the Treasury, was really a trivial sum. But then they changed the Bill altogether. They put in this commutation, which is optional on the Church, and, having put it in, they treat it in the same Financial Resolution, which was intended for a totally different set of circumstances. That shows the exceeding awkwardness of the situation created by the Parliament Act, and the manner in which we have been treated throughout by the Government in connection with this Bill.
There is another objection to this Financial Resolution. I think it has already been alluded to by my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Hoare) in his very able speech. It is that you are asking the House to allow a large sum of money to be borrowed. It will be a very big sum. It may be considerably over £2,000,000 which will have to be borrowed and guaranteed by the Government. And yet you do not tell us the names of the Commissioners to whom is to be entrusted all this money. Why not? I wish to ask the Home Secretary this question, which I have pressed upon him before: Why has he not announced the names of the Commissioners who are to be able to borrow this money which is to obtain the Government guarantee? We have not known them all along. Why are we asked to draw a blank cheque in favour of people we know nothing about? All we know is that one is to be a Churchman, and presumably the others are not to be Churchmen. What is the objection to giving the names? Is the Home Secretary prepared to give the names here and now?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Why not? In every precedent we have had for a Bill of this sort the names have always been put in at once. In the case of the Irish Church the names were in the original Bill in 1869. The same thing happened in 1895. If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to that unfortunate measure, which got no further, he will find that the names were put in. The Government then were not sure that the Bill was going to pass. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Was anybody sure that the Bill of 1895 was going to pass? We all knew perfectly well that it was not going to pass. The Prime Minister said that it was like "ploughing the sands" on the seashore for a Liberal Government to bring forward certain measures. I suppose in the present case certain Gentlemen expect to get the fat rewards of their services to the party, and therefore you will not at present give us the names of those who are to be trusted with the right to borrow this large sum of money which the Financial Resolution is required to sanction. I object very strongly to the proposal to pledge the Government credit in the name of people of whom we know absolutely nothing. There is only one other point I wish to deal with. I really do not quite understand what is going to happen the moment this Bill becomes law. How are the salaries of these Commissioners going to be paid? Is that what you are going to borrow money for?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Now we know where we are. You are speculating upon the short life or the long life of the bishops.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
The long life! It is one of the very small consoling things that have come out in the course of our Debates that the bishops and clergy have long lives. That really is the position. You speculate upon the lives of the bishops, and you come down here and 1157 in the vaguest terms, without putting any sum in black and white at all, without putting it in italics, and telling us only that of the three Commissioners one is to be a Churchman and the other two not, ask the House to pledge the credit of the Government for a sum of money, but no one knows what it is likely to be. I do not know that my hon. Friends would be better off if they rejected the Resolution, but I protest against the way it has been brought forward, and the way in which the Government have arranged the time of the House, giving us a mere futile discussion when we might have had a useful discussion. You allow us to talk about things we cannot alter, because you will not give us a chance to make alterations. If my hon. Friend goes to a Division, I will support him.
§ Sir DAVID BRYNMOR JONES
The hon. and gallant Member (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen) did himself a certain amount of injustice in the speech he has delivered. First of all, he did himself great injustice by being quite inaccurate as to our attitude during previous Debates on this Bill. He said not only that we did desire to close churches, but he accused us of having openly said—
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
No, no, I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon! I did not say that. I said their action and speeches were such that they led to the suspicion, and we thought that was their desire. Certainly that would be the effect of their action. I did not accuse them of designedly wishing to do it.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
That is a very handsome statement on the part of the hon. and gallant Member, and his interposition shows that I was right in saying that he did himself injustice. He did himself injustice in another respect by showing that he is not quite clear in his own mind as to the circumstances under which the commutation scheme came into being, and as to whether the scheme is or is not desirable. If his argument on the commutation scheme to-day has any relevancy to the present discussion, it shows that he himself was wrong in welcoming it on its initiation by my hon. Friend the Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs (Mr. Gladstone). We Welsh Members readily assented to it as a scheme which would be most advantageous to the future progress of the Established Church. These are the circumstances—
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I am really sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman. If he will look at the speech I made in seconding the Amendment in December, 1912, he will see quite clearly that I laid down specifically that I was only in favour of commutation if the terms were fair to the Church.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
Take it so, and I will pass from that point. He did himself injustice in a still more important matter, because his observations were such as to make me think that even now, in the third Session this Bill has been before the House, he does not fully grasp what will be the operation of the Bill. Does the hon. Member want this Financial Resolution or not? I am assuming now that the Financial Resolution is a necessary Resolution if the commutation Clause, the introduction of which he welcomed on certain terms, is to come into operation at all. The hon. and gallant Member, after making his speech, sat down without telling the House frankly whether he desires any Financial Resolution at all.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
If the right hon. Gentleman wants to know, I will tell him. What I said was that I shall vote against it as a protest against the way the Bill has been conducted. I do not see that as a matter of financial procedure this Financial Resolution is necessary. When the Commissioners come to borrow it would be perfectly possible for the Government then to come down and get the Committee of this House to pass a Financial Resolution ad hoc.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
I am looking at this Bill now before us in the third Session, and face to face with the commutation scheme. Though it is objected to in some small details, yet on the whole it meets with approval, and it certainly has met with the approval of all responsible people in the country. I quite understand that the hon. and gallant Member does not want the Bill to pass, but everyone here knows that it will be law in a few weeks from now.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
That is a matter of opinion. There again the hon. and gallant Member is doing himself injustice as an old Member of the House in his anticipation of future events. If Clause 30 of the Bill is to stand, this Financial Resolution is necessary. I have listened carefully to the objections to the Resolution as stated by the hon. and gallant Member, and also by the hon. Member for Chelsea, and the first observation I have to make is that, without reference to the question whether the commutation is more generous or less generous than it ought to be, they are quite irrelevant. The strongest point in the speech of the hon. Member for Chelsea appeared to be the allegation—and it is true on the face of things—that no money amount is mentioned in the Resolution—no formal indication is given of the amount which may be guaranteed, and which, therefore, the Commissioners may borrow. That, prima facie, is a point which is worthy of the consideration of the Committee. The answer is found by reference to the terms and the operation of Clause 30. That Clause confers upon the Commissioners borrowing powers. It says:—
"The Welsh Commissioners may, with the consent of the Treasury, and upon such terms as the Treasury may approve, borrow such sums of money as they may think expedient for carrying into effect any provisions of this Act, and may, give as security for the repayment of any sums so borrowed and the interest thereon, any part of the property vested in them by this Act other than any property required by this Act to be transferred to the Representative Body, but shall determine as between the several parts of property so given as security the part or parts to be primarily liable for the several sums so borrowed." These borrowing powers, then, cannot, from my point of view, affect the interest of the Church. The hon. and gallant Gentleman, if he once more refreshes his memory by looking at Clause 4, will find that all the property of the dissolved corporations is vested in the Commissioners. That is the first and necessary operation, because by the earlier part of the Bill the operation of Disestablishment is carried out by the dissolution of all the ecclesiastical corporations. Therefore, some provision has to be made in reference to the property of the corporations which so cease to exist, and Clause 4 vests it in the Com- 1160 missioners. By Clause 8 there is a distribution of the property, and automatically, when this Bill becomes an Act, and the Commissioners enter upon their duties, the operation of transfer by Clause 8 takes place, and the large amount of the property which comes for formal purposes under Clause 4 into the hands of the Com-missioners is transferred to the Representative Body without any question of discretion on the part of the Commissioners. By the operation of the Act certain other properties are retained in the hands of the Commissioners, and it is the only funds coming into their hands, in which the Disestablished Church has no interest whatever, that they can deal with for their borrowing powers. That being so, the Commissioners are not likely to borrow on their own credit—I do not know what their credit may possibly be—so that they can only borrow money upon the credit of the property mentioned in Clause 30.
All that is asked by this Financial Resolution is that the Treasury may have power to guarantee any money that the Commissioners can borrow upon that security, and the money which they can borrow on that security is necessarily limited by main considerations. It cannot in any circumstances be a large sum. Therefore the limitation of the borrowing powers of the Commissioners is found there, and that answers the point that no limit is mentioned in the Financial Resolution. Some complaint was made by the hon. and gallant Member for Dudley that we have only got three hours to discuss this matter, and he said that it was very inconvenient. I confess that I could not quite follow his remarks on that point. I think that the time given is a very reasonable time; I think the hon. Member for Chelsea cannot complain that we on this side are not willing to answer him; and, above all, I do desire to resent the attack of the hon. and gallant Member for Dudley.
§ Mr. MOUNT
The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down is under a slight misapprehension as to what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend with regard to the complaint made on this side of the House as to the time given for the discussion of this Financial Resolution. It is not that we complain of only having three hours to-night. What we complain of is that we should be prevented from discussing the more important parts of the Bill by the refusal of the Government to give 1161 any time for Suggestions. So far most of our discussion has turned on the question of commutation. We were told last night that one reason why there was no time for a Suggestion stage was because some of us on this side of the House had put down Suggestions covering a considerable portion of the Bill, and it was then pointed out that an hon. Member had put down a Suggestion dealing with the very question which we want to discuss; and it is a real grievance for us on this side that, while we are given three hours for this part of the Bill, we should not be allowed any time to make any Suggestions which have real practical effect. On the question of commutation I cannot help thinking that perhaps hon. Members have been led astray a little too much by the argument of the analogy of the Irish case. The other side are very apt to bring in the analogy of the Irish case when it suits them, but when it does not suit them, as, for instance, on the question of compensation of curates, or the fact that the Irish Bill had been the subject of a General Election before it was brought in, then the Irish case is not supposed to hold good. Yet on a question like this apparently it is to be used as an argument by the other side.
I do not mean to take the analogy of the Irish case in reference to commutation. It is far better to try and see whether the proposals for commutation are fair to the Church. I remember, when for the first time the commutation proposals were discussed in this House, reading a very interesting speech of the hon. Member for Spell Valley (Sir T. Whittaker). I suppose that he knows as much about insurance and finance as anybody on that side of the House, and he pointed out that he had reason to doubt that the proposals of the Government were quite fair to the Church. He took exception to the 3½ per cent. basis on which the commutation scheme was based, and said that he thought that a 3 per cent. basis would be better. It is quite true that in a second speech which he made on a later occasion he, as other Gentlemen always do on the other side, said that a certain alteration which had been made by the Home Secretary in the commutation scheme was sufficient to justify him in supporting it, I may mention one or two reasons why I do not think that a commutation scheme on a basis of 3½ per cent. is fair and reasonable. The rate on which Government annuities are based is not 3½ per cent., but 3 per cent. 1162 Post Office securities are on a 2½ per cent. basis. They have a scheme which the Government themselves have to justify, for which they are security, and they ask for a better rate than they are prepared to give.
§ Mr. MOUNT
It is said that the Government are treating us favourably in this respect, but surely we ought to take the life tables of the insurance society which deals mainly with the clergy. But there is this great difference between tables which are taken by an insurance company, and tables which would be taken for a scheme of this kind, that there are no new lives coming in under this scheme that is proposed. I should have thought that this would have induced the Home Secretary, if he really wants to treat the Church fairly in this matter, to have given some advantage on the tables given by the Clergy Mutual Association.
§ Mr. MOUNT
I think that the Home Secretary refers to the one year extra which he is adding. But what is that for? As I understand that one year extra taken at the beginning of the life is because of the prospective increase of longevity. Experience has taught us that as time goes on, with the improvement in the knowledge of medical science, and so on, the average length of life is increasing. This scheme of commutation, if I may take for a moment the analogy of the Irish case, is one that is likely to last a very long time. Although the Irish Act passed in 1869, I believe that even still there are annuitants receiving annuities under that Act, and I do say that the Government have not treated the Church in this matter of commutation in a spirit of fairness and reasonableness. But it is not only for this question of commutation that this money has got to be borrowed. That, no doubt, is the most serious question, if it is accepted by the Church—and it is as my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Dudley has said to the advantage not of the Church alone but of Wales in particular, that it should be accepted. It is the question of commutation for which the largest amount will have to be borrowed and raised. But I am bound to say that on the terms which the Government have offered the Church, I think that they would 1163 have to consider it very carefully before accepting it. Because what is it that the Church would make themselves responsible for with regard to the commutation scheme? They have got to pay all the annuitants during the whole course of their lives. It is quite clear that the interest on the £2,000,000 raised as the amount of the commutation fund will not, for the first year, pay anything nearly like the amount which they would have to find for annuities. Suppose that the Church Representative Body were enabled to invest this £2,000,000 at 3½ per cent., they would get £70,000, and they would have to find very nearly £160,000 to pay annuities in the first year.
What does that mean? It means that they will have to sell the securities which they hold, and they have, in the investments which they make, to take every care that those investments are of a kind which will not depreciate. But that is not an easy thing to do with the present Radical party in power. They will have to guard themselves in respect of investments, and see quite clearly their way to meet the demands made upon them, if they accepted this commutation scheme. Let me say one or two words with regard to the other side of the question. Money has to be found for the salaries of the Welsh Commissioners, for the expenses to which they will be put, and for other purposes. What is to happen under the circumstances which have been already pointed out. The Committee must remember that in this Bill there are two dates, one the date of the passing of the Bill, and the other the date when Disestablishment comes into operation—a period of about twelve months. The Welsh Commissioners will have to start their work at once; payments will have to be made; they will have to set up a staff, and they will have to hold inquiries, besides which the question of the border parishes has to be settled as soon as may be before the date of Disestablishment.
Inquiries will have to be held in all the border parishes to find out what their wishes are; and all that means expense outside the salaries of the Commissioners. All that expenditure has to be met before the date of Disestablishment, and after the passing of the Bill. Supposing—and I do not think it is an inconceivable possibility—that between the passing of the Bill and 1164 the date of Disestablishment, probably about twelve months, a General Election took place and we on this side took the seats of hon. Gentlemen opposite—a very likely contingency. What would happen when we come back and this Bill is repealed? The money has been borrowed and has been paid, and it would have to be found by the taxpayers of this country. Therefore it seems to me that while you are saying, as I dare say many are saying, that this is only the Financial Resolution on which you pledge the credit of the country, yet it is quite possible that the money which would have to be found would eventually come, not from the capitular estates, but out of the pockets of the taxpayers of the country. I think we have a great deal of justice in our claim that we ought to have had more time to discuss, not this Financial Resolution, but the other matters on which the Financial Resolution rests. I support my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea in urging that we ought to know who are the Commissioners to whom this money is to be entrusted. Are they Gentlemen sitting on those benches opposite, and is that the reason why their names are not put in the Bill? Are they not to be published because their constituents would know the position in which they have been put by the Radical Government? I think we have the right to complain that we are asked to vote in the dark on this Financial Resolution, which pledges the credit of the country to an amount which we do not know.
Mr. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS
(who was indistinctly heard): The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down said that the Opposition did not require a larger space of time in which to discuss the Resolution. That has been painfully apparent ever since the discussion began, and the only reason why I get up now is to help Members opposite to eke out the time bestowed upon the Resolution. In regard to the speech of the hon. Member who has just sat down it was, if he will allow me to say so, absolutely irrelevant to the Resolution, and, indeed, every speech to which I have listened from the other side, and some of the speeches delivered from this side, have been devoted, not so much to objecting to this Financial Resolution, as to the terms of commutation or some other terms of the Bill which have nothing to do with this Financial Resolution at all. I should like to take note of two things that have emerged from this Debate in 1165 the course of the afternoon. The first thing is that on the admission of the Home Secretary himself the terms of the commutation scheme in this Bill are far more generous to the Church in Wales than the terms of commutation given to the Irish Church. The hon. and gallant Member for Dudley pointed out that the terms of commutation to the Irish Church worked out at 12.8 a year. But that included not only compensation given to beneficed clergy, but also to the curates; but, in spite of the fact that the curates are compensated in Ireland, the terms given in the case of the Church in Wales are far more favourable to that Church than were the terms contained in the Irish Bill. That was a point that I sought to make last year when commutation was being discussed in this House. My statements were objected to—
The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Mac-lean)
I must ask the hon. and learned Gentleman to confine his remarks to the Resolution before the House.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS
I am answering the remarks made by hon. Gentlemen opposite in regard to commutation.
But I would remind the hon. Gentleman that he also informed the Committee that he rose mainly for the purpose of eking out the time allowed for the discussion of the Resolution.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS
I have only been following the example of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and who discussed the question of commutation and other matters. The other point to which I wish to draw attention has reference to an admission which was made on the part of the Member for Dudley, that this Bill would not close a single church in Wales—
I must request the hon. and learned Gentleman to address himself to the Resolution.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS
With great respect, Sir, I would point out that you were not in the Chair when those statements to which I am replying were made.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS
I simply draw attention to the fact that the hon. and gallant Gentleman did make that statement, and I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to withdraw that lying pamphlet which has been circulated, and which has done so much duty in trying to get people to sign the petition by pointing out that the churches in Wales would be closed. With regard to the Financial Resolution, for my part I do not care whether it is passed or not. It is proposed mainly in the interests of the Church, because commutation has never been asked for by Welsh Members, and it is accepted merely because it is asked for on behalf of the Welsh Church by, among others, the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Gladstone) and the hon. and gallant Member for Dudley. The demand for commutation never came from Welsh Members, and we have only accepted it because we thought that in the arrangements for the Disestablishment of the Church commutation would be a good thing for it. Otherwise, we have no interest in the matter at all. We have felt, however, that the acceptance of commutation has been made the lever in order to induce the Government to give larger concessions than they would otherwise have done. If the Financial Resolution be necessary to carry out the commutation scheme—and, indeed, to a very small extent it is necessary to oil the wheels during the twelve months between the passing of the Bill into law and the actual date of Disestablishment—then on that ground I propose to vote for it.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I confess I feel some reluctance as a Welsh Member in regard to this Financial Resolution which seeks to raise money on the credit of England, Scotland and Ireland for Welsh purposes, because, by so doing, it affects, of course, the position of Scottish, English, Irish and Welsh supporters of this Bill. I am thankful, however, that we are going to get something. But I must say that the speech of the Home Secretary this afternoon has been, like most of his speeches on all stages of this Bill, extremely unsatisfactory as an answer to the questions which have been put to him. The hon. Member for Chelsea put to him three definite points—one, what was the estimate under the Financial Resolution; secondly, whether there was an actuarial report behind the Resolution; and, thirdly, whether he could give the names of the three Commissioners for whose benefit this Financial Resolution is 1167 to be passed. The first question the Home Secretary did not answer; he said he did not know, and that we were to wait and see. The other two questions he never attempted to answer, nor did he refer to either of them in any way. If you are going to have a commutation scheme based upon a Financial Resolution alone, then I submit it is essential that we should have before us the Government calculations upon which their scheme is based. The question as to whether commutation will or will not be accepted by the Disestablished Church in Wales, if it is ever disestablished, depends as to whether the actuarial calculation on which the Government propose to raise this loan gives terms of commutation better than the terms which we can arrange amongst ourselves in the Disestablished Church. It would be for our actuaries appointed by the Established Church to compare that scheme which they could arrange with that of the Government, and in order to do so it is essential that we should have the actuarial report upon which the Government calculations are based. There is then the third point. to which the Home Secretary did not even refer, namely, the appointment of the three Commissioners who are going, practically, to be given a large blank cheque, amounting possibly to several millions, and whose salaries are to be paid out of the money raised by this Resolution, unless a bishop dies, so that it is really gambling with the credit of the country on the possible scratching of one of the Welsh bishops. I think it is essential before we vote upon this Resolution which gives those people their salaries, that we should know who they are to be, and as soon as possible, who are to be the vivisectors of the Church in Wales—the publicani appointed by the Government to carry out the cumbersome finance of this Bill.
We have been told that one of the Commissioners is to be unpaid, and we have heard that he is to be a Member of Parliament, and there have been rumours that the Member for East Carmarthenshire was to be the unpaid Commissioner, or possibly he may resign his seat and become a paid Commissioner. It is rather important that we should know who are to be these Commissioners who are to have their salaries guaranteed from the State and who in future are going to batten on Church revenues, taking their salaries from church lands and property. The 1168 whole finance of the Bill is extremely complicated. In the first instance, will the salaries and expenses of the Commissioners include all the expenses for carrying out the necessary operations? They are to give compensation to patrons, and we do not know what that is to be. It is another blot in the Bill that where there is to be compensation you leave it to this unknown body to settle how much it is to be. They will also have to deal with very large sums under the commutation scheme, if it is assented to, which will probably amount to over £2,000,000. Is it perfectly clear that no claim can be made by any of the other beneficiaries under this Bill before all the life interests fall in? Is that the way in which, under this Bill, those marvellous county council schemes for eleemosynary purposes are going to be carried on? If that is so, it will be a very slow process as each vicar or rector dies, and there will then have to be a scheme for the next parish, and so on. We would thus have about a thousand county council schemes in Wales. That, apparently, is the intention of your Bill as drafted, and anything more cumbersome I cannot imagine. Is it not possible that there will be a claim by the county councils to have a scheme for the whole county, and would it not be better in the interests of everybody to have your Financial Resolution in terms to guarantee a loan representing the property which will fall in eventually to the Commissioners for distribution among the county council for the purpose of these new schemes? Again, I gather that until a bishop dies, although the salaries of the Commissioners are to be guaranteed, there is to be nothing for the Library in Wales and for the University of Wales. Is that how it works out? Those points show the hopeless character of the financial proposals of your Bill, which are to extend as long as the longest life of any rector or vicar throughout Wales.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
That is one of the reasons why I wish to raise this particular point, that the scheme will not be carried out until the last life has fallen in—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"]—and until the last benefice has been paid back to the Treasury under the Financial Resolutions of this House, and certainly until the last of the Welsh bishops has died.
§ Sir D. BRYNMOR JONES
The amount to be raised by loan if commutation is accepted is to be transferred to the Representative Church Body for Wales.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
When is it to be transferred? The Bill, I think, says "as soon as may be." What is the meaning of those words? It may be extremely difficult or extremely unwise for the Welsh Commissioners, owing to the state of the Money Market, to demand £2,000,000 on the credit of the Irish, Scottish and English taxpayer for the particular purposes of this Act. I think it is fair for us to know whether we shall get our money some time, and that that money shall not be diminished. Supposing the Commissioners borrowed this money upon the security named in the Bill, the glebes, and parochial endowments, and that they did so on bad terms, and that the security, which is largely Welsh land and tithes, goes down very considerably, what then is the position of the English and Scottish taxpayer?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
The University of Wales would be the scapegoat in that case. It is quite sufficient for me to point out that the financial proposals were quite inadequately discussed and treated by the Home Secretary this afternoon. Looking to the future, the whole of this question is absolutely vague and left in the hands of three unknown Commissioners, who are being given a blank cheque to carry out at their own discretion and in their own time the various financial proposals of this Church Bill. We are precluded from going into any of the merits of the question one way or the other, and it is impossible in this Debate to do what we on this side desire to do, and that is to expose the iniquity of this Bill. This proceeding by Financial Resolution is the worst possible way to carry out the financial proposals of the Bill.
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken said that he had been told some things and that he had heard rumours, and judging by the way he discussed the relation of the Financial Resolution to the Bill, I can quite understand that he had been giving rumours and things that he had been told, rather than from a reading of the Bill by himself. I quite agree with him that the 1170 proposals of the Bill are complicated and very difficult, and it would be quite impossible for me to give a full detailed answer now to some of the points he has raised, but I should like to refer to one or two of them. First of all, I answered by interruption his point about the diminishing value of the securities. The whole of this money, of course, will be raised upon the security of the capitular Endowments.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. E. JONES
No; the £2,000,000, of course, will be raised on the security of the Treasury, through such security as the Treasury may think fit. That is in the first instance, but any loss or depreciation would be changed to the capitular Endowments. That is the point. It is not actually the principal sum that would be raised on the security of the Endowment, but any failure to pay interest or any depreciation. That amount would come out of those Endowments, the balance of which would otherwise have gone to the colleges of the University of Wales. The hon. Member also raised a point as to the county council schemes. The Commissioners have very little to do with the parochial endowments. They only arrange the transfer for the schemes, and the county councils have to bear out of the amount that falls into their hands the security for the proportion of the commutation that applies to that particular part of the benefices within their own area. That is perfectly clear, and the hon. Member need not be under any apprehension on that point. There was also the question whether the Commissioners would have to go on longer than three years in order to complete the work. If it is necessary to go on longer there is a provision in the Bill, but I do not see why the Commissioners should not be able to complete the work within the three years, or very soon after. It is only a question of arranging accounts, and they would balance themselves because, of course, they are in the shape of charges. As a matter of fact the Bill has provided that, if necessary, the charges shall be in the shape of mortgage. Therefore there need be no apprehension at all upon that point. There has been a good deal of rather confused discussion upon this Resolution. I really think that hon. Members have been making a mountain out of a mole-hill. They do not seem quite 1171 to apprehend why this Financial Resolution is needed. It is a very fine point whether we could not deal with the Bill altogether without a Financial Resolution. I am very doubtful whether, if the Financial Resolution had not been taken in the first instance, we should have suffered very much so far as the character of the Bill and its further stages is concerned. Hon. Members do not apparently realise that the Financial Resolution has only to do with the one point of the money being taken temporarily out of the Consolidated Fund for the purpose of enabling the loan to be made and guaranteed. The Commissioners could, if they liked, borrow outside. There is no absolute need for the Commissioners to go to the National Debt Commissioners for the money, if they can get better terms of their own outside—which is not conceivable—on the strength of the security that they have. The hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Hoare) seemed to think that by this Resolution we were pledging the Treasury to the expenditure of money. We do not pledge the Treasury to anything. The Clauses one after another make it perfectly optional for them to agree to do this or not. It is necessary to make this perfectly clear, because considerable use has been made of the point in the country. There is an attempt to construe what we are doing today as something that will involve a burden on the taxpayers, something which they would not have to bear if we were not engaged on this Financial Resolution. That is not so. It is only a temporary convenience. If hon. Members will read the Bill, they will find very strict provisions requiring the whole of this money to be paid back. There are very specific details in Clause 30, with which the most punctillious stickler for financial rectitude ought to be perfectly satisfied. The Clause says:
"that if any money is guaranteed at any time by the Treasury, the Treasury shall cause the same to be repaid to the Consolidated Fund out of the funds in the hands of the Welsh Commissioners, or of their successors in title to the property given as security." So that it is absolutely established, not by rumour, nor by a mere statement of the Home Secretary, but by the Bill itself, that every halfpenny in the way of interest or principal extracted in the first instance 1172 from public funds is to be paid back out of moneys which would otherwise go to the university or other bodies. With regard to commutation, hon. Members have again this year, as they did last year, assumed that because the Home Secretary has spoken about twelve and three-quarter years' purchase, that is binding upon the Church, that it ties the Commissioners absolutely, and determines what the character of the final commutation table is to be. That is a total misconception. The Home Secretary has only been saying, in order to ease the minds of hon. Members, what he is advised would be the probable nature of the terms that an actuary would in this year 1914 draw up. As the Bill stands, the Commissioners are absolutely free to draft the actual conditions of the annuity de novo according to their own view of what is the actuarial equivalent. Let hon. Members look at the terms of the Bill. Clause 18 (a) says:—
"The Welsh Commissioners shall, as soon as may be after the date of commutation, pay to the Representative Body the aggregate value of the existing interests of holders of ecclesiastical office … such value to be ascertained in the manner provided by the Fourth Schedule to the Act, together with interest on that amount at the rate of 3½ per cent. per annum from the date of commutation to the date of payment." One thing that astonishes me is that while hon. Members are complaining about 3½ per cent. being taken in the calculation of the annuity, they are quite willing to have 3½ per cent. as the figure for the payment of interest that might accrue between the date of commutation and the actual payment. We do not hear a suggestion that that should be 3 per cent. They only want the different figure when it works out on their own side. It is also made perfectly clear that, as far as the Bill is concerned, you have only to take the question of interest and certain details in regard to the conversion of various lands into money, and, so far as you are prepared to trust the actuaries, the Church will get the precise sum to the halfpenny that the interests are worth. Hon. Members opposite may say that the Commissioners cannot be trusted, but if they say that they cannot trust the actuary, appointed, not by the Home Secretary, but by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, to work out fairly the business tables of the aggregate value of the interests on a 3½ per cent. basis, it means 1173 that it is impossible to have any commutation scheme at all that is fair as between one party and another.
But the Home Secretary has gone much further than that. He has put a tremendous bias on the side of Church people. The Bill does not merely say that an actuary shall do what an insurance company would do—that is, calculate on a mere business basis a 3½ per cent. table, but that he shall take into consideration certain special factors in favour of the Church. In the Bill itself, the actuary is instructed—that is what it comes to—to take extra things into consideration. He must have regard to the extra longevity of the clergy, and also to the difference in the death-rate according to various tables, as was explained the other day. When hon. Members have a scheme of that kind, it is not for them to complain that under the guise of a Financial Resolution we are trying to get them to agree to a scheme that is not fair towards the clergy and the Church. I think hon. Members would be wise to allow the Commissioners full powers. I take the view that it would be very much better for the Church, and certainly much more convenient for all parties, to have the matter settled right away at the beginning rather than that it should be dragging on, the money hanging about, and the property being subject to charges running over many years. I trust that after this discussion hon. Members will address themselves to explaining to the people whom they represent what are the real terms of the Bill itself in regard to the commutation proposals, because they are what will govern the Commissioners, and not the various rumours and the things which hon. Members have been told here and there, and which have no relation at all to the terms of the Bill.
§ Mr. EVELYN CECIL
Like my hon. Friend, I cannot understand why no time should be given to such matters as the compensation of curates, churchyards, glebes, and so on, while fuller time is given to this Resolution. If we had had our choice, we should have pressed the Government very hard to give us time to discuss those all-important matters, even though we had to sacrifice the time allotted to this. But if this matter is to be discussed, I want to know what is the real objection to telling us the names of the Commissioners? This is, above all others, the occasion for giving us those names. We are now finally sanctioning the money for which the national credit is to be 1174 pledged, and that money is to be managed by Commissioners whose names we do not know. We have pressed for those names several times. I cannot conceive what is the objection to giving them. It is supposed by the Government that we should criticise them so severely, or that their appointments will be so bad, that they dare not permit the names to be published? It is unfortunate, too, that we cannot ascertain what is the total sum for which the national credit is to be pledged. It is obviously likely to be a very large sum, and the Commissioners are to have power over it with no appeal. The Home Secretary said that it was not possible to calculate the probable maximum. Why not? It would be much more usual to put in some figures which the Commissioners-were not to exceed. It is our usual practice, in all financial matters, to estimate a certain figure which the Department concerned must not exceed. I can only presume that that course is not followed in this case because the Commissioners are to have an unusually free hand, and to do very much as they like. I should like, in respect of one or two particulars, to ask the Home Secretary a question. He said, as I understood him, that the lives of the clergy, for the purpose of estimating their interests, were to be taken at a year younger than they actually are. That, I believe, is admitted. But there is nothing, so far as I can see, in the Bill or in the terms of this Resolution which ensures that that year will really be allowed. If there is nothing in the Bill. I presume it will remain with the Commissioners to do exactly as they please; to calculate these interests on exactly what basis they like, and to ignore the statement which the right hon. Gentleman has made, that the lives should be taken at a year younger than they actually are. Certainly I cannot see that the Bill makes provision for it; that there is anything in the Bill which makes any provision in the matter. In Clause 18 it is stated:—
"The Welsh Commissioners shall, as soon as may be after the date of commutation, pay to the Representative Body the aggregate value of the existing interests of holders of ecclesiastical offices … such value to be ascertained in the manner provided by the Fourth Schedule to the Act." I refer to the Fourth Schedule to the Act. There is apparently nothing there which in any way bears out the Home Secretary's promise that the lives are to be taken at 1175 a year younger than they are. I would urge that some more definite arrangement should be made to make certain that the promise of the right hon. Gentleman will be fully carried out by the Commissioners. If the Commissioners are to be given such complete control it is perfectly possible that they may arrange a basis of their own for estimating these life interests, and they can disregard what has been virtually said in these Debates, just because those matters are not put into the Bill. I would ask the right hon. Gentlemen who are in charge of this Bill kindly to answer that point before this Debate closes. I cannot but repeat once more that it is most unfortunate that we should give such a free hand to the Commissioners, such a blank cheque in a matter of this sort, without knowing who they are, and who really is responsible to us for the law which we are passing. I would urge before this Debate is over that the Government would once more reconsider that decision, and would announce the names of the gentlemen who have been appointed, so that we can really judge to whom we are entrusting this great matter.
§ Mr. KING
I think everybody ought to be grateful that we have been allowed these three hours extra for this discussion. The discussion has not been very exciting, but it has been very illuminating. To my mind the course of this Debate has shown one thing that I very greatly welcome. We have had several hours' discussion upon the Welsh Church Bill without recriminations and with practically no abuse on either side, and I think that upon that the Committee and the country can well congratulate themselves. This Debate has also shown what I have long suspected, that the Opposition do not really know their own minds in this matter. I propose, with your permission, Mr. Whitley, to point out in one or two respects how the Opposition, which I believe was well taken aback by the Prime Minister's generosity last night in granting this time, are absolutely nonplussed as to what action or line they ought to take this afternoon. In the first place, we have not, so far as I can understand, had in all the speeches delivered from the other side a clear word as to whether they are going to support or oppose this Resolution. We have not had one word praising it; we have not had one word condemning it. Though the hon. Baronet the Member for 1176 the City of London has been sitting throughout this discussion, although he generally rises in the course of Debates of this sort, when we are dealing with Money Resolutions, he has not risen once—
§ Mr. KING
I very gladly withdraw what I said, and congratulate myself that in one quarter of the House, at any rate, I was preferred to the hon. Baronet. Will he allow me to point out that here is an opportunity for him to bring in the principle which I think is a very good one, and which he generally tries to introduce into these Money Resolutions, the principle of limiting the amount which ought to be given. Why has he not already risen to propose an Amendment on those lines? Because he does not know at what sum he would fix the limit; because he would not be quite sure whether his Friends behind him do not really rely upon the bottomless pit—I mean pocket. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite hope to make the best of both worlds; I referred to the bottomless pocket of the Treasury. Hon. Members opposite do not know whether to oppose, to limit, to support, or to vote against this Resolution. They are quite taken aback, and do not really know in what condition they find themselves. May I point out another matter in which I am quite sure I shall convince the hon. Member for Dudley. In the course of his speech he said, what we were all very glad to hear, and which received support from every quarter of the House; that was his determination, and the determination of those who act with him, that not one church should be closed in consequence of this Bill, that not one minister of a church should be allowed to go without his proper sustenance. I entirely sympathise with that sentiment. At the same time, what is the attitude which has always been taken up by the Conservative party on this matter? I hold in my hands proof positive that the Conservative party as a whole take an absolutely opposite view. They are determined, if they can, that they will close churches or allow churches to be closed in consequence of this Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Here is a leaflet which is now being, I am told, distributed everywhere, a leaflet which says: "Church closed owing to Disestablishment by the Radical Government."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On a point of Order. May I ask what leaflets issued by anybody, it does not matter whom—stating that 1177 certain things are going to happen—which have nothing whatever to do with this Financial Resolution—how they and such arguments can be in order?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Even the hon. Member's ingenuity will not go so far as that. Clearly, that is an argument to be reserved for the Third Reading of the Bill, and not for a Financial Resolution.
§ Mr. KING
May I point out what seems to me a very material point. These Commissioners will have very great duties placed upon them. They will require all the resources and money, as well as their own individual standing and ability, to carry these duties through, and if they are attacked, as they are likely to be, and misrepresented, they will need a great deal more money. My argument I believe to be perfectly pertinent to this Debate. I am in favour of this Resolution, and whether the authorities, financial and otherwise, of this House oppose it or not, I shall vote for it. Whether or not they propose to limit the amount that the Treasury have to give, I shall propose that the Treasury be allowed to spend the uttermost farthing in carrying this Bill through generously and justly in the interests of all, and I hope that will be done. I hope this Resolution will be accepted. I should like to have referred to other of the remarks which have been made in this discussion. It seems to me rather trying that certain allegations can be thrown across the floor of the House from one quarter, and then, as the time approaches for the Division, a more rigid ruling is imposed on Members on this side. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] I would not think for one moment of questioning either the judgment or the justice 1178 of the Chair, but there are some things that, with our limited capacities, we find hard to understand. Before I finish I must give expression to this opinion: that there are many errors which have been made on the other side which, though they have been allowed to pass, are not to be considered as incapable of answer. If they are not answered now they may go abroad, and the work of the Commissioners may be made more difficult, and the understanding of the Bill, so soon, fortunately, to be made into an Act, may be impaired, and there may be a greater difficulty in administration. I desire to point out these facts to the Committee in the firm conviction that the Government will carry out the policy of this Act generously and justly, and therefore I shall support it in the Lobby.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The hon. Member opposite has made a characteristic speech quite, of course, irrelevant to any serious discussion of the subject. That, I' imagine, was his object. But I would refer to one of his observations. He said he regarded as generous the concession made by the Prime Minister of three hours in order to discuss this Resolution. I am quite certain of this, that there is nobody on this side of the House but who thinks that the three hours could be worse employed if we were discussing the Welsh Bill at all. This Resolution is of extremely narrow character. We have expressed our desire to discuss special matters connected with the administration of the Bill. We have particularly put down suggestions dealing with such matters as compensation to curates. We have not been allowed to discuss those, but we have been given time to discuss this. I cannot see why we should feel the slightest gratitude. We do feel that the Government by allotting three hours to a trivial discussion has shown how contemptuous they are as to the grave interests involved by this Bill. We also feel that those Members of the House who have shown interest in Amendments, Members who sit on the other side—particularly of the Labour Benches—have very grave responsibility in not pressing that these, and not this matter, should have been the subject of discussion now.
We are asked also to express gratitude for the generosity of the Government, under this Resolution, in the matter of commutation. We have no gratitude whatever for the commutation. We never had. It is a mere business matter to arrange, and the obligations under this Bill are to 1179 be discharged to those who are living incumbents of the Church. It does not make the slightest difference to the pecuniary position of the Church whether commutation is granted or not. It is no value whatever from the pecuniary point of view, and I hear, with some impatience, that we owe the slightest atom of gratitude to the Government. Let me illustrate that. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Gladstone) was anxious, if I judge by the Notice Paper, to fix a particular period in which commutation should be made. This has been always refused by the Government, and this is the kind of spirit in which this commutation has been granted, even when we are asked to admire the generosity of the Government. It is obviously a matter of the greatest importance to the Church that it should know when this money is to be paid, and that is a matter we might well have been discussing this afternoon rather than this Financial Resolution.
The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil asked us to see how generous the terms of commutation were, because he said the Government had given directions to the actuary to take into consideration the longevity of the clergymen and the future decrease in deaths. Of course, the actuary will have to take that into consideration, and the fact that it is put in the Bill neither increases nor diminishes its duty in that matter. It would be one of the ordinary factors in the consideration of this question that when you are to make a system of commutation which depends upon the lives of a particular class of persons, you are to consider their longevity, since it is well known that, taking ministers of religion as a whole, they have a greater expectation of life than most other persons, and it is evident that one of the factors that you would have to consider is the future decrease of mortality. But it is a matter of common knowledge that it is to be considered. It is utterly foolish to suppose any advantage has been secured for the Church by the mention of these things in the Schedule to the Bill.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I understood the hon. Member to say so. There was one point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Denbigh Burghs which seems to me of some importance. I am anxious to know what is the time at which the Debate closes.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Then I want to ask this. These schemes are to be made by the county councils. Will the Commissioners be entitled to borrow in order to finance these schemes, and, if so, will this Resolution cover that? That point never occurred to me until my hon. Friend the Member for Denbigh Burghs spoke, and it seems a serious matter and a point upon which I would like to have some information. I have the greatest possible difficulty in seeing how these schemes are from the business point of view to be made effective unless they have the power to borrow. I have never known quite, nor do the Government know quite, what schemes they have in view. I heard something about parish nurses. If the county councils were to establish parish nurses they would have to enter into some obligation to pay salaries. They would have to have some capital out of which it would come, unless there were some power to capitalise their future expectations. And if that capitalisation is to take place is that the manner in which the Commissioners should act? I see the right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. If he will look at Clause 30 he will see that "the Welsh Commissioners may, with the consent of the Treasury, borrow such sum for carrying into effect any of the provisions of this Act." It therefore appears that they will be able to borrow, and they would in that case be entitled to be guaranteed, under this Resolution, by the Treasury for their borrowing. I do not understand why the right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. He ought by this time to be fully acquainted with the details of this Bill, and he ought to be able to tell me whether I am wrong. That leads me to say this: No one could read this Bill through without perceiving—it would be a mere platitude to say so—that the Commissioners have a vast amount of responsibility in dealing with this whole question. They are the pivot upon which the whole machinery of the Bill turns. I think in the circumstances the Government have behaved with great want of frankness to the House in not telling us the names of the Commissioners. I remember very well when the Bill was first introduced the names were left blank, and we understood on the First and Second Reading of the Bill two years ago when we came to Committee, we should be told the names of the Commission. But when we came to Committee, instead of being told the 1181 names of the Commissioners, the right hon. Gentleman brought forward an Amendment which altered the form of the Clause so that it would be unnecessary to tell us. And the main reason, if I remember rightly, was that the Bill was unlikely to be passed for two years.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That point arose at this same stage of the Money Resolution last year, and I have refreshed my memory in regard to that Debate. I allowed questions to be put, but not to be argued at any length. The hon. Member is quite right. We must not argue here the merits of this Clause, nor at any great length the question of the names of the Commissioners. I would remind the Noble Lord that in his absence the question was raised by two or three other hon. Members.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I should not have referred to the matter if an answer had been given. I do not want to press it, but I am quite sure you will feel, Mr. Whitley, with us that we have not been allowed on this occasion a very large latitude to discuss this Bill, and, although I recognise we must keep within the rules of order, I am sure you would not wish to restrict us very narrowly in discussing this Bill. All I am anxious to do is to ask if the right hon. Gentleman is going to tell us these names? This is the right opportunity for doing so. Here is a Financial Resolution under which Commissioners are to be paid, whose payment is to be guaranteed. Surely this is the time upon every principle of Parliamentary discussion when you are in effect guaranteeing the salaries of the Commissioners to tell us their names. I cannot imagine why the right hon. Gentleman does not tell us now. He says he will tell us on Third Reading. Why not now? This is the right Parliamentary opportunity, and it is a very reasonable request. I am aware that this question was put once or twice before. I am very much surprised that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary did not in his reply to the hon. Member for Chelsea give this information. He did not refer to it at all. He ignored it. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not wish to treat hon. Members on this side with discourtesy. I venture to express 1182 the strong view that now is the proper time to tell us the names of these Commissioners, unless there is, indeed, something of which the Government is ashamed.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
I beg to move to leave out the words "principal and" ["such sums as may be necessary for payment of principal and interest"].
I move this Amendment because I do not quite see why it is necessary that the National Debt Commissioners should guarantee the payment of the principal as well as interest. I do not want to allude to the question of the names of the Commissioners, but they will have control of the whole of this money. One of them is to be a Churchman and one is to be a Member of Parliament; we are not told that any of them is to have financial ability, and the Committee will recognise that merely because a man is a Member of Parliament or a member of the Church of England, that does not prove he has financial ability. The right hon. Gentleman will know perfectly well that Consols are not guaranteed as to repayment of capital. There is an option to the Government by giving a year's notice at any time to repay by buying at par, but there is no obligation. Consols are merely annuities, and in the old days they were called the Three per Cent. Annuities. I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman departs from that principle, and I think in the circumstances, and as we do not know who these Commissioners are, it is only reasonable that the same guarantee should be given for this particular sum of money to be borrowed as is given to Consols at the present moment. There is a further reason, and it is this: As I understand it, unless some Amendment of this sort is put into the Resolution it would be in the power of the Commissioners to borrow money for a certain time, repayable out of the Consolidated Fund. Of course, I do not want to go into the whole Bill, but I understand that the real security for this is not the taxpayer, but the property of the Welsh Church. If the Commissioners were able to repay their debt out of the Consolidated Fund, we have no guarantee that they would be careful over the administration of the corpus of the estate. We know they may sell it for museums or for nurses, as the Noble Lord has said, or for some other object. Therefore I think it is necessary that some sort of limitation should be put in. An hon. Gentleman opposite asked me why I did not move a limiting Amendment, and my reason is because I want 1183 hon. Members who are rather specially interested in this question to give their views to the Committee; and, secondly, because of the very meagre information given by the Home Secretary, it would be quite impossible to put in a limiting Resolution which would in any kind of way be efficacious. Therefore I would content myself by moving this Amendment.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The analogy of Consols has no application to the present case, because the Treasury will not be the borrowers. The Commissioners will be the borrowers, and will borrow entirely on the security of the estates of the Church. The whole point is to enable the Commissioners to borrow as cheaply as possible, in order that the commutation moneys may be had on the best terms possible for the Church. If the limitation the hon. Baronet now proposes were accepted by the Committee, the effect would be that the Commissioners could not borrow as cheaply, with a result that would be highly detrimental to the interests of the Church.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that the credit of the country is so bad that unless the borrower knows he is going to repay the money within a short time he will not get the money?
§ Mr. McKENNA
As the hon. Baronet knows, the borrower can always borrow on better terms if you undertake to repay
§ the capital as well as pay the interest. The hon. Baronet knows that as well as I do. If he only borrowed on the Treasury guarantee for interest the borrower would not have as good security as he would have if there were a Treasury guarantee for the repayment of capital.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The right hon. Gentleman is quite right, if he means that a loan repayable within a short time will probably be secured on better terms, but if he means that nobody would lend on the security of the Consolidated Fund—
§ Mr. McKENNA
I did not say they would not lend, but that they would not lend on such good terms. You would have to pay a higher rate of interest if you only had a Treasury guarantee for the payment of interest than you would if you also had a Treasury guarantee for the repayment of capital. That is obviously the fact.
§ Mr. EVELYN CECIL
I would ask the Home Secretary to answer the question I put to him. I particularly want to know if the Commissioners, when estimating the basis of life interest—
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 304; Noes, 215.1187
|Division No. 100.]||AYES.||[6.48 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brady, Patrick Joseph||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Adamson, William||Brockiehurst, W. B.||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Bryce, J. Annan||Dawes, J. A.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||De Forest, Baron|
|Alden, Percy||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Delany, William|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Dewar, Sir J. A.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Dillon, John|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Doris, William|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Chancellor, Henry George||Duffy, William J.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Barnes, George N.||Clancy, John Joseph||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs)||Clough, William||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Barton, William||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Essex, Sir Richard Walter|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Falconer, James|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Cotton, William Francis||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Bentham, G. J.||Cowan, W. H.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Ffrench, Peter|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Crooks, William||Field, William|
|Black, Arthur W.||Crumley, Patrick||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Boland, John Pius||Cullinan, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||France, Gerald Ashburner|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Gelder, Sir W. A.|
|Gill, A. H.||Macpherson, James Ian||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Glanville, Harold James||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Goldstone, Frank||M'Curdy, C. A.||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs. Spalding)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robinson, Sidney|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Hackett, John||Martin, Joseph||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hancock, John George||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Rowlands, James|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Meagher, Michael||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mechan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Mechan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix.)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Middlebrook, William||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Millar, James Duncan||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molloy, Michael||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sheehy, David|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Shortt, Edward|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Mooney, John J.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hayward, Evan||Morgan, George Hay||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Morrell, Philip||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Morison, Hector||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Snowden, Philip|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Muldoon, John||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Sutherland, John E.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Murphy, Martin J.||Swann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Hinds, John||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hodge, John||Neilson, Francis||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Hogge, James Myles||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nolan, Joseph||Thomas, James Henry|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Nuttall, Harry||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Doherty, Philip||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Dowd, John||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Malley, William||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Watt, Henry Anderson|
|Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Shee, James John||Webb, H.|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Joyce, Michael||Outhwaite, R. L||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kelly, Edward||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Parry, Thomas H.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wiles, Thomas|
|King, Joseph||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Lamb, Sir Ernest Henry||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N. W.)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon. S. Molton)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pratt, J. W.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Pringle, William M. R.||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Lundon, Thomas||Radford, George Heynes||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Reddy, Michael|
|McGhee, Richard||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Maclean, Donald||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Rendall, Atherstan|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Baldwin, Stanley||Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Bennett-Goldney, Francis|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Barrie, H. T.||Beresford, Lord Charles|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Bigland, Alfred|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Bird, Alfred|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Blair, Reginald|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrinsham)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Boyton, James||Harris, Henry Percy||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Helmsley, Viscount||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Henderson, Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Burn, Colonel C. F.||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Butcher, John George||Hibbert, Sir Henry F.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Remnant, James F.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rolieston, Sir John|
|Cassel, Felix||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Horner, Andrew Long||Royds, Edmund|
|Cator, John||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cave, George||Hunt, Rowland||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cecil, Lord (Herts, Hitchin)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Scott, Sir S. (Merylebone, W.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Joynson-Hicks, William||Sharman-Crawford, Colonel R. G.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Keswick, Henry||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Stanier, Beville|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Larmor, Sir J.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Croft, H. P.||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Currie, George W.||Lewisham, Viscount||Swift, Rigby|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lloyd, George Ambrose (Stafford, W.)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Du Pre, W. Baring||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Macmaster, Donald||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Fell, Arthur||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Magnus, Sir Philip||Watson, Hon. W.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Malcolm, Ian||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., South)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Gibbs, George Abraham||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Goldman, C. S.||Mount, William Arthur||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Winterton, Earl|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newdegate, F. A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Grant, James Augustus||Newman, John R. P.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Greene, Walter Raymond||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Gretton, John||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Norton-Griffiths, John||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Younger, Sir George|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir F.|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Banbury and Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen.|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
§ It being three hours after the commencement of the proceedings in Committee, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 12th May, to bring the proceedings on the Committee stage of the Resolution to a conclusion.1188
§ Main Question put.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 306; Noes, 218.1193
|Division No. 101.]||AYES.||[6.59 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Arnold, Sydney|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Alden, Percy||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry|
|Adamson, William||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Baker, Joseph Alien (Finsbury, E.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Barnes, George N.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mooney, John J.|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs)||Hackett, John||Morgan, George Hay|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hancock, John George||Morrell, Philip|
|Barton, William||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morison, Hector|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hardie, J. Keir||Muldoon, John|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Neilson, Francis|
|Black, Arthur W.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Boland, John Pius||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hayward, Evan||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hazleton, Richard||Nuttall, Harry|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hinds, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hodge, John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hogge, James Myles||O'Malley, William|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Shee, James|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Illingworth, Percy H.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Clough, William||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||John, Edward Thomas||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Wiliam S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jowett, Frederick William||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Joyce, Michael||Pratt, J. W.|
|Crooks, William||Kellaway, Frederick George||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kelly, Edward||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Cullinan, John||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Kenyon, Barnet||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Kilbride, Denis||Radford, George Heynes|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||King, Joseph||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lamb, Sir Ernest Henry||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Reddy, Michael|
|De Forest, Baron||Lardner, James C. R.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Delany, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Dillon, John||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Doris, William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||McGhee, Richard||Roch, Walter W. (Pembroke)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Maclean, Donald||Roche, Augustine (Loth)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Rowlands, James|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macpherson, James Ian||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Falconer, James||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Field, William||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Sheehy, David|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Shortt, Edward|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Martin, Joseph||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Gill, A. H.||Meagher, Michael||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Mechan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Mechan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Snowden, Philip|
|Goldstone, Frank||Middlebrook, William||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Millar, James Duncan||Sutherland John E.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Molloy, Michael||Swann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Molteno, Percy Alport||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Watt, Henry Anderson||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Tennant, Harold John||Webb, H.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Thomas, James Henry||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Thorne, G. Rt. (Wolverhampton)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Thorne, William (West Ham)||White, Patrick (Heath, North)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Toulmin, Sir George||Whitehouse, John Howard||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Walters, Sir John Tudor||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Walton, Sir Joseph||Wiles, Thomas||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Wilkie, Alexander||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Wardie, George J.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N. W.)|
|Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Williams, John (Glamorgan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Gulland and Mr. W. Jones.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Falle, Bertram Godfray||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fell, Arthur||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Malcolm, Ian|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Foster, Philip Staveley||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gardner, Ernest||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gibbs, George Abraham||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Gilmour, Captain John||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Goldman, C. S.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Newdegale, F. A.|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newman, John R. P.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Grant, J. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Greene, Walter Raymond||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gretton, John||Nield, Herbert|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim. Mid)|
|Bentinck, Lord H Cavendish-||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Orde-Powlett, Hon W. G. A.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Haddock, George Bahr||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Bird, Alfred||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Blair, Reginald||Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Harris, Henry Percy||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Boyton, James||Helmsley, Viscount||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Henderson, Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hibbert, Sir Henry F.||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Butcher, John George||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cassel, Felix||Horner, Andrew Long||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Houston, Robert Paterson||Royds, Edmund|
|Cator, John||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hunt, Rowland||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cave, George||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Sandys, G. J.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sharman-Crawford, Colonel R. G.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Keswick, Henry||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Larmor, Sir J.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Swift, Rigby|
|Croft, H. P.||Lewisham, Viscount||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Currie, George W.||Lloyd, George Ambrose (Stafford, W.)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Colonel A. R.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Dixon, C. H.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Duncannon, Viscount||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Du Pre, W. Baring||Mackinder, Halford J.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Macmaster, Donald J.||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Watson, Hon. W.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Weigall, Captain A. G.||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Weston, Colonel J. W.||Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S. W.)||Younger, Sir George|
|White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Winterton, Earl|
|Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)||Wolmer, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Lord|
|Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)||Edmund Talbot and Mr. Bridgeman.|
|Wills, Sir Gilbert||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
§ Bill to be reported to-morrow (Thursday).