HC Deb 15 May 1918 vol 106 cc357-8

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been directed to statements made by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the annual meeting of the Central Church Committee, held on Tuesday, 7th May, to the effect that members of the present Government, even the foremost of the opponents of Church Establishment, recognised without reserve that some reconsideration of the Welsh Church Act was necessary; that promises have been made by the Government to the Church party as to the date and terms of Disestablishment; if so, what these promises were and by and to whom given; and whether, having regard to the fact that the value of tithe has risen from £78 in 1913 to £109 this year, and will rise to £130 next year, the Government will either introduce legislation to enable the Welsh county councils to commute the life interests of the clergy at the pre-war value of tithe and glebe or give them the option to refuse to commute them at all?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I have seen a newspaper report of the speech referred to, from which I gather that the Archbishop of Canterbury was referring to statements made on the 16th May of last year in the course of a debate in another place or to statements made by Ministers in this House and referred to in that debate. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 24th April last.


Am I to understand from the right hon. Gentleman that no assurances have been given to the Archbishop as to the terms and date of Disestablishment?


None except those made public.