HC Deb 26 November 1925 vol 188 cc1769-85

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."


I beg to move to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."

I should like to make it quite clear that the opposition of the Labour party to this Bill on the Second Reading, and the Committee and Report stages, was because they considered it a monstrously unjust Bill. Indeed, I do not think in my time in this House any more unjust or even immoral Bill has come before us. The Bill is one which does not affect the public at large: it alters the relations between two sets of persons, the landowners, that is the tithe payers, and the parsons and the educational institutions—the tithe owners. The Bill changes the relations between those two parties in the interests of one of them. Even in relation to a compromise between the two sections, we urge that you are not entitled to compromise with any single party to a bargain unless you have the unanimous consent of the people who are involved. That is the main ground of our opposition—that this is unjust, a bargain forced upon contestants who are not agreed. As to the amount of the injustice, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War in the course of the Report stage tried to make out that, even if this Bill were not passed, the amount of property taken from one party and transferred to the other would be very small. After all, he said, the passing of this Bill does not make very much financial difference to the two parties to the bargain. When I gave, as an illustration, £600,000 as being involved the right hon. Gentleman pooh-poohed it as a ridiculous exaggeration.

12 M.

Is it an exaggeration? If this Bill be not passed—and, after all, it is only by a miracle that we can prevent it being passed—we should next year revert to the system of working out the tithe, and we should find that the tithe would rise from its present figure of £109 13s. to £132 for every £100. That is a rise of something over 20 per cent. This 20 per cent. would not, it is true, all go into the pockets of the tithe owners, because the rates would take off a considerable part of it, as the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) has shown; but it is none the less true that that 20 per cent. would come out of the pockets of the landowning class if this Bill were not carried to-night. If tithe is, as we are told, roughly, £3,000,000 a year, 20 per cent. of it would be £600,000 a year, which is, I believe, the approximate figure involved in the passing of this Bill. That is a considerable sum, and if it were a question of transferring that £600,000 from the landlords to the community, we should hear a great deal about it—the most indignant protests would be raised in this House; but the protests ought to be far more indignant when we are taking that money from one class, not for the benefit of the State, but of a set of private individuals; when we are depriving the Church and educational institutions of this country of £600,000 for the benefit of the landlords.

That is our principal complaint about this Bill. But I think there is another complaint we ought to voice on Third Reading. The Bill deals with various persons interested in tithe as payers or receivers, but does not deal with what is, I think, the principal grievance about tithe in this country to-day. All over the country farms in the suburbs of towns are being broken up either for gardens or for houses with small pieces of ground attached. The real complaint in this country is from people who buy or lease patches of this land, and find themselves involved very often in liability for tithe on a larger area. Until such tithe is apportioned, apparently, a claim for the whole of it can be made upon one of the persons who have got a portion of the land subject to tithe, and that is a very real grievance. I have here a letter from a man which seems almost too extraordinary to be true, and I hope when the right hon. Gentleman replies he will explain whether the facts as given here really represent the law as it stands today. He writes: I leases half-an-acre of back garden attached to my house, which garden is one-twentieth part of a five-acre field divided up into 10 half-acre gardens. The authorities demanded from me tithe, then amounting to £3 10s., on the whole five acres. The other owners of these 10 half-acre plots are all better off than myself, and some actually own their plots, while I only lease mine. 1, however, refused to pay tithe, and the authorities got an order against me to ransack my garden to pay for it. They, in my absence at work, took up 40 of my best roses, my garden frame, implements. Then he goes on to describe his feelings when he found his garden in a state of havoc, and especially his special rose trees destroyed. He goes on in his letter to say: I then stopped the tithe money out of my ground landlord's rent which I have to pay yearly, and he summoned me. I was under a threat of imprisonment and I was compelled to pay about £12 at the local Court in monthly instalments. I think there must have been some legal point which was not explained in that letter. Hon. Members must have had complaints from people who have bought pieces of land in the suburbs where they have been forced to pay tithe for the whole of it, and they have tried to recover the tithe for the other parts of the plot. That question is not touched by this Bill. When we moved an Amendment providing that people liable for very small sums should be able to commute by tendering a lump sum, we were voted down and told it was impracticable. But some provision on those lines would have put some semblance of justice into this measure, which is certainly very unjust. I hope that the Government will be able in their reply to make this point clear to all these people who are now interested in the Bill, and who will want to see what comes out of it. I will conclude by saying that this kind of legislation to my mind is immoral, because it is a continuation of the kind of legislation carried through in the time of Henry VIII when he dissolved the monasteries. In my opinion this kind of legislation will be remembered as something which is a slur upon the British Parliament.


I shall go into the Division Lobby against this Bill, but I shall do so for totally different reasons from those given by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. I would like to point out that there are still three parties concerned with regard to tithe. The man who had contracted before the Act was passed has to continue to pay it. It is not the landowner who has to pay, but the man who has entered into the contract. Let us take for a moment the case of the farmer himself. Does my right hon. and gallant Friend suggest to the House that the tithe is not indirectly paid by the man who tills the soil?




Then, in practice, there are more than two parties. Why does my right hon. and gallant Friend keep saying that there are only two parties? There are three. As a matter of fact, it has always been an argument of my light hon. and gallant Friends that there are more than three parties—there are actually four parties; and, the more tithe he is able to get out of the land on behalf of the Church, the more he is going to depress finally the wages of the agricultural labourer who is working on the land.

I believe that those who are really interested in this Bill are trying to get a reasonable settlement, and the hope of everyone who is interested is that this shall be a final settlement; but everyone who knows anything about it knows perfectly well that it is very doubtful whether it will be. If this Bill is forced through this and the other House by the majority of the Government it is very doubtful whether you will get both the landowner and the farmer to consent finally to the Bill as it is drafted at the present time. The farmer wants a settlement, and he wants a settlement upon fair lines. He is perfectly prepared, as well as the landowner, to pay a reasonable amount so far as redemption is concerned. But there are a good many farmers to-day, farming their own land, who are in such a position, because of the depression, that they really cannot afford to pay. The farm to-day is nominally theirs, but really, in effect, belongs to the bank. It only means a little more pressure on them, and the farm that they have acquired in a period of prosperity will probably revert to someone else.

What the farming community object to in this Bill more than anything else is its compulsion. If it remained optional probably there would be no real objection against it; but my right hon. and gallant Friend is trying to lead the House to think that, so far as the two parties are concerned, the Church are opposed to it. As a matter of fact, he knows perfectly well, if he knows anything, that they are not. They are most anxious that the Bill shall have a smooth passage and become law, because those who speak for the Church have admitted that they are making a very good thing out of it, that it is a very good bargain so far as they are concerned. While it remains a fact that, in the next two or three years, the tithe might be raised from where it is now to something like 132, there is no one in this House who can say what the amount of the tithe will be in 20 or 30 years' time. It is because of this uncertainty, on the one hand, and because this £109, of which £4 10s. will go to sinking fund, is constantly to be paid by the farming community whether they can afford it or not, that they would like to see this Bill dropped at the present time, because they realise that it is not in their interest. I do not want to vote against the Bill; I have my doubts with regard to its finality; but, if we are forced into a Division, I shall go into the Lobby with my right hon. and gallant Friend—he voting because the Church is not getting enough, and I because the farmers are not going to get a fair deal.


I cannot let this Bill pass without joining in the protest which has been made, and I do so on behalf of a large body of tithe payers. As I ventured to say the other day, I feel that, if ever there was a Bill that needed such a settlement as would leave no ill-feeling behind it, this is the Bill. But that will not be the case. The more we study it the more we realise that a large, section in the Church are not satisfied with it. Therefore, there is that large section in the Church, and there is the vast majority of the tithe payers, that are both dissatisfied, and, therefore, I venture to think, with much regret, that the Bill cannot be regarded as final. A very serious situation arises as the result of that. There is no doubt in the minds of the vast majority of the tithe payers that the figure of 105, from the point of view of redemption, is too high. It has been said, of course—I do not want to go into details now—that the figure of 130 would be reached at once if this Bill were not passed. In taking this calculation in which the 109 is arrived at, all those figures were taken into account and the long period for which the redemption is going to run. For these reasons, because I realise that there is great feeling on the Bill throughout East Anglia and many other parts of the country, I am bound to make this protest against the passing of the Bill.


This is the last occasion on which we shall have, an opportunity of expressing an opinion. I have never regarded the Bill as a party matter at all. There are Members in all parts of the House who are opposed to it, and apparently some on this side who wish for a postponement for different reasons from those that animate me. I think in this Bill the Government have played a sorry part. I really did not want to reflect on the conduct of the Government for, as I think, betraying the confidence of the clergy without authority as to what really had happened. I have had the curiosity to look up what was said in 1918 as the reason for asking; the clergy at that time to agree to the stabilisation of tithe. I find the President of the Board of Agriculture said he did not think it would be contended that the Act of 1836 ever contemplated the present War conditions. Nothing was normal. Everything was artificial. The State controlled not only the price of agricultural produce but to a great extent also the cost of agricultural production. So that it is quite clear that the whole case that was then made out for the giving up by the clergy of the right to tithe at the then price of cereals was based exclusively on the point of the cost of production and the price of cereals being fixed during the War period as an artificial method. If that is true that the clergy wore asked to give up their rights as a War measure, what becomes of all the arguments used in the House about the claims of farmers and landowners and other persons when here we have people entitled to a certain right which they are asked to give up on the plea only that during a limited period the price of the cereals on which their tithe was based had been artificially restricted?


Is that true? Was it not a fact that the price of 109 was suggested by the clergy themselves? They were not asked to do anything. They made the suggestion.


I have read what was said in the House on the matter; and I pointed out that it was said the price of 109 was being fixed because of the artificial state of the price of food. But let us assume that my hon. Friend is right. Suppose they made the suggestion that they should have the price stabilised for the period of the War, is that a reason why now we should come along with a Bill and take advantage of their patriotic suggestion to penalise them because for the period of the War they gave up a certain concession? To me the whole thing has an air of absolute unreality. I know that farmers and landowners naturally do not wish to pay any more than they need, but there are other people who do not like to pay more for things than they are compelled, taxpayers, for instance, but that is not the point. The Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil) made a most remarkable statement on this Bill on Report. He said, "There is no justice in this Bill, but as a matter of expediency we must support it." I really think, when we get such a past master of ethics as the Noble Lord saying justice lies one way and expediency another, we have reached a rather delicate and difficult situation. I suggest seriously that when the time comes, if it does come, when some Government seeks by legislation to take away the values of other people's property, how will they stand when they realise what they themselves are doing to-night?

There follows a further question, which is even more objectionable—the question of Queen Anne's Bounty. I agree with the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) that this is the most serious step taken in interference with the proprietary rights of the clergy since the Reformation. You are taking away all their personal rights and dispositions. You are putting them in the position of mere beneficiaries under a trust, and I think that is objectionable.

I do not want it to be thought that as far as I am concerned I would wish after this Bill has passed that the clergy and everybody else interested should not co-operate in the working of the Measure. In fighting this Bill, every Amendment I have moved and every speech I have made have been done after careful consultation with the clergy. I did not put down a single Amendment at any stage, in regard to which I had not previously consulted these people. One concession has been made to us: we have been given on the Queen Anne's Bounty a representation of the clergy. I realise that that is some advance on the original Bill. I am sure the clergy, when this Bill goes through, will accept it as the decision of Parliament and that they will co-operate in making it, as far as they can, a workable Measure. My opposition ends now if the House insists upon what I believe to be an unfair and vicious system of legislation. But I cannot allow the Bill to go through on its Third Heading without making a final protest, and saying that the time will come when we shall bitterly regret that we have lent ourselves to this Measure, which deprives the clergy of their independence, of their liberty and of their property.


I am disappointed with the form in which we are asked to approve of this Bill. When we came to the Second Reading I welcomed it as being a real attempt to settle once and for all a matter which had been irksome and troublesome for many years Although I knew that in the form in which the Bill was introduced one-third of the tithe was not dealt with practically at all, I hoped and believed that that would be remedied in the passage of the Bill through the Committee stage. I do not believe that many hon. Members know that after this Bill passes one-third of the tithe will still remain in existence, and that all the troubles and irritations that have been felt in the past will not have been removed. There is still some £3,000,000 of tithe in existence and £1,100,000 of tithe remains still in the hands of the lay tithe owners. All that the Bill does for them is to stabilise the amounts, to alter the contract and to make the lay tithe payers liable to pay £105 for ever, with no provision of redemption. It leaves that tithe in existence. I consider that is an immense blot on the Bill. If this matter of tithe was to be dealt with at all, it ought to have been dealt with once for all, and the lay tithe owners ought to have been dealt with as well as the clerical tithe owners.

The second great blot on the Bill is the figure of £105. My point of view is different from that of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken. I believe that the Church has got an excellent bargain, in the figure of £105 for 85 years, which in my opinion, at the end of that time, will produce an annuity much greater than the average price of tithe during the last 100 years. Under no consideration could I vote for a provision that will saddle the land of this country with a fixed annuity of £105 for 85 years, which is for the present holders of land practically in perpetuity. That is not worthy of a Government which I respect. Then there is the third point. I urged on the Second Reading, in view of this contract for this lengthened period, that the dangers that were being run would be mitigated if some provision were made for earlier redemption. The Bill does nothing to induce earlier redemption. It does just the contrary. There is no advantage to the tithe payer in redemption. On the contrary, as I understand, there are serious disadvantages. For the whole period of 85 years the State pays the rates on the tithe rentcharge, if it is retained, but if the tithe payer redeems that tithe his land becomes at once liable to rates, and he has to pay the full redemption money, while the State is discharged from this obligation to pay the rates. There is a direct lose incurred of the amount of the rates by the tithe payer, and he gets no inducement to redeem at an earlier period in these conditions. That is a very bad business. Those three points are sufficient to influence me in my attitude towards the Bill.


I wish to give the reasons why I certainly shall vote against the Third Reading of this Bill. In the first place, I object to the stabilisation in the Bill. In 1836 a period of seven years was taken in order to ascertain the value of tithe; in 1918 a period of 15 years was taken so that the effect of the War might be reflected. Now you are fixing a definite rate, and you are making it for a period of 85 years. You are taking a great leap in the dark. Unlike some of my friends, I consider that Parliament, has a perfect right to do that if it thinks fit, but my objection is that you are foreclosing the future and giving a new run to the present connection between Church arid State.

In the second place, I object most strongly to the Redemption Clauses because they impose a burden on industry and on the community. I do not suppose that English agriculture is in a better position than Scottish, that it has less of a struggle or is better able to bear undue burdens. Let me remind the House of what was said by noble Lords in another place in connection with compulsory redemption in regard to the Scottish Bill. The principle was the same, although the mode of carrying it out was somewhat different. The Duke of Buccleuch said that as a class they were unable to afford this compulsory redemption, and that it was highly objectionable to impose redemption by compulsion on unwilling heritors. Lord Novar spoke in the same sense, and instanced the case of the small occupier-owner who would feel the burden of this impost. It was a burden on Scottish agriculture, and it would be equally a burden on English agriculture. Lord Younger of Leckie described it as a monstrous proposal. It had been spoken of as though it would be no burden on agriculture at all, but by the evidence of Churchmen and Statesmen they could not get away from the fact that tithe was a burden on agriculture. John Knox—[Laughter]—I do not think you can get a better authority—said: Labourers and handworkers of the ground were ground down by the compulsory exaction of tithe and thereby alienated from the Gospel. I should like to quote an eminent economist in support of what the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Spencer) has said. Mr. John Ramsay M'Culloch said: Tithes are a burden which falls equally on every industry in the Kingdom, on the poorest, beggar as well as the richest lord, in proportion to their respective consumption of the articles un which tithe is levied. My greatest objection to the Bill is this. You are taking it away from the basis on which it has rested, and in 85 years you are forming a fund which is declared to be for the benefit of the incumbents. You are really transferring this from the control of Parliament. I think— [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"] This is a Bill of immense importance and we should give a patient hearing to all who desire to speak on what, after all, is a violation of the control of Parliament and of the principle that Parliament should have control of what is compulsorily levied in this country. We have been told that tithe is a special estate. I do not dispute that, but from the moment it was made a compulsory levy it became a public fund. We have testimony that it is national property from statesmen of all parties. It was Edmund Burke who said that it was a tax of 2s. in the £ levied on the people; and the right hon. W. H. Smith, a Conservative, said in 1900 that it was national property, though he thought it should not be appropriated either by the occupier or the owner. With regard to it being a permanent settlement, in the "Times" the other day there appeared this statement: This Bill is a conscientious attempt to settle for good and all a problem that has acted as a minor irritant in the national life for much more than 100 years. Nothing is ever settled unless it is settled right, and unless these public funds are applied to more public purposes we cannot say that it is settled rightly. A good deal has been said about the condition of the clergy, and that we should be careful to give the most generous consideration to them. I do not think the condition of the clergy is a matter which can be affected by fixing the tithe at a certain figure. Let me reinforce that statement by quoting the words of a great Churchman—Dean Alford—who said: The chief hindrance to the liberality of churchmen for church purposes now is, the semblance of self-sufficiency which the Church has put on by reason of her union with the State. Remove this hindrance, and the fountain of private liberality will flow as it has never flowed before. I sympathise with the low salaries of some of the clergy. I belong to a church in Scotland which is entirely supported by the freewill offerings of its people, and no minister had less than £282 and a manse last year. Until the Church throws herself entirely on the liberality of the people, until she gets away from trusting in compulsory taxes on land, and returns to New Testament principles, she will not come into her full power and opportunity, nor will she have that approach to the masses of the people which she is entitled to possess, and which I desire she should possess.

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)

The right hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), who moved the rejection of this Bill, said it was an immoral and unjust Measure. He left my withers quite unwrung. At a previous stage I heard him say that the clergy were robbers, and the landowners robbers, and now he calls the Government unjust and immoral. It leaves me quite cold. But he, and those who criticise this Bill, will not face what would happen if this Third Reading were, in fact, refused. It is worth while for the House to look at it. If this Third Rreading be not passed, the stabilisation of £109 3s. 11d. under the Act of 1918 comes to an end at the end of this year. Under that Act the 15 years' average will then immediately take effect and the landowners will be asked to pay, for the next three years, 131, 133 and 135. The landowner cannot, and the farmer cannot, in the present state of agriculture, afford to pay at that rate. The amount that the tithe owner would in that case receive would not be this amount. The amount he would then receive would be subject to rates. He would receive in the next three years, 111, 113 and 115. That is the higher figure I gave before, subject to the deduction of rates. What would happen would be that the existing incumbents would receive a. very much larger amount than the par value of their tithes, to the detriment of their successors, for their successors, when the tithe dropped, would receive much smaller sums. The Bill has equalised the payment over a period of 85 years both in the interests of the farmer-owner and of the clergy. It is in the interests of the maintenance of the livings over a period of years, That is the main object of the Bill. It arose, as an hon. and learned Gentleman said, as a War measure. Perfectly true. It was the clergy who suggested that the figure of £109 and a few shillings should be treated as the maximum figure. They felt it was not fair, when the Government was controlling all the prices, that a higher figure should be demanded; and it was in order that they, making that sacrifice, should, nevertheless, not be deprived altogether of the higher price to which they were entitled, that the 15 years' average, instead of the old seven years' average, was inserted. They would, if the Act were allowed to take effect, now be entitled to demand the figures I have given. Why not? Because the land cannot stand it, and it is not in the interests of the clergy, when looked at over a period of years. It is not in the interests of the individual incumbent, or of the Church, that that should be allowed to happen. The clergy recognise that. They have had this Bill before them; they have considered it, and their committees have accepted it.

Whether the figure of 105 is the proper average of the 85 years, is something none of us can safely prophesy. All we can do is to act on the best advice. Professor Keynes thinks 105 is too low. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) thinks it is much too high. Some of those representing the farmers in this House the other day moved on the Report stage that 102i instead of 105 should be accepted. A difference of 21 is not really so bad.


I moved for 102½—


Some of my hon. Friends did move for 102½.


On behalf of the farmers I had an Amendment down for 100, which was not called, and I explained that that was the reason why we intended to vote for 102½.


We have Professor Keynes thinking 105 is much too low and others thinking it is much too high. The Government acted on the advice of expert Committees—the evidence given, among others, by Professor Keynes. It is said that someone has been done out of £600,000 and that tithes belonging to colleges and charitable institutions have been confiscated. That all depends upon whether 105 is a fair average for 85 years.


You have got to compare that with 131, 133 and 135.


That is for three years. Anyone with an elementary knowledge of arithmetic would know that 105 does not equal these sums. In these three years there is a loss, but the question is whether it is a temporary loss which will be made up by the average of the 85 years. In my judgment, and I am speaking on the authority of those who have advised the Government, it is not robbery; on the contrary it is a fair figure—the fairest figure that can be selected for the reason I have stated. I have not myself any doubt it is as fair a figure as can be found.

Tithe has always been a source of trouble, and I am very glad that this Bill does provide for the redemption of two-thirds of it at least. I wish it had been possible to provide for the redemption of the other third. At present it is not possible for that to be done, but I hope some day it will be done. It is better to have two-thirds redeemed than none. The right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme says that the clergy are being turned into beneficiaries. I do not lament it. I am intensely glad the clergy are being relieved of the odium and ignominy of having to collect tithes from their parishioners. Some of them are not in spiritual contact with the clergy. They resent having to pay tithes. By political misrepresentation they are told that they are taxed to support the Church of England. The clergy are to be relieved of that dishonour and the tithe will be collected by the Queen Anne's Bounty. I believe this Bill does do substantial justice and I ask the House to vote against this Amendment.


I think there was little in the reply of the right hon. Gentleman to convince those who feel they should vote against the Bill. I apologise for not being here to speak on the Report stage. I was in bed several days suffering from a cold. I want to associate myself with what has been said on behalf of the farmers. The movement which I represent would in many cases have exactly the same interest in this Bill as fanners have. The stabilised fines in this Bill will lay a burden on those undertakings with working-class capital which should not be imposed. They are very much in the same position as those referred to by agricultural representatives in the early stages of the Debate, and we would like to see Members like the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) voicing their disapproval of the Bill and even voting against it in the Lobby. We admire the attitude they have taken in the Debate, but we would be-more satisfied if they went the whole hog and voted against the Bill. At the same-time, I think that on this occasion the Government have proved once more how true it is that when the Government steps in and tries to exercise a compulsory contract between two private parties they get nothing out of it. I admire the Government, however, from one point of view for the way they are going through with it, despite the fact that both interests hate them equally well. I venture to say this to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for War that, while we are very charmed with the personality of the Minister in charge of the Bill, we think some of the feeling exercised in the by-election which is being contested by the new Minister of Agriculture is partly due to the Government's action in regard to this Bill. I do not say that it is the entire reason, but it is partly the reason.

The right hon. Gentleman says there was no other course open for the Government to follow, but I still submit that, despite the discussion we had on a previous stage of the Bill, the Government could, if it had wished, have taken the advice of the right hon. and learned Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rawlinson) and of the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley), and could have introduced a one-Clause Bill which would have contained the stabilisation rate of the 1918 Measure, and would have given a hiatus during which there would have been further compensation. It is really no excuse at all for the right hon. Gentleman to come to us and ask us to give him this Measure when there was provided the other opportunity. I believe it would have brought a more satisfactory settlement than that in the present Bill.

I regret I was not present when the Secretary for War gave his reply on the Report stage, but the only other thing I want to say is that I have been unable to accept for a moment the figures he gave with regard to the increase in the cost of stabilisation over 85 years instead of the short period in the present legislation.

I want to point out that the figures quoted by the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Spencer) were given on the authority of Mr. Pretyman. They were not hypothetical figures, but were worked out on the basis of Mr. Pretyman's own experience of tithes, and he is one of the best authorities on the subject. For ail these reasons I must support the rejection of the Bill. I agree with the speech of the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Barr), who spoke as a Free Churchman. I am a Free Churchman myself, and we have at any rate no such system in our support of worship and we do not rely on such things for the support of our ministry. I think if you want to maintain a proper standard of living for your ministry you should not leave a particular burden on a particular class of the community.


I shall only ask the indulgence of the House for a very few moments, and I can assure the House that those who are in favour of the Bill do not do any credit to the Bill by trying to stifle anyone who tries to speak for the actual farmer. The objection of the farmers to this Bill is that you are imposing compulsory redemption upon them on a very high figure. The figures in the Bill are entirely a matter of conjecture, because all figures which have to deal with future years must be a matter of guess work. The figures of past years could be stated with a considerable amount of certainty, but I am confident that those who hope this will be a permanent settlement are going to be painfully disillusioned in the future.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 168; Noes, 29.

Division No. 420.] AYES. [12.59 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Blades, Sir George Rowland Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.
Albery, Irving James Blundell, F. N. Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Cooper, A. Duff
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Cope, Major William
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Brassey, Sir Leonard Courtauld, Major J. S.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Briscoe, Richard George Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)
Apsley, Lord Brocklebank, C. E. R. Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Bullock, Captain M. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)
Balniel, Lord Burman, J. B. Curzon, Captain Viscount
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Campbell, E. T. Dean, Arthur Wellesley
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Dixey, A. C.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Drewe, C.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Chilcott, Sir Warden Edmondson, Major A. J.
Bethell, A. Christie, J. A. Elliot, Captain Walter E.
Betterton, Henry B. Clayton, G. C. Everard, W. Lindsay
Brichall, Major J. Dearman Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Falls, Sir Bertram G. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Sanderson, Sir Frank
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Sandon, Lord
Fermoy, Lord Lumley, L. R. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Fielden, E. B. MacAndrew, Charles Glen Savery, S. S.
Fraser, Captain Ian Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Gilmour Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Macintyre, Ian Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)
Greene, W. P. Crawford McLean, Major A. Sprot, Sir Alexander
Grotrian, H. Brent Macmillan Captain H. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Gunston, Captain D. W. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)
Hanbury, C. Macquisten, F. A. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry MacRobert, Alexander M. Storry Deans, R.
Harland, A. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Stott. Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Harrison, G. J. C. Margesson, Captain D. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Hartington, Marquess of Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Merriman, F. B. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Haslam, Henry C. Meyer, Sir Frank Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Hawke, John Anthony Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Warrender, Sir Victor
Henderson, Capt. R. R, (Oxf'd, Henley) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Newman, Sir R. H. S. O. L. (Exeter) Watts, Dr. T.
Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by) Nuttall, Ellis Wells, S. R.
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Oakley, T. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone) O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Williams, Com. C. (Deveon, Torquay)
Holland, Sir Arthur Penny, Frederick George
Holt, Captain H. P. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Homan, C. W. J. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)
Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hopkins, J. W. W. Pielou, D. P. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Howard, Capt Hon. D. (Cumb., N.) Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Wise, Sir Fredric
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Remer, J. R. Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Rice, Sir Frederick Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Jacob, A. E. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) Wragg, Herbert
Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Lane-Fox, Colonel George R. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) TELLERS FOR THE AVES.—
Loder, J. de V. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Colonel Gibbs and Captain
Looker, Herbert William Sandeman, A. Stewart Hacking-
Lougher, L. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hayes, John Henry Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Batey, Joseph Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Dalton, Hugh John, William (Rhondda, West) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Day, Colonel Harry Kelly, W. T. Windsor, Walter
Gibbins, Joseph Lamb, J. Q.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lansbury, George TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Lindley, F. W. Mr. Barr and Mr. Scurr.
Hayday, Arthur Potts, John S.

Question put, and agreed to.