HC Deb 03 December 1928 vol 223 cc838-9
Colonel APPLIN

(by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether his attention had been drawn to the threatened publication and sale of the unauthorised Prayer Book, and whether, in the interests of peace and order in the Established Church, and in support of the authority of Parliament, lie will consider the introduction of a short Amending Bill to the Enabling Act, to make it illegal to publish or offer for sale for use in the Established Church any Book of Common Prayer that had not received the sanction of Parliament?


I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend refers to the publication of a book described as the "Book of Common Prayer, with the additions and deviations proposed in 1928." These additions and deviations are, however, in the same position as any other private literary work, and to attempt to prevent publication by an Act of Parliament would be a gross and unprecedented interference with the liberty of the subject, which I could not possibly contemplate. I would, however, point out that the act of publication cannot authorise the use in the Established Church of any book, the use of which is not otherwise authorised; and I understand that in the preface to the book in question a definite statement is made that its publication does not directly or indirectly imply that it can be regarded as authorised for use in churches.


Is the Prime Minister aware that this publication will cause grave offence to a great many people, and that the opinion is held that this is merely a way of getting round the authority of Parliament?


Is it possible to give offence to people unless they buy something that apparently they do not want?


The question and answer just given cancel each other out. I would remind my hon. Friend that we all suffer from publications which give us offence.

Lieut.- Commander KENWORTHY

Has the Prime Minister any information about the Book of Common Prayer that the Home Secretary is engaged in revising?