HC Deb 11 March 1948 vol 448 cc1551-2

9.36 p.m.

Mr. Burden (Sheffield, Park)

I beg to move, That the Clergy Pensions Measure, passed by the National Assembly of the Church of England, be presented to His Majesty for his Royal Assent in the form in which the said Measure was laid before Parliament. This Measure comes to us with the full approval of the Church Assembly. Circulated with the Measure is a report dealing in detail with each of the Clauses. Therefore, at this hour, I feel that it is unnecessary for me to go over the Clauses one by one. The Measure has been considered by the Ecclesiastical Committee whose report is before the House. It reads as follows: In so far as the Measure consolidates existing enactments, the Ecclesiastical Committee welcome it as reproducing the law in a more convenient and accessible form. In so far as it amends the law, they consider that it will improve the arrangements now in force for providing the clergy with pensions. They do not consider that the Measure affects prejudicially the constitutional rights of any of His Majesty's subjects, and they are of opinion that it should be allowed to proceed. I submit that the Measure is not controversial, and it only remains for me to say that when it is passed by this House, and on receiving the approval of Parliament and the Royal Assent, a full explanatory memorandum will be sent to all clergymen affected by it.

9.39 P.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Boles (Wells)

I beg to second the Motion.

This is a Measure which is badly needed and has been thoroughly thrashed out by the Church Assembly, the Legislative Committee and the Ecclesiastical Committee of this House, and is approved, I think, from all points of view. It fills a want which has been felt for a long time amongst the clergy, in that a new pensions scheme has been arranged for the clergy ordained since 1st January, 1948. It also makes an allowance for the continuance of some of the old clergy pensions in respect of those who were ordained before 1927, which was a want very much felt. This Measure will give the clergy an adequate pension under the new scheme.

Lieut.-Colonel Kingsmill (Yeovil)

As a great grandson of an Archbishop of Canterbury who, in his time, had the honour of crowning Queen Victoria and of officiating at her marriage, I whole-heartedly support this scheme, and I hope it will have the unanimous approval of this House.

Question put, and agreed to.