§ The Order of the Day having been moved for the third reading of the Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages Bill,
§ Lord Wynford
said, he had to regret having been absent on former occasions when this Bill had been under discussion, and entertaining a serious objection to the principle of the Bill, he could not allow the third reading to pass without troubling their Lordships with a few words, particularly when the true reason for passing the Bill was not stated. The intention of the Bill was, to give the Dissenters a more efficient mode of registration than they at present possessed. To that he had not the least objection; but he did object that the members of the Church of England should have the law altered, and be liable to a considerable increased expense, when they were in possession of a much better mode of registration than that which was proposed to be afforded them by the present Bill. He well recollected what the system of registration was when it was made by the parish clerks, and not by the clergymen. It had been most inaccurate at that period, and would be just as inaccurate under the present Bill. Did their Lordships consider that this system of registration would be better effected by the district registers than it had been by the parish clerks? He was satisfied that it would not. Again, he thought pedigrees might be much better traced under the existing law, than it would be by the present Bill; and as regarded the registers themselves, he considered the place for their deposit would be much better in the Diocesan Courts than in the Central Court in London. 693 Whatever satisfaction the Bill might give to different descriptions of persons, of this he was sure, as regarded the farmers and the agricultural population and others of the Church of England, it would not be So satisfactory to them as the existing law. He was aware the sense of the House was against him on this occasion, and therefore he should only say Not-content to the third reading of the Bill.
§ Bill read a third time.