§ The Lords held a conference with the Commons on the subject of the amendments to the Ecclesiastical Appointments Suspension Bill, and it was reported, that the Commons persisted in disagreeing from clause A of the Amendments of 1906 their Lordships, and with the reasons had returned the Bill.
§ Viscount Melbourne
said, that he apprehended the only difference of opinion arose upon the clause introduced on the third reading of the Bill by the noble Viscount Opposite (Viscount Canterbury), which went to suspend its provisions as to certain clergymen who had served as Chaplains to the House of Commons and in whose favour addresses had been presented to the Crown, and which enabled the Crown to confer upon them dignities in the Church. When the clause objected to now by the Commons was moved by that noble Viscount, he (Viscount Melbourne) had stated the grounds on which he opposed it—namely, that it was a subject with which the Commons ought themselves to have dealt, and he should now, therefore, move that their Lordships do not persist in their amendment, for the reasons stated by the Commons.
§ Viscount Canterbury
said, that after the statement made by the noble Viscount on this subject on a former evening, he did not anticipate any success would attend the amendment he had moved, and which the House of Commons had rejected. The strong inducement to move the amendment grew out of the circumstance of his having been Speaker of the House of Commons at the time the services of those gentlemen had been afforded, and when the Addresses in their favour had been agreed to, and the answers from the Sovereign returned. He had therefore, felt himself bound to bring the matter under the consideration of their Lordships; and his only object now was to correct any supposition that he had interfered with the strict province of the House of Commons. All he had felt was, that in the Bill sent up, without any desire to delay or interfere with the intentions of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, it was but justice to reserve to her Majesty the right, under the advice of the noble Viscount at the head of the Government, to confer the dignities promised by the late Sovereign. Having made this explanation, he trusted he had exonerated himself from any improper interference with the rights and privileges of the House of Commons; and he begged to state, that he should now be the last man in the world to obstruct the further passage of this Bill.
§ The Commons amendments agreed, to.