§ Bill read 3a (according to Order).
THE MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE
moved the insertion of a clause to follow Clause 34, as giving to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Ireland power to restore to the parochial clergy of the Diocese of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh a certain portion of the tithe rent charge called the quarta pars episcopalis, and which now formed a portion of the income of the Commissioners. The clergy of every other part of Ireland were in full possession of their tithe rent charges, and it was but just to reinstate the principle in this portion of Ireland. The Bishops of Clonfert had always admitted the right of the clergy to be relieved from this reduction of their incomes under certain circumstances. It might, perhaps, be said that the clergy of Clonfert were not in want of this income so much as those in some other parts of Ireland, but he maintained that that was no good ground for the course that had been taken; and beyond this he was not asking their Lordships to decide that this portion of tithes should be restored, but only that the Commissioners should have power to restore it if they should think fit. His Bill was permissive only, not mandatory. He had heard it said that there was only one clergyman in the diocese whose income was under £200 a year; but this was not the fact; he himself was acquainted with a rector whose income did not exceed £100 a year. He urged upon their Lordships that nothing could be more unwise than to destroy the connection between the parochial tithes and the parochial clergy, and he trusted that the House would adopt the clause.
§ THE EARL OF ST. GERMANS
reminded their Lordships that the object of this Bill was not to redistribute the revenues which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Ireland administered, or to enable them to deal with any portion of their funds in any new manner; its object being simply to improve the constitution of that Board and its form of procedure. He thought that even admitting for the sake of argument the facts stated by the noble Marquess, this circumstance furnished sufficient grounds for not adopting the clause, and he rested his opposition to it on that ground alone. The tithes of Ireland were originally divided into four parts, one part of which went to 988 the rector and one part went to the Bishop. That division had long ceased; but that did not apply to the present case, because this payment had always formed part of the revenues of the successive Bishops of Clonfert.
THE BISHOP OF DERRY
said, he felt bound to oppose the clause. These funds were given to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the general benefit of the Church. He hoped the noble Marquess would not press the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.