HL Deb 07 July 1862 vol 167 cc1493-4

Bill read 3ª (according to Order).


said, that the Bill as it stood would give the Established Church of Scotland a power of summoning witnesses which it had never before possessed; and he believed that such a measure would create a great deal of ill-feeling in that country. He therefore moved to insert after Clause 4, a clause that no person should be compelled to give evidence or produce any documents before the Courts of the Established Church of Scotland, unless he be in communion with that Church.


said, he could not accede to the proviso, as it was most inquisitorial.


said, he was opposed both to the proviso and the Bill. A more impolitic measure had never been introduced. One clause provided, that if a libel were brought against a clergyman, he was to be deposed until his case was heard. This was a most unjust provision. He trusted the Bill would be thrown out in the other House.


supported the Bill, the necessity for which he said was demanded by the fact, that if the minister of a Scotch parish was guilty of minconduct which justified his suspension, he could not, owing to the long and tedious process which had to be gone through, be judicially silenced for perhaps two years. The Bill, however, declared that the Church Court had the power to prevent such a man discharging his functions as a clergyman pending the result of the legal inquiry.

On Question, Whether the said Clause be there inserted? Resolved in the Negative.

Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.

House adjourned at a quarter before Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.