HL Deb 26 May 1865 vol 179 cc872-3

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


, in rising to move the second reading of the Bill, said, he would remind their Lordships that in consequence of the frequent discussions that had taken place on the subject of Clerical Subscription, Her Majesty's Government had thought it expedient to issue a Commission to inquire into the subject. The Commission was a very numerous one. It comprised many Members of their Lordships' House, four Archbishops, some other clergymen, and several laymen; and he might, he believed, say that the composition of that Commission inspired general confidence. Great attention was given to the subject, and he was happy to say that the conclusions to which the Commission came were the result of the unanimous opinion of the Members. The present Bill was founded on the recommendations of the Commission, and he hoped that it would meet with that reception at their Lordships' hands to which he believed if was fully entitled. It was the source ot much satisfaction to Her Majesty's Go- vernment that the Bill had met with the concurrence of so many members of the Church of England. Although the Government did not think it necessary to consult Convocation upon the subject, he might say that the Convocation of York had addressed a memorial to the Queen, praying that legal measures might be taken for carrying out the recommendations of the Commission.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª.—(The Lord President.)

On Question, agreed to: Bill read 2ª accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.


, who apparently had not observed that the Question had been put and agreed to, rose to address the House; and His Grace was, by the indulgence of the House, allowed to be heard, and said, that he rose not to make any observations on the Bill, but having been Chairman of that Commission to which his noble Friend had referred, he was anxious to express his great satisfaction that the Government had brought forward a Bill so entirely in concurrence with the Report of that Commission. It certainly was a matter of congratulation, that considering the Commission was composed of persons representing every shade of opinion, political as well as religious, within the pale of the Church of England, their recommendations should have been unanimous. The Commission was appointed to consider and revise the various subscriptions and declarations made by the clergy consistently with the declared agreement made by the clergy in the Church and its formularies. That they had endeavoured by the Report to do. There was, no doubt, a great multiplicity of subscriptions and declarations, and it had been endeavoured to bring them all under one form. He could not imagine that their Lordships would find any difficulty in giving the Bill a second reading.