§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ LORD REDESDALE,
in moving that the House should resolve itself into a Committee, said, that he had been in communication with the Archbishop of Canterbury in respect to the measure; and, as the most rev. Prelate had raised objections to a portion of its provisions, he did not mean to proceed further with it until the Members of the right rev. Bench should have an opportunity of stating their views upon the subject.
THE BISHOP OF LONDON
said, that he and his right rev. Brethren had felt much obliged to the noble Lord for having taken up the subject. It was, no doubt, very desirable that the expense of consecrating additions made to churchyards should, as far as possible, be diminished. But the question was one of a complicated nature; and, without entering into its details, he would state that a very large portion of the expenses were incurred not in connection with the performance of the ecclesiastical rite, but from the difficulty of proving the title to the ground, and then transferring it for the purpose. He had ascertained 1496 that in the diocese of London the mere consecration charge did not amount to more than £14 10s. within the limits of the metropolis, and £18 for those districts lying beyond the metropolitan radius. The Members of the Episcopal Bench were anxious that the expense should be as far as possible reduced, and any means that the noble Lord could devise would be favourably considered by the right rev. Bench; but he doubted whether the present Bill would provide the best mode of attaining that object.
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
remarked, that his information led him to believe that the expenses of consecration often amounted to £70. He knew of no valid objection to the Bill, and would be glad to hear from the right rev. Bench on what grounds they opposed its progress.
observed, that the principal expenses in connection with consecrations arose from the investigation of title; but he did not see anything in this Bill to meet the case of a complicated title. He thought it would be better to defer legislation till they could pass a measure of a more comprehensive character.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, he did not see why their Lordships could not proceed with the consideration of the Bill, and hear any objections which the right rev. Bench might have to urge. It appeared to him to be a very simple and effective measure.
§ LORD REDESDALE
remarked, that his first Bill was certainly of a more simple character, inasmuch as it merely declared that any addition made to a churchyard should be considered to form part of it without any further consecration; but he had felt bound to meet the objection that it would seem to institute a consecration by Act of Parliament. The present Bill was directed to meeting legal difficulties, and in no way interfered with episcopal authority. He would ask their Lordships to go into Committee on the Bill, with the understanding that the objections of the most rev. and right rev. Prelates should be considered before the measure was passed.
THE BISHOP OF LONDON
should be quite ready to enter into the difficult questions which, in his opinion, would arise on the preamble and other parts of the Bill; but he thought it would be a wasting of their Lordships' time to do so. He might observe, however, that in the preamble things were taken for granted which, so far from being at all settled, were the subject of grave question. Again, he did not 1497 think the Bill afforded sufficient security that ground to be added to churchyards would be conveyed in perpetuity. This was an important point, because the expense of consecration depended, on a very large degree, on the investigation of title.
§ THE EARL OF POWIS
said, that if it were intended to dispense with consecration in any case, the language used upon that point ought to be most explicit.
§ LORD REDESDALE
said, the preamble of the Bill very clearly explained the intention to which the clause subsequently gave effect. The principle was clearly established, that any additions to a consecrated building became likewise consecrated by the mere fact of being attached to the original edifice. The principle, he thought, was one which might still more fairly be applied to ground than to buildings.
§ Motion agreed to; House in Committee; an Amendment moved, and negatived; Bill reported without Amendment; an Amendment made; Bill to be read 3a on Monday next; and to be printed as amended (No. 231).