§ House again in Committee (according to Order).
§ Clause 11 (Property of Ecclesiastical Commissioners vested in Commissioners under Act).
§ Amendment moved, in line 19 to leave out ("passing of this Act") and insert ("first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two.")—(The Earl of Bandon.)
§ THE EARL OF BANDON
said, his Amendment provided that the transfer of the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the Commissioners appointed under the Bill should take effect on the 1st of January, 1872, instead of from and after the passing of the Act. Everything depended on commutation; yet many of the clergy, having made provision for their lives, would be unable to commute, and the Church would thus be left with only £4,000 a year with which to keep up its churches for the future. Now, so sudden a change had never been made by Parliament without ample time being given to the parties injured to prepare for it, and in the case of the abolition of slavery the West India planters had £20,000,000 compensation, besides being allowed time to prepare for emancipation. It was only fair, then, that the laity of the Irish Church should have the interval which he proposed.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, he hoped the noble Earl would not press his Amendment. It was very inconvenient to create a new Commission and to give 870 it nothing to do for nearly two years and a-half, and it was undesirable to prolong the existence of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners when their fate had been decided, and when they could no longer act in an efficient manner. Although everything did not depend on commutation it was a great object to facilitate it, and the Church would lose by any delay in effecting it, through the number of life interests which would expire.
§ Motion (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 12 (Church property vested in Commissioners under Act).
§ Amendment moved, in line 27 to leave out ("one") and insert ("two.")—(The Archbishop of Canterbury.)
said, he understood that many of the friends of the Irish Church regarded the year's delay as decidedly injurious to its interests. The great majority of their Lordships had not probably considered the question very closely, but were influenced in the vote of Tuesday night by the fact that the Amendment was proposed on the high authority of the most rev. Primate, and was supported by the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns), who urged that the Church was the best judge of its own interests, and was in favour of the delay. He would appeal to the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough) whether or not the delay would be greatly advantageous to the Church.
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
said, he entertained a strong, though possibly an erroneous, opinion that in granting this extension of time the House was conferring on the Irish Church a very questionable boon. It seemed to him very doubtful whether the loss of all the lives which would drop in between the 1st of January, 1871, and the 1st of January, 1872, would compensate any advantages which might attend a delay, which he was sure was proposed in all kindness. Moreover, the interval might be insufficient for the purposes of construction, and yet long enough to give rise to the strife and dissension which 871 would be avoided by a shorter interval. There were, no doubt, considerations on the other side, and it would be ungracious and unbecoming were he to attempt to force upon the Church a been which it disclaimed. If those members of the Church who had carefully considered the question preferred 1872, with its disadvantages, to 1871, he would not press his own opinion; but, considering that a considerable minority, at least, of intelligent and well-informed Churchmen took the same view as himself, he would suggest that consideration of the matter should be postponed till the Report.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, that if the Committee began each night with re-hearing points previously decided, the progress of the Bill would be seriously delayed. The advantage of the date 1872 was that it gave a year for the construction of the new body, and another year for it to negotiate for the commutation of life interests; so that, at the end of the second year, it would come into operation with its arrangements complete as far as possible. He was aware that there was much difference of opinion on the matter, but he believed there was a great preponderance of opinion in favour of the later date; and the Committee having adopted that view by a large majority in the Amendment moved by the most rev. Primate (the Archbishop of Canterbury) on the second clause, consistency required its insertion in other clauses. The observations which had been made would, however, be, no doubt, well considered in Ireland, and if there should be a change of opinion the question could be re-considered on the Report.
THE BISHOP OF ST. DAVID'S
said, he had voted for the delay simply on the understanding that the Irish Prelates were unanimously in favour of it, not thinking it right to oppose his judgment to theirs on such a point.
said, he thought there was no reason why the date in Clause 2 should rule the date in this clause.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN
said, he would admit that a considerable and influential minority of the Irish clergy desired the earlier date; but he wished to state that, though there was no recognized utterance on the part of the Church, the standing Committee, ap- 872 pointed by the Conference which met last spring, had lately debated the question, and had decided that 1872 was the more desirable date.
EARL DE GREY AND RIPON
said, he wished to ask the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns), whether the delay would not interfere with commutation?
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, one of the Amendments provided that commutation might occur between 1871 and 1872.
§ Motion agreed to; Amendment made accordingly.
§ Another Amendment moved, after ("lives") insert ("with the like powers of leasing) "—(Lord Cairns,)—agreed to.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, he had to propose an addition to the clause, securing the same rights of renewal of leases as are conferred by the 22 & 23 Vict. c. 150, on the tenants of lands belonging to sees suppressed by the 3 & 4 Will. IV., c. 37. About 250,000 acres were held in Ireland on Bishops' leases. Now, with regard to lands belonging to the suppressed bishoprics, the tenants were at the same time allowed the same rights of renewal against the Ecclesiastical Commissioners which they had had against the Bishops, and this would continue under the Bill; but it gave no power of renewal in other cases. Now, there were many Bishops' leases for twenty-one years, which were renewable on the payment of a fixed rent and fine, and were regarded as leases in perpetuity. Under the Bill the power of purchasing the fee within three years was given; but minors and others whose property was tied up by settlements would not be in a position to purchase, and, therefore, unless there was power of renewal, the property would be extinguished at the expiration of the lease, and great injury would be done.
Another Amendment moved, at end of clause add—
(3.) In the case of all such property subject to such and the same rights of renewal of tenants' leases thereof as by the Act twenty-third and twenty-fourth Victoria, chapter one hundred and fifty, are conferred on the tenants of lands belonging to sees suppressed by the Act third and fourth William the Fourth, chapter thirty-seven, and thereby rested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of Ireland."—(Lord Cairns.)
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that the customary tenure of Bishops' lands had proved very objectionable both in England and Ireland, and that facilities had consequently been given for converting the leases into leases in perpetuity. Some later sections of this Bill offered great facilities for this purpose, by enabling parties to obtain loans re-payable in the course of thirty-two years. This was decidedly preferable to the renewal of the leases; but there would be no object to empower such renewal as an alternative in the manner provided by the 3 & 4 Will. IV., c. 37, but not in that prescribed by the 22 & 23 Vict., c. 150. The former Act dealt with leasing powers in respect of lands vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners which had belonged to suppressed sees, but Bishops having had the right to grant leases at very small fines, much below the actual value, and in some cases to their families, it contained numerous provisions enabling Commissioners to ascertain whether the average of fines was a proper average, and if it was not, to assess the fine, the lessee being at liberty to resort to arbitration. The latter Act, passed after an experience of thirty years, during which time the Commissioners had been able to levy the proper fines, enacted that the average of a certain number of years, preceding 1860, should be taken. Now, in the present case, the Committee were dealing with sees which were in the same condition as that of the suppressed sees in 1833, for there were leases in which no fine had been taken, and others in which it was very small. To give those lessees the benefit of the 22 & 23 Vict, would obviously involve a considerable loss, which he was sure the noble and learned Lord would not desire more than himself; and justice would be done by the Commissioners under the Act of William IV.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, he believed that the present Act, while it repealed the provisions of the former statute, contained clauses which would meet the case put by his noble and learned Friend. He would not, however, ask for the postponement of the clause, but would bring up a clause on the Report.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn, and clause, as amended, agreed to.874
§ Clause 13 (Dissolution of ecclesiastical corporations, and cessation of right to sit in House of Lords).
§ The DUKE OF SOMERSET
said, he wished to ask the noble Earl the Secretary for the Colonies whether the Government, having adopted the principle of religious equality, would not give the disestablished Church all the liberty of Dissent? As the Irish Church was no longer to be represented in this House, its clergy ought to be as eligible as Dissenters for seats in the House of Commons. Until 1801, clergymen occasionally sat in that House; but a clergyman having a seat at that time, and having voted against the Ministry, a Bill was brought, disqualifying them from sitting in future. A Dissenting minister, who objected to the Church, denounced its doctrine, and discarded its discipline, might sit in the House of Commons; and, indeed, he (the Duke of Somerset) had sat beside such Members. He wished to know whether the Government would bring up a clause conferring the same right on the Irish clergy as was enjoyed by their Dissenting brethren?
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said., the suggestion of the noble Duke raised a large question. He presumed that if the noble Duke were to propose a clause enabling the Irish clergy to sit in the House of Commons, he would include in it Roman Catholic priests, who were at present precluded from sitting in that House.
§ Amendment moved, in line 13, to leave out ("be dissolved,") and insert ("subject to the provisions of this Act, cease to exist in law.")—(Lord Westbury.)
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he was almost ashamed to occupy a moment on such a matter, but he contended that "dissolved" was the proper term to be applied to corporations, whether sole or aggregate, whereas the phrase "cease to exist in law" was unknown to lawyers. Of course a person who was a corporation sole would be dissolved only in his corporate capacity.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
THE EARL OF CLANCARTY
My Lords, I beg to move the Amendment of this clause of which I have given notice, and I trust my Amendment will find ac- 875 ceptance with your Lordships. It is to remedy what, as the clause now stands, would be the infliction of a needless wrong upon certain distinguished Members of this House. By the clause, now before you, on and after the 1st of January, 1871No Archbishop or Bishop of the said Church (the Irish Church) shall be summoned or be qualified to sit in the House of Lords.This would operate to deprive the existing Bishops of Ireland of rights to which they became entitled for their lives, from the periods at which they were respectively appointed by the Crown—a violation, therefore, of vested rights, which the authors of this Bill promised in all cases to respect. It would be the expulsion from this assembly of individuals eminent in learning and piety, with whom we have been wont to take counsel, and whose assistance and share in. our deliberations has ever been such as to entitle them to the highest respect and consideration. And it would be to sanction an interference with the privileges of this House by the House of Commons, that your Lordships ought not to permit. What I, therefore, ask your Lordships to do is to omit from the middle of the clause the words to which I have referred, and to add at the end of it the following words:—Provided also that every present Archbishop and Bishop of the said Church shall be deemed qualified, and shall continue to enjoy during his life the privilege of being summoned to sit in the House of Lords.I feel, my Lords, much fortified in making this Motion, by the fact that the day after I had handed in my Notice my noble Friend in the Chair gave notice of a similar Amendment of this clause; and as I am not tenacious of the precise terms in which my Amendment is drawn up, I shall have no objection, if in point of form the words of his Amendment should be preferred, to let the clause be so amended. All I desire is, that an act of injustice and of discourtesy to the Irish Bishops, and of injury to the House itself, should be avoided, and that during the term of their lives their seats in this House should be secured to them in the same manner as they are at present enjoyed. There is something, no doubt, exceptional in the proposal of such legislation, for they now sit as representatives of the Irish branch of the 876 Established Church, which is to cease to exist after 1870; but if the reservation to them of their rights after that period is inconsistent with the original object of their introduction to this House, and, therefore, exceptional, so most certainly is the Bill itself, for never was there a more exceptional and unprecedented piece of legislation. I, therefore, beg to move the Amendment.
Amendment moved, in line 13, leave out from ("dissolved") to ("such") in line 15, and to add to the clause the following words:—
("Provided also, that every present archbishop and bishop of the said church shall be deemed qualified and shall continue to enjoy during his life the privilege of being summoned to sit in the House of Lords.")—(The Earl of Clancarty.)
§ EARL GRANVILLE
There are, my Lords, two Amendments on the Paper with reference to this point—one by the noble Earl and another by the noble Lord in the Chair, who has also raised the question as to whether it was not a trangression of the privileges of this House to introduce a clause into the Bill in the House of Commons affecting the right of sitting in your Lordships' House. I am not aware that a question of privilege is really involved; if the Bill merely dealt with this particular matter, it would have been discourteous in Her Majesty's Government to introduce it to the other House of Parliament first; but as the subject came up as a necessary part of a large and comprehensive Bill, it was compulsory on the Government to decide upon it one way or the other, and I do not see how we could refrain from putting that decision in the Bill in some shape. The Government had anxiously considered the matter, and much desired to continue the representation of the Irish Episcopal Bench in your Lordships' House, and I can assure the right rev. Bench that there is not the slightest intention of any personal discourtesy in. the matter. Some mention has been made of vested interests, but the right of the Irish Bench to seats in this House could not be compensated in the way vested rights were ordinarily compensated—that is, by means of money. The Government, in considering the measure, concluded that disestablishment should be complete in its character, and that no little points should remain for an indefinite time untouched; and it was felt 877 that the representatives of the Irish Episcopal Bench sitting here as Spiritual Peers after the Church to which they belonged had been disestablished would be an anomaly to which it was extremely doubtful whether the right rev. Prelates themselves would wish to be a party. The Government has had this opinion endorsed by one of the strongest friends of the Church (Mr. Gathorne Hardy), who, in the Lower House, protested against such an Amendment in the clause under the peculiar circumstances of the case, and he said it would be absolutely absurd to continue the present arrangement, considering the Bishops sat by rotation. Within the last few days, too, I have received a letter from a right rev. Member of the Irish Bench, who himself protests against the Amendment as an anomaly to which your Lordships should not assent. At the same time, I am extremely anxious, before I state what line I shall take with regard to the privilege, to hear what is the general feeling of your Lordships' House, and also what is the opinion of those members of the Episcopal Bench with whom I have had no communication on the subject.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, the noble Earl (Earl Granville) taxes the modesty of right rev. Prelates very severely by asking them to say whether they think themselves worthy of a seat in this House. I must say I incline to the Amendment of my noble Friend (the Earl of Clancarty), because the whole principle on which you are proceeding is to deal with the institution without any injury to individuals. It is impossible to say it is not an injury to take away a seat in this House, and I am quite sure the noble Earl (Earl Granville) would be the last to say that a seat in this House is not a privilege worthy of being desired. If the seat is worthy of being desired, you have no right in destroying an institution to make an exception to your general principles when dealing with the present rights of individuals to seats in this House. There is besides this a special reason in favour of the Amendment. During this process of disestablishment and disendowment there will be several transition stages, and it is possible many points of division will arise; at least, before the Church is thoroughly severed from the State some intervening controversy may arise in which she is concerned, and it appears 878 to me only fair that as those who have disestablished her continue to have seats in this House she also should have some representation here to watch her interests, and see that justice is done her. The argument based upon the plan of rotation is scarcely worth consideration; it is a mere mechanical difficulty, the remedy to which is obvious. For the reasons I have stated, I shall vote for the Amendment.
THE EARL OF CLANCARTY
said, there could be no difficulty in arranging as to the number of Bishops who should sit as deaths occurred.
EARL DE GREY AND RIPON
My Lords, it is quite clear that as the Prelates of the Irish Church die, or are appointed to sees they do not now hold, the representation would be entirely changed by the Amendment, and that you will have the same Bishops sitting from year to year. With respect to the question of privilege, I should like to ask whether it is not the case that the Church Temporalities Bill, which reduced the number of Bishops in your Lordships' House by one, was introduced into the House of Commons? If so—and if I am wrong the noble Earl opposite can correct me—we have a precedent for introducing this matter into the House of Commons first.
THE EARL OF DERBY
The noble Earl has appealed to me on a point which I am able to speak on with some confidence, although it is now many years since. I do not apprehend that the Act of Parliament to which he has referred was any violation in the slightest degree of the terms of the Union, because by the terms of the Union it was provided that one Archbishop and three Bishops should have seats in Parliament. The alteration made was that instead of each Archbishop sitting once in four years, he should sit once in two years; and instead of each Bishop sitting once in six years, he should sit once in three years; consequently, the representative power of the Irish Church was not in the least degree altered by the Church Temporalities Act; the same number of Bishops sit year by year, but the individual representatives become entitled to their seats in more rapid succession. As I am speaking, I may say that the Amendment is entirely consistent with the views the Government have expressed. From first to last the Government 879 have said they intended gradually to allow the representation of the Church. to drop off by mortality, but to preserve to each individual member of the Church his present rights; and the noble Earl by his Amendment desires to preserve to the present Archbishops and Bishops their rights just as the clergy of the Irish church have theirs preserved to them. I am not disposed to insist strongly on the point; but, at the same time, I think the proposition is consistent with the course of the Government. On the question of privilege I may observe that I have made a reference to Blackstone, and find that he distinctly lays down that a Bill having reference to the privileges of either House of Parliament, or any of its Members, should be introduced in the House to which it refers, and not in the other House. The Church Temporalities Act did not interfere with the privileges of the House, but this Bill does; and it is quite consistent with the principle of the Bill that during the lives of the existing Prelates they should not be deprived of the privileges they possess.
said, it seemed to him to be undeniable that the exclusion of Prelates from the House of Lords could not be regarded as otherwise than a personal injury to themselves, and such an injury as the Government engaged not to infliet; but he saw practical difficulties in dealing with the matter according to either of the Amendments on the Paper. He could not help thinking, however, that an arrangement might be made by which the claims of the Church might be satisfied. This would be accomplished by according to the two Archbishops of the Church of Ireland seats in the House during the term of their natural lives. In this way proper representation might be secured to the Irish Church without in any way contravening the principle of the Bill.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, that the Amendment clearly preserved to the existing Bishops the same rotation as that which now existed, and whenever a Bishop died his successor could not be put down on the rota, so that there would be an intermittent light similar to that which was given by lighthouses. Considering that the duty of representing the Irish Church could no longer be performed, he should have thought that it would be more convenient and more conducive to the interests of the Irish 880 Church that the arrangement proposed by the Bill should be accepted, and that the Bishops should not be called away from their dioceses.
§ LORD WESTBURY
said, he saw no possibility of diminishing the evil inflicted by the Bill by the acceptance of the present proposition, which was, in fact, incapable of being worked. It took away the ecclesiastical and legal status of the Bishops of the Irish Church, in respect of which alone they sat in the House; and it would be an anomaly that a Bishop should continue to sit in the House after he lost the character by which he was entitled to sit there. The moment we disestablished the Bishops that moment their legal status was estreated and rotation was gone. They had no personal right to sit in the House, but only a right founded upon a certain rotation; aud it would be an anomaly, if it were possible, to introduce into the House a number of Peers deprived by law of their temporalities. It was impossible to bring them into the House when they had lost in every respect the character by virtue of which they were entitled to sit there. Much, therefore, as he desired to lessen the great injustice of this Bill, he thought it could not be modified or mitigated by the introduction of anomalies which could not be worked. It would require a very carefully worded enactment to give the Archbishops and Bishops of the disestablished Church the right of sitting in the House; and, on the whole, he thought they had better submit to the injustice and the wrong done by the Bill than receive a perfectly impracticable substitute for their lost privileges.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, he did not think the noble and learned Lord (Lord West-bury) usually gave the advice that persons ought to submit to an injustice because of the difficulty of framing a clause to remedy it. In his opinion there would be no difficulty in framing a clause to meet the requirements of the case. The question really seemed to be this—Was it or was it not a personal privilege of the present Prelates of the Church of Ireland to have a seat in the House according to the order of rotation as laid down by the present law? Could any one doubt that it was a privilege? The principle upon which the Bill proceeded was to preserve as far as it could possibly be done all rights and privileges to 881 those who at present enjoyed them. At present the clergyman of the parish had certain rights, and occupied a certain status; but although his Church was disestablished and his parish destroyed, his rights and privileges were preserved to him during his life. Just in the same way the Bishops of the Irish Church had rights and privileges, and they had the right of coming to this House and sitting here in a certain rotation. He could quite understand that when the Bill passed many Members of the right rev. Bench might feel very little anxiety to take part in their Lordships' deliberations, and might feel their position seriously altered by this piece of legislation; but certainly, unless they were told by the members of the right rev. Bench that they desired these privileges to be taken away, their Lordships ought not to be instrumental in taking them away, in consequence of the difficulty of framing a clause to preserve them. It was not fair to put it affirmatively to their Lordships to say whether they wished these privileges to be continued; and unless the right rev. Prelates repudiated these privileges, and said they did not desire to have them, their Lordships were bound, if they legislated consistently, to maintain them. What was the difficulty of the case? The object was to provide that Bishops should sit in the House according to a certain rotation. The result under the Bill would be that when a see became vacant there would be a vacancy in the rotation, and the Amendment of the noble Lord in the Chair seemed to him to meet the ease by providing that the present Archbishops and Bishops should continue to sit in the House in the same order of rotation, and in the same place and precedence as they would have done if this Bill had not been passed.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he wished to dissipate any fear that this Bill was an interference with the privileges of their Lordships' House by the House of Commons. He thought, on reflection, it would be found, not with-tanding the dictum of Blackstone, that there had been previous interferences of the same character—not interferences per se, but simply as consequences of some act necessary to be done. One of the strongest instances of that kind was the Bill of Attainder against Bishop Atterbury, which deprived him not only 882 of his bishopric, but of his peerage, and sentenced him to banishment. That originated in the House of Commons; and, though the Bishop earnestly protested against it, their Lordships passed it. There could not be a stronger case of interference with the privileges of their Lordships' House than that; but in this case the interference was merely a consequence of the scheme in the Bill. He could not, however, admit that there was any difficulty in framing a clause to meet the object which many of their Lordships had in view, and preserve intact the personal privileges possessed by right rev. Prelates before the passing of the Bill. He had, however, well considered this point before, and had thought that it would be a somewhat unreasonable step to continue to the right rev. Prelates their privileges after the great object for which they were conferred had entirely ceased. The right rev. Prelates were Members of their Lordships' House not as individuals, but in respect of their connection with the Church of England and of Ireland as by law established. They were Members of that House by virtue of their archbishoprics and bishoprics, and for the purpose of representing interests which it was proposed by this Bill should utterly cease. Speaking from a personal point of view, he confessed that he should have no desire to hold any position if the reasons for which he was appointed were removed, and when there was no longer any opportunity of performing the duties on account of which the position was given to him.
said, he hoped that the House would, in dealing with this part of the question, be guided by a sense of justice. He thought the Bishops who had sat in the House should themselves be free to choose whether they would retain or resign that privilege. If that were not the case it would be the duty of those who objected to every particle of this Bill—and many of its supporters had urged very strong objections against its principle—to think whether they should exercise what was their undoubted right, and reject it on the third reading. The noble Lord read extracts from the speech of Mr. Gladstone in 1835, in which, the right hon. Gentleman, in opposing the Appropriation Clause, declared twice in the same speech, that— 883He hoped that he should never live to see the day when such a system should be adopted in this country, for the consequences to public men and to the character of the country would be lamentable beyond description…… He hoped that he should never live to see the day when any principle leading to such a result would be adopted in that country."—[1 Hansard, xxvii. 513, 514.]
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
said, he was sure that if his right rev. Brethren felt that no advantage could accrue to the Church from their continuing Members of that House they would at once surrender their claim. No doubt their chief duties would have to be performed in Ireland; but still he could not think that the question of injustice to individuals had been entirely disposed of in the remarks of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. In spite of what would be done by the Bill there were still important religious interests in which it certainly was desirable that they should be able to express their opinions in Parliament. He thought, too, that after inducements had been held out to certain individuals to accept certain offices there would be an injustice in depriving those individuals of any portion of their rank and privileges. He trusted, therefore, that their Lordships would not be deterred from doing what was right in this matter by the silence of his right rev. Brethren, especially as there was no difficulty in doing what everyone seemed to think it would be but just to do.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, the discussion had not convinced him that there was anything unreasonable in the conduct of the Government so far as related to the proposition in the clause. But he could not but acknowledge that the majority of their Lordships appeared to be in favour of the adoption of an Amendment by which the existing Irish Prelates would be left in possession of the privilege of seats in that House. As no practical object could be attained by giving their Lordships the trouble of dividing on a question which had something of a personal character, he would accept the Amendment proposed.
§ Words added: Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ LORD REDESDALE
moved an Amendment, at the end of clause, to add—("And every present archbishop and bishop of the said church shall be summoned to and sit in the House of Lords in the same manner and rota- 884 tion and at such times as he would have been, summoned and would have sat if this Act had not passed.")
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ LORD COLCHESTER, in proposing the Amendment of which he had given notice, said, he hoped that the House would not render the Archbishops and Bishops of the Irish Church after its disestablishment liable to penalties, from which the Bishops of the Scotch Episcopal Church were especially exempted. He believed it would be better their Lordships should at once make an addition to the Bill rather than wait for a measure respecting the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. It would be a most vexatious thing if, immediately after the Establishment was abolished, the clergy of the Church should be subjected to pains and penalties in carrying out the new organization. It might possibly be objected that such a provision as he proposed would create an undue ascendancy over the Roman Catholic Church; but this objection had never yet been urged in the case of Scotland, where what he proposed had been adopted. It must be remembered that it was because of their own policy the Roman Catholic hierarchy were in the position they now occupied. The Roman Catholics would not surrender their independence of the State. But the disestablishment of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland would be the act of the State and not of the Bishops of that Church.
Amendment moved, at end of clause, to add—
And the persons who from time to time shall exercise and discharge archiepiseopal or episcopal functions in the said Church shall be permitted to assume and use titles in respect of the districts or places within which they exercise such functions without incurring any penalty by law attaching to persons assuming ecclesiastical titles in respect of any place or district without being by law thereunto authorized."—(The Lord Colchester).
§ THE EARL OF GRANARD
said, he could not conceive a greater infraction of religious equality than would be involved in the introduction of words specially exempting the Bishops of the disestablished Church from penalties to which the Roman Catholic Bishops were liable. He would not object if the Bishops of both Churches were exempted. It would be easy to introduce words which would have the effect of including the Roman Catholic Prelates of Ireland in the exemption, and he believed that 885 such general exemption would be received as a been by the Roman Catholics.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, I hope the noble Earl will not press his Amendment. I think it will be necessary in consequence of the disestablishment of the Irish Church, to amend the law relating to ecclesiastical titles; but I think such Amendment ought not to be made by the introduction of words into this Bill. This Bill does maintain all the dignity of the ecclesiastics now belonging to the Irish Church; but it would not be right to introduce such words as those proposed by the noble Lord without reference to other dignitaries. The Ecclesiastical Titles Act was passed under peculiar circumstances and at a time of great excitement; but I do not think it would be a good precedent to follow, when we are passing a Bill, the object of which is to bring about complete religious equality.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
My Lords, your Lordships will recollect that a Select Committee was appointed last year to consider the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. At that time there was a strong desire to remove the disabilities under which the Roman Catholic Prelates labour, but it was found that there were great difficulties in the way of doing so. You are now said to be levelling down; but I do not think that you will facilitate the removal of the difficulties to which I have referred by allowing the Bishops of the Protestant Church to drop into a position which will subject them to penalties which there is a desire to remove in the case of the Roman Catholic Bishops.
§ LORD COLCHESTER
said, he would refer their Lordships to the evidence given before the Committee on the Ecclesiastical Titles Act by a noble and learned Lord now a Member of the Cabinet. He must press his Amendment.
§ LORD CAIRNS
I agree, my Lords, with every word that has fallen from my noble Friend (Lord Colchester) as to the absolute necessity of securing the Prelates of the Protestant Church in Ireland against the penalties imposed by the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. I think there will be no difference of opinion on that point. I also think that my noble Friend has done good service in calling attention to the subject; but, as 886 I understand the expressions of the noble Earl opposite (Earl Granville), the view of Her Majesty's Government is that before the time arrives when the Prelates of the Protestant Church in Ireland will be appointed in a different manner from that in which they now are, it will be the duty of the Government to introduce a measure to free them from the pains and penalties of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. The new constitution will not come into operation till 1872; but even were it to come into operation on the 1st of January 1871, there would be ample opportunity to introduce such a Bill in sufficient time. I do not think that any expressions used by my noble and learned Friend last year, when legislative steps had not been taken to disestablish the Irish Church, ought now, under such altered circumstances, to be held binding on him. I would, therefore, suggest to my noble Friend who has moved the Amendment whether, if I have rightly understood the noble Earl opposite, it would not be better and more free from danger to leave this question to be dealt with by the Government next Session.
said, he thought it was more than enough to disestablish, the Church, and he did not see why it should for a moment possibly be exposed to pains and penalties as a consequence of the disestablishment.
§ On Question? Resolved in the Negative.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ [Compensation to Persons deprived of Income.]
§ Clause 14 (Compensation to ecclesiastical persons other than curates).
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
My Lords, before I submit to your Lordships the Amendment which stands on the Paper in my name, I wish to direct your attention to what appears to me to be a slight ambiguity in the clause as it stands. The clause runs thus—The Commissioners shall, as soon as may be after the passing of this Act, ascertain and declare by order the amount of yearly income of which the holder of any archbishopric, bishopric, benefice, or cathedral preferment, in or connected with the said Church, will be deprived by virtue of this Act, after deducting all rates and taxes except income or property tax, salaries of permanent curates employed, as hereinafter mentioned,and so on. Now, I believe I am correct 887 in stating that the exception is meant to be confined to the income and property tax, and what I propose to do is to add another exception to the taxes which are to be deducted in calculating the annuities to be paid to the holders of preferments. The tax which I propose should not be deducted, before you calculate the net income of the holder of any preferment, is a certain tax which is now paid to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Ireland, and which is generally known as a tax on clerical incomes. I hope your Lordships will pardon me if, in justice to my clients, I find it necessary to enter somewhat into detail in dealing with this matter. I wish you to understand clearly what is the origin of this tax which is paid by the clergy to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and I will, in the first place, explain the purposes to which it is applied. Under the Church Temporalities Act, which was passed in the reign of William IV., certain charges, which had not been previously provided for at all, and which would be met by what in England is called Church rates and in Ireland vestry cess, were ordered to be paid by the Commissioners out of certain revenues assigned for that object. This revenue was partly derived from suppressed sees and partly from a tax imposed on the incomes of the beneficed clergy. It was a tax rising very rapidly from £2 10s. per cent, on incomes of £300 a year, till it reaches 15 per cent. It was to be applied by the Commissioners, wherever they got a sufficient surplus, to the augmentation of small benefices; but, before they got that surplus—which by the way, they hardly got at all — to the building and repairing of churches, to providing the proper requisites for Divine service, to the lighting and keeping of churches, to the cost of fuel, and even to the washing of the surplices of the clergy. Among; the many anomalies of this anomalous Irish Church, the greatest, of all, and I have as yet seen no notice taken of it, was that the requisites for Divine service were supplied mainly out of the incomes of the poor clergy of that Church. I ask your Lordships particularly to bear in mind this fact, that when the Act taxing the clergy was passed the reason given for taking that step was that under the law of the Church as it then existed there was a liability attached to them for the 888 repair of the chancel. To give you an instance of the extreme severity of the incidence of the tax I may state that on incomes of £400 a year in Ireland a clergyman pays a tax to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of £20 a year, and on an income of £650 a year—which, in passing, I may mention was the income which I had the privilege of enjoying as a bloated and pampered dignitary of the Irish Church for a period of three years—£45. You will at once see therefore that the tax is a heavy one; and its total amount is £19,000 a year. But for this heavy charge the clergy get a very valuable return. They get their churches repaired and lighted, and the requisites for the performance of Divine service provided, many of which things they would otherwise have had to pay for out of their own pockets, and most of which they will have to pay for if this Bill passtes in its present shape. The amount given by the Commissioners for the repair of the churches and the other purposes I have mentioned is £36,000 a year, as against £19,000 furnished by the clergy; so that for every 1s. which they pay they get 2s. in value received for the support of their churches. Indeed, it is a mistake to call this a tax at all. It is an annual payment for value, and very considerable value, obtained, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners may be described as an agency for the supply of the requisites for Divine service out of what they derived from the incomes of the beneficed clergy. Now, this clause enacts that the Ecclesiastical Commission shall cease; that they shall no longer contribute to the repair of the churches or to the purposes to which I have referred, while it, at the same time, provides that this tax shall be deducted from the incomes of the clergy. This amounts to nothing more than that the British Government comes in and impounds the money which the clergy have been in the habit of paying for certain important value received; for the Bill before us proposes, in effect, that they shall not continue to receive that value, while they are to pay the tax for the rest of their natural lives. Is that, I would ask, just or equitable dealing? I am in the habit, and I trust I may, without presumption, assume that your Lordships are in the habit, of paying your bills yearly if not half-yearly. Well, what 889 would any of your Lordships think if it were laid down by Act of Parliament that a cheque which he was about to send to his wine merchant should be impounded before it reached its destination, that the merchant should be prevented under a heavy penalty from supplying any more wine, and that the British Government and the magnanimous British nation should for the future receive the yearly or half-yearly payments made? The Bill in this respect does not seem even to affect to be generous, and there are, in my opinion, only two ways of meeting the great injustice which is about to be done in this matter One is to remit absolutely to the clergy these payments to the Church Commission, for which they will no longer obtain the value which they have hitherto received. The objection made to this proposal is, that it would benefit the richer and not the poorer clergy; that is, no doubt, to a certain extent, an objection to it, though I do not admit that you have any more right to do a wrong to a rich than to a poor man. I admit, however, that the objection is a plausible one, in the case of a measure which does not affect to be generous. But there is another mode of meeting the difficulty. It is that the clergy should still continue to pay the tax, but that when paid it should be devoted to the purposes to which it was previously applied; that is to say, that, instead of paying the tax to the British nation—which I cannot suppose is in want of the money—the clergy should pay it to the new Church Body, and that they should expend it on the repair of churches, and the providing the necessary requisites for Divine service, as has hitherto been the case. I should have moved an Amendment to this effect myself, but that it may seem ungracious in an English Prelate to meddle with the application of a charge which will fall on his Irish brethren; but I shall be happy to leave it in the hands of my right rev. Friend (the Bishop of Derry) who disclaims, as I anticipated and as I can assure your Lordships the great majority of the Irish clergy disclaim, any wish to profit by the remission of the tax. It is their desire that the money should be appropriated in the way I have mentioned. The Amendment may be incorporated with that which stands in my right rev. Friend's name, and it may be brought forward 890 on the Report if the forms of the House preclude its being moved now. I think I have shown your Lordships that there is a just and equitable claim for the remission of the tax. It may, however, be urged, as an objection to the course which I have suggested, that the whole income of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners does not go to the repair of the churches, but that a great portion of it is devoted to the augmentation of small benefices. Now, I looked carefully into the accounts of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to ascertain the total amount expended by them during the last year on small benefices, and I find it was 5,900 and odd pounds. But the greater part of that amount did not come out of this tax, but out of the private holders' fund, the sum paid by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners out of this tax being under £2,000. Of the amount contributed by the clergy 18s. 6d. in the pound is for the requirements of the Church, and only the balance of 1s. 6d. for the augmentation of small benefices. I think I have made out something like a just and equitable claim, not for putting the tax back into the pockets of the clergy, but for leaving them exactly in the position in which they were before, by continuing the tax and devoting its proceeds to the same purposes to which they are now applied. This arrangement, if adopted, will enable the poor Irish Church to tide over what will be her time of greatest difficulty, when every effort will be taxed to keep in repair the churches of the poorer Protestant congregations.
§ Amendment moved, in line 25, after ("tax") to insert ("and the tax on clerical incomes now payable to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland.")—(The Bishop of Peterborough.)
I think, my Lords, it would have been well if the right rev. Prelate, in moving his Amendment, had alluded, not merely to Church cess, but also to the Board of First Fruits; but of this he made no mention whatever. The whole of the right rev. Prelate's speech goes not really to the compensation for vested interests, which is the principle of the Bill, but to the endowment in a new form of the disestablished Church. Moreover, the proposal would be only of partial application; for this tax, while rising rapidly 891 upon incomes above £300 a year, does not apply at all to incomes below that amount.
THE BISHOP OF DERRY
said, that his object in the Amendment which he intended to propose was that, in the exceptional and difficult circumstances in which the Church was to be placed, the deduction to which the Bishops and clergy had submitted for the general purposes of the Church should continue to be applied to those purposes.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
contended that first fruits belonged originally to the See of Rome, and at the Reformation became the property of the Crown, which, as time went on, allowed them to be applied to certain ecclesiastical purposes. But when the Church Temporalities Act was passed, a tax, varying from 2½ to 15 per cent, was substituted for these first fruits, which tax never was the property of the Church of Ireland at any period of her history. To give over this tax in the manner proposed would be to give to the clergy what they had never possessed. But the proposition of the right rev. Prelate rested upon the supposition that these first fruits and this tax represented Church property.
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
said, the purposes to which this tax were applied were purposes to which vestry cess had been applied; but he did not say that the tax itself was in lieu of vestry cess.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, he was perfectly aware of the obligations resting upon the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; but his argument was that first fruits, which the tax represented, did not belong to the Church at all. To hand over this tax as a sustentation fund for the repair of churches in Ireland, however desirable an arrangement in the interests of the Church, was wholly inconsistent with the principles of the Bill.
THE EARL OF DERBY
Having been personally much concerned in introducing the Bill which has been referred to, I maybe permitted to say what the state of things was at that time, as it may not be in some of your Lordships' recollection. Previous to 1833, the Roman Catholics, although they had the right of voting for everything else, had no right of voting for the imposition of church cess; but when the vestry met together 892 to vote a sum to be applied to the sustentation of the Church, the Roman Catholics were compelled to withdraw, and the Protestants imposed that tax upon Roman Catholics as well as upon themselves. If it had been proposed at that time to allow Roman Catholics to vote in the imposition of Church cess, the effect, I need hardly tell your Lordships, would have been entirely to abolish that tax without compensation. I must also add that the Protestants were extremely unwilling to exercise their legal right of imposing this tax upon Roman Catholics, and the consequence was that in many cases the necessary sums were not collected, and churches in consequence fell into disrepair. The Government of that day, in dealing with the question, provided that the Church cess, amounting to £60,000, should be abolished, and that this amount should be a charge on the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who were to receive in lieu of it a tax upon benefices above a certain value. As some compensation for the tax so imposed, which bore very heavily upon the clergy, they were thenceforth to be relieved from payment of first fruits and tenths. And accordingly the arrangement, while it released the poorer Roman Catholics from a very great grievance, at the same time made provision by this tax for the perpetual sustentation of existing churches. I must say the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough) has proved, in what seems to me a most conclusive manner, that if you continue to impose this tax upon the clergy, you ought in fairness to provide that the tax shall continue to be devoted to the purposes for which it is at present collected. The Motion does not propose to relieve the clergy from any tax, but simply that if the tax continues to be levied, the objects for which it is levied shall be observed, at least during the lives of the present occupants.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
As this is the first of a long series of Amendments which go, in my opinion, to the root of the whole principle of the Bill, and the main object of which is to secure to the Church a very large portion — I believe my noble Friend (Earl Granville) was correct in calculating upwards of £5,000,000 — of the surplus, I am deirous of offering to the House a few observations with regard to this principle, and I am the more anxious to do 893 so as I think it bears close relation to an observation made by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) the other evening. As to the Amendment now in issue, we have heard from the right rev. Prelate that it is £19,000ayear, and that its capitalized value would be £200,000. I believe the noble Marquess was wrong in saying that these were alternative Amendments, and that therefore my noble Friend was in error in adding them together. I have no means of knowing whether any of the Amendments will be withdrawn, and I have no reason to believe they are alternative. On the contrary, I believe they are cumulative; and we are now dealing with the first of a series of Amendments, the effect of which will be to secure for the Irish Church, out of the surplus, at least between£4,000,000 and £5,000,000. Now, the noble Marquess the other evening accused us of not appreciating what was the true meaning of the Church, and said we appeared to think that the Church meant the clergy. Now, the principle of the Bill is that the Church—meaning thereby both the clergy and the laity—shall receive, I will not say nothing, but little more than life interests in the incomes which the clergy now enjoy. That is the main principle of the Bill—that the Church as a body should receive no more than the life interests of the present holders of office, and I need hardly say that it is the clergy alone who hold those life interests. Now, I venture to assert that the clergy do not enjoy a life interest in this tax; it is a deduction from their incomes which the clergy do not enjoy, No doubt the argument of the right rev. Prelate on this point showed great ingenuity; and he asked that the tax should be applied, not to the advantage of the clergy alone, but of the Church as a whole, meaning both clergy and laity. But, in the same sense, the laity get the benefit of the whole endowments of the Church, yet the Government never admitted that the laity had a right of property in those endowments. On the contrary, the Government always maintained that, saving life interests, the property of the Church belongs to the State. That is the very root of the Bill, but you propose to take from the available surplus this tax, which is a public tax, and represents the old First Fruits that went to the Crown, and you are 894 giving it as an endowment to the Church as a body. Well, I contend that precisely the same course might be taken with every 1s. of the tithes, and with every 1s of that which you now call the property of the Established Church. It is all very well for the noble Marquess to accuse us of confounding the two meanings of the Church. We are all apt to use the word in a very ambiguous sense. But it has been the friends of the Church who have been guilty of that confusion. In the course of these discussions they have been instructed upon this point; but, up to the present Session, their main argument was that the Established Church is identically the same as that which existed before the Reformation. The doctrine was maintained that there was the same succession of the Episcopate and clergy, although the people did not adhere to it. That was the argument used last Session, and during this Session one of the most distinguished Prelates of the English Church, in an able pamphlet, which he calls A Speech Unspoken, lays down the doctrine that the present Church of Ireland, being identically the same as that which existed before the Reformation, is entitled to the whole property of the Church. This Bill is based upon a denial of that doctrine. We say that, beyond the life interests of the clergy, the property of the Church belongs to the State, and is at the disposal of the State. This is the cardinal principle, not only of the Bill, but of those who are in favour of concurrent endowment. If you lay down the doctrine that the funds of the Church are the property of the laity, you have no right to touch 1s. of that property in order to give it to any other sects or Churches. [Cheers.] My Lords, I re-rejoice in that cheer, because it shows that at least some noble Lords opposite are standing to their colours; but I claim the support of the doctrine which I have enunciated from every Member of the Liberal party and from the noble Lords on the cross-Benches who have spoken in favour of concurrent endowment. Whether the surplus funds of the Church are to be given for the benefit of the poor, and the alleviation of unavoidable suffering, or distributed indiscriminately among all the sections in Ireland, you have no right to take either view if you adopt the doctrine that to 895 the laity of the Church belongs in right of property the property of the Church. In claiming, therefore, a public tax which has never belonged to the clergy, on the ground that it will go for the benefit of the laity, you lay down a principle which goes to the very root of the Bill, and which would entitle the right rev. Prelate to devote every 1s. of tithes in the same way. The right rev. Prelate told us that he once held a parochial living, and that from his income a certain sum of money was deducted in respect of this tax. But let me ask him whether, when he accepted the presentation to the living, he did not know that it was subject to such a deduction? If so, what right has he to complain that the deduction was made, or to ask that the tax should now be applied for the benefit either of the clergy or the whole Church? I say that, on the same principle he would have a right to claim every 1s. of the funds belonging to the Church. I will not enter further into the question raised by these Amendments. I only wish to point out that it is impossible for the Government to give their assent to Amendments for taking out of the surplus large funds for the re-endowment—because it comes to that— of the Irish Church. Such a course would involve indiscriminate endowments for all the other sects in Ireland, and I have the most perfect conviction that among the questions submitted to the country at the last General Election, one of the most prominent—the one which attracted the greatest amount of attention from the people of the three Kingdoms, and to which they have given the most distinct response—is that on which their verdict has been pronounced against the principle of indiscriminate endowment. If you assent to this Amendment, which involves the principle that the property should go to the Protestant laity, who constitute only one-seventh of the population of Ireland, you will be adopting a principle which will be fatal to the progress of the Bill.
§ LORD CAIRNS
The noble Duke has, in discussing a small Amendment, risen to a pitch of enthusiasm which I should not have thought possible if I had not witnessed it. The noble Duke spoke of a pamphlet which many of your Lordships have no doubt read with great delight. It is the production of a right rev. Prelate, and entitled, I believe, A 896 Speech not Spoken. As I listened to the noble Duke's speech the first question I asked myself was whether the noble Duke had spoken in the debate on the second reading of the Bill. For I confess that the speech he has just made appears as if it had been prepared for the second reading, and not delivered on that occasion. I presume, however, that to-night's speech proceeds from the noble Duke's exuberance of fancy, which has enabled him to make a second speech on the second reading now that we are in Committee. I shall not follow the noble Duke in a discussion of first principles, but I will state a few particulars in regard to which he was inaccurate. The noble Duke says the Bill proceeds upon the principle of entirely ignoring the rights of the laity of the Church, and he further maintains that the laity have no rights, vested or otherwise, to be preserved.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
I said nothing of the kind. What I did say was that the Government never admitted that the small minority of Protestant laity in Ireland have a vested right in the property of the Church. I did not say that they had no right.
§ LORD CAIRNS
I confess I do not understand the subtle distinction of the noble Duke, who says the small minority of Protestant laity have not a right in the property of the Church, although he never said they had no right. The noble Duke denies that the laity have any right to any part of the property of the Church, and I agree that, to a certain extent, that is an accurate statement of the principle of the Bill. I complain of that principle, but I admit that the Bill does ignore to a great extent the rights of the laity. There is, however, one part of the Bill which does admit the rights of the laity in the Church. It is this—The Bill admits that with regard to every life interest preserved by it there is a correlative right on the part of the laity of the Church to all the services and benefits which it was intended they should have when the holders received their appointments. I must request your Lordships to bear that fact in mind in considering this Amendment. Another error is this—The noble Duke said that the tax described by the right rev. Prelate was equivalent to the first fruits. It may, indeed, be so, but only to a very small extent, It comprised 897 the former contribution in the way of first fruits, but this tax goes immensely further than the tax of first fruits ever went. It was made to go further for the express and obvious purpose of providing those requisites and repairs to which my right rev. Friend has referred, and which were formerly provided for by the vestry cess. These are facts as to which there can be no dispute. The illustration of the noble Duke himself disposes of the question. Let me state the position of my right rev. Friend when he was appointed to his Irish benefice. It was a benefice of the value of £650 a year, subject to a tax of £45, paid to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, for the purpose of repairs and providing church requisites. Now, what was the contract made between my right rev. Friend and the laity of the parish at the time he received his appointment to the benefice? I maintain that the contract was this — He was appointed to this benefice with a nominal income of £650; but out of that sum £45 shall be applied by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the purpose of repairs, and supplying church requisites, which, as to some of them directly, and as to others indirectly, the laity would have been obliged to provide for if this arrangement had not been made. And if my right rev. Friend were still the life holder of this benefice, the contract between him and the parish would be broken if the Government were to step in and say—"As this has been a benefice of £650 a year, and as for the £45 there shall be no compensation, henceforward it shall be a benefice of £605 only, and you, the rector, shall be bound to repair the chancel at your own expense and supply the church requisites, because if the laity do not supply them, you, the rector, must." Now, I contend that this contract will be violated by the Bill as it stands.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
Do I understand the noble Lord to say that the £45 goes to the service of this particular parish?
§ LORD CAIRNS
Certainly not; but it goes into a fund out of which the sum required for this particular benefice comes back. If you can shew exactly the amount required for the provision of a particular benefice it might be contended that, after providing that sum, the State might take possession of the 898 tax. That, however, cannot be done The only way in which the arrangement can be carried out is by making the Ecclesiastical Commissioners the recipients of the common fund in order that they may supply the requisites for the various benefices.
§ LORD NORTHBROOK
said, he apprehended that the noble Lord (Lord Cairns) altogether abandoned the proposal that this legal reduction from the incomes of the holders of benefices and other preferments should be given to them and be an addition to the annuities provided by this clause. That was the effect of the Amendment, though he understood that that proposal was now abandoned, and that the Committee was discussing some Amendment which might or might not be a proper one, but which was not before their Lordships. He apprehended that their Lordships would hardly decide upon an Amendment before they had seen it. Taking the view of the noble and learned Lord, it was the right of the laity to have the disposal for their purposes of certain monies which had been taken from the life interests of the clergy and devoted to certain ecclesiastical purposes. These monies amounted to £19,000 per annum, and the life interest of that sum was no less than £200,000. The right rev. Prelate had omitted to mention the two heaviest charges which fell upon this fund — namely, the salaries to parish clerks, amounting in the aggregate to £14,513—and the salaries of the sextons, amounting to £9,668 per annum. The right rev. Prelate had altogether omitted those large items, although he mentioned minor sums for organ-blowers, the tuning of organs, and the washing of surplices. It was most important, however, to bear in mind that the payment of the salaries to the parish clerks and sextons, amounting altogether to upwards of £24,000 a year, was fully provided for under Clause 16.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
said it had been often argued from that (the Opposition) side of the House, that they did not know what was the real policy of the Government, and that some explanation ought to be obtained as to the way in which the Government would deal with the Bill if their Lordships read it a second time. They had had the advantage this evening of hearing from the noble Duke a declaration of the policy 899 of the Government, and he would tell the noble Duke that if he had not been restrained by the wisdom and prudence of his Colleagues—in which wisdom and prudence the noble Duke did not share— from making that speech on the second reading, no power on earth would have induced him (the Marquess of Bath) to give his vote in favour of the second reading of the Bill. The noble Duke had told them what the policy of the Government was to be, and had declared that, whatever else they might agree to, they would not agree to the re-endowment of the Church. The noble Duke had thrown down a sort of challenge to the House, which he for one should not be slow to take up. He would tell the noble Duke that he had voted for the second reading of the Bill in the interest, not of the Irish Church alone, but principally in the interest of that Church, and with a view to make terms for it; and he would regard no terms as sufficient or proper which did not embrace some amount of re-endowment. He would tell the noble Duke that he was prepared to consent to a sacrifice, and a very large sacrifice, of her endowments. But when it was declared that no Amendment would be accepted which embraced the question of re-endowment—[The Duke of ARGYLL: I did not say that.]—he must say that he would vote for Amendments involving a moderate re-endowment, and by those Amendments he would stand, even if by so standing he should bring the walls of that House down about their ears; even if he brought the Constitution of the country to the ground and ruined the fortunes of himself and every Member of that Assembly. With regard, however, to the particular Amendment before the House, he thought it was an Amendment to meet an extremely unfair provision in the Bill; but he would rather suggest that the right rev. Prelate ought not to insist upon it, and for this reason —their great object must be to secure for the Irish Church that which would be permanent, and would remain after present life interests had ceased to exist. Now, the tax under discussion was a tax upon life interests; and therefore if it were diverted to the representative body of the disestablished Church, it would benefit them as long as that Church was in a comparatively prosperous state during the existing life interests; but 900 they would obtain no benefit whatever from it when those life interests expired. Therefore he thought they should limit their demands not to that which, on principles of abstract justice, they might be entitled to ask, but to that which, considerations of prudence would justify, and on that ground he did not think this Amendment should be pressed.
§ On Question?— Their Lordships divided:—Contents 94; Not-Contents 50: Majority 44.901
|Canterbury, Archp.||Llandaff, Bp.|
|York, Archp.||Peterborough, Bp.|
|Dublin, Archp.||Rochester, Bp.|
|St. David's, Bp.|
|Beaufort, D.||Tuam, &c, Bp.|
|Richmond, D.||Berners, L.|
|Wellington, D.||Cairns, L.|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||Churston, L.|
|Bristol, M.||Clonbrock, L.|
|Exeter, M.||Colchester, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Colonsay, L.|
|Tweeddale, M.||Colville of Culross, L. [Teller.]|
|Amherst, E.||Crofton, L.|
|Annesley, E.||Denman, L.|
|Bandon, E.||Digby, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Dunboyne, L.|
|Bradford, E.||Dunsandle and Clanconal, L.|
|Brooke and Warwick, E.|
|Cadogan, E.||Dunsany, L.|
|Derby, E.||Egerton, L.|
|Devon, E.||Fitzwalter, L.|
|Ellenborough, E.||Gage, L. (V. Gage.)|
|Hardwicke, E.||Grinstead, L. (E. Enniskillen.)|
|Harrowby, E.||Heytesbury, L.|
|Lucan, E.||Hylton, L.|
|Morton, E.||Lilford, L.|
|Mount Edgcumbe, E.||Northwick, L.|
|Nelson, E.||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Orkney, E.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Portarlington, E.||Redesdale, L.|
|Powis, E.||Rivers, L.|
|Rosse, E.||Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)|
|Shaftesbury, E.||Saltoun, L.|
|Tankerville, E.||Silchester, L. (E. Long ford.)|
|Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.)||Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)|
|De Vesci, V.||Sondes, L.|
|Gough, V.||Southampton, L.|
|Hawarden, V. [Teller.]||Strathnairn, L.|
|Lifford, V.||Strathspey, L. (E. Sea field.)|
|Talbot de Malahide, L.|
|Bangor, Bp.||Templemore, L.|
|Derry and Raphoe, Bp.||Tredegar, L.|
|Ely, Bp.||Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)|
|Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.|
|Hatherley, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.|
|De Tabley, L.|
|Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)|
|Devonshire, D.||Foley, L. [Teller.]|
|Saint Albans, D.||Granard, L. (E. Granard.)|
|Ailesbury, M.||Lawrence, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Leigh, L.|
|Normanby, M.||Lurgan, L.|
|Meredyth, L. (L. Athlumney.)|
|Chichester, E.||Monck, L. (V. Monck.)|
|Clarendon, E.||Monson, L.|
|De Grey, E.||Northbrook, L.|
|Granville, E.||Panmure, L. (E. Dalhousie.)|
|Kimberley, E.||Penzance, L.|
|Lichfield, E.||Petre, L.|
|Spencer, E.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.) [Teller.]|
|Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.)||Romilly, L.|
|Rossie, L. (L. Kinnaird.)|
|Ashburton, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Belper, L.||Stourton, L.|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)||Suffield, L.|
|Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)|
|Charlemont, L. (E. Charlemont.)||Vernon, L.|
|Clandeboye, L. (L. Dufferin and Claneboye.)|
§ Resolved in the Affirmative.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I desire briefly to state the effect of the Amendment which I have now to propose; and in the first place I must refer to the course I have taken in reference to the last Amendment under discussion. Without thinking that the last Amendment was one to which I could attach any great value, I am bound to say that I was unwilling to seem, by voting with the noble Duke, to accept the doctrine he enunciated, that anything which could be called a re-endowment of the Irish Church, however small it might be, was inconsistent with the principle of the Bill. I offer this small preface, because I am now going to ask the approval of the noble Duke for my Amendment, for I claim it as a champion of the principle of the Bill. I desire to move an Amendment to remove from the Bill what seems to me the most outrageous violation of its principle that was ever suggested. The principle of the Bill is that vested interests should be respected, and that they should be respected in this way—by giving compensation to the clergy for their net income. 902 My noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies defined to us what that net income was. He told us in the late debate—"We desire to compensate the clergyman for his net income, and we deduct certain things which he is obliged to pay." I am about to move that the salaries of permanent curates shall be removed from the list of deductions, on this ground—that the clergyman, as a rule, is not obliged by law to have a curate. It is true that, in exceptional cases, the incumbent is obliged to pay a curate, and if the noble Earl the Secretary of State for the Colonies will move the insertion of exceptions I shall have no objection. In estimating a man's income in law you do not ask how much he spends in charity; but how much money he is forced to spend to make his income, and how much money he is forced to spend by law. These are the only two fair deductions which you can make. It would be as reasonable to deduct from the clergyman's income the sum spent in warming the church or in procuring an organ as to deduct the curate's salary. In estimating the amount of the tithe rent-charge, which is to be made the subject of rating, the curate's salary is certainly not considered as a necessary part of the expenses of the church; in fact, a clergyman is rated on the tithe rent-charge without deducting the curate's salary. I beg leave to ask the noble Earl, could there be anything more pernicious in the interests of the Church than to place a penalty on the employment of curates in estimating the amount of compensation to be given to clergymen? Is it right to fine those clergymen who have been spending a portion of their income in improving the spiritual condition of their parishes, and to make those who have neglected their duty a present of a large annuity as a reward for that neglect?
§ An Amendment moved, in line 25, to leave out (''salaries of permanent curates employed as hereinafter mentioned.")— (The Marquess of Salisbury).
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, I really cannot understand excepting deductions which are necessary payments. The proceedings under the Church Temporalities Act has a strong bearing on this point. In the Returns made to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, incumbents in Ireland have always been al- 903 lowed to deduct what they gave to their curates, even although they did not strictly fulfil the conditions of the Act. But I will not argue the question further, because I have a proposition to make to the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), who, as he apologized for his vote in favour of the last Amendment, will appreciate a suggestion that, whatever Amendments we send down to the other House, they should be based on logical grounds. The Amendment of the noble Marquess will fall to pieces if tested by his own standard of law; and what I propose is that he shall alter the words in some way, so as not to require this deduction to be made from the income of any incumbent who has not already made it in his Return to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. This would at once exempt all those incomes which do not exceed £300 a year, and in some other cases excuse the incumbents who have made that deduction.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, he was afraid he could not accept that suggestion, because an incumbent might have retained "a permanent curate," not dreaming what sense would be put upon the words; but he would not object to put in "salaries of curates whom the incumbent was bound by law to employ." There were such cases, such as the incapacity of the incumbent or excessive population. He could not see that, because a curate had served the spiritual interests of the people for a great many years, he should be regarded as a spiritual luxury.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, that if the noble Marquess would move his Amendment in that way he would not say "Not-content" to it, but would reserve the Government's action on the matter.
thought that there could be no objection to the proposition of the noble Earl. If it was right for a clergyman, when he was stating the amount of his income, in order that it might be taxed, to deduct from it the salary he paid to his curate, it was equally right to deduct the salary when they were calculating the amount of compensation to be paid to the incumbent in consideration of his income.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, he would be the last to justify a clergyman in making one representation now and another then to serve personal interests, but he believed these returns were made yearly, 904 and he could easily understand how family requirements or dissatisfaction with a curate, or even the more perfect performance of parochial duties would induce an incumbent to dismiss a curate he formerly employed, and thus would return his full income this year, while the year before he claimed a deduction on account of a curate. But as the Bill stood the curate was bound to the incumbent, and they were sent through the world a sort of Mezentian copula. One weighty reason in favour of the Amendment was that under the new order of things the incumbent would have to make a greater expenditure in regard to charities and expenses of the Church, and he would most probably find it necessary to work harder—to do all the work, in fact, and dispense with a curate for the sake of his family.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, he thought the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) would, on consideration, be inclined to agree to the proposition of the noble Earl (Earl Granville). He was ready to admit that it was a matter of considerable difficulty to define a permanent curate. There was a more recent act than the Church Temporalities Act—namely, 14 & 15 Vict. c. 73, in which occurred the phrase "the legal salary of a permanent or necessary curate or curates." The law, therefore, contemplated cases in which a curate was both permanent and necessary, and he thought it would only be fair to make such an arrangement that the salary of a permanent and necessary curate should be deducted. In England, where there was a curate—and he must be employed by the incumbent—his salary was always made a matter of deduction in calculating the value of a living. If there were two parishes which were once separate livings, but had been consolidated, and the Bishop required four services on the Sunday, it was impossible that the incumbent could perform all four, and it followed that he must employ a curate, so that in estimating the vested right of the clergyman it would be contrary to justice to reckon the salary paid to the curate. Therefore he would urge the noble Marquess to consider the suggestion which had been made, and to insert words which would make it quite explicit that where the curate was permanent and necessary his salary should be deducted in calculating the value of the benefice.
§ THE DUKE OF CLEVELAND
said, that those who had anything to do with the sale of advowsons knew that the salaries of curates were elements for lessening their value.
§ LORD WESTBURY
said, he would suggest the use of words implying that the salary should be deducted if the incumbent was required by law to maintain the curate. He must also call attention to a proviso in the 15th clause, that the annuity of the curate "shall cease if, owing to his misconduct, without the incumbent's consent, he quit the curacy." He thought the noble Marquess would accept the Amendment suggested by the noble Earl the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ Clause amended as follows:—"Salaries of curates employed under obligation of law."
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
said, he rose to move the insertion of words the effect of which would be to make the clause read that the Commissioners, in ascertaining the amount of an income, should deduct all rates and taxes, excepting payments to diocesan schoolmasters, visitation fees, and other payments for the maintenance of registries and Ecclesiastical Courts, and charges under the Drainage Acts and instalments of loans for building made by Board of First Fruits. His Lordship said he did not propose to press the Amendment with regard to schoolmasters, which amounted in the aggregate only to £1,500 a year. As regarded the metropolitan vicars general he had not a word to say, but he never could see the use of them in the rural parts of Ireland. Sometimes the vicar general was a Bishop's son, sometimes his nephew; generally a clergyman, rarely a lawyer, and on the ad valorem principle his salary would be exceedingly small. His duties were to give legal advice to the Bishop, and to perform occasionally certain legal functions for the clergy; the vicar general, therefore, existed not for the benefit of the laity, but for the benefit of the Bishop and of the clergy. Perhaps once in a year the vicar general might decide a question of almonry; but mainly and almost entirely the vicars general and the courts and. the registries were for the benefit of the Bishops and of the clergy. The 21st section of the Bill 906 abolished these courts and the duties of vicars general, and it expressly repealed by name the very Act which imposed this odious and unpopular tax on the clergy. The services were abolished, and yet payment of the tax was to be required. The special hardship was that in the case of diocesan schoolmasters and vicars general the deduction from the income was a permanent one; and yet, after the passing of the Bill, the vicar general might die, and so might the diocesan schoolmaster, and yet a permanent deduction would be made from the income of the clergyman. To continue paying an annuity to a dead vicar general or a dead schoolmaster was a singular way of respecting vested life interests. The instalments referred to in the Amendment were re-payments of loans extending over twenty-two years. Supposing a clergyman, six months before the passing of this Bill, had paid the last instalment due under the Drainage Acts, he would be required by this Bill to pay the same amount year after year for the rest of his life, so that if he lived twenty-two years he would have paid his debt to the Government twice, and, if he lived forty-four years, three times over. This he would venture to call shabby. When the second reading of the Bill was under their Lordships' consideration, he had employed some strong adjectives in referring to the character of its provisions. He had stated that, in his opinion, some of its provisions were intensely shabby; but in so saying he felt convinced that their character had not been thoroughly understood by the noble Lords near him. He believed that he was rather entitled to their Lordships' gratitude for his attention to this matter. His Amendment would have the effect of rendering this part of the clause more in accordance with his idea of justice.
Amendment moved, in line 27, after ("law") insert—
("Excepting payments to diocesan schoolmasters, visitation fees, and other payments for the maintenance of registries and ecclesiastical courts and charges under the Drainage Acts.")—(The Bishop of Peterborough.)
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, he differed from his right rev. Friend in his opinion of what was justice. The right rev. Prelate no doubt thought this a mean and shabby Bill, because of the very principle which it was intended to 907 carry out. It might, perhaps, be a very-shabby thing to disestablish the Irish. Church, compensating only the holders of vested interests for their lives, but if so, that was a question of principle upon which, of course, he did not entertain the same views as the right rev. Prelate. The Government, however, were perfectly willing to make any reasonable concession to his right rev. Friend, and, as this was a small matter, they would accordingly accept the Amendment with the exception of the words "and charges under the Drainage Acts." The Government would also accede to the Amendment to be moved by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), which was in line 27, after the word "law," to insert—"but the Commissioners shall have regard to the prospective increase (if any) of such income by the falling in or cessation of charges thereon."
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
Amendment made by inserting the words—
("Under obligation of law, and also excepting payments for visitation fees, and other payments for the maintenance of registries and ecclesiastical courts.")
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
My Lords, I wish to bring under your notice the case of the small incumbents in Ireland. According to statistics furnished to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, it appears that in Ireland there are 300 small benefices, the net income of each of which is under £100 a year, 259 of which the net income is between £100 and £150, and 121 of which the net income is over £150 and under £200. In 300 benefices the incumbents are worse off than curates, because they have to pay expenses for which curates are not liable; but they have expectations of promotion, and on the ground of those expectations I am about to ask that compensation be given to them. I claim the compensation on the authority of Mr. Mill. Writing on this subject, Mr. Mill says—Some laws cannot be altered without painfully frustrating existing and authorized expectations, for which, therefore, compensation is in all or most cases due. Now in the case of Church property, no authorized expectations are defeated unless those of existing incumbents.908 To which Mr. Mill adds in a foot-note—To make the proposition absolutely unassailable, instead of 'existing incumbents,' it should, perhaps, be said persons actually in Orders. All authorized expectations of unbeneficed expectants would be satisfied by postponing the resumption for a sufficient number of years to enable their expectation, if well grounded, to become possession.The principle laid down by Mr. Mill amounts to this—that everyone having a reasonable expectation of promotion in the Irish Church should be allowed to realize that expectation before the nation takes possession of the property of that Church. I do not say that this would be a convenient course if this Bill is to pass; but in this case there is a discounting by the nation of a post obit on the Irish Church, and I think that there should be a very tender consideration of the case of the incumbents, in whose favour I am about to move an Amendment. I will refer your Lordships to a passage in the speech of the First Minister of the Crown — one of those speeches on which the verdict of the nation was taken. In one of those speeches made by him last year Mr. Gladstone said—I am bound to say, in speaking of vested interests, that it appears to me at least a matter for argument and consideration, whether we can strictly and absolutely limit the phrase to those who are actually in possession of benefices, or whether some regard ought not possibly to be had —though it would be premature to give an opinion upon the point—to the case of those who have devoted themselves to an indelible profession that separates them from the great bulk of profitable secular employments, in expectation of the benefices which we have kept in existence by law under our authority, even though they may not actually have entered upon them.It does appear to me that there is the authority of the Prime Minister, I do not say for agreeing to my Amendment, but for favourably considering the case of those incumbents. Let us suppose that the average income of an Irish benefice is £200; you may pay a man that amount either by giving him £200 a year for life, or by giving him £100 a year for part of his life and £300 a year for the remainder of it. This is the case with those incumbents. They accepted £100 a year with the prospect of preferment. I do not say that every small incumbent can legally claim £200 a year; but I say that he has a moral claim to it, on the ground of the loss of his reasonable expectation of preferment. I ask £200 909 a year for those men; but that, perhaps, is less than the amount to which they are morally entitled, because the average value of a benefice in Ireland is between £250 and £260. My reason for adopting £200 as the figure in my Amendment is that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of Ireland are empowered by the Church Temporalities Act to increase the small benefices to £200 a year as funds come in; and it was on the strength of this expectation—that the small benefices would be raised to £200—many of those small incumbents gave up curacies and accepted those benefices. That I know of my own knowledge. I do not think I can state the case better than by reading an extract from a letter written by one of those clergymen. He says—I was induced to give up excellent prospects in the diocese of Cloyne, and to accept the perpetual curacy of—, considering that I was making a very prudent move, as under the provisions of the Irish Church Temporalities Acts (vide 3 & 4 Will. IV., c. 90, s. 6; 3 & 4 Will. IV., c. 37; 4 & 5 Will. IV., c. 90; and 6 & 1 Will. IV., c. 99) I was legally entitled to succeed to the rectorial income of the parish of which I am perpetual curate. I purchased, as I believed, a reversionary interest of £350 a year, secured to me by Act of Parliament, and yet now I am to be robbed of this legal vested interest which I sacrificed so much to secure, and to be left, after a service in the ministry of twenty-eight years, without any provision beyond £100 a year.If the Government think that the sum I propose is too large, let them at all events give as a dole, if only as a dole, some compensation for the bitterly disappointed expectations of these poor men. I would now say one word as to the argument which we have frequently heard used in this discussion, founded on what is alleged to be the impropriety and injustice of giving any sum of money out of the surplus of the Church revenues to the Church herself or to the clergy. I, for one, must strongly contend, in opposition to that argument, that no such surplus can exist until every just claim of theirs has been fairly and generously considered. When you have satisfied every such claim, and have even met their appeals ad misericordiam, for you have announced that you would deal with them in a generous spirit, then, and not till then, have you a right to name the word surplus. If a claim be made for 6d. which is not just and equitable, do not grant it; but if the claim be just and equitable, then it ought, I maintain, to be a matter of pure indifference to the 910 British nation whether the surplus is exhausted or not in meeting it, or whether a sum should be paid out of the Imperial Treasury for that purpose if it could be met by no other means. I ask the Government, therefore, whether there was no room for the exhibition of a little degree of mercy in dealing with the blighted prospects and ruined hopes of those whose cause I am pleading. It is a sad fact that since this Bill has been laid on your Lordships' table one of these poor men, whom I know to be a scholar, a gentleman, and a Christian man, has gone raving mad about its provisions. He is now a lunatic in an asylum, where he can talk only of the injustice which it has done him and of his starving children. I do not mention this unhappy circumstance as a device to gain your Lordships' support, but merely as an illustration of the severity with which this Bill will press upon many excellent men for whom I entreat this House in some way or other to provide.
Amendment moved, in line 39, after ("aforesaid") insert—
("And in all cases in which the entire ecclesiastical income of any beneficed clergyman in Ireland shall be ascertained by the Commissioners to be less than two hundred pounds a year, the annuity payable to him under this section by the said Commissioners shall be such a sum as, together with his other ecclesiastical income, if any, shall amount to two hundred pounds a year.")— (The Bishop of Peterborough.)
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
My Lords, the right rev. Prelate has insisted at great length on the necessity of doing justice by this Bill, and the language which he has used in plain terms means neither more nor less than this—that it is, in his opinion, a very unjust measure. But if noble Lords approach the discussion of its provisions in that temper, and with a determination to find in every line of it some menace or niggardliness, I am afraid it will be difficult to satisfy them. The view which we take of the Bill, however, is different from that to which the right rev. Prelate has given expression, who, while he spoke of justice, still found it necessary to use the word mercy. I do not mean to say that this is not a Bill of Pains and Penalties in one sense, as far as the Irish Church is concerned. How, I should like to know, could any man propose to disestablish an ancient Church, and hold a contrary opinion? But, while it is a Bill of Pains and Penalties, we are bound to see that all due and fair com- 911 pensation is given under its provisions; and if we were now engaged in merely endeavouring to reform the Irish Church, and to effect a re-adjustment of its property, I should think nothing more just or reasonable than that as an Established Church the amount paid to its clergy should not be less than £200 a year. This, however, is a Bill for disestablishing and disendowing the Irish Church, and it is, I contend, altogether inconsistent with its principle to propose to increase the incomes of its clergy, for that is what the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate really amounts to. Under the provisions of the Bill, no doubt, the clergy are deprived of many advantages they would otherwise possess—for instance, a curate may not have the possibility of obtaining a seat on the Episcopal Bench; but is he, in consequence, to be entitled to compensation? The right rev. Prelate made a quotation from a speech of Mr. Gladstone's, but it is quite obvious that in that speech my right hon. Friend was referring to the case of the curates, and that he simply meant to imply, that in giving compensation for vested interests it was necessary to look, not only to the incomes of the clergy secured by law, but to the case of those whose incomes were not so secured, and for whom it was but just and reasonable that compensation should be provided. I am sorry to have on the part of the Government to say that it is impossible for us to assent to a proposal which we deem to be altogther inconsistent with the scope and intention of the Bill.
§ THE EARL OF HARROWBY
said, he regretted the tone assumed by the noble Earl (the Earl of Kimberley) in describing the Bill as a measure of Pains and Penalties. That was not the tone which had been adopted by those who were responsible for it at the recent elections. Then the claims of the Irish clergy were to be matters for fair and generous consideration, but now hard, strict, sweeping justice was to be meted out to her, as limited by legal definitions. The case of the poor clergy to whom the Amendment related was, he contended, very similar to that of the curates, and he trusted the Government would forbear from acting in a spirit of hunting down men, and taking a course which tended to drive them into lunatic asylums; for that was not the spirit in which they 912 had appealed to the country in favour of their measure.
THE EARL OF ST. MAUR
said, he had listened with deep regret to the observations which had fallen from the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough), who seemed to him to have set up the claims of the clergy in opposition to those of the Church itself.
THE BISHOP OF DERRY
said, that in supporting the Amendment, he would quote the words used by Sir Roundell Palmer, in the discussions on the Bill in the other House, as applicable in the present case—We have now come to a point where the Bill manifestly breaks down upon the grounds of justice.He had been very much struck with the statement made by the right rev. Prelate who moved the Amendment (the Bishop of Peterborough), that there were no less than 300 incumbents in Ireland with incomes under £100 a year. Their case was seriously deserving their Lordships' attention. These incumbents were certainly very much underpaid; and they had consented to accept such small incomes in the expectation of in due course obtaining promotion, all hope of which was cut off by the Bill. The expectations which these poor clergymen had were, he contended, not to be spoken of lightly. One strange feature of human nature was, that although it was keenly alive to individual suffering, it was often callous to collective suffering. This, perhaps, was one reason why the cause of the poor curates was regarded with such coldness and apathy. Persons often heard with indifference of 500 or 1,000 men being killed in battle who were greatly moved by some case of individual suffering. Poverty was not the thing which these incumbents dreaded, for a Christian man could bear up against that; but what they dreaded was the hopeless poverty which stared them in the face, with no visible means of escape in the shape of preferment. Some of their Lordships had been kind enough to express a wish to retain for the Irish Bishops the privilege of a seat in that House. Whether, under the circumstances of the Irish Church, a seat in their Lordships' House were really a privilege or benefit, or not, this he could honestly say, that he would gladly resign such a privilege if the power or possibility were only left in his hands of 913 alleviating the distress and misery of some of these excellent men. Among them were many gentlemen highly educated. An appreciable number of the Irish clergy were members of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the majority had been educated in the University of Dublin. Appeals had often been made to Scripture in the course of this debate, and he would quote, though not in any offensive sense, the text—"Behold the cry of them that reap your fields entereth into the ears of the Lord of Hosts." In its present shape the Amendment, perhaps, might not be adopted, but he most earnestly hoped that the Bill would not be one merely of Pains and Penalties, but that something would be done by the Government to mitigate the suffering which its provisions undoubtedly would cause.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
I rise, my Lords, to enter the strongest possible protest against your Lordships being asked to vote for this particular Amendment. I gather from the speech of the right rev. Prelate who has just sat down that it is not intended to press it in its present form, although something different, he thinks, may possibly be adopted.
THE BISHOP OF LICHFIELD
said, he hoped that something in the nature of the Amendment would be adopted. These men had spent the best portion of their lives in performing poorly remunerated duties, in the hope that they would be promoted to better livings. The Bill, although not one for the reform of the Irish Church, would touch interests called into existence by previous measures of reform. He spoke in the hearing of members of the two Ecclesiastical Commissions when he stated that distinct inducements had been held out to clergymen by former Acts of Parliament. Throughout the whole of the Black Country at this moment men were labouring faithfully upon incomes of £100 a year in the full expectation that Parliament, which had stripped the cathedrals of their surplus revenues, would raise the incomes of incumbents to an amount on which it would be possible to live.
§ THE EARL OF BANDON
said he could corroborate the statement of the right rev. Prelate that, unless something were done such as he proposed, great injustice would be done to those men. He was personally acquainted with the clergy- 914 man to whose melancholy case the right rev. Prelate had referred. He hoped the Motion would be pressed to a division.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
said, he greatly sympathized with the feelings which had induced the right rev. Prelate to bring forward this Amendment, but he could not help expressing a hope that it would not be pressed to a division. It deserved consideration whether, in another shape, it might not be re-introduced; but the clause amended as proposed could hardly be sent down to the House of Commons with any chance of its being accepted. For what did the Amendment propose? Simply that when the income of any beneficed clergyman in Ireland should be ascertained to be less than £200 a year, his annuity should be increased to £200. Their Lordships would, in fact, stultify themselves, for they would accept a clause which would at one and the same time compensate a man in possession of a salary of £300 a year with £300, and a man with a salary of £100 with £200. The matter only required to be stated for the House to perceive that by adopting this proposal they would be placing themselves in a false position.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he was delighted at the expressions which had just fallen from the noble Earl. He did not suppose, when their Lordships went into Committee on this Bill, that they would be asked to embark on the consideration of any proposition so wide as that of the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough). The Bill gave to the holder of every office the full value of his appointment, and then it was proposed, in addition, to compensate men who hoped to obtain these very appointments. That was to say, having given compensation for all existing interests, they were then asked to pay men for their expectancies. This was not a reasonable proposition, or consistent with the earnest desire to consider the Bill fairly and calmly with which their Lordships had gone into Committee. He hoped the measure would not be thrown out by a side wind. If the House were to vote an Amendment which the Mover himself declared he could not support in its integrity, it would argue a determination on the part of their Lordships not to give a fair consideration to the proposals of the Government.
said, he agreed with his noble Friend (the Earl of Kimberley) and the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) that, for the reasons given, this Amendment in its present shape could not be adopted. But he felt, he confessed, greatly disappointed that the noble and learned Lord (the Lord Chancellor) and his noble Friend, in rejecting the Amendment, had neither of them held out any hope that they would reconsider what undoubtedly was a case of very great hardship. Here they found clergymen who for twenty or thirty years had worked hard as curates, in the full assurance and expectation that a competence awaited them, suddenly and summarily cut off by this Bill from all chance of improvement of income. Some of these men had families, and all were men of education; they had served all the best of their lives, and they had, but for this Bill, a moral certainty of promotion. He did not ask his noble Friends to decide at once in what manner they would meet this case, but he did ask them to hold out an assurance that before the Bill was reported they would take the subject into their consideration, and by some means or other would enable the Commissioners to deal with exceptional cases of hardship. The case was one falling precisely within the description contained in the speech of the First Minister of the Crown, already quoted by the right rev. Bishop. Why was this extreme severity shown to these unfortunate men? Was it because of the urgent demands upon the surplus property of the Church? So far from this, the Government seemed to be absolutely embarrassed to dispose of the money, and had exercised no small amount of ingenuity, not with perfect success, in trying to discover some mode of applying this money which would not do positive harm. There was, then, no reason why these persons should not receive consideration. He had always thought that the grievance of the people of Ireland was not a mere pecuniary grievance, but that what they wanted was to put an end to a badge of degradation. Until now they had always been told that the utmost indulgence and consideration would be shown for individual interests, and he hoped these promises would be adhered to. He did not ask the Government to decide at this moment what course they would adopt, 916 but hoped they would look into the question and try to discover some means of providing for this case of hardship.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, he was obliged to the noble Earl (Earl Grey) for advising the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough) to withdraw his Amendment, but he wished that he had laid down the principles on which the Commissioners were to give effect to his wishes. He (Earl Granville) knew of no instance in which the course recommended was adopted. It constantly happened that compensation was given to holders of civil appointments; but he was totally unaware of any instance in which compensation had been given for injury to prospects. Nor did he agree that from these persons all hope was taken away. He had a letter from a small beneficed clergyman in Tipperary, who said he had been doing duty for the incumbents of many parishes, eight or ten miles distant, they being sine-curists and absentees. ["Name!"] He had not got the letter with him, but should be happy to give the name and the whole particulars. Surely, such a man as that, so far from requiring compensation, would benefit by the change effected by the Bill. He believed that the average of livings in the Free Kirk was £250 a year, and surely if there was a free Church in Ireland the small pittance received by one who was doing the work of many others would be increased. Under a voluntary system he could not believe that the Irish Protestants would neglect to provide for clergymen like his correspondent. With regard, however, to the suggestion which had been made to the Government by his noble Friend, unless he could have some clear notion of the principle on which they could act he was unable to hold out any hope of acceding to the suggestion.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, it appeared to him that the principle of the Amendment was the principle of the Bill—namely, the relief of unavoidable calamity. There would be a considerable surplus, and he did not believe that any case of unavoidable calamity was more deserving of pity and consideration than the case of men who, having entered into a profession which was subject to many burdens and vicissitudes, suddenly found themselves by the action of Parliament cut off from the hopes 917 which, they had reasonably indulged. He would not rest their claim on the legal ground of compensation, but while admitting that the Amendment could not be adopted, and while joining in the appeal to the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough) to withdraw the Amendment, he must avow his entire agreement with those who thought that these were cases above all others requiring compassionate consideration from the Government, and that these funds being available for the relief of human misery, there was no class of human misery to which they could be more justly applied. The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Earl Granville) had rather exaggerated the case against these unfortunate men. No doubt, they had no legal right to promotion. On the other hand, all the testimony which reached us from Ireland went to show that they had a customary claim to promotion, and that five-sixths of the Church patronage being in the hands of the Bishops, the curate had a reasonable prospect of promotion to a small living, and of promotion from a small to a greater living. In that hope they had accepted employment which otherwise they would not have accepted, and they were therefore entitled to the most favourable consideration.
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
said, he could not but act on the suggestions which had been made to him, and he would not, therefore, press his Amendment. In doing so he wished to answer a statement made by the noble and learned Lord (the Lord Chancellor). He had never said that he was not prepared to support his own Amendment. What he meant to say was, that he thought the Amendment was strictly fair and equitable, but that if, in the opinion of the Government, it was too large in its terms, he would not press it, but would leave them to find other ways of dealing with this case of hardship. The principle he now advocated was adopted in the Bill itself in dealing with the case of stipendiary curates.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN moved, to insert the following clause:—
In case the holder of any preferment shall become disabled as aforesaid, then such holder if
he be an archbishop or bishop shall with the licence of such person or persons as may be authorized to grant such license by the said church according to the rules for the time being in force for the regulation thereof, or if he be the holder of a benefice or cathedral preferment, then with the licence of the bishop of the diocese for the time being, make such provision for the discharge of his said duties as the person or persons so authorized, or the bishop, as the case may be, shall approve, and for payment of the sum necessary for that purpose out of his annuity, and thereupon the commissioners shall pay such portion of the annuity of such holder to the person appointed to discharge the said duties, so long as he shall continue to discharge the same, and the residue to such holder; and in case such holder shall not obtain such licence and make such provision as aforesaid, the commissioners shall, during his life or until he obtain such licence and make such provision, pay his annuity to the representative body of the church, who shall thereupon make such provision there out for the performance of the duties of such holder as shall in the case of an archbishop or bishop be directed in writing by the person or persons authorized thereto by the said church, or in the case of the holder of a benefice or cathedral preferment by the bishop of the diocese for the time being, and shall pay the residue thereof to such holder.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause added.
§ Clause 15 (Compensation to curates).
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
proposed to amend the clause, which said that the annuity of the curate was to cease in case of misconduct, but, as the noble and learned Lord (Lord Westbury) had pointed out, implied that if the misconduct was with the incumbent's consent he might retain his annuity. The clause also bound up the curate with his immediate rector, and made his annuity depend on the performance of the duties of that particular curacy. This was not just to the curate, whose claim to compensation arose from the fact of his having entered into the profession, and he should be enabled to obtain his income so long as he exercised his profession in Ireland with the consent of the Church Body. He, therefore, proposed not to tie the curate to the particular incumbent, but allow him to perform his duty in any part of Ireland. He had been strongly pressed by the curates to make the payment of the annuity irrespective of the performances of duties altogether, but such a provision would be inconsistent with the spirit of the Bill, and would not be fair to the laity. The most rev. Primate (the Archbishop of Dublin) had an Amendment to the same effect, and he (the Marquess of Salisbury) had no prejudice 919 in favour of his own Amendment; but, if the most rev. Primate accepted it, he proposed to amend the clause from line 19 to line 31, so that it might stand as follows:—The commissioners shall inquire whether any curate, serving as such at any time between the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine and first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, is to be deemed a permanent curate, and shall determine the same, having regard to the length or term of his service, the duties to be discharged in the benefice, the non-residence, infirmity, or other incapacity of the incumbent, or his habit of employing a curate. The commissioners shall ascertain and declare by order the amount of yearly income received by any such permanent curate, and shall pay to every such curate so long as he lives and continues to discharge the duties of his said curacy, or any other spiritual duties in Ireland, which with his own consent and with the consent of the church body herein-after mentioned may be substituted for them, or if not discharging such duties shall be disabled from so doing by age, sickness, or permanent infirmity, or any cause other than his own wilful default, an annuity commencing on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two equal to the amount of such yearly income, or shall on the application of such curate, made at any time between the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one and the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, and with the consent of the church body herein-after mentioned, cause the present value of such life annuity to be estimated, and pay the same to such curate for his own benefit.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN
said, he was prepared to give way upon that matter to the noble Marquess, (the Marquess of Salisbury); and, unless it was the wish of their Lordships, he should not press his Amendment. He was strongly of opinion that the arrangement proposed by the Bill as to the relative position of curates and rectors, would be productive of much inconvenience, and he had little doubt that the use of the vague term "permanent curate" would be fruitful in causing disputes between rectors and curates, which would necessitate the assumption of episcopal offices by the Commissioners. His Amendment was, that in lieu of paying to curates their salaries while they are continuing to discharge their duties, they should receive a gratuity of £100 for every year during which they had been curates, such gratuity not to exceed £1,500, nor to be less than £300. He was not asking the House to introduce any new principle into the Bill, for in the 39th clause the 920 same principle was acted upon with regard to the Ministers of the Presbyterian Church. The expectations of the curates ought to be regarded, and what he asked for them could not be regarded as excessive, especially when it was remembered that a clergyman was incapacitated from following any other profession.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, he would point out that the Amendment of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) and the Bill of the Government only differed in regard to the terms on which compensation was to be granted to permanent curates. The Bill of the Government made the annuity of the curate depend upon his health and his abilities to discharge the duties of his curacy; whereas the annuity of the incumbent was to continue, even if by reason of sickness, old age, or other infimity he was disabled from performing his duties. The moment a curate, even a permanent curate, fell sick, his annuity, according to the Bill as it stood, would cease. That, he thought, never could have been intended by the framers of the measure, but must have arisen through inadvertence. He should support the Amendment of the noble Marquess in preference to that of the most rev. Primate.
§ LORD NORTHBROOK
said, he wished to suggest to the most rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Dublin) to withdraw his Amendment in favour of that of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury).
§ After a few words from the LORD CHANCELLOR,
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, that incumbents and curates both had vested interests under the Bill. The incumbent was to be compensated for his net income only, deducting what he was legally bound to pay. As to the curate, last year Mr. Gladstone said that, in consideration of the indelible character of his profession, he was to have more than his bare legal right— namely, something for his fair expectations.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, there were two classes of curates; first, the permanent curates, who had a right to their position by law, and whose salaries were deducted from the income of the rectors; and next, there was a class of curates who were liable to be 921 removed on very short notice by the rector. Both of these classes were to receive compensation under the Bill though on a different scale. He could not consent to give curates who had no legal right whatever to their position, and who might be removed at a few months' notice, the full compensation given to rectors and permanent curates.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, that in dealing with the rector the question was, was he compellable by law to have a curate? And if he was so, they were to deduct from his annuity the expense of the curate. The rector might be compelled by law to employ a curate, and yet, with the consent of the Bishop, the rector might employ one curate for six months and another curate for another six months; and neither of them would be a permanent curate. In the case of the curate, no matter where he was employed or whether the rector employed him under compulsion or not, the question was, was he to be regarded as a permanent or as a temporary curate? By the Bill the Commissioners were to determine that question by having regard to the length or term of his service and other considerations. And if they said a curate was a permanent one, he would be compensated and would come within the scope of his noble Friend's (the Marquess of Salisbury's) Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 16 (Compensation to diocesan schoolmasters, clerks, and sextons).
said, he had to pro pose that similar compensation be given to members of cathedrals who now hold their offices for life or during good be havour, so as to include organists and choirmen. All those who held freehold offices were compensated by payment of their salary for life; but those who were not freeholders were simply compensated by payment of one year's salary. But it happened that the holders of such offices were in precisely the same position whether the office was freehold or not. In the case of Armagh, the organist was a freeholder and the choirmen were not; in Christ Church the choirmen were free holders and the organist not, although the duties were the same respectively. The salary of the Christ Church organist had been paid without interrup- 922 tion for 369 years, and though it was not a freehold office every organist had held the office for life.
Amendment moved, after line 12 insert the following sub-section—
(1.) The amount of yearly income which each non-cipitular officer, stipendiary lay clerk, or other member of a cathedral church in Ireland is, either by contract or by custom, entitled to receive for his life or during good behaviour; line 13, "(1.)" to be altered to "(2.);" line 20, "(2.)" to be altered to "(3.);" line 25, after ("such") insert ("non-capitular officer, stipendiary lay clerk, or other member of a cathedral church.")—(The Earl Nelson).
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, he could not accept the proposition that a man who was not a freeholder should be compensated as if he were.
§ LORD CAIRNS
said, many offices were held during good behaviour, and it would be a positive breach of the terms on which the office was held to dismiss except for good cause. He had received many statements from organists stating they had left lucrative employment to fill their present office, and that they had agreed with the Dean and Chapter to fill the office during good behaviour; one organist stated he had been educated especially for the peculiar duties of his office, which he has held for many years. It was unjust to treat such a man with less liberality than a sexton or parish clerk. Could their Lordships see any difference between the offices of sexton and organist? He suggested that the clause should be made more comprehensive, and give full compensation to all those who had documentary or personal evidence to show they held their office during good behaviour.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ An Amendment made.
Whenever any annuity herein provided as compensation for the holder of any archbishopric, bishopric, benefice, cathedral preferment, or curacy, or for any person holding the office of clerk or sexton, shall become forfeited or cease otherwise than by the death of such holder, save only in the case herein-before provided for in the fourteenth section of this Act, then a like annuity shall thenceforth during the life of such holder be paid by the commissioners to the representative body of the church, who shall there out make such provision for the discharge of the duties of such holder as in the case of a holder of an archbishopric or bishopric shall be directed in writing by the said church, and in all other cases as to the bishop of the diocese (or the time being may seem fit."—(The Earl of Courtown.)
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, they ought to proceed regularly. They were now considering how people were to be compensated, and when they had ascertained the surplus that was left it would be time to consider the disposal of it.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 17 agreed to.
§ Clause 18 (Compensation to lay patrons).
EARL GRANVILLE moved an Amendment, in page 8, line 20, after ("per. sons" insert—
("Provided always, that where any person would, but for the provisions of the statutes affecting Roman Catholics in reference to conformity to the Established Church, have had at the passing of this Act any such advowson or right of presentation vested in him, he shall be entitled to compensation for such advowson or right of presentation in the same manner as if the same were then actually vested in such person.")
THE EARL OF DERBY
said, they were about to disendow the Church, so as to render future patronage absolutely null and void. What principle were they to lay down as to the value of the patronage? What was the value that it was proposed to give to patrons for a right which could not be exercised till its value had been rendered nil. According to the principle of the Bill they were to respect all life interests; but what could be the value of that interest which, the moment it was called into action, ceased to have any value? Suppose a living of £100 a year; a man might be prepared to give eight or ten years' purchase for the right of presentation in ordinary circumstances; but what would be its value, when, according to this Bill, the right of presentation would cease with the life of the present incumbent? He had no Amendment to propose, but he really should like to know upon what principle the Commissioners were to calculate the value of that which by this Bill was destroyed.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, the principle on which the Bill proceeded was to give compensation wherever property was taken away, and that was the case in the question of patronage, as well as in the life interest of each living. The course to adopt would naturally be to 924 ascertain what had been the market value for some years past, and make that the basis for the compensation.
THE EARL OF DERBY
What the value was two years ago would be a very different thing from the market value after the passing of this Bill. I do not object to the principle of taking the present market value as a basis.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
The Commissioners will, of course, proceed to ascertain what the market value of the advowsons would have been, supposing the Irish Church had not been disestablished. [Laughter.] Noble Lords opposite laugh, but it is evident that the object is to estimate the money value at the rate which could have been obtained in the market previous to the passing of this Bill. The Commissioners will have to consider what has been the usual market price, and that I venture to say can be ascertained by any child.
THE EARL OF DERBY
Perhaps it would be as well if Her Majesty's Government would lay down in the clause distinctly the principle upon which they intend to act.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 19 to 22 [Powers of Church after passing of Act] postponed.
§ Clauses 23 to 31 [Dealings between Commissioners and representative Church Body].
§ Clause 23 (Redemption of annuities and life interest of ecclesiastical persons).
§ THE EARL OF CARNARVON, in rising to propose an Amendment dealing with the question of the commutation of life interests, expressed a preference for the plan which he proposed to that which had been placed upon the Paper by the Archbishop of York. The noble Earl continued—Looking at the matter from my point of view, I cannot help thinking, whatever may be the intentions of Her Majesty's Government, that the Convocation proposed by this Bill must be a failure, and it must be a failure because it will neither possess a large area of congregations nor be backed up by a considerable reserve fund. In these respects I believe my Amendment will greatly improve the Bill. The calculations, too, are made upon the ordinary life tables, but it is very well known that the lives of the clergy are considerably 925 longer on the average than those of the laity. The result of the plan proposed will, I believe, be that the system of commutations will be of a very close and almost niggardly character. As, too, the Government propose to buy the annuities at the rate of 3½ per cent, and they are already empowered under the Post Office Act to sell annuities at 3 per cent, they will by the scheme proposed be enabled to turn over ½ per cent, and that, too, out of the wrecked fortunes of the Irish Church. Now, my Lords, the first argument which I shall venture to urge in favour of my plan appears to me to be so strong that if I had no other I should submit it to your Lordships as conclusive. It is, that by providing for a general and early capitalization, you will close at once all the vexatious, protracted, and irritating controversy on business which will otherwise go on between the Commissioners and the various incumbents. When you look at the state of things at present existing in Ireland, and when you bear in mind the state of things which will be produced by this Bill, you cannot be too strongly impressed with the importance of closing these transactions at the earliest possible moment. It would have another advantage, and one which I would strongly press upon the attention of Her Majesty's Government, because they must desire to bring this Bill into conformity and consistency with the principles which they have announced. Now, we have been told repeatedly that the great principle which Her Majesty's Government has kept in view has been that of equality. Now, I will venture to say that, tested as I will test it by this principle, this Bill cannot be said to be consistent. In the case of Maynooth, the life interests of the Professors and the temporary and fugitive interests of the students are thrown together; and let me observe, in passing, that while the temporary and fugitive interests of the students are represented in the annual grant by £20,000, the life interests of the Professors are represented by only £6,000 of that grant. But, in estimating the compensation to Maynooth, the whole £26,000 is multiplied by the figure 14. The total of the life interests in the Irish Church, exclusive of the curates, amounts, I think, to £5,000,000, and with the curates to £5,700,000. Of the £400,000 to Maynooth, about one- 926 third will go to satisfy annuitants, and two-thirds are left, if necessary, for the re-endowment of Maynooth. In the next place, I want to point out with regard to the Irish Church what is the average expectation of life. The figures which Mr. Gladstone himself has used show that in the case of the Archbishops and Bishops it is twelve years; in that of the incumbents thirteen years, which gives an average of twelve and a-half years; but the average for the curates is seventeen years, which brings up the general average to fourteen years, and that is what is claimed. If the average is taken for the Archbishops, Bishops, and beneficed clergy—namely, twelve and a-half years, that will leave a difference of a year and a-half between your treatment of the Irish Church and your treatment of Maynooth. Again, look at the matter in another light. The curriculum at Maynooth is eight years, but one-eighth of the students leave every year, as a consequence of that period of curriculum. With a maximum of eight years and a minimum of one year I do not know what your average will come to; but if you throw in the lives of the Professors I do not think you can get an average of more than seven years. Therefore, the case stands thus. To the Irish Church, with life interests averaging under the most adverse circumstances twelve and a-half years, you would be giving fourteen years under my plan; while to Maynooth, with life interests averaging seven years, you are about to give fourteen years. I have to remind your Lordships, that in the case of the Irish Church, in dealing with glebes, the Bill exacts the building charges whatever they may be, while the building charge for which Maynooth is liable is to be entirely remitted. I believe that an argument used in the other House against this proposal was that the Church is a religious establishment while Maynooth is an educational establishment. I admit the difference; but I am at a loss to see why ministers of religion should be compensated on one system and teachers of theology should be compensated on another and a different system. Let me not be misunderstood. I do not complain of the terms granted to Maynooth. I do not grudge Maynooth 1s. of the money proposed to be granted to it if this property is to be taken from the 927 Irish Church. What I want is that there shall be a measure of equality. I believe that anyone reading the provisions of this Bill must come to the conclusion that they are favourable to Maynooth; but if the Irish Church be compensated on terms equally favourable to her, then I have nothing to say. I now come to one or two objections which may possibly be urged against my Amendment. It may be said that some of the clergy themselves would be opposed to such a system of compensation. I have no doubt that among so large a body of men there may be some who would look to their personal interests rather than to the interests of the Church, but I believe that the men who act in that way will be, comparatively speaking, in a small minority, and I venture to urge that in such a case no minority has the right to fetter the majority. But there will be no risk as I propose to have matters dealt with, because the Commissioners are bound to satisfy themselves that the security is good. My noble Friend (Earl Granville) may say he objects to the Commissioners putting themselves or the State in any financial danger; but I say that, when we have regard to the circumstances of the Irish Church, it is a small matter to ask the Government to run some risk, because the risk would at the outside, only involve the pitiful sum of some few thousand pounds, while the advantage to be gained by the adoption of my Amendment would be the closing at once of business transactions which, under the plan of the Government, may go on for twenty-five or thirty years, and may cause very bitter feeling to exist between different parties. Again, in cases in which clergymen object to the risk or to compensation in one sum, the Commissioners may purchase a Government annuity. The Government may say that the adoption of fourteen years would be a re-endowment of the Church, but really the little addition it may involve will be but a reserve fund to cover the risk of that assurance which you place on the Irish Church in imposing on it the duties which after the passage of this Bill it will have to undertake. One thing I do hope, my Lords, and it is this—that the Church Body shall be the parties to deal with the incumbents, and not the Government. It would, I think, on every ground of policy be most unwise that you should continue to bring 928 the Government, as represented by the Commissioners, into irritating conflict with every incumbent in Ireland. If you desire that all the bonds of union should not be loosened, and that the Church should not be broken up into fragments, then you must strengthen the hands of this central Church Body; you must put her in, a position of responsibility; you must allow every receipt to be made to her and every payment to go out from her. That is the only practical way of dealing with the question. I may say in conclusion that, whether my views are right or wrong, I have never taken an unfair part against this measure. I shall not propose voluntarily or designedly any Amendments in it which do not appear to me to be really reasonable; but I do venture to urge this Amendment on the attention of your Lordships, because I look upon it as necessary to bring the measure into harmony and consistency with itself, because I believe it to be calculated, on on the whole, to remove those irritations and difficulties which must arise in Ireland, and because it seems to me to be in every sense of the word emphatically just.
Amendment moved, in page 9, line 27, to leave out from ("church") to the end of the clause and insert—
("It shall be lawful for such representative body, at any time between the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one and the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, but not afterwards, to apply to the commissioners for such commutation of life interests as herein-after mentioned, and thereupon the commissioners shall ascertain and declare the aggregate amount of the yearly income, to be computed as mentioned in section fourteen of this Act, of all persons holding on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one any archbishopric, bishopric, benefice, or cathedral preferment in or connected with the said church and entitled to compensation under section fourteen of this Act, and also the aggregate yearly value as on that day of any ecclesiastical property reserved to such holder under this Act and not passing under the provisions of this Act to the representative body herein-after mentioned, such yearly value to be the full and true value of the property after deducting all rates and taxes other than income tax, and to include the benefit (if any) derived from fines paid on renewal of leases on an average of fourteen years preceding the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine; and the commissioners, it the representative body shall satisfy them that such incomes and life interests are unincumbered, or if incumbered that the incumbrancers consent to the commutation, and also that the persons en-
titled to such incomes and life interests have consented in writing to such commutation and payment as herein mentioned, or, as regards those who have not so consented, that the due and punctual payment for their respective lives of the annuities which would be coming to them under section fourteen of this Act, and of the said yearly value of their life interests, is secured to them respectively by the said representative body, to the satisfaction of the commissioners, and by the purchase, if any such person shall require it, of a Government annuity for his life, to be held in trust to secure the payment of his annuity and life interest upon the terms mentioned in section fourteen of this Act, shall, as on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, pay to the said representative body a capital sum equal to fourteen times the amount of the aggregate of such yearly incomes and yearly value of life interests; and thereupon the several annuities provided for such persons under section fourteen shall not take effect, and all the estates and interest of such persons in the ecclesiastical property included in such commutation shall vest in the commissioners.") — (The Earl of Carnarvon.)
THE ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
My Lords, as I have not spoken hitherto on this Bill, I trust your Lordships will permit me to say a few words upon it on the present occasion. I wish to state in a very short compass the reasons which induced me to refrain from offering any opposition to it until it reached its later stages. Last year, when this subject was under discussion, it appeared to me that the question of the disestablishment of the Irish Church was that on which the country would have to pronounce an opinion, and I, as well as many others, did what we could to draw the attention of our countrymen to that issue—disestablishment being taken to mean, if I rightly understand it, that the country would no longer adopt, as representing the true faith, that Church to which it had hitherto given its adhesion and support. That was a point which it was for the country to decide, and the constituencies have pronounced—however we may regret it, that they will no longer maintain, as teaching the truth, the Established Church in Ireland. I will not trouble the Committee by entering into this point at greater length now, nor should I have touched upon it at all but that I regard it as a right that I should endeavour to justify the fact that, as a Bishop of the Church, I have hitherto been silent on so important a part of the subject, on which I was debarred from speaking on a former occasion owing to the want of opportunity. I now come to the other most im- 930 portant part of the subject—the question of disendowment, of which we stand at the beginning; and in this case I think it is not the country alone, as in the case of disestablishment, which has to express its views, because here the question is one of rights and trusts, in which individuals and corporate bodies are to be considered. I have observed in the course of these debates great halting and confusion with respect to the provisions of this Bill, and I, for one, must confess that I have looked at it in vain for any principle. It has been described in "another place" as being a just and also as being a generous measure. That is a very epigrammatic way of describing it, but, like many epigrams, it does not stand the test of logical examination. I understand by being just the being fair and equitable, and by being generous the giving of something which one is not bound to bestow. In arguing this question, I am not going to enter into the history of the Irish Church or to say a single syllable about the Coronation Oath. I view the subject as affecting the rights of congregations. There are in Ireland certain congregations which this measure very seriously affects. Let me take the case of any one of them of moderate number, which has hitherto enjoyed without interruption for many generations the teaching of the Protestant Church in that country, which values that teaching, and which never has taken a single step to separate itself from the Church, which abhors—for I am obliged to mention what your Lordships know to be the fact — and detests the Roman Catholic religion;—let me, I say, take the case of such a congregation, upon which all of a sudden out of a clear sky there comes a great thunderbolt in the shape of this measure, and ask you in what position it will be placed. I have always understood that in this country, when any subject enjoys a privilege which he values, that privilege cannot be taken away by the law except for some default; but I deny that in this case there has been any default. The members of that congregation naturally wish to worship in the church where their fathers before them have worshipped, and to hear its service in the tongue which they have been accustomed to speak; but all this is to be done away with, and it is idle, I maintain, to talk to them of equality, because they can, 931 under such circumstances, be animated by no other feeling than an overbearing sense of wrong. The excellent and worthy persons, I may add, who have framed the Bill, have been tempted from time to time to swerve a little from their own strict logical conclusions; because, while they fix equality upon its front, you will find, by looking closely at the clauses, that they endeavour to be a little generous here and there. Nevertheless, we are asked to do a great injustice in stripping the Church of almost all her property and sending her forth in that way to bear the great shock of separation from the State on which she has hitherto leant for aid; and my object, in reference to these compensation and commutation clauses is to mitigate a little the enormous injustice which the Bill in its present shape will perpetrate. I have, therefore, placed on the Paper an Amendment which has called forth unfavourable comments, but which I am prepared to justify; because, whether the margin of 25 per cent which I ask for be deemed too great or not, it will scarcely, I think, be denied that some margin is necessary in order, in the first place, to shield the Church from loss, and, in the second place, to provide a fund which may assist the Church in her first struggle. A noble and learned Lord whom I do not now see in Ms place (Lord Romilly) has spoken in terms of high approval of the voluntary principle, but it should be borne in mind that the primitive Church, to which he referred, was never subjected to the particular kind of trial which the Church in Ireland will have to undergo. And, since he has taken us to this ground, I will remind the noble and learned Lord of that great Apostle who made it his repeated boast that he had never been dependent on any man; that he had depended on his own trade and on the industry of his own hands and not on the voluntary principle. Whatever excellencies the voluntary principles may possess, a man entirely dependent upon his congregation is not in the best position for dealing faithfully with them. Now, of the Commissioners who are to carry out the arrangements connected with this Bill everybody speaks well, and I have not a single word to say against them; but you do not leave them to the operation of the voluntary principle. They are to do a kind of deacon's work for the 932 Church, and you secure their services by good salaries. Now, you are inviting a number of persons who are dependent, with their wives and families, upon very small incomes, to commute those incomes, and to hand over all their substance, without telling them on what scale or in what manner the estimate is to be made. Those who are to make the estimate may follow out their duties in the same conscientious spirit which induces insurance companies to require medical certificates, or they may act in the larger and more liberal spirit. There is no direction in the Bill upon the point. There is, however—and here we see the generous spirit—a line which says, "in respect of which the capital sum is paid, as long as the annuitant requires such payment to be made." Here is, what has been confessed to be, a hint that these clergymen, whose incomes we have had variously estimated at from £250 to £300 a year, may, if they choose, re-endow the Church. You first take the endowment and run it to waste, and then you say—"Oh, if you practice self-denial you may, to some extent, re-endow the Church." That is not just, that is not generous. A third epithet applies to these provisions of the Bill which I refrain from characterizing. The clause will produce no such sum as is predicted, and I, for one, will be no party to this sordid invitation to the Irish clergy, or to the proposal that we, with a chivalrous sacrifice of principle, should first take away that on which they depend, and then, in the same breath and by the same vote, should say—"If you will pinch a little and spare a little, you make a fresh endowment for the Church." The noble Earl's (the Earl of Carnarvon's) clause differs from my own in two respects; but I shall waive mine in favour of that which he has proposed, and therefore I will not trouble your Lordships upon it. The noble Earl has rightly said that the new Body has to establish hereafter its right to your confidence, and, therefore, I think that it is wise that some little pressure should be put upon the annuitants, in order that the matter may be called to their attention, and that the whole scheme may not drift away whilst men are debating on the soundness of the security. The compulsory principle, if the Irish clergy will agree to adopt it, is, I think, a very good principle. The fourteen 933 years, I believe, will be sufficient, not only to afford proper security, but to leave something for the Church. I had intended, my Lords, to speak at greater length, but the lateness of the hour forbids it. I am sorry in these debates to have heard the word "justice" so often used. The word justice is a very high and sacred word, and a principle which I am sure governs your Lordships in all your private relations. But I think we should be slow to apply it to transactions that are not perfectly just; to cases where, for some reason, you are compelled to disturb trusts that have existed for years—aye, for centuries—to cases where you are obliged to take away from unoffending people advantages which they have long enjoyed; to cases where you boast the principle of equality, which yet you fail to carry through. I think the word justice should be reserved for those transactions only where you can say before God and man, that you have violated no trust, that you have disturbed no man in his rightful possessions, and that you have done no injury to your neighbour.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
My Lords, my noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon) who spoke last but one stated very justly at the close of his speech that nothing which he had said during these debates had shown any desire to attack the Bill in an unfair manner. My noble Friend did not place at all too high the importance of commutation to the future of the Church of Ireland. Her Majesty's Government considered the matter carefully; I do not know any point more worthy of consideration; and it was the full intention of the Government that any advantage which might accrue through that process should be enjoyed by the Church. My noble Friend and I may differ as to the means; but the Government have no intention to deprive the Church of any advantages resulting from that proceeding. On the contrary, they believe that under it the Church might be able to obtain funds which would be extremely useful during her transition state from an Established to a voluntary Church. But, my noble Friend seems to have made a calculation which is really not borne out by the facts of the case. There are five different classes of lives connected with Church property. In the statement which I hold in my hand the 934 lives of the Bishops are valued at only ten years' purchase; those of the Deans and Chapters and minor corporations are calculated at thirteen and a-half years; other Cathedral dignitaries at eleven and a half years; the incumbents at twelve years, and the curates at sixteen years' purchase. Now, my noble Friend has added up these and come to the conclusion that it would not be unfair to take fourteen years as the average. The properties, however, which are held by these different classes are very different in amount. The property held by the Bishops may be taken to be worth £587,000; in the hands of the deans and chapters, £235,000; of the cathedral dignitaries, £122,000; incumbents, £4,063,000; and curates about £500,000. But, by taking the average of fourteen years, and applying that to the whole, you are in effect giving to the incumbents, who hold the bulk of the property, the whole benefit of the better lives to be found in the other classes; and, therefore, in strictness, that is not a fair and just calculation as to the property of the Church. My noble Friend says we have treated Maynooth in an exceptional manner. In one sense that is undoubtedly true; but, then, the case is also exceptional. It is that of an educational establishment; and there is a very great difficulty in comparing it with the compensation of a wholly different character given to incumbents. Applying a similar principle to incumbents and to Maynooth in one case, if two or three lives dropped, it would be merely so many annuities lost, whereas if two or three Professors dropped, complete disorganization of the educational establishment must follow. Again, my noble Friend has said that it is not strictly equitable to make a different provision as to the building charges affecting the Church and those affecting Maynooth. It must, however, be remembered what the practice has been with regard to these very buildings at Maynooth. Originally, a sum of money was from year to year provided for their repair, until the Vote was defeated by a small majority, the consequence being that the building, which was paid for by Parliament, was placed in the position that no repairs could be executed upon it. The proposal in the Bill was not introduced for the purpose of giving some special favour to Maynooth, but because it was felt 935 to be in itself a just proposal. The fourteen years' term proposed in the case of Maynooth was the average of the whole, taking Presbyterian lives as well. It so happens that the lives of the Presbyterian clergy are considerably better than those of the other Church, and they amount to fifteen years. My noble Friend stated, with considerable force and truth, that when you have to deal with great operations it is not for indididuals to stand in the way of the benefit of the whole body. Speaking generally, that, no doubt, is a sound principle; but it is not one which can be introduced into this Bill. The provisions of the Bill largely affect private individuals, and it does not seem fair that, even for the sake of giving this Church Body a better position, you should impose such a condition on private individuals as would, without their consent, deprive them of any interest in the property which they now possess. I cannot help thinking that in his care for the Church Body, my noble Friend has rather overlooked the rights of private individuals. Now, it has been the desire of the Government, on the contrary, to have regard to all vested interests, and not deprive individuals of any vested rights which they possess under the present law. I think that the arrangement suggested by the Government is, on the whole, the best arrangement. It allows the Church Body to commute with different incumbents. It allows that body all the advantages they may obtain from commutation, if incumbents are willing to surrender a portion of their income; and I think the calculations on which my noble Friend proceeded are erroneous and cannot be supported by a careful examination of the details of the different lives.
§ LORD CAIRNS
My Lords, this is a very difficult question, and one upon which the welfare of the future Church in Ireland very much depends. While, however, the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Kimberley) has treated the question in the fairest way, I do not think he has answered the, in fact, unanswerable arguments on which my noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon) has based his opposition to the clause. We all admit that it is of the greatest importance in a public point of view— that is to say, looking to the nation as having undertaken this work—to wind 936 up and complete the whole of the dealings between this new Ecclesiastical Commission and all the various holders of interests in the shortest possible space of time; and I am sure we all shall be prepared to admit that if it can be done by a general commutation, that is the best way in which the settlement can be effected. That is so with regard to the nation. But now consider how important it is to obtain the same result for the Church. You are anxious to start under favourable auspices the future Church of Ireland; but that Church would be hampered very much if, here and there, in one parish and another, holders of life interests were standing upon their rights within their own parochial boundaries in such a way that the new Church Body could not re-arrange the country according to the altered circumstances in which the Church might be. In this way, forty years hence, you might have some solitary, long-lived man standing out upon his glebes, insisting on the payment of his annuity, and, for all I know, having a Commission kept up for the purpose of paying his annuity. In my opinion, it is absolutely necessary, for the efficient working of the new Church, to have, as soon as possible, a tabula rasa of the whole country, so as to erect upon that foundation the new superstructure which is to represent the future Church of Ireland. Starting from these principles, the first conclusion we must come to is that we must have the most speedy commutation of which the case will admit; secondly, that the commutation must be universal, if you can provide proper security for those who are brought into the arrangement; and third, that you must carry the commutation into effect through the medium of the Church Body itself. Bearing these conclusions in mind, upon what terms can the new Church Body be asked to undertake this work? According to the Bill of the Government, each holder of a life interest is to have his own particular life valued according to the annuity tables; and, supposing all assented to the commutation, the Church Body would become possessed of the exact value of all the specific lives entitled to annuities. In other words, it is proposed that the Church should have in its hand a certain sum of money, which, if the valuation tables are accurate, would have to be 937 paid back again to the holders of life interests. Now, is it possible that you can ask a Church Body to undertake— or is it likely that such a body would undertake—to do business of that kind on those terms? Remember that these are picked lives; and it is the opinion of all the actuaries who have considered this matter, that there are no tables of lives at present in use which could be safely adopted for the purpose of dealing with 2,000 picked lives, and that if you were guided by the ordinary tables in this case, the probability is that you would become bankrupt. In addition to this, let us see what the Church Body has to do. It has to transact the business of a public department; to negotiate with every one of those 2,000 men upon what terms they will undertake their new duties, how much of their commutation they will require in bulk, and how much in annual income? The Church Body will have to undertake the whole of the legal business which will be sure to arise, and which will entail a certain expenditure. I hold it, therefore, to be absolutely impossible that the Church Body, upon the mere payment of the calculated value of those lives, would undertake this business. It is proposed, by the Amendment, that a gross sum should be given to the Church Body; and the question is, is that an exorbitant or improper sum, in consideration of the business which has to be transacted in return? Now, I think the noble Earl opposite introduced into the discussion more, with regard to the different value of lives, than is absolutely necessary. At present, we are dealing with the commutation of the lives of the incumbents of benefices and those of higher rank in the Church. We have got rid of the curates now. None of us can calculate with certainty the value of the lives of the incumbents; but upon the best information I can obtain in the different dioceses, I may say that the average value of the lives of incumbents, which form by far the greater part of the commutation, is a fraction over or under thirteen years' purchase, while the duration of life among the Bishops would average a fraction under eleven years. Now, in charging the Church Body with the task of dealing with the whole of these incumbents, settling with them the arrangements under which payment will have to be made, is it exorbitant to ask 938 that fourteen years' purchase should be put into the hands of the Church in consideration of their taking the whole risk and doing that business which, if not done by them, would have to be done in some form and at some expense by the Government? Now, let us see what is to be done in regard to what I may say is an analogous case—that of May-nooth. This has been already referred to, and the compensation is to be fourteen years' purchase. I can quite understand the noble Earl (the Earl of Kimberley) when he says that my noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon) had forgotten the lives of the Presbyterian clergy; but, in point of fact, the lives of the Presbyterian clergy are dealt with on a separate footing, because in the Bill as it stands at present, the compensation is for the value of their own lives, whereas I complain that the compensation to be given to Maynooth and to certain adjuncts of the Presbyterian Church, such as the Widows' Fund and other payments of that kind, is taken on the principle that they are worth seven years' purchase. In stating the case of Maynooth, Mr. Gladstone said—What we propose—and we think it a fair and equitable proposal—is, that in order to give time for the free consideration of the arrangements and the construction of scales for the satisfaction of life-interests, and for avoiding violent shocks and disappointments to those whose prospective plans for life may have already been made upon the supposition of the continuance of arrangements which have so long existed, and which were solemnly made, there should be a valuation of the interest of all these grants—a life interest at a moderate scale, or at fourteen years' purchase of the capital amount now annually voted."—[3 Hansard, exciv. 447.]All this is done with the greatest care and tenderness for the sake of these grants which were to be compensated, and I do not say that they are compensated too highly. I want, however, to know why the same rule should not be applied to the clergy. The payments to the president, vice - president, officers, and professors of Maynooth amount to only £6,000 and to the students £5,000, making altogether £11,000. Then the establishment expenses, not connected with lives at all, wore £14,560, and the whole establishment being based on a curriculum of eight years was to be compensated by fourteen years' purchase. I do not object to that; but it should be borne in mind that the curriculum of the place was only eight years, and that 939 at any moment when the compensation might be made, some of the students would be in their seventh or eighth year. Yet the amount is fixed, not at eight, but at fourteen years' purchase. All I ask is that the clergy of the Irish Church should be treated in a similar manner, and that the principle of commutation should in their case be fixed at one gross sum of fourteen years' purchase. Let me add this. It has been said that these claims are made on the principle of asking for a re-endowment, but I answer in the words of Mr. Gladstone, who, in speaking of Maynooth, said—It has been said that the sum we propose to give to Maynooth is an endowment. I maintain, on the contrary, that it is no endowment to Maynooth. It is a transition payment given to Maynooth, like the payments we give to others, to enable it to meet the circumstances of a great transition; but it is no endowment in any other sense than the other payments proposed to be made are endowments if you choose to apply that term to them."—[3 Hansard, cxcvi. 324.]I do not choose to apply that term to what is now asked. It is, in the words of Mr. Gladstone, "a payment to meet the circumstances of a great transition." I have noticed with some surprise that Mr. Gladstone has expressed an opinion that through the commutation under this Bill—through the payment of the holders of life interests—the new Church Body would get a sum of £1,500,000 or £2,000,000. These are the words of the right hon. Gentleman—Suppose, instead of putting this power of arrangement into the hands of the Church Body, we had reserved it in the hands of the State, and left the State to negotiate the commutation and keep the surplus, £l,000,000 or perhaps £2,000,000 would be made by the State out of these commutations But this money, which might have been reserved for public purposes, has been wisely and equitably left to be harvested and stored by the Church Body, regardless of the imputations, which have never been made from this side of the House, that we were endowing or re-endowing the Roman Catholics, and doing nothing for the Irish Church."—[Ibid, 332–3.]I own I am at a loss to understand how the right hon. Gentleman can imagine that by any possibility the Church can, out of the tabulated value of the holders of life interests, make £1,000,000 or £2,000,000, unless you assume that the holders of those life interests will sacrifice the value of their lives. As regards the security to the individuals to which the noble Earl referred, there can be 940 no question about the security provided by the Amendment of my noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon), although I admit that the Amendment brought forward in "another place" was open to objection on the ground of its not providing sufficient security. In conclusion, I have only to express a hope that the Amendment of my noble Friend will commend itself to your Lordships, and that you will give it your support.
My Lords, although I have no wish to unnecessarily detain the House I feel it is my duty to say a few words on this subject. It is quite refreshing to hear three speeches in succession not containing a single abusive epithet. I am not quite sure on what basis the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) has made the calculation of the thirteen years' valuation of lives. The noble and learned Lord appears to have lost sight of a great element in the calculation. Reference has been made to the possibility of incumbents starving themselves in order to contribute to the Church fund, but I believe that in many cases very advantageous arrangements might be made. In some cases old men will be glad to retire on a commutation something less than they would receive if they continued their occupation, and no doubt some young men would be glad to start with a certain sum of money in their pockets in order to compete with English clergymen. The object of all who have taken part in this discussion is that there should be a commutation. The future of the Church very much depends upon commutation, and we all think that if the Church derives some benefit from it, so much the better for the result. I venture to think that the proposition which I make is unobjectionable, and that it would bring about the desired object, without compulsion, but merely by means of encouragement. If the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) will withdraw his Amendment I should not be unwilling to add to the clause a proviso dealing with the cases of those clergymen who have become attached to the spots where they have long resided. The other Amendment of which notice has been given by a noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Shaftesbury) is objectionable because, in consideration of the circumstance that the clergy have better lives than the ordinary community, it pro- 941 posed to add 7 per cent to the commutation. The objection to the Amendment is this—while these lives are in general better than ordinary lives, there are, of course, a good many bad lives among the clergy, and if there were no restrictions, all the bad lives would take advantage of the provision, while the good lives would not be benefited to the same extent. What the Government propose is that if four-fifths of the clergy in any diocese consent to commute, then the Commissioners shall be authorized to add 7 per cent to the amount of the commutation. I hope my noble Friends opposite will take that proposal into consideration. I think it is one which if strongly recommended to the other House of Parliament by the Government as perfectly fair and intelligible will give more money to the Church and at the same time operate as a stimulus to the incumbents themselves to commute.
§ After a few words in explanation from Lord CAIRNS,
§ On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause? — Their Lordships divided: — Contents 86; Not-Contents 155: Majority 69.943
|Hatherley, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Sommers, E.|
|Suffolk and Berkshire, E.|
|Norfolk, D.||Falmouth, V.|
|Saint Albans, D.||Halifax, V.|
|Sutherland, D.||Leinster, V, (D. Leinster.)|
|Ailesbury, M.||Powerscourt, V.|
|Camden, M.||Sydney, V.|
|Normanby, M.||Ashburton, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)|
|Albemarle, E.||Camoys, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Carew, L.|
|Chichester, E.||Carrington, L.|
|Clarendon, E.||Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.)|
|Craven, E.||Chesham, L.|
|Dartrey, E.||Clandeboye, L. (L. Dufferin and Claneboye.)|
|De Grey, E.|
|De La Warr, E.||Clermont, L.|
|Ducie, E.||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.|
|Durham, E.||De Mauley, L.|
|Fortescue, E.||De Tabley, L.|
|Granville, E.||Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)|
|Kimberley, E.||Foley, L. [Teller.]|
|Lichfield, E.||Granard, L. (E. Granard.)|
|Morley, E.||Hastings, L.|
|Orford, E.||Hatherton, L.|
|Keane, L.||Romilly, L.|
|Leigh, L.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)|
|Lismore, L. (V. Lismore.)|
|Lurgan, L.||Sandys, L.|
|Lyttelton, L.||Seaton, L.|
|Lyveden, L.||Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)|
|Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)||Seymour, L. (E. St. Maur.)|
|Meredyth, L. (L. Athlumney.)|
|Methuen, L.||Stourton, L.|
|Monck, L. (V. Monck.)||Suffield, L.|
|Monson, L.||Sundridge L. (D. Argyll.)|
|Mont Eagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Mostyn, L.||Vernon, L.|
|Northbrook, L.||Vivian, L.|
|Oxenfoord, L. (E. Stair.)||Wenlock, L.|
|Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.) [Teller.]||Wentworth, L.|
|Cambridge, D.||Malmesbury, E.|
|Canterbury, Archp.||Mansfield, E.|
|Dublin, Archp.||Manvers, E.|
|York, Archp.||Morton, E.|
|Mount Edgcumbe, E.|
|Beaufort, D.||Nelson, E.|
|Buckingham and Chandos, D.||Orkney, E.|
|Grafton, D.||Powis, E.|
|Marlborough, D.||Rosse, E.|
|Northumberland, D.||Rosslyn, E.|
|Richmond, D.||Selkirk, E.|
|Rutland, D.||Shaftesbury, E.|
|Wellington, D.||Stanhope, E.|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||Strange, E. (D. Athol.)|
|Ailsa, M.||Vane, E.|
|Bath, M.||Verulam, E.|
|Bristol, M.||Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.|
|Tweeddale, M.||Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarly.)|
|De Vesci, V.|
|Abergavenny, E.||Doneraile, V.|
|Amherst, E.||Exmouth, V.|
|Annesley, E.||Gough, V.|
|Bandon, E.||Hardinge, V.|
|Bradford, E.||Hawarden, V. [Teller.]|
|Brooke and Warwick, E.||Lifford, V.|
|Brownlow, E.||Melville, V.|
|Carnarvon, E.||Sidmouth, V.|
|Dartmouth, E.||Strathallan, V.|
|Derby, E.||Templetown, V.|
|Ellesmere, E.||Bangor, Bp.|
|Erne, E.||Chester, Bp.|
|Feversham, E.||Derry and Raphoe, Bp.|
|Grey, E.||Durham, Bp.|
|Haddington, E.||Ely, Bp.|
|Hardwicke, E.||Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.|
|Harrington, E.||Lichfield, Bp.|
|Harrowby, E.||Llandaff, Bp.|
|Hillsborough, E. (M. Downshire.)||London, Bp.|
|Home, E.||Peterborough, Bp.|
|Lauderdale, E.||Rochester, Bp.|
|Leven and Melville, E.||St. David's, Bp.|
|Lucan, E.||Tuam, &c, Bp.|
|Abinger, L.||Leconfield, L.|
|Bateman, L.||Lilford, L.|
|Blantyre, L.||Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)|
|Cairns, L.||Northwick, L.|
|Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)||O'Neill, L.|
|Chelmsford, L.||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Churston, L.||Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)|
|Clifton, L. (E. Darnley.)||Penrhyn, L.|
|Clinton, L.||Raglan, L.|
|Clonbrock, L.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Colchester, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Colonsay, L.||Rivers, L.|
|Colville of Culross, L. [Teller.]||Ross, L. (E. Glasgow.)|
|Rossie, L. (L. Kinnaird.)|
|Crofton, L.||Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)|
|De L'Isle and Dudley, L.|
|Denman, L.||Saltoun, L.|
|De Saumarez, L.||Sheffield, L. (E. Sheffield.)|
|Dunboyne, L.||Sherborne, L.|
|Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)||Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)|
|Dunsandle and Clanconal, L.||Skelmersdale, L.|
|Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)|
|Egerton, L.||Southampton, L.|
|Elphinstone, L.||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)||Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)|
|Gage, L. (V. Gage.)||Talbot de Malahide, L.|
|Hartismere, L.(L. Henneker.)||Templemore, L.|
|Heytesbury, L.||Tredegar, L.|
|Hylton, L.||Wharncliffe, L.|
|Lawrence, L.||Willoughby de Broke, L.|
§ Resolved in the Negative.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed, to.