§ Order of the Day for the Second Heading, read.
THE EARL OF BELMORE
, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, explained the object to be to provide for the safe custody of the records and registries which at the time of its disestablishment were, or ought to have been, in the care and control of the officers of the Established Church of Ireland, but which were now under the care of several persons, and many of them kept in unfit and unsafe buildings. It was proposed that the officers who were at present in lawful custody of 1399 these documents should receive compensation for the loss of their fees and emoluments. It was proposed that the records should be in the custody of the Registrar General until they should be finally deposited in the Record Office. It was further proposed that duplicate certified copies of each record should be made—one to be retained in the local registry from which it might have been removed; the other by the Registrar General to be kept with the registers of births, marriages, and deaths provided by statute.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Earl of Belmore.)
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, it was very doubtful whether any staff of clerks sufficiently numerous could be established to make two copies, as was proposed of the 75,000 volumes of records to which the Bill related. But a more important matter was that the Bill dealt with the surplus of the Irish Church Fund, with the object of giving compensation out of it for the fees in connection with the records which certain clergymen in Ireland had up to the present been in the habit of receiving. He was not at present prepared to say that it would be right that those clergymen should suffer any loss under the circumstances; but a proposal of the kind was one which ought to be introduced by the Government. He could assure his noble Friend that he would take up the subject with as little delay as possible, and he hoped therefore that he would rest satisfied with having the Bill read a second time and not proceed any further with it.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly.