HL Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc496-500

Amendments reported (according to Order).

Clause 3 (Sale of glebe by or with approval of Lord Chancellor).

LORD NORTON moved, as an Amendment, to insert, in line 21, before "bene- fit" the words "permanent and prospective," and, in the same line, after "benefice" to insert "and without unfair prejudice to adjoining property." He remarked that, in Committee, it was moved that no globe should be sold without the Bishop's and patron's consent. The object of the Bill seemed to be to prevent the Bishops in the Ecclesiastical Commission vetoing all sales of Church real property. Such an inclination seemed to be erroneous, as late legislation had made real property no securer than Consols; and to prevent all sales of glebe would be a senseless loss, especially of minerals, which the clergy could not work at all, or interlying pieces of land they could not improve. On the other hand, the Land Commissioners might fool themselves unauthorized to refuse a poor incumbent's pressing application for premature sale for immediate benefit to the prospective detriment of the living. The noble Viscount in charge of the Bill had suggested in the debate the words "permanent benefit." He proposed to take the noble Viscount's words and to add "prospective," so that the Land Commission might feel it their duty to take probable improvement of value into their consideration in consenting to a sale. The other insertion would meet such a case as lately occurred, where glebe lying in the middle of the patron's park, the incumbent wanted to sell for villa building, the site being very attractive to a neighbouring manufacturing town. The patron, like most landlords, was too poor to outbid the market; but, fortunately, an exchange of land removed the difficulty. But it ought to be within the Land Commission's power, as the Act of Vict. I put it in that of the Ecclesiastical Commission, to save adjoining property from such injury by exchanges or other arrangements. Unfair advantage should not be taken of the patron's bequest to the Church.

Amendment moved, In page 1, line 21, after the second ("the") insert ("permanent and prospective"); and after ("benefice") insert ("and without unfair prejudice to adjoining property").—(The Lord Norton.)


said, he would agree to the insertion of the word "permanent," as he had no objection to making it clear that the sale was to be for the benefit of the benefice, and not for the immediate advantage of the incumbent. He could not, however, seeing that it might be looked upon as an Instruction to the Land Commissioners to look to prospective improvements by building or otherwise, assent to the insertion of the word "prospective," which, it seemed to him, would open up too remote contingencies, and, if the noble Lord would exclude it, he would not oppose the Amendment.


said, he feared he was unable to do otherwise than accept the suggested limitation of this Amendment.

Amendment amended, and, as amended, agreed to.

Amendment moved, In page 2, line 8, at the end of sub-section (2.) insert ("and if such objection be not removed the matter shall be referred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, whose decision shall be final").—(The Earl of Feversham.)


said, that during the progress of the Bill in Committee, it was understood that the Land Commissioners were to be the arbitrators, and if the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were substituted, the title of the Bill might as well be altered, for instead of being one to facilitate the sale of glebe, it would rather be one to impede the sale. He regretted to oppose anything proposed by the noble Earl, but he could not accept the Amendment.

Amendment negatived.

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, Amendment made, in page 2, line 7, by leaving out ("and patron"), and inserting ("or patron, as the case may be").

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 5 (Application and investment of purchase money).

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendment made:—At end of clause insert— Any land purchased with money arising from a sale under this Act of the glebe land of any benefice shall be conveyed to the incumbent of that benefice, and shall be held by the incumbent for the time being as part of the glebe of the benefice, and the income arising from the land shall be paid or applied as the income of the land sold would have been payable or applicable if the sale had not taken place.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 (Restriction as to sales).

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendment made:—In page 4, line 16, after ("Act"), insert— ("but until such sum is fully recouped, nothing in this section shall discharge the incumbent from his liability to make good the said dilapidations.")

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS. THE following Amendment made:—Leave out Clause 7, and insert the following clause:—

(Provision where land is subject to mortgage or other debt.)

(1.) Where any glebe land sold under this Act, or the benefice to which it belongs, is subject to any mortgage or other debt, the land shall be sold free from such mortgage or debt, but such mortgage or debt, if not discharged, shall attach to the purchase money of the land and to any securities or land in or in connexion with which such purchase money is invested, and the mortgagee or creditor shall have the like remedies as nearly as may be in relation to such purchase money, securities, and land as he would have had if the land had not been sold. (2.) The prescribed notice of the proposal to sell any such glebe land shall be given to the mortgagee or creditor, and the mortgagee or creditor may, within the prescribed time after such notice, object to the sale on the ground that his security will be damnified by the sale, and before the Land Commissioners approve the sale or sell, they shall be satisfied that either such an objection to the sale has not been made by the mortgagee or creditor, or if an objection has been made that the mortgagee or creditor will not be damnified by the sale, and the Land Commissioners may, if it seems to them necessary, make provision either for securing the rights of the mortgagee or creditor, or for the discharge of the mortgage or other debt, so that nothing is done which will prejudice the future interest of the benefice. (3.) The Land Commissioners may require the mortgagee or creditor to accept payment of the principal and interest due, together with such additional sum (if any) as seems necessary in order to dispense with any notice which would otherwise be required for such payment.


said, it had been represented to him that there were owners of globes who would wish to sell portions of them for the purpose of discharging debt incurred by assigning part of the income to new benefices in the original parish. The Rector of Wigan was in this position, having endowed new livings with part of his glebe. To meet such cases he would propose the insertion of a new clause.

Moved, after Clause 7, insert the following clause:—

(Provision as to annual charges on benefice.)

Where any glebe land sold under this Act, or the benefice to which it belongs, or any part of the endowment of such benefice, is subject to a permanent annual charge in favour of the incumbent of any other benefice, the land shall be sold free from such annual charge, but the annual charge shall attach to the purchase money, and to any securities or land in or in connexion with which such purchase money is invested, and the authority holding the securities in which such purchase money is invested, may, if they think fit, sot apart an adequate portion of such securities for the purpose of meeting such charge, or any part thereof, and shall thereupon discharge the said benefice and the endowment thereof from the liability to the annual charge or the said part thereof, and the securities so set apart shall be placed to a. separate account or otherwise set apart in such manner as the said authority may direct."—(The Viscount Cross.)

Clause agreed to.

Bill to be read 3a on Tuesday next; and to be printed as amended. (No. 45.)