HL Deb 21 February 1888 vol 322 cc982-5

Moved, "That the Bill bereferredto a Select Committee."—(The Lord Steward.)


said, that if the Motion were agreed to be should move— That it be an instruction to the Committee to consider the best means for providing for the maintenance and for the services of the Cathedral Church of Truro. He desired to warn the promoters of the Bill of the inexpediency of requiring the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to contribute out of their funds £3,000 a-year towards the maintenance of the Cathedral. The whole matter should be fully considered by the Committee, as this was the first Bill presented to Parliament for such a purpose. If the Commissioners were compelled to pay this large sum annually, it would be impossible for them to continue to augment small livings, of which they had augmented upwards of 5,500 since 1840. He trusted that the Committee would find that a portion of the sums which were now in the hands of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter could be made available for the maintenance of Truro Cathedral. It seemed but fair that the new diocese, which took one-third from Exeter Diocese, should be subsidized by the mother diocese.


said, that the Bill was read a second time without the great body of the Bishops having had an opportunity of examining its provisions; he, therefore, hoped that the noble Earl's suggestions would be fully considered. He might point out that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners not only applied their funds to the purpose of augmenting small livings, but also provided for the endowment of new parishes. In London and other parts of the country there was a constant formation of new parishes, and it was with very great effort that the money was raised to build churches for them. This was very often accomplished at the cost of large personal sacrifices by the clergy in the faith that when the church was erected and a congregation collected the Ecclesiastical Commissioners would be prepared to give an endowment for the clergymen. To interfere with work of that kind would be a very serious matter; and the proposal contained in the Bill would, he feared, have that effect. He trusted, therefore, that the Select Committee would be empowered to consider whether the object which the promoters of the Bill had in view could not be attained without making any large demand upon the fund of the Commissioners. This was the first time that Parliament had been asked to compel the Commissioners to grant moneys out of the funds under their control for this purpose. To dip into their funds for the endowment of new Cathedrals would amount to a reversal of the policy which had hitherto been pursued.


said, he should support the Motion of the Lord Steward. The matter was one of the utmost importance, and should be fully considered. The Committee, he held, ought to inquire whether there were not other sums besides the Commissioners' fund which could be made available for the maintenance of Truro Cathedral. The county of Cornwall contained large estates given solely for Cathedral purposes, but the main portion of the revenue arising from those estates was not now expended in Cornwall at all, but went out of the county. Those revenues would probably increase. The Bishop of Exeter had parted with income in favour of the Bishop of Truro, and the example thus set might, as was suggested, be followed by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter in favour of the Cathedral services and fabric, if it were shown fairly that Exeter had been largely endowed with a view to Cornwall. They had, however, already given one canonry to Truro. It should be remembered that at Truro everything had to be done when the new See was established, for there was neither cathedral nor endowment. The case of Truro was undoubtedly unique. It was urged that other new Dioceses might make similar claims. But, of those Dioceses, one had no Cathedral or Chapter at all. Another started with a magnificent Church, which was sufficient for a Cathedral. The great Minster of another had been actually restored by the Commissioners without any charge to the Diocese. Truro alone had absolutely nothing to begin with; but it had raised £113,000 from many thousands of contributors. In another, which, it was said, did very well without a Dean or Chapter, there was a certain noble neighbour who annually expended a vast sum on the fabric, and was himself instar omnium. Truro, therefore, stood alone. And it did seem as if there was in this case as good a claim to help as existed in the case of parish churches erected by the people at a cost involving much sacrifice.

Motion agreed to.

Bill referred to a Select Committee accordingly.

Moved, "That it be an instruction to the Committee to consider the best means for providing for the maintenance and for the services of the Cathedral Church of Truro."—(The Earl Stanhope.)


said, he might point out that the Motion was unnecessary, as the Committee would have power without it of taking into consideration the matters to which the proposed Instruction referred. Besides, it was against the Orders of the House to instruct a Select Committee.


said, that the Instruction was outside the scope of the Bill, and was irregular.


said, that under those circumstances he should withdraw the Motion.

Motion (by leave of the House) withdrawn.