HL Deb 17 September 1914 vol 17 cc741-2

Returned from the Commons, with the Amendments disagreed to, together with Reasons for such disagreement.

The said Reasons considered (on Motion).


My Lords, I rise to move that your Lordships do not insist upon your Amendments to the Suspensory Bill. The Message from the Commons states that they disagree to your Lordships' Amendment in Clause 1, page 1, line 6— After ("1914,") insert ("or in the Welsh Church Act, 1914,") and leave out ("that Act") and insert ("these Acts"). because they consider that it is unnecessary to make at the present time any provision as to the period of the suspension of the Welsh Church Act other than that made by the Bill; and they disagree to the other Amendments on the ground that they are consequential upon the first Amendment. Your Lordships have discussed this matter at some length during the last few days, and therefore it is unnecessary for me to do more than move formally that your Lordships do not insist on the Amendments.

Moved, That the House do not insist upon the said Amendments. (Earl Beauchamp.)


My Lords, when we discussed this matter yesterday it was clear, from the speeches which were made by noble Lords on the Front Bench opposite, that they felt we had reason for the Amendments which I moved, and strong reasons at any rate for some modification of the Bill in that respect. Why the Commons have rejected the Amendments it is not easy to say. It is like the old story— I do not love thee, Dr. Fell, The reason why I cannot tell. I think I know the reason. It is that the moderate and reasonable views held, as was clearly the case, by noble Lords now sitting on the Front Government Bench have been overruled by certain of their colleagues in the Cabinet whose one desire is to destroy as far as they can the Church in Wales, and who are determined to aid that process by refusing it a fair start under its new conditions of Disestablishment and Disendowment. We can do nothing but enter our protest against the unfair manner in which the Church in Wales is proposed to be treated by this Suspensory Bill, but much more strongly against the time and manner in which the Welsh Church Bill is proposed to be placed on the Statute Book and against the provisions of the measure itself. We can only wait until the time comes—and the sooner it conies the better I shall be pleased so far as this Bill is concerned—when the constituencies will be appealed to. If their verdict should be against the policy of the Government, then I have every confidence that this Welsh Church Bill at any rate will be repealed, because it is not deserving of the respect of its opponents as a measure which has been constitutionally passed by both Houses of Parliament; it is but the illegitimate offspring of an unconstitutional action by the Crown.

On Question, Amendments to which the Commons have disagreed not insisted on.

House adjourned at ten minutes before Five o'clock, till Tomorrow, Twelve o'clock