§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE moved to resolve, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919, this House do direct that the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations (Amendment) Measure, 1929, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent. The noble Earl said: My Lords, the next Measure that I have to present to your Lordships is called the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations (Amendment) Measure. The principal Measure was passed in 1923 and I claim that it was a great reform. Before that time, while every incumbent was liable for the dilapidations to his vicarage or rectory or parsonage, the method of dealing with these dilapidations and the finance of the dilapidations was wholly unorganised and unsystematised. The result was that some incumbents neglected their obligations, others found themselves suddenly confronted with a great liability which they could not meet, or in the case of an incumbent dying and his liability falling upon an estate which could not hear it, the incoming incumbent had to make the deficiency good. This matter was dealt with in the principal Measure in 1923 and the reform has worked well.
§ I will quote from the explanations which are in your Lordships' hands, which state that since the principal 271 Measure came into force a diocesan dilapidations board has been constituted in every English diocese and the buildings of nearly three-quarters of the benefices have been brought under its provisions. I venture to suggest that in six years that is a very important and quick piece of work. The object of the present Measure is to make various amendments to the principal Measure which practical experience has shown to be necessary or desirable. Most of these amendments deal with matters of administrative detail and are the outcome of suggestions made either by Queen Anne's Bounty or by the Diocesan Dilapidations Board. Those of your Lordships who are interested can see clause by clause a complete explanation of what the amendments are, but I warn your Lordships that they are very technical and I do not propose to take up your time by reading these fairly full explanations. So far as I know, the Measure is quite uncontroversial, and it is approved and recommended by the Ecclesiastical Committee. Therefore I beg to move.
§ Moved to resolve, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919, this House do direct that the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations (Amendment) Measure, 1929, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent.—(The Earl of Selborne.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.