§ 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 Representation of the Laity Measure, 1929, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I also have to apologise for having put down these Measures now that the most rev. Primate is; here him self. I was only asked to do so when it was thought that he could not be here. As they are in my name I presume it is my duty to make the necessary Motions. The first of the Measures standing in my name dealt; with the representation of the laity in diocesan conferences, ruri-decanal conferences and parochial church councils. The present rules for the representation of the laity are part of the constitution of the National Assembly of the Church of England which is to be found in the Schedule of the Enabling Act. These rules have been in operation for nine years and on the whole they have worked extremely well; but naturally experience has shown various matters and directions in which they can be improved. Three years ago the subject was taken up by the Church Assembly, and a strong Committee was appointed to go into these rules minutely, to examine them with great care and to make representations to the Church Assembly for their amendment. The result is this Measure, which passed the Church Assembly at its last session.
§ Your Lordships will see in the full explanation given by the Legislative Committee to the Ecclesiastical Committee that no fundamental changes are proposed in this Measure. The rules have been thoroughly overhauled and rearranged and in many cases redrafted, numerous minor alterations have been made for the purpose of greater convenience or the sake of greater clearness, but nothing has been done to alter the general scope and plan of the original rules. The rules are necessarily very 270 elaborate and cannot be summarised shortly. The list is given in the Schedule which is before your Lordships and if any noble Lord wishes to ask a question I will do my best to answer it, but as the matter is extremely technical I think your Lordships will be content to take the finding of the Ecclesiastical Committee, which certifies that the Measure does not appear to affect prejudicially the right of His Majesty's subjects and considers that it is expedient that it should become law. 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 Representation of the Laity Measure, 1929, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent.—(The Earl of Selborne.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.