THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
My Lords, I have to move to resolve, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919, this House do direct that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (Pensions of Church Estates Commissioners) Measure, 1930, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent. As your Lordships are aware the duties and powers of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are regulated by Statute, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act of 1850. There are two paid Commissioners, one appointed by the Crown and the other appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Second Commissioner, technically so called, is unpaid and appointed by the Government of the day, and goes out of office with the Government. The other two are very important members of the Ecclesiastical Commission. Their salaries were fixed by the Treasury seventy years ago at the rate of £1,200 a year for the First Commissioner, and £1,000 a year for the Third Commissioner. No change has been made in these salaries in spite of the alteration of values, and in spite of the immensely increased business of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. But inadequate in many ways, in proportion to the work done, as these salaries are, they are still more inadequate when it is reflected that no provision is made for any pension when these very responsible persons are compelled to retire from office. Unlike all the officers and servants of the establishment, no provision is made for a pension, and the Commissioners have no power to award any such pension.
This Measure asks that such a power should now be given to the Commissioners. I think it is only reasonable that men who give themselves to work so responsible should be entitled to expect that after their retirement they should receive some such pension. May I be permitted to say that the present First Estates Commissioner, Sir Lewis Dibdin, has served I think for more than 25 years. He has rendered quite invaluable service, he has been responsible for carrying through the great scheme of augmentation of benefices which has really transformed the whole position of the Church throughout 945 England, and yet, though years are multiplying upon him, there is no provision for any pension. We ask for the present and for the future that power should be given to the Commissioners to award such pensions to the First and Third Estates Commissioners, and the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament recommend that the Measure should be passed and have the force of 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 Ecclesiastical Commissioners (Pensions of Church Estates Commissioners) Measure, 1930, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent.—(The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.