§ EARL GREY moved to resolve, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919, this House do direct that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (Powers) Measure, 1936, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent. The noble Earl said: My Lords, this again is a Measure prepared by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the first three clauses enable the Commissioners to undertake new responsibilities. Clause 1 enables the Commissioners to make a grant of £10,000 a year from their Common Fund for a period of years to assist the formation of a Central Loan Fund, in order to enable new districts springing up outside the big towns to receive help in building parish halls and in the provision of churches. Strictly speaking it would not be necessary for the Commissioners to ask for further powers to do this, but it has always been their practice, in order that the clergy should feel confidence in the way their funds are handled, not to divert money for objects other than the strict cure of souls without seeking legislative authority. Therefore they ask for that power in Clause 1. The sum involved is a small one, but it is likely to be the keystone of the arch in building up the Central Loan Fund.
§ Clause 2 gives power to take over the incomes of certain new bishoprics which depend on the investment of endowed funds. It is not thought a good thing that the incomes of bishoprics should vary according to whether money is profitably invested or not, and so it is proposed to take over investments and substitute a fixed income. Clause 3 empowers the Commissioners to augment to a maximum of £3,000 a year the income of bishoprics in certain cases. The total involved will be a matter of only £1,450 a year. The remaining clauses of this Measure are only incidental, but I shall be glad to answer any questions about them if any noble Lord wishes to have further information. 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 (Powers) Measure, 1936, be presented to 1217 His Majesty for the Royal Assent.—(Earl Grey.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.