HC Deb 07 July 1910 vol 18 cc1916-7W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the alteration made in 1894 in the punctuation of the Lord's Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer; and whether there is any authority in the annexed book of 1662 or otherwise for the punctuation now adopted by the King's printers and the University presses?


Yes, Sir. I have carefully consulted various authorities concerned in this matter. I am advised, as was the Secretary of State for the Home Department in 1902, that the punctuation of the "annexed book" is throughout of such a peculiar description that it would, if exactly reproduced in modern type, be inconvenient and confusing. The punctuation of different editions of the Prayer Be ok has varied considerably. The punctuation of the Lord's Prayer in the "annexed book" varies in different places, and in deciding which punctuation they should adopt in the petition "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven," I presume that the King's printers and the University presses consider they have adopted that which represents the structure of the Greek original. Personally, I am in full agreement with the Noble Lord on this point, and I am glad that we have found a common ground to stand on, though it be only the breadth of a comma; but I have no power to issue any instructions as to the punctuation of the Prayer Book. The steps necessary appear to be, first, the issue by the King of Letters of Business to Convocation; secondly, a recommendation of Convocation; and, lastly, an Act of Parliament. The prospect of this being effected within the present Session appears to me remote.