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Volume 203: debated on Monday 25 July 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, What course the Government intend to pursue with respect to the Union of Benefices Bill, the Sequestration of Benefices Bill, and the other Ecclesiastical Bills which have come down from the House of Lords?

said, in reply, that there were four Bills on ecclesiastical subjects, none of which were promoted by the Government, but all of which dealt with questions of considerable importance and required careful consideration—namely, the Resignation of Benefices Bill, the Union of Benefices Bill, the Sequestration Bill, and the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Bill. The first three of these could not be advantageously discussed at this period of the Session, and although it had been suggested that portions of these measures might be dropped, and the remainder proceeded with, he did not think such a mode of dealing with them would be satisfactory. The Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Bill, although lengthy, raised no question of controversy; and if his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), who had charge of it, were present, he would ask him to state what course he intended to pursue.