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Lords' Amendments

Volume 203: debated on Monday 8 August 1870

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Lords' Amendments considered.

said, he had to move that the House do disagree from the Amendments. They were, in fact, only one Amendment, for they all hung together, and were all referable to one point—namely, the omission of the 7th clause of the original Bill, which allowed a clergyman who might have given up the active performance of his duties in the hot haste of his youth to resume them subject to the discretion of the Archbishop of the Province, after a few years of mature reflection, with his mind, ripened and his religious feelings deepened. The Lords had struck out that clause, and he now invited the House to restore it in the name of toleration and of religion itself. It was said that this clause would let in the "black sheep." He denied it. The black sheep were the men who would simply change the clerical dress for a shooting jacket, and lounge at Homburg till they were tired of the life and then come back and take a living. Those who executed the deed under this Bill would be earnest though mistaken seekers after truth—men like Mr. Macnaught, who had gone back after a season of doubt and was doing again such good work at Liverpool. These were the persons whom the Bill in its present shape would alone of all men exclude, for the residue of their life, from the possibility of the Ministry.

said, he had intended to move the rejection of the 7th clause, but ultimately he thought it better to leave the matter to be dealt with by the Lords. The Bishop of London and other right rev. Prelates objected to allowing a clergyman to play fast and loose with his sacred calling. He would support the Lords' Amendment.

said, he should support the view of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Beresford Hope), as he desired to give others the liberty which he prized for himself.

said, that the original promoters of the Bill did not agree about the 7th clause, and it was unprovided for in the Preamble.

said, the question was whether the House of Commons should imperil the Bill by rejecting the Lords' Amendment. He thought the result of rejecting the Lords' Amendment would be to defeat the Bill, and, therefore, though personally he was of the same opinion as his hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Beresford Hope), he would vote for the Motion that this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

said, out of all the private Members' Bills not more than three would become law this Session. He hoped, therefore, that the success of this one would not be imperilled.

Page 3, leave out Clause 7, the first Amendment, read a second time.

Motion made, and Question put, "That this House doth agree with The Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided:—Ayes 41; Noes 9: Majority 32.

Subsequent Amendments agreed to.