Skip to main content

Public Worship Regulation Bill—Lords—Bill 176—Committee

Volume 221: debated on Friday 17 July 1874

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

( Mr. Russell Gurney.)

Order for Committee read.

, in rising to move—

"That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to make provision for extending the said Bill to all offences by clerks in Holy Orders against the Law Ecclesiastical, and to repeal the Act 3 and 4 Victoria, cap. 8, for better enforcing Church Discipline,"
said, that he wished to state briefly the reasons why he thought it would be wise that the House should adopt his Motion. The object was to provide for bringing under the procedure contemplated by the Bill, the whole, instead of a part only, of the law ecclesiastical. There would, no doubt, be considerable difference of opinion manifested in the course of the debates on the Bill, but he thought they were all agreed in thinking that the procedure under the Church Discipline Act (3 & 4 Vict. c. 86) was the very worst possible, and that the procedure contemplated by the present Bill was a most immense improvement upon it. The right hon. and learned Recorder had argued in favour of the measure, on the ground of the great superiority of the procedure it proposed; and those who objected to the Bill had done so on the same ground, maintaining that the procedure would give undue facilities for the enforcement of the present law, and would, consequently, have the effect of interfering improperly with individual liberty. All, however, were agreed that the procedure in the Act was about as bad as it could be, and that the procedure under the Bill was about as good as it could be. An examination of the Church Discipline Act justified that conclusion. Under the Act 3 & 4 Vict. c. 86, the Bishop, in the first place, was made a sort of grand juror, empowered to decide whether a prosecution should be held or not. That was a reasonable and just provision, because it was necessary that some one should be entrusted with the power of stopping proceedings on matters of detail which need not be discussed in Court at all. So far the procedure was right; but from that point there was not a single step which was not a gross and obvious error. The Bishop having, as a sort of grand juror, committed himself, as against the accused, to an opinion of the case, was, as prosecutor, immediately made a party to the suit. He got security for costs, while the same advantage was denied to the person accused. A grosser violation of the rules of ordinary procedure could hardly be imagined. But the next stop was even worse. The Bishop, although a party to the suit, had to name five Commissioners, whose duty it was to find out whether the accused was guilty or not. Worse still, when the case had been heard and decided by the Court whom he had himself appointed, the Bishop was called upon to give judgment, with the assistance of assessors, whose opinion, however, he might entirely overrule if he thought fit to do so. The crowning step, however, of all this was, that not only was he the grand jury, a party to the cause, and—inasmuch as he appointed the tribunal—the Sheriff, and quasi Judge, but he was also made executioner; and executioner, too, before the judgment had been ascertained; for, if he thought it necessary, he might at once, without waiting for the decision, turn the accused man out of his living, and appropriate funds for the payment of the person put in his place. That, however, was not all; for as the man who came under the operation of the Act might have a double trial, so he might also have a double appeal—the first to the provincial Court, and the second to the Queen in Council; and, as it was no part of the duty of a Bishop to be acquainted with the law, it might happen that one set of principles would rule in the earlier stages of the cause, and quite a different set of principles in the later. Such was the present state of the law; and it was hard on the Bishop, on the person accused, on the public at large, and on the members of the Church, whose interest it was that good discipline should be preserved by there being an easy, fair, and gentle means of dealing with offences against, the ecclesiastical law. Now, the present Bill did away with all these evils and complications, and it proposed a procedure which was as good as human ingenuity could devise in place of a procedure which was the worst that could be imagined. The next question was, what would be its effect if passed into law? For the purpose of argument, he would divide the ecclesiastical law roughly into form and substance—form embracing all matters of detail, such as vestments, ornaments, and Ritual; and substance, questions of morality, and the teaching of the doctrines of the Church of England. The effect of the Bill would be to give a good procedure for the trial of questions of form, and a bad one for questions of substance. The Preamble of the Act of Uniformity gave a perfect definition as to the essence of an Established Church. It was, in effect, that there should be uniformity, decency, and propriety in the conduct of the services. Another matter connected with the importance of form was—and he hoped he would not be taken as attaching too small importance to it—that as long as we retained an Establishment—which he trusted we long should—it would be necessary to secure, on the part of the clergy, that they should be required to agree with the rubric, and to profess assent and consent to everything in the Book of Common Prayer, and the directions contained in it; and that had the effect of operating most powerfully in preventing many persons from becoming ministers of the Established Church. Unless we provided a good and efficient means of enforcing uniformity in matters of form, we should continue to exclude those persons who wished to become ministers, but who would not undertake to conform strictly to the rubric. At the same time we should continue to allow ministers inside the Church to do certain things which if permitted to those other persons outside would not have prevented them entering the Church. So that a great injustice and inequality existed. Thus we had two weights and two measures, one for those inside the Church, the other for those without the Church; and unless we could reduce the two to one, we were guilty of great unfairness and injustice. It came, therefore, to this—that when the Bill passed, the weighty matters would be dealt with by a bad and unworkable procedure, while minor questions would be dealt with by an easy and good procedure. He would rather invert the order, and say that the weighty questions should have the good, and the lighter ones the bad procedure, unless they could contrive to obviate the difficulty in some other way. The good procedure was to be applied in the case of a clergyman who used a garment too much or a garment too little, or who turned towards one point of the compass instead of towards another, matters in which the offender might yield without a loss of self-respect; while the bad procedure was to be employed in the case of a man charged with drunkenness or incontinency, in regard to which he was obliged to defend himself to the uttermost, and the trial for which would probably lead to his temporal ruin in a pecuniary sense, although he might come out ecclesiastically pure. These considerations led him to ask whether it was necessary to divide ecclesiastical offences in this manner, and whether the improved procedure could not as readily be applied to the one class as to the other? He wanted to know why the House could not set aside all the difficulties they were involved in and deal with the whole of the ecclesiastical law under the same procedure and under the same Judge. "What mischief, he asked, could possibly arise from such an arrangement? If adopted it would do away with all the anomalies he had mentioned, and it would be a very serious and a large improvement in the law. It would have this further advantage—It had been broadly stated in the course of the debate on the Bill that the object of the measure was to put down Ritualism. He was as little a friend to Ritualism as any hon. Gentleman in that House, and he admitted the necessity of carrying out the will of the House, so emphatically expressed with regard to the matter, indeed he would go to any extent in having that will enforced; but at the same time he thought they ought to avoid perpetuating the memory of their present heats and passions on the subject in a Bill which, while it might effect an improvement in procedure, was really a measure levelled directly against a particular class of offences. Therefore, he suggested that the House would do wisely by forbearing, in the whirlwind of their passion, from pointing more distinctly to the special class of offences that were most in their minds than they did to other classes, and by placing all offences against the ecclesiastical law under one procedure. He apprehended that no hon. Gentleman in the House wished that if any offence were committed against the ecclesiastical law, besides the offence mentioned in this Bill, it should remain unpunished; and if it was to be punished, it should be tried with the least possible expense and delay to any of the parties. As to the objection which had been made to the salary proposed to be given to the Judge, he could not join in the cavil about paying £8,000 a-year for his services; while as to his being only partially employed, surely that objection would be extremely modified if the system which he (Mr. Lowe) proposed were adopted, and the Judge dealt with the whole of the ecclesiastical law at once, instead of with mere shreds and patches of that law. On those grounds, and not with the least wish of impeding the progress of the Bill, he begged to move the Resolution of which he had given Notice.

, in seconding the Motion, said, he was afraid that the most able and exhaustive speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London had left him little to say. But one thing he would mention before he sat down. In the Bill, it was proposed to provide a Judge for the purpose to which the Bill related, and that Judge was to have a salary of £3,000 a-year. He did not grudge the salary of £3,000, but, as he had already said, and as he would say again if necessary, he did grudge the source from which that salary would come. As had been said by no less an authority than the Prime Minister, and by the hon. Member for Berkshire (Mr. Walter), in his able speech on the subject, the House was now asked to legislate concerning a mere handful of men. The three great parties into which the Church was divided were the High Church, the Low Church, and the Broad Church. He did not imagine that it was the members of any these parties who were aimed at by this legislation; but the House was determined to enforce the law upon those few individuals who were accustomed wilfully to break it. In that determination he concurred; but he thought that the House should ascertain the law before, they attempted to put down these lawbreakers. Out of that handful, he believed the House might subtract a certain number. A certain number would break the law as long as the law was uncertain; but he had such confidence in the loyalty of the English clergy, that he believed as soon as the Bill was passed—nay, even as soon as the House had spoken, as it spoke on Wednesday last, a great proportion of that small handful would obey the law. He believed the residuum was very small. For that very small residuum the House was asked to appoint a Judge at a salary of £3,000 a-year. That was very bad economy. It was a waste of the public money. If the House, however, would agree to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman, the Judge might have something to do; because as long as human nature remained what it was, it could not be doubted that the ecclesiastical law would be broken just as the civil law was broken; and if the Judge to be appointed was to have the whole administration of the ecclesiastical law, he (Mr. J. G. Talbot) thought the salary was not extravagant. But he trusted the House would pause for a moment before they passed a Bill which dealt only with one branch of the ecclesiastical law, and left the other untouched.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That it be an Instruction to the Committee, that they have power to make provision for extending the said Bill to all offences by Clerks in Holy Orders against the Law Ecclesiastical, and to repeal the Act 3 and 4 Victoria, cap. 8, for better enforcing Church Discipline."—(Mr. Lowe.)

said, although he agreed with almost the whole of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London, yet it must be remembered that this was the 17th of July. That must be his answer to the right hon. Gentleman's Motion. If it was February, instead of July, he would most heartily support the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman; but it was too late to deal that Session with that proposal, and it was important that the measure should be carried this Session. The Bill which was introduced two years ago by the Home Secretary, and other Bills of the same description, were not carried, because too much was attempted. No doubt, this was a comparatively small measure, and dealt only with a small portion of the law; but he thought the great body of the House had significantly shown their feeling as to the importance of it, and that the passing of it should not be endangered by attempting to enlarge its scope. With regard to the salary of the Judge, the Bill provided that, upon the offices of Dean of the Arches and Official Principal becoming vacant, that Judge should discharge the duties belonging to them, so that he would have more to do than some hon. Members supposed.

said, that during the first discussion on the Bill, he insisted on the point which had been taken to-day by his right hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Lowe), in the form of an Instruction, and he could not help thinking that if his right hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Russell Gurney) or those who had originated the Bill in the other House had introduced it as an Amendment of the ecclesiastical procedure throughout, a great deal of the heat of these discussions would have been avoided. His right hon. and learned Friend had placed on the Paper a very conciliatory Amendment, to the effect that the Bill should not come into operation until the 1st of July next year. The Judge to be appointed under this Bill would in November become Dean of Arches, and probably Provincial Judge of the Province of York. He hoped his right hon. and learned Friend would state whether he would undertake to introduce at the beginning of next Session, a Bill providing that the procedure adopted in regard to these special offences should be extended to all other ecclesiastical offences. If such an undertaking was given, the passing of this Bill would be greatly facilitated.

said, he was prepared to state, that if no one else of more importance than himself should propose such a Bill next year, he would be perfectly ready to do so.

said, the question whether the Bill could be extended from form to substance depended not on the fact of that being the 17th of July, but on the will and pleasure of Her Majesty's Government. If the Government gave their support to his right hon. Friend's Instruction, such an extension could be made, and the Bill passed in the present Session.

thought the Bill should be extended to the wider area proposed, and that it should be applicable to all offenders against ecclesiastical doctrine. However, the House of Lords had limited the Bill to its present scope, and even if Her Majesty's Government afforded the House an opportunity of extending the Bill in the way proposed by the Instruction, it was hardly probable that the other House would agree to such an extension. The measure was aimed exclusively at one particular class of offenders. It happened that in the course of his life he was never concerned personally in more than one trial in the Ecclesiastical Courts. That was a suit which he instituted against a clergyman who held ultra-Calvinistic and Supralapsarian doctrines. The clergyman had refused to prepare the children of his parish for confirmation, but the curate did so, and the Bishop confirmed them. Then, the clergyman said, that because they had been confirmed they were doubly children of hell. He was informed that he could not hope to relieve the parish of this clergyman at a less cost than £2,500. That expense he was prepared to incur, but he was informed by the Bishop that if he agreed to pay the clergyman's debts, amounting to £700, he might induce him to resign the living. Accordingly, he paid off the clergyman's debts; but he would ask whether that was a decent condition of the law. That case would have been comprehended in this Bill.

thought the Instruction proposed by his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London would, if carried, have the effect of expediting rather than of retarding the progress of the Bill, because its adoption would cause a large number of Amendments already proposed to fall to the ground. He had looked very carefully into the Bill, and he protested he could find in it nothing that touched the law relating to ecclesiastical offences. He should be sorry to see the Bill endangered; but he still thought it might be so improved as to command the confidence of clergy and laity throughout the country.

After the direct appeal which has been made to me by my hon. and learned Friend, I hope the House will allow me to assure him that he has fully and correctly represented mo. The House knows very well that I have never concealed my opinion that this Bill was a hastily-conceived one; but after the debate of Wednesday last, I came to the conclusion that, rightly or wrongly, the House had determined to pass it this Session. I have accordingly gone very carefully through the Amendments upon the Paper, and I was surprised to find how short and few these were, which would alter the Bill into the shape proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London; but, more than that, as the hon. and learned Member who spoke last pointed out, not only are those Amendments few, but they sweep away an enormous number of others which belong to the Bill as it stands. The adoption of the right hon. Gentleman's Instruction might cost us, at the outside, an additional day's sitting; and, then, what should we gain for it? A great deal of the heat which has been generated and no little of the sense of grievance which has rankled throughout the country, as I can personally testify, and as it was so well put forward by the right hon. Gentleman, has arisen from the fact that many clergymen did feel that, whether the new procedure was right or wrong, wise or unwise, it was hard linos to come down upon them with a penal Bill relating to differences of Ritual, and to leave grave moral offences untouched. If you alter the Bill in the way proposed, you would be just as well able under the altered Bill to come down upon Ritual-ism, whatever that may mean. For I own that I am one of those who never knew what Ritualism was. I say this very seriously. I never did understand it, nor do I understand it now. I fully acknowledge that there are excesses of worship, to which I am as much opposed as the hon. Member for North-east Lancashire (Mr. Holt); but there are, on the other hand, certain ornate forms of worship which some men like and others do not, but which it is very unfair indeed to class with those particular excesses. Whatever else they may be, they are not contraventions of the rubric, but an earnest effort to use it to the fullest extent. The world terms proceedings which stand in the first category ritualistic, and the same word is also applied by those who have little love for the settled order of the Church to those in the second class; but, while this ambiguity continues, and until we are furnished with an intelligible definition of Ritualism, I really do not know what the word means. That, however, is by the way. The irritation would be removed if you made this a Bill for the Amendment of Ecclesiastical Procedure generally. You would want but little time for the work, and your gain will be that you pass a measure which will produce a contented instead of a discontented feeling among a large class of persons whom it is well at least to keep in good humour if you wish to make your legislation felt and obeyed.

said, that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had made a suggestion, and from the manner in which it had been responded to by the right hon. and learned Recorder, he thought the matter might be disposed of in a way that would be agreeable to his right hon. Friend who had moved the Instruction. The right hon. and learned Recorder had consented that the operation of the Act should be put off until July next, a pledge being given that another Bill should be passed before the 1st of July, dealing with the questions raised by the Instruction of his right hon. Friend, so that the two Acts might come into operation together. The question now was, whether the House should pass the Bill in the form in which it had come down from the other House, and wait until next year, with the assurance of the Recorder that he would then introduce a supplementary Bill more carefully con sidered, or should try to incorporate with this Bill Amendments which must be hastily and crudely made. If his right hon. Friend the Member for the London University would get up and say that he would accept the suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman the (Secretary of State for War, and agreed to by the Recorder, it appeared to him it would be generally accepted by the House, and would undoubtedly be the most convenient course which could be adopted.

Sir, an appeal has been made to the Government and to myself to express an opinion upon the question. I think the offer made by the right hon. and learned Recorder was made in a very liberal spirit, and the House ought to appreciate it. But the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Dodson) seems to think that it is the duty of the Government, and it is in their power, to carry the Instruction of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London into effect, if they determined to do so. I do not wish at present to give an opinion upon the policy recommended by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London. I have considered the matter while this discussion has been going on, and it is my opinion that if that Instruction be carried, there will immediately crop up upon our Paper a new class of Amendments. For instance, there will be the question as to the mode of trial of criminous clerks—whether they should be tried by a jury or not, a question which has already been debated in Convocation; but that is only one example of the class of questions which would immediately arise. Therefore, without giving any opinion myself upon the policy involved in the Instruction, I can only say, being anxious that the Bill should pass, I beg to disclaim the responsibility which the right hon. Member for Chester wishes to place upon me. I recommend the House not to adopt the Instruction of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London, although it may be founded on sound principles, and may lead hereafter to beneficial legislation, but to go as soon as possible into Committee on the Bill.

said, that two most important questions were brought before the House by the Instruction of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London, an Instruction, the propriety of moving which he perfectly concurred in. His right hon. Friend had proposed that the new procedure should apply to all offences against the Church Discipline Act, and several hon. Members had followed up the suggestion, by saying how unreasonable it appeared that proceedings against Ritual should be easy, and proceedings against morals should be difficult, He entirely approved his right hon. Friend's object, though he was glad to find that the Prime Minister had suggested that it would be better to deal with the subject in another Bill on account of difficulties of detail. But there was another most important class of offences against the Church Discipline Act, offences with regard to doctrine; and it appeared to him, if the question raised by his right hon. Friend were brought before the House, they must also set about making procedure easier, in order to put a stop to offences with regard to doctrine. It was said that it was perfectly easy to define what was a breach of Ritual, but that the pulpit was a place in which great liberty and licence was allowed. He was not going to give an opinion whether there should or should not be liberty in the pulpit; but if the House were at once to determine that they should put down all offences in the pulpit that would be a very serious matter. He could not conceive anything more serious, and he was perfectly surprised that hon. Gentlemen who knew so much more of the state of the Church than he did, should think that an attempt to pass a law to that effect would be received with less fear or excitement than the present Bill. On the contrary, it appeared to him that, in almost every parish, members of the Church would be set considering whether the doctrines preached from the pulpit were or were not in accordance with those of the Church of England. This, for instance, might happen. One party in the Church which was attacked upon Ritual might avenge itself by attacking another upon doctrine. That certainly was new matter brought before the House, and every hon. Member, whether belonging to the Church or not, ought to have full opportunity of considering carefully whether the doctrines laid down in the Articles of the Church of England were such as he would wish to see en forced by more stringent regulations. That was a most important matter, and if his right hon. and learned Friend the Recorder would follow out his undertaking, he would insure for the House next year a most exciting Session, in which they would have to define what were the doctrines of the Church. ["No, no!"] It appeared to him, at all events, that they would be landed in that result, which might be a very dangerous one, and he therefore thought they should not take the course which had been indicated.

said, he did not share in the apprehensions of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford, and he believed the feeling of the House was well ascertained that the same form of procedure must be applied to all classes of offenders against ecclesiastical law. But after the conciliatory and statesmanlike answer given by the right hon. and learned Recorder, he would ask whether they were not now discussing what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Loudon would call form rather than substance. The right hon. and learned Recorder had said, that he assented to the views placed so well before the House by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London, and that next year, he would undertake to introduce a Bill in conformity with those views. He, for one, recognizing the impartial spirit which had characterized the language and proceedings of the right hon. and learned Recorder throughout the discussion, was perfectly satisfied with the pledge he had given, and it would be a most unfortunate circumstance, after the pledge was given, if the House were now to discuss and divide upon the Motion of the right hon. Member for the University of London. His sole motive for rising was to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he would not consent to withdraw the Instruction.

said, after the opinions which had been expressed, and the declaration of the Prime Minister he would not press his Resolution.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

"Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—( Mr. Russell Gurney.)

Although I shall not proceed with the Resolution of which I have given Notice, I am not sorry that I put it on the Paper because it expresses views which I believe ought to be brought before the House at this stage of the discussion. It has been criticized for its length but a long Notice often saves the necessity of a long speech. I could have shown that there was a more excellent way of dealing with the subject than that proposed by the Bill; but the postponement of the date at which the Act is to come into operation from January to July next year, will give that time to the Church in its constituted assembly to review the rubrics for which I plead. It will also give time to Parliament, if it pleases, to enact such changes consequent on that review as may appear desirable With this arrangement I am quite satisfied; indeed, I may claim that I have been virtually successful in the object of my Motion. I trust that neither Convocation nor Parliament will lose time in dealing with the question. I will not keep the House another minute from going into Committee; for my Resolution as it stands on the Paper sufficiently shows that the credit of having undertaken to grapple with the Ritual difficulty not by way of simple repression and sharper penalties, but through the politic course of considering the rubrics and of amending them according to the changed conditions of the times, is due in the first instance to a Conservative Government, namely to that of the late Earl of Derby, when the present Prime Minister was, as he now is, leader of this House. The Ritual Commission so appointed dates back to the year 1867, and Parliament, as I have proved, co-operated in the policy during more than one Session; Convocation also played its part, and thus both Church and State have already granted some rubrical relaxations in Acts which were unanimously passed. Parliament will now have the opportunity of completing the work so well undertaken and so unluckily interrupted.

in rising, according to Notice, to move—

"That, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that so soon as a vacancy shall from time to time occur in the office of Vicar General and Official Principal of each of the Provincial and of the Diocesan Courts in England and Wales, the Judge to be appointed under this Act shall become ex officio such Vicar General and Official Principal, and that the salary of such Judge shall be paid out of the fees now payable to the said Vicar General and Official principle. "
said, he wished to enter his strong and decided protest against the Common Fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners being diverted from the purpose to which it was now devoted—namely, the augmentation of small livings—in order to pay the salary of the Judge to be created under the Bill. A somewhat lengthened experience of Ecclesiastical Courts, and of the procedure therein, had satisfied him that the present state of the Diocesan Courts, though considerably improved by recent legislation—as, for instance, by taking evidence vivâ voce instead of by depositions before examiners—was unsatisfactory and dilatory, and urgently required amendment. In some instances, the want of a speedy and inexpensive appeal to a Judge resulted in an absolute denial of justice. In others the cost was so enormous as to be ruinous to the promoter, as well as to the person against whom the office of the Judge was promoted. The real question, however, was—whence could funds be raised for the Judge's salary? In his (Mr. Monk's) opinion, the Judge would have very little work to do, and would have ample time to perform the duties of the Diocesan Chancellors, as well as of the two Provincial Vicars General. Nine-tenths of the duties of the Chancellors were of common form and ministerial only. There were 25 of these officers, whoso salaries in the aggregate amounted to a very considerable sum, and whose duties were not very considerable, consisting mainly in granting faculties, attending visitations and consecrations, and in advising their respective Bishops on points of law: and yet one-third of the number were clergymen. He ventured to think it was not out of place in a Bill of this gravity to propose to replace the present holders of those offices, as vacancies occurred, by a single Judge, whose whole time would be devoted to the ecclesiastical business of the country. If Parliament, in its wisdom, thought fit to abolish their offices as vacancies occurred, he should, as one of them, be ready most cheerfully to surrender the jurisdiction he had hitherto exercised in ecclesiastical causes, in the same way as he had previously surren dered his jurisdiction in testamentary matters without compensation. He begged to move his Resolution.

Sir, I rise for the purpose of seconding the Motion of my hon. Friend. I should not attempt to detain the House for a few moments, were I not convinced that my hon. Friend who made the Motion is really considering economy of time in making it; and that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Recorder for the City of London has it in his power to produce a very considerable economy of time if he is disposed—and I hope he may be—to accede to the principle of the Motion. What I conceive that principle to be is this—that we do not intend to charge the salary of the Judge who is to be appointed under this Bill upon that fund which is the solo public fund we are enabled to look to for the augmentation of many scandalously small clerical incomes in the Church of England, and for the foundation of new cures in that Church. This is not a small question; it is a question broad in principle. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Russell Gurney), in his speech on the second reading, made a statement in de fence of the principle of the Bill which he afterwards found to be incorrect. I am told that it is entirely untrue that the salaries of diocesan chancellors are charged upon the Common Fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; but whether they are or not, I am, for my own part, equally prepared to resist any invasion of that fund for the purpose of providing the salary of this Judge. In my opinion, the matter of the salaries of diocesan chancellors has never been considered by this House so as to make the Common Fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners liable for them; and until I am better informed, I shall continue to believe that there is no such charge upon that fund. But be that as it may, is it now really to be supposed that we are going to provide this salary from such a source, or is the salary necessary at all? I contend there is no such necessity; there is no cause for appointing a permanent Judge with a high salary, for if there is to be litigation under the Bill, it must be litigation for the settlement of certain questions which when once settled cannot seriously recur; and it is quite impossible to compare them with a case where you are going to provide a means of dealing judicially with questions year by year, in the anticipation of a constant and permanent supply of such questions. There is not, I believe, the smallest likelihood of anything of that kind. But even if there were, I should contend that we ought not to charge the Common Fund for such a purpose. I will not enter into details. I think it is not for us, but for the right hon. Gentleman to point out whence the salary should be drawn, in case the House should determine that it is not to be drawn from the Common Fund; but I believe my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester is perfectly correct in saying, that the salaries for these ecclesiastical officers which now exist, amount in the aggregate to a very considerable amount of emolument, and that there is a very small amount of duty. With regard to the salaries paid to some of these officers, there is the Official Principal of the Archbishop of Canterbury, more commonly known as the Judge of the Court of Arches. It so happens that his salary amounts to about 10s. a-year upon an average of recent years, while he has discharged ten times as much duty as all the rest of the other chancellors put together. But there is an office now held by the Judge of the Court of Arches which is called that of the Master of the Faculties, and for which the emoluments are £600 a-year. Then there is the office of Dean of Faculties, who with a very small amount of duty has a salary of over £1,000 a-year. There is then the Commissary General of the city and diocese of Canterbury, who is an officer answering, in the case of the Archbishop, to the chancellor of other Bishops. He is the diocesan Judge, and his salary is small, not exceeding £200 a-year. If it were necessary to make some small addition to that, it could easily be done. Then there is the Official Principal of the Chancery Court in the Province of York, who is the provincial Judge. These offices are at present held by the same gentlemen, and at rare intervals, and the salary is £600 a-year. In fact there is for disposal in this way a sum of something like £2,400 a-year, out of which some provision ought to be made for diocesan Judges, corresponding to the chancellors in the ordinary dioceses. But what is the proper manner in which to secure an efficient Judge? It seems very properly to have been held that this Judge ought to be a first-rate man. What is the price of a first-rate man? It appears that the market is very much baissé as they call it in French. When the Bill was first introduced, the price was put down at £4,000. It now stands at £3,000.

rose to Order. He was sorry to interfere, but he wanted to know whether the observations of the right hon. Gentleman ought not to be made in Committee on the Bill rather than at the present stage?

ruled that the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman were quite relevant to the question before the House.

I say the market has lowered, if we are to get a first-rate man for £3,000 a year. It being admitted that he ought to be a first-rate man, why should we pay £5,000 a-year to all our Chancellors, who cannot be bettor than first-rate men? The real truth is that this is a low figure, this £3,000, and it is chosen apparently, because there is a suspicion that there will not be a sufficiency of duty. Now, that is an arrangement which cannot in any way be deemed satisfactory, and I think wisdom dictates a pretty clear course. We cannot be certain what will happen. We must look to probabilities. If we look to those there may be more or less litigation; but as to the idea of a Judge continually sitting and deciding ecclesiastical controversies, I say no man contemplates such a state of things. I say that if any man contemplated such a state of things, and believed that from life to life and from generation to generation, that was to be the future condition of the Church of England, neither that Church nor any other Established Church could stand such a state of things, and such a scheme would be more likely than anything else to promote the views of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Richard). It appears to me also we ought not to look simply to the remuneration of the Judgeship. We have, from the composition of our laws, arrangements by which a great many of the most eminent jurists are disposable. Independently of the Judges of the land, we have usually two or three retired Lord Chancellors, and five or six persons retired from other offices, who, although they may not be in such bodily vigour as to be able to carry on their functions as they originally received them, yet might be perfectly able to undertake such duties as those contemplated in this Bill. I should say the rational course would be to look at all the available emoluments from the ecclesiastical offices, and combine those emoluments in the best manner, and, if necessary, to make these emoluments the inducement to Judges who are partially free, and from whom there will be a selection. Be that as it may, I will resort to any expedient, and will ask the judgment of the House upon the propriety of resorting to any expedient whatever, rather than to charge this large salary, which will probably be supplemented by claims for pensions, upon the fund for small livings and new cures. I do not wish to raise the question of ecclesiastical salaries; but even that question ought to be raised, rather than that we should invade the fund for small livings. I make this intimation, because I earnestly hope the right hon. Gentleman will save us further trouble; and it will expedite the passing of his Bill, if he will indicate to us that he is disposed to take this burden off the Common Fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. It is in that spirit that I have spoken, and I think it would be good economy to accept the proposal.

Amendment proposed,

To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that so soon as a vacancy shall from time to time occur in the office of Vicar General and Official Principal of each of the Provincial and of the Diocesan Courts in England and Wales, the judge to be appointed under this Act shall become ox officio such Vicar General and Official Principal, and that the salary of such judge shall be paid out of the fees now payable to the said Vicars General and Officials Principal,"—(Mr. Monk,)

—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

said, he did not think it would be necessary to secure the services of a special Judge for the purposes of the Bill, inasmuch as it would not be necessary for him to hold continuous sittings, and his duties would only be occasional. Ho, therefore, had given Notice of an Amendment to the effect that it might be left to the Archbishop with the consent of the Crown, to select any of the Judges of the land to exercise jurisdiction under it until, at all events, it was known how the new law would operate.

urged the expediency of going at once into Committee. The proper time for discussing the question raised as to the new Judge was when the clause relating to it was brought forward, and that would he on the 7th clause. The question was, no doubt, a very important one, for it was most desirable that the decisions of the tribunal about to be created should carry the utmost weight with them in the country, and he hoped the matter would be dealt with from that point of view.

concurred with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich, that there would be a real economy of the time of the House in obtaining the opinions of hon. Members on the question at once. With regard to the appointment of a retired Judge, it had been the common practice to swear in a retiring Judge as a member of the Judicial Committee, and in that capacity he gave a great deal of time to the performance of judicial duties. There were at present three retired Lord Chancellors—Lord Chelmsford, Lord Hatherley, and Lord Selborne, each of whom might be ready to give up his time; and he was sure, in that event, that no one could perform the duties in a more satisfactory manner. Why, then, should a sum of £3,000 a-year be paid when able services of a retired Judge might be obtained for a sum of £1,000 or £1,500 a year.

submitted that the matter now before them ought to be discussed, not at this stage, but in Committee.

said, he was asked to give a pledge at once to agree to something in the nature of the proposal of the hon. Member for Gloucester. He was not prepared to give any such pledge, as he did not at present know that the office of Vicar General was one that ought to be continued. In regard to the salary of the Judge, he was the last person in the House who would desire to charge any fund applicable to the improvement of poor livings, and he would not have made the proposal in the form he did, unless he had been perfectly satisfied, from information which he had in possession, that every farthing that would be advanced by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the payment of that salary would be recouped afterwards by a plan which would be introduced in the course of next Session for the alteration of certain offices. He should be prepared to discuss the matter when they came to that part of the Bill in Committee. The feeling which he had, in the first instance was, that it was of importance to have a Judge whose character and reputation would give confidence in the tribunal, and he felt, of course, the difficulty of securing the services of such a person without a certain salary being named. He had obtained further information as to the amount of business, and he agreed that it would be desirable as opportunities occurred to add to the duties of the Judge, and, by giving him certain existing offices as they became vacant, to remove the present difficulty as to his salary. With this view the Bill at present provided that on a vacancy occurring in the office of Dean of the Arches or that of the Master of the Faculties, the Judge should be appointed to it, and if there were other offices which could be added to the number he (Mr. Russell Gurney) would have no objection to add them.

said, that after what had been stated by the right hon. and learned Recorder, he should not feel it necessary to embarrass him or the House by moving the Amendments of which he had given Notice.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 1 (Short title).

, in moving, with the view of preventing any misapprehension and of describing more accurately the present nature of the Bill, that the title be altered from "The Public Worship Regulation Act, 1874," to "The Ecclesiastical Causes Procedure Act, 1874," said, the measure had in its progress acquired a degree of fairness which justified the House in passing the second reading. As the Bill had come down to them, he did not see any objec tion to its provisions generally, but he did see the importance of changing its designation. The disfavour with which it was received arose from the faultiness of its title, and it was desirable therefore that that title should express more truly the meaning of the measure. The Archbishop of Canterbury took great pains a few days ago in Convocation to insist upon the fact that the question involved in this Bill was purely one of procedure in ecclesiastical causes, and if the title proposed were adopted, it would do away with an immense amount of that painful apprehension excited by the Bill, as it was first introduced into the other House of Parliament.

really thought that the title suggested would be more fitting, supposing that the suggestion of the right hon. Member for the University of London had been adopted. He would suggest to his hon. Friend that he should withdraw his Amendment, and raise the question on the Report.

said, that the Amendment, as it stood, was liable to objection, because it seemed to imply that all ecclesiastical causes came under the Act. On the other hand, the present title was not accurate.

said, the short title—namely, "The Public Worship Regulation Act, 1874," described the real objects of the Bill, and, if that was rather lengthened, it would answer every purpose.

suggested that the difficulty might be got rid of by having no short title. A short title was not wanted

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause postponed.

Clause 2 (Commencement of Act).

On the Motion of Mr. RUSSELL GUR-NEY, Amendment made, in page 1, line 11, by leaving out "January," and inserting" July."

thanked the right hon. and learned Gentleman for the concession he had granted.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3 (Extent of Act).

suggested that the words "and the Channel Islands" should be omitted, because the Channel Islands might not be willing to accept the legislation of the House.

said, he had not yet made an inquiry on the subject, but he thought the best course would be to postpone the Amendment till the Report.

said, that was a matter which touched the dignity of only a very small body, and he thought it would be far bettor to omit the words.

said, if those words were retained he should move the insertion of "Wales."

moved, as an Amendment, in page 1, line 15, the omission of the words "and to the Channel Islands."

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 4 (Proceedings under this Act not to be deemed proceedings under 3 & 4 Vict. c. 86. s. 23.); and Clause 5 (Saving of jurisdiction) agreed to.

Clause 6 (Interpretation of terms).

moved, as an Amendment, in page 2, line 21, to leave out "other than a cathedral or collegiate church."

said, he had no particular opinion about the matter. He must, however, oppose the Amendment, on the ground that the services in cathedrals and collegiate churches did not come within the general category of Church services.

supported the Amendment, maintaining that the difference of service was no sufficient ground for exemption. He could not see why services under the deans and chapters should be privileged; cleans and chapters were bound to obey the law as well as the clergy who ministered in parish churches.

also supported the Amendment. He did not see why cathedral or collegiate churches should be allowed to transgress the law any more than other churches. He looked upon them as mother churches who should set an example to the others.

suggested that the Amendment be postponed till the 16th clause was reached, which dealt with cathedral churches.

contended that though the clause under discussion dealt with the subject of the interpretation of terms, it was different from an ordinary Interpretation Clause, and ought to be retained in its present form. He could see no object in maintaining the proposed distinction.

said, the question was who was to make representations to the Bishop in the case of collegiate churches.

said, his objection to Clause 6 was, that it gave laymen no power whatever. They could initiate proceedings against parochial clergymen, but not against the clergy of a cathedral or a collegiate church.

could see no ground for the exemption, and thought the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department had given the best of all reasons why there should be no distinction.

said, if collegiate churches were to be included, it would be necessary to provide some other machinery to put the law in motion.

said, the Committee appeared to be unanimously of opinion that cathedral and collegiate churches should be included. The Committee was not, however, now discussing what places should be included in the scope of the Bill, but what should be the meaning of the word "church." Perhaps the right hon. and learned Recorder, who drafted the Bill, was the best judge on this point.

thought that no harm could come from the omission of the words, as the 16th clause provided machinery for dealing with cathedral and collegiate churches. He submitted that the word "incumbent" would not be applicable to a collegiate church at all.

said, he wished to point out that "incumbent" was so explained that it would be applicable to a parish as well as to a collegiate church.

Amendment agreed to; words struck out accordingly.

, in moving as an Amendment in page 2, line 36, to leave out from "age," to" who," in line 39, protested against that attempt to widen the line of demarcation between Churchmen and Dissenters. According to the Bill, a parishioner meant only a person who had subscribed a solemn declara tion that he was a member of the Church of England as by law established. That interpretation, he thought, was too strict, and he contended that a man ought to be able to lay claim to being a parishioner without having subscribed such a declaration.

Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 36, to leave out from the word "age," to the word "who," in line 39, inclusive."—( Mr. Dillwyn.)

Question put, "That the words 'who before making any representation' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 269; Noes 86: Majority 183.

, in moving, as an Amendment, in page 2, line 29, to leave out "one year," and insert "three years," said, such an Amendment was necessary in order to give greater security against a man newly settled in the parish harassing an incumbent by vexatious proceedings. The complaining parishioner, he thought, should be a person of some standing in the parish. If that were required, it might prevent persons going about from parish to parish for the mere purpose of taking proceedings against the incumbent.

hoped the hon. Gentleman would not press his Amendment. If a man came into a parish and found the incumbent violating the law, he had as good a right to complain as if he had been in the parish three years. He also thought it was going rather too far to say that when a man found objectionable practices going on he should not be allowed to complain of them for three years.

supported the Amendment, on the ground that a man should not be allowed to disturb the peace of the parish, unless he had lived for some time in it, any more than a man who had not been a Member of that House for a year would be allowed by the public opinion of the House to do anything which would tend to disturb the harmony of the House.

said, it would be most unreasonable to limit the operation of the Act in the manner proposed by the Amendment, which he hoped would not receive the support of the Committee. There was no fear more groundless than that entertained by some that three parishioners would be so eager to make these complaints. People were not so willing to come forward in such eases; they did not like to incur the odium of the clergy and the disapproval of their neighbours.

Amendment negatived.

moved, as an Amendment, in page 3, line 3, to leave out all after "relates" to "parish," in line 5, inclusive.

thoroughly agreed that the words in question ought not to remain in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to; words struck out accordingly.

moved, in page 3, line 5, after "parish," to insert "or cathedral precincts."

opposed the Amendment, which would turn cathedrals into a sort of proprietary chapels to those who lived in their precincts.

explained that his object was to enable somebody who saw anything wrong in a cathedral church to become a complainant.

said, that object would be effected by an Amendment which he intended to move in a subsequent clause.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On the Motion of Sir HENRY SELWIN-IBBETSON, Amendment made in page 3, line 5, after "parish." by inserting as a separate sub-section—

(Barrister-at-law.)

"Barrister-at-law shall in the Isle of Man include advocate."

On Question? That the clause, as amended, be agreed to,

wished to know whether the right hon. and learned Recorder would consent to insert after the word "male" "or female." Women were often better church-goers than men, and it was hardly right, therefore, to exclude them from the power of joining in a complaint.

wished to protest in the strongest language against the new test created by the Bill. It would have the effect of driving away those Wesleyans who were attached to the Church, and who attended church in the morning and their own chapels at night. He had no doubt that the numerous Wesleyans in the county where he lived would resent the restriction as a bitter insult. He trusted that the House of Commons, in trying to reform the Church, would not deliberately exclude persons sincerely attached to it, and that some means would be found on the Report of giving the Wesleyans a legal status in this matter. He was sure that many of them would have conscientious scruples against signing this test—"I do solemnly declare I am a member of the Church of England as by law established"—before they could lodge a complaint.

thought the objection ought to be raised when they came to the Schedule, and not on that clause.

said, that any legal rights then possessed by Wesleyans and other Dissenters were not proposed to be taken away by the Bill. It was simply to give facility of procedure.

replied, that before a parishioner could make a complaint, he would have to make a solemn declaration that he was a "Member of the Church of England as by law established."

said, of course the idea of those who opposed extension was, that if a man were not a member of the Church, he could not find fault with the manner in which the services were conducted. Many persons attended both church and chapel, and such persons would not like to declare themselves members of the Church of England.

rose to Order. The hon. Member was returning to a question which had been decided.

said, that the question now being that the clause be agreed to, the hon. Member was in Order.

believed that this test would not have the effect of preventing persons who were not members of the Church from offensively making complaints as to the manner in which the service was conducted, because it would be easy to find three persons who would for the consideration of a pint of beer profess themselves members of the Church of England. It was absurd to insist on this test when the Bill provided that a single churchwarden who might be a Dissenter or a Jew could lay a complaint. If persons brought forward complaints for the purpose of causing annoyance the Bishop would not entertain them. He had voted with the minority in the previous Amendment, because he thought it undesirable even in appearance to create a new test, which, moreover, was unnecessary.

said, it was very rarely that Wesleyans attended a Ritualistic church, and therefore such persons were not likely to be aggrieved parishioners.

thought that the Dissenting Bodies could not expect the House to go out of its way to give them privileges for litigation. He considered that it was only fair to the clergymen that the test should be imposed, because it would not be right that persons not being actually members of the Church should be entitled to make a representation.

observed, that after such an overwhelming expression of opinion, the question ought not to have been revived.

said, he represented a constituency including a large proportion of Nonconformists, and objected to the test, adding that he noticed indications of a desire to denationalize the Established Church, and make it a Church of a sect. He hoped the right hon. and learned Gentleman would re-consider this matter.

was quite sure the Wesleyans were not desirous to be put into the position which was now placed before them. If a clergyman could not find three members of his own congregation to proceed against him, he would be in little danger of the pains and penalties of the Bill.

said, the Church did not interfere with Dissenters, and he did not think it would be right that Dissenters should be allowed to interfere with a service from which they had spontaneously alienated themselves.

observed, that it was loss of time to re-argue the question involved in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) which had been already decided, especially as it was not proposed to divide the House against the clause.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 7 (Appointment, duties, and salary of judge.)

moved as an Amendment in page 3, line 11, after "sign manual," to insert "jointly or severally as the case may be." The hon. Member said the object of the Amendment was to enable two Judges to be appointed, one for the Province of Canterbury, the other for the Province of York. Under the Bill there was to be one provincial Judge for all England. He fully agreed that there ought to be a small number of Judges; but thought the Bill went too far in laying down absolutely that the Provinces of Canterbury and York, differing in their history, traditions, and local circumstances, and in many respects in the character of their inhabitants, should necessarily have the same Judge. He proposed that, if it should be necessary, there should be two Judges. Possibly a retired Judge might be appointed—who need not be an ecclesiastical jurisconsult—the sole business of whose life would be directed to the various ecclesiastical offences raised under this Bill. If there were two Judges, there would be the advantage that one of them might correct the mistake of the other, and not risk the idiosyncrasies of a man—who had, perhaps, gone to Church law late in life—being stamped upon the whole Church.

thought it most important the House should adhere to the arrangement in the Bill for appointing only one Judge, for whoso salary he was afraid there would be some difficulty in making provision. He need not say that if two were to be appointed, that difficulty would be increased. He would also observe that there would be a High Court of Appeal, where the errors of a single Judge might be set right.

Amendment negatived.

moved, as an Amendment, in page 3, line 11, to leave out from "a barrister" to "has been" in line 13. By the clause as it stood, a barrister of ten years' standing or an ox-Judge would be appointed. He believed that the duties to be performed would be light and might be undertaken by one of the ordinary Judges, without interference with his other work. If such interference should occur, the Judge might, for example, be relieved from going Circuit. By adopting the present proposal, a Judge could easily be obtained who would have the necessary independence and would possess the confidence of the country, and who, moreover, would have sufficient work to do to keep his faculties from stagnating.

pointed out that the Judges were already fully occupied, and that their number would be reduced under the operation of the Judicature Act. Under these circumstances, the effect of the Amendment would be to cause a deadlock. If a Judge were appointed at £3,000 a-year, and the business of the Court did not occupy his whole time, he could assist the other Judges, and thus give work enough for the salary, besides strengthening the existing judicial staff.

said, he hoped the Amendment would not be agreed to, it being, in his opinion, most important that there should be a special Judge for this kind of business. If his Amendment had been adopted, there would have been ample funds from which to pay the Judge.

said, if the new Judicature Act had contemplated the appointment of three additional Judges he could understand their proposing to appoint one of them the Judge to execute this Act, but not otherwise.

expressed the opinion that, within three years or so nearly all, if not all, the questions that would come up for decision under the Act would be disposed of, and that altogether there would not be more than 10 or a dozen. That being the probability, he held that it would inspire great confidence in the public mind, if they could have a person taken from the existing judicial staff to execute the provisions of the Bill. They must have a person who was independent, who had considerable judicial experience, and who was capable of deciding such important questions as those which might arise under the Bill. Unless they had a thoroughly competent Judge nothing but dissatisfaction would arise. The great difficulty would be to get such a man, and he thought they might fairly follow the precedent which they had in regard to Judges to try Election Petitions.

said, the same Judge was not likely to give conflicting decisions, and after two or three years, practically, the law would be so well understood that no one would venture to appeal. In that case, there would be no difficulty in finding a barrister to perform the duties of the office.

said, he thought it very undesirable to make a life appointment to the office in question, for the Judge might have next to nothing to do. He thought the Government ought to state what their opinion was on the question before the Committee.

said, he quite agreed that the question about the Judge was one of the most important parts of the Bill. The country would judge of the earnestness of the work the Committee was about, by the manner in which they decided the question of the appointment of the Judge. If the Committee adopted the idea that that was a small affair, and that there would be nothing for the Judge to do, the public would imagine that it was not intended that the Bill should be efficiently put in action. If, however, they intended it to be a Bill which was to declare the law of the land as applicable to the Parliamentary State Church, that matter ought to be dealt with in a serious manner and under the authority of a Judge competent to deal with such matters. When they talked of the enormous salary of £3,000, did they suppose that the Church of England, with its enormous endowments, was not able to provide the means of paying the salary of a Judge to enforce the law for the benefit of its own clergy and its own people? He could not entertain the idea for a moment that the Church of England could not provide the means. It was said that the Judge would have little to do; but he was not so sure of that, and, at all events, he hoped the Committee would not think that a used-up Judge—a Judge who had retired from the Bench on account of his inability to carry on judicial work—should be appointed to carry out the measure. They ought to appoint a first-rate man and give him an adequate salary; and if they found, on experience, that he had not enough to do in deciding ecclesiastical questions, he might be employed on other business. In that view, what would he wiser than to say that the Judge appointed for the limited purposes of the Bill should take the appointment subject to the performance of any other duties which Parliament might impose upon him?

said, he hoped that, by the appointment, the hard-working incumbents of poor livings in populous places, who obeyed the law, would not be called upon to defray the expenses of their richer neighbours who broke the law.

said, he did not wish to see an occasional Judge appointed; but he contended that after two or three years, it would be found he had little to do.

said, the judicial system had broken down in consequence of so much work being put upon the Judges. What he would suggest was that two new Judges should be appointed, and the junior should perform the work of this Bill. Juniores ad labores. The way in which Mr. Justice Keogh, a junior Judge, had performed duties that were extra-judicial, showed what reliance might be placed on the manner in which a junior Judge in this country would carry out this Bill.

said, he believed that the Bill, when carried, would be almost self-acting. He would suggest, however, that one of the Colonial Lord Chief Justices who generally returned to this country in the prime of life might be appointed to try these cases. They were not used up, were in receipt of pensions, and were perfectly qualified for the office.

said, his opinion was, that they ought to appoint an efficient man—the most efficient they could—to transact the business, without any reference to any other circumstances. He would remind the Committee that the Judge who would be appointed would have, perhaps, more to perform than they contemplated, because all these duties of the Ecclesiastical Judge were performed by the Judge of the Admiralty Court, and he was paid a large salary—£4,000 a-year—by the nation. That Judge, under the new Judicature Act, would relinquish all those ecclesiastical duties. He would be raised to £5,000"a-year, and the rank of the other Judges. That would, probably, lead to consequences which would assist them in considering the remuneration of the Judge under this Bill. The point, however, now to be decided was, whether they would have the most efficient Judge possible for this work, and he did not think any claims of appealing to those Judges already appointed, or calling upon retired and exhausted Judges, ought to be considered.

said, great inconvenience had arisen from the Judge having duties to perform in the Admiralty Courts, besides those which belonged to the Ecclesiastical Court. The consequence was, that a large portion of the business in the latter Court was delayed. He agreed that there were difficulties to contend with; but they would arise more properly on the latter part of the clause. At the same time he did not think it desirable, when they wanted the best possible Judge, that they should exclude the largest class from which the selection could be made.

Amendment negatived.

, in moving, as an Amendment, in page 2, line 15, to leave out "a," said, that the object of his Amendment was that, as vacancies occurred in the office of Vicar General of any of the diocesan Courts in England and Wales, the Judge to be appointed under the Bill should fill those offices ex officio, in the same way that he would become ex officio Judge of the Court of Arches on a vacancy occurring, and also ex officio Official Principal of the Chancery Court of York. His proposal was based upon a desire to find a mode of paying this Judge other than through the Common Fund of the Ecclesiastical Commission.

said, that if what was meant was that that Judge should absorb the Diocesan Courts of England and Wales as vacancies arose, that was, he thought, a very reasonable proposition.

inferred, from what was stated by the hon. Member for Gloucester earlier in the debate, that the real object was to abolish the Chancellors throughout the Church of England. If that were so, it was a great step which the Committee was called upon to take by the elision of the little letter "a."

said, that he could not comprehend the proposal, which, so far as he could understand it, would have the effect of rolling 27 gentlemen into one. The Committee were in this difficulty—these Courts were the Courts of the Bishops, who had sent down the Bill without any intimation that they desired to give them up, and it might very well be that they were of use for other purposes, and could not be dispensed with. It would be a dangerous course to abolish them in a Bill of this kind by the omission of the indefinite article.

said, he wished to avoid any misconception that might arise from the fact that he, too, had proposed to omit the letter "a;" but his reason was just the opposite of that of the hon. Member for Gloucester, with whom he did not agree. His own Amendment was a consequential one, following upon an Amendment which the House had declined to accept, so that it must be abandoned.

said, the effect of the Amendment would be to build up a new system of ecclesiastical law, which they did not wish to do by a side-wind. If the Judge was to be occupied by all sorts of diocesan, he would not be available for his own special business.

Amendment negatived.

moved, as an Amendment, in page 3, the omission, in line 23, of the Proviso—" Such Judge shall be ex officio an Ecclesiastical Commissioner for England." He did so because he thought the duties of the office should be entirely of a judicial character, and that the Judge to be appointed should not be connected with any other office.

supported the Amendment, as it was undesirable to increase the number of those who might be termed honorary Members of the Commission. He hoped that the Committee, in accepting the proposal, would not pledge themselves to the selection of a "specialist," which in an Ecclesiastical Court was to be avoided.

hoped his right hon. and learned Friend the Recorder would accept the Amendment.

said, he was willing to defer to the general opinion of the Committee. The Proviso had been inserted, because it was thought desirable to strengthen the lay element on the Commission.

remarked that the lay Members were sufficiently numerous, but they hardly ever took part in the deliberations of the Commission. There were already persons nominated specially who were likely to strengthen the lay element in ecclesiastical procedure, as they were persons of large experience. Amongst them were the Lord Chief Baron and the Lord Chief Justice.

Amendment agreed to.

, in moving, as an Amendment, in pages 3 and 4, the omission of the words—

"Any salary or emoluments which such Judge shall he entitled to receive from the said offices, other than the office of Judge under this Act, shall be paid over by him to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for ling-land, and all fees payable in respect of proceeding's before the said Judge under this Act shall also be paid over to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners shall pay to the said Judge by equal quarterly payments such salary as shall be assigned by the Queen, by Order in Council, not exceeding the sum of three thousand pounds per annum."
—said, he rose to make an objection to the paying the salary of the Judge out of the Fund of the Ecclesiastical Commission. He did not think that, after a short time, the Judge would have much to do, at any rate, after a certain period had elapsed from the passing of the Bill—even if he took cases of immorality, which were extremely rare, and cases of doctrine, which it was hoped, for the peace of the Church, would be also extremely rare in the future; but that was a secondary question, upon which he did not wish then to give an opinion. He did not ask the House to give any opinion as to what ought to be the salary of this Judge, but would rather that that matter were separately considered. He admitted that the most efficient man possible should be obtained, but he did not agree with the objection that had been made to retired Judges. Many retired Judges returned to the Bench, and especially the Lord Chancellor, who commonly retired with the view of returning to office. In his opinion, it would be wise to appoint one who already had had some experience of a Judge's functions, and to select a man whose decisions would carry with them the weight of the highest authority. What, however, he took his stand on was, the principle that from whatever other source the salary of the Judge was to be derived, it should not come from the Fund of the Commission. Let them consider the objects with which that Fund had been established. The whole plan of ecclesiastical reform connected with the re-modelling of the Episcopal incomes, and the great changes introduced into the cathedral bodies, depended on it, and it had been mainly established to remove two prime evils from the Church. One of them was the extreme poverty of certain benefices—so great that it was difficult to get efficient men to fill them; but, beyond that, there was the still greater mischief of a vast population not detached from the Established Church, but failing in active connection with it from the want of churches and pastors. For years statesmen and Ministers of all parties had co-operated in the establishment of a sufficient fund for the purpose of supplying those great deficiencies. There was also the providing of new Bishops, on the necessity of which Bishop Blomfield had insisted; and at one time it was thought by some that, as the Episcopal estates contributed largely to the Common Fund, a portion of it might be fitly devoted to the endowment of new bishoprics; but the proposal was opposed, and rejected, on the ground that if the Fund were once invaded other charges would be imposed upon it. The Common Fund had always been watched by Parliament with the greatest jealousy, and the watchfulness had been maintained down to the present day. It was with astonishment, therefore, that he had heard the right hon. and learned Gentleman make a proposal which was radically at variance with the ecclesiastical policy of the last 40 years. He believed that, with the exception of £300 a-year granted to maintain the Lambeth Library, there had been, during the period he had mentioned, no interference with the Common Fund. Let them look at the object of that Fund. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners had made use of the Fund in such a way as to unlock private benevolence for the purpose of increasing the income of small benefices. For every pound, therefore, that would be taken from the Fund for the remuneration of this important officer, two pounds would be withdrawn from some of the most important functions of the Church-namely, parochial duties among the poor. Even a moderate—perhaps a too moderate—salary for this Judge, drawn from the Fund, meant the salaries of 20, 30, or perhaps 40 of these incumbents and curates, going among the mass of the population, spending their time in preaching and teaching the young, in ministering and performing the services of the Church, and in consoling the sick. In short, such an amount of good would be withdrawn from these purposes that he hoped the House of Commons would be induced not to entertain the proposal. It was no part of his duty to suggest the other sources from whence the salary was to come; but he put it broadly, that it ought not to come from the Common Fund. He had already mentioned three sources from which it might be obtained, every one of which was preferable to that proposed. The proposal of the Bill was mischievous and evil in itself, and if it were once entertained, other claims would infallibly come up; and they would have no option with regard to them, if they now made a false step. He still hoped that the right hon. and learned Gentleman would agree to his Amendment; but, if he did not, he (Mr. Gladstone) would feel obliged to take the sense of the House upon it. He therefore begged to move the omission of the words directing that the salary should be paid by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

said, if the right hon. Gentleman had waited a few minutes he would have himself proposed this alteration. At an early stage of their proceedings that day he had mentioned that he had considerable doubts on the point, and that nothing would induce him to trespass upon the Common Fund, unless he was satisfied that every penny of it would be recouped. He thought the simplest plan would be to leave the new Judge as filling the office of the Judge of the Arches Court, the principal officer of the Chancery Court of York, and the Master of the Faculties; and, until some further legislation took place, he thought that had bettor remain so.

said, what was wanted was a first-rate Judge, and they were going to offer him a situation in which the salary would depend in a great degree upon the income of offices not yet vacant. In other words they were offering him a reversion. If they went into what had been called "the Judge market," and told a man that he would get certain offices when they were vacant, they would not be likely to get a good Judge. It would be necessary to offer a good salary for that purpose.

maintained that there was ample justification for the proposal in the Bill. For how had that Common Fund been formed? Out of incomes taken from the Bishops, who were, therefore, no longer able to meet the expense of prosecutions under the cumbrous machinery hitherto in use. Parliament had alienated the fund from purposes of ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and therefore, in justice to those who had made the proposal, this salary ought to be given to the Judge out of the Common Fund.

asked whore the money was to come from, if not out of the funds of the Church of England? He protested against its coming from the Common Fund of the country. It should not be forgotten that the Committee had limited the whole operation of the Bill to members of the so-called Church of England.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—( Mr. Dillwyn.)

said, the question was, when they should meet again to resume the consideration of that Bill in Committee. It would be convenient if they could do so that evening. There were some Motions on the Paper which were interesting, but not of that absorbing character which the present Bill possessed. One of them, of which Notice had been given by the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Alderman M'Arthur), related to the Fiji Islands—a subject which now very much occupied the attention of the Government; and he did not think its discussion would be very convenient at the present moment. There were several other Motions by hon. Gentlemen which, although he appreciated their importance, he did not think could compete for a moment in interest with the continuance of their labours on that Bill: and. therefore, if those hon. Mem bers would kindly give way and assist the House, he trusted that they might proceed at 9 o'clock with the Committee, and probably terminate it that night.

said, that after the very satisfactory statement made by the noble Lord in "another place" as to the intentions of the Government to yield to the expressed wish of the inhabitants of Fiji, and to annex those Islands, he did not think he would be acting rightly if he did not accede to the appeal just made to him by the Prime Minister.

, while thanking the hon. Member for yielding to his suggestion, would be sorry to obtain that concession under anything like false pretences. The hon. Member had certainly made a communication to the House which his noble Colleague in "another place" had not made to him (Mr. Disraeli).

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.

And it being now five minutes to seven of the clock, the House suspended its sitting.

The House resumed its sitting at Nine of the clock.