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The Welsh Commissioners

Volume 32: debated on Tuesday 9 April 1895

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he will lay upon the table an estimate of the probable receipts and expenditure of the Welsh Commissioners for each of the first five years from the date of the passing of the Established Church (Wales) Bill, including in that expenditure the established charges for the Commissioners and their staff, the cost of maintaining the Cathedrals, and the necessary provision for the interest and instalments of the principal of any loans made by the National Debt Commissioners to the Welsh Commissioners? And, whether it is intended that any part of such expenditure shall be charged on property attached to parochial benefices, or solely on the property defined in Clause 3 of the Bill.

It is not possible to furnish such an estimate as the right hon. Baronet asks for. Apart from other respects in which such an estimate must at this moment be too speculative and contingent to be trustworthy, it could only be made by anticipating, which I have no means of doing, the operation of Clause 4 of the Bill, which provides that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty shall, immediately after the Bill passes, ascertain what is Welsh Ecclesiastical property, and apportion it as provided by the clause of Clause 5, which provides that the Welsh Commissioners shall determine what are private benefactions; and of other clauses of the Bill. As regards the second paragraph, I may point out that Clause 3 covers, for purpose of transfer to the Welsh Commissioners, property attached to parochial benefices, as well as other property. The intention, however, and, I believe, the effect of Clause 9 (b) is that the expenditure referred to in the first paragraph of the question should be borne by the property which is not attached to a parochial benefice, and which will remain in the hands of the Welsh Commissioners.

inquired whether any estimate had been made of the cost of maintaining the Cathedrals.

[No reply was given.]