I beg to ask the hon. Member for West Salford, as representing the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, if he would state to the House, what is the present income of the capitular estates formerly belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury, and what was the income derived from them at the time of their surrender in 1860; whether, in view of the Order in Council, dated 11th October, 1861, the £10,000 paid to the Fabric Fund can be held to have been drawn out of the common fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, or was a consideration for such transfer and conveyance (of the capitular estate) for which due allowance had been made in fixing the annuities to be paid to the Dean and Chapter; and, whether, considering that the said Chapter has suffered severely from the agricultural depression, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners will reconsider their decision of refusing a grant for the preservation of so renowned a specimen of early English architecture?
said, the estimated net income derived by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from the Salisbury Chapter estates, which now form part of the common fund, was for the year ending March 31st last £4,000. The net income in 1862 (the first year for which the Commissioners received the income) was less than £2,400, and the annuity paid by the Commissioners to the Chapter under the Commutation in 1861 was £4,200. The annual deficiency and the £10,000 granted to the Fabric Fund were advanced out of the common fund, as there was no other source from which they could have been obtained. The Commissioners are of opinion that they have on power to make the further grant which is desired, and they are not prepared to reconsider their decision. I may perhaps be allowed to add, as bearing upon the question, that the Commissioners have made to poor benefices having local claims on the Salisbury Capitular estates augmentation grants to the amount of £3,600 per annum in perpetuity.