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given notice of his intention to make a convenience of the House as well as that statement on Friday next as to the views of the Government, that the hon. Member and intentions of the Government in regard for Montrose and the hon. Member for Berto the naval forces of the country.

He wick should accede to the request of my saw, however, Notices given for that day right hon. Friend the First Lord of the by the hon. Members he had alluded to Admiralty. It is of great importance, upon the Motiou for going into Committee after all that bas been said on the subject, of Supply. Now the duty he proposed that I should bring forward on Monday discharging, the nature of which he had next the Motion of which I have given given notice of, was of an arduous and diffi- notice for that evening ; but if those cult character ; but it would be rendered Motions of the two hon. Members are to much more difficult and arduous if debates be interposed between the business which should arise upon the Motions of the hon. precedes them and that which my right Members upon going into Committee of hon. Friend has to bring before the House Supply. He feared under such circum- —the Navy Estimates — certainly it will stances, it would be hardly possible for not be in my power to do so. Both sides him to undertake the duty he proposed. of the House seem to think it desirable Hon. Members had, no doubt, a full right that there should not be any postponement to bring on such questions, if they pleased, of the statement of my right hon. Friend; and he only appealed to their courtesy in and if he be prevented from making it on asking them to waive their right on the Friday evening, I shall be perfectly ready evening in question, when they found that to allow him to avail himself of Monday, the details of one of the greatest interests and I shall ask some hon. Gentleman to be of the country were to be submitted to the kind enough to give me some evening not House.

devoted to public business. However, Sir, MR. BAXTER said, it was generally it will not be my fault if my Motion does understood that a Reform Bill should be not come on at the time I named for it. introduced with respect to Scotland. The With respect to what has fallen from the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of hon. Member for Montrose, I must repeat the Exchequer on Monday would introduce what I have stated in answer to questions his Reformi Bill for England. If the right put by hon. Gentlemen — that I think it hon. Gentleman would then make a gene- would be more convenient if the Governral statement with respect to the whole ment were allowed to state their intentions country, he (Mr. Baxter) would withdraw on the subject of the amendment of the his notice for Friday night, but if the laws relating to the representation of the right hon. Gentleman meant to confine people in Parliament when introducing the himself to England and Wales, he did not measure which they intend to bring forward see his way at present and without further on the subject. Following the course alconsideration to accede to the request of ways taken by our predecessors I shall the First Lord of the Admiralty.

make a statement on that occasion ; and MR. STAPLETON said, that with re. I think I shall then have an opportunity gard to the Notice he had given, he of showing the hon. Member for Montrose thought it of paramount importance that (Mr. Baxter) that it is more advantageous there should be some discussion on the to the public interest that the usual course Danubian Principalities before the confer- should be adhered to in this case also. ence assembled. The other night when With regard to the Motion of the hon. the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor Member for Berwick (Mr. Stapleton), I of the Exchequer) appealed to him (Mr. mentioned to him on a former occasion Stapleton) to forbear taking advantage of that the Notices, as at present fixed, were the notice, he yielded, but adopting the so scanty that he would no doubt have an suggestion of the noble Lord the Mem- opportunity of bringing bis forward ; but ber for the City of London (Lord J. I did not mean to intimate to him then Russell), he then gave a fresh notice that that he should seek an opportunity of he would bring forward the subject at the taking a Government night. I do, thereproper time on going into Committee of fore, hope that the two hon. Members to Supply. If he were now to give way, he whom my right hon. Friend has appealed might not have an opportunity of doing it — the hon. Member for Montrose and the at all before the conference assembled. hon. Member for Berwick

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE- it necessary, in pursuance of their public QUER: Sir, I think it would be for the duty, to interfere with the arrangements

may not feel

LEAVE.

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which he has made for introducing the say that it was not the principle upon which Navy Estimates on Friday night. That Gentlemen opposite acted when he was in will enable me to make my statement on office. During that time nothing was more Monday night; and if I be afforded that frequent or common than interpositions opportunity, I trust I shall be able to con- and debates on other matters to prevent vince the hon. Member for Montrose that Mr. Speaker from leaving the Chair that the course I propose is the most convenient. the House might go into Supply. If this

MR. MONCKTON MILNES said, he statement of the right hon. Baronet was had Motion for Friday night. As it re

As it re. so pressing he had had nearly three weeks' ferred to appointments made to offices in opportunity of bringing it forward. He the East he was anxious to have it brought might have made it that very evening, for on before the persons to whom it referred there was no pressing business to come behad been put to any inconvenience in pre. fore them but a statement by the right hon. paring for their journey. He had no ob- Gentleman the Secretary of State for the jection, however, to give up Friday night, Home Department, which might have been but he hoped that the gentlemen would made last Friday. Therefore, he did not not be put to the inconvenience of starting think the Government ought to go so far for their posts pending events which might as to put back all other business for a stateoccur in that House, and which might ment which might be given at nine o'clock make a countermand necessary.

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or even at ten o'clock on Friday night. MR. KNATCHBULL - HUGESSEN said, that the Motion of his noble col. Orders of the Day read, and postponed league (Lord C. Paget) was not in the till after the Notice of Motion relative to same category as the Notices of those hon. Church Rates. Gentlemen who had been appealed to. It related to the Navy, and might therefore

CHURCH RATES. be very appropriately discussed on the night on which the Navy Estimates were MR. WALPOLE rose to call the atten to be brought forward.

tion of the House to certain Papers relative SIR JOHN PAKINGTON said, the to Church Rates which have been laid upon notice of the noble Lord did not relate to the Table of the House by Her Majesty's the Navy, but to the form of the Estimates, comm

mand, and to submit a measure to the and might be brought forward upon a sub- House on that subject : and said —Sir, I sequent occasion. He said he was obliged have to bring forward a question in respect to the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. M. of which a long agitation in the public Milnes) for his courtesy, and must renew mind necessarily causes me to feel much his appeal to the other two hon. Gentle anxiety and hesitation. I feel that the men.

duty I have to perform on the present occa. VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, he con- sion is no ordinary one ; for on the part sidered it justifiable on the part of the of Her Majesty's Government I have to Government to ask hon. Gentlemen to post- undertake what at all times would have pone Motions which might lead to a long been a difficult task, but what after all discussion, and throw back the statement the controversy that has arisen upon the which the right hon. Baronet, the First subject, will, unless I receive the forbearLord of the Admiralty had to make, so as ance and indulgence of the House, be, I to render it impossible to him to accomplish must say, almost an impossibility. I am what he had to say within the limits of the about to propose, on the part of the Gohours during which that House ordinarily vernment, what I believe will be a just, sat ; but he (Viscount Palmerston) would a moderate and a reasonable settlement beg to remind the Government that state-of a question which has baffled bitherto, meots of much importance, and statements and which, except for that assistance concerning Estimates, had been made at which, I shall freely acknowledge, we an hour of the night later than that at have received from others, I believe might which they were now sitting. It was baffle still the most earnest efforts of therefore rather too much for the Govern- statesmen and of Parliament. But with ment to protest against any one bringing that assistance I do not despair that forward any subject on the Motion for some settlement may be come to which going into Supply on the ground that it at the same time will prove satisfactory would prevent them from going into a to Churchmen and also to Dissenters. The statement that same night. He could only House will remember that this question VOL. CLII. (THIRD SERIES.)

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has long been considered one of which stated, no doubt in strong language and it was obligatory, for the Government to with powerful argument, that the Bill was undertake the settlement. It is nearly one which nobody could accept, who felt twenty-five years since the greatest Mi- what I think all of us ought to feel nister of modern times said, that this the duty of maintaining the rights of question was one which admitted of no prescription from time immemorial, and delay; that it required an immediate who would not desire to repudiate for and a practical adjustment; that for the himself or for the landowners of the satisfaction of the great body of the country a charge fairly resting upon the people, in the interests of the Church, property of the country from the payment for the maintenance of social harmony, of which it ought not to be absolved. and to preserve obedience and subordin- My noble Friend urged with equally poweration to the law, the Government entrusted ful argument that it was for the benefit with the management of affairs was bound of the poor man that you should not deto take the question in hand at once, in prive the Established Church or the coun: order that it might not remain during au- try of the means of keeping up those other twelvemonth a theme for parochial fabrics which are a greater blessing, I meetings and a subject of resistance for pa- believe, to the poor than to the rich whose rochial martyrs. When I find such an opin- estates are taxed for their support. At ion delivered by such a mag-when I re. the same time my noble Friend held out, member all the Administrations that have and wisely held out, encouragement for succeeded him in the twenty-four years those who looked to a settlement, and did that have since passed over our heads-and intimate in the plainest terms a manifest when I see that during that time nothing desire on the part of the Government to has been done in relation to that question see in what way this controversy could be except to renew agitation and controversy concluded. My noble Friend remarked, " I upon it, I feel more than ordinarily anxious will venture to say to Dissenters on the lest this Administration should now neglect part of the Church, and I believe I may say its duty, even while proposing what night on the part of the Government, that we will not have been, perhaps, in the commence- meet them with the most conciliatory feelment of these debates the best settlement ing. “But,"he added, and “but” I may add of the question, but which would then have also, “unless some prospect is held out to been a good settlement, and I believe is us that we shall be met by them in the now the only practical mode of bringing it same spirit, we must maintain the law as to a conclusion,

it stands. That law, as it stands, is While alluding to what I have found plain and clear; and the inconvenience of calculated to discourage me, the House that law is equally plain and clear. In will permit me to point to one circum- substance, that law, so plain and so clear, stance, which tends to give me confidence. has by the highest tribunals in this counI refer to the tone and spirit in which the try been declared to be a law which inquestion was debated in the discussions poses an imperative obligation upon the of last Session. The right hon. Baronet parishioners of every parish to maintain the Member for Morpeth (Sir G. Grey) the fabric of their church. These are who proposed the abolition of church rates, very nearly the words of Lord Chancellor was anxious that some substitute should be Truro when pronouncing his judgment found for them before the abolition was on the subject. At the same time, Sir, I made. From every quarter of the House think it cannot be denied that that law has a strong desire was expressed to see if now some inconveniences. It was made at some substitute could not be found. When a time when the whole population of the the Bill went up to the other House of country was of one mind in matters of reParliament strong expressions no doubt ligion. That law is not now the expression were used against the measure, which of the religious opinion of the time; and

measure brought forward for a some opinions on these matters are not, total abolition ; but equally strong opi- unfortunately, now universal. Since we are pions were expressed there-equally by not unanimous on them-and since, in conthe noble Duke who brought forward the sequence, persons not belonging to the question, as by other noble Peers--in fa- Church do not derive the benefit which the vour of a settlement. Such being the posi- Church by its ordinances can give, what tion in which we were placed, my noble could formerly be said with truth no longer Friend at the head of the Government applies. The Church does not impart to

was

a

the Dissenters, except indirectly, those ad- of parishes that have exercised the right vantages which she formerly imparted to of withholding it, or have refused to exerthe entire people.

cise it, and not the respective populations, Before, Sir, we can approach to the afford the correct test. The parishes that consideration of a settlement it is ne refused to make the rate were only 408 cessary to make ourselves thoroughly ac- in number. Now, considering that such quainted with the case as it now stands. church rates have been a charge on perIn order to do this, I hope the House will sons in respect of property from time inallow me to refer to Returos presented to memorial, it does seem to me one of the this House, and which are to be found in most extraordinary propositions ever an. our Blue-books and from other sources. I nounced, that, for the sake of 408 parishes shall first refer to the Return presented in which have refused to obey the law, you 1852, and which was for the eighteen are to deprive the remaining 8280 of the years preceding, or from 1833 to 1851. privilege of continuing to obey it. But I shall afterwards refer to the Return pre- there is another remark I have to make in sented in 1856, and which was for the reference to that Return, and it will be im. fifteen years preceding that year. The portant with regard to some observations I Return of 1852 sets out that cities and shall by-and-by have to offer to the House. Parliamentary boroughs in which the rate It appears from that Return that there are was made or levied from Easter, 1833, to forty-one places which had refused the rate Easter, 1851. From this Return it ap- before and which have since paid it. This pears that out of 1,047 parishes, from is an important fact which I wish you to which Returns were sent, there were only bear in mind, as I shall make use of it 216 in which church rates were actually when I come to the substitute which I refused during the whole period of eighteen shall have to submit to your notice. years. That, no doubt, was a limited Re. I now come to a different Return, giving turn, confined to 1,047 parishes. I now the amount of expenditure under three come to the Return of 1856, the summary heads. First, for the fabric of the church; of which I take not from the Blue-book, secondly, for the celebration of Divine woras there is some difference in the figures, ship; thirdly, for other purposes. It gives, but from a Return which I am informed is in addition, the sources from which the substavtially a correct one. It appears money has been supplied; and this it also that this Return, extending over fifteen gives under three heads. Firstly, from years, came from 9,672 parishes. How rates; secondly, froin endowments; thirdly, many of these does the House imagine from voluntary subscriptious. Since that gravted the rate, and how many refused Return was laid on the tablo I have a it? Of these 9,672 parishes, 8,280 grant- subsequent Return from 500 parishes. It ed the rate, 408 refused it, 444 gave will make no difference, or very little, dubious replies, and 544 had provision whether I take the statistics from the made for church repairs from other sources; Blue.book minus those 500, or whether I so that not one-tenth of the parishes from make my statement more perfect by addwhich this Return was made had refused ing that number. The amount of annual this rate for the period of fifteen years. average expenditure on the fabric of the The right hon. Baronet the Member for churches is £321,000-I leave out the Morpeth (Sir George Grey), when this Re. fractions of the hundred

the average turn was referred to two years ago, made for the celebration of Divine worship is an observation which produced a great ef- £172,000; the average for other purposes fect in the House at the time. He said — is £94,000. And I find there were re.

" It is true that not one-tenth of those pa. ceived from rates an annual average of rishes refused the rate ; but what about the popu- £261,000 ; from endowments, £45,000 ; lations ?"

from voluntary subscriptions, £262,000. I think the right hon. Baronet will see Now, I stop here for one moment to rethat you cannot apply the test of popu- mark the proportion between the voluntary lation in this case, If the tax were å ge- subscriptions and the money raised by neral one, extending over the whole popu- rates. In those 10,500 parishes £261,000 lation, then the test of population would be was raised by rates ; £262,000 was raised a just one ; but where it is leviable over a by voluntary contributions. [“Hear, bear!" vast number of minute sections, and each from the Opposition benches.] I am exsection has the power to answer the levy by ceedingly glad to hear that cheer, because giving or by refusing the rate, the number before I come to the conclusion I intend to make use of that circumstance as the House for a few minutes' indulgence while foundation of part of the Government mea- I endeavour to exhaust the different modes süre. There is another fact I wish to point hitherto suggested, and to reduce us, as I out to you, and it is a very important one. think I shall, to the only mode, or the That Return gives you the number of only modes which, taken together, can now Churchmen, as compared with the Dis- be propounded on the subject. The first senters ; it also gives a statement whether remedy sought to be applied was in 1834. the property in the parish is much or little That was a proposition of Lord Althorp in subdivided. These two returns I am taking which he suggested that the land tax, to from the blue-books, for I have not yet the the extent of £250,000 a year, should be analysis of the subsequent returns from charged with the sustentation of the fabric the 500 parishes I have just adverted to. of the churches. The objection to that It appears that the landowners in 1367 of was obvious. After the land tax is parthese parishes were all of them Church- tially redeemed, if you apply £250,000 men; in 7436 the landowners were Church. a year of the unredeemed part of the land men generally ; the Dissenters and Church- tax to the support of the fabric you are men were about equal in 1050 parishes ; taxing one portion of the landowners, and and as to 353 there was no return on this one portion only, to do that for which the head. So that out of 10,206 parishes whole are liable. That scheme was so obthere were 8803 of those parishes the jectionable that it was given up. The second landnwners of which are Churchmen gene- was made by the present Lord Monteagle, rally; 1050 partly Churchmen and partly when Chancellor of the Exchequer. His Dissenters ; and 353 were not stated. proposition was that you should arrive, Observe the enormous proportion of the if you could, at the improved value of landowners who were Churchmen in those church property, and that you should parishes. I then take the divisions and charge that property to the extent of subdivisions of the property. It appears £500,000 a year for the purpose of affordthat in 5750 parishes the property is in ing the necessary funds. The objection to very few hands; in 1480 it is subdivided; that was twofold—first, that it was unjust; in 2713 it is much subdivided. I mention secondly, that it was improvident. It was these facts because I intend to rely on unjust, because, in fact, you were transthem afterwards. The result then is this, ferring a charge from the laity to the in round numbers, and, taking a general clergy, and were giving every landlord a view of the question, that out of 10,500 receipt in full for a debt not a single parishes £261,000 per annum is contri- farthing of which he would have paid. "It buted by rates, and £262,000 by voluntary was improvident, because it was taking benefactions ; the greater part of the land away the only available means you had to owners in the parishes are Churchmen, and meet the religious destitution of the country the property is in the hands of propor- by anticipating the funds in the hands of tionably few persons. And these circum- the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which stances will facilitate the proposition I shall funds at this moment are not nearly equal make to you hereafter. These are the re- to keep pace with our ever-increasing popusults of the Returns before you ; and I lation; and unless you husband these funds think it will encourage us in two inferences. for the purpose of augmenting the small The one is, that since there is a charge livings and for the purpose of providing upon persons in respect of property, and further pastoral superintendence and care, those persons are principally Churchmen, you will not have the means of making the plea of conscience is not a strong plea your religious instruction keep pace with for doing away with a charge that has the wants of the people. The third remedy existed from time immemorial. The second was that of Sir Robert Peel. His propoinference is, that since it appears that by sition was never reduced to the shape of a voluntary contributions large sums are now Bill ; but the proposition was to throw raised for the purpose of supporting the the charge on the Consolidated Fund. To fabric it will be wise in the House and in this objections were immediately taken. Parliament, as far as it can, to look to Independently of the objection that the voluntary benefactions to get rid of a com- landlords would thereby be relieved to the plaint which is made when the payment is extent of many millions of charge on their compulsory.

property, there was the objection, an objecNow, in discussing the question, whether tion constantly raised in this House till it any remedy can be found, I must ask the has become almost an universal rule, that we

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