THURSDAY, 30th JUNE, 1921.931
The Committee consisted of the following Members:
Wilson, Mr. J. W. (Chairman)
Adair, Rear-Admiral (Glasgow, Shettleston)
Adamson, Mr. (Fife, Western)
Asquith, Mr. (Paisley)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Glasgow, Partick)
Barnes, Mr. George (Glasgow, Gorbals)
Barrie, Mr. Charles (Banff)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)
*Breese, Major (Carnarvon)
*Broad, Mr. (Derby, Clay Cross)
Brown, Mr. James (Ayr and Bute, S. Ayrshire)
Buchanan, Lieut.-Col. (Lanark, Coatbridge)
Cheyne, Sir Watson (Scottish Universities)
Churchill, Mr. (Dundee)
Collins, Colonel Sir Godfrey (Greenock)
Cowan, Mr. (Scottish Universities)
Cowan, Sir Henry (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Eastern)
Craik, Sir Henry (Scottish Universities)
Elliot, Captain (Lanark, Lanark)
Ford, Mr. (Edinburgh, North)
Gardiner, Mr. James (Perth and Kinross, Kinross and Western)
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John (Glasgow, Pollok)
Glyn, Major (Stirling and Clackmannan, Clackmannan and Kinross)
Graham, Mr. Duncan (Lanark, Hamilton)
Graham, Mr. William (Edinburgh, Central)
Greig, Colonel Sir James (Renfrew, Western)
*Grundy, Mr. (York, W. R., Rother Valley)
Harmsworth, Sir Leicester (Caithness and Sutherland)
Henderson, Major (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Hogge, Mr. (Edinburgh, East)
Hope, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John (Midlothian and Peebles, Northern)
Hope, Mr. J. Deans (Berwick and Haddington)
Hope, Sir Harry (Stirling and Clackmannan, Western)
Horne, Sir Robert (Glasgow, Hillhead)
Hunter - Weston, Lieut. - General Sir Aylmer (Ayr and Bute, Bute and Northern)
Jameson, Mr. (Edinburgh, West)
Johnstone, Mr. (Renfrew, Eastern)
Kennedy, Mr. (Kirkcaldy District Burghs)
Kidd, Mr. (Linlithgow)
Law, Mr. Bonar (Glasgow, Central)
*Maitland, Sir A. Steel- (Birmingham, Erdington)
Macdonald, Mr. Murray (Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs)
Mackinder, Sir Halford (Glasgow, Camlachie)
McLaren, Mr. Robert (Lanark, Northern)
Maclean, Mr. Neil (Glasgow, Govern)
Maclean, Sir Donald (Midlothian and Peebles, Peebles and Southern)
Macleod, Mr. (Glasgow, Kelvingrove)
McMicking, Major (Galloway)
Macpherson, Mr. (Inverness, Ross and Cromarty)
Macquisten, Mr. (Glasgow, Springburn)
*Mitchell, Sir William Lane (Wandsworth, Streatham)
Morison, Mr. (Inverness)
Munro, Mr. (Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Murray, Dr. (Inverness and Ross and Cromarty, Western Isles)
Murray, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Kincardine and Western)
Murray, Mr. C. D. (Edinburgh, South)
Murray, Major William (Dumfries)
Murray, Mr. Gideon (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
*Murray, Mr. John (Leeds, West)
Nelson, Mr. (Lanark, Motherwell)
Pratt, Mr. (Glasgow, Cathcart)
Raeburn, Sir William (Dumbarton)
Robertson, Mr. John (Lanark, Bothwell)
Rodger, Mr. (Lanark, Rutherglen)
Rose, Mr. (Aberdeen, North)932 933
Scott, Mr. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Shaw, Mr. Alexander (Ayr and Bute, Kilmarnock)
Shaw, Mr. William (Forfar)
Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney and Zetland)
Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander (Fife, Eastern)
*Steel, Major (Kent, Ashford)
*Stewart, Mr. G. (Chester, Wirral)
Sturrock, Mr. (Montrose District of Burghs)
Sutherland, Sir William (Argyll)
Taylor, Mr. (Dumbarton District of Burghs)
Thomson, Mr. Frederick (Aberdeen, South)
Thomson, Sir William Mitchell- (Glasgow, Maryhill)
*Tootill, Mr. (Bolton)
Wallace, Mr. (Dunfermline District of Burghs)
*Williams, Mr. A. (Durham, Consett)
Wilkie, Mr. (Dundee)
Williamson, Sir Archibald (Moray and Nairn)
Wood, Major Mackenzie (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Central)
Young, Mr. William (Perth and Kinross, Perth)
Younger, Sir George (Ayr District of Burghs)
* Added in respect of the Church of Scotland Bill.
Committee Clerks. MR. COLOMB.
Committee Clerks. MR. FERGUSON.934 935 STANDING COMMITTEE ON SCOTTISH BILLS. Thursday, 30th June, 1921.
[Mr. J. W. WILSON in the Chair.]
Clause 1 (Effect of Declaratory Articles) ordered to stand part of the Bill.CLAUSE 2.
Nothing contained in this Act or in any other Act affecting the Church of Scotland shall prejudice any other Church in Scotland as a Christian Church protected by law in the exercise of its spiritual functions.
Mr. JOHNSTONE: I beg to move, after the word "prejudice," to insert the words "the recognition of." At a very early stage of the negotiations between the Established Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, both those churches recognised that their union would put the united churches in a very predominant position in Scotland. That was calculated to put the other churches in Scotland in an inferior or a depressed condition—"depressed" was the word used at the time. Both the churches expressed a wish that their new position should not unduly depress the other churches, and—
The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. Munro): Will my hon. Friend forgive me for interposing? I do not want to stop him, but it may shorten his speech if I say that I propose to accept the Amendment.
Mr. JOHNSTONE: That cuts my eloquence short. I think it well to say that both the Established Church and the United Free Church desire that the words of my Amendment should be inserted, and I know that the United Free Church expressed disappointment that the words should have been left out of 936 the Clause. Both parties will be gratified to know that the Amendment is accepted.
Mr. MUNRO: The reason why I propose to accept this Amendment is that which the hon. Member adumbrated, namely, that in a joint report through their respective General Assemblies in 1919 these words were included, and therefore they have the assent of both churches.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Subject to the recognition of the matters dealt with in the Declaratory Articles as matters spiritual, nothing in this Act contained shall affect or prejudice the jurisdiction of the civil courts in relation to any matter of a civil nature or to all or any of the temporalities at present or hereafter belonging to or enjoyed by the Church of Scotland or to the civil consequences attached by law to the decisions in matters spiritual of the courts of the said Church.
Mr. MUNRO: I beg to move to leave out the words "or to all or any of the temporalities at present or hereafter belonging to or enjoyed by the Church of Scotland or to the civil consequences attached by law to the decisions in matters spiritual of the courts of the said Church." I said on Second reading that I proposed to delete the last two lines of this Clause in deference to representations which were made to me and to apprehensions which were expressed with regard to its meaning. On further consideration and consultation we have come to the opinion that it would be quite safe and proper and would simplify the Clause and make its meaning quite clear if we omitted the words referred to in the Amendment. The Amendment goes a little further than that of the hon. Member (Mr. Johnstone). Probably the hon. Member will agree, on reflection, that my more comprehensive Amendment will meet his wishes better than his Amendment. The purpose of the Clause is to preserve the jurisdiction of the civil courts. That is quite well done by the first part of the Clause, ending at the word "nature."
Mr. JOHNSTONE: I am glad that the Secretary of Scotland has moved this Amendment. I hope he does not regard it as impertinent of me to put down my Amendment. I heard his statement on Second reading and I deleted from the 937 observations I then proposed to make any reference to this matter. I thought it proper, however, to put down an Amendment which coincided with my right hon. Friend's statement on the matter.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
CLAUSE (Citations and commencement) ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Nothing contained in this Act shall prejudice the status and rights of existing incumbents who refuse to assent to any innovations in doctrine or worship which may be instituted under the Declaratory Articles.—[Sir Henry Craik.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
Sir H. CRAIK: I beg to move, "That the Clause be now read a Second time." I am quite ready to leave the matter very largely to the decision of the Secretary for Scotland. But I move this Clause in response to very strong representations that I have received from those who, while in no way opposed to the Bill, think that a Clause of this sort will be satisfactory. I therefore ask the Secretary for Scotland to consider the point.
Mr. MUNRO: I am very much obliged to my right hon. Friend for the way in which he has moved this new Clause, and I am quite sure, at least I hope, that when I have said a few words with regard to it he may see his way not to press it. I understand the point of view from which he has acted and I do not in the least complain. If the Committee will look at the new Clause they will see its precise meaning. It would deny the Church any right, under Article 5 of the Articles, to make her constitutional jurisdiction effective upon all her members. I am sure my right hon. Friend would not desire that to happen. If you look at it from the point of view of the individual member, rather than from the point of view of the Church, you will find that the individual member would be able to refuse to be bound by the corporate and constitutional act of the Church of which he is a member. Therefore, regarding it from either point of view, this provision is undesirable. Moreover it seems to me to contain in gremio, in a 938 Bill designed to get rid of schism, a provision almost bound to ensure schism. It would be an invitation, almost implicit if not explicit, to difference of opinion, if not disruption in the Church. There is no reason to believe that these powers, when conferred, will be exercised by the Church otherwise than discreetly and constitutionally. Inasmuch as this merely expresses a constitution which the Church of Scotland believes herself to possess to-day, and inasmuch as no abuse of the kind contemplated by the Clause has arisen under the existing constitution, I submit that there is no reason to contemplate any such danger in the circumstances of the future. I do not want to say a single word of a contentious character, because of the extremely friendly way and the atmosphere in which my right hon. Friend made his speech. But I have put one or two points very briefly to the Committee and I would ask my right hon. Friend if he cannot see his way to withdraw the new Clause.
Sir H. CRAIK: I fully accept the considerate tone of the remarks of the Secretary for Scotland and to a very large extent I appreciate the force of his argument. I feel, still, that there is a little difficulty. I admit that the probability of any such exercise of arbitrary power by a majority in the Church is not likely to be feared in future. At the same time, I cannot help thinking that there may be those who hold that further developments of a Church which will have complete control, without any appeal to the law courts to confirm their decisions, may possibly give rise to a strongly founded feeling of oppression in an individual minister of the Church holding his status at present defended by the law courts, and now having to resign that independence into the hands of a majority of his own clerical brethren. I am afraid that I have a sufficient tincture of what my enemies would call the Erastian principle to hold to some extent to the advantages of a legal, impartial decision; but if it be, as I think the Secretary for Scotland has expressed, the feeling of the Committee, and what, I think, will very likely be the feeling of the great majority who do not feel those scruples and difficulties that occur to me and to my correspondents who brought this before me, I would ask leave to withdraw.939
Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
Schedule (Articles Declaratory of the Constitution of the Church of Scotland in matters spiritual) agreed to.
Title ("A Bill to declare the lawfulness of certain Articles declaratory of the Constitution of the Church of Scotland in matters spiritual prepared with the authority of the General Assembly of the Church") agreed to.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, with Amendments, be reported to the House."
Mr. MACLEOD: I feel that I am expressing the desire of all the Members of this Committee in asking leave to congratulate the Secretary for Scotland on the way in which he has carried this Bill to its present stage. It is no ordinary Bill. To legislate for Scottish ecclesi- 940 astical disputes which have raged during a long period of time requires knowledge and skill, sympathy and tact. In all of these the Secretary for Scotland has been eminent, and I am sure I am expressing the wish of the Committee when I offer him our congratulations.
Mr. MUNRO: I am very much obliged to my hon. Friend for what he has been good enough to say. I can only say that it would have been quite impossible to have carried the Bill even to the present stage without the invaluable assistance which I have had from those who sit beside me and from my permanent officials, as well as from my colleagues from Scotland.
Question put, and agreed to.
Bill, with Amendments, ordered to be reported to the House.
The Committee rose at Nineteen minutes after Eleven o'clock.
THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:
Mr. J. W. Wilson (Chairman)
Cowan, Mr. D. M.
Craik, Sir Henry
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John
Greig, Sir James
Harmsworth, Sir Leicester
Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-General Sir A.
Macdonald, Mr. Murray
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Mitchell, Sir William Lane
Morison, Mr. T. B.
Murray, Mr. C. D.
Murray, Mr. Gideon
Murray, Major William
Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Thomson, Mr. Frederick