Orders of the Day — Church of England (National Assembly) (Measures)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1944.

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Photo of Sir Richard Denman Sir Richard Denman , Leeds Central

Not necessarily. The reasonable solution might be the exact difference, it might be more, and it might be less. There will be young incumbents, who may go to better incumbencies, and old incumbents, who may be on the age of retirement, whom it would be unkind to put into a new area. The cases of difficulty will be few, probably even rare. Every time this was examined, and it was examined a large number of times, those who examined it were driven back to the conclusion that you could only treat each case on its merits and place the problem in the hands of a fair and impartial committee. May I just emphasise the conclusion to which my right hon. Friend, who supported the Measure, referred? The concluding paragraph in the report of the Ecclesiastical Committee states: In the opinion of the Committee, the Measure is urgently needed. Having called attention to the matters just referred to, we are of opinion that the Measure is expedient. Whatever may be the objections to it, and I believe myself that it is one of the best Measures the Assembly has produced for us, there can be no doubt that we ought to get ready, not only in the State but in the Church, to have the blitzed areas in a condition as forward as possible for proper rehabilitation. If I had the leisure, I should like to quote a great many authorities about that, but I might perhaps refer to a sentence in the last King's Speech, where we were told: You will be invited to pass legislation conferring special powers for the re-development of areas, which, by reason of enemy action, overcrowding or otherwise, need to be re-planned as a whole. With this Measure, the Church will be able to play its part in that reconstruction. Without it, it would have no adequate power at all to do it. Indeed, I think that if the Assembly had not provided this legislation, the Home Office would have had to do it. Perhaps I might refer to the Committee on War Damaged Premises—