New Clause. — (Clergy, Voluntary Offerings.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd June 1960.

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Photo of Mr Ifor Davies Mr Ifor Davies , Gower 12:00 am, 22nd June 1960

I have respect for the point made by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), but I must emphasise that we are dealing with people who are concerned with the things of the spirit rather than with material matters. Having regard to the sympathetic speeches from both sides of the Committee, I think that there is a case for an exception to be made. I do not accept the point made by the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) that there is a technical difficulty about this; there is no difficulty.

I speak as one who has had a very close contact with a denomination, for I speak as the secretary of a Congregational church, a position which I have held for many years. There is a crisis in the Church today because not enough students are entering the Church to maintain its great work. Students and ministers have to eat and live. There is a difficulty in recruitment in practically every denomination, and the acceptance of this Clause would help the position.

While I respect the point made by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, having regard to the feelings expressed tonight I suggest that the House of Commons should make an exception for these people.