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Welsh Church Bill rejected

22 February 2013

February 21st, 1913

IT WAS almost a foregone conclusion that the Lords would reject the Welsh Church Bill. To try to amend it, as the Bishop of Oxford desired, was futile: the thing was so unutterably mean and unjust, the outcome of sectarian malice. Even if the Lords had amended it, it would have been returned on their hands just as it was originally sent to them. It was decidedly interesting to see that at least one Ministerial organ complained of the feeble way in which the case for the Bill was commended to their lordships by the Radical Peers, and it is also worthy of remark that the fifty-two votes recorded in its favour were fewer even than the Radical creations for which Mr Asquith and his predecessor were responsible. We are not surprised to find that the Bishop of Oxford's speech has caused some distress to his fellow-Churchmen. When he [Charles Gore] represented the sects as the friends of the poor and the Church as chiefly concerned with the well-to-do, he forgot that the Church remains at work in the slums when the sects have migrated to better neighbourhoods. However, the Archbishop of York [Cosmo Gordon Lang], who knows from a practical experience which his brother of Oxford has never enjoyed what the Church is doing for the poor, put that matter straight. . . . The only immediate result of the rejection of the Welsh Church Bill is the interposition of rather more than a year's delay before it becomes law. It should be possible to do something in that interval of time to arouse public indignation against this sordid measure. There it is, and there it will continue, in all its stark brutality, and if the nation has any sense of decency to which appeal can be made, the Bill may yet be defeated.


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