18 MAY 1912, Page 2

Mr. Harwood, one of the Liberal dissentients, opened the debate

on Tuesday with a courageous and interesting speech. He characterized Mr. Lloyd George's description of the Church in Wales as a " foreign" Church as just the reverse of the truth. The dissenting bodies were foreign, for they were all worked from England; indeed, he did not think there was a single dissenting body that might bo said to be co-terminous with Wales. If the Government disestablished the Church in Wales a future generation would knock at the door of the House and would ask, " Why did you deprive us of a religious organization that was ministering to the religious life of the country and was doing no harm to anybody P " Mr. Hobhouse, speaking as a convinced Churchman, attacked the Church for its bigotry and intolerance, charges which were indignantly repelled by Mr. Balfour, who asked whether the Church was strengthened or weakened by being robbed. Disendow- runt, he maintained, was the kernel of the Bill ; and no man in the House could help feeling perturbed at the diversion of funds from spiritual purposes to a purpose that was so trivial that not one word was to be said in its defence. These squabbles over pounds, shillings, and pence were incredibly petty and mean. Members were forgetting the great problems of spiritual life and concerning them- selves with small, petty, and outworn divisions which had long lost their importance.