HC Deb 13 May 1808 vol 11 cc259-61
Mr. Huskisson

, after a short statement of the object of his motion, moved a Resolution of the house, that in all Bills of inclosure, draining, &c. in which his majesty's interests, either in right of the crown or of the duchy of Lancaster were concerned, a clause should be introduced for the purpose of enabling the surveyor-general of the Crown Lands, or the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, to appoint a commissioner to superintend the carrying of the bill into effect as far as related to his majesty's rights.

Mr. Whitbread

did not think a sufficient ground had been laid for a resolution which, in his opinion, went to impose unnecessary expence and inconvenience upon the parties to bills of enclosure. No instance of injury having been done to his majesty's rights had been stated by the hon. gent. He wished the motion could be deferred until the country gentlemen, who were those most nearly interested, should receive information upon the subject.

Mr. Huskisson

replied, that many instances had occurred in which the interests of the crown had been sacrificed from the want of such a clause in bills of enclosure. He particularised one of these instances in the enclosure at Sherwood Forest. As to inconveniencing the parties to such bills, the fact was, that at present where his majesty's interests were concerned, a bill of inclosure could not be introduced in the house without the previous consent of the crown; the resolution which he proposed tended therefore to diminish this obstacle.

Mr. Taylor

contended, that if the interests of the crown had in any case been sacrificed as the practice now stood, it must have been owing to the negligence of the surveyor general of Crown Lands, and surveyor-general of woods and forests, whose peculiar duty it was to examine bills of inclosure, that they might not trench on his majesty's rights. He could not give his consent to the Resolution, because it would load the parties to inclosure bills with a heavy expence, without at all benefiting the interests of the crown.

Mr. Graham

spoke to a similar effect.

Mr. S. Bourne

supported the resolution, and sir J. Newport opposed it.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

defended the Resolution. The interests of the crown and the interests of the public were one and the same; and any measure that tended to protect the one in this instance must tend to protect the other. He conceived, that the adoption of the Resolution, besides affording an additional security to the interests of the crown, would relieve those who had those interests more immediately in their care from what was frequently a very painful duty. The Resolution was then put and agreed to.