HC Deb 27 June 1831 vol 4 cc403-4

Lord Duncannon moved the second reading of the Dean Forest Boundaries Bill.

Sir William Guise

did not rise to offer any opposition to the Bill, but as some tumults which lately prevailed in that part of the country were connected with the attempt to settle the boundaries of the Forest, he thought this a fit time to make observations on the subject. He believed the people in the Forest had laboured under a great mistake as to their supposed rights. His hon. Colleague and himself had had interviews with the foresters, and he was sure his hon. Colleague would corroborate the statement he was about to make. It was well-known that formerly courts were held in this district, but they had been allowed for many years to fall into disuse. He believed it was owing to the want of these courts, in which their grievances might have been examined and redressed, that the rights of the people were not well understood, and that the disturbances had arisen. The people believed, that by these courts only could their claims be properly considered, and his hon. Colleague and himself had been instructed to endeavour to obtain their re-establishment. He was happy to add, the noble Lord at the head of the Woods and Forests had promised to take the subject into consideration, and he had no doubt his Majesty's Government would endeavour to effect what was most advantageous to the public. He thought it right to mention the subject, because a general opinion prevailed among the people, that their rights had been infringed.

Mr. Moreton

corroborated the statement of his hon. Colleague, and he had no doubt that the re-establishment of the courts alluded to would be attended with great advantage. As the attention of the noble Lord had been directed to the subject, he hoped some remedy would be devised for the evil.

Lord Duncannon

observed, that the re-establishment of the Courts would be attended with some difficulty, but the subject was under consideration.

Mr. Hunt

said, he had heard a great deal of these riots, that the bounds had been levelled, and so forth, and he begged to ask whether any of the persons charged with these riots were in prison or whether they had been admitted to bail.

Lord Duncannon

said, he understood sonic of the rioters were in prison, but the greater number had been admitted to bail.

Mr. Robert Gordon

said, it was a singular fact, that this Bill had not been printed. It was quite unusual for a bill to go through a second reading without being printed. Its provisions might be all good and right, but many hon. Members must wish to see them.

Lord Duncannon

said, the Bill had gone through the House last Session when every Member had a copy of it. He could have no objection, however, to have it printed if it was thought desirable.

Mr. Robert Gordon

apprehended, that considerable alterations had been made in the Bill since that time. The very important clause relating to St. Briavels Court had been since introduced.

Read a second time.