HC Deb 09 April 1839 vol 46 cc1240-1
Mr. Eaton

moved the second reading of the Melbourne (Cambridge) Inclosure Bill.

Mr. Harvey

took that opportunity of calling the attention of the House to the general subject of inclosure bills. One could not read the different bills of this description which were brought before the House without being struck with the discrepancies between them. In some Acts the whole quantity of waste land which was to be inclosed was stated, while in others no such statement was to be found. The quantity of land, too, proposed to be set apart for the recreation of the people of the district, was very various in different bills, and was, in fact, subject to no general rule, and, he believed, in no case exceeded ten acres. Now, it was very important to the House to know the quantity of land proposed to be inclosed, and the quantity intended to be reserved for the purpose of affording recreation, in order to judge of the proportion which the one bore to the other. In some bills, the lord of the manor received one-twentieth of the inclosed land as a compensation for his rights, in others only one-seventeenth where the circumstances were precisely the same. In many bills there was no provision for the inclosure of the portion set apart for the public, although in some bills then before him, the expense of inclosing the land allotted to the clergy in respect of tithe, was to be defrayed out of the funds in the hands of the commissioners. He suggested it would be a wholesome safeguard, if for the future, not only the quantity of land to be inclosed were stated, but also what proportion of it was intended to be reserved for public recreation. He also thought, that the same provision should be made for inclosing the part reserved for the people, as was made in favour of the clergy and the lord of the manor; and that provision should be made for preserving the ground and keeping up the fences. He threw out these suggestions, because bills of this description were considered merely as private business, and received in general no attention from the House.

Bill read a second time.

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