HC Deb 18 March 1840 vol 52 cc1219-20

Mr. Pusey moved the second reading of the Settled Estates Drainage Bill.

Sir E. Sugden

objected, not to the bill passing through this stage, but to the principle upon which it was founded, which was without precedent in the law of Real Property in this country. He must object to vesting the tenants for life of estates with a power to charge such estates with the expenses of drainage, making it a charge upon the land after the manner of a mortgage. He knew the hon. and learned Member for Galway was in favour of conferring such a power upon the tenant for life, under particular circumstances; but he would assure him that, whatever might be the necessity for such a provision in respect to the drainage of life estates in Scotland or in Ireland, there was no pretext for such an enactment in respect to life estates in this country. If the hon. Member would content himself with referring the bill to a select committee, to examine it thoroughly, he should not, as he said before, object now to the second reading of the bill.

Mr. Lynch

had, on a former occasion, when a similar measure had been discussed in the House, differed from his right hon. Friend. He would ask, was society to be deprived of the benefit of such improvements as this bill would confer? and was the family to be deprived of them for the mere sake of maintaining ancient regulations?

Sir G. Strickland

opposed the bill, and thought it was most improper to permit such an interference with vested rights as this bill would effect. If this were permitted, the next step would be to allow the tenant in possession to mortgage the property, for the purpose of building. He thought the ground on which the bill was supported, was the most flimsy he had ever heard.

Mr. Goulburn

considered it would be most improper to give to the tenant in possession power to encumber the estate with a mortgage for any purpose. He should certainly oppose the bill.

Mr. Freshfield

thought, the principle of the bill was good. The only difficulty that presented itself to his mind was, the manner in which the expense that might be incurred under the bill in improving the estate should be apportioned. As the tenant in possession would receive an immediate benefit from the improvement of the land, he ought to bear some share of the expense. He should support the second reading of the bill, and hoped it would pass into a law.

Motion agreed to. The bill read a second time, and referred to a select committee.

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