HC Deb 15 March 1841 vol 57 cc287-8

Mr. Handley moved the second reading of the Drainage of Lands Bill.

Colonel Sibthorp

opposed the bill as unconstitutional and tyrannical. He, for one, would never consent to allow a surveyor to come into his ground and survey it at the command of others, who, perhaps, themselves did not possess an acre of land. The machinery of the bill also was most expensive and absurd. The hon. and gallant Member moved that the bill be read a second time that day six months.

Mr. G. Berkeley

seconded the amendment. He should not, however, have so much objection to the bill if the county of Gloucester were exempted from its operation. The existing Court of Sewers, in the county of Gloucester, was altogether unobjectionable.

Mr. Darby

also opposed the bill. The powers granted by it were monstrous; and, even if the county with which he was connected were not included in its operation, he should still oppose it, as being a most unjust and oppressive measure.

Mr. W. Miles

said, that the bill might be useful if its operation were confined to lands that had never been drained, but at present the powers granted by the bill were far too extensive, and might be converted into engines of great mischief and injury. Unless the bill was greatly amended he should oppose it.

Mr. Handley

said, that many of the principles of this bill had been adopted by the noble Lord below him in the bill which he had introduced with respect to Ireland. He would, however, admit that this measure was not necessary in Lincolnshire, although he was convinced that it would be productive of the greatest benefit in many other counties of England. In a great many places the Court of Sewers was found so clumsy a machine as to be never used. He thought the objections against the bill were more fit for the consideration of a committee than for the consideration of that House, and he trusted, therefore, that, as on former occasions, they would consent to the second reading.

The House divided on the question that the bill be read a second time:—Ayes 31; Noes 19:—Majority 12.

Bill read a second time.