HC Deb 17 July 1845 vol 82 cc619-20

House in Committee on the Fisheries (Ireland) Bill.

On Clause 3, "Power of Commissioners to hear complaints and remove illegal weirs,"

Captain Jones

thought this clause extremely objectionable. It gave the Commissioners the power of trying questions of property probably to a large amount. It was true there was an appeal; but was it reasonable that parties should be drawn to such an appeal?

Sir R. Ferguson

objected to the clause, and for the same reasons.

Sir Thomas Fremantle

stated that the object of the clause had been misunderstood. It was not intended to give the Commissioners the power of trying questions of properly; but it was intended to prevent parties from erecting weirs, after its being ascertained by law that they had no authority to do so.

Sir W. Somerville

was as anxious as any one to prevent the erection of illegal weirs; but it would be extremely hard that persons who had a right to erect weirs should have that right decided by the Commissioners, or have an expensive appeal to reverse his decision.

Captain Jones

was of opinion that the clause, as at present worded, would certainly give that power to the Commissioners.

Mr. George Hamilton

said, after the explanation of the right hon. Baronet, the only question was, whether the clause carried out the intention. The right hon. Baronet stated, it was not intended to give the Commissioners the power of trying a bonâ fide claim, but only to prevent a trespass. The language of the clause appeared to him ambiguous; perhaps it might be explained by a provision at the end, similar to that in the Malicious Trespass Act, excluding jurisdiction where there was a bonâ fide claim of right or title.

The Attorney General

quoted some cases to show that this rule held good at Common Law in all summary jurisdictions.

Sir Robert Ferguson

thought that some explanation was necessary.

Mr. George Hamilton

urged the introduction of such a provision. It was desirable that the intention of the Legislature should be clearly expressed.

Sir Thomas Fremantle

would accede to the suggestion of his hon. Friend.

Bill went through Committee.

The House resumed. Bill to be reported.