HC Deb 26 July 1850 vol 113 cc331-5

presented a petition from several persons residing near Hyde Park, complaining of the proposed erection of an edifice for the projected exhibition in that park. They stated that they had prepared an information to be filed in Chancery, in order to prevent the building from being proceeded with; that the information set forth that the Sovereign on Her accession surrendered the hereditary revenues and possessions of the Crown in consideration of the civil list; that Hyde Park is part of those possessions, and was by Act of Parliament placed under the management of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests as trustees for the public; that the commissioners had no power to make any alterations except such as the Act of Parliament authorised, and had no authority to allow "waste" to be committed, or to grant a lease of any portion of the Royal parks; that it was the intention of the Exhibition Commissioners to erect a large edifice in the park, for which purpose they had obtained the grant of a lease, licence, or agreement (which amounted in substance to the same thing), for about twenty acres of the most ornamental portion of the park, on which it was their intention 10 erect a building of considerable size; that, to make room for it, the commissioners had cut down ten trees of forty years' growth, and would have to cut down others; that, in the proposed building, a steam engine of great size was to be erected, with a variety of offices of a substantial character; that though it was said that the building would be removed seven months after the close of the exhibition (in November, 1851), yet an irremediable injury would be inflicted on the park, and for two years the petitioners would be prevented from enjoying it; that, having been advised that the conduct of the commissioners was illegal, the petitioners had prepared an information as already alluded to, to be filed (nominally) at the suit of the Attorney General, and that, having the signatures of two counsel testifying that it was a proper information to receive his sanction for filing, it had been presented to the late Attorney General for that purpose, who, after keeping it a few days, had returned it, stating that he could not lake any fresh papers as Attorney General, and that it had been presented to the present Attorney General, who had declined to sign it; that thereupon a memorial had been presented to him, requesting him to reconsider his resolution, which, however, he had refused to do; and the petitioners, being advised and persuaded that the con- duct of the commissioners was illegal, prayed the House to take such steps as were requisite to prevent justice from being defeated or denied.