HC Deb 24 March 1862 vol 165 cc1983-5

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 7 agreed to.

Clause 8 (Consent of Commissioners on Woods and Forests).


said, he would move the omission of the next clause, which provided that no harbour for pier shall be constructed below high water mark without the consent of the Woods and Forests. There had been many disputes lately between the Crown and private persons as to the property in the foreshores, and the clause seemed to be inserted in the Bill for no other purpose but quietly to establish a claim on behalf of the Crown.


explained, that the clause had been inserted for convenience, and that it could not be acted upon without the consent of Parliament. However, it was not necessary, and therefore he was quite ready to omit it from the Bill.

Clause withdrawn.

Clauses 9 to 26 agreed to.

Clause 27 (Power to amend or repeal Local Acts).


(St. Andrews) said, he objected to the clause on the ground that it gave extraordinary powers to the Board of Trade; by its provisional order the Board could supersede or virtually repeal an Act of Parliament. He should oppose the clause.


explained, that the provisional order only did away with the necessity of coming to Parliament for special powers. The order would have no force unless affirmed by the House of Commons. There was no reason for omitting the clause altogether.


said, he thought it would be better to omit the clause.


said, there were many precedents for giving the power to make such provisional orders; they were intended to obviate the expense of private Bills. Such an order was always embodied in a Bill, to be affirmed by Parliament, but it was not necessary for it to pass the preliminary ordeal of going before a Committee upstairs.


said, the real objection to the clause was that the full notice required by the standing orders would not be given. He spoke from some experience of these things, and he could say that the only notice that would be given to repeal an act of Parliament, affect- ing perhaps valuable private property, would appear in the Gazette, and 99 out of 100 would not be likely to see it. When a Bill was brought in by a public department there was a long schedule of 70 or 80 pages, embracing those provisional orders which nobody would take the trouble to read, and the whole force of the Government would be brought to bear in support of the measure. Except with regard to the Board of Health there was really no precedent for conferring such a power on a Government Board.


said, there was a clause in the Bill which was to the effect that in case any petition should be presented to either House of Parliament against any provisional order made in pursuance of the Act, that petition might be referred to a Select Committee.


(St. Andrews) said, there was no doubt that such notice would not be given as would be sufficient for the parties interested.

Question put, "That Clause 27, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 35; Noes 71: Majority 36.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Clause (Saving rights of Duchy of Cornwall) brought up, and read 1o, 2o.


said, that the clause was not printed. He should be glad to know its meaning.


said, that the clause was merely intended to reserve the rights of the Duchy of Cornwall. It was not meant to confer any new rights on the Crown.


said, that the rights of the Crown were saved already, by previous clauses in the Bill. The clause was unnecessary, and he should oppose its insertion.

Question put, "That the clause be added to the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 71; Noes 27: Majority 44.

Clause agreed to.

On the question that the preamble be agreed to,


said, he would move that the Chairman report progres; and, in order to justify himself in dividing the House on the last clause, he wished to state that last session a clause of the kind had been introduced, and between the passing of the bill and the Royal assent three suits were instituted by the Duchy of Cornwall against the owners of as many properties in Cornwall, although it was understood that no suits would be instituted previously to the Bill passing. It was things like these that brought the Duchy of Cornwall into disrepute.

Amendment withdrawn.

Preamble agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered on Wednesday, and to be printed. [Bill 60.]