HC Deb 10 February 1870 vol 199 cc162-3

, in moving for leave to bring in a Bill to facilitate the purchase and taking of Sites for Places of Worship and Schools, said, his Bill would afford to parties desirous of obtaining sites for places of worship and schools not self-supporting the same powers as were given to incorporated companies, of acquiring land for commercial purposes. There was the greatest possible necessity for powers of this sort to obtain sites in districts of England and Wales, where the land was in the hands of one or two owners, who always could, and sometimes actually did, refuse to sell a single rood of their land for religious or educational purposes where the land was sought to be obtained by religious bodies of the principles of which they did not approve. Such a grievance ought not to be tolerated in any civilized country. The Bill proposed to deal with the grievance in two ways. First of all it proposed to give the same power of purchasing by voluntary agreement from persons entitled to limited estates—e. g., tenants for life, sites for places of worship and schools which was now enjoyed by companies under the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act. In Scotland a similar power existed, and he had never heard that it had been abused. The other portion of the Bill enacted that fifty persons, residing within a radius of four miles, might present a memorial to the In-closure Commissioners, stating that within that radius no land convenient for a site for a school or place of worship could be obtained, and praying the Commissioners to put in force the compulsory provisions of the Lauds Clauses Consolidation Act. The Commissioners would be empowered, upon receiving such a memorial, to cause a public inquiry to take place, and they might, if the result of that inquiry was favourable, comply with the prayer of the petitioners.

Motion agreed to. Bill to facilitate the purchase and taking of Sites for Places of Worship and Schools, ordered to be brought in by Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN, Mr. BOUVERIE, Mr. HINDE PALMER, and Mr. HENRY RICHARD. Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 10.]