§ MR. FAWCETT
, in rising to call attention to the subject of the New Forest, and to move—That, in the opinion of this House, pending legislation on the New Forest, no felling of ornamental timber and no fresh inclosures should be 329 permitted in the New Forest; and that no timber whatever should be cut, except for the purposes of thinning the young plantations, executing necessary repairs in the Forest, and satisfying the fuel rights of the Commoners,said, the Motion which he should bring before the House represented the almost unanimous feeling of the independent Members, and he believed, from the communications he had received, that the Government were equally as anxious as they that the Motion should be passed. He did not intend in the slightest degree to fetter the action of hon. Members, because, whatever might be their opinion as to the future use of the Forest, he should not think it fair to ask them to prejudge the case. All that he desired was to obtain an expression of opinion that, until the Government had had an opportunity of legislating on the subject, if any legislation were necessary, nothing should be done that would injure the Forest, or affect its present condition. Anyone who visited the New Forest must come to the conclusion that the time had arrived when the House should express an opinion on the subject, and that nothing should be done to destroy what remained of beauty there, or to injure it as a place of resort. The destruction of ornamental timber there had been truly lamentable, but that Forest might still be considered to be one of the most beautiful spots in England, and he desired that the House should say that further spoiling of the picturesque ought not to be effected. As future legislation on this subject would be materially affected by the quantity of land that was inclosed, and as such in-closure diminished the area that could be enjoyed by the public, besides destroying the beauty of the Forest scenery, he thought it only fair for the House to say that pending legislation no further inclosure should be made. In the latter part of his Motion he had deemed it necessary to insert a few qualifying sentences, because he know that there were certain rights as to fuel that must be exercised, and also because it might be necessary to thin the plantations. As he believed the Government intended to accept his Motion, he should have thought it unnecessary to make any further remarks on the subject, had it not been for the Paper which had just been issued by Mr. Howard, of the Woods and Forests Department, for that had 330 conveyed to the minds of some hon. Members an impression that even if this Resolution was passed it would produce no practical effect. He did not intend to discuss that Paper, but would only say that if the House and the Government expressed an opinion on the subject that no more timber ought to be felled, and no further inclosure should be made until there had been an opportunity of legislating, Mr. Howard, as an official serving under the Government, and representing a Department, would pay some attention to the Resolution, which would, therefore, have an important practical bearing. He would, therefore, conclude by moving the Resolution of which he had given Notice.
§ MR. CLIFFORD
, in rising to second the Motion, said, it was only the other day his illustrious friend the Poet Laureate had informed him that he had gone down to the New Forest to search there for an ancient wood of yews, which had existed since the time of William the Conqueror; but all trace of them was gone. He himself (Mr. Clifford) had made inquiries about this wood, and had learned that it had been sold to a merchant at Lyndhurst for £60. The fact appeared to be that the New Forest was held in no more esteem by the Woods and Forests than the yellow primrose by Mr. Peter Bell. This Forest, however, which was first created for the diversion of a Norman tyrant, was now a most magnificent pleasure park for the people of England, who found there that rural enjoyment which the richer classes sought in Scotland and other places, and as such it ought to be maintained. They were under a deep obligation to the hon. Member for Brighton for bringing that matter forward, and he thought the Resolution of the House ought to declare, beyond any doubt, that there should be no further encroachment on the Forest. He had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Howard, and he believed that a more excellent or more conscientious public servant, as far as regarded the question of pounds, shillings, and pence connected with his office, did not exist anywhere. Still, it was very necessary for the House to look closely after that office. He did not want to say anything more disagreeable to a Ministry than he could help; but it was to the efforts of the hon. Member for Southwark that they were indebted for the Thames Embankment. 331 Had not that hon. Member brought the subject before the House, they would not at this moment have had a continuous Embankment, because the Government of the day, by means of the Office of Woods and Forests, had wished to prevent the Embankment from passing by Richmond Terrace. It was very essential that the House should guard against the encroachments of that Department.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That, in the opinion of this House, pending legislation on the New Forest, no felling of ornamental limber and no fresh inclosures should be permitted in the New Forest; and that no timber whatever should be cut, except for the purposes of thinning the young plantations, executing necessary repairs in the Forest, and satisfying the fuel rights of the Commoners"—(Mr. Fawcell.)
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
, in rising to move the Amendment of which he had given Notice, to move as an addition to the hon. Member for Brighton's (Mr. Fawcett's) Resolution, "Also that Denny Wood should be restored to its former condition as an open forest land," said, that hon. Members who took an interest in the preservation of the New Forest might remember that some weeks ago he put a Question relating to the inclosure of Denny Wood to his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury. That Question was not put without some knowledge of the facts, nor was it framed without a certain care; but the answer of his hon. Friend, although remarkable for that clearness and that precision which always distinguished his answers, was not of a satisfactory nature, and was not, he (Sir Charles W. Dilke) feared, founded upon an adequate knowledge of the case. The Question that he put to his hon. Friend was divided into two parts. In the first portion of it he asked him whether Denny Wood was originally inclosed with a view to felling and planting, and he was told by him—That it was intended originally only to fell such trees in Denny Wood as were dying or defective, and to replant their sites.If that were so, the course taken was illegal. Sections 3 and 4 of "The Deer Removal Act" authorized the Crown to "inclose and plant," but so that all in-closures "should be made and reported a nursery for timber and trees only." The Crown had violated certainly the spirit and, he thought, the letter of these sections. It obtained the power to in- 332 close Denny Wood from the New Forest Inclosures Commissions under Section 3 of "The Deer Removal Act," on the implied faith that it intended to convert the inclosure into a nursery for trees. But finding that if the Act was complied with the value of the property would undergo a great depreciation, and hoping to secure the inclosure as part of the property of the Crown, freed from common rights and from all public rights, the Crown left the inclosed laud alone; and when the commoners said, "If you inclose, you are bound to plant," it answered, "If you press us, we will cut the trees." The Commissioners refused to tell them why Denny Wood was inclosed. They thought, and had every reason to think, that they wished to retain that beautiful wood as a choice and compact estate in itself, with a view that it should ultimately pass to the Crown, unincumbered with rights of common, or other public rights. That this was the correct view was established by the provisions of the Bill now withdrawn. Section 41 provided that the Commissioners should not allot to the commoners "any land which is now inclosed under the authority of the recited Acts"—that was, all existing inclosures, including Denny Wood, were, on the passing of that Bill, to vest in the Crown, as provided by the 46th section, "as part of the possessions and land revenues of the Crown, absolutely freed from all rights of common." He repeated, before he left that branch of the subject, that the Crown had no power to inclose open forest lands over which commonable rights were exercised, except by virtue of statutory powers. The statutes provided that inclosures were to be made for the purpose of planting only. That was not so as to Denny Wood, for there no planting had taken place, and as to the greater portion of it—that part covered with old timber—Mr. Howard long ago promised that no felling, and consequently no planting, should take place. He again asked, therefore, why and how, legally speaking, had Denny Wood been inclosed? A local answer was given, that it was inclosed in order to allow self-sown timber to spring up. If so, that was illegal; but he had been told upon the spot, that the only self-sown timber that was ever seen in the Now Forest now was Scotch fir, and that the cones were found stuck in rows in the ground a long way from 333 the trees from whence they came. They might be self-sown; but the self-sowing-process was aided by Her Majesty's keepers and Her Majesty's carts. He now came to the other part of his Question, in which he asked whether, now that no more cutting of ancient timber was for the present to take place in the New Forest, Denny Wood should be restored to its former condition, as open forest land. He was told, in answer to that, that the Commissioners had power only to throw open the inclosure when "the young trees were past danger from cattle." What young trees? There were no young trees. The only trees not ancient timber in Denny Wood were some trees in an inclosure of 1829, called, he thought, "Little Holme Inclosure." But his Question and the Answer could not relate to these, and for two reasons. They were not in Denny Wood Inclosure, but in an old inclosure within it, and if all the posts and rails and banks and gates round Denny Wood were to be thrown down, the cattle would nevertheless not get into this inclosure of 1829. His second reason was so much stronger, that he was reminded of the 21 reasons of the Mayor of Bayonne for not giving the keys of the town to Henri IV. of France, ending with the 21st—"There are no keys." It was this—that in the map of 1867 they would find that that inclosure was to be thrown open in 1869, as out of danger of cattle. That had not been done, because it was inside this very Denny Wood Inclosure. Really it was rather too bad to make that an excuse for not throwing open the latter. Now, what was Denny Wood? It was one of the most beautiful woods in the whole world. It was not like Mark Ash—a wood of beech only, but was mixed wood of beech, and birch, and oak. It was close to the railway, and therefore well within reach of pleasure-seekers. Several beautiful forest paths, much used by picnic parties, had been stopped up by a fortification-like fence, through which there was not a single gap. The whole of the gates had padlocks, and the whole of the padlocks were locked. Even if the cattle were to be excluded, he could not see why the walking public should be entirely blocked out. A private landowner would not be guilty of so gross a sin against public enjoyment of the most innocent kind. The fence was such that none but active youths 334 could climb over it in any place, and for women, children, and old people, it was impassable. In trying to find an open gate, he saw the wanton destruction which, in making this inclosure, the Crown had wrought. The fence had been carried right through the best portion of the wood, and all the trees near it on either side were felled, and vast numbers of giant beeches and huge oaks laid still on the ground, unsold. He had one thing more to say. Denny Wood was a herary—a place where herons often bred. Near to it was a marsh, known as the Bishop of Winchester's Purlieu. The herons were for the sport of the Bishop for the time, and the marsh was granted to—not the present Bishop he believed—but some ancient Bishop of a sporting turn, who induced a King to grant to him for hawking purposes as much of the marsh as he could crawl round in a day. He was sure that that House had too much respect for the right reverend Bench to permit the destruction of the herons that resorted to the Bishop of Winchester's Purlieu. But, seriously, he should take the opinion of the House on the preservation of Denny Wood. He would conclude by moving the Amendment to the Resolution of the hon. Member for Brighton, of which he had given Notice.
At the end of the Question, to add the words "also that Denny Wood should be restored to its former condition as open forest laud." — (Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ MR. BAXTER
said, he was glad to find that the management of the Office of Woods had been admitted to be satisfactory in a pecuniary sense. The hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) stated that Denny Wood had been illegally inclosed, and that there were no young trees in that plantation. Those allegations rather surprised him, because the Commissioners of Woods and Forests distinctly held that they were bound by statute to inclose a certain portion of the New Forest every year, and that they had only acted in accordance with the Act of Parliament. He hoped his hon. Friend would not press his Motion to a division, be- 335 cause he (Mr. Baxter) had heard for the first time that evening that there were no young plantations in Denny Wood. Under the circumstances of the case it would become the duty of the Treasury to inquire carefully into the matter and to see who was right and wrong with respect to it. As to the padlocks which had been spoken of, he admitted that they ought to be at once removed, and he hoped the Commissioners of Woods and Forests would give directions to have them taken away. As to the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), the Government could not of course help accepting it, for it was couched in the precise terms of an Answer to a Question which he (Mr. Baxter) had himself given; and although it was rather an unusual thing to found a Motion upon an Answer given by a Member of the Government, yet the Treasury could not object to the Motion because they intended to take the precise course which he had stated in that Answer. That hon. Gentleman had, in the course of his remarks, animadverted on a Paper which had been laid on the Table of the House, and the Government saw no objection to the publication of the Report. He wished the House at the same time to understand that Mr. Howard was alone responsible for what he thought and said, although the Treasury were responsible for what he did.
MR. ALDERMAN W. LAWRENCE
said, that the Paper in question gave but little information with respect to the mismanagement of the Crown lands to which it referred during several centuries. It was, indeed, a very curious document; for the remarks in it were not confined to the New Forest. It was rather a manifesto than anything else of the principles on which Mr. Howard and Mr. Gore managed the Crown lauds under their charge. But those who were really responsible to the country had not stated the principles on which, in their opinion, those estates ought to be managed. The Commissioners of Woods and Forests contended that they were trustees for the lands in question, and that they were responsible to no one; but the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged that he was responsible for their acts, and he ventured to think the Commissioners had entirely mistaken their position, and that the Government, too, mis- 336 took the position in which the Crown estates stood towards the public at large. It was never intended, he maintained, that they should be trustees of the Crown property. The division of that property which was made between them and the First Commissioner of Works, had been made simply for the convenience of management, and no one would, for a moment, contend that the First Commissioner was a trustee for the Crown estates under his charge. There was, in fact, in that respect, no difference between Hyde Park and Epping Forest, both of which were Crown lands. The right of the Crown to recreation in its parks and forests had enabled the people to have recreation in them also, and he must say the Government were, in his opinion, ill-advised when they endeavoured to divorce the two. The Crown Lands Commissioners had excited a strong feeling against themselves by the spirit which had led them to issue this Paper, for they had shown themselves determined to sacrifice the rights and the recreations of the Sovereign and the people, in order to carry out the principle of adding to the income derivable from these lands whenever the opportunity arose. What the Crown Lands Commissioners appeared to say was that, though they were sorry to disobey the wishes of Parliament, they were unable to act differently until anew Act of Parliament had been passed. The responsibility, however, was clearly vested in the Treasury, and it was impossible for the Treasury to shift that responsibility upon those who, after all, were only their subordinates. He thought the House ought to be told not only in what manner the Commissioners had been authorized to give their opinion, but they ought to be put in possession of the Correspondence between the Treasury and the Commissioners which had led to the issuing of this Paper. The Paper itself would, doubtless, at some future time furnish a bill of indictment against the Commissioners for the way in which they had acted in regard to Epping Forest, in having allowed it to slip out of the hands of those who were formerly able to take their recreation there. He submitted that it was not right any particular locality should be deprived, as they had been latterly, of a privilege which they had enjoyed for centuries. He was, however, exceedingly pleased that this Paper had been issued, because they 337 could afterwards discuss the matter more easily, and possibly bring the Government to acknowledge that there ought to be some actual responsibility in the management of those estates, and that to the objections which were urged against the conduct of the Commissioners it was no answer to say that these lauds were tied up as trust estates, and could not otherwise be dealt with.
§ MR. HAMBRO
said, he had been content to accept the intimation of the Government that they would agree to the proposal of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett); but, after the publication of that extraordinary Paper, he trusted the hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) would press his Motion to a division.
§ LORD HENRY SCOTT
said, he was glad that the Government had assented to the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett). Within his own recollection allotments of beautiful woodland had been made simply that the timber upon it might be cut down, and in the face of such a state of things it was of the utmost importance that the inquiry with regard to Denny Wood should be pursued by the Government. It was true that the Department of Woods and Forests produced each year a satisfactory balance-sheet, so far as mere financial results were concerned; but this was only accomplished by cutting down and selling large quantities of noble timber that ought to be let stand. It was true that little or no timber had been felled since 1864; but previous to that year the average annual value of the timber cut down for several years ranged between £10,000 and £15,000. In addition to that, there were entries in the accounts of £3,000 for fuel, which meant that the beautiful beech trees in the Forest were felled and sold at the rate of 3d. a foot to be chopped up and sold as firewood. And all that destruction of forest trees, which were, in actual fact, monuments, both valuable and beautiful, had been carried on for no earthly reason, so far as he was able to judge. He could not go so far as to say, with the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke), that Denny Wood was illegally inclosed, because the inclosure was directed by Commissioners legally constituted and invested with power to act as they did; but as land containing old wood was usually, if not 338 invariably, inclosed for the simple purpose of cutting down the old trees and planting young ones, he should be inclined to hold that the inclosure in question was illegal if any other course was pursued. He must say that, having only recently visited Denny Wood, he failed to see any young trees growing there. It was important, too, that the House should be told plainly who was responsible for the conduct of the Department of Woods and Forests. Unless that was done, hon. Gentlemen would not know in what light to regard the Papers occasionally issued, as the one placed in the hands of hon. Members on the preceding day had been, by the officials in the Department. The last document issued in 1867 was about the most unfair statement of the relative position of the Crown and the commoners that could have been written. It was, in fact, an ex parte argumentative legal statement, drawn up by the Solicitors to the Department, for the purpose of prejudicing the interests of the commoners, and he contended that it was unfair to issue any such document with all the authority of Parliament. The Paper just issued, too, was almost as full as its predecessor of partial extracts and one-sided statements of fact; but there was no one in that House to defend the authority and accuracy of the statements made. It would, therefore, be advisable that one of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, who should be responsible alike for the finances and the conduct of the Board, should have a seat in that House, and unless he was much mistaken there was a clause—namely, section 21 of 10 Geo. IV. c. 60, which provided for that.
§ LORD HENRY SCOTT
said, that if this was the case he hoped the Government would carefully consider the question and provide for the direct representation of the Department in Parliament in some way. He would revert to his statement that the Paper recently circulated was full of inaccuracies, and would say that some of the passages contained in it were not even what they purported to be—namely, correct copies of documents. For example, there was a quotation from the Act of William III., but the words "2,000 acres" were omit- 339 ted, and the words "inclosures, or within inclosures to be hereafter made" substituted, and there were many other alterations of the same kind. Again, these gentlemen gave a quotation from the Report of the Commissioners of 1789; but left out that portion which told immensely against themselves. There were likewise misquotations respecting inclosures in the Act introduced by the Government this Session. Some of these inclosures were 4,000 or 5,000 acres in extent, and the public were prevented from walking through them, although no harm could possibly result from their being allowed to do so. In conclusion, he thanked the hon. Member for Brighton for bringing in this Motion, and expressed his hope that the Government would accede to it, as well as to the Amendment of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea, which he should certainly support, if the hon. Baronet went to a division upon it.
§ MR. COWPER-TEMPLE
said, he hoped the Motion which had been acceded to by the Government would admit a little light into the recesses of the Office of Woods and Forests. In the remarkable Paper which had been placed on the Table, the Commissioner of Woods stated that it was his duty to manage the Forests for the benefit of the public, but he took a different view from that entertained by the majority of hon. Members as to what the interests of the public really were. He repudiated any benefit but a pecuniary one. When the Commissioner had to deal with some of the most magnificent beech trees in this country, he seemed to think the best thing he could do for the interests of the public was to cut them down and sell them for firewood. It did not seem to have occurred to him that the public could possibly care for the Forest as a natural landscape, of which the country was proud. No one in this House ever alleged that the public money was wasted when it was expended in purchasing the productions of great landscape painters for the National Gallery; but the Commissioner could not believe that the public approved of the expenditure of money for the purpose of preserving the finest natural landscape existing in England. He wondered whether the Commissioner, if he had the charge of the National Gallery, would sell the pictures for what the canvas and 340 paint would fetch; or whether, if he had the management of the British Museum, he would sell the Elgin Marbles for the value of the marble of which they were composed. The progress of inclosure, and improvements in agriculture, were rooting out the beauty and charm of the wild scenery in England, and as this was the only large Forest still open freely to the public, it was their duty not to sacrifice wantonly and unnecessarily the beauty of the scenery, nor to allow the destruction of ancient and matchless trees, in order that their places might be taken by young saplings, which might as well be planted in other situations. The British public delighted in the picturesque, and surely it was impolitic to drive them abroad in search of it? He hoped that henceforth it would be a recognized principle among the official arbiters of the fate of this Forest that it was not to be wantonly and carelessly destroyed, but that it was to be preserved, as far as was consistent with the rights of the Crown, for the healthful enjoyment and pleasure of the public. In conclusion, he would urge that there was no part of England better adapted for the training of troops and for military manœuvres as the New Forest. It presented inequalities of surface, open spaces, and woods; it was in the vicinity of the garrisons of Portsmouth and Winchester; and a national interest would be served by preserving it as a place for military manœuvres.
§ SIR HARRY VERNEY
also urged that no part of England was so important to the country for campaigning manœuvres. It not only presented every variety of surface, but it was also near the sea, and therefore available for the purposes of embarkation; and, in fact, if was adapted to all those tactics which had brought the Prussian Army to such perfection. He hoped, therefore, the House would not permit the destruction of that beautiful district, which was the best exercising ground in the whole country. The very Paper of Mr. Howard proved that the Commissioners of Woods and Forests were really unfit to be intrusted with the management of the New Forest.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
said, he trusted the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) would withdraw his Motion, in order that it might go forth to the country that Par- 341 liament had unanimously determined to preserve the New Forest for the recreation of the public. After the announcement from, the Treasury bench that the padlock should be taken off the inclosure to Denny Wood, it would be a bold Government indeed that would continue the course of demolition which had been going on in that wood. The Paper of Mr. Howard gave them some very trite advice as to the duties of proprietors with regard to the property they held, and as to the responsibility of the officers of the Government to the taxpayers of the country. All that advice was already anticipated by the A B C of constitutional Government or of Ministerial management. What they did want was something in the Paper which would clear their minds and free their apprehensions as to this particular exceptional property of the Crown, of which the most ornamental portion, by the mismanagement of the very Department now on its trial, had diminished to 6,000 acres. Before the ill-omened legislation of 1851, the ancient wood land covered 9,000 acres; so that it had been reduced by 3,000 acres since that time. In regard to the question why were there the two Departments of Woods and Forests and of Public Works, he thought the answer was contained in the intention of Parliament, that certain property in the country should not be administered regardless of benefit to the public on the one hand, and of the honour and dignity of the realm itself on the other. Therefore it was that, the Royal Parks of London and similar property being at present under the administration of the Office of Public Works, the argument of Mr. Howard's Paper fell to the ground. Parliament having decided that there were certain provisions to be applied to the public Parks, it was only a question whether the woods of the New Forest should be thrown into the ordinary category of woods and forests, or whether they should be put under the footing of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. He claimed that those ancient groves of the New Forest should be dealt with as park land, not as wood land. He was, to a large extent, a proprietor of woodland property, and therefore he was not speaking in ignorance of his subject; and he claimed that the noble old woodland of the New Forest, with its trees of gigantic size, and of an age that 342 was dated by centuries, should be treated as a park.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, it had always been his opinion that when the question of the New Forest came to be discussed in that House the sentimental view of the subject would be found to prevail. At the same time, the right hon. Member for South Hampshire (Mr. Cowper-Temple) must be perfectly aware that there were numerous inhabitants of that division of the county who would be glad to see a portion of the New Forest sold in lots and appropriated to agricultural purposes. It had fallen to his lot to have to deal with the case of the New Forest; and it was at his suggestion that the Government of the day refused to allow a Disafforestation Bill to be introduced. When, at the beginning of the Session, a Bill was laid on the Table, he took the liberty of suggesting that the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) might come to the rescue, and that by aid of the section of the House in which he occupied so distinguished a position, the disafforesting of the New Forest might be put entirely out of the question. It had been a practice of that House to bear hardly and unnecessarily on the Commissioners of Woods and Forests with regard to the property of which they had charge. That, he thought, was unjust. It was clearly unjust that they should be found fault with for doing what he believed they considered to be their duty. The disafforesting of the New Forest was forced upon the Commissioners by the residents of the New Forest, who quarrelled with the Act of Parliament that was passed in their interests and at their suggestion. He always felt that the House would take the question into its own hand, and would, at the proper time, interfere to prevent the disafforesting of the New Forest. He now understood that the wild and wooded district of the New Forest would be left in its integrity.
§ MR. M. CHAMBERS
said, he was glad that some progress was being made with this question, and that an understanding was likely to be arrived at about the management of these forests. The House had had placed before it a manuscript of the recollections of one of the managers of the Woods and Forests. "Oh, that mine enemy would write a book! because a perusal of that manuscript must 343 convince every hon. Member that the forests were being mismanaged, and, however polite they might desire to be towards the Commissioners, the House must be determined; while the Government ought to consider whether the present arrangements for managing Crown property ought to be continued. The assent to the Motion that had been given by the Government must convince all that a change was necessary, and the unanimity of opinion that prevailed among hon. Members was the condemnation of the Commissioners.
§ MR. FAWCETT
said, he was desired by the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) to state that he wished to withdraw his Amendment, in consequence of the satisfactory promise of the Government to give up the padlocks on Denny Wood. He explained, in reference to the statement that had been made by the Secretary to the Treasury, that he did not desire to express the least want of confidence in anything that his hon. Friend might say; but it must be remembered that the answer which was given by a Minister was to a certain extent his individual opinion, but a Resolution of the House was a formal matter, and recorded as the expression of the opinion of Parliament. The House, he thought, would be of opinion that he was right in bringing forward that Motion.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House, pending legislation on the New Forest, no felling of ornamental timber and no fresh inclosures should be permitted in the New forest; and that no timber whatever should be cut, except for the purposes of thinning the young plantations, executing necessary repairs in the Forest, and satisfying the fuel rights of the Commoners.—(Mr. Fawcell.)