MR. EUSTACE SMITH
asked the Chief Commissioner of Works, When the Rules for the Management of the Parks, under the Act of this Session, will be laid upon the Table of the House?
§ MR. AYRTON
, in reply, said, that the Parks Act which was passed the other day had made the management of the Parks somewhat more complicated than it was before; but it had, nevertheless, conduced on the whole to the better administration of these Parks. The Parks were really under four different conditions at present. The first condition related to certain regulations absolutely positive by law, which were to be enforced after to-morrow by summary proceedings and penalties before a police magistrate. The second condition was this—certain rules might be made of a technical and precise nature, which had the character of penal legislation, because they also would be summarily enforced by fine before the police magistrate. The third condition was explained in Clause 11 of the Act thus— 1750All powers conferred by this Act shall be deemed to be in addition to and not in derogation of any powers conferred by any other Act of Parliament, and any such powers may be exercised as if this Act had not been passed.Under that clause the Commissioners, as he before explained, had the same authority over the Parks as gentlemen had over their own parks. The fourth condition was explained in the 12th clause of the Act—Nothing in this Act contained shall be deemed to prejudice or affect any prerogative or right of Her Majesty, or any power, right, or duty of the Commissioners, or any powers or duties of any officers, clerks, or servants, appointed by Her Majesty or by the Commissioners.Under that clause, which was only a short statement of a more important reservation contained in a general Act for the administration of the Parks, there were various powers and rights. That constituted the fourth condition. What they had to do immediately was to consider the technical rules under the second condition, and in doing so some interesting and important questions had arisen. These questions the Government wished to examine and decide, so that the whole subject might be duly disposed of before the penal laws were put in force. It was, therefore, thought better that they should now merely pass one short rule, which would be the only rule at present—namely, that the public shall continue to enjoy the Parks as they had hithertofore enjoyed them. Until the detailed rules were settled no change would be made. There was a clause in the Act directing that the Rules should be laid on the Table, and it would be competent for any hon. Member within one month thereafter to move that they be cancelled. If the Rules were now laid on the Table, as the House was not likely to sit for a month, the right of hon. Members in respect of the Rules would be virtually defeated. The Rules would be distributed to Members as soon as printed, whether the House was sitting or not; but they would not formally be laid on the Table till the beginning of next Session, from which time the month during which the House would have jurisdiction over the Rules would commence to run.
MR. EUSTACE SMITH
said, he should take the earliest opportunity after the Rules were laid on the Table of calling the attention of the House to them.
MR. ALDERMAN W. LAWRENCE
thought the most convenient course for the right hon. Gentleman to adopt would be to bring in a short Bill repealing the recent Act altogether.