§ Bill, as amended, considered.
§ MR. ELTON
said, he desired to move the following new Clause on page 16, after Clause 31:—(Payment of office fees on enfranchisement.)In the case of any enfranchisement by award after next admittance or enrolment (save and except as herein otherwise provided, and subject to any order by the Commissioners to the contrary) the office fees payable to the Commissioners on enfranchisement shall be paid one half by the lord, the other half by the tenant.Until payment of the moiety payable by the lord the same shall be a charge on the manor, including land within the manor settled to the same uses, rent-charges arising from enfranchisements within the manor and appurtenant thereto, and moneys received for en-francisements within the manor. And until payment of the moiety payable by the tenant the same shall be a charge on the land enfranchised, and in each case the charge shall take priority of all other charges except charges under this Act or the Copyhold Acts, tithe 785 commutation rent-charge, or any rent or other charges for the drainage or improvement of the land under any Statutes for those purposes. The certificate or certificates of the Commissioners under their seal shall he conclusive evidence of the amount of each such moiety, and of the liability of the lord or tenant to pay the same; and the same, together with the costs and expenses incurred in their recovery as between solicitor and client, shall be recoverable either as an ordinary debt, or under the provisions of 'The Conveyancing and Law of Property Act, 1SS1,' as if the Commissioners were mortgagees.The clause had a rather formidable appearance; hut he might inform the House that it was a provision drawn by the Land Commissioners to enable them to draw office fees and expenses for enfranchisement. The exception referred to Clause 33, where certain cases were specified in which the Commissioners might charge otherwise.
§ New Clause brought up and read the first and second time, and added.
§ MR. ELTON
said, he proposed, in Clause 28, page 14, line 5, after "tenant," to add—And notwithstanding the provisions of the Copyhold Acts, including this Act, the lord and tenant may at any time, after notice of enfranchisement shall have been delivered, agree in writing that the Commissioners shall fix and determine the value of and compensation to be paid for the enfranchisement of the manorial and other rights and incidents, by way of rent charge, issuing out of the lands enfranchised and to be subject to the provisions of this Act. And the Commissioners shall, upon receipt of such agreement, take such proceedings and make such inquiries as they may deem necessary to ascertain, fix, and determine such value and compensation, taking into consideration all such matters and things as valuers appointed under the Copyhold Acts are bound to take into consideration in making a valuation under such Acts, and, having fixed and determined such value and compensation, the Commissioners shall communicate the result in writing to the lord and tenant, and shall fix a time within which any objection to such determination may be signified to them in writing by the lord or tenant, and forthwith after the period fixed for such objections to be signified shall have expired, if there he none or if there be any, then forthwith, after the Commissioners shall have considered and disposed of such objections and made such alterations, if any, in such valuation and determination as they shall see fit, the Commissioners shall make their award of enfranchisement in like manner as if the compensation had been ascertained by valuers under the Copyhold Acts.The object of the Amendment was to allow the lord and the tenant, for the sake of cheapness and economy, to agree in writing that the Land Commissioners 786 should do the business of fixing the value and amount of compensation for enfranchisement. There could be no objection to the Amendment, which he only proposed for the sake of economy.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. ELTON
said, he now proposed, in Clause 46, page 20, line 13, after "same," to add—In all cases where the Commissioners for the purpose of the Copyhold Acts, including this Act, are authorised to fix or determine the compensation for enfranchisement, it shall be lawful for the Commissioners to employ such valuers or land surveyors, and at such remuneration, as the Commissioners shall think fit, and the costs of and incidental to such employment shall form part of the costs and expenses of the enfranchisement.He proposed the Amendment at the wish of the Land Commissioners. They already had power to raise the cost of the inquiry, and it was suggested that the costs should include the costs of such valuers as they thought it essential to send down to make the valuation. The Amendment was to explain that the cost of the employment of valuers might be included in the costs of the inquiry.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. ELTON
proposed, in Clause 50, page 20, line 35, to leave out from "apply" to end of clause, and insert—
This Amendment was in the nature of a compromise clause to meet certain objections, and it was a compromise proposed by the Land Commissioners. He thought it was one of a very beneficial nature. The clause, as it stood in the Bill, was to the effect that on five tenants in a district sending for an Assistant Commissioner that Commissioner should not go away until every copyhold in that district had been enfranchised. It was considered hard on those individuals who did not want to be enfranchised to compel them to occupy a similar position to the five tenants who sent for the Assistant Commissioner. This clause was, therefore, proposed to enable as many as wished to be enfranchised to enter their names on the list when the Commissioner came down, and the Commissioner would reduce the cost of the proceeding to a few shillings. The remaining copyholders would not be enfranchised at that time, but would be enfranchised under the ordinary operations of the clauses of the Act.
- "(a.) Any five or more of the tenants of any manor or lordship may, at any time after the time fixed for the commencement of this Act, give notice in writing to the lord or steward of their desire to have their respective lands held, or parcel of the said manor enfranchised, by an award of the Commissioners, for such consideration, and upon such terms, as the Commissioners shall, in manner herein appearing, ascertain to be fair and just, and may thereupon forward to the Commissioners an application in writing to that effect, together with a certified copy of such notice;
- "(b.) Forthwith, after the receipt of such application and copy notice, the Commissioners shall take such proceedings, and make such inquiries, as they may deem necessary to ascertain, fix, and determine the value of, and the compensation to be paid by, the said several tenants for the enfranchisement of all the manorial and other rights and incidents attached to their respective lands, taking into consideration all such matters and things as valuers appointed under the Copyhold Acts are hound to take into consideration in ascertaining the compensation for enfranchisement under such Acts, and, after having fixed and determined such value and compensation, they shall communicate the result in writing to the lord and each such tenant, and shall fix a time within which any objection to such determination may be signified to them in writing by the lord or any such tenant;
- "(c.) Forthwith after the period fixed for such objections to he signified shall have expired if there he none, or if there he any then forthwith after the Commissioners shall have considered and disposed of such objections, arid made such alterations (if any) in such valuation and determination as they shall see fit, the Commissioners shall proceed to frame an award of enfranchisement, with particulars and schedules attached, applicable to all the said tenants, and in such form as the said Commissioners may deem expedient, and the award so made shall have the same force and validity as an award of enfranchisement under the Copyhold Act, 1858, and as if the same were a separate award of enfranchisement for each tenant;
- "(d.) The compensation to the lord shall consist of annual rent-charges issuing out of the respective lands enfranchised, and shall be subject to the provisions of this Act;
- "(e.) The said award of enfranchisement shall in other respects be subject to the provisions of the Copyhold Acts, including this Act;
- "(f.) The award of enfranchisement shall be deposited and kept with and by the Land Commissioners, and any copy of or extract from the said award sealed by the Commissioners shall be received in evidence without any further proof thereof;
- "(g.) All the expenses of and incident to enfranchisement under this section shall be paid by the tenants requiring the same in such proportions as the Commissioners shall direct, regard being had to the amount of compensation or rent-charge payable by each tenant, and any other circumstances affecting each tenant."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Bill to be read the third time upon Thursday.