§ MR. SEALE-HAYNE (Devon, Ashburton)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture why fees are demanded for inspection of the Tithe Reference Books; whether those books were prepared at public expense; and whether he will consider the desirability of permitting the examination of such books without charge, as is permitted in regard to documents at the Patent, the Record, and other public Offices?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
Fees have hitherto been demanded for the inspection of the Tithe Reference Books in order to cover the cost of an attendant capable of affording and explaining information respecting them, as well as for taking them out and replacing them. The tithe apportionments and maps were prepared in part at the public expense and in part at the expense of the landowners in the several parishes. It is not the case, I am informed, that the inspection of documents is permitted in the Patent, Record, and other Public Offices without fees, and, so far as I am at present informed, I am aware of no reason for remitting the fees in this case.