§ MR. A. C. MORTON (Peterborough)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the home Department whether he is aware that the Lord of the Manor of Fulham (the Bishop of London) in 1869 gave five acres of the waste of the manor to the Vicar of St. Clement's, Kensington, for building thereon a vicarage and conveniences without the consent of the commoners; and that since that time, 1869, nearly the whole of the five acres, with one rood and eleven perches of the waste of the manor added afterwards, has, with the Bishop's consent, been converted into a building estate, producing £360 per annum; and whether the Lord of the Manor was acting within his legal rights; and, if not, what steps the Government propose to take to have the land returned to the commoners?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fife, E.
I am informed that the five acres referred to, being part of the waste of the Manor of Fulham, was granted in 1869 to the Vicar of St. Clement's as glebe by the Lord of the Manor (the Bishop of London), with the concurrence of the commoners (as represented by the he mage Jury), although such consent is not required by the Act 51 Geo. III., c. 115, under which the grant was made. The land having thus become glebe, it was subsequently leased for building purposes. I am advised that the Lord of the Manor was within his right in making the grant in question.
§ SIR A. BORTHWICK (Kensington, S.)
May I ask whether it is the case that the Vicar, Mr. Dalgarno Robinson, although the Bishop had full power to grant the laud, has compensated the commoners to the full extent of their interest—£300; whether it is true that, 1238 on the parish having to make up the North Pole Road for about 350 feet, the Court Leet, who were responsible, had no money, and the Vicar paid the expenses on condition of their surrendering their rights over the rood and few perches in question, which offer was gladly accepted; whether the public have no right to Wormwood Scrubbs, but only the Lord and the commoners, about 80 of them; and whether it is not the case that, owing to the persistent efforts of Mr. Dalgarno Robinson, be the Greater and the Little Scrubbs have been secured to the public for ever?
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I rise to Order. Is the hon. Baronet in Order in putting a series of questions which contain statements of facts as to which there is a dispute? I myself take an entirely different view of the matter.
§ MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Baronet will take upon himself the responsibility of the statements he can ask whether the se statements are true.
§ SIR A. BORTHWICK
I am not in any way responsible for the statements, but I simply ask whether they are true?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The better course would be for the hon. Baronet to ascertain the facts, or else to give notice of his question.
§ MR. A. C. MORTON
I am afraid the home Secretary did not quite catch the point of my question—why land which had been given for a vicarage has since been converted into a building estate; and whether it is legal that land given for one purpose should be used for another purpose?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I have no knowledge of the facts stated by the hon. Baronet, and am totally unable to answer his question; but if the hon. Baronet puts a question down on the Paper I will endeavour to answer it. As to the last question, I am informed that the land has been granted with the consent of all the persons interested, and that whatever has been done has been perfectly legal.