HC Deb 02 July 1896 vol 42 cc610-1

(1.) "Where any person has power, either by statute or otherwise, to sell and convey any land for the purpose of any works of a light railway, he may, with the sanction of the Board of Agriculture given under this section, convey the land for that purpose either without payment of any purchase money or compensation or at a price less than the real value, and may so convey it free from all incumbrances thereon.

(2.) Whenever any person who is a landowner within the meaning of the Improvement of Land Act, 1861, contributes any money for the purpose of any works of a light railway, the amount so contributed may, with the sanction of the Board of Agriculture given under this section, be charged on the land of the landowner improved by the works in the same manner and with the like effect as in the case of a charge under that Act.

(3.) The Board of Agriculture shall not give their sanction under this section unless they are satisfied that the works for which the land is conveyed or the money is contributed will effect a permanent increase in the value of the land held by the same title or of other land of the same landowner exceeding, in the case of a conveyance of land, that which is, in the opinion of the Board of Agriculture, the real value of the land conveyed, or the difference between that value and the price, as the case may be, and in the case of a contribution of money the amount contributed: Provided also, that if the land proposed to be conveyed is subject to incumbrances, the Board of Agriculture, before giving their sanction under this section, shall cause notice to be given to the incumbrancers, and shall consider the objections, if any, raised by them.

(4.) In the application of this section to Scotland, the Secretary for Scotland shall be substituted for the Board of Agriculture.

THE LORD ADVOCATE moved to omit Sub-section (4).


asked for an explanation.


explained that the Inquiry under this section was a purely expert Inquiry, and could be better accomplished by the staff of the Board of Agriculture than that of the Secretary for Scotland.


said that he could not regard the statement of the Lord Advocate with regard to the necessity for this Amendment as satisfactory. In the Bill as it stood, the judgment of the Secretary for Scotland had been substituted for that of the Board of Trade and the Board of Agriculture upon the question whether it was desirable that a light railway should be constructed in any district in Scotland, and now the Lord Advocate proposed to transfer the power of determining whether such a railway should be constructed back from the Secretary for Scotland to the Board of Trade and the Board of Agriculture. Who would be the parties most likely to know whether a light railway would improve the condition of the people in any part of Scotland—the Secretary for Scotland, who was upon the spot and well acquainted with the circumstances of the case, or the Board of Trade, or the Board of Agriculture sitting in London, who could not possibly have cognisance of the facts? The fact was that the right hon. Gentleman now desired to place a limitation upon the operation of his own clause. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would withdraw his Amendment and would allow the Bill to remain as it stood. In any case he desired to enter his protest against the Board of Agriculture in London being substituted for the Secretary for Scotland in this respect.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 24,—