§ Mr. LEVY (Leicestershire, Lough borough)
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been directed to a statement made by the legal.adviser of Lord Penrhyn at the Bangor Police Court a few days since, to the effect that in 1858 the Crown transferred to Lord Penrhyn, in the vicinity of Bethesda, 6,129 acres of what has always been regarded as common land; if so, can he state whether such land was the property of the Crown; if so, under what circumstances and for what consideration the transfer was made; whether any conditions as to minerals were imposed; and if he will cause a copy of the transfer deed to he placed in the Library of the House for reference.
(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) Colonel Pennant, to whom the sale in 1858 was made, was lessee of the Crown lordship of Uchaf under a lease granted in 1817, which came to an end about 1862. The waste land in question was considered to form part of that lordship. The Commissioners of Woods of that day seem to have considered it desirable to sell the Crown right of soil for the purpose of procuring a considerable sum of money for what was, in their opinion, valueless to the Crown. They considered the minerals might turn out to be of value, and there had been disputes about the Crown's rights in the various parts of the lordship of Uchaf and as to encroachments. 1084 The sale had the effect of putting the Crown's title to the minerals beyond controversy or risk of encroachment. It is unusual to publish copies of title deeds such as the conveyance of 1858, but any application for leave to see a copy of it at the Office of Woods will be duly considered.