HC Deb 26 August 1907 vol 182 cc171-2
SIR J. JARDINE (Roxburghshire)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether his attention has been drawn to any cases of the public losing the enjoyment of tracts of common land by reason of the purchase by lords of manors of neighbouring enclosed lands, house sites, and toft rights, carrying rights of common; whether, in any such oases, the public enjoyment of the commons has been protected and the commons secured as open spaces by the local authority undertaking the management of the commons and making regulations for the same; whether the bringing of commons under the regulation of the local authority has been impeded by any powers of veto of the lord of the manor; and, if so, whether the Board of Agriculture has taken any steps to secure to the public the enjoyment of the commons as open spaces, especially in the neighbourhood of large towns.


We are not aware of any case in which the public have lost the enjoyment of common lands by reason of the purchase by the lord of the manor of neighbouring enclosed lands carrying rights of common. The number of cases in which the lord of the manor has exercised his right of veto on proposals made by local authorities for the regulation and management of commons are not numerous, but neither in these cases nor in any other has the Board of Agriculture any power to take direct action with the object of preserving commons as open spaces.