§ 25. Mr. EDE
asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of instances of 21 common lands and manorial wastes to which, between 1st August, 1931, and 31st December, 1935, the public have been granted rights of air and exercise under the Law of Property Act, 1925, and the total acreage of such commons and manorial wastes?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)
The number of common lands and manorial wastes, to which public rights of access for air and exercise have been granted during the period indicated, is 30; and the total acreage of such lands is 91,030 acres.
§ 26. Mr. EDE
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the report of the Select Committee on Commons, 1913; and whether, in view of the need for legislation on many points affecting common land, he will be able to introduce a Bill implementing the recommendations of that committee next Session?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
I am aware of the report of the committee referred to, but I am not at present in a position to say whether time can be found next Session for the passage of a Bill implementing the recommendations of the committee.
§ 27. Mr. EDE
asked the Minister of Agriculture the date on which the last reliable survey of the commons and manorial wastes of England and Wales was made; and whether he will consider legislation requiring county and county borough councils to make such a survey and requiring them to see that no further illegal enclosures take place?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
A return presented to the House of Commons in 1874 gave particulars of waste lands subject to rights of common and of common field lands in England and Wales, so far as could be ascertained from documents in the Office of the Inclosure and Tithe Commissioners, supplemented by estimates. In 1916 the Commons and. Footpaths Preservation Society prepared an estimate of the acreage of commons which was based on the return of 1874 and amounted 22 to approximately 1,750,000 acres. An exhaustive survey such as the hon. Member would appear to contemplate defining the precise bounds of all common lands would be both complicated and lengthy and I regret that I cannot at present promise legislation on the lines suggested.