HL Deb 26 June 1840 vol 55 cc111-2

The Duke of Richmond moved the second reading of the Settled Estates Drainage Bill. The measure, he observed, would do a great deal of good, by enabling persons to borrow money chargeable on the estate, and payable at considerably distant periods, for the purposes of draining. This would be beneficial to the person in possession, to the heirs, to the farmers, and to the labourers.

The Marquess of Westmeath

Was the measure meant for Ireland as well as this country? [The Duke of Richmond: Yes], He was glad of it. A great deal of the advantage which Ireland might derive from drainage was prevented by the want of means to sink the beds of rivers so as that a proper flow might be allowed to the estuaries.

Lord Portman

would not oppose the second reading of the bill; but there were parts of its machinery to which he objected, and he did not think that it ought to pass in its present shape.

Lord Ellenborough

suggested to the noble Duke, whether it would not be expedient to extend the provisions of the bill to corporations sole and corporations aggregate.

Lord Ashburton

said, that by the provisions of this bill, it would not be competent to the Lord Chancellor to order a drainage to take place at the expense of the estate, unless it was shewn to him that such drainage would be attended with an improvement of seven per cent, to the proprietors. It was therefore, unnecessary that the clumsy machinery of this bill should be brought into operation, because this improvement of seven per cent, would afford a sufficient inducement to the life tenant to set him at once about draining the land.

Bill read a second time.