§ The Duke of Richmond
moved the Second Reading of the Bill to amend an Act of 3rd and 4th Victoria, and enable the owners of settled estates to defray the expenses of draining the same by way of mortgage. The Bill was now drawn as directed by the Committee, and related solely to draining; there were other questions, such as giving a power of leasing for nineteen or twenty years, and also a power of exchange, which was very desirable, particularly now railroads severed property, so that twenty acres might be left on one side of the rail belonging to one owner, and twenty acres belonging to another might be left on the other side: these subjects, however, might be the subject of legislative enactment hereafter. It had been thought desirable by the Committee to extend the Bill to Ireland as well as to England; and it simplified the proceedings by enacting that a Master in Chancery, on being satisfied of the outlay, should give a certificate which is to operate as a rent-charge, and as the application was to be made in the first instance to the Master, much expense would be spared.
The Marquess of Salisbury
did not mean to oppose a Bill which was likely to afford employment to the poor; but he hoped his noble Friend would give 55 them a fair opportunity of discussing the details of the Bill, particularly with regard to the part which permitted persons to raise money upon settled estates for the purposes of building.
§ Lord Beaumont
said, that question was much discussed in the Committee, and in his opinion buildings must be included, or the Bill would not be effective. He did not intend ornamental buildings, but such as sheds for cattle, which had always been considered permanent improvements, and which must be increased if there was increased produce. He never knew a Bill on which he felt less difficulty in giving a vote in its support. It improved the position as well of the tenant for life as of the remainder-man; it would benefit the occupier as well as the holder. It was an attempt also to simplify the legal proceedings, and render unnecessary those heavy law expenses for petitions, a specimen of which was given to the Committee, which extended to two closely printed pages of items.
§ The Earl of Devon
, as a Member of the Committee, supported the Bill, which preserved the control of the Court of Chancery, and at the same time reduced the expense. He hoped that it might be made appendant to the Bill relating to tenants' rights in Ireland. It pointed out the objects which it was the desire of the Legislature to obtain, and was of the utmost importance to the general improvement of the agriculture, not only of this country but of Ireland.
The Earl of Wicklow
approved of the extension to Ireland, and hoped that powers would be given to the guardians of infants to effect these improvements.
also approved of the principle of the Bill, and rejoiced that it was extended to Ireland. For more than half a century they had had such a Bill for Scotland, and in all respects as the Bill now stood he highly approved of it.
§ The Duke of Richmond
said there was a clause in the Bill which would, he believed, have the effect of enabling guardians to drain.
The Lord Chancellor
had not till now read the Bill; there were several details in it with respect to the Court of Chancery; he did not object to the second reading then; but he would communicate with his noble Friend the noble Duke any 56 suggestions which occurred to him with regard to that part of the Bill.
§ Bill read 2a.