HL Deb 28 July 1845 vol 82 cc1134-5
On the Motion of Lord Stanley

, the House resolved itself into Committee.

On Clause 1 being read,

Lord Portman

complained that under the clause, the entire control of the commons to be enclosed would be given to the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests; and when the Drainage Bill passed, the whole landed property of England would be under the control of the Government of the day. He thought, that either the Chairman of the Woods and Forests, or the other unpaid Commissioner, who was not named in the Bill, should be struck out, as he had no doubt but that the latter would also be immediately connected with the Government.

Lord Stanley

said, the House of Commons had thought proper to send up the Bill with provision for only one paid Commissioner, and if but one unpaid Commissioner were appointed in addition, the two Commissioners would not be able to work as satisfactorily, in case of differences among themselves, as a Board consisting of three Members. These Commissioners would not have so much power as the noble Lord supposed. All they had to do was, in the event of a certain number of persons interested in the enclosure, making an application to them for the purpose, first to make inquiry, and they were then empowered to frame a scheme or draft bill of the enclosure. That scheme was to be referred to the parties interested in the inquiry, and unless these assented to the proposal of the Commissioners, then the whole matter fell to the ground. Even if the parties did assent, the subject should then come before Parliament. The main object of the Bill was to save expense, and he thought, under the circumstances, that some one of the Commissioners ought to be a responsible Minister, who would be answerable to Parliament for what was done.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses, up to Clause 11, agreed to.

On Clause 12 being read,

Lord Stanley

moved the omission from the clause of the words— That no royal forest, or any part thereof, shall be deemed common land under the provisions of this Bill, For the purpose of inserting the words— No part of the New Forest, in Hampshire, or of the Forest of Dean, shall, &c. He proposed the alteration, because he understood there were forest lands in some parts of Wales that might be advantageously brought under the provisions of the Bill.

The clause as amended agreed to.

Clauses 13, 14, 16, 17, and 18, agreed to.

Clause 15 postponed.

Clause 19 was agreed to, after some discussion between Lord Stanley, Lord Portman, Lord Cottenham, Lord Lyndhurst, and Lord Camoys, as to the mode in which the interests of infants were to be represented in cases of enclosure.

Clauses 20 and 21 agreed to.

Clause 22 was postponed at the instance of Lord Campbell, as it was founded upon the supposition that the existing law had been violated.

The other clauses agreed to, with a few verbal Amendments.