HL Deb 04 August 1853 vol 129 cc1245-6

Bill read. 3a.

On the Question that the Bill do pass,


moved the Clause, of which he had given notice, as follows:— Any Owner or Occupier of Lands contiguous to any Public Road, Footway, Railway, or Canal who shall allow any Ragweed, Thistles, or other noxious Weeds to flower or seed on the boundary Fence of his Land adjacent to such public Way, after Eight Days Notice given to him by the Sur- veyor of such public Way to have the same removed or severed from the soil, and any future Contractor for the Repair of any public Road, or any Railway or Canal Company incorporated by Act of Parliament, who shall fail of cutting or causing to be cut at the proper Season such noxious Weeds as aforesaid growing upon any Part of such public Road, Railway, or Canal Banks, after Eight Days Notice to have such Weeds cut or otherwise destroyed, shall be liable to pay a Fine not exceeding Forty Shillings. This, he observed, was the first attempt ever made to enforce by legislative enactment that attention to the extirpation of noxious weeds in Ireland that was so necessary to good farming. There was precedent, however, to be found for it in the law of Scotland, especially the Road Acts of 4 Geo. IV. c. 49, and 1 & 2 Vict. c. 43. Scotland was now the instructor of Ireland in agriculture; her example in enforcing the extirpation of weeds should therefore not be disregarded. If the Scotch farmer required the protection of the laws from the injury of having his land sown with thistles, docks, and ragweed, through his neighbour's neglect of cutting them at the proper season, how much more was such protection necessary for the Irish farmer. No one could have travelled in Ireland at the present season of the year without remarking the luxuriant growth of weeds that border the highways, and overspread the sidings of railways, ripening their seed to be wafted by the breeze over the surrounding fields, and rendering unavailing the best efforts of industry to keep the land clean. It was most important, therefore, that the duty of a timely attention to the cutting of noxious weeds, that might interfere with agricultural improvement, should be enforced. The penalty proposed was not a heavy one, but would probably be found sufficient to do away with an evil much complained of, but incapable of correction without the aid of legislation. He would, therefore, pray their Lordships to give the sanction of their approval to the clause he had proposed.


supported the clause.

Clause added.

Bill passed.