HL Deb 28 February 1862 vol 165 cc848-9

Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


presented a petition of John Augustus Tulk, of Dunston Lodge, Spring Grove, Hounslow, Esquire, for amendment of the Bill, and praying to be heard by counsel against it.


, in moving the second reading of the Bill, said it did not affect Leicester-square any more than Grosvenor-square, Bedford-square, or any other square; the object being to protect the health and enjoyment of the public. Where lands had been left as open spaces for the health and enjoyment of the inhabitants it was important to preserve them in that condition. It was not proposed to take possession of private property, unless it was in such a state as imperatively required some interference. If this had been a new principle, he might have hesitated to suggest it. But the Bill was strictly in conformity with those provisions of the Metropolis Local Management Act which, in the case of gardens in front of houses, prohibited the owners building on those gardens within thirty feet of the roadway, and authorized the vestry board to demolish any such buildings at the expense of the owner. The case with respect to property in gardens was much stronger than with respect to property in squares, because the gardens had never been used by any one except the persons occupying or owning the houses to which the belonged; whereas the squares were used in common by all the residents in the houses which surrounded them. Many years ago a public statue, of no great merit as a work of art, stood in the centre of Leicester-square, and he doubted very much whether there was any right to remove it, or to convey the ground upon which it had been erected. He did not object to the case of the petitions being brought before their Lordships, but he hoped they would not send the Bill to a Select Committee. It was entirely a question of principle, and if the object was wrong the Bill should be rejected.

Moved, that the Bill be now read 2a.


thought that an opportunity should be given to the freeholder of Leicester-square to explain his objections to this Bill before a Select Committee.

After a few words from Lord REDESDALE,


thought, that though the general objects of the Bill were extremely desirable, yet considerable injustice might be done unless some amendments were introduced in Committee. He did not see how it would meet the particular case of Leicester-square.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.