§ House in Committee (on Re-commitment) (according to Order).
LORD ROMILLY moved to omit Clause 2 and insert the following instead thereof:—
Provided also, that every such alienation grant, conveyance, lease, assurance, surrender or other disposition shall be absolutely and to all intents and purposes null and void unless and until the same or some deed or instrument
declaring the trusts thereof shall have been enrolled in Her Majesty's High Court of Chancery.
If deeds giving sites for religious and I charitable buildings were not enrolled, occasion would be given for great abuses. The Bill as it at present stood did not propose anything that could not be done at present. The object of his Amendment was to make the effect of the deed date from whatever time it might be enrolled. His proposal would admit of enrolment without the intervention of a solicitor. A deed might be sent up by post, and then it would only be necessary that some one should call for it and pay the fees. There might be printed forms of deeds as there were of leases, which, in fact, required more revision. His sole object was to combine cheapness with security.
§ LORD CRANWORTH
doubted the expediency of insisting on the formality prescribed by the Amendment. The Bill dispensed altogether with the necessity of enrolment in the case of these small grants. In manufacturing towns there were many little buildings such as chapels, schools, and mechanics' institutions, the conveyances of which became null and; void unless they were enrolled, and yet; in nine cases out of ten they were never enrolled. The Court of Chancery, indeed, could authorize their enrolment after the time for it had elapsed.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
opposed the Amendment. The Bill only dealt with cases where the land taken was for the purpose of erecting a building upon it for the promotion of religion, literature, or science. It was also provided that the grant or purchase should have been really and bonâ fide made for full and valuable consideration, and that the land granted or purchased should not be more than two acres in extent. The Bill proposed that in such cases it should be no longer necessary to enrol the deed in the Court of Chancery. It should be remembered that the Mortmain Act was passed on account of many large and improvident dispositions having been made by dying and other persons for charitable uses, to take effect after their death, to the disherison of their lawful heirs. But nobody could imagine that the sale of two acres of land would produce dangerous consequences in that respect. There was no doubt that under the Mortmain Act the system of enrolment was not contemplated at the time that Act received the sanction of the 1743 Legislature; and one religious body, the Wesleyans, had resorted to the practice in order that if any question should arise their deeds might be referred to with facility. The question at issue, therefore, was whether an unnecessary hardship ought to be imposed on all Her Majesty's subjects because the practice of registration had proved a convenience to a particular religious denomination. He might mention, however, that the passing of the present measure would not prevent parties from enrolling their deeds in Chancery if they thought fit to do so. On the whole, he thought their Lordships would do well to adhere to the original clause.
§ Amendment (by Leave of the House) withdrawn.
§ Amendments made: The Report thereof to be received on Monday next; and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 161).