§ Order of the Day for further proceeding, read.
§ * EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, the object of the first Amendment, which stands in my name, is to remove from the Bill that portion of it which enforces compulsory registration in cases other than of pure and bonâ fide sales. The Bill as it stands imposes not, perhaps, registration, but registration fees in every case of succession to property. The Amendment which I propose limits the operation of the Bill to those cases where a sale, as we ordinarily understand that transaction, is carried out. Referring, as I suppose I am in order in referring, to what took place last week, it was attempted to show that I was objecting to a cheap transfer of land. My Lords, I was not objecting to the cheap transfer of land; I was objecting to the very great cost which, as it seems to me, would be imposed by the machinery provided in this Bill; and I venture to think that whatever may be said upon 1551 this subject, no one who has thought how the Bill would work can be satisfied that the Bill will be one which can be cheaply put into motion. The insurance fees may be small; the office fees may be small; but behind those there lie the expenses which, unhappily, attend all transactions of this description. I admit that recent legislation has done much to diminish the cost of those transactions—to diminish, or endeavour to diminish, the charges of solicitors, and to that no one can object; but what I, for one, object to, is imposing upon the succession to property the same trouble and expense (be it little or great, it seems to me, does not really affect the question) as that which attends the case of bonâ fide sale. A great deal of the land of this country never comes into the market at all. No doubt there are cases in which land exchanges hands more than once in the course of a single generation, but that represents but a small part of the landed property of this country. The greater part of that landed property is not made the subject of sale, and I do not see why when it passes from one member of a family to another, either by will or by settlement, the person inheriting should be forced to bear his share of the cost of a general registration scheme. What I, therefore, propose is to omit from the operation of this Bill all persons who may succeed by descent or by settlement. I think your Lordships will be of opinion that if the scheme is one which is wise and good, the public at large will not be slow to avail themselves of it in future when it works satisfactorily. If any advantage is to be gained by the owners of land by putting their titles on the register, they will be eager to do so. If the scheme is so advantageous as its authors represent, the landed interest of this country are not so insensible to their own interests as to refrain from availing themselves of the machinery so provided. But I cannot understand (and I ventured the other day to quote the opinion of Lord Thring as supporting that view) why owners should be compelled to deal with their property in a way which they do not desire. If any great public advantage were to be gained from it something might be said, but then the cost should fall on the public, and not on these 1552 unhappy victims of experimental legislation. I do not want to repeat anything I said last week; but I think very few will deny that the sale and transfer of land is an operation not unattended with expense, and it would be quite proper to impose on those who engage in such transactions the cost of placing their land upon the register. But I do not see why land held from generation to generation which does not come into the market at all should be subjected to the harassing visits of registration officials, or why the owner should be called upon the moment he succeeds to produce his title. That seems to me to be utterly at variance with the principles of justice. It was said the other night that, after all, the cost would be paid out of the Consolidated Fund. That is an argument which is hardly worth seriously combating, because anybody who knowns the principles on which our finance is administered knows that all our Law Courts are practically self-supporting, and, though the salaries of these officials will be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, care will be taken that the fees bear the proper proportion to the salaries and expenses. Individual transactions may, no doubt, be carried on with light fees, but the expenses taken as a whole will be considerable. Lord Cairns estimated the cost of each transaction at between £3 and £4, and taking into account the enormous number of transactions, I think your Lordships will see that that will place a very considerable tax upon the landed interest. I would remind their Lordships of the words of Lord Cairns in 1875 on this subject, when he said he for one was afraid of forcing on the people of tins country a system which might excite intense dissatisfaction and lead to a sweeping away altogether of the new system of registration. I ask your Lordships to limit the operation of the Bill to cases of bonâ fide sale and transfer, and not to make the whole landed interest the subject of so serious an experiment. These are not times when the landed interest can bear any additional burden. I think as a matter of common sense and justice we ought to be quite sure that this system is for the general public good before we force it upon landed proprietors. Are you afraid that your system itself will not be accepted voluntarily? If so, what right 1553 have you to impose it on the country? If you are satisfied that the scheme is a good one and will be accepted, then why compel people to do that which their own interests will prompt them to do?
§ Amendment moved, Clause 3, page 1, line 23, to insert after "conveyance" the words "not being a settlement."—(The Earl Beauchamp.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I trust your Lordships will not accept this Amendment. The discussion affords an illustration of the inconvenience of discussing at this stage what is really a question of detail. If this Amendment had been discussed at an earlier period there would have been no difficulty in giving the noble Earl every information as to what the exact amount of the charge and the machinery that would be adopted and the intervention of the officials would be—things which he seems to assume would be harassing and inconvenient. The noble Earl introduced, once or twice, words which I understand have been used with great effect in speaking to noble Lords outside the House, but which have not been distinctly formulated in the House—I mean the necessity which it appears noble Lords have been assured they would be under of placing their titles on the register. That is an entire mistake. There is no such necessity under the Bill. A mere possessory title will simply prove that a person is in possession, and the machinery by which that can be accomplished is of the simplest possible character. Of course, if each of the Amendments is accepted, the Bill will ultimately be reduced to nothing, which probably is what the noble Earl desires, but it is hardly fair, after the Third Reading, to introduce Amendments which really go the whole usefulness of the Bill. Of course, I do not mean to say that the Bill might not go on if the present Amendments were adopted, but the effect and value of a system of registration of land is that it should be exhaustive, and if your Lordships exclude everything except what has passed by actual sale and transfer, a great part of the usefulness of a register would be gone because a great deal of land does not go into the market at all. So that you would be really legislating for a part of the country, and not for 1554 the whole. I do not wish my Lords to discuss this matter at great length. It seems to me that the objections of the noble Earl are really aimed at the Bill itself, and not merely at this part of it.
§ THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH
I wish to ask the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack one question with regard to a remark which fell from him. He said that under this Bill placing a title on the register would entail no considerable expense.
§ THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH
I understood the noble Lord to say that the costs, whatever they were, which were entailed by settlement, would not be excessive. But am I not right in assuming that those costs, whatever they would be, would be tantamount to the expenses which would be gone to by an owner who wished to get out a bill of sale or advertisements with regard to putting up the property for auction.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I should say certainly not. The noble Duke has quite misunderstood what I did say. I said that so far from placing his title upon the register, it was not in the smallest degree necessary for a land-owner to do so. There would simply be the fact of possession.
§ LORD HERSCHELL
I would like to point out to the noble Lord opposite one effect of his Amendment which I do not think he at present contemplates. His Amendment would not only apply to the first putting of land into a settlement after registration had been made compulsory, but would apply always hereafter to all cases of settlement. I can hardly think that the noble Lord would contend, when once land has been put upon the Register, that, if afterwards in respect of that land a settlement were made, that settlement could not take effect by putting the new owner on the register in place of the person at the time on the register. That is a matter that could not involve any expense in its working, and if you have merely the limitation proposed by the noble Earl, you would have persons, claiming through somebody not on the register at all, who yet would be compelled themselves to register. I think the noble Lord must mean his Amendment to refer to the first putting upon the 1555 register, and not to subsequent dealings with land.
§ * EARL BEAUCHAMP
I think that, strictly speaking, I am not entitled to reply to the noble Lord, but I would like to point out that if everybody would gain by registering, there is no need of compulsion.
§ LORD HERSCHELL
I do not think the noble Earl follows my point, which is this:—That when the land is once on the register you ought to compel the registration of all subsequent dispositions with the land, otherwise you destroy the value of any system of registration altogether.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
What I understand the noble and learned Lord to argue is this:—That if the Amendment of my noble Friend is passed land once on the register can be transferred otherwise than by the register. But it is perfectly clear that if land is on the register there is no objection to its being transferred on the register, and my noble Friend's Amendment will not affect that, unless it is proved that it is more expensive to transfer land on the register than to transfer it by the ordinary system of conveyance. If the land is on the register already, there is nothing in my noble Friend's Amendment to prevent its being transferred on the register, nor would anybody wish to transfer it otherwise than on the register. All that we complain of is the compulsory registration, in the first instance, on the register. Then, the noble and learned Lord said that it was not contemplated to compel persons to place their titles on the register, but that all that they were required to register was a possessory title. Well, even for the registration of a possessory title you must have maps and descriptions, which would entail a very heavy expense upon the present owners. Of course it does not fall distinctly upon the present owner, but it falls on the successor to the present owner, succeeding by a will or by a settlement which he is compelled to register. Then the noble and learned Lord says you are only compelled to register a possessory title. That is perfectly true, but supposing a sale is contemplated and the only advantage in registering is to get a good title, you really must go in for an absolute title, because the purchaser, knowing that 1556 you had to register a title of some kind, would insist on your registering an absolute title. To go back to the Amendment of my noble Friend, I do not see the difficulty that my noble and learned Friend anticipates. If the property is on the register and it is transferred it will be transferred on the register, and there is nothing in my noble Friend's Amendment to prevent that. The whole point of the Amendment is that it precludes the necessity of registering in the first instance.
§ On Question their Lordships divided:—Contents 93; Not Contents 119.
§ * EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, I have to move another Amendment, the object of which is the omission of Clause 33. I do not know whether your Lordships are anxious that the discussion should be prolonged upon this question, but I think it is important that the view of the House should be expressed upon this and the other clauses relating to real property. By retaining this clause your Lordships will be in considerable difficulty upon this part of the question of land transfer. This matter is one purely within the law of real property, and, therefore, I should ask your Lordships to omit this clause in the Bill on the ground that it alters the law of real property. The alterations of the law of real property are so wide, so exhaustive, and so entirely outside the proper object of the Bill, that a provision like this ought really to form no part whatever of the measure. When the Bill was originally framed, this Clause 33, as far as I remember, formed part of Part 4 of the Bill. Whether that was so or not, I think the noble and learned Lord will confirm my view that this is a grave alteration of the law of real property, and, therefore, I ask your Lordships to say that, being an alteration of the law of real property, it ought to form no part of a Bill dealing with the transfer of land.
§ Moved, "To leave out Clause 33."—(The Earl Beauchamp.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I am unable to adopt this Amendment. If every part of the Bill is to be expunged which deals with the law of real property, I need not tell your Lordships that a very considerable part of it will be taken away. Although, 1557 in a certain sense I should not dispute that if the registration be established there will be alteration in the law of real property, yet some alteration is essential in order to facilitate the carrying out of what is proposed, and it is for that purpose of facility only that this clause is introduced. I quite understand the objection to the law of real property being substantially altered, and I accept the issue in that sense. I cannot adopt the Amendment for the omission of the clause.
§ LORD HERSCHELL
My Lords, I cannot agree that this in any way alters the law of real property. I think it is a very useful clause. It is a matter strictly in conjunction with the other provisions of the Bill, and it only implies this, that where you have what is called a base fee, the owner may apply to have his title confirmed. It is a most inconvenient form of title, which is only in existence as long as the heirs of the tenant in tail are in existence. When those heirs fail the title comes to an end. This clause only provides that the person who is the owner of the base fee and is on the register may apply to have his title confirmed, and may have his estate in fee simple entered if no objection is taken by any person entitled in remainder or reversion. That seems to be an extremely convenient thing for an owner of a base fee. Of course he cannot touch anybody's rights. That is all that this clause provides, and it really does not at all substantially alter the law of real property. I cannot help thinking that this is an unfortunate occasion on which to raise the issue, because it could be taken directly on the alterations made in the fourth part of the Bill. But if your Lordships will think out the whole of the fourth part of the Bill, you will see that this clause might be made to serve a very useful purpose.
§ * EARL BEAUCHAMP
Under these circumstances I will ask your Lordships to permit the Amendment to be withdrawn.
§ Amendment, by leave of the House, withdrawn.
§ * THE EARL OF SELBORNE
My Lords, I rise to move an Amendment, the object of which is provide that where a person has been improperly registered with a possessory title anyone entitled 1558 to the possession or to the receipt of the rents of the property may apply for the correction of the register. The clauses on the subject of rectification, as they now stand, do not apply to merely possessory titles. It is necessary to do this; because, although the mere fact of a possessory title being registered would not by itself operate to defeat or prejudice any prior unregistered right, it might do so in the course of time, by the currency of the Statute of Limitations in favour of the registered title; and a wrong registration, if it could not be rectified, might in the meantime be a serious cloud upon the true owner's title.
§ Amendment agreed to.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
My Lords, the next Amendment stands in my name. I propose to ask your Lordships to omit Clauses 74 to 82 inclusive.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
Would my noble Friend allow me to ask whether he would be satisfied to confine his Amendment to Clause 74, as in case of its rejection I have an Amendment to move on Clause 75.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I may inform the noble Marquess that there are Amendments upon some of these clauses.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
The noble Marquess invites me to limit the Amendment to Clause 74, and I will adopt the suggestion. But in moving the omission of Clause 74, I have to call your Lordships' attention to the fact that the three following clauses are bound up with it, and therefore the omission of the clause will, of course, involve the omission of Clauses 76, 77, and 78, which are all dependent upon it. While the earlier part of the Bill deals with land in the case of intestacy, Clause 74 deals with land left by will and vests it in executors. These clauses, from 74 to 83, constitute Part 4 of the Bill, with regard to alterations of the law of real property. They have nothing whatever to do with alterations in the law with respect to the registration of land, except so far as those who have drawn the Bill have chosen to work as it were one question into the other. The alterations of the law of real property are of two descriptions. First, this part of the 1559 Bill deals with land in the case of intestacy, and next it vests real estate left by will in the hands of the executors of the last owner. Then Clause 75 involves the distribution among all the heirs if there is an intestacy the same as with regard to personalty; and I think Clauses 81 and 82 involve the substitution of an estate in fee-simple for an estate in tail. The clause which I am now asking your Lordships to reject is Clause 74, which vests real property left by will in the executors of the last owner. Your Lordships' attention ought to be called to this essential difference between this clause and the succeeding part of the measure to which we, I think, equally object—that whereas the others are dealing practically with cases of land where there is an intestacy this deals with land where there is a will. As the law stands at the present moment, the person who has inherited landed estate under a will comes into possession immediately the breath has left the body of the previous owner; but if this Bill passes the property will rest in the hands of executors, and the successors may be kept out of it for a year or more while they are proving the will, and he will be unable to exercise any control over his own property. That is the law now with regard to personalty, and, of course, with regard to personalty it is perfectly unobjectionable; but your Lordships are acquainted with the operation of the law with regard to landed property, and the difficulties in connection with its management. The management of landed property is an onerous task; and I would ask your Lordships to consider how it is possible for executors to satisfactorily discharge the work of managing real estate for twelve months? They could not manage it for any length of time in a satisfactory manner. A noble Lord has brought in a clause giving power to the rightful owner to compel the executors to hand over the property to him after the lapse of a year. But, during a year, many questions may arise which executors could not well decide with regard to labour in keeping the place up, receiving notices from tenants renewing leases, repairs of farms, &c. All those matters are to be left in the hands of executors possibly hostile to the new owner, and whose sole care may possibly have been to do nothing, at any rate, which might 1560 compromise themselves. My Lords, I do not wish to trouble the House unnecessarily, but I think this is a subject which requires to be fully considered. I would, however, refer to one matter, and that is Sub-section 3 of Clause 74, which provides that probate and letters of administration may be granted in respect of real estate only, although there is no personal estate. If your Lordships will read Clause 80 you will see it states that land is not to be made the subject of Probate Duty or Legacy Duty; but I would ask what chance there is at the present day of land remaining long free from Probate Duty if probate has to be taken out. This is not merely the thin end of the wedge towards placing a Probate Duty on land; it is half the wedge. There is already a disposition to tax land upon succession in every manner possible. Of all the burdensome forms of taxation with reference to succession, a duty upon land in these days of agricultural depression is the most onerous. Your Lordships will agree that that form of taxation is certainly the most burdensome, and if you allow this clause to pass you will have opened the door to still greater difficulties. I ask your Lordships, on those grounds, whether you are not placing landed property in a position which will make it impossible for it to be properly managed during the period that executors may hold it, and I hope, therefore, that your Lordships will reject the clause.
§ Amendment moved, page 35, to leave out Clause 74.—(The Marquess of Bath.)
§ THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH
My Lords, I confess I have not an absolute knowledge of the bearing and scope of the whole of this Bill; but it seems to me that Clauses 81 and 82 will involve a great change in the settlement of land. By those clauses the son of a tenant for life would have the right to sell the land and heirlooms of an estate, because he would have an absolute reversion of both. As your Lordships are aware, with regard to what are called heirlooms, if a father makes a settlement with his son, upon that son coming to the title on his father's death he gets a life interest in the property only. That property would be of a twofold description: it is land and it is heirlooms. When the successor has a 1561 son in turn, and that son comes of age, he has a remainder under the settlement which was created by the father and grandfather. As your Lordships are aware, that son, when he comes of age, becomes absolute possessor of the heirlooms subject to his father's life interest in them. But that is not the case with regard to land; the son has to live beyond his father in order to succeed. With regard to the heirlooms, the son can sell those heirlooms to anybody the day he comes of age, whether his father likes it or not, subject, of course, to his father's enjoyment of them during his life. But he cannot do so with regard to land. Your Lordships are aware that one of the customs most observed is that when the son comes of age, in consideration of the income given to him, he concedes his right, being given a life interest as entailed heir. Now, the operation of this Bill is to put land in exactly the same position as heirlooms, so that when the son comes of ago, after this Bill has passed, he would, in the natural course of things, succeed absolutely not only to the reversion of the heirlooms, but to the absolute reversion of the land. A son will not be in a position to make terms with his son. There will be nothing to offer him, and the son will naturally say—"Why should I settle this property? I have got this property. I can sell it to A, B, C, or D to-morrow, subject only to your life interest in it." Therefore, in the nature of things he is not going to settle it. My Lords, we should be clear in our minds whether we desire that that should be the state of things, because I think your Lordships will see we are embarking on a change, and one which I regard as of great magnitude. Then, with regard to another point, your Lordships are aware that by Lord Cairns' Act of 1882 a tenant for life was given absolute power to sell the land—that is to say, he was practically made sole trustee of the property, and in him was placed a discretion as to sale, as to price, and, in fact, generally under the wording of the Act; but a power was reserved, and that power was with regard to the sale of the mansion-house. If my proposition is right with regard to the position of the heirlooms, and after the passing of this Bill of the land, the position 1562 will be very different to what it is now, when the owner cannot sell the house. The son, when he comes of age, if he does not like to oblige his father will say—"It is all very well, but I can sell the property, and I will sell it." This may not be au arrangement which will do any harm, but it is a change which will entail very great difficulties. I venture to suggest that it is sowing seeds of difficulties which I cannot see my way out of.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I think the noble Marquess has wandered somewhat from the particular matter now under discussion. No doubt it is the object and intention of this Bill by subsequent clauses, which are not at present under discussion, to make personalty and realty subject to the same laws, so that you may do with regard to realty what you can do with personalty, and vice versâ. That is the whole object of the Bill. With regard to the clause under discussion, the noble Marquess has drawn a picture of evil consequences which will result from it, and has suggested that the person entitled may be kept out of possession by the acts of ill conditioned executors or representatives. I cannot agree with him. It is all very well for the noble Marquess to use the phrase he did as to the persons inheriting coming into possession; but it is not accurate, because the landed estate passes to the executors. I do not think the evil consequences anticipated by the noble Marquess are likely to arise. Difficulties have arisen in cases where the land is held under lease. Has the noble Marquess not experienced those difficulties when land happens to be so held? There is a provision here intended to deal with those difficulties. The executors may assent instantly to possession being taken, and may allow the person entitled to go into his own house. These difficulties are familiar to those connected with the law. Ever since I have known the profession everybody has been craving for a real representative at the time of death by which the difficulty might be met, while determining who is really entitled under such testamentary dispositions. Recent legislation has done much to diminish these difficulties, and in that respect, my Lords, I think this will be a valuable 1563 alteration of the law as regards a very large portion of the land in this country held under lease.
§ * EARL BEAUCHAMP
The whole policy of Parliament for many years has been to extinguish leaseholds and qualified interests in land, to which the noble and learned Lord now points as an example to be imitated. It is my belief that the difficulty intended to be met by the sweeping changes of this clause has been very much diminished by the beneficial operation of the recent alterations in the law of real property to which I have referred. I have a question to put to those who are responsible for this Bill. The point was not raised before the Select Committee, because my attention was not then called to it. The question I want to put is—how, in future, estates are to be carried on until probate is granted? You are now admitting that landed property is to be subject to the same law as personalty. Suppose a person succeeds to a large estate in the funds, the money accumulates and no great harm is done in case of delay in granting probate. But the case is different with respect to landed property if the successor is kept out. Landed property is subject to waste, mismanagement, and a variety of incidents; and the question I want to put is this—suppose a will is litigated, how is a landed estate to be carried on for any considerable time until probate is granted? You are to vest freehold landed property in future in the representatives. The executors are to become representatives of the realty. I want to know, in case of difficulties arising which may involve litigation, what is to be the position of the real estate during that period? Certainly the estate would be subject to very great injury. The heir would probably be kept out of the estate, and I do not myself see how it could be properly carried on. Recent legislation, as the Lord Chancellor has said, has done much to diminish the difficulties of dealing with these estates; so as to avoid serious risk of maladministration. The administration of real property has really nothing whatever to do with the question of land transfer, which is the subject of this Bill, and this clause is not necessary. I would ask the authors of the Bill to consider what would happen in the case of a will being litigated, perhaps for 1564 years, the estate being tied up, and the persons responsible being prevented from doing things absolutely indispensable for the proper management of the estate.
§ * THE EARL OF SELBORNE
My Lords, so far from there being any new difficulty created in the case of a will of doubtful construction, there will be less difficulty under this Bill than in the present state of the law. If there be disputed questions as to the succession to real estate, and the matter is sharply litigated, it may remain open for years; the difficulty which the noble Earl has mentioned, is, therefore, inherent in the present state of the law. It might be possible, no doubt, by the exercise of the powers of the Court in which the litigation took place to appoint a receiver or to adopt other measures to provide for the management of the estate during the litigation. All that would happen upon this Bill coming into operation would be that the proper Court would grant probate or letters of administration. It might, in the case which the noble Earl supposes, grant temporary administration with the same powers as belong to an executor or to a general administrator. Having said that in answer to the noble Earl's difficulty, I should like to give your Lordships any assistance that I can in regard to the operation of the clause in question, and that the more impartially, because I have never individually been so strongly impressed as some others with the necessity for such a change. As this has been done by the Select Committee, I think it ought to be considered in another place; and I, for one, cannot undertake the responsibility of wrecking the Bill, in this last stage, for the sake of any opinion which I may entertain upon this point; especially as I think there is no sufficient reason for feeling great alarm regarding the effect of the Bill as it stands. The effect of the Bill as it stands is simply this: Upon the death, it is proposed to vest the property in the executor or the administrator. That seems at first sight to be open to two objections—that you may keep the real owner out of his property, and that you may impose upon the executor or the administrator a new responsibility which may deter him from accepting that office. I will take the last objection first, because that would 1565 be a very serious objection, indeed, if nothing were done by the Bill to provide against it; but the 77th clause provides that from the very beginning, from the moment of the death, the executors or administrators, if they prefer devolving the duties and burdens and whole management of the property upon the person beneficially entitled to it, may do so. They need not undertake the trust or the responsibilities, as to the real estate, unless they choose, but if they find that the beneficial owner is willing to take possession of the estate, subject to the legal burdens affecting it, the 77th clause enables them to put him on the Register from the very beginning. Therefore, from these duties, which at first sight seem so onerous, they can relieve themselves whenever they please. Then there is provision made for winding up their administration, in the case of their accepting the duty, and being registered, in the first instance. At the end of the first year, the persons beneficially entitled may claim to be put upon the Register instead of the executors, and they are permitted, if necessary, to go to the Courts for that purpose. Unless some good reason can be shown to the contrary, an order for that purpose will be made. Then the question is asked, where the property is not sooner transferred, what is to become of it during the year, or the period while the estate may be held in trust? The 76th section says that personal representatives are to hold as trustees for the persons by law beneficially entitled. Nobody ever yet, I suppose, heard of an executor saying to the person beneficially entitled to a leasehold house, or other property, you shall not go into the house, you shall not manage the property, you shall not deal with it by letting, and so on, if he were certainly entitled. If it were really necessary or justifiable for the executor to insist on remaining in possession, he would himself be obliged to discharge all duties in relation to the property, and to act as owner like any other trustee in possession. There is really very much less reason for alarm about this clause than the noble Earl supposes: though I do not myself take the same view of its importance that some others may do.
§ On Question, "That Clause 74 stand part of the Bill," their Lordships divided:—Contents, 113; Not-contents, 122.
§ * THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, as this clause is connected with enactments that are vital to the Bill, I do not think that in the circumstances it is advisable to proceed further with the measure.
§ Bill, by leave of the House, withdrawn.