HL Deb 05 August 1890 vol 347 cc1862-4

Amendment reported (according to order).


Your Lordships may, perhaps, remember that in the previous stage of this Bill, Clause 8, which deals with the power of ecclesiastical, parochial, and charitable bodies to convey land for purposes connected with, the Public Libraries Act, was seriously assailed, and, in deference to the suggestion of the noble Marquess opposite, I withdrew it, and said I would bring it up in another form of the Report. I have brought up the clause in a form which, I think, will meet the objections then raised; but there are two points upon which I should like to say a word to your Lordships. One of my noble Friends behind me took a general objection to the power of such Public Bodies to give land, although not to their power of selling or exchanging of it. Well, as regards the word "gift," I am informed that in several other Acts, such as the Schools Sites Act of 1841, the Literary and Scientific Institutions Act of 1854, and the Places of Worship Sites Act, 1873, a power of gift is found in each of those measures; and if land can be given for such a purpose as a literary institution it is difficult to see why it should not be given for the purpose of a public library. The other point was with regard to the application of the money derived from such land. My noble Friend behind me has suggested an Amendment in the last paragraph, to which I shall be very glad to agree, namely, that the money derived from the sale of the land shall be applied to the purposes of the Trust, and not as here stated. My noble Friend, Lord Meath, who is not present, brought up on a former stage an Amendment with reference to open spaces; he was anxious that no land which had been set aside for the purpose of being preserved as an open space should come under the operation of this clause. Upon that I have only to say that if he, or my noble Friend Lord Thring, who I believe had charge of the matter in his absence, will bring up an Amendment to that effect at the next stage of the Bill, on the understanding that its provisions should only apply to the Metropolis, or very large towns, I should not offer any objection to such an Amendment.

Moved, after Clause 7, to insert the following new clause— 8."Any person holding land for ecclesiastical, parochial, or charitable purposes, may, subject as herein-after provided, grant, convey, or enfranchise, by way of gift, sale, or exchange for any of the purposes of the Libraries Acts, any quantity of such land not exceeding in any one case one acre in any manner vested in such person Provided that no ecclesiastical property shall be granted or conveyed for such purposes without the consent of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England; that no parochial property shall be so granted or conveyed save by the Guardians of the Poor Law Union compromising the parish to which the property belongs, or without the consent of the Local Government Board; and that no other charitable property shall be so granted or conveyed without the consent of the Charitable Commissioners; and the said Board and Commissioners respectively shall provide for the application of the money derived from the sale of any land with their consent under this section, regard being had to the purposes for which such land was held. Any land granted or conveyed to any library authority under this section may be held by such authority without any licence in mortmain."— (The Lord Houghton.)


My Lords, I am quite satisfied with what my noble Friend has said with regard to gifts, and as there are precedents with regard to gifts in analogous cases I shall certainly not press my Amendment. The other point to which I would call attention, is that the words after Said Boards and Commissioners respectively, provided that the application of such moneys derived from the sale of land under this Section regard being had to the purposes for which such land is taken, should be omitted, and the words Land taken in exchange, or money received from such sale shall be held on the same trusts as the land exchanged or sold should be inserted. I cannot see why there should be any difference made in the application of the money received from those portions of land to the purposes of the Trusts on which the land is held. I, therefore, beg leave to move that Amendment.

On Question agreed to, Bill to be read 3a on Thursday next.