HL Deb 16 June 1904 vol 136 cc257-9

House in Committee (according to order).

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2:—


asked the noble Earl in charge of the Bill (Lord Onslow) whether this was a Consolidation Bill only, or whether the Amendments to be introduced altered any of the original enactments. He would be glad to receive an assurance that it was purely a Consolidation Bill, and that there was no intention, by the Amendments to alter any of the existing enactments with regard to open spaces.


My Lords, I think that if there was any such intention as the noble Lord suggests the title of the Bill would be incorrect, because it distinctly states that the object of the Bill is "to consolidate enactments relating to open spaces." Of course, it is a difficult for a layman to give an unqualified assurance, but the Law Officers assure me that none of the Amendments standing in my name alter the law in any respect, but merely consolidate it.


called attention to the Memorandum attached to the Bill, in which it was stated that— The object of the present Bill is to consolidate these enactments without making any alteration of the law except such as seems necessary for removing inconsistencies. He would like to know the nature of those alterations of the law, and what the inconsistencies were that were to be removed. It was quite possible that inconsistencies might be removed in a direction which might be considered unwise.


If the noble Lord will look at the Memorandum, he will see it stated that the enactments relating to open spaces which were framed primarily with reference to London, but which have been subsequently extended with modifications to the rest of the country, are in a very confused condition. The object of the Bill is to assimilate these measures, to reconcile them and not to alter them.


Yes, but in assimilating enactments framed with reference to London and enactments framed for the rest of the country there may be considerable alteration in the law.


If noble Lords wilt point to any Amendment upon which there is any doubt, I will postpone it till the Report stage, and consider in the meantime whether or not it makes any alteration in the law.


said it was not only a question of any alteration in the law which might be made by the Amendments. The provisions in the Bill itself might be objectionable. But perhaps that point could be considered in the Standing Committee.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clauses 3 to 14 agreed to.

Clause 15:—


explained that the councils of municipal boroughs and districts were mentioned in Clause 1, which defined the bodies that should be local authorities for the purposes of the Act, and it was considered that there ought also to be a reference to councils of municipal boroughs and, districts in Clause 15, which dealt with by-laws.

Amendment moved— In page 9, line 27, after the word 'A,' to insert the words 'municipal borough.'" —(The Earl of Onslow.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 16 agreed to.

Clause 17.


moved to delete the words "in the case of the Common Council of the City of London out of the metage of grain duty or otherwise" from this clause, which made provision for the expenses of local authorities. He said that by an oversight it had not been observed that the Common Council had no metage of grain duty out of which to pay the expenses.

Amendment moved— In page 10, to leave out lines 12 and 13."—(The Earl of Onslow.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 17, as amended, agreed to.


moved the insertion of a new clause after Clause 17. He explained that the power to borrow under the existing Acts was not quite clear, but the Local Government Board had held that there was such a power, and the clause he proposed to insert would remove all doubts in the matter.

Amendment moved— After Clause 17, to insert, as a new clause, A local authority may borrow for the purposes of this Act in the case of a county council as for the purposes of the Local Government Act, 1888; in the case of a metropolitan borough council as for the purposes of the Metropolis Management Acts, 1855 to 1893; in the case of a municipal borough or urban or rural district council as for the purposes of the Public Health Acts; and in the case of a parish council as for the purposes of the Local Government Act, 1894.'"—(The Earl of Onslow.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Bill recommitted to the Standing Committee; and to be printed as amended. (No. 102.)