§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD BIRKENHEAD)
My Lords, in moving that tins Bill be now read a third time, I have to acquaint the House that consent of His Majesty, and that of the Prince of Wales with respect to the Duchy of Cornwall, has been duly signified to this Bill. I do not think it will be necessary for me to add any observations to those I made on the Report stage of the Bill, except to say that, as I anticipated then, such points of difference as still existed have been happily adjusted.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3ª. (The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Bill read 3ª.
§ Clause 3:
§ Purchaser of legal estate not concerned with certain equitable interests or powers; and provisions for the protection thereof.
- (i) Where the legal estate affected is at the time when any equitable interests or powers are created or arise subject to a trust for sale, the equitable interests and powers aforesaid shall, according to their priorities, have the like protection as if created or arising by means of a trust affecting the proceeds of sale and the income of the land until sale;
- (ii) Where the legal estate affected is, at the time aforesaid, subject to a settlement, the equitable interests And powers aforesaid shall, according to their priorities, have the like protection as if limited or arising by or under that settlement;
- (iii) Where the legal estate affected is not subject to a trust for sale or a settlement, then, if the estate owner conveys his estate to a corporation, or to two or more individuals approved either by the persons in whom the equitable interests or powers aforesaid are vested or by the court, upon trust for sale, with or without power to postpone the sale, such equitable interests and powers shall, according to their priorities, have the like protection as if created or arising by means of a primary trust affecting the proceeds of sale and the income of the laud until sale.
§ THE LORD CHENCELLOR moved, in subsection (3) after "shall," to insert "notwithstanding any stipulation to the contrary." The noble and learned Lord said: This is a purely drafting Amendment.
Page 3, line 35, after ("shall") insert ("not withstanding any stipulation to the contrary"),—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 40:
§ Consideration on sale to company incorporated by special Act, or provisional order,
§ 40. The consideration on a sale under the powers conferred by the Acts to any company incorporated by special Act of Parliament or by provisional order confirmed by Parliament or the Board of trade or by any other order or certificate having the force of an Act of Parliament, may consist, wholly or in part, of fully-paid securities of any description of the company, and such securities shall be vested in the trustees of the settlement and shall be subject to the provisions of the Acts relating to securities representing capital money arising under the Acts, and may be retained and held by the trustees in like manner as if they had been authorised by the Acts for the investment of capital money.375
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR moved, after "order" ["any other order or certificate"], to insert "scheme." The noble and learned Lord said: This is an agreed change, and I move the Amendment.
Page 22, line 31, after ("order") insert ("scheme").—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 102:
§ Rights of the public over waste land and commons.
§ 102.—(1) From and after the commencement of this Act members of the public shall, subject as hereinafter provided, have rights of access for air and exercise to any land which at the commencement of this Act is a metropolitan common within the meaning of the Metropolitan Commons Acts, 1866 to 1898, or a suburban common as defined by the Commons Act, 1876, and to any other land subject to rights of common to which this section may for the time being be applied:
§ Provided that—
- (a) such rights of access shall be subject to any Act, scheme, or provisional order for the regulation of the land, and to any byelaw or regulation made thereunder; and
- (b) the Minister may on the application of any person entitled as lord of the manor or otherwise to the soil of the land, or entitled to any commonable rights affecting the land impose such limitations on and conditions as to the exercise of the rights of access or as to the extent of the land to be affected as, in the opinion of the Minister, are necessary or desirable for preventing any estate, right or interest of a profitable or beneficial nature in, over, or affecting the land being injuriously affected, or for protecting any object of historical interest and, where any-such limitations or conditions are so imposed, the rights of access shall be subject thereto; and
- (c) such rights of access shall not include any right to draw upon the land a carriage, cart, caravan, truck, or other vehicle, or to camp or light any fire thereon, and
- (d) the rights of access shall cease to apply to any lima over which the commonable rights are extinguished under any statutory provision, or in any case where it is preyed to the satisfaction of the Meister that those commonable rights have been otherwise extinguished and the Minister consents to the exemption of the land from the operation of this section; but the Minister in giving or withholding his consent shall have regard to the same considerations, and shall, if necessary, hold the same inquiries, as are directed by the Commons Act, 1876, to be taken into consideration and held by the Minister before forming an opinion whether the application under the Inclosure Acts, 1845 to 1382, shall be acceded to or not.
§ (2) The lord of the manor or other person entitled to the soil of any land subject to rights of commons (not being a metropolitan or suburban common) may by deed, revocable or irrevocable, declare that this section shall apply to the land, and upon such deed being deposited with the Minister the land shall, so lone as the deed remains operative, be land to which this section applies.
§ (3) Where limitations or conditions are imposed by the Minister under this section they shall be published by such person and in such manner as the Minister shall direct.
§ (4) Any person who, without lawful authority, shall draw upon any land to which this section applies any carriage, cart, caravan, truck, or other vehicle, or shall camp or light any fire thereon, or who shall fail to observe any limitation or condition imposed by the Minister under this section in respect of any such land, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding forty shillings.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR moved to omit from subsection (1) the words: "at the commencement of this Act is a metropolitan common within the meaning of the Metropolitan Commons Acts, 1866 to 1898, or a suburban common as defined by the Commons Act, 1876, and to any other land subject to rights of common to which this section may for the time being be applied," and to insert: "is a metropolitan common within the meaning of the Metropolitan Commons Acts, 1866 to 1898, or a common which is wholly or partly situated within a borough or urban district, and to any land which at the commencement of this Act is subject to rights of common and to which this section may from time to time be applied in manner hereafter provided."
The noble and learned Lord said
This and the following Amendments to this clause are the result of the agreement between the Commons' Preservation Society and the Land Union, which I indicated was probable on the Report Stage, and which meets with the approval of the Minister of Agriculture. They may, therefore, I think, be regarded as completely non-controversial.
Amendment moved —
Page 79, line 28, leave out from ("which") to the end of line 33, and insert the said words.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Amendments moved—
§ Page 79, line 39, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall").377
§ Page 80, line 10, leave out from ("provision") to the end of line 30, and insert ("and to any land over which the commonable rights arc otherwise extinguished if the council of the county or county borough in which the land is situate by resolution assent to its exclusion from the operation of this section, and the resolution is approved by the Minister")
§ Page 80, lines 32 and 33, leave out ("commons (not being a metropolitan or suburban common)") and insert ("common")—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendments agreed to.
§ LORD DYNEVOR moved, after Clause 102, to insert the following new clause:—
§ Restriction of enclosure of commons.
§ "—(1) Front and after the commencement of this Act, the erection of any building or fence or the construction of any other work whereby access to land to which this section applies is prevented or impeded, shall not be lawful unless the consent of the Minister thereto is obtained, and in giving or withholding his consent the Minister shall have regard to the same considerations and shall, if necessary, hold the same inquiries as arc directed by the Commons Act, 1876, to be taken into consideration and held by the Minister before forming an opinion whether an application under the Inclosures Acts, 1845 to 1882, to shall be acceded to of not.
§ (2) Where any building or fence is erected, or any other work constructed without such consent as is required by this section, the county court within whose jurisdiction the land is situate, shall on au application being made by the council of any county or borough or district concerned, or by the lord of the mail v or ally other person interested in the common, have power to make an order for the removal of the work, and the restoration of the land to the condition in which it was before the work was erected or constructed, but any such order shall he subject to the like appeal as an order made under section thirty of the Commons Act, 1876.
§ (3) This section shall apply to any land which at the commencement of this Act is subject to rights of common. Provided that this section shall cease to apply to any land over which the rights of common are extinguished under any statutory provision and to any land over which the rights of common are otherwise extinguished if the council of the county or county borough in which the land is situate, by resolution assent to its exclusion from the operation of this section and the resolution is approved by the Minister.
§ (4) This section shall not apply to any building or fence erected or work constructed if specially authorised by Act of Parliament, or if lawfully erected or constructed in connection with the taking or working of minerals in or under any land to which the section is otherwise applicable."
§ The noble Lord said: Your Lordships may remember that on the Report Stage of this Bill I moved an Amendment on behalf of the Land Union which dealt with 378 commons and waste lands, and, at the request of my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack, I withdrew that Amendment, because, as he rightly pointed out, the interested parties had not been able to conic to a complete agreement, though lie hoped very shortly they would be able to do so. He described the three interested parties as those who advised the lords of the manor, the Common' Preservation Society, and the Government advisers. The noble and learned Lord also asked me to call a meeting as soon its possible of all the interested parties with a view to further discussion. I informed him that I thought we should be able, with a few more conversations, to come to a complete agreement, and my noble and learned friend added that he would be quite ready, if necessary, to postpone still further the Third Reading of tie Bill. I am glad to be able to tell your Lordships that there is no necessity- for any postponement. The interested parties met the next day. We had a most amicable discussion; in fact, all our discussions have been most amicable. There was give and take on all sides, and we came to a. complete agreement, which is embodied in the Amendments to Clause 102 which have just been moved by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack and accepted by your Lordships, and in the Amendment which stands in my name and which I now move.
§ Your Lordships will realise that the Amendments of my noble and learned friend and the one that I now propose are really twins. They embody the whole agreement that has been arrived at. I would like briefly to inform your Lordships what is contained in my Amendment. It deals simply with the restrictions upon enclosure of commons. The other points have been agreed to by your Lordships in the Amendments moved by my noble and learned friend. Under my Amendment no enclosure of any common can take place without the assent of the Minister. We were all agreed that it is most essential that commons should remain unenclosed unless there was sonic very strong reason to the contrary. If any one in the future encloses a common and puts any erections upon it those erections and the enclosure can be removed by an order of the County Court. Even when all the rights of common have been extinguished a common cannot be enclosed unless the local authority, with the approval of the Ministry, 379 assents to the enclosure. The mineral rights are reserved in the Bill.
§ There may be occasions when it is most essential to enclose part of a common. I can give your Lordships one instance within my own knowledge. I know a town which is practically surrounded on three sides by common land. It is a growing town, and desires to extend. The inhabitants, I believe, are very anxious that part of the common should be enclosed. The local authority and the lord of the manor are quite agreeable to the enclosure. In this case an enclosure of part of the common would not harm any one, in the least, for this is an immense common extending for some six or eight miles. Under my Amendment application could be made to the Minister, who could then either hold an inquiry or not as he thought best, and could order certain portions of the common, with limitations and conditions, to be enclosed.
§ I should like to express to my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack my warmest thanks for the courtesy he has shown all through these debates, and for his readiness to accept Amendments from the Land Union, many of which he himself has most kindly inserted in the Bill. I can assure your Lordships that those Amendments were put forward in no hostile spirit, but simply with a desire to strengthen the Bill. In thanking my noble and learned friend, and, if I may do so, in congratulating him, may I also express a hope that it will be some time before he brings in another Bill of 299 pages, 186 clauses and 16 schedules? I beg to move.
After Clause 102 insert the said new clause,—(Lord Dynevor.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I can only say in reply to my noble friend that I am most grateful to hint for what he has said. We have made a sincere attempt to meet the views of those whom he represents, and I think that in many points they have suggested improvements to the Bill. I very much hope that those influential representatives of the Land Union who sit in another place will give us as much sympathetic support as the noble Lord has given in this House.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.