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the average of six years from 1852, £1,500,000, while 780 lives had been lost on the average during the same period. This was sufficient to prove that some protection was needed. A great many ingenious contrivances were submitted to the Committee for providing floating breakwaters at various places round the coast, which the Committee recommended should be experimented upon, and that a moderate sum should be appropriated to that purpose. Since that period very large sums had been voted for carrying out experiments in new inventions for the destruction of human life, and he thought Parliament could hardly grudge the outlay of the small sum suggested in an experiment the object of which was to preserve both life and property. He was quite aware that practical and scientific men had given opinions adverse to the probable efficiency of these floating breakwaters; but when it was remembered that practical and scientific opinions had been quite as strongly pronounced against steam navigation, railways, and that even now old artillery officers were as strongly prejudiced against the Armstrong gun, believing it to altogether inefficient compared to the old smoothbore, he hoped such opinions would not be allowed to prevail against devoting so small a sum for testing an invention which, if successful, would produce such beneficial results.

THE DUKE OF SOMERSET said, that two years ago a Committee of the House of Lords, of which he had the honour to be a member, was appointed to inquire into the subject of floating breakwaters. That Committee heard a great variety of opinions, both as to the advantage and disadvantage of floating breakwaters; so that the Committee were divided in opinion. For his part, he did not concur in the recommendation of the Committee, that a considerable sum of money should be placed in the hands of the Admiralty, and that the Admiralty should try the experiments. At the present time the Admiralty had got sufficient experiments on their hands, and he was not very much inclined to incur large expenditure for which the Admiralty would be responsible; for it was obvious, that if the plans for floating breakwaters succeeded, the gentlemen who proposed them would say that all the merit was theirs; and if they failed, as he (the Duke of Somerset) thought they would, they would say that the Admiralty had conducted the experi

ments in such a manner that they were certain to fail. Moreover, the sum mentioned in the Report of the Committee was entirely inadequate for the purpose. Every one knew that a light-ship could be so moored that it would not be moved by a storm; but to moor a floating breakwater a quarter or half a mile long was a very different matter, and the question was not how to moor it against an ordinary storm, but a great storm; and when that came, the probability was, that instead of protecting the shipping behind it, it would prove their destruction. For this reason the Admiralty had no wish to try experiments upon a large scale, and certainly to try experiments upon a small scale would be to throw money away. Since the Committee issued its Report two or three parties had proposed to try the experiment. The Admiralty replied that they would not withhold their permission from the operations, but they declined to make themselves responsible for any of the consequences which might happen to shipping. He had not heard lately that any companies were prepared to undertake these experiments; but, in case works of the kind were carried on, the Admiralty would watch them with great interest, and would be very glad if good results followed. The question of harbours of refuge was one involving enormous cost, though within the last few years engi neers had discovered that they could be constructed for much less comparative expense than they formerly were. Committee had done good by calling the attention of engineers and of the public to the subject, but on the part of the Government he was not prepared to give any positive promise of undertaking a work of this nature.


THE MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE said, the reasons adduced by the noble Duke were not, to his mind, satisfactory. The principle of the invention having received the sanction of the highest authority, he did not see why an outlay of £10,000 might not be attended with beneficial results.

LORD RAVENSWORTH said, that no enormous outlay was proposed to be made in the first instance. It was distinctly stated in the evidence before the Committee that these breakwaters were in... tended to be constructed in small portions, and therefore the invention might be tested at a small outlay; for if a small portion were found to stand, the whole

extent of a long breakwater would be were true that the River Dee Company equally good.

RIVER DEE NAVIGATION.-QUESTION. LORD CHELMSFORD said, he wished to ask the noble Duke the First Lord of the Admiralty for an explanation of the circumstances under which the Board of Admiralty insisted on the insertion of certain Clauses in a Bill now before Parliament, promoted by the Birkenhead, Flintshire, and Holyhead Railway Company, giving jurisdiction to the Admiralty over part of the river Dee, to the Prejudice of the Rights of the River Dee Company. He complained that after both Houses had three times refused to sanction the insertion of of what were called the Admiralty clauses in respect to the jurisdiction of the Admiralty over the navigation of the river Dee, which was under the jurisdiction of the Dee Commissioners, they had this Session sought to re-introduce them in a private Railway Bill now before Parliament. He trusted the noble Duke would seriously consider whether, as these clauses had been rejected on several occasions, they ought to be inserted in this Bill.

THE DUKE OF SOMERSET said, that carly this Session the Bill referred to was introduced, and was referred to the Admiralty under the provisions of the local Act, which required a preliminary report, and such a report was made. But all questions of reporting by the Admiralty on private Bills involved considerable difficulty. He afterwards saw a deputation of gentlemen representing private interests, who urged him to put his veto on the Bill; that he thought would have been unfair, without giving the other side an opportunity of being heard on the subject. The Admiralty, consequently, had directed a report to be drawn up pointing out the effect of the construction of a bridge over the Dee, on the navigation of the river, and proposed to insert certain clauses for the protection of the navigation, which it appeared to him under the circumstances to be reasonable to insist on, leaving the Committee of the House of Commons to deal with the matter. He would observe that the Dee Company was bound to keep open the navigation of the Dee by dredging to a certain depth. If in future this Bill should come before Parliament, the Board of Trade would have to deal with it, the questions involved being commercial.

LORD CHELMSFORD said, that if it

had neglected their duties, he was afraid it might be said that the Commissioners had neglected theirs, as they possessed powers to withhold the tolls, which they had not done.

LORD REDESDALE said, the question to be decided in 1851, was whether the Dee Company had kept the river at a proper depth, and it was considered that they had done so. He thought it was too much the habit at the Admiralty to insist on the promoters of Private Bills introducing a lot of cut and dried clauses, without reference to the particular circumstances of the case. He had known this to be done on several occasions. The River Dee Company are under penalties to keep the river at a proper depth, and justly claim to be allowed to do so in the way they think best, without being interfered with by the insertion of the Admi ralty clauses.

House adjourned at a quarter past Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, half


past Ten o'clock.


Monday, June 2, 1862. MINUTES.]-PUBLIC BILLS.-1° Merchant Shipping Acts, &c. Amendment.

20 Transfer of Land; Declaration of Title; Security of Purchasers; Real Property (Title of Purchasers); Assurances Registration (Ireland).

30 Highways; Education of Pauper Children.



MR. G. W. BENTINCK said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has received in formation of the delay of the Chief Constable of East Suffolk in attending to a complaint respecting his Chief Superintendent in October last; and whether be intends, in consequence, to issue any rules for the guidance of Chief Constables in cases of complaints against their subor dinates, and for the prevention of errors of judgment, and of delays consequent thereon, in future?

SIR GEORGE GREY said, in reply, that the matter had come under the cognizance of the Police Committee, who, he understood, had expressed an opinion on the subject; and thought that the Chief

Constable committed an error of judgment. He was not aware that any rule on the subject was necessary; but if so, he should have no objection to have one framed. This case had been disposed of by the Police Committee, and the Chief Constable was responsible to the magistrates.



MR. HEYGATE said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is the intention of the Government to take any further steps with reference to the collection of Agricultural Statistics?

SIR GEORGE GREY said, the Correspondence on the table would inform the House what had been the answers received from the Chairmen of Quarter Sessions on the subject. There were some counties in which the magistrates were willing to have statistics collected by the police, but in the majority of counties it was objected to. It was not thought desirable to have them partially collected. An application had been made to the Registrar General as to whether he could devise a plan for the collection of those statistics, but no decision had as yet been come to on the subject.


[BILL NO. 101.] SECOND READING. Order for Second Reading read.

MR WALPOLE said, he had to present a petition from attorneys, solicitors, and proctors, praying that it might not be passed in its present shape, but that it be amended, so as to give effect to the recommendations of the Registration Commissioners of 1854 for establishing a system of registration of titles. to land.


THE SOLICITOR GENERAL said, that the importance of the subject to which the Bill referred was universally admitted, and it was no longer incumbent upon him to demonstrate the utility of a which would give certainty and security of title, which would aim at perpetuating those advantages, and which would simplify and facilitate the transfer of real property. The House and the country were fully impressed with the magnitude of the evils which undoubtedly existed under the present system. Those evils might be stated in a few words. Under a complicated system of real property law which had grown up in this country, every vendor was under the necessity of deducing from a great variety of instruments a title which to be safe could not be for less than sixty years. The deeds were first examined by his solicitor, and the title perfected. abstract was then delivered to the purchaser, and some practised conveyancer, was employed to see what possible holes and flaws could be found. The same process was gone through every time any fragment of the property was sold, and the House could easily understand that the expense entailed was considerable. It was MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE true that a purchaser might now and then said, that Her Majesty's Government had be found who would dispense with the inreceived no information on the subject ex-vestigation, but it was a common saying in cept that which had appeared in the public papers.



COLONEL FRENCH said, he would take that opportunity of asking the right hon. Gentleman, Whether it was true that the Governor General of Canada had taken

upon himself to dissolve the Canadian Parliament without consulting Her Majesty's Government?



the Court of Chancery that a "willing purchaser" meant an unlimited amount of litigation. The great points which in all the Bills which had come before the House had been aimed at as remedying these evils were two-first, to find some means

Answer to Address [27th May] reported, by which a title once established should be

as follows:

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deemed good for ever; second, to make such a record of the title, first ascertained and granted either absolutely or subject to certain qualifications, as should for the future facilitate its transfer, give certainty to dealings with it, and preserve it in a position of safety, certainty, and security. It was not difficult to judge of the practi+ I 4

cability of the first of the two measures, because they had some experience to guide them. In Ireland the experiment of giving Parliamentary titles, after due investigation, through the medium of a court of law, had been tried on a large scale, and with signal success. Among the great obligations which the country owed to the name of Romilly, not the least was the introduction by the Master of the Rolls of a measure which had been attended with such important beneficial consequences as the Encumbered Estates Act. The applica tion of that Act was originally limited to estates subject to encumbrances, but it had since been extended to cases where no sale was necessary, and where no encumbrances existed. That was done by the Act of 1858, which established the Landed Estates Court; which was intended to be a permanent institution, and was empowered to give a Parliamentary title in respect of the properties passing through it. He believed Parliament and the country had every reason to be well satisfied with that course of legislation, and, as far as the present Bill went in the same direction, he presumed the House would be prepared to accept it. A noble Lord (Lord Cranworth) had introduced in another place the Bill which stood next on the paper. The provisions of that Bill were so entirely satisfactory that the Government was ready to adopt them, either as a separate measure or by incorporating them with the present Bill, according to the wish of the House. The Commissioners of 1854 recommended that titles granted under their plan should be guaranteed by Parliament, and that a fee fund should be formed as a source of compensation to persons who might be unjustly deprived of their estates. No provision for compensation was contained in the present Bill; but it was for the House to consider whether it should or should not be inserted. It was for the Lower House to initiate a proposal of that kind, which could not have been made by the Lords with much chance of acceptance by hon. Members. There was no reason, as far as he could judge, to apprehend that any serious pecuniary liability would be fastened on the country by a provision for compensation, so that a very small percentage on the value of estates which receive the benefit of the Act would be sufficient to meet all claims which were likely to arise on that score. Under the clauses of a similar kind in the Railway Acts, the companies had not been called

upon to pay any serious sums; and under the Irish Encumbered Estates Act, although about a third of the land of Ireland had passed through the Court, compensation had been claimed only in two cases: in one case to the amount of about £3,000; and in the other by a person who was the owner of a fee-simple estate, upon which there was a lease of 400 or 500 years to run. That claim was compromised for £20. The next point was the record of the title. It had been constantly asserted that there was no reason why the transfer of land should not be made as simple and easy as the transfer of stocks, shares, or ships. There was, however, a substantial difference between land and other kinds of property, which would always prevent the former from being transferred so readily and simply as other investments. Stocks and shares had no special identity of their own, but were, to a certain extent, abstractions. They represented a fixed unity, consisting of an aliquot share of a sum which was susceptible of arithmetical measurement. One sum of £100, or one share, was just as good as another £100, or another share in the same stock or

company. But land was a reality, and not an abstraction-it was valuable for itself, as well as for the property it represented. The case of ships might at first sight seem more analogous; but in reality it also was different. The law divided the value of each ship into sixtyfour parts, any one of which might be transferred upon the registry. And then, although there was this or that ship in question, each proprietor held only a certain share of the entire value, and could not assume physical possession of any particular part of the vessel. In endeavouring to facilitate the transfer of land, it was not intended to diminish the value of the ownership to the owners, or to prevent them from having the same means of making provision for their families, of settling their estates, or dealing with them according to their will and pleasure, which they now by law enjoyed. Bearing that principle in mind, he would remind the House of what had already taken place to clear the way for a measure on the subject. In the year 1853 certain Bills were received from the House of Lords providing for a system of registration of assurances. Those Bills were referred to a Select Committee, which recommended that they should not be proceeded with, but that a Royal Com

fee-simple, persons were to be appointed either by a court, under settlement, or in some other way, who would appear upon the register as the formal owners, having the actual right to transfer, but having in many, perhaps in most cases, no real or beneficial interest whatever in the land. To that plan there were many objections. The principle one was that it would not attain that which ought to be the real object of legislation of this kind. It would not give to those who were truly and really the owners of landed property a simple and effectual means of ascertaining and securing upon the register their titles, so that in all their dealings with purchasers they might be able to refer to that register as superseding the parchment title, as rendering unnecessary the making out of abstracts in the old way, and as containing the authentic record of the title as it actually existed. In the Bill of which he was proposing the second reading that defect had been remedied; its object was to represent the true title, and to make all the

mission should be issued to inquire into the subject. Before that Committee an eminent and able solicitor, Mr. Cookson, developed a scheme which was in substance afterwards approved by the Royal Commission, and in principle adopted by the hon. and learned Member for Belfast (Sir Hugh Cairns) in the Bill which he introduced into Parliament in the year 1859. Mr. Cookson's idea was to distinguish between land as an article of sale and as the subject of beneficial ownership; and he thought that in registering or recording the title it was inexpedient to look beyond the aspect of the land regarded simply as a commodity or article of sale. In accordance with that idea, he proposed that the register should be only of feesimple interests, or of interests equivalent to the fee-simple, which would enable the land to be brought into the market. That view appeared to him (the Solicitor General) to be rather arbitrary. Mortgages, for example, whilst they were an accessory to the ownership of land, entered also into its quality considered as a sub-real estates and interests in land, and no ject of sale and purchase. At the same time, Mr. Cookson thought there might also be a subsidiary register of encumbrances and leases. He was asked whether he would include leases for lives as well as for years? Of course he would. Then what did he say to a common estate for life? Was that to be registered? That question seemed to puzzle him at first, and then he said he regarded that as a lease for life. But it subsequently appeared that that was not his view, and he recommended the register of a fictitious ownership to be created in cases where there was not really a feesimple in possession-that the fictitious owner should be registered, and that other interests should be secured by cautions and caveats, and notices of that kind. That scheme was adopted by the Commission, of which he would remark, that the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge was a distinguished member. The present Bill did not in all respects adhere to the recommendations of that Commission, but, in his opinion, proposed a great advance upon the plan sanctioned by it. The Commission, having considered and rejected the proposal for the establishment of a register of assurances-that was, of deeds or instruments as distinguished from the result of those instruments, constituting the title-recommended in substance the adoption of Mr. Cookson's plan, according to which, where there was not an estate equivalent to a

fictions, the subjects of the record-of the registry, not of assurances, but of the titles which they gave. But, according to the plan recommended by the Commissioners, if any considerable lapse of time took place between one settlement and another, there would be a series of ownerships off the register, not ascertained or authenticated at all, and, in fact, no security or information about any one of them could be given by the register. He remembered a case which came on in the House of Lords, in which a gentleman bought an estate, the title deeds were handed to him, and he was in possession of it for a considerable length of time; but it afterwards appeared that another person had got a mortgage upon it, and that would be the case if the register did not disclose the real state of the title. But that was not all. The enormous dangers to landed property, if that plan were introduced without the most cogent and effectual safeguards, made it necessary for the Commissioners to recommend that there should be a vast system of checks, caveats, and cautions, by which any person having a beneficial interest might, without disclosing that interest or giving any security, but merely by entering his name, prevent any dealings by the legal owners without notice to him. The result was, that when they had got an estate, they with one hand put on the register an apparent title, and with the

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