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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 offi. cers were as strongly prejudiced against the Armstrong gun, believing it to altogether inefficient compared to the old smooth-kind were carried on, the Admiralty bore, he hoped such opinions would not would watch them with great interest, be allowed to prevail against devoting so and would be very glad if good results small a sum for testing an invention which, followed. The question of harbours of if successful, would produce such beneficial refuge was one involving enormous cost, results. though within the last few years engineers had discovered that they could be constructed for much less comparative expense than they formerly were. The 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.

ments in such
certain to fail.

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

a manner that they were 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

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 RAVENSWORTHI 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 intended 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.
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.

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 Dec 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 Lord Ravensworth

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, halfpast Ten o'clock.

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MR. G. W. BENTINCK said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has received information of the delay of the Chief Constable of East Suffolk in attending to a complaint respecting his Chief Superintendent in October last; and whether he 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

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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.



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. An 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 true that a purchaser might now and then be found who would dispense with the in

COLONEL FRENCII said, he would take that opportunity of asking the right hon. Gentleman, Whether was true that the Governor General of Canada had taken upon himself to dissolve the Canadian Parliament without consulting Her Majesty's Government?

MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE said, that Her Majesty's Government had

received no information on the subject ex-vestigation, but it was a common saying in cept that which had appeared in the public

the Court of Chancery that a "willing pur


chaser" meant an unlimited amount of litigation. The great points which in all the Bills which had come before the House


Answer to Address [27th May] reported, as follows:

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[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.

had been aimed at as remedying these evils were two-first, to find some means by which a title once established should be 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

+ 1 4

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, abs

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 be-tractions. They represented a fixed unity, lieved Parliament and the country had consisting of an aliquot share of a sum every reason to be well satisfied with that which was susceptible of arithmetical meacourse of legislation, and, as far as the pre- surement. One sum of £100, or one sent Bill went in the same direction, he share, was just as good as another £100, presumed the House would be prepared to or another share in the same stock or accept it. A noble Lord (Lord Cranworth) company. But land was a reality, and had introduced in another place the Bill not an abstraction-it was valuable for which stood next on the paper. The pro- itself, as well as for the property it revisions of that Bill were so entirely satis- presented. The case of ships might at factory that the Government was ready to first sight seem more analogous; but in adopt them, either as a separate measure reality it also was different. The law or by incorporating them with the present divided the value of each ship into sixtyBill, according to the wish of the House. four parts, any one of which might be The Commissioners of 1854 recommended transferred upon the registry. And then, that titles granted under their plan should although there was this or that ship in be guaranteed by Parliament, and that a question, each proprietor held only a cerfee fund should be formed as a source of tain share of the entire value, and could compensation to persons who might be un- not assume physical possession of any parjustly deprived of their estates. No proticular part of the vessel. In endeavourvision for compensation was contained in ing to facilitate the transfer of land, it was the present Bill; but it was for the House not intended to diminish the value of the to consider whether it should or should not ownership to the owners, or to prevent be inserted. It was for the Lower House them from having the same means of to initiate a proposal of that kind, which making provision for their families, of could not have been made by the Lords settling their estates, or dealing with with much chance of acceptance by hon. them according to their will and pleasure, Members. There was no reason, as which they now by law enjoyed. Bearfar as he could judge, to apprehend ing that principle in mind, he would rethat any serious pecuniary liability would mind the House of what had already taken be fastened on the country by a provision place to clear the way for a measure on for compensation, so that a very small the subject. In the year 1853 certain percentage on the value of estates which Bills were received from the House of receive the benefit of the Act would be Lords providing for a system of registrasufficient to meet all claims which were tion of assurances. Those Bills were likely to arise on that score. Under the referred to a Select Committee, which clauses of a similar kind in the Railway recommended that they should not be Acts, the companies had not been called proceeded with, but that a Royal ComThe Solicitor General

mission should be issued to inquire into | fee-simple, persons were to be appointed the subject. Before that Committee an either by a court, under settlement, or in eminent and able solicitor, Mr. Cookson, some other way, who would appear upon developed a scheme which was in sub- the register as the formal owners, having stance afterwards approved by the Royal the actual right to transfer, but having in Commission, and in principle adopted by many, perhaps in most cases, no real or the hon. and learned Member for Belfast beneficial interest whatever in the land. (Sir Hugh Cairns) in the Bill which he To that plan there were many objections. introduced into Parliament in the year The principle one was that it would not 1859. Mr. Cookson's idea was to dis- attain that which ought to be the real tinguish between land as an article of sale object of legislation of this kind. It would and as the subject of beneficial ownership; not give to those who were truly and really and he thought that in registering or re- the owners of landed property a simple and cording the title it was inexpedient to look effectual means of ascertaining and securbeyond the aspect of the land regarded ing upon the register their titles, so that simply as a commodity or article of sale. in all their dealings with purchasers they In accordance with that idea, he proposed might be able to refer to that register as that the register should be only of fee- superseding the parchment title, as rendersimple interests, or of interests equivalent ing unnecessary the making out of absto the fee-simple, which would enable the tracts in the old way, and as containing land to be brought into the market. That the authentic record of the title as it actuview appeared to him (the Solicitor Gene- ally existed. In the Bill of which he was ral) to be rather arbitrary. Mortgages, proposing the second reading that defect for example, whilst they were an acces- had been remedied; its object was to resory to the ownership of land, entered present the true title, and to make all the also into its quality considered as a sub- real estates and interests in land, and no ject of sale and purchase. At the same fictions, the subjects of the record-of the time, Mr. Cookson thought there might also registry, not of assurances, but of the be a subsidiary register of encumbrances titles which they gave. But, according and leases. He was asked whether he would to the plan recommended by the Cominclude leases for lives as well as for years? missioners, if any considerable lapse of Of course he would. Then what did he say time took place between one settlement to a common estate for life? Was that to and another, there would be a series of be registered? That question seemed to ownerships off the register, not ascertained puzzle him at first, and then he said he or authenticated at all, and, in fact, no regarded that as a lease for life. But it security or information about any one of subsequently appeared that that was not them could be given by the register. He his view, and he recommended the register remembered a case which came on in the of a fictitious ownership to be created in House of Lords, in which a gentleman cases where there was not really a fee- bought an estate, the title deeds were simple in possession-that the fictitious handed to him, and he was in possession owner should be registered, and that other of it for a considerable length of time; interests should be secured by cautions but it afterwards appeared that another and caveats, and notices of that kind. person had got a mortgage upon it, and That scheme was adopted by the Commis- that would be the case if the register sion, of which he would remark, that the did not disclose the real state of the right hon. and learned Member for the title. But that was not all. The enorUniversity of Cambridge was a distin- mous dangers to landed property, if that guished member. The present Bill did not plan were introduced without the most in all respects adhere to the recommenda- cogent and effectual safeguards, made it tions of that Commission, but, in his opi- necessary for the Commissioners to recomnion, proposed a great advance upon the mend that there should be a vast system plan sanctioned by it. The Commission, of checks, caveats, and cautions, by which having considered and rejected the proposal any person having a beneficial interest for the establishment of a register of assu- might, without disclosing that interest or rances-that was, of deeds or instruments giving any security, but merely by enteras distinguished from the result of those ing his name, prevent any dealings by the instruments, constituting the title-recom- legal owners without notice to him. The mended in substance the adoption of Mr. result was, that when they had got an Cookson's plan, according to which, where estate, they with one hand put on the there was not an estate equivalent to a register an apparent title, and with the

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