Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/198

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186
THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS

sioners will probably be in the same direction ; and if the option rests only with them there is little doubt which course will be preferred.

It behoves, then, the Commissioners to carry out the intentions of Mr. Cross, and to refuse inclosure in any case where regulation may be applicable, and not to act only upon the instance and preferment of those interested. The failure so far of the regulating clauses of the Act of 1876 bears out the views of those who opposed the Act, and who, while conceding the good intents of the promoters, pointed out that the regulating clauses were so hampered by the necessity of consents that they practically presented no alternative to inclosure, and who predicted that few, if any, schemes would ever come before Parliament under this part of the Act.

It has been shown that in all probability thirty-seven schemes for inclosure come before Parliament next session. Many thousands of acres now open will be subjected to in-