13 JANUARY 1939, Page 18

Games on Commons Disputes on Common rights tend to multiply

since the Ecclesiastical Commissioners took to selling their manorial rights. The rapid increase of building has in many places put the villagers proper in a minority ; and the desires of those who live round Commons—and they are the commoners proper—may be sacrificed to the ribbon-developers. In one case the Common is demanded for " organised games." On this one point the law (which in general is very vague on the subject of Common rights) is quite precise. The public has the right of air and exercise, but only the Lord of the Manor can authorise an " organised game." In a good many places golf clubs have bought the lordship ; but happily they have usually made the Common a more pleasant place to walk on and are jealous with regard to the parking of cars and to litter. They should be careful not to take excessive liberties in the cutting of gorse and heather.