23 JUNE 1939, Page 18


Common Changes A sort of warfare is arising between the public and those who have control of the commons. Folk in motor-cars pour out of the towns and camp for the day on any available common. Those with children take with them cricket and even lawn-tennis paraphernalia; and while the children pitch their stumps—for preference on a golf green or the adjacent fairway, the elders take out golf dubs or prepare for the picnic meal. These invaders are apt to argue that they have a perfect right in law to play what game they please where they please. The duel increases in severity since the Ecclesi- astical Commissioners reversed their old policy and began to sell their rights as Lords of the Manor to any who would buy—in many places a golf club, in many a municipality. Even the lawyers are a little shy of giving a definite opinion on the more exact details of the rights belonging to a Lordship of the Manor; but, in spite of many complications, the basic fact remains that in the first instance the common was meant for use and delectation of local people, not for in- vaders from afar. Added to this is the established decision in law that only the Lord of the Manor may permit an " organised game."