HC Deb 08 April 1811 vol 19 cc737-8
Mr. Sumner

moved the order of the day for the second reading of the Grand Southern Canal Bill.

Lord George Cavendish

felt if his duty to oppose the Bill, on the ground of its being the proposition of a certain number of speculating individuals, who were totally unconnected with great interests of the county; and because it was in direct contradiction to the wishes, the opinions, and the interests of the principal land holders. He hoped the House would not countenance this Bill, which was part of a system now very much acted on of pushing forward measures contrary to the sense of the great majority of the chiefly interested: he therefore would propose as Amendment, "That this bill be read a second time this day six months."

Mr. Sumner

denied that the Bill was brought forward by, speculators and said that it had the sanction great names as the duke of Norfolk and lord Egremont. He maintained that the Canal would be of eminent advantage in conveying a principal part or the lading the East and West India outward bound fleets; and hoped that the Bill would be suffered to go into a Committee; in order that its merits might be fairly considered.

Sir Charles Burrell

contended that many advantages would result from the formation of this Canal. There were many valuable stone quarries along the projected line; there were large tracts of waste lands, which would be benefited; and the junction of the river Ouse canal would also be attended with material advantage. Besides, the quick conveyance of naval stores to Portsmouth would be effected by it. On all these grounds he would support the Bill.

Mr. Calcraft

did not agree in opinion with the hon. baronet, that any of those advantages would result from the proposed canal, the chief part of which, according to his statement, would affect the Sussex part of the line, for which a Bill should be brought in next year, as they were obliged to vary the notices; so that the only part which could proceed, if this Bill was carried through, would be the offensive part, namely, that part which was to run through the county of Kent. It was farcical to talk of the communication of Northfleet, and Woolwich, and Chatham, with Portsmouth, by means of this canal; for a canal from Croydon would answer all those purposes without cutting up 1,400 acres of land. The fact was, that not one of the great landed proprietors in Kent were favourable to the measure; and if the county members were not absent from indisposition, there was no doubt of their opposing it in their places. Neither were any of the principal towns of Sussex likely to be benefited by it, as it was to run parallel to the sea. The great objection was, that there was no landholder in favour of it; and though the duke of Norfolk and lord Egremont had compromised with the projectors of this Canal, they had been originally adverse to it, and their names were only made use of now to give a colour to the business, and to assist in cramming it down the throats of those who were adverse to it. He hoped, therefore that the House would set its face against the system of which this was a part.

Mr. Hurst

, opposed the Bill, and said that he did not believe that there were two landholders in the county of Kent favourable to it. He knew no recompense which could be made for the injuries which would be done to extensive and beautiful plantations which this Canal would destroy. There were other objections arising from the variety of projectors, and neglect forms of the House, which induced, him vote for the Amendment.

The House then divided when there appeared

For the Amendment 100
Against it 17
Majority 33

The Bill was consequently lost.