HC Deb 03 May 1824 vol 11 cc419-21
Sir H. Hardinge

rose for the purpose of moving, "That the committee on the above bill be discharged from proceeding thereon." This he did, because the standing orders which applied to private bills had not been complied with, in reference to certain individuals whose estates would be injured if the measure were carried. It was proposed that the railway should cross a road belonging to a noble friend of his (the marquis of Londonderry), and that it should be carried on for a considerable distance near his park. This would be a very great nuisance, and was the less justifiable, because any benefit which the railway was calculated to produce would be reaped by others whose estates would not be affected by the intended work. The standing orders relative to private bills ought to be strictly supported; and as the present measure had been clandestinely brought into the House, he would give it every opposition in his power.

Lord Lowther

defended the measure, as one which would be extremely advantageous to the country. He therefore wished the bill to be re-committed. It was said, that the landed proprietors were adverse to the railway; but the fact was, that the real ground of opposition sprang from the noble marquis to whom allusion had been made, although he was prepared to contend, that the proposed work would not touch an inch of that noble person's estate. The true reason of the opposition manifested against the measure was, a spirit of jealousy which existed in the north of the county of Durham, as to affording this additional facility for the conveyance of that valuable commodity, coals, to the metropolis and elsewhere. Being perfectly convinced of the utility of the railway, he should move, as an amendment, "that the report from the committee on the petition complaining that the Standing Orders had not been complied with, be re-committed."

Sir J. Yorke

rose to second the amendment. He did not wish to make use of hard words, but the opposition to the measure appeared to him to be so extreme a job, that he had quitted the committee altogether. The evidence of Mr. Wright, whose estate, it was said, would be affected by the work, seemed to be so wrong, so coquettish—now assenting to, and then dissenting from the measure that he could make nothing of it. His gallant friend had said a great deal about the hardship of carrying this road through a noble lord's estate; but, on other occasions, they heard nothing of the impropriety of making encroachments on private property, where a great public work required it. When it was proposed to erect a bridge at Hammersmith, the question of private property was not allowed to interfere with the measure. Here it was proposed to form a vast public work, by means of which a larger supply of coals would be furnished to the metropolis, and the existing monoply would be weakened. A great field was opened for the employment of capital for a useful purpose; and therefore he for one could not consent to the abandonment of the measure, on the plea that the road would pass near a nobleman's estate.

Lord Milton

said, the real question in this case was, whether the rivers Tyne and Wear should be the only outlets for the carriage of coals, or whether the Tees should not also be included? The West Riding of Yorkshire was supplied with coals by means of land-carriage, and the object or this measure was, to transport that article by a railway which should come down to the mouth of the Tees, instead of employing the ordinary mode of carrying it. This would be cheaper and more expeditious. In his opinion, gentlemen who wished to have this measure fairly considered, would not vote for a motion which would put a stop to it without due inquiry before a committee. He believed there was not a landed proprietor against the measure, except a Mr. Wright, who had assented and dissented, by alternations, so often, that it was difficult to understand whether he was hostile or friendly to the projected work.

Colonel Wood

said, that none of the local proprietors were in favour of the measure. It was complained, that Mr. Wright had altered his opinion. The reason was, because the line of road which was at first communicated to him had been subsequently changed. With respect to him, it was quite clear that the standing orders had not been complied with, and therefore they ought not to proceed with the bill.

Mr. H. Sumner

could not consent to this summary mode of oversetting a bill which would unquestionably promote the public interest. If the proposed railway were formed, there would be a greater and a more rapid supply of coals in the London market.

Mr. Curwen

would vote for the re-committal of the report, under the assurance of the noble lord that the rail-road would not pass over Mr. Wright's estate.

Sir H. Hardinge

said, if the gentlemen who supported the bill would assure him that the railway would not go near the estate of the marquis of Londonderry, he should withdraw all opposition. He had no wish whatever to crush any rivalry or competition in the coal trade.

The House divided: For the amendment 114. For the original motion 69. A committee, consisting of members not connected in any way with the bill, was appointed, to examine whether any and what inconvenience had arisen from the non-compliance with the standing orders.