§ Lord Morpeth
presented a Petition from certain Subscribers to the Leeds and Manchester Rail-road, praying that the Bill for completing the Leeds and Manchester Railroad Bill might be re-committed. The petitioners complained, that a Committee in the first instance had declared, that the preamble of the Bill had not been proved, it not having paid a due attention to the evidence, which the petitioners were prepared to maintain had fully borne out the allegations of the preamble. But he should bring the subject better before the House by reading the petition than by any other means. It was as follows: 1395To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled.The humble petition of the undersigned persons, being subscribers to the proposed Manchester and Leeds Rail-way,Showeth,—That, on the 22nd day of June last, a petition was presented to your honourable House, praying for leave to bring in a Bill for making a rail-road from the town of Manchester, in the county palatine of Lancaster, to Sowerby-bridge, in the West Riding of the county of York; being the first step towards the completion of the undertaking. That such Bill was accordingly brought in, and read a first time on the 24th of June last, and was read a second time, and committed on the 28th day of June last. That the Committee on such Bill met on the 4th day of July instant, and sat to receive evidence in support of the preamble of the Bill for several days; and whilst the case of your petitioners was proceeding, the Committee intimated to your petitioners' counsel, that they were satisfied that sufficient evidence as to trade and population had been already given. That the said Committee, after hearing evidence in opposition to the said Bill, came to a vote and decision on the 12th day of July instant, that the preamble of the Bill was not proved. That your petitioners beg leave to represent to your honourable House, that many Members of the said Committee, who were not present on the day when the before-mentioned intimation was given, and who had not heard the whole evidence, as well as some other Members who had heard no portion of the evidence adduced on the behalf of or in opposition to the Bill, remained in the room whilst the votes were taken on the preamble of the said Bill. That your petitioners respectfully submit, that the evidence given in support of the preamble of the Bill fully established the allegations thereof; and your petitioners beg leave to refer to the minutes of the Committee on the Bill, for evidence given in support of the preamble of such Bill, in full confidence that an examination and consideration of such evidence will show, that the evidence adduced on the behalf of the promoters of the Bill did fully and satisfactorily establish their case. That your petitioners respectfully beg leave to object to the vote and decision of the said Committee, upon the ground, that such vote and decision are in direct opposition to the evidence given before such Committee. Your petitioners, therefore, humbly pray, that the said Bill may be recommitted, or that a Committee of Appeal may be appointed upon the said vote and decision of the said Committee on the Bill; and that your petitioners may be heard by their counsel or agent against such vote and decision before such Committee of Appeal, or that they may have such other relief in 1396 the premises as to your honourable House may seem meet.The House would see, therefore, that the petition contained imputations on the character and conduct of one of its Committees. He wished, most respectfully, to call the attention of the House to the fact of Members voting in the Committee, who had heard none of the evidence. It was at all times irksome to him to throw any reflections on the character of any Gentlemen, particularly Members of that House; but he could not avoid saying, that such a proceeding as deciding an important question without hearing the evidence, was most improper. Rail-roads were coming most extensively into use, and a vast deal of capital was employed in constructing them. The noble Lord was proceeding to discuss the merits of the petition, when
Mr. C. W. Wynn
suggested, that no further discussion should then take place. The petition ought first to be placed in a printed form in the hands of Members.
§ Petition to be printed, and considered on some future day.