HC Deb 19 July 1831 vol 5 cc77-8

On the Motion of Lord Althorp the House went into a Committee on the Hackney Coach Acts.

Mr. Warburton

inquired, whether it was proposed to allow stages to ply for fares through the streets of London in future?

Lord Althorp

replied in the affirmative.

Colonel Sibthorp

did not mean to impute any blame, or charge the Commissioners of the Hackney Coach Office with any neglect of duty, for he had always received the greatest attention from them; but to the constitution of the office many objections might be urged. It seemed, at least, to be useless, for no efficient regulations had been enforced to produce good conduct or civility on the part of hackney coachmen and cabriolet-drivers, who were really a disgrace to humanity.

Mr. Goulburn

had had many communications with the Commissioners of Hackney coaches, and he must acquit them of all blame; yet if a different system was to be pursued, he should wish to know before what tribunal offenders or disputes were to be brought. Many cases occurred of respectable women receiving gross and insulting language from drivers of hackney coaches, in which case they were frequently obliged to attend police-offices, and remain in a crowd of low, worthless people. This was a mutter worthy of consideration, and some improvement ought to be made in this respect.

Mr. Robert Gordon

felt some alarm at the idea of the Board of Hackney-coach Commissioners being dispensed with, for fear they might be called on for superannuation to these gentlemen. Knowing they were persons who had been well paid for what they had done, he hoped no such attempt would be made.

Lord Althorp

admitted, that the conduct of hackney-coachmen was frequently very bad, and that some means were required to keep them in order.

The following Resolutions were agreed to:—"That the duties under the care of the Commissioners for licensing Hackney Coaches, and now payable in respect of Hackney Coaches, Chariots, &c., should determine; and in lieu thereof, there shall be levied and paid for every Hackney Coach employed within the distance of five miles from the General Post Office, in the City of London, 5l.; and in respect of every such license, during the continuance thereof, the weekly sum of 10s.; That it is expedient to transfer the management of the said Duties on Hackney Coaches to the Commissioners for Stamps."