HC Deb 21 July 1831 vol 5 cc137-8
Lord Morpeth

having on a former day presented a petition from the subscribers of the Leeds and Manchester rail-road, complaining that the Committee on the Bill had decided against the facts submitted, having declared, that the preamble had not been proved, and having then entered into a statement of the facts and circumstances connected therewith, the further consideration was adjourned, at the suggestion of some hon. Members; the noble Lord, after reminding the House of these circumstances, resumed the subject. After recapitulating the leading particulars, with the nature of the grievances of which the petitioners had, he thought, just cause to complain, he concluded by moving to refer the petition to a Select Committee of Appeal. Before he concluded, he must observe, that some of the members of the Committee had come to a decision, without having heard the whole of the evidence in support of the allegations contained in the preamble of the Bill. He wished also to remind the House, that the last case of a petition being referred to a Committee of Appeal was in the year 1826, and that case was by no means so strong as the present.

Mr. Strickland

seconded the motion, and bore testimony to what the noble Lord had asserted respecting some of the members of the Committee having given their votes against the preamble, without having attended to the evidence in its support. He complained of the practice which prevailed in Committees above-stairs on private bills, and hoped that something would be done to obviate the evil. He could not but condemn such a mode of proceeding. It would be well for Committees to imitate the patient investigation which Courts of Justice exemplified before decisions were pronounced upon bills which they were called upon to investigate. In the Bill referred to by the petititioners, the property implicated was of considerable amount.

Mr. Evelyn Denison

defended the Committee, and hoped that his noble friend would withdraw his motion.

Motion agreed to.

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