HC Deb 13 May 1833 vol 17 cc1112-3

Mr. Benett brought up the Report of the Committee, with the Amendments, on the Bath and Warminster Road Bill, and moved that they be read.

Mr. Henry Baring

objected to the Amendments of the Committee. The evidence of Mr. M'Adam, Mr. Rennie, and Mr. Mills, went to disprove the necessity for the road, and the propriety of the proposed line. He moved, as an Amendment, that the Report be read that day six months.

Mr. Benett

supported the reading of the Report and Amendments, and the propriety of passing the Bill, upon the grounds of its being virtually intended to improve the road between Bath and Frome.

Mr. Estcourt

was convinced that danger would arise to extensive canal property by the proposed line of road. He understood the proposition to be to postpone the reading of the Report and Amendments to that day six months; but he would waive his support to that Motion, if certain clauses in the Bill, which he chiefly objected to, were given up. The proposed road was a wild and extravagant speculation.

Mr. Roebuck

said, the only real opponent to the Bill was Mr. Vivian; the others put forward were mere men of straw. There was, however, in the case of the Committee upon this Bill, a great public question, to which it was fit that the House should direct its attention, and as early as possible apply a remedy. It was a great public matter, although connected with a private Bill. The Committee was asked by the counsel for Mr. Vivian to adjourn the Committee. He was answered that Mr. Vivian had had twelve months to oppose the Bill, and the counsel then said; "Well, Gentlemen, I will tell you candidly what I mean to do. I will examine witnesses who will give you no information; but who will take up your time till the week I want is completed. I will have the week some way or other." He succeeded in his object. Such a power, lodged in the hands of counsel, was incompatible with the due discharge of the duties of Committees of the House, and ought to be put an end to. The proper remedy, in his opinion was, that Committees should be empowered to give costs. The road would not interfere with Mr. Vivian's privacy, and it was nothing but caprice which offered opposition to the general good. It was this view of the matter which induced him to support the original Motion, which was agreeable to the interests and wishes of his constituents.

The House divided on the original Motion:—Ayes 49; Noes 37—Majority 12.

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