HC Deb 10 March 1834 vol 21 cc1362-3

The Duke of Buckingham, Countess Berkeley; Earls Jersey, Harrington, and Cardigan; Lords Boston, Montague, and Stowell; Lady Carr; Mr. Sloane Stanley, Colonel Gore Langton, R. Palmer, Provost, Fellows, and Masters of Eton College, and the other opponents of this measure,—earnestly entreat the favour of your attendance in the House of Commons, on Monday, the 10th instant, at 12 o'clock on the Motion for the second reading.

34, Parliament-street, March 8, 1834.

With Sir W. H—'s compliments.

Now, that proceeding he considered to be most improper. He certainly complied with that earnest entreaty, but whether in favour or disfavour of that request, his vote on the question would soon tell. It was well known that parliamentary canvassing prevailed to a great degree; but he considered this the most impertinent piece of interference that ever came under his knowledge. He considered it a very proper question for the House to entertain, whether a rail-road should be carried from London to Bristol, and whether Reading and Bath were the fixed points through which the engineers should direct that road. He was convinced of the benefits of rail-roads. A gentleman in the coal trade, informed him, that since the railroad between Manchester and Liverpool had been established, coals could be purchased at 1s. 6d. per ton in the latter place. He did not consider that any case was made out against the second reading of the Bill; it was one which could with propriety be submitted to a Committee.

Sir Richard Vyvyan,

having had the honour to attend several meetings on the subject of the Bill before the House, thought it necessary to say a few words. He thought the hon. member for Buckingham had been rather severe upon the promoters of the measure; for, after alluding to the title of the Bill, he held that it was not the great Western Railway Bill, but a Bill for making a railway from London to Reading, and from Bath to Bristol. He had objected to the former being the title of the Bill, because he did not conceive that it answered such a designation; but, so far as the promoters of the measure went, it showed sincerity. He agreed with what had fallen from the hon. and learned member for Dublin, that they ought to confine themselves to the principle of the measure, in discussing the second reading. They had been told that they were engaged in a measure they would be unable to complete; that they had taken two points, and left an intermediate line unsubscribed for. He was convinced the measure would be of the greatest service to South Wales, and to the West of England, to all Ireland, to Bristol, and the metropolis itself, to which it would be the means of affording a speedy communication.

Lord Granville Somerset

had heard no objections that were not rather matters for the Committee than arguments against the Bill. That was particularly the case as regarded the number of assents and dissents; and he could assure the House, that, if the results of the Committee were not satisfactory, he would not be the Member to ask the House to proceed with the Bill. He was glad to hear, that no opposition had been offered to the plan for a railway between London and Bristol; and no parties could be more desirous to complete the whole measure, than were the parties to this Bill. With so much property involved in it, and with the improvement of that property that must result from the completion of the railway, it required little or no argument to show that they must be interested in and desirous of seeing the measure perfected. With respect to the resistance offered by Eton College, he could hardly think it was serious.

Sir Charles Burrell,

as a trustee to Smith's Charity, opposed the Bill, because it would injure that Charity.

Captain Dundas

thought, if rail-roads were to supersede the coasting trade, they would annihilate the seamen, and injure the country. He should oppose the Bill.

The House divided on the original Motion—Ayes 182; Noes 92: Majority 90. Bill read a second time.