HC Deb 12 February 1836 vol 31 cc352-67
Mr. Harvey

said, that in the few remarks he felt it incumbent on him to urge on the consideration of the House, in support of the Motion of which he had given notice, he desired to be expressly understood that it was not his intention to bring under the consideration of the House any one of the many Railroads for which petitions had been, or were about to be, presented. The sole object of his Motion was to call the attention of hon. Members and the Government to a subject unquestionably of very great importance. At the present time there was no subject of a domestic nature which so largely occupied the public attention as that of Railroads. A greater number of persons was enlisted in. their advocacy or in opposition to them, a larger amount of capital was embarked in their furtherance, a vaster extent of property was involved in their prosecution, than in any one other subject that could claim the attention of the House. He could not, therefore, but believe that hon. Members would be most anxious to listen to any plan calculated to economies expense, and to save the time of the House; for, when they called to mind the fact that the number of petitions which had been already presented for the introduction of Railroad Bills, and when they considered how they were disposed of before Committees, it was not too much to say that there was work enough in their Committee-rooms to engage every Member of the House to the latest period of the Session. Was it not, then, a fit object of the House, as far as it could consistently with justice, to restrict the expenditure of time upon inquiries which might prove abortive, and upon subjects which ought not to have been brought before it? The terms of the motion restricted the inquiry to those Railroads which had a terminus within seven miles of the metropolis. The object of that restriction would be obvious. It would have been too much labour for any Committee, or Board of Inquiry, to have had brought within its cognizance, all the Railroad Bills which were likely to be matter of legislative inquiry. Moreover, it appeared to him that it was unnecessary, as it regarded those Railroads whose termination began and ended in the provincial counties, inasmuch as they generally originated in the places themselves, were carried on by the conviction of their utility, and countenanced by local contributions. The parties, therefore, who had given their sanction to local Railroads and improvements, were the best judges of their importance and mode of accomplishment. But the same remark would not apply to many Railroads which were proposed to connect the metropolis with distant and remote parts of the country, having a termination in London. The greater part of those projects had their origin, not from a sense of their utility, not from any intention in the minds of those who resided on the line of road on which it was to pass, but, in the main, they had their origin in parties seeking wealth, and of active enterprise, and it would be generally found, if those who were contributors to those projects were analysed, that they had little connexion with distant places, with the commerce of remote towns, and commercial ports. It therefore became important that this House should exercise a domestic superintendence over objects which had not those local ties. Because, though it might be said by gentlemen who considered that every enterprise which was based upon the employment of capital ought to be allowed to work out its own object unfettered by any restraint which legislation might impose; yet this was a principle which might be carried out perniciously, inasmuch as it would affect the interests of persons who could not protect themselves from the manifest inconveniences which they might encounter. This would be illustrated if they brought their minds to the several projects now in progress. There were three principal Railroads projected from the eastern part of this metropolis to Norwich. One proposed to go through Chelmsford; the second to proceed to Cambridge, and then turn to the right to Norwich; and the third to proceed to the same destination by way of Bury. He thought it would be readily conceded, whatever might be desired, and whatever profit might be got out of a Railroad from London to Norwich, that there could be no just pretensions for the establishment of three lines. But even if there were, he would submit to the House that it was a most important duty in them to consider whether those three roads were to have three distinct entrances into the heart of this metropolis. The effect would be the immolation of whole towns. It would desolate entire streets, and produce incidentally most serious injury upon person and property. If, therefore, it was desirable there should be communications of this kind, he would suggest that it was expedient that places should be adopted within reasonable distances of the metropolis in each direction to which all these roads should tend, and should all come, and from which none should be allowed to deviate. Should some such mode not be adopted, no standard of value would be sufficient to measure the immense loss of property likely to ensue to individuals. It was obligatory on the Government of a country to protect its property as much as to protect its peace. Property of a peculiar nature was threatened with danger by the multiplication of Railroads; the present was the time to stand forward and protect it. Not only were these Railroads projected from London to every corner of the country, but even from one part of London to the other. So that when a traveller on the Birmingham Railroad would have arrived at the termination of that line, which was to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of Euston-square, he would be taken up then on another Railroad, and carried into Snow-hilt, if the House permitted the project of the latter line to be proceeded with. The next Railroad, he presumed, would be to the House of Commons; and, perhaps, the one after to Blackfriars-bridge; until at last there would not be a single street left in London without a Railroad. If change were necessary, let there be change; but, in his opinion, utility should always be the guide followed in changes of every description, and not a speculative spirit, which often led individuals to ruin not alone themselves, but their neighbours. It might be urged against his Motion that a tribunal already existed to try the merits of cases similar to those included in it, and that, therefore, it was unnecessary. But to this he would reply, that although Committees of the House of Commons were very much improved for investigating such matters of late, they were not sufficiently so to meet the evils likely to arise from an excessive indulgence in unwise speculations of the nature adverted to in his observations. The numbers composing them were too large, the rooms in which they were held too small, the attendance too crowded and confused, and the motives of many hon. Members too questionable, through private or public prejudice in favour of one line or in opposition to another, to render a Committee of the House of Commons, upon subjects of that nature, the most correct or impartial tribunal. The consequence of this combination of unfavourable circumstances, particularly the latter, was in many cases a compromise, in which the interests of the parties prevailed, and the interests of the public were very rarely considered. The proceedings before that tribunal were very expensive—enormously so; and every day they were increasing. It was due to the public to put an end to those expensive proceedings. No later than that morning certain parties interested in the progress of a Railroad Bill had been with him; and one of them told him he had to pay, before he was permitted to take a single step, the sum of 500l. for what was called "a list of the assents and dissents." While the other had informed him, that for the same thing he expected to be called on for three times as much in as many days hence. It was now the practice to obtain the consent not alone of proprietors, but of lodgers on any estate to be affected by the line, but in many cases that of the former was dispensed with, while that of the latter, who had no real interest in the estate, served to swell a list in approbation. This had a delusive, as well as a destructive, effect on the public; for it gave an appear- ance of feasibility to projects which were by no means of a warrantable nature, and substituted the names of persons possessing not a particle of valuable interest in a property for those of the actual bona fide owners of it. AH this was calculated to deceive and injure the community at large, as well as destroy the property and prospects of individuals. The attention of the House of Commons had, during the last and several preceding Sessions, been very liberally devoted to the facilitating of such speculative enterprises, and he predicted, that unless some very decided step, such as now proposed, were adopted to control and regulate the very tolerant spirit which had hitherto guided their legislation, the result would be that this House would become, not a House of Parliament, but a House of Railroads; and every Gentleman's spare time would be exclusively occupied in attending Committees to promote their extension over the empire. It was under these circumstances, and with this conviction of his duty to the unprotected public and to the Legislature in which he had the honour to hold a seat, that he row proposed the formation of the Select Committee, with the powers and duties specified in his Motion,

Mr. William Crawford

said, some of the schemes alluded to had fallen under his observation, and he could speak from experience of the evils and inconveniences likely to arise from the mania for Railroad speculations which now possessed the country. He concurred with the hon. Mover, that it was absolutely requisite to apply some legislative check to these proceedings, which threatened to sacrifice such an amount of private property in the reckless rivalry of public companies, especially in the vicinity of London. The county of Surrey seemed to be especially marked out as a scene of visitation for the execution of such speculative projects, and had actually been mapped and partitioned amongst three principal engineers, in so many distinctshares, for their own profit, and for the delusion of the public. There were now no less than three Railroads planned to Brighton: and could any sensible man expect that they could all succeed, even if the projectors intended to work them? One was called Stephenson's line, conducted along the vale of Wickham and Wimbledon Common, extending circuitously through the most beautiful part of the country, and along the banks of the rivers and streams, on the plea of the necessity of preserving the levels; a second ran in another direction through the chalk hills, cutting up that part of the country; a third Railroad was already half-made, running by Brighton due south to Dover. The originators of these clashing projects cared nothing for the inevitable failure that would accrue to one or more in their practical working, and the competition that would ensue if their plans were ever carried into effect. Armed with the deposits of the first subscribers, to the amount of 15,000l. or 30,000l., the solicitors and engineers recklessly pursued their separate course of expenditure, driving lines through the country wherever they pleased, heedless of the injury to private property, the interference with public comfort and convenience which must ensue in the accomplishment of their schemes. With such funds at their command, and such powers to expend them uncontrolled for the furtherance of their plans, however objectionable, it was not to be wondered at, if private individuals were deterred from making any attempt at opposition, and, in fact, unless the Legislature turned its attention to the adoption of some effective measures for their control, the attempt would be altogether hopeless, and the injury of private property might be expected to continue in a progressive ratio. On the Southampton line the works were recently stopped below Basingstoke, from a discovery lately made of the difficulty of preserving the requisite levels in the line first adopted. With reference to this case he could have wished that his hon. Friend's Motion had embraced all Railroads within ten miles, instead of seven, of the metropolis, as this would let in the Southampton case, though, as the Motion was limited at present, that Railroad was necessarily excluded. However, as far as it went, the Motion would have the beneficial effect of preventing much valuable property from the lamentable effects of an extravagant mania which would doubtless involve and ruin multitudes, while the original plotters would, most probably, escape with the fruits of their successful imposition on the unwary and credulous. The machinery was well known to the initiated by which Railway shares were worked up to a nominal premium of twelve per cent., or fifteen per cent., before the slightest rational prospect of a return presented itself for calculation to found any data on; and it was also well known to men of observation, that the originators of these bubbles never continue to hold their original shares, but as soon as a sufficient profit could be seized on, they sold them to the dupes whom they left to suffer by the ultimate bursting of the bubble. No man of experience would take the prices of shares quoted in the papers as any proof of the prosperity or soundness of a company, started under such auspices as those which marked the origin of these Railway companies; on the contrary, the more he heard of this unsubstantial prosperity, the more he felt the necessity of protecting the public from the deceptions and fallacious hopes held out to them by interested individuals.

Mr. Ridley Colborne

thought it was the duty of the House to be exceedingly cautious in the adoption of any restrictive principle of legislation which might have the effect of interfering with the many obvious, admitted, and indisputable benefits, which Railways were calculated to ensure, looking to them either as the means of extending internal commerce, or of facilitating intercourse, which did not hitherto exist, and thus diffusing improvements, and the spirit of industry and enterprise. He was certain that they were beneficial in one very desirable point of view, as affording a means of employment to the labouring classes, and a happy stimulus to the improvement of their condition. Many of the projected undertakings were, he was sorry to say, speculations of a very questionable character, and he doubted whether one step would ever be taken to complete the lines the projectors had adopted, and set forth in their prospective publications. He thought the best way to counteract this species of speculation was, to enact a Clause which should render it imperative on the original promoters of a Railway scheme, to retain their shares and prosecute the work. If shares were not transferable by law, persons would not undertake such works without the intention of carrying them, on, and much stockjobbing mischief would thereby be prevented. Were such a law in existence, we should not see such an enormous, useless, and absurd expenditure of money as was now witnessed on lines of Railroads running side by side, cutting up and disfiguring the country, and evidently constructed without the smallest intention on the part of the original undertakers to complete them, or if completed eventually, with any hope of utility to the public. He would be quite content to allow the free employment of capital in this department of industry, if the original promoters of the roads were compelled to continue their speculations.

Sir Robert Peel

could not see the advantage which the supporters of the Resolution expected to derive from it, more than from the system which it was sought to supersede. If it were a necessary consequence that all lines of Railroads struck out were to go on, and that all Bills introduced were to be carried through that House, it would no doubt occasion very dangerous results; but it should be recollected that each Bill presented to Parliament must be scrutinised and substantiated in detail before a Committee, and, if approved, subjected to the further censorship of Parliament, ere the evil consequences could result to the country on which so much stress had been laid, but which, after all, really rested with the whole House to permit or restrain. If the formation of a Select Committee were requisite and beneficial for the district situated within seven miles of London, to save the property it contained from the ruin which Railway projectors were expected to inflict, he saw no reason why Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and all the other threatened towns and districts containing similarly valuable property, should not be granted an equal measure of select Parliamentary protection. If a Select Committee were good and necessary for one case, it might be expected to be good and necessary for all; but this legitimate conclusion was not urged in supporting the Motion. The hon. Gentleman confined his attention to the vicinity of the metropolis, because as it appeared, he expected shortly to see a Railroad drive from Euston-square to the House of Commons! But he did not take into consideration a condition attaching to properly in the metropolis, which would effectually protect it against any disturbance that was not very likely to have a profitable termination—the great value of the houses and land, of which the speculators must purchase possession ere they could commence operations. The inevitable expense of such proceedings in the metropolis would be its best security against uncalled-for intrusions of the kind apprehended, and Gentlemen might rest assured that there was a wide and natural distinction between the origination of a Railroad project in or through any district of the metropolis and its completion. He thought that the plan of intrusting to the Select Committee the choice of one out of the lines of Railroad would lead to no good purpose, for the Members of the Committee could have no more intuitive knowledge of "the desirableness of a Railroad" than the House at large, with whom the decision would lie in the present state of the case, after the Committee had examined all the particulars which could enable them to form a proper judgment. He could not see the advantage, where a great national undertaking was at issue, in limiting its consideration to a few individuals, however selected, who were expected to decide "whether the best line had been selected, having regard to the directness of the communication, the probable expenditure, the comfort and safety of the public, and the effect on private property and particular interests." There was really little to fear in those cases, for no Railroad project could come into operation till the majority of Parliament had declared that its principles and arrangements appeared to them satisfactory, and its investments profitable. It was a recognised Parliamentary principle, in these cases, that the probable profits of an undertaking should be shown to be sufficient to maintain it in a state of permanent action and utility, before a Bill could be obtained; and landlords were perfectly justified in expecting and demanding such a warranty from Parliament before they transferred their property to any such uses. And why should not Parliament require it from, those who came forward to obtain its authority to sanction their appropriation of this property? With respect to the consent of proprietors, which was requisite in such cases, he thought the House would not be doing its duty if it did not exact the production of a bonâ fide assent subscribed by real proprietors or tenants. It was not enough to see a document signed by 1,000 tenants, if it turned out that 999 of these were weekly tenants or tenants at will. He felt that Parliament ought in all such cases to ascertain the validity and condition of proprietorships ere it admitted the effect of such consent. With respect to the individual projects, he was sorry to see that some presented the obvious characters of futile speculations, but he should be equally sorry to see powers delegated to a limited and Select Committee to decide on subjects of skill, science, and enterprise, where so much was at stake, and thereby prejudge the question. He would rather see the matter left to the good sense and comprehensive intelligence of the entire House.

Mr. Pease

said, that it was his lot to live in a county where Railroads were more numerous and their effects better known and appreciated than in any other, and where, as the result of all this experience, as soon as a project for a new line of Railroad appeared, it was almost universally adopted and approved of. The idea formerly prevalent there, as well as here, that Railroads cut up and disfigured the country, had entirely disappeared, for it was now found that ail the great cuttings and sinkings might, by a little care and expense in ornamental planting of the slopes and edges, be rendered ornamental to the scenery of a district instead of disfiguring it. He was aware from his own experience as a landowner that the ground through which a Railroad passed increased instead of deteriorated in value, notwithstanding the particular portions of which he spoke were intersected by cuttings of great depth; in spite of which some of it recently sold brought a higher price than it did before, or than any land at a distance from the Railway would bring, though adjacent to turnpike roads. All building-materials and minerals lying in lands adjacent to a Railroad were materially increased in value, and in cases where it became necessary to determine the value of such land by a Jury, double the value was frequently given, compared with what would have been awarded by the same Jury, or determined by private bargain, before the establishment of the Railroad. The turnpike roads in the neighbourhood had become perceptibly better, and had reduced their tolls fifty per cent, from the absence of heavy carriages, now transferred to the Railway. With the experience of ten or twelve years, the feeling of the country had considerably increased in favour of Railroads. "Within the last three Sessions especially the question had undergone a searching scrutiny, and been fully canvassed by engineers and the public. He had attended, very closely to the subject himself, and while he had been more thoroughly convinced of the utility which might be derived from the adoption of judicious plans, he must confess he was disgusted by several which, had been presented to the public, which obviously contained the elements of failure, disappointment, and ruin. He trusted, however, that the House would discriminate between the plans submitted to it, and not suffer rival projects to destroy one another, and to absorb the property of confiding individuals who could never be repaid. He thought that some speculations of this species deserved to fail; but he did not like to see a Select Committee composed of individuals who were, perhaps, by no means competent to enter fully into the merits of apian, erected as it were into a tribunal of opinion, whose fiat would, notwithstanding, go far to prejudice the decision of the last tribunal—the House. A chief objection to the introduction of the metropolitan lines was, that they would take the trade from the great interests already in possession of it. He would suggest, as a remedy for this, that instead of having one focus in the north, or south, Or east, or west, there should be a distribution of stations and advantages—one in each of these four points of the city—which would go far to remedy the inconvenience apprehended. He must oppose the Motion before the House, as he preferred the existing mode of proceeding, which left so much more to the discretion of the House at large, with an opportunity of obtaining all the information a Committee could elicit to enable it to form a just conclusion; and if a Committee agreed in approbation of a plan submitted to it, a prima facie case was thereby established for the House that the plan was a good one.

Mr. Goulburn

was as great an advocate for Railroads generally as any man in that House; but he was disposed, nevertheless, to support the resolution. The approbation of the Committee which the hon. Member who spoke last referred to, was not a case strictly applicable, for a single Railroad case presented to an ordinary Committee could not exercise the comparative view desired in the present case, and which, if they did not enter on the task in a prejudiced manner, would be so beneficial to all concerned. His great anxiety was to avoid having the country parcelled out uselessly and injuriously by rival companies, who would inevitably entail ruin on the mass of those who invested their property in these undertakings. If the House, or a Select Committee, were to exercise this comparative judgment, and choose one out of the three lines in question as alone worthy of adoption, it would confer a great benefit on the public. If, on the contrary, each Bill were, as usual, allowed to go to the second or third reading before an intentional comparison were made, he thought the House would stand a bad chance of making a correct choice at the moment.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

objected to delegating to a body so constituted the great power which it was proposed to vest in the Select Committee. At the same time, he was extremely glad the subject had been agitated, because he considered it one very deserving the attention of the House. He owned that he felt it to be a very difficult one. He should agree in the opinion of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, if, after the projects had been sifted by a Committee up stairs, the House had the means, from their Report, and from accurate testimony of a surveyor on the subject, of judging, and when they came to vote, of fully understanding, the grounds upon which they arrived at their decision. Any hon. Gentleman who had attended to the manner in which Bills of the kind were passed, and to the sort of discussion which took place on their second and third readings, must be aware that the House had not the knowledge necessary to enable them to arrive at a just decision. He had almost invariably avoided voting on such questions, because he found that no sufficient means were afforded him of ascertaining the real state of the case. Then he came to the question, whether the Committees, as they were at present constituted, could properly discuss the merits of the different Railroad projects brought before Parliament? He believed that they could properly and fairly discuss the merits of each individual plan as it was laid before them; but that was not, in reality, the question they had to consider, when so many Railroads were in formation, and likely to come under the consideration of Parliament. It was perfectly true, that different plans for different Railways running to and from the same place might be referred to the same Committee, but the Committee might very probably decide on the first before the others, or either of the others, came under their consideration at all. He did not really think, that the first, or any other decision of a Committee, given under such circumstances, would be grounded on the merits of the case. The question, then, arose whether the proposed Committee would be an efficient one for all the purposes required? And here again he felt considerable difficulty in determining whether a Commission of engineers to examine into every project, or some such special Committee, would not attain the object in view. Any Gentleman who had read the newspapers within the last four or five months could not have failed to perceive the absurd and ridiculous projects which were afloat—projects not only for four or five Railways to the same place, but for Railroads to places to which scarcely any coaches at all now ran. Such plans might be very beneficial to surveyors and the gentlemen of the Stock Exchange, but beyond putting money into their pockets, and into those of the individuals who forwarded them through, that House, they were not likely to be attended with any practical advantage. Under such circumstances he thought the House should lay down some plan, under which, before any great expenditure was incurred, some definite prospect of success might be secured.

Mr. George F. Young

thought the proposal of the hon. Member for Southwark had not been quite fairly treated. He had had several opportunities of witnessing the manner in which the proceedings of Committees on private Bills were conducted, and he was bound to say, that a worse tribunal could not be conceived. He thought it would be a great improvement if every Railway Bill were referred to a Select Committee composed of Gentlemen connected with the locality to which it applied, rather than to a general list, chosen at the commencement of a Session. If such Committees acted on the principles embodied in the Resolution, they would form most efficient tribunals.

Mr. O'Connell

thought it extremely desirable to afford every facility for Railways provided for the transportation of commercial commodities. While it was desirable to guard the public against uncertain and undefined schemes on the one hand, it must be remembered on the other, that a regard for their own capital, and an eye to their own interests, would be their best protection. He concurred with the right hon. Gentleman in deeming it very advisable to have a special Report from a Crown Surveyor laid before the House in every case before the Bill passed, and he thought the House should pause before, by affirming the present resolution, they retarded the progress of these great public undertakings.

Mr. Warburton

thought there should be a general survey, and that all Railroads should be stopped until such survey or a Report were sent in, to enable the Committee to Form their opinion. No Member of Parliament concerned in those speculations, or who held shares in them, should sit upon any one of those Committees.

Mr. Hume

said, that he thought the Government ought not to interfere. The very best check against the danger to be apprehended from these speculations was each individual's own interest. Another protection he thought ought to be, that each subscriber should be a bonâ fide subscriber. He had not heard any answer to the representation of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth. He thought the subject had already undergone sufficient discussion to show, that some protection was absolutely necessary; but the two species of protection to which he had adverted were, in his judgment, quite enough. He thought that those Members who had duties upon his subject to perform should be uninfluenced in their conduct by the "pressure from without," and should see that each undertaking to which they gave their sanction should have a sufficiency of capital to carry it through.

Lord John Russell

expressed his concurrence with an hon. Member opposite, that the best course the House could adopt for the present year would be to refer different plans to a Committee, who should report their opinion to the House. This would afford the House the best means of giving a correct judgment on the subject submitted to their consideration; and it would be also necessary to prevent them from giving their opinion upon merely ex parte evidence.

Mr. Hume

wished to ask the noble Lord if it were his intention to propose any alteration in the manner of appointing Committees? As a proof of the inconvenience of the present system, he should merely refer to his own case that day, when he found himself appointed upon nine County Committees. How was it possible for him to attend in alt theses Committees? Why should not some method be adopted which would enable hon. Members to discharge the duties for which they were appointed, and which it was expected they would perform? On the first day of the Session, he thought the House ought to be drafted into Committees of nine or eleven, which would have the two-fold effect of preventing any suspicion of partiality, and of preventing that system of canvassing which he regretted to see was very much practised. He should also suggest, that no Member for a borough or county should sit upon any Committee on the affairs of the place he represented.

Mr. Harvey, in reply, complained that the hon. Member for Durham had misunderstood him when he supposed that he advocated only one locality for the meeting of Railroads in London, whereas ha had proposed one locality for every entrance into the metropolis—one for the north, one for the south, one for the east, and one for the west. The right hon. Member for Tamworth had argued, that if a Select Committee ought to be appointed to inquire into the practicability of Railroads coming near the metropolis, the interests of every large town should be protected in a similar manner; but in those towns these matters were calculated upon long beforehand, their utility was canvassed, their advantages well ascertained, and the direction of them was intrusted to men who were best fitted to carry them out to a successful issue; but in London the public knew little or nothing of the localities and other circumstances of detail on which the success of a Railroad wholly depended. He thought this Motion would be productive of great good. In the proposition made by the right hon. Member for Cambridge, which was only a modification of his own, he fully concurred— namely, that all Railroads which had the same tendency should be referred to the same Committee, and that, upon a full consideration of all the evidence, they should choose that line which appeared to be the most economical, the most direct, the most profitable to the public, and the least encroaching upon private property. He recommended that the Committee should call before them the surveyors of each line, and they would elicit more information than they could gather from the speeches of three or four favourite leaders, followed by two or three rising juniors, who would be left by the leading counsel to amuse the Committee, while he went to address another Committee upon another Railroad. This would be the rational course to pursue, and they would soon be able to determine whether, in the first place, a Railroad was wanted at all on any particular line, and, in the next place, whether the proposed railroad would prove permanently advantageous to the community. The hon. Member for Bridport had recommended to the House that no Member of any Railroad Committee should be a shareholder in the Railway. If that was to be, it would be as well that it should be understood. But there were many other persons interested in Railroads besides the shareholders. There were the bankers, and the standing counsel; great iron masters also, who might have seats in that House; there were many who had worthless lumps of land to get compensation for, and it was astonishing to see what a value the suggestion of a Railroad gave to barren acres. He thought it much better that every Member of the Committee should state at once what his interest in the railroad was; then the public would know what to look to; but at present the managers of a Railroad would say, "look at our plan; here we have ten Members of Parliament in our direction—it is certain to be carried;" and another set would say, "It is absurd to oppose us, you will have all the Carlton Club, and all Brooks's brought down in such a strong body, that our Bill must be carried." He hoped that some good would result from this debate. He trusted it would not be a mere discussion which was to end with the beginning, but that the House would be induced not to prevent the establishment of any Railroad where its formation was desirable, and not to countenance any speculation where it was not desirable it should be encouraged.

Motion withdrawn.