HC Deb 08 July 1836 vol 35 cc8-9
Mr. Angerstein

having moved the third reading of the Greenwich Pier Bill, proposed the insertion of a clause by way of rider.

Mr. Alderman Wood

said, he must object to the clause. It went to take away altogether the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor as conservator of the Thames. It was now more than sixty years since the Admiralty attempted, but in vain, to dispute that jurisdiction, and to set aside the rights of the Corporation of London in that respect. The effort should not now be repeated by smuggling a clause like this into a private bill. The effect of the introduction of such a clause into the Bill would be to drive the Corporation of London, very unwillingly, to oppose the Bill in the Lords, and they were sure to meet with success there, as justice was always done them in the other House, whenever they went there on points of right and law. The clause should be withdrawn or postponed. It was a matter of just complaint that no notice had been given of such a clause, and that it was never proposed in the Committee. It was only a few minutes ago that it had been put into his hands. It provided that such and such things should not be done in the river without the leave of the Admiralty, while the fact was the Admiralty had no authority there. He should be very sorry that the people of Greenwich should not have their pier, for the City of London was most anxious to encourage such an undertaking, but they certainly would lose the Bill in the Lords if this clause should be inserted in it.

Mr. C. Wood

said, that he understood the hon. Alderman's objections to the clause to be, that it interfered with the rights of the Corporation of London as conservators of the river. It should be recollected, however, that it was the right of the Crown and of the Admiralty to interfere with all navigable waters. In the case of the Gravesend Pier Bill, the power possessed by the Admiralty was granted; he thought it was wrong to grant it; but no one disputed the right to grant it. He was sure that the hon. Alderman would not contend that the right of the City of London could override that of the Admiralty.

Mr. Alderman Wood

It had done so on several former occasions. The Admiralty of course had no desire to impede the progress of the Bill; but they could not allow the navigation of the river, in which they were interested, to be interfered with without their permission. The present clause, therefore, was proposed to be inserted, empowering the parties to build the pier in a way that should be approved of by the Admiralty.

Mr. G. F. Young

said, that a saving clause preserving all the rights possessed by the Admiralty with regard to the navigation of the river might be inserted, but where there was a question of conflicting jurisdiction, it should not be attempted to be settled in this manner in a private Bill. There was at present a Committee sitting on the port of London, before whom the whole question of jurisdiction would come, or had indeed already come, and that Committee would shortly report its opinion whether the river should remain under its present regulations, or be subjected to some other form of Government.

Bill postponed.

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