HC Deb 24 June 1836 vol 34 cc849-53
Lord Francis Egerton

moved the further consideration of the Liverpool Docks Bill.

Lord Clive

wished that the clause in the Bill which exempted vessels going to Run corn, Frodsham, and other places, from paying Dock-rates to the Liverpool Dock Company, should also extend to Elsmere. To accomplish his object, he would move that the Bill be recommitted.

Mr. Wilbraham

seconded the motion.

Viscount Sandon

could not agree to the motion of his noble Friend, which, if carried, would ruinously affect the property of the bondholders invested in the Docks, and which all the vessels that entered the port of Liverpool were liable to. The subject was one of much interest, and very deserving the attention of the House; and he contended that such a motion at least could not be made without previous notice.

Mr. Ewart

apprehended that neither the amendment of the noble Lord (Clive), nor the clause of which it was merely an ex tension—the clause which exempted Run corn and other towns from paying Dock rates to Liverpool, could stand—for both the clause and the amendment were against the standing orders of the House. He felt so strongly on this point, that he would not detain the House, but appeal at once to the Speaker, for he felt confident that the point of law was decidedly against the clause; but if it were to be decided otherwise, he would oppose the measure generally.

The Speaker

Having been appealed to for my opinion, with a view to decide the question, I will recall the attention of the House to the facts. A motion having been made by the noble Lord, the Member for Ludlow, relative to a certain clause in the Bill, the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, stated, that such clause had been inserted contrary to the Standing Orders, and that it was his intention to move that it be struck out. The real question, then, for consideration is, whether the clause has been inserted contrary to the Standing Orders. I believe I am correct in stating, that the notices which have been given in the in stance of this Bill, apply only to alterations to be made respecting the constitution of the Board of Trustees, and the management of the Docks; and that no notice has been given of any intention to propose an alteration with regard to the tolls. If, then, there be an alteration made by the Bill in the tolls, whether by addition or diminution, notice should have been given to the parties interested, and whose property must be affected by such alteration, of the intention to propose it. Now, no such notice has been given here, and I apprehend, therefore, that the clause must be struck out of the Bill. I hope that the House will always bear in mind, that the Standing Orders have been framed for the protection of all classes of the community, and that they never can, and never ought to be, disregarded, unless where some strong special case is made out; and where, in addition, it is clearly and distinctly shown that that particular departure from them will not be productive of injury to those persons for whose protection they are intended.

Lord Clive

, with the leave of the House, would withdraw his motion.

Bill to be considered.

Lord Francis Egerton

moved that the Amendment be read a second time.

Mr. Ewart

would proceed to oppose the Bill. The question was, whether the Dock-rate payers, a small constituency, or the immense municipal constituency of Liverpool, were to have the superintending power over the Dock estate. He said the Dock-rate payers were a small constituency. They consisted of hundreds—the municipal constituency was composed of thousands. The Dock-rate-paying constituency was a changing and fluctuating body—the constituency of the town was of a fixed and enduring character. If the Dock-rate payers formed the constituency, they might be subject to undue control. A wealthy merchant could (under the existing system) create voters only a day before the election of those who were were destined by the Bill to manage the Dock-estate of Liver pool. The Municipal Reform Bill had secured the municipal voters from such undue interposition. They, therefore, were the body whose representatives in the new council, should manage a trust so important to the town as the Dock trust. That these powers should have vested in the old Corporation was highly objectionable. That they should not vest in the new, freely elected, and responsible body, was, in his opinion, most objectionable also. The Municipal Reform Bill involved the concentration of local funds in the hands of the Local Council. This Bill was against that principle. Was it against no other principle of the Municipal Reform Bill? Yes. If there was one element of that Bill more marked and more essential than the rest, it was this,—that the police of the towns should be concentrated in the new local authorities. The police was the organ of good government in the town. Yet this Bill continued a principle of separation of the police of Liverpool. The Docks of Liverpool, nearly all of them open to the streets, extended for three miles along the town. If the police were separated into a dock police and a town police, how could it act with due uniformity and vigour, or be conducted on proper principles of economy and order? The Committee on this Bill had received evidence of the most striking character on this point. Mr. Mayne, the chief of the metropolitan police, had declared it to be essential, on general principles, that both polices should be combined. He considered such combination the soul of a system of police. The superintendent of the police at Liverpool declared the same on his local knowledge. So did the magistrates' clerk, and the eminent stipendiary magistrate, Mr. Hall, who now presided in the courts at Liverpool. To this over powering evidence no answer, either of fact or of argument, was given by their opponents. Yet the Committee, by a small majority, carried the continuance of two separate police forces. He called on the House to assert the principles of that Bill; to act upon them; to devolve on the Council which they themselves had created, the powers of which it was worthy; to concentrate the police; and consult the lasting interests of Liverpool.

Viscount Sandon

said, that from the interest made by his hon. Colleague and others, to fill the benches at the opposite side, it was very evident that the intention was to turn this, which, was strictly a com- mercial question, into a party struggle; and he regretted to perceive that hon. Members connected with Government should sanction a proceeding that was likely to be productive of the most serious injury to the commercial interests of the country. The trustees of the Liverpool Docks were disposed to come to an amicable and satisfactory arrangement with the town-council, and for that purpose had made several propositions to them, and it was not until these propositions had been rejected, and all idea of anamicable termination to the differences had disappeared, by the town-council insisting on a predominance in the trust, that the present Bill was introduced into that House. There had been an ancient struggle between the corporation and the people of Liverpool on this subject. In 1825, and 1820, the first struggle took place, when Mr. Gladstone endeavoured to wrest the control of the trust from the corporation of that time, and to place it in the hands of the rate-payers, on the grounds that the corporation were an irresponsible body, and that those who contributed to the tolls had the best right to see them dispensed. Mr. Huskisson soon after followed, and insisted on the same right, and a compromise took place, which was favourable to the rate-payers. To show that this was not a political question, some of the gentlemen now in the town-council coincided with the views of the trustees, and signed their names to a document to that effect; and it was not until they had found that by the passing of the Municipal Bill, that they had the power in their own hands, that they changed their sentiments. It might be said that the case was materially altered since the passing of that Act; but he begged to inquire whether the town-council had been selected by the rate-payers, and whether they were responsible to them. Many of the promoters of this Bill had been the political friends of his hon. Col league (Mr. Ewart) at the last election. All that was desired by the friends of the Bill was, that 9,000l. or 10,000l. should not be applied to the general purposes of the police of Liverpool, without any security that the property of the Dock Company would be duly protected. That it would not be duly protected was evident from the fact, that although the Dock Companies of London contributed their proportion to the common police of the metropolis, they were obliged to maintain a special police to guard them against depredation. Such would doubtless be the case hereafter at Liverpool, if the amendment were carried. If the present Bill were not passed, there would be no fit and responsible persons to regulate and manage the trust. [Cries of "Divide" "Question."]

Mr. John Stanley

said, if any party zeal were shown on the occasion, it was on the side supported by the noble Lord, who himself was no inefficient or indolent coadjutor. As to the measure before the House, in the first place the promoters of it had departed from the form in which it was originally introduced, and had remodelled it more in consonance with their own views and wishes. In the next place, he (Mr. E. J. Stanley) considered the rate-payers the most improper persons who could be concerned in the Liverpool Docks; while the town-council, on the other hand, had a permanent interest in them. The rate payers cared nothing about the establishment, and would not suffer if it fell to ruin to-morrow. The interest of the town council was identical with the interests of the whole town of Liverpool. Whoever might be in possession of the Docks, care must be taken lest, in another year, a mea sure should not be passed, compelling them to reduce the dues to the lowest possible amount; for if they did not, the whole trade of the port of Liverpool might be endangered. As a representative of Cheshire, he called upon hon. Members to unite with him in rejecting this Bill. If it were not rejected, it would be impossible hereafter to reintroduce the clause, so material to the interests of that part of the kingdom.

The House divided on the original question: Ayes 173; Noes 197—Majority 24.

List of the AYES.
Agnew, Sir Andrew Campbell, Sir H.
Alsager, Captain Canning, Sir S.
Arbuthnot, Hon. H. Cartwright, W. R.
Ashley, Lord Chichester, A.
Ashley, hon. H. Chisholm, A.
Bagot, hon. W. Clerk, Sir G.
Bailey, J. Cole, Viscount
Balfour, T. Cole, hon. A. H.
Baring, F. Conolly, E. M.
Baring, H. Bingham Corbett, T.
Baring, W. Corry, hon. H. T. L.
Baring, Thomas Crewe, Sir G.
Beckett, Sir J Dalbiac, Sir C.
Bell, Matthew Damer, D.
Bethell, Richard Darlington, Earl of
Blackburne, I. Dick, Quintin
Boiling, William Dottin, Abel Rous
Bonham, R. Francis Duffield, Thomas
Bradshaw, J. Duncombe, hon. W.
Bramston, T. W. East, James Buller
Calcraft, J, H. Eaton, Richard J.
Egerton, Wm. Tatton Martin, J.
Egerton, Sir P. Meynell, Captain
Elley, Sir J. Miles, Philip J.
Elwes, J. Mosley, Sir O., bart.
Entwisle, John Neeld, J.
Estcourt, Thos. G. B. Nichol, Dr.
Feilden, W. Norreys, Lord
Ferguson, Sir R, A. Owen, Sir John, bart.
Finch, George Packe, C. W.
Fleming, John Palmer, George
Forbes, William Palmer, Robert
Forester, hon. G.C.W. Patten, John Wilson
Forster, Charles S. Peel, Sir Robert, bart.
Fremantle, Sir T. W. Perceval, Colonel
Gaskell, J. Mines Pigot, Robert
Gladstone, Thomas Plumptre, J. P.
Gladstone, W. E. Polhill, Frederick
Glynne, Sit S. R. Pollen, Sir J., bart.
Gordon, W. Praed, James B.
Gore, O. Price, Richard
Goulburn, hon. H. Pringle, A.
Goulburn, Sergeant Rae, Sir William, bt.
Graham, Sir J. Reid, Sir J. Rae
Greene, Thomas Richards, J.
Greisley, Sir R. Robinson, G.
Grimston, Viscount Ross, Charles
Grimston, hon. E. H. Rushbrook, Colonel
Hale, Robert B. Russell, C.
Halford, H. Scarlett, hon. R.
Halse, James Scott, Lord J.
Hamilton, G. A. Shaw, F.
Hamilton, Lord C. Sheppard, T.
Hanmer, Sir J., bart. Sibthorpe, Colonel
Harcourt, G. Smyth, Sir G. H., bt.
Hardinge, Sir H. Somerset, Lord E.
Hardy, J, Somerset, Lord G,
Hawkes, Thomas Stanley, Edward
Hay, Sir J., bart. Stanley, Lord
Hayes, Sir E. S., bart. Stewart, Sir M. S., bt.
Heathcote, G. J. Sturt, Henry Charles
Henniker, Lord Tennent, J. E.
Hill, Lord Arthur Thomas, Colonel
Houldsworth, T. Trench, Sir Frederick
Hoy, J. B. Trevor, hon. Arthur
Hughes, Hughes Trevor, hon. G. R.
Jackson, Sergeant Twiss, H.
Ingham, R. Tyrrell, Sir J.
Inglis, Sir R. H., bart. Vere, Sir C. B., bart.
Irton, Samuel Vesey, hon. Thomas
Johnstone, Sir J. Vivian, John Ennis
Jones, W. Vyvyan, Sir R. R.
Jones, Theobald Wall, Charles Baring
Kearsley, J H. Walter, John
Kirk, Peter West, J. B.
Knatchbull, Sir Edw. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Knightley, Sir C. Williams, T. P.
Lees, J. F. Wodehouse, E.
Lefroy, Sergeant Wood, Colonel
Lincoln, Earl of Wortley, hon. J. S.
Lowther, Col. H. C. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Lowther, Lord Wynn, Sir W.
Lowther, J. Young, G. F.
Lucas, Edward Young, J.
Lushington, S. R. TELLERS
Lygon, hon. Col H.B.
Mahon, Lord Sandon, Lord
Manners, Lord C. Egerton, Lord Fran.
List of the NOES.
Adam, Sir C. Fergus, John
Aglionby, H. A. Ferguson, Sir R.
Ainsworth, P. Ferguson, Robert
Anson, G. Fergusson, rt. hn. C.
Bagshaw, John Fitzgibbon, hon. B.
Baines, Edward Finn, Will. Francis
Baldwin, Dr. Fitzroy, Lord Charles
Ball, N. Fitzsimon, Chris.
Bannerman, A. Fitzsimon, N.
Barclay, David Fort, John
Baring, F. Thornhill. French, F.
Barnard, E. G. Gaskell, Daniel
Barry, G. S Goring, H. D.
Beauclerk, Major Grattan, J.
Bellew, Richard M. Grattan, H.
Bennett, J. Grey, Sir G., bart.
Bentinck, Lord W. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Berkeley, hon. F. Grote, George
Bewes, T. Guest, J.
Biddulp, R. Gully, John
Bish, Thomas Harvey, D. W.
Blackburne, J Hay, Sir Andrew L.
Blake, M. J. Hector, C. J.
Blamire, W. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.
Bodkin, J. Hodges, T. L.
Bowes, J. Holland, E.
Bowring, Dr. Howard, P. H.
Brady, D. C. Hume, J.
Bridgeman, H. Jervis, J.
Brodie, W. B. Johnston, Andrew
Brotherton, J. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Browne, R. D. Lambton, H.
Buller, C. Langton, Wm. Gore
Buller, E. Leader, J. T.
Burton, Henry P. Lefevre, C. S.
Butler, hon. P. Lennard, Thomas B.
Byng, G. S. Lister, Ellis Cunliffe
Callaghan, D. Loch, J.
Campbell, Sir J. Lushington, Charles
Campbell, W. F. Lynch, Andrew H. S.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Macleod, R.
Cayley, Edward S. M'Namara, Major
Chalmers, P. Mangles, J.
Chapman, M. L. Marjoribanks, S.
Clay, William Marshall, W.
Clive, Edward B. Marsland, Henry
Clive, Viscount Maule, hon. F.
Clive, hon. R. H. Methuen, Paul
Codrington, Sir E. Morpeth, Lord Vis.
Collier, John Morrison, James
Conyngham, Lord A. Mostyn, hon. E.
Crawford, Wm. S. Mullins, F. W.
Crawford, William Murray, rt. hon. J. A.
Curteis, Edward B. Nagle, Sir Richd.
Dalmeny, Lord O'Brien, C.
Dennison, J. Evelyn O'Connell, D.
D'Eyncourt, C. T. O'Connell, John
Donkin, Sir Rufane O'Connell, M. J.
Duncombe, T. S. O'Connell, Morgan
Dundas, hon. J. C. O'Conor, Don
Dundas, hon. T. O'Ferral, Rich. More
Dundas, J. Deanes Oliphant, L.
Edwards, Colonel O'Loghlin, M.
Elphinstone, Howard Ord, W. H.
Evans, G. Oswald, J.
Fazakerley, John N. Paget, F.
Parker, J. Thompson, Col.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Thornely, T.
Parrott, Jasper Tooke, W.
Pattison, J. Townley, R. G.
Pease, Joseph Tracey, Charles H.
Pechell, Capt. R. Trelawney, Sir W. L.
Pelham, hon. C. A. Tulk, C. A.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Turner, W.
Phillips, C. M. Tynte, J. K.
Pinney, W. Verney, Sir H., bart.
Potter, R. Villiers, Sir Charles P.
Power, J. Wakley, T.
Price, Sir R. Walker, C. A.
Rice, rt. hon. T. S. Walker, Richard
Roche, W. Wallace, Robert
Roche, D. Warburton, H.
Roebuck, J. A. Wason, R.
Rolfe, Sir M. R. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Rundle, J. Wigney, I..N.
Russell, Lord Wilbraham, G.
Ruthven, E. Wilde, Mr. Sergeant
Sanford, E. A. Williams W.
Scott, Sir E. D. Williams, W. A.
Scrope, G. P. Williams, Sir J.
Seale, Colonel Williamson, Sir H.
Sharpe, Gen. Winnington, Capt. H.
Sheil, R. L. Wood, C.
Smith, B. Woulfe, Mr. Sergeant
Steuart, R. Wrightson, W.
Strutt, E. Wrottesley, Sir J.
Stuart, V. Wyse, T.
Talbot, J. H.
Talfourd, Sergeant TELLERS.
Tancred, H. W. Ewart, William
Thomson, rt. hn. C. P. Stanley, E. J.

The Bill thrown out.

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