HC Deb 04 May 1836 vol 33 cc587-8
Mr. Alderman Wood

, pursuant to notices given, moved that the Members for the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, and Kent, and the cities and boroughs within the same respectively, be added to the Committee on the South West Durham Railway Bill, and on the South Durham Railway Bill.

Mr. Lambton

opposed the motion. It was of the most unusual character. Regular lists for Committees on private Bills were prepared and constantly acted upon, and to depart from them would lead to confusion and inconvenience, and he did not see how the present proposition could be sanctioned, except it were shown that the regular Committees had failed in the performance of the duties deputed to them. And if they had so failed, the House was not without its remedy; fault could be found and complaint be preferred before the House on the bringing up of the Reports. He, therefore, should give his most decided opposition to the motion.

Mr. Arthur Trevor

said, that he also must give his most decided resistance to the present proposition. He thought that if any one but the hon. Alderman had brought forward the proposition, that hon. Member would have been the first to exclaim against and to resist so monstrous and barefaced a proposition, as he would have been disposed to term it. He was astonished that the hon. Member had brought himself to propose so monstrous, absurd, and irregular a proposition, as no fault was even alleged against the existing Committees; and he must say, that the absurdity of the proposition was only equalled by its injustice, there having been no fault found hitherto for non-compliance with the usual orders of the House.

Mr. Pease

must also resist the motion as irregular and inconsistent with the regulations of the House regarding Committees on Private Bills. It was uncalled for by any conduct on the part of the existing Committees. If any question arose as to the manner in which the Committees acted on these Bills, let that matter be brought before the House on bringing up the Report. That stage of the business presented the proper opportunity, and therefore the public interests could not fail to be duly pro- tected. It certainly was not very decorous nor very convenient to add, as it was now proposed to do, twenty or thirty Members to a Private Bill Committee.

Mr. Hughes

could not agree with the motion, but, at the same time, he was of opinion that the proceedings of these Committees ought to be closely watched by hon. Members.

Mr. Barnard

thought that where the interests of the metropolis and its neighbourhood were so deeply involved, every opportunity ought to be afforded to secure the amplest protection of the public interests.

Mr. Alderman Wood

had no other object in view than the performance of his duty to his constituents. When he saw all the great coal-owners endeavour to stop a railway, the completion of which would contribute to the forwarding of a larger supply of coals, he did think, that with reference to the consumers of coals, it was right that assurance should be given that their interests were protected, and he had therefore moved that the representatives of the great consumers of coals should be on the Committee on these Bills. He was further urged to this course on seeing, in the Durham Papers, advertisements of meetings, &c, calling on the constituents of that part of the country to resist these Bills. In that state of things he had ventured to think that justice to all parties would not be endangered by requiring the representatives of Middlesex to co-operate with those of Durham. In the course of this discussion extraordinarily high language had been used, but he was not to be frightened from the performance of his duty. He could assure those who held such language that he dared to do all that became a Member of Parliament to do for the protection of his constituents. After what had passed he should not press the present motion; but he hesitated not to declare, that there ought to be some watch over gentlemen who were so largely interested in the coal-trade, or who were the representatives of those who were largely interested in such trade. And, for one, he should not fail to extend such watchfulness as far as he was able.

Motion withdrawn.