HC Deb 06 February 1844 vol 72 cc274-5
Mr. Wallace

, seeing the President of the Board of Trade in his place, wished to put a question to him respecting a notice which he had just given. It was his intention, on the right hon. Gentleman moving for the appointment of the railway committee, to object to any hon. Member being placed on it who was either a director or holder of shares in any railway. He wished to know whether the right hon. Gentleman could inform him how many, and which of the proposed Members of the committee, were directors or shareholders of railways?

Mr. W. Gladstone

was afraid that he could not, in answer to the question of the right hon. Gentleman, give a very satisfactory reply as far as regarded the composition of the committee. In making out the list of the proposed committee, he was governed, in a great measure, by the circumstance that, he selected the names of as many gentlemen as possible who had served on former committees on the subject of railways. As to the directors of railways in the proposed committee, he could give the hon. Gentleman some information, and also as to one shareholder. He knew that four hon. Members whom he proposed to place on this committee were directors of railways. The hon. Member for Reading was chairman of the Great Western Railroad Company; the hon. Member for Southampton was a director of the Southampton; the hon. Member for Clitheroe was a director of the South Eastern; and the hon. Member for Ren- frewshire was a director of the Glasgow and Greenock. The two first named Gentlemen were directors of what were called high-fare railways, and the two last of low-fare lines. There was, also, the noble Lord, the Member for Totness, with whom he had not yet been able to communicate as to whether he would consent to serve on the committee, but he had placed his name on the list because the noble Lord presided over the former committee on the subject as the representative of the late Government. He rather believed that the noble Lord was a director of a railway which was now in contemplation. With respect to shareholders, the information he possessed was very limited. He himself was the holder of shares in a railway company, but he was not able to give the hon. Member any further information as to the constitution of the committee.