HC Deb 04 March 1845 vol 78 cc320-1
Mr. Hume

said, he had given notice of a Motion for a "return of the titles of all Private Bills passed during the last Session of Parliament, together with the names of Parliamentary agents and solicitors by whom such Bills were solicited and obtained; stating also the aggregate amount of their bills of charges, under the separate heads for soliciting and passing such Bills through Parliament; stating also how many of such Bills have been taxed, and by whom." His object was to direct the attention of the House to the subject, with a view to the adoption of some remedy for what was considered a great evil by all parties who had occasion to come to that House for Private Bills. He did not complain of the fees of the House, but of the exorbitant expenses of soliciting and agency, against which there was no check. In the hope that the Government would take up the matter, it was not his intention to press his Motion.

Mr. Cardwell

said, the Government were most anxious to adopt any practicable plan for bringing the expenses of Private Bills within reasonable limits; but, as the hon. Member was aware, there were very great difficulties in dealing with the matter. The fees of the House, the hon. Member had admitted, were not excessive. The question then was, whether they ought to interfere to keep down the other expenses by some system of taxation? The hon. Gentleman, however, must not forget that the parties to these Private Bills were not now altogether without a remedy, as the agents could not recover for any unreasonable expenses.

Mr. B. Escott

concurred in the suggestion of the hon. Member for Montrose, that some means for limiting the expense of such Bills should be devised, and put in practice.

Motion withdrawn.

House adjourned at a quarter to twelve o'clock.