§ SIR J. EASTHOPE
wished to put a question to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, with reference to the certificates that would be required from the promoters of railway projects, before their Bills would be entitled to a third reading in that House. The House would be aware that before the third reading of a Bill for the construction of a railway, the promoters were required to show that they had obtained the assent of a certain proportion of their subscribers assembled at a 539 public meeting for proceeding with the Bill. Now, the question which he wished to put was, in case the promoters of a company had submitted a Bill, which had not passed through Committee, to their scripholders, and after obtaining the requisite number of assents, the character of the Bill was essentially changed in Committee, whether the Bill would require the certificate of the assent of another meeting before it could be read a third time in that House.
§ SIR R. PEEL
said that the House was aware that a Railway Bill could not be read a third time unless three days previously there was lodged in the Private Bill Office a certificate, stating that at a public meeting of the scripholders a certain number of them, holding a certain amount of shares, had given their consent to the progress of the measure. The question which the hon. Baronet put, if he understood him correctly, was, whether, supposing that meeting to have taken place before the Bill had gone through Committee, and supposing important alterations to have been afterwards made in Committee, a fresh meeting and a fresh Committee would be necessary. He (Sir R. Peel) did not consider that a fresh meeting of scripholders would be required. The change of the character of a Bill in Committee was an alteration to which a company must be subject. If the alterations made in Committee were important, there was nothing to prevent the shareholders in the company from presenting a petition, stating that in consequence of the alterations which had been made they did not wish to proceed. He did not think, however, that there was any obligation upon the company to hold another meeting, and he did not think it desirable that it should be held.