HC Deb 07 May 1847 vol 92 cc554-5

House in Committee of Supply. Several votes were agreed to.

On the vote of 50,000l. on account of the works of the Caledonian Canal,


observed, that 200,000l. had already been spent upon this canal, and it never had been of use, it never would be of use, and it never could be of use.


said this was one of the greatest jobs which had ever been perpetrated. Although 1,035,000l. had altogether been expended on this canal, the returns for this enormous expenditure were scarcely enough to defray half the ordinary annual cost of continuing the navigation. He objected to any further outlay upon this canal. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth (Sir R. Peel) had, some time before agreed to send down a commission to inquire into the progress of the works; and Sir Edward Parry, who was entrusted with this duty, made a report, which in his opinion was most unsatisfactory. The right hon. Member for Tamworth had stated that a contract had been made, under which all the works would be completed for 165,000l.; and he gave a most distinct assurance to the House that not a shilling more would be required. Instead of 165,000l. however, 205,000l. had been expended on these works since the statement to which he referred was made, he wished to know whether the sum required for the purchase of steamers for the navigation of the canal was included in this estimate?


said, the sum of 205,000l. including the vote now proposed, had been expended on the works since the period to which the hon. Gentleman referred; and he was informed that the estimates of the whole expense required for working the canal efficiently was 226,000l.


denied that the canal was a useless work; and mentioned that a vessel, loaded with guano find drawing about seventeen feet of water, had passed up the canal and was now lying at Inverness.


said, that the cause of the additional expense was an accident, which could not be foreseen, and owing to which tbe banks were broken and a considerable quantity of land laid under water.


thought the hon. Member for Coventry had been long enough in Parliament to place very little reliance on the promises of public men. He thought all these items ought to be investigated by a Committee up stairs.


said, that, the hon. Member for Montrose was willing to spend the public money, part of which was paid by the inhabitants of Scotland, on the British Museum and public picture galleries in England; and he did not see why the hon. Member should object to a portion of the public money being expended in providing the inhabitants of the Highlands of Scotland with the power of fertilizing and cultivating their land, by giving them the means of carrying there cargoes of manure.


If by some means one cargo of manure has passed through the canal, are we to pay 50,000l. for the chance of seeing another cargo of guano pass through?

Vote agreed to.

Several other votes were agreed to.

House resumed and adjourned at half-past Twelve o'clock.