§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."
§ MR. SPOONER
opposed the Bill, and cautioned the House how it interfered in a matter that should be made subject of investigation in a court of equity. He was not going to enter into the details of the measure, but his attention being called to it, he found it his duty to oppose the further progress of the Bill; and he therefore begged to move that it be read a second time that day six months.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."
§ MR. BROTHERTON
said, he had no connexion with the Bill; but he thought no bargain could be fair that was founded on gross injustice.
said, that in February, 1847, the leasing powers were taken, though the seal of the company was not attached to the agreement until the month of October following, after full investigation. The second agreement entered into was with the Dundee and Arbroath line, and which agreement was sanctioned by the proprietors. As to the matter being a good or bad bargain he knew not, as he had not a shilling interest in the line; yet he could not but think the House would pause before allowing a Bill to be thrown out without full investigation.
MR. T. EGERTON
considered that House was not the place where agreements between railway or other companies should be entertained. If the agreement were good, a court of law was the place to decide the question. He, therefore, trusted the House would not establish a precedent by entertaining the present question.
said, repudiation was an awkward sound, and he was not aware that the House was obliged to support parties because they had repudiated. Another point he must resist, was the doctrine that the House ought not to interfere in railway proceedings. On the contrary, he believed, that not a sparrow fell to the ground in railway matters, for which this House was not held responsible whether for good or evil. It was clear that time was wanted for further knowledge, 68 and therefore it would be better not to reject the Bill in its present stage.
§ MR. ANSTEY
thought the House already over-wrought with questions of the kind; and they, therefore, should be careful of assuming a power that did not belong to them. A court of law was the proper tribunal before which to bring the matter; and he would, therefore, vote against the second reading of the Bill.
suggested that the Bill be referred to the consideration of the railway department of the Board of Trade.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 39; Noes 79: Majority 40.
§ Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
§ Bill to be read 2° on this day six months.