HC Deb 01 July 1853 vol 128 cc1140-2

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third Time."


said, according to the plans which had been submitted to the Select Committee, the elevation of this bridge was put down at twenty-five feet six inches above high watermark; but by the decision of the Committee, carried by the vote of the First Commissioner of Public Works, the elevation was reduced to twenty feet. This would materially affect the navigation, as a sufficient space was not left under the bridge for barges with straw, and it would also interfere with the arrangements for conveying coal up the river. He thought the Bill had been passed through its stages in a very objection-aide way; but as he believed it would be opposed in another place, he would not now attempt to arrest its progress.


said, he should like to hear what arrangements were made with reference to the temporary bridge, when the works would be begun, and also when they would be finished?


said, he objected to the way in which this Bill had been pushed through the House, and he fully concurred in what had been said as to the inadequate headway under the bridge. The Houses of Parliament had been made ten or fifteen feet too low, and this bridge was to be sacrificed in consequence of the blunder. Vauxhall-bridge was six feet above the height proposed for Westminster-bridge; and the want of sufficient headway in the new bridge would be a positive injury to the owners of wharfs above the bridge; though he admitted the decreasing of the ascent for vehicles would be an advantage. He thought that the First Commissioner of Works ought to consent to give a headway of twenty-four feet instead of twenty.


said, that the present bridge was quite sufficient for the traffic of the river, and yet the most available arch had but a headway of between twenty and twenty-one feet, and the new bridge would have a headway of twenty feet with more than twice the width of the existing arch. That would be amply sufficient for the present and prospective traffic of the river, while at the same time the traffic across the river by land would be greatly facilitated. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Alcock) said the bridge was intended to be made low in order not to injure the effect of the new Houses of Parliament. He (Sir W. Moleswortb) confessed, while consulting the convenience of the river traffic, that it was one of his objects not to injure the effect of the new building, which was one of the finest specimens of architecture of its kind in the world.


said, he must maintain that the explanation of the right hon. Baronet was extremely unsatisfactory. The new bridge would be so low in the archways, that it would practically destroy the finest river in the world, for it would in point of fact destroy the navigation between Vauxhall and London-bridge, merely for the sake of giving effect to the appearance of the new Houses of Parliament.


said, he fully concurred with these views, and, with a view to afford further time for consideration, he would move that the debate be adjourned.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

The Housedivided: —Ayes 29; Noes 34: Majority 5.

Question again proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third Time."

Amendment proposed, "To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words' this day

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The Housedivided: —Ayes 34; Noes 26: Majority 8.

Main Question put, andagreed to.

Bill read 3°, andpassed.

The House adjourned at half after One o'clock tillMonday next.