HC Deb 15 March 1853 vol 125 cc252-3

said, he wished to move for a Select Committee to examine the proceedings in regard to Private Bills. He contended that the Private Bills promoted by the Commissioners were utterly fruitless for the purposes for which they were intended.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That a Select Committee be appointed to examine the Returns made to this House by the Inclosure Commissioners, and the Commissioners of the Board of Health, and to inquire into the operation of the Tidal Harbour Commission, and to report whether any inconvenience or any benefit has resulted from the mode of proceeding in regard to Private Bills adopted by those Commissioners respectively, and whether the same can with advantage be extended to other classes of Private Business.


said, the same objection applied to this Motion which had been taken to the Motion of the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Ewart) namely, that at this moment, on account of the pressure of business before the House, it was very difficult to obtain Committees. He believed the object of the hon. Member was to abrogate the present system of conducting the private business, and to establish a new one. He (Mr. Patten) believed that a considerable alteration in the mode of conducting the private business of the House was necessary, but he did not think it could be conducted on the same system as formerly—namely, by preliminary inquiries, for that system had been found most expensive, and had not worked efficiently. He thought there existed a strong objection to the system on which the Board of Health was carried on, but it was quite unnecessary to appoint a Committee to inquire into that subject, inasmuch as the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Works was prepared to bring forward a measure on the expiration of the Act. The Inclosure Act had worked so satisfactorily that no inquiry was necessary on that subject. The great object of the House ought to be to make private legislation as cheap and simple as possible. He would suggest to the hon. Member the propriety of withdrawing the Motion, inasmuch as most of the subjects which it comprised would be considered before the end of the Session.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.