HC Deb 14 July 1857 vol 146 cc1505-6

moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable baronies or other districts in Ireland to give guarantees for the construction of railways passing through such districts. He understood there was to be no opposition to his Motion; he should, therefore, reserve an explanation of the provisions of the measure until the second reading. On the present occasion he would content himself with observing that these guarantees had already been sanctioned in several districts in Ireland by special Acts of Parliament; but he proposed that his Bill should be a general one, enabling the ratepayers in any district to judge for themselves, and decide whether such guarantee should be given or not.


said, he did not rise to oppose the Motion; but in allowing the hon. Gentleman to bring in his Bill it must be distinctly understood that Government did not thereby imply a pledge to support even the principle of the measure. The subject was one which required the greatest possible consideration, and certainly, as at present advised, he thought the principle was full of danger, and that in almost all cases where a district was sufficiently important to require a railroad, and the railroad formed a legitimate subject of speculation, the usual course of coming to Parliament for an Act was the best mode of proceeding.


agreed in every word that had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, except where he expressed his readiness to give leave to introduce the Bill. The principle involved in the measure was a most dangerous one, and should be regarded by the House with the greatest suspicion. He disapproved entirely of the principle of mortgaging the public rates for the furtherance of private speculations. Besides, even if the Bill were brought in now, it was totally impossible that it could pass this Session.


hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would consider well the difficulties which he would have to encounter in obtaining the consent of the ratepayers of the district. If it was meant to give the associated magistrates the power of taxing the ratepayers, he should oppose the Bill at a future stage, and he, therefore, hoped that the approval of the ratepayers would be made a necessary condition of the undertaking.


said, that at that period of the Session when the majority of Irish Members would shortly be going upon circuit, there could be no hope of so important a subject being satisfactorily settled. He would not, however, object to the introduction of the Bill, because his hon. and learned Friend, if he were content with merely bringing it in, would be able to lay before the country a plan for arriving at a settlement of a question which involved important Imperial interests.


said he would agree to this suggestion, but on the second reading, he would make a statement explaining more particularly the objects of the Bill, in order that that statement might go forth to the country with the Bill.

Leave given. Bill to enable baronies or other districts in Ireland to give guarantees for the construction of Railways passing through such districts, ordered to be brought in by Mr. BUTT and Mr. BEAMISH.