HC Deb 30 June 1858 vol 151 cc666-7

On Motion for the consideration of the Bill,


said, he hoped the House would not proceed with the Bill until an opportunity should have been afforded to the pilots of Greenock, who had petitioned against the measure, to be heard against certain provisions by which they were affected. A very important question of jurisdiction was involved in the matter. The Board of Trade had recommended the Committee to which the Bill had been referred to amalgamate the two pilotage boards, of Glasgow and Greenock. That was, perhaps, a very proper recommendation; but the Committee, in attempting to carry it into effect, had no right to overrule, as they had done, the Standing Orders of the House. They had agreed to amalgamate the two boards before any notice of the change had been given to the parties whom it would specially affect. That was in itself a violation of the Standing Orders. But the Bill, as it was framed, was liable to this further and more important objection, that it would give the proposed new pilotage board powers which were not entrusted to any similar body in any of our great estuaries, and which were entirely unnecessary, inasmuch as the events which they were intended to meet were already provided for by the provisions of the Mercantile Marine Act.


said, it could not be denied that the Committee had sought to carry out the recommendations of the Board of Trade in a manner which was somewhat at variance with the Standing Orders of the House. His attention, in his character of Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee, had been directed to the point; and after having inquired into it as carefully as he could, he was led to believe that substantial justice had been done in the matter, and that all the facts of the case had been brought under the notice of the Committee before they had come to any conclusion. Under these circumstances he was prepared to accept the decision of the Committee; but as he be- lieved that the Standing Orders had been violated, he should protest against that case being drawn into a precedent for the future. Having made that protest he felt satisfied, and he hoped the House would feel satisfied, that no real injustice would be done by the passing of the measure, and that all the parties who had an interest in the question had been heard before the Committee.


said, he was quite satisfied that the Bill was on the whole a good and a valuable one, and that it had been carefully considered by an able Committee; and he for one should be sorry to take any course which would interfere with the chance of their passing the measure in the course of the present Session. But he felt that the Standing Orders had been violated by the Committee; and it was on that account that he had, on Monday last, directed the attention of the House to the subject. Under all the circumstances of the case, however, he was satisfied with the protest of his friend the Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee against that case being drawn into a precedent, and he had no further objection to offer to their proceeding with the Bill.

After a few observations from the LORD ADVOCATE,


said, he had no intention of impugning the decision of the Committee, in reference to the general merits of the Bill; and, as the House seemed to be satisfied with the protest of the Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee against their making that case a precedent for their future guidance, he should not offer any further opposition to the progress of the measure.

Bill as Amended, considered; and ordered to be read 3o.