§ SIR ROBERT FERGUSON moved the second reading of this Bill, which he said was for the purpose of enabling local Highway Boards to construct tramways in connection with railways, and thus to give to certain districts facilities of railway communication which they could not obtain by other means. He had reason to believe that the Bill would not be opposed; and if the Motion he had made were agreed to, he would propose that the Bill should be referred to a Select Committee.
§ SIR DENHAM NORREYS
said, the Bill involved an important principle, no less than withdrawing from the House considerable portion of the private business which occupied so much of its time. Still he thought it was a step in the right direction, and was glad that it had been brought forward. The measure, in point of fact, enabled local Boards, to construct railways. In his opinion, much of their private business might be done by local Boards; and the only objection he had to the Bill was as to the formation and action of these Boards. He suggested the appointment, by the Government, of a Commission of engineers to report to the local Boards where tramways could be constructed with the greatest public advantage, and to see that no injustice was done to individuals by their formation.
§ COLONEL FRENCH
said, he thought it desirable to give these powers to local Boards. The principle might be new in England, but in Ireland it was well understood, and had been acted upon.
§ MR. HASSARD
said, that while giving his hearty concurrence to the Bill, was in 434 favour of its being referred to a Select Committee, the scope of its operation being very large.
§ MR. M'MAHON
was of opinion that the Bill would be of very great advantage to the Irish public. In America, the principle on which this Bill was based had been found to work very advantageously. He considered that the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Ferguson) deserved great credit for his exertions in connection with this Bill.
§ Motion agreed to. Bill read 2o and committed.