HC Deb 25 April 1861 vol 162 cc1155-6

said, he rose to move for a Select Committee to inquire into the propriety of establishing a mode of public conveyance by means of iron rails in streets and highways.


said, that the proposition of his hon. Friend appeared to him somewhat extraordinary. He believed they had Mr. Train again in another form, and, therefore, he should divide the House against his hon. Friend's Motion. His hon. Friend might try his own hand at a Bill.


said, he lived in the neighbourhood of Birkenhead, where street rails existed, and he never heard anything hut praise of them. He believed that Mr. Train's Bill had been rejected on technical grounds only, and as he thought the Motion of the hon. Gentleman was most reasonable he should support it.


said, the Bill of Mr. Train last week was rejected on the ground that it was a public Bill, and not a private one. The course of the hon. Gentleman was, therefore, to bring in a public Bill, and not to move for a Committee.


said, he hoped that the House would pause before it gave its assent to the Motion.


said, he would be the last to wish to establish a monopoly for the benefit of an individual against the public, but it was a different thing to ask that a Committee should be appointed to investigate the subject.


remarked, that it was quite impossible the House should legislate on the subject until they knew something about it.


said, he thought the only course to adopt was to bring in a Bill, and when it was read a second time, it could be referred to a Select Committee.


said, he had the authority of an eminent engineer for stating that there were many plans for street railways besides that adopted by Mr. Train. The Committee would prevent a monopoly by reporting on the plans, and each locality could adopt the one most suitable to it.


said, he thought that to appoint a Committee without a definite proposal before it would not be likely to lead to any satisfactory result. He differed from many of those who had addressed the House on this subject. He thought it would be a great accommodation to the public if something in the shape of tramroads could be laid down in the streets of our towns. In Milan they had a plan which was found to be of great convenience. Flat pieces of stone were laid down for the wheels of carriages, and the horses went over a different kind of pavement between them. If that could be done without any monopoly, but open to vehicles of any kind, it would, no doubt, be found equally useful in London. But it would be better to bring in a Bill at once, giving the necessary authority to paving boards, or other public bodies that might be authorized to make the improvements.


submitted, that if any legislation of the kind were proposed it should be by a Bill introduced by the Government upon its own responsibility. He (Lord Fermoy) trusted that after the expression of the opinion of the House on the Motion, the hon. Member would not press the matter, but leave it in the hands of the Government, it being a very important question.


in reply, denied that he had anything to do with Mr. Train, or that Mr. Train had anything to do with the Resolution. The hon. Baronet (Sir John Shelley) had no authority for making the assertion which he had made, and he (Mr. Brady) treated it with the contempt it deserved. He had not expected to have the opposition of Government. If the Government would give an undertaking to bring in a Bill on the subject, he would withdraw the Motion; if not, he would divide.


said, he thought the House would do well to assent to the Motion, which had for its object to provide a remedy for that great public inconvenience created by the present state of our street traffic.

Motion made, and Question put, That a Select Committee be appointed, to inquire into the propriety of establishing a mode of public conveyance by means of Iron Kails, in Streets and Highways.

The House divided: —Ayes 20; Noes 40: Majority 20.

House adjourned at a quarter before One o'clock.