HC Deb 12 June 1861 vol 163 cc973-7

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clauses 1 to 10 agreed to.

Clause 11 (Power to restrict the use of Locomotives within the City of London),


suggested an addition to the clause, requiring that no locomotive propelled by steam shall be used within any town or borough without the consent of the mayor or principal magistrate.


said, as far as his observation went, the use of these locomotives in large cities was attended with great inconvenience; and he thought that without the consent of the Metropolitan Board of Works, they should not be permitted to be used. Understanding that the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) did not intend to move the Amendment in his name on the paper, he would, therefore, take it up.

Amendment proposed, In line 10, to leave out from the word used, to the end of the Clause, in order to add the words within the limits of the Metropolis, as defined by the Act of the Session holden in the eighteenth and nineteenth years of Her Majesty for the better local management of the Metropolis, without licence for that purpose being first obtained from the Metropolitan Board of Works to be granted under their common seal; and it shall be lawful for the said Board to impose such conditions in such licence as they may deem necessary for the public safety and convenience; and any person using any Locomotive without such licence, or contrary to the conditions thereof, within the said Metropolis, shall, on conviction of such offence before a justice of the peace, forfeit any sum not exceeding five pounds for every day during which such Locomotive shall be so used.


explained that he had not proposed the Amendment of which he had given notice, because the hon. Member who had charge of the Bill (Mr. Garnett) had promised to introduce a clause on the subject. These were questions, however, which in his opinion ought to be taken upon by the Government, and not by individual Members; and he was the more disposed to say this because last Session the Home Secretary, when a similar Bill was before the House, had taken upon himself a good part of the work of every municipality in the kingdom.


, said, he meant to propose a clause in lieu of this 11th Clause. It had been placed in his hands by the Lord Mayor of London, and he had informed the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets, after he had given notice of his Amendment, that it was his intention to move it. This clause, he believed, would answer every good purpose proposed by the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets, and now adopted by the hon. Baronet (Sir John Shelley).


thought that no serious objections had been raised against these locomotives. He was in favour of the mea- sure, but he only expressed his own opinion, and wished to be understood as not speaking on the part of the Government.


suggested that it would be desirable there should be some uniformity of practice. An Act had been passed on the subject of tramways, in which municipalities had power given them to interdict their introduction; whereas tramways were much less formidable than these new locomotives. He thought that the authority to licence them should be local rather than placed in the hands of the Secretary of State.


said, one great objection to leaving the matter in the hands of the local municipal authorities was that it would lead to great uncertainty as to the state of the law. It would reproduce the uncertainty that existed formerly with regard to dogcarts. He had taken the trouble to trace the progress of a man with a dogcart proceeding from the south to the north of England. In one town he would be allowed to pass free; in the next he would be imprisoned, and so on alternately throughout the whole journey.


said, he was sorry to observe a feeling of jealousy arising in that House against the powers exercised by municipal bodies. For his own part, he thought the town councils were quite as capable of judging for themselves what was expedient within their own jurisdictions as the House of Commons of judging for them. From daily experience he could declare that the effect of the tramway laid down at Bayswater was to monopolise at least half of that populous broadway; and he thought the locomotives would still more effectually extend all ordinary traffic.


denied that there was any ground for the observation of the hon. Gentleman that there was a feeling of jealousy in any part of that House against the power exercised by corporations. In regard to the laying down of permanent ways, he thought that the local authorities were the best judges of their expediency or otherwise; but the case of locomotives was quite different. He thought the decision had best be left to some central authority, and was quite content to leave it in. the hands of the Home Secretary.


thought, on the whole, that the clause proposed by the hon. Member (Mr. Garnett) ought to be adopted. He had no ambition, as Home Secretary, to interfere in these matters, and had done nothing last Session to attain any such power. If the House thought the local municipal authorities were the right persons to regulate such matters, he would have no objection; but if it was thought the Secretary of State ought to have the control, he could only say that he would endeavour to do his duty.

Question "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause." Put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That the proposed words be there added.


then moved an Amendment to the effect that these locomotives should not run without a licence from the mayor or other authority of any borough through which they were to pass.

Amendment proposed to said proposed Amendment, After the words 'their common seal,' to insert the words 'nor within the limits of any Municipal or Parliamentary borough, without a licence for that purpose being first obtained from the mayor and town council, or other chief municipal authority of such borough, to be granted under their common seal.'

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said, the effect of this Amendment would be not to regulate, but to put an entire stop to this mode of conveyance.


said, as this privilege was now given to London, he did not see why it should not be enjoyed by the towns in the country.


said, that if the Amendment was adopted the Bill might as well be abandoned.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the said proposed Amendment."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 32; Noes 103: Majority 71.

Question put, "That the words originally proposed to be added to the Clause be there added."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 39; Noes 87: Majority 48.

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill." Put, and negatived.

Clauses 12 and 13 agreed to.

Clause 14 (Extent of Act),


moved that Ireland be excluded from the Bill.


reminded the hon. and gallant Member that there was no law in Ireland against the use of locomotives; and the consequence of this Amendment would be that they would hare all the inconveniences, without any of the advantages which this Bill would give them.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported, as amended, to be considered on Friday, and to be printed. [Bill 174.]