§ SIR MORTON PETO
, in moving that the Order for the Second Reading of the London, Chatham, and Dover (No. 1) Bill, on Monday next, be read and discharged, in order that the Bill might be read a second time to-morrow, said, he brought Forward this Motion in accordance with the Standing Orders of the House, which the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Alderman Sidney) had violated on the previous day. He had further been guilty of unjustifiable want of courtesy in omitting to give notice to the parties concerned of the Motion he then made. The Bill in question was for widening the approaches to the Victoria Station—an improvement which was essential to the interests of two railway companies, and to the convenience and safety of the travelling public. It in no degree affected the question of the Ludgate Hill viaduct, which the London, Chatham, and Dover Company would still be at liberty to make if the present Bill were thrown out to-morrow. In the measures which it had employed to delay this Bill the City of London had shown a forgetfulness of the high principles which ought to actuate and govern all proceedings in the House of Commons, and had acted more in the spirit of a central 3 Court holding its meetings not far from the site of the proposed viaduct.
§ Order for the Second Reading upon Monday next read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Order be discharged."
§ MR. ALDERMAN SIDNEY
said, it was quite true he had on the previous day proposed and carried the adjournment of the second reading to Monday next; but he denied that in doing so he had acted in any way as the representative of the Corporation. He proceeded as an independent Member of Parliament, who could not view with indifference the powers which the London, Chatham, and Dover Company had acquired, to the detriment of the City, and the perpetual discredit of the age in which we live. The architectural advantages of London were not superabundant, and he wished to preserve one of the most important. But the London, Chatham, and Dover Company, having stolen a march upon the Legislature, and acquired powers which would not be granted in the present day, insisted on their right to construct the viaduct. Though the particular Bill before Parliament might not relate to that viaduct, it related to the money without which it could not be constructed, and he thought it quite legitimate to prevent the Company from raising the £2,000,000 sterling which the Bill authorized them to do. He undertook, however, to withdraw his opposition if the promoters would consent to allow the Corporation to be heard before the Select Committee in relation to the viaduct.
§ MR. MASSEY
said, that during his momentary absence at the time of Private Business on Tuesday the Order for the Second Reading of the Bill bad been postponed from the following day, which the Standing Order required, to Monday next. That was a very unusual course. It was not the practice of the House to adopt a Motion of that kind without previously communicating with the promoters, the convenience and satisfactory progress of Private Business requiring those matters to be arranged out of doors. The House now felt itself in this difficulty—that although no reason whatever had been assigned for the lengthened postponement of the second reading, it would be inconsistent with the practice of the House, unless in cases of overwhelming necessity, involving the fate of the Bill, to take the exceptional course of rescinding the Order. He therefore could not advise the House 4 to accede to the Motion of the hon. Baronet; but he felt that, under the circumstances, facilities ought to be afforded for the further progress of the Bill. He should accordingly move on Monday next the suspension of Standing Orders, with a view of obviating delay in the future stages of the Bill.
§ MR. CRAWFORD
said, it was not his intention to oppose the further progress of the Bill. He thought it was opposed to all Parliamentary practice to impede a railway Bill in this manner in order to defeat what had been sanctioned three years ago.
§ COLONEL WILSON PATTEN
urged the House to accede to the suggestion of the Chairman of Committees. The Committee of Selection met on Tuesday for the purpose of arranging what they hoped would be the last Committees of the Session, and were much inconvenienced by the irregularity that had taken place in connection with this Bill.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, it was too bad for the Corporation to complain of the Ludgate Hill viaduct, to which they themselves were assenting parties. There ought to have been some one present to prevent the hon. Member from infringing the Standing Order.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
said, he was present at the time, but was under the impression that the hon Member for Stafford was acting in pursuance of some private arrangement.
§ SIR MORTON PETO
expressed his readiness to adopt the suggestion of his hon Friend (Mr. Massey), and to let the Bill stand over till Monday, on the under-standing that the Standing Orders should be suspended.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.