HC Deb 20 July 1863 vol 172 cc1046-8

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


said, he should move that the Bill he re-committed to a Committee of the Whole House. He did not at all deny that it was desirable to provide in some way for the regulation of the traffic of the City. But he thought they ought to take care, lest in endeavouring; to stop some inconveniences they created others. The measure, in fact, ought to have been brought in as a public and not as a private Bill. The boundary lines between the City and the rest of the metropolis were, for the most part, imaginary, and it was clear, therefore, that in seeking to legislate for the City only they would be in fact legislating for the whole metropolis, and that ought not to be done in any other way than by a public measure. He believed the Bill, as it stood, would be of very little use, and he was anxious to propose Amendments in it. He had no desire to throw the measure over, but he was anxious that the matter should be properly dealt with.

Amendment proposed, To leave out the words "now read the third time," in order to add the words "re-committed to a Committee of the Whole House,"—(Sir John Shelley,) —instead thereof.


said, that the City authorities were anxious, on the score of the public advantage, that the traffic in the City should be as unimpeded as possible, and, judging from the result of their experiment in regulating the traffic on London Bridge, they had come to the conclusion that a similar regulation throughout the City generally would facilitate the traffic in the streets. They accordingly applied to Parliament for necessary powers to effect that object; but they did not ask for any very extraordinary powers, for whatever by-laws they passed to regulate the traffic must, in order to be of force, receive the sanction of the Home Secretary. The Bill had been opposed before the Committee upstairs, but those who had been loudest in opposing it were then the most anxious that it should pass into law. It was as much for the interest of the metropolis at large as of the City that the Bill should pass, and he did not think the hon. Baronet had shown any reason why the Bill should not pass.


said, if there were no other reason for re-committing the Bill, there was a very good one in the fact, that it proposed to give the Court of Aldermen—a body of the narrowest and most exclusive character—the power of regulating the traffic over the whole of the metropolis, not the City of London merely. If any power at all were granted, it ought to be to the Common Council, or to the Board of Works, which represented a constituency, and would be responsible to somebody or to Parliament. The Bill would enable the Court of Aldermen to prevent omnibuses passing from the suburbs to the Bank of England, and he should therefore vote for the Amendment.


said, the Motion of the hon. Member for Westminster was of a very unusual character. He had not given the House any idea of the Amendments he desired to propose, and had neglected the opportunity of bringing them forward on a former stage of the Bill. The hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) formed a very low estimate of the capacity of the Court of Aldermen, but however humble their ability, they were surely capable of deciding what routes through the City cabs and omnibuses ought to follow, how many shoe-blacks should be stationed at the end of any street, and at what hour householders ought to take in their coals. These questions were substantially the only ones which the Court of Aldermen would have to determine under the Bill, and he hoped the House would accept it. A Committee of the Whole House could not properly consider the details of such a measure, and ought to accept the finding of the Select Committees of the two Houses, which had reported in its favour.


thought the House might very safely pass the Bill. Unless some such powers were given to the City authorities, he believed that passage through the City would soon become all but impossible. He did not share the jealousy which had been expressed of the Court of Aldermen, nor had there been any opposition to the measure from traders or other persons in the City. The Bill provided plenty of safe-guards against abuse of authority, and he hoped the House would agree to the third reading.


said, he would appeal to the hon. Member not to press his Motion. It could not be denied that the Bill, while regulating the traffic of the City, would have an operation far beyond those limits; but, at the same time, it was a useful measure.


stated, that the opposition to the Bill before the Committee, of which he was Chairman, was practically withdrawn.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3°, and passed, with Amendments.