§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
moved that the Bill be read a second time this day six months. It had already, from the year 1851 to 1863 inclusive, been before the House several times, and was rejected on each occasion. It seemed to him that the Great Northern Company did not want to make the line, but merely to obtain an Act for the purpose of cutting off the country from any other company. Looking at all the circumstances, and at the indignity which this Company was endeavouring to put upon the House, he hoped the Bill would not be read a second time.
Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Lord Robert Montagu.)
said, the reason why the Great Northern Company could not obtain 643 the sanction of the House on former occasions was because of the opposition of the landowners; but that opposition no longer existed. He could assure the noble Lord and the House that the Great Northern Company did intend to make the line, and if the Bill were passed it would be set about as soon as possible.
§ MR. INGHAM
said, he was one of the Committee of last year, and the reason why they rejected this Bill was because it was imperfect, and had been brought forward too hastily. He believed all the defects in the measure had been remedied, and that no objection to the Bill existed. He thought, therefore, that the House might read the Bill a second time.
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, there were two parties who opposed this Bill—the landowners, represented by Lord Houghton, the hon. Member for East Retford (Mr. Foljambe), and Mr. Brown, and the Great Eastern Company, represented by the noble Lord the Member for Huntingdonshire (Lord Robert Montagu), who wished to occupy the same country. The Select Committee was a better tribunal to try these questions than the House, as nine out of every ten hon. Members knew nothing of the facts.
§ MR. MASSEY
said, it was quite true that this Bill was rejected in former years through the opposition of the landowners; but since that time their opposition had been materially qualified, and he should now vote for the Bill.
§ Question, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read 2°, and committed.