HC Deb 16 February 1864 vol 173 cc643-5

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion, made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Captain Jervis.)


opposed the second reading, on the ground that the Bill contained proposals which were highly objectionable to the inhabitants of Harwich. This Bill proposed to confer upon the Corporation of Harwich powers to raise £40,000 for the purpose of reclaiming a certain tract of land in the neighbourhood of the town, and covered by the sea at high water, at the expense of the rate- payers of the town. The Bill was opposed by the inhabitants for many reasons—that it was not within the province of municipal corporations to embark in speculations of any kind; that the whole risk of the undertaking would be thrown upon the ratepayers; that the scheme was, in fact, brought forward by the Great Eastern Railway Company; that the Bill was in direct opposition to a Standing Order of the House; and that if passed one of its clauses would compel the inhabitants to adopt the Local Government Act of 1858, which they had determined not to do. The Bill was promoted by a few parties in the town council in direct opposition to the wishes of three-fourths of the inhabitants, expressed at a public meeting on the 5th of this month, held under the presidency of the mayor, at which a petition was adopted which was signed by 314 burgesses out of 406, by seven magistrates out of thirteen, and by three churchwardens out of four. He trusted the House would not force on the inhabitants a scheme of the town council. He moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Crawford.)


wished to know why the Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) had interested himself so much on behalf of his (Captain Jervis') constituents? The object of the Bill was to promote the health and comfort of the townspeople of Harwich, and was no new measure; for a similar plan was recommended twenty-five years ago by the Admiralty Commissioners who inspected the harbour of the east coast. He denied that there was any pretence for saying that the Bill was a job got up by the Great Eastern Railway. The railway company in question had had nothing whatever to do with the matter. The fact was, there was in the neighbourhood of Harwich a very rising place called Dovercourt, the sewage of which ran on the foreshore. The result was a great nuisance, and he believed that the opposition to this Bill had been entirely got up by the owners of that sewage. The Bill was really a sanitary measure—one, too, for which there was the greatest need—and he therefore hoped that the House would allow the Bill to go before a Select Committee.


said, that however desirous he might feel to relieve Committees of any portion of their labour, this Bill had upon the face of it a laudable object; and being promoted by a corporation which, was elected by popular suffrage, and who were therefore the best expositors of the feelings and wishes of the inhabitants, it was a matter peculiarly fitted for examination upstairs. In fact, he had never known a Bill more suitable for such an inquiry.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 141; Noes 68: Majority 73.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2°, and committed.