§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."1064
§ MR. COX
rose to move that it should be read a second time that day six months. The road was made as a speculation, and the proprietors were at first authorized to take tolls for twenty-one years. At the expiration of that time their powers were renewed for thirty-one years, unless a debt of £21,974 15s. 4d. should be sooner paid. There was no debt upon the trust, except their nominal stock of £21,974, not one penny of which had been paid; and this Bill proposed to extend the trust and increase the tolls, which were already very heavy, for a further period of twenty-one years, in order to pay off the debt. Under the provisions of the Act which was passed last year, all other tollbars in the same neighbourhood would in four months' time be removed, and he did not see why this one should be retained. It could not be said that its abolition would operate as a confiscation of property, because, while the receipts last year amounted to only £202, the expenses, exclusive of lighting, were £105; only a very trifling interest had ever been paid.
§ LORD FERMOY
seconded the Amendment. The Bill, he said, was simply an attempt to run the blockade on this question, the matter having already been settled by the previous Act. The toll had been perfectly valueless to the creditors, the holders of the stock, and he thought the toll had better be allowed to expire, as it would do if this Bill was not passed.
§ 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. Cox.)
§ SIR WILLIAM JOLLIFFE
said, as a rule, lie objected to any interference with the ordinary course of proceeding in the House; but he thought it would be an anomaly to continue this toll, when in a few months the whole of the tolls in the district would be abolished. He thought the continuance of the toll would lead to no satisfactory result.
§ MR. WATLINGTON
hoped that the House would not take the unusual course of rejecting this Bill upon the Second Reading, but would refer it to a Committee upstairs, in order that it might be seen whether justice to the stockholders did not require that it should be passed.
§ VISCOUNT ENFIELD
said, that he had allowed his name to be placed upon the hack of the Bill without informing himself what were its provisions. Now, that he 1065 had become acquainted with them, he could not support its Second Reading.
§ MR. MASSEY
recommended the House to reject the Bill at once. He could not imagine that any Committee would pass such a measure, and to allow it to go on would only be to encourage the promoters to throw good money after bad. There could be no hope of the Bill passing the Committee, and it would be a mercy to the stockholders to throw it out at once.
§ Question, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question," put, and negatived.
§ Words added.
§ Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
§ Bill put off for six months.