§ Bill read 2°.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed."
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
said, he rose to propose that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee, half the Members of which should be selected by that House and half by the Committee of Selection, with an Instruction to the Committee to introduce a provision into the measure to secure the erection of buildings suitable to the accommodation of the poorer population whose dwellings were to be removed by the Westminster Commissioners under the Bill. He should, therefore, move the Amendment of which he had given notice, on the ground that this was a hybrid Bill, partaking both of a public and private character.
§ Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words "to a Select Committee, half the Members to be named by the House, and half by the Committee of Selection."—(Mr. Augustus Smith.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ MR. TITE
said, this was distinctly a private Bill, and had passed the House of Lords as such. A Commission was constituted under a Bill which passed in 1860, for the purpose of winding up that most unfortunate speculation of the Westminster Improvement Commissioners in Victoria Street. The latter body raised £300,000 on mortgage and £700,000 on debenture bonds. The mortgages were of a most complicated kind, and they were remitted to the Court of Chancery, and as the money was realized it would be paid into that Court for distribution to those who were entitled to it. With regard to the £700,000, they were doing their best to realize such payments as remained. The Commission had remitted to them two improvements under the Bill of 1860 for the widening of two streets opening into Victoria Street, and the great charities in Westminster were all in favour of the Commission obtaining the powers sought by this Bill. The Bill was entirely unopposed, and they did not ask power to take down more than twenty-seven houses, which were of a most miserable description, and those in Union Court appropriated to the vilest purposes.
§ COLONEL WILSON PATTEN
said, that there was no doubt whatever that this was a Private Bill, and he hoped that the hon. Member for Truro would withdraw his Amendment.
§ MR. DODSON
said, the Bill had passed through the House of Lords as a Private Bill, and if it had been a Public one it would not have been there treated in the manner it had been. He therefore hoped the hon. Gentleman would withdraw his Amendment.
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
said, that in withdrawing his Amendment he must express his regret that the Bill had not been treated on this as it was on a previous occasion as a hybrid Bill.
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, that the hon. Member appeared to be under a misapprehension with regard to hybrid Bills. When a Bill was introduced into that House as a Public Bill which involved private interests it was subjected to the same exami- 45 nation which was provided for Private Bills; but strictly Private Bills were never turned into hybrids.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Main Question put, and agreed to. Ordered, That the Bill be committed.