HC Deb 15 June 1866 vol 184 c501

said, he rose to move— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that She will be graciously pleased to withhold Her Royal Assent from the Act of the Colonial Legislature of the Cape of Good Hope, No. 34, of 1869, whereby the Wynberg Railway Company obtained running powers over the Cape Town and Wellington Railway, in violation of the contract between the Cape Town Railway and Dock Company and the Government of the Colony. An hon. MEMBER moved that the House be counted, but as thirty-nine Members were found to be present, and the Speaker making up the required forty—


resumed, and said, that in 1855 the Colonial Government granted to the Cape Town Railway Company the exclusive right of a railway between Cape Town and Wellington, and on the strength of this grant £600,000 of capital was raised, most of it being advanced by English proprietors, and was expended upon the line. The powers obtained by the Wynberg Railway Company were really a breach of the contract entered into by the Colonial Government. The Governor, however, took no notice of a memorial sent to him by the Cape Town Railway Company; and the Colonial Secretary in England had declined to receive a deputation, but asked the representatives of the Company to reply to a Report from the Governor, no copy of which had been furnished to them. The Secretary of State for the Colonies seemed to be of opinion that the Colonial Legislature was the proper judge of the terms of the contract, and that he could not interfere. They were clearly, however, not an impartial tribunal. Believing the Act referred to to be inexpedient, contrary to the general policy of legislation, and a breach of contract, he asked the House to address Her Majesty with a view to the Royal assent being withheld.

Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,

House adjourned at a quarter before Eight o'clock, till Monday next.