HC Deb 02 April 1868 vol 191 cc798-9

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that this Bill be read a second time, explained, that in 1866 a hybrid Committee of the House was appointed upon this subject. On its Report the Government founded the Bill of last Session, which was referred to a Committee of five, and, after a lengthened and expensive inquiry, miscarried at a time when the representatives of the companies and those of the public appeared to have come as nearly as possible to an agreement. It was therefore thought expedient that the Bill should be re-introduced this year, and this Bill was in the main a reprint of last year's Bill, with certain alterations. Very grave exceptions had been taken to certain parts of the Bill, and there had been a conference with the representatives of the gas companies of the metropolis, who had determined to offer no opposition, on condition that the promoters consented to certain changes. On the part of the promoters he was ready to consent to these changes, which involved the striking out of a large portion of new matter incorporated with the Bill. These changes embraced the clauses dealing with the amalgamation of the existing companies, the supply of gas in bulk, the substitution of permissive for compulsory powers of purchase, and the damages to be paid by a company in case of accident. There was already an Order of the House that Bills having reference to the supply of gas to the metropolis should be referred to the same Committee; three Bills had been read a second time and referred, and it was therefore desirable that this Bill should be similarly dealt with at once. He moved that it be read a second time, and to-morrow he would move that it be committed, in order to insert the Amendments agreed upon, and have the Bill reprinted.

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


said, he had remained in the House for the purpose of opposing the Bill; but having heard of the arrangement he would not do so, at least at this stage.


called attention to Clause 100, as follows:— All costs, charges, and expenses preliminary to and of and incidental to the preparing, applying for, obtaining, and passing of this Act (including those incurred by the Board of Trade in relation to the Metropolis Gas Bill introduced in the first Session of Parliament in the year 1867) shall be paid by the Metropolitan Board of Works as the Board of Trade direct. He believed the ratepayers of the metropolis would object to the payment out of the rates of the expenses incurred in promoting the Bill of last Session; and, indeed, it was improper to charge the ratepayers with the expenses of a Bill which the House did not pass. In Committee he would move the rejection of this clause.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.