HC Deb 18 May 1874 vol 219 cc453-5

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clauses 1 to 7, inclusive, agreed to.


, in moving to insert, after Clause 7, the following clause:— Whereas by section eleven of 'The Regulation of Railways Act, 1873,' it is enacted that the facilities therein mentioned shall include the due and reasonable receiving, forwarding, and delivering by every Railway Company and Canal Company, and Railway and Canal Company, at the request of any such other Company, of through traffic to or from the Railway or Canal of any other such Company at through rates: And whereas it is expedient to amend and enlarge the said enactment: Be it therefore Enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act, the said facilities shall include the due and reasonable receiving, forwarding, and delivering by every Railway Company, and Canal Company, and Railway and Canal Company, at the request of any other such Company, or on the application of any number of not less than ten persons interested or aggrieved, of through traffic at through rates: And the sub-sections from one to nine inclusive of the eleventh section, so far as they are applicable and mutatis mutandis, shall apply to the said persons making such application, said, he was not without hopes that he should obtain the support of the Government in endeavouring to remove an ambiguity in the Act of last Session, especially as the question was one, the expediency of which was undoubted, and which, moreover, had been frequently under the notice of the House.

New Clause (Extension and amendment of section eleven of the Regulation of Railways Act, 1873,)—(Mr. Wait,)—brought up, and read the first time.


urged the Government to accept the clause.


thought no case of hardship had been made out which would necessitate the insertion of the clause. Moreover, it did not come within the scope of the Act of 1873.


trusted the Government would accept the clause, which was foreshadowed in the Report of the Commissioners who sat in 1872. Any public body was able to obtain through rates. The Act of 1873 was passed not for the benefit of railways, but for that of the public.


objected to the clause, which was but the resuscitation of a proposition brought forward last Session by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) and negatived by the House. He hoped the House would confirm the course adopted in 1873.


considered such a clause necessary for the interests of trade.


thought there was nothing to justify the Committee in adopting such a proposal.


said, it was absolutely necessary in the interest of the public that there should be some tribunals for deciding cases where companies made arrangements barring through traffic. The Railway Commissioners were made arbitrators by Act of Parliament, which gave them power in such cases; but he thought the Committee would see that the sort of arbitration now under consideration was totally different from the oases referred to. It was, in his opinion, opposed to the condition of past legislation, which authorized maximum rates to every company. The object of existing arbitration was to prevent a railway company owning part of a continuous line from barring a company owning another part of the same continuous line. It would expose companies to constant demands, which they would be unable to meet if any person were allowed to claim through rates subject to arbitration. It might be matter for consideration whether, under due restrictions and securities, persons might not, as companies now, refer to the Commissioners any refusal of through traffic.


said, the Courts should be open to individuals to get a fair judgment in matters of this kind, and for this reason—some railway companies received goods, and instead of sending them as wished, sent them by another line, and by that means got a larger return for their transit. There were many bodies of men who were not corporations, and simply because they were not corporations, they could not in such cases come before the Courts. He contended that the Government ought to grant the same rights to individuals as corporations were entitled to under the Act of last Session, and regretted that the Government would not support the clause. Sooner or later the question was sure to come on again.


said, it appeared to have been overlooked that the 10 persons must be 10 persons really aggrieved; and he had made the proposition to show that the grievance was one of a bonâ fide character, and in order that parties might have a locus standi before the Commissioners.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a second, time."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 51;Noes 130: Majority 79.


said, he had voted with the Government in the last division; but he hoped that before the third reading, a clause would be inserted which would carry further the provisions of the Act of last Session.


suggested that the right hon. Gentleman might propose such a clause as he thought needful, and then it might come under consideration in a definite form.

Remaining clause agreed to.

Bill reported, as amended, to be considered upon Thursday.