(Power of Board to make bye-laws.)
The Board may from time to time make, with respect to all or any highways within their jurisdiction, and, when made, may alter or repeal bye-laws for all or any of the purposes following (that is to say):—
§ Clause agreed to; and added to the Bill.
§ SIR WINDHAM ANSTRUTHER moved a Clause containing a series of Amendments, as follows:—
(Weight of locomotives and construction of wheels.—24 and 25 Vic. c. 70; 28 and 29 Vic. c. 83.)
Section three of 'The Locomotive Act, 1861,' and section five of 'The Locomotive Act, 1865,' are hereby repealed so far as relates to Scotland; and, in lieu thereof, Be it Enacted, That it shall not be lawful to use on any highway a locomotive constructed otherwise than in accordance with the following provisions (that is to say):
(Amendment of section 3 of Locomotive Act, 1865.)
The paragraph numbered 'secondly' of section three of 'The Locomotive Act, 1865,' is hereby repealed, so far as relates to Scotland, and in lieu thereof the following paragraph is hereby substituted: namely,
'Secondly, one of such persons, while the locomotive is in motion, shall accompany the locomotive on foot, and shall in case of need assist horses, and carriages drawn by horses, passing the same.'
(Steam locomotives to be constructed so as to consume their smoke.)
Section eight of 'The Locomotive Act, 1861,' is hereby repealed so far as relates to Scotland; and, in lieu thereof, Be it enacted, That every locomotive used on any highway shall be constructed on the principle of consuming its own smoke; and any person using any locomotive not so constructed shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds for every day during which such locomotive is used on any such highway.
(Power to local authorities to make orders as to hours during which locomotives may pass over roads.)
Section eight of 'The Locomotive Act, 1865,' is hereby repealed so far as relates to Scotland; and, in lieu thereof, Be it enacted, That the local authority of any burgh and the Board of any county may make bye-laws as to the hours during which locomotives are not to pass over the highways situate within such burgh or county, as the case may be, the hours being in all cases consecutive hours, and no more than eight out of the twenty-four; and any person in charge of a locomotive acting contrary to such bye-laws shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds.
(Power of Board to licence locomotives.)
The Board may from time to time make, alter, and repeal bye-laws for granting annual licences to locomotives used within their county, and the fee (not exceeding ten pounds) to be paid in respect of each licence; and the owner of any locomotive for which a licence is required under any bye-law so made, who uses or permits the same to be used in contravention of any such bye-law, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings for every day on which the same is so used.
All fees received under this section shall be applied as the bye-laws shall direct.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
observed that at one time the Government had shown itself rather stiff in accepting Amendments and suggestions with regard to this Bill; but now they appeared to have fallen into the other extreme, and were willing to swallow anything. This clause containing the Amendments was a very complicated one, and ought to be carefully considered by the Government before it was accepted by them.
§ MR. VANS AGNEW
remarked that the clause had been carefully considered by a Committee of that House on the Highways Bill, and that not a single word of it had been changed. It could not be said, therefore, that the clause had taken the Committee by surprise. All that was asked by those who approved the principle of the clause was that the provisions of the Highway Bill, already approved by the House, should be embodied in this Bill. The Committee had had an assurance from the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate, in the earlier part of the evening, that the principle of these provisions would be accepted in reference to the measure.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
understood that the provisions of the Highway Bill to which the hon. Member referred were those which were to be approved by the House, not which had already been approved by it. He hoped that the hon. Baronet would postpone the clause.
§ SIR WINDHAM ANSTRUTHER
was sorry that he could not accede to the proposal of the hon. Gentleman to postpone the clause.
thought that it would be preferable to extend the provisions of the English Highway Bill to Scotland, instead of to introduce the clauses of the Bill into the measure before the Committee.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
thought that under the circumstances it would be preferable that the clause should be postponed. Either the clauses of the English Highway Bill would be extended to Scotland, or else they would be inserted in the Bill.
§ Clause, by leave, withdrawn.1982
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE moved, in page 50, after Clause 105, to insert the following Clause:—
(Continuing in force provisions of local Acts with respect to buildings, &c. on sides of roads.)
Notwithstanding the hereinbefore contained enactments that the local Acts now in force relating to turnpike roads and statute labour roads shall cease to be in force at the respective times hereinbefore provided, all the provisions of such Acts which provide that houses, walls, or other buildings shall not be erected, or that new enclosures or plantations shall not be made within certain distances therein specified from the centre of such respective roads which are greater than the distance prescribed by section ninety-one of the Act first and second King William the Fourth, chapter forty-three, applied by this Act to those roads, are hereby continued in force; and the trustees, boards, district committees, and burgh local authorities having the management of such respective roads and their officers, may enforce such provisions in the same manner as the trustees having the management of such respective roads under such local Acts and their officers might now enforce the same.
§ Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON moved, in page 57, after Clause 106, to insert the following Clauses:—
(Section 54 to be incorporated with "The Aberdeenshire Roads Act, 1865.")
107. Section fifty-four of this Act shall be deemed to be part of, and is hereby incorporated as part of, 'The Aberdeenshire Roads Act, 1865,' twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth Victoria, chapter two hundred and forty.
pointed out that the hon. and gallant Member could not move the clause. It was incompetent to move a clause which had such reference to a Local Act. It would be a departure from the Standing Orders to make such an alteration in a Private Act without giving the necessary Notices; and, therefore, he must ask the hon. and gallant Member to move the second of his new clauses, but not before the first.
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON
accordingly moved the following new Clause:—108. In counties having local Acts under which tolls and statute labour have been abolished or are not exigible, and the assessments for the maintenance and repair of the roads and bridges therein are payable, one-half by the proprietor and the other half by the tenant or occupier of the lands and heritages on which the same are imposed, but the rates at which such assessments may be imposed are limited to a maximum, it shall be lawful for the trustees of such counties, notwithstanding anything in such local Acts contained, to increase the rates 1983 beyond those specified in such, local Acts, if it shall be found necessary or expedient so to do, for the purpose of effectually carrying out the provisions of the said local Acts.
§ Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.
asked, whether the hon. and gallant Member now proposed to move the third of his new clauses?
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON moved that the third new clause be added to the Bill.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
objected to the clause, on the ground that it would considerably alter the character of the Local Act.
§ Clause negatived.
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY moved the following new Clause:—
(Trustees to have power to make bye-laws.)
The trustees may from time to time make bye-laws for the better regulation of their business or the management of the roads, and to amend or rescind the same, provided that such bye-laws are not contrary to the spirit or intent of this Act and shall have been approved by the sheriff of the county, after their publication in some newspaper circulating in the county at least ten days before the sitting of the sheriff for their consideration.
The hon. Member said, the object of the clause was to enable the trustees to make bye-laws provided they were not inconsistent with this Act. Power had already been given to the trustees to make bye-laws in reference to peculiar matters which came before them.
§ Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. RAMSAY moved the following new Clause:—
(Transfer of Linlithgow Bridge.)
Whereas by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland, passed in the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-five, the magistrates and town council of the royal burgh of Linlithgow were authorised and empowered to impose and levy dues for the purpose of repairing and upholding Linlithgow Bridge, and to apply the surplus 'to any public use for the good and utility of the town,' and such dues have since that time been so levied and applied, and whereas the right of property in the said bridge is vested in the said magistrates and town council, and such bridge is situated partly in the county of Linlithgow and partly in the county of Stirling: Be it enacted, That, on the commencement of this Act, the recited Act of the Parliament of Scotland shall be repealed, and
the right of property in Linlithgow Bridge shall thereupon vest in the road trustees of the county of Linlithgow and in the road trustees of the county of Stirling, who shall jointly and rateably, in the proportion of the valuation of these counties respectively, be bound to pay to said magistrates and town council the value of the said bridge, together with compensation for the loss of the surplus of the foresaid dues, as the amount of the same may be ascertained and determined by arbiters, one of whom shall be appointed by the road trustees of the counties of Linlithgow and Stirling at a joint meeting of said trustees, to be convened for that purpose within three months after the commencement of this Act, and one by the said magistrates and town council; and such arbiters, when so appointed, and before proceeding to consider the questions referred to them, shall elect an oversman, and, failing the appointment of an arbiter by the foresaid road trustees, it shall be competent for the said magistrates and town council to apply to the sheriff of the county of Linlithgow to appoint a person to perform the duty of such arbiters, and the decision of such arbiters, or oversman, or person appointed by the sheriff, shall be final.
The hon. Member asked the leave of the Committee to make a few brief remarks in reference to the clause. ["No, no!"] Hon. Members said "No, no;" but he felt it to be his duty to proceed, and he expected that he should receive the support of the right hon. and learned Lord opposite, when he had heard what he had to say on the subject. The burgh of Linlithgow had been for many centuries a Royal burgh, and it had been frequently the place of residence of the Scottish Sovereigns. He did not intend to enter into a disquisition upon Linlithgow bridge; but he might state that in the 17th century the Earls of Linlithgow, who then held large estates there, erected a bridge over the River Avon for the improvement of the means of communication between Edinburgh and Stirling and the Northern districts of Scotland. The Earls of Linlithgow having done this at their own expense, they received from the Sovereign the right of levying tolls from those using the bridge for the purpose of re-imbursing themselves the expense which they had incurred in its erection. The Earls of Linlithgow, by an arrangement with the magistrates of that burgh, transferred to them their right to levy tolls for 1,620 pounds Scots, a sum which in 1681, the date of the transfer, was the equivalent of £2,000 at the present day. By that arrangement, the property in the bridge was vested in the magistrates
and town council of the burgh. The magistrates and the town council of the burgh had, it appeared, been very seriously plundered during the time of the Commonwealth. When Cromwell visited the burgh, he found it in possession of considerable wealth, and he took away a great part of it. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh, if they pleased; but it was no laughing matter. The Corporation presented a Petition to the Scotch Parliament, and after considering the whole subject in the year 1685, they recognized the transfer of the property in the bridge to the town council of the burgh, and confirmed their title and their right to apply the revenues accruing from the dues to the maintenance of the bridge, the surplus to be devoted to any public use for the benefit of the town. Under those rights the corporation from that time to this had continued to collect those dues which amounted now to nearly £200 per annum. The bridge was not within the burgh, but about a mile beyond its western boundary, and the burgh was entirely dependent for many of the purposes of local government on the revenue accruing to it from that source. In his judgment, the corporation had the same right to that revenue that any private individual had to his estate if held under a Parliamentary title; and he regarded with some distress the proposition contained in the present Bill, by which the corporation could be deprived of these estates without compensation. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cross) and the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate would not perpetrate such an injustice, but would cause the road trustees of the counties which were to take the bridge to pay the corporation the fair value of the surplus revenues they had enjoyed for the last 190 years. In his judgment, no landlord had a better title than the corporation of Linlithgow had to the bridge dues. He himself held lands taken by the Crown in the same century, and he had no other title than the corporation had—a Parliamentary title. If the Government took away the property of a corporation held by a Parliamentary title, the next step might be to take away his estate. He did trust the right hon. and learned Lord would recognize the equity of the claim he was advancing.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, he should forbear to criticize the title by which his hon. Friend (Mr. Ramsay) held his lands, because he did not know the particulars of it. But, because he did intend to adopt the principle laid down in the Bill, he was unable to concede the claim advanced by his hon. Friend. He entirely demurred to the statement that the bridge was the property of the corporation of Linlithgow. It was built by the Earl of Linlithgow, and he obtained from the Crown—which had then the power to grant them—a grant of the customs for 19 years. As distinctly appeared in the Act, the sum paid was not for the bridge, but was for the right to take customs for 19 years. The bridge was leased to the corporation, and when their lease came to an end, they went and got a grant in their own favour to levy sufficient to keep the bridge in repair, and were authorized, "if there were any surplus," to apply it to the use of the burgh. That was, indeed, a description of through customs in every part of Scotland. They were levied on people passing, who were taken by the neck and despoiled of a certain amount of coin of the realm. He had looked at the matter very closely, and he could not see what right the corporation had to claim compensation.
§ MR. RAMSAY
was sorry that the right hon. and learned Lord had felt it necessary to distort the facts in order to throw ridicule upon the claim. The price paid in 1685 was not for the dues for a certain period; but, as he could testify from a careful examination of the documents in possession of the corporation, for the bridge dues for ever. Not only was the bridge the property of the burgh, but he believed no action would lie against them if they were to take it down. If anyone bought a bridge with right to pontage and paid for it, and held it for nearly 200 years, it was a very strong measure, especially as coming from a Conservative Government, to treat the claim with derision as if it were destitute of any foundation whatever. This burgh might seem a very insignificant place to Her Majesty's Government; but, notwithstanding anything said, its claim to the surplus of these dues was as good as that of any Gentleman in the House to his estate. The Committee were asked to sanction a very gross injustice. The road trustees of 1987 Linlithgowshire and Stirlingshire were to use this bridge; if a new one were required their ratepayers were charged with its cost, and yet the right hon. and learned Lord said there was no right of property in the bridge itself. Whose was the bridge? It did not belong to the public, for they were divested of any of their rights in favour of the town council of Linlithgow. There was ample evidence in the right hon. and learned Lord's hands to show that the Government would be guilty of confiscating the private property in order to satisfy the ratepayers of Stirling and Linlithgow, if this bridge were taken.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
was sorry the hon. Member had felt it necessary to use such strong language in advocating his claim, if it were such a good one. The facts in his possession showed as clearly as could be that the bridge was not the property of the corporation. The Act of Parliament stated that where as His Majesty had granted to his trusty and well beloved cousin the Earl of Linlithgow the customs for 19 years, that for the loving kindness he bore to the town, he did give them, not the bridge for the use of the town, but the customs for 19 years, with all right and title which the said Earl or others claimed with the aforesaid customs. There was not one word about the right or property in the bridge. He found, also, that the sum mentioned was paid for the right to take the customs during the remaining 19 years of the Earl's grant. He had not distorted the facts.
§ MR. M'LAGAN
said, his hon. Friend (Mr. Ramsay) wanted not only to lay the burden of maintaining this bridge upon the counties of Linlithgow and Stirling, but he wanted them also to pay for this revenue of £200, for which they had never received any benefit whatever. The bridge was made, not for the people resident in those counties, but for persons passing from Edinburgh to the North and West. The county of Linlithgow was abolishing all tolls, and did not ask anybody unconnected with the county to pay for keeping up its roads. Surely the burgh authorities ought to do the same. On the contrary, they asked the county not only to keep up the bridge, but to pay compensation besides. He quite sympathized with the effort his hon. Friend was making, and he should be glad if he could get compensation 1988 anywhere else. He should advise him to try the Consolidated Fund.
§ ADMIRAL SIR WILLIAM EDMONSTONE
said, if the claim for compensation were granted, it would be a great injustice to the county which he had the honour to represent.
§ MR. RAMSAY
did not see how he could, with any propriety, ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for a grant. It never presented itself to him as a case in which he could fairly ask for compensation from the Government. If this bridge were taken away from the burgh, it would be equivalent to saying that the burgh should cease to exist; for the town council would have no money with which to carry on their affairs. He would move to report Progress, that Her Majesty's Government might consider what they were proposing.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Ramsay.)
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, the Government considered the question months and months ago, and the Lord Advocate had come to the deliberate conclusion that the claim ought not to be set up. Therefore, they would be no wiser if Progress were reported, and he hoped the Motion would be withdrawn.
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
said, his hon. Friend (Mr. Ramsay) had fought the case of the burgh very gallantly; but he did not see how he could expect to make out a better case at a future time. He hoped his hon. Friend would withdraw, and let them get on with the Bill.
§ MR. RAMSAY
said, he had supported the Bill at every stage, but he could no longer accept a measure which perpetrated such an injustice. If the Government had carried out the principle of the Bill they would have assented to his Motion; and he, therefore, must think the worry of the long discussion had led them to refuse to entertain it. ["No, no!"] Well, he felt that very strongly. It was true he had brought the subject under the notice of the Government months ago, but he had a prejudice in favour of the Bill. It was a case of interest to his constituents, and he brought the matter forward simply from a sense of the equity of the claim. If, then, it were 1989 dismissed in that way, rather than see the Bill pass, he would obstruct it at every stage.
said, he had been so struck with what had been done in the case of Glasgow, that he could believe the Government would do anything. He fully sympathized with his hon. Friend (Mr. Ramsay), but still he thought the matter might be postponed till the Report.
§ MR. M'LAGAN
hoped the Motion would be withdrawn. If there were an injustice done at present, it was to the counties; while, if this demand were granted, it would open up any number of other cases, and would overthrow the Bill altogether. There was a bridge in Musselburgh in the very same position, and if Linlithgow had compensation, it would be asked for that burgh also.
§ MR. RAMSAY
said, what his hon. Friend had said had very little influence upon him, because he really felt that that was an injustice. It might be a very humble and insignificant burgh; but it was suffering under an injustice, and therefore he protested against it. Of course, if he were seeking a remedy in an improper way, he should be glad if he were told so; but at present it seemed to him he was following out the principle laid down in the Bill; therefore, he did not think he was guilty of anything like obstruction when he tried to prevent an improper Bill from passing. He would like to ask, however, whether it was open to him to discuss this matter on the Report, after having discussed it in Committee? If it were in accordance with the Rules of the House, he would like to take the opinion of the House on the question when the benches opposite were fuller than they were now, and then he felt that he would not be treated as he had been.
said, the hon. Member would not be prevented from bringing forward the matter on the Report, by the fact that he had discussed it in Committee.
§ Motion, by leave, Withdrawn.
asked, if the hon. Member proposed to move the following clause which stood in his name:—(Power to acquire land and materials)?
§ MR. RAMSAY
said, the matter had already been fully discussed, and the Committee had come to a decision adverse to his views. Therefore, he would not propose the clause. As to his next proposal, to insert Sections 87 to 92, both inclusive, and also Sections 94, 96, 97, and 98, and 100 to 108, both inclusive, of 1 & 2 Will. IV. c. 43, he understood the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate had agreed to incorporate them in a Schedule.
said, he must point out to the hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. J. W. Barclay), that the next new clause which stood in his name (Application of Act in the county of For far) was open to the same objection as that which he had a little while ago pointed out in the case of the hon. and gallant Member for East Aberdeenshire (Sir Alexander Gordon).
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
, said, he would withdraw the clause, and see if anything could be done in the matter before the Report.
§ Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. CAMPBELL -BANNERMAN
said, he wished to move the Amendment that stood in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for the Haddington Burghs (Sir Henry Davie). There was no objection to the principle.
§ Amendment, by leave, Withdrawn.
§ Schedules read, and agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Thursday next, and to be re-printed. [Bill 224.]