HC Deb 11 August 1879 vol 249 c663

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether, considering that a Bill for simply continuing the Railway Commissioners has now passed this House, it is to be understood that no change is contemplated in the functions of the Commissioners; or whether, seeing the urgent necessity for conferring upon them fresh duties and powers, he can state that it is intended to introduce a Bill to that effect before the expiration of the term of extension?


Sir, as I mentioned when the Bill continuing the Railway Commission and their functions was passed, the Government by introducing that Bill in no way pledged itself not to propose changes to Parliament during the three years for which the Commission is prolonged by that Bill. I am fully aware that fresh legislation is called for on this subject, and, as I stated at the beginning of the Session, I had considered the matter very carefully during the last winter, and had prepared a Bill of considerable length respecting it, which the pressure of other Business made it impossible for me to introduce. As to when the Government may be able to deal with this matter, while fully acknowledging its importance I think it wiser to decline to give any pledge.