§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, he was well aware that it was a very unusual course 1880 to attempt to oppose the second reading of a Private Bill in that House, and in ordinary cases he certainly would be disposed to allow such Bills to go to be considered by a Committee upstairs. But there were special circumstances under which a Member was justified in endeavouring to stop even a Private Bill at the stage of second reading, and he thought he should be able to show that this was one of the cases in which such a course ought to be pursued. He might say that the Amendment which had been placed on the Paper by the President of the Board of Trade since he (Mr. Anderson) had put his own Amendment on the Paper was in itself a sufficient justification for his opposition, because he observed that that Amendment proposed to change entirely the constitution of the Committee to which the Bill was to be referred, and to widen the Reference to that Committee in a very remarkable degree. He thought that proposal was of itself enough to show that to attempt to stop the Bill on the second reading was not unwarranted. It was hardly necessary to remind the House of the circumstances connected with the unfortunate Tay Bridge. In 1870, the North British Railway Company came to that House and got powers by an Act of Parliament to build a bridge, which was to be two miles long and to cost £350,000. Hardly anyone, at the time, believed that it could possibly be built for that sum. He had heard that it ruined the first contractor, because the sum was so small. Afterwards, the Company had to hand it over to another contractor; but what had turned out to be the case was very evident from the first—namely, that in order that any contractor might make the thing pay, the work had to be scrimped and scamped from the very beginning and all through its stages. He was informed that the Canada Bridge at Montreal was exactly of the same length—two miles—and it cost over £1,000,000 of money, and yet it was proposed to build this Tay Bridge, at a time when prices for iron were exceedingly high, for £350,000. Well, when the bridge was built, it was looked upon with considerable suspicion. Many of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood refused to travel by it; they would send their goods and coals over it, but they would not trust themselves upon it. 1881 Things went on safely for a time; but, on the 28th December last, a gale came that was too strong for the structure. The result was that the bridge broke down, and a train full of people was hurled down into the river—into a certain and instant death. Since then some inquiries had been going on. Mr. Rothery, the Wreck Commissioner, Colonel Yolland, and Mr. Barlow had made an inquiry, and the public had had the details from day to day. The evidence had been of the most damaging character to all concerned, and especially to the engineer. Yet, notwithstanding this, the North British Railway Company had continued to trust that engineer, and had employed him to prepare plans and specifications for the restoration of the bridge. The House had now, from the Commissioners, a Report of the circumstances. That Report was altogether of a very damaging character; and, with the leave of the House, he proposed to read a few extracts from that Report. He did not propose to go into full details, but only to quote those passages which bore most strongly upon the disaster. Some of the conclusions were—That the wrought iron employed was of fair strength, though not of high quality as regards toughness; that the cast iron was fairly good in strength, but sluggish when melted, and presented difficulty in obtaining sound castings.[The unsoundness of the castings was, no doubt, one of the causes of this misfortune, and this was produced by the employment of a very low class of Middlesborough iron.]That the girders which have fallen were of sufficient strength, and had been carefully studied in proportioning the several parts to the duty they had to perform. In these girders some imperfections of workmanship were found; but they were not of a character which contributed to the accident, and the fractures found in these girders were, we think, all caused by the fall from the tops of the piers; that the iron piers, used in place of the brick piers originally contemplated, were strong enough for supporting the vertical weight, but were not of a sufficiently substantial character to sustain, at so great a height, girders of such magnitude as those which fell.The original idea was to build the bridge on brick columns; but, owing to some blunder in the making of the foundations, it was found necessary to make a change, and to erect iron columns instead, and those iron columns were of such bad design, and so imperfect in 1882 construction, that they were unable to sustain the weight required of them The Commissioners, in their Report, proceeded—We think that the workmanship and fitting of the several parts comprising the piers were inferior in many respects. We think that the great inequality of thickness in some of the columns, the conical holes cast in the lugs, and several imperfections of workmanship which have been ascertained by this inquiry, ought to have been prevented.Then they went on to point out that there was no proper supervision over the bridge after it was erected; that the ties of the cross-bracings had been tightened up and brought up to their bearings before the date of the inspection by General Hutchinson, and that the fact that so many of them became loose was an evidence of weakness in this part of the structure. Then they said—That notwithstanding the recommendations of General Hutchinson that the speed of the trains on the bridge should be restricted to 25 miles per hour, the Railway Company did not enforce that recommendation, and much higher speeds were frequently run on portions of the bridge. That the fall of the bridge was occasioned by the insufficiency of the cross-bracing and its fastenings to sustain the force of the gale on the night of December 28th, 1879, and that the brige had been previously strained by other gales.He would not occupy the House longer upon that point; but would direct their attention to the fact that Mr. Rothery differed somewhat from his two colleagues in his Report. Mr. Rothery differed from the other Commissioners in a way which rendered him entitled to the thanks of the public. His two colleagues, while they agreed with him as to the causes of the disaster, declined to award or apportion the blame of that disaster. Mr. Rothery, however, with that moral courage which was highly creditable to him, and for which they ought to thank him in every way, boldly took the thing in hand and proceeded to apportion the blame. He said—I agree with my colleagues in thinking that there is no evidence to show that there has been any movement or settlement in the foundations of the piers; that the wrought iron was also fairly good, though sluggish in melting; that the girders were fairly proportioned to the work they had to do; that the iron columns, although sufficient to support the vertical weight of the girders and trains, were, owing to the weakness of the cross-bracing and its fastenings, unfit to resist the lateral pressure of the wind; that the 1883 imperfections in the work turned out at the Wormit Foundry were due, in great part, to the want of proper supervision; that the supervision of the bridge after its completion was unsatisfactory; that, if by the loosening of the tie bars, the columns got out of shape, the mere introduction of packing pieces between the gibs and cotters would not bring them back to their positions; that trains were frequently run through the high girders at much higher speeds than at the rate of 25 miles an hour; that the fall of the bridge was probably due to the giving way of the cross-bracing and its fastenings. That the imperfections in the columns might also have contributed to the same result. These are the points, neither few nor unimportant, in which I concur with my colleagues.Then Mr. Rothery went on to state that he thought it was their duty to call attention to certain defects in the design which rendered the structure weak and thereby contributed to its fall. He said—It seemed to me, also, that we ought not to shrink from the duty, however painful it might be, of saying with whom the responsibility for this casualty rests. My colleagues thought that this was not one of the questions that had been referred to us, and that our duty was simply to report the causes of, and the circumstances attending, the casualty. But I do not so read our instructions. I apprehend that if we think that blame attaches to anyone for this casualty, it is our duty to say so, and to say to whom it applies. I do not understand my colleagues to differ from me in thinking that the chief blame for this casualty rests with Sir Thomas Bouch; but they consider it is not for us to say so. The conclusion to which I have come is that this bridge was badly designed, badly constructed, and badly maintained, and that its downfall was due to inherent defects in the structure which must, sooner or later, have brought it down. For these defects, both in the design, the construction, and the maintenance, Sir Thomas Bouch is, in my opinion, mainly to blame. For the faults of design he is entirely responsible. For the faults of construction he is principally to blame, in not having exercised that supervision over the work which would have enabled him to detect and apply a remedy to them. And, for the faults of maintenance, he is also principally, if not entirely, to blame in having neglected to maintain such an inspection over the structure as its character imperatively demanded. I think, also, that Messrs. Hopkins, Gilkes & Co., are not free from blame for having allowed such grave irregularities to go on at the Wormit Foundry. Had competent men been appointed to superintend the work there, instead of its being left almost wholly in the hands of the foreman moulder, there can be little doubt that the columns would not have been sent out to the bridge with the serious defects which have been pointed out. The great object seems to have been to get through the work with as little delay as possible, without seeing whether it was properly and carefully executed or not. The Company also are, in my opinion, not wholly free from blame for having allowed the trains to run through the high girders at a speed greatly 1884 in excess of that which General Hutchinson had suggested as the extreme limit. They must or ought to have known, from the advertised time of running the trains, that the speed over the summit was more than at the rate of 25 miles an hour, and they should not have allowed it until they had satisfied themselves, which they seem to have taken no trouble to do, that the speed could be maintained without injury to the structure. It remains to inquire whether the Board of Trade are also to blame for having allowed the bridge to be opened for passenger traffic when they did. After what has come out in the course of this inquiry, it is clear that there can be no justification in future for disregarding altogether, as it seems to have been done, the effect of wind pressure on such a structure as this. But, whether General Hutchinson is or is not to blame for having so done, Sir Thomas Bouch is not relieved from his responsibility.Well, Mr. Rothery concluded his remarks by saying—Although this bridge, if properly constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications might, as we are told, have been capable of resisting a lateral pressure of from 601bs. to 701bs. per square foot, and a very much greater wind pressure than was probably brought to bear upon it on the evening of the 28th of December, it by no means follows that, constructed and maintained as we have seen it to have been, a very much lower pressure would not have sufficed to blow it down. With its conical bolt holes in the lugs and in the flanges of the 18-inch columns; with its lugs, shown by experiment to be unable to bear more than one third of the pressure due to their sectional areas; with the wind ties by which the columns were held in position loose, and with no effective supervision of these cast iron columns; and their attachments to see that they were doing their work properly; and with all these and the other defects to which we have called attention, can there be any doubt that what caused the overthrow of the bridge was the pressure of the wind acting upon a structure badly built and badly maintained?The Report, as he (Mr. Anderson) had said, was altogether of an unsatisfactory character to all parties concerned. It showed that the design of the bridge was bad, that the castings were bad—in fact, that everything connected with the bridge was defective. The blame was evidently mainly and principally due to the engineer for designing and constructing this wretched sham; but he had been knighted instead of being disgraced for building the miserable structure. The contractors were to blame for their inferior work, although they were driven to that by the inferior prices paid them; and the railway directors were to blame for paying inferior prices, and for having run trains over the bridge at a higher rate of speed than that recommended by 1885 General Hutchinson. The hon. Gentleman was proceeding to make further quotations, when—
§ MR. DODDS
rose to a point of Order. The question before the House was whether they should read a second time the North British Railway Bill. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Anderson) was making observations which seemed to him (Mr. Dodds) to be entirely addressed to the consideration of the Report which had been recently made public, and which might form a very proper subject of consideration in the House, but did not arise upon the question before them.
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, that if the hon. Member for Stockton (Mr. Dodds) would wait a few minutes, he would see the bearing of the quotations.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The observations of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) are relevant to the subject matter before the House, and, therefore, they are quite in Order.
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Dodds) would soon see the bearing of the quotations upon the new Bill that was proposed to be brought in. General Hutchinson said he would like to have an opportunity of observing the effect of a high wind upon the bridge while a train was passing over it. That was a very significant and a very prophetic statement, which showed that the danger was present in the mind of General Hutchinson, and yet General Hutchinson did nothing more than suggest it as a scientific theory; he did not seem to have attended to its probable effect on the safety of the public on whose behalf he was sent to inspect the bridge. He (Mr. Anderson) must now pass to the bearing of all this upon the new scheme. What the House had now to consider was whether, under the circumstances which he had narrated, it would allow the very same parties who were to blame to come before the House in the last month of the Session, and endeavour to rush through Parliament a Bill, not for the construction of a new bridge, with new plans, and under a new engineer, but for the patching up of this miserable broken structure. ["No, no!"] It was a simple fact, which hon. Members could satisfy themselves upon. He maintained that it was contemplated by the Bill to patch up the old bridge. He had examined the plans and specifications, and he found they were signed by Sir Thomas 1886 Bouch. That was sufficient proof that what he said was correct. What happened to the bridge in December last was enough to show that the House ought not to intrust the same architect with its restoration. His reason for opposing the Bill was that there was not time for a Committee upstairs to sufficiently consider the difficulties they had before them in the matter. He did not regard the late disaster as an accident at all. The collapse of the bridge was a forgone conclusion; and yet the very same parties who built the bridge, who built it with such insufficient work, and with such insufficient care, now came before the House again, when some of them ought to be, he believed, standing in a criminal dock to answer for their neglect. He (Mr. Anderson) had been taunted that he was opposing the Bill in the interest of a rival Railway Company, and in the interest of the preference shareholders of the North British Railway Company, who did not approve of the Bill. He put his Notice of Opposition on the Paper after reading Mr. Rothery's Report, and before he had communicated with anybody on either side of the question. Since then he had been communicated with by both sides to a large extent. He had, however, nothing to do with all that. He had nothing to do with the interests of rival and contending railways; all he cared for in the matter was the safety of the travelling public, and it was that he imagined that the House had chiefly to care for. He thought the House ought not at that period of the Session to allow the Bill to go before a Private Committee, who could not possibly have time to consider the whole merits of the question. He begged to move the rejection of the Bill.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."—(Mr. Anderson.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, he had some little difficulty in understanding the relevancy of a good deal of what his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) had quoted from the Report on the Tay Bridge disaster to the Motion for the second reading of the 1887 Bill. At the same time, he must admit that that very important Report did disclose circumstances which might well make them anxious not to be too precipitate, and, above all, not to proceed upon a new undertaking of this kind without the fullest and most careful inquiry. But, on the other hand, considering the great importance of the interests which were involved, especially the great commercial interests of the town of Dundee, which was very largely dependent upon this bridge, he certainly thought it would be a very strong proceeding, indeed, to prejudice the question altogether, and to refuse to allow the matter to be considered. His hon. Friend said that, at that late period of the Session, there would not be time for such an inquiry as he desired. It would be within the competency of the Committee, if they thought it was impossible to complete the inquiry that Session, to postpone the consideration of the question; but he (Mr. Chamberlain) thought, at all events, that it would be in the interests of all concerned that at least an opportunity should be afforded for the settlement of the matter, if it could be possible. His hon. Friend had thought proper to condemn, in very strong language, the action of the Railway Company and Sir Thomas Bouch. He (Mr. Chamberlain) confessed he felt some delicacy and difficulty in adding to the burdens which he thought Sir Thomas Bouch had to bear, and especially after what had happened. But, perhaps, it might be satisfactory to the House if he said at once that he was informed that, at all events, Sir Thomas Bouch would not be responsible for the new works. He was informed that the plans and specifications had already been submitted to other engineers, and that Sir Thomas Bouch would neither sign them, nor be in any way responsible for them. He ventured to hope that, in view of the wide inquiry which the Committee would be able to make under the Instructions he proposed to move if the Bill were read a second time, that his hon. Friend would withdraw his Amendment, and that, without further discussion, they might be able to take this stage of the Bill. He might say that although an Instruction of this kind, widening the inquiry in the way he suggested, was unusual, it was not without precedent. It would be in the recollection of the 1888 House that last Session, when there was a question of some Railway Bill, in which the interests of the carriers were concerned, an Instruction to the Committee was moved in order that interests which were not directly raised by persons who had a locus standi before the Committee might be considered. He proposed, in the same way, to take care that although certain questions might not be directly raised by the parties who appeared by counsel before the Committee, the Committee should have these issues before them, so that they might be enabled to consider the safety of the general public as well as the merely pecuniary interests concerned. In order that the inquiry should be full, ample, and impartial, he intended to propose that the matter should be discussed before a Hybrid Committee with the usual power to send for Persons and Papers. Under these circumstances, he hoped that his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow would withdraw the Amendment.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
said, that as one of the Members for a county which was by far the most affected by the Bill—the County of Fife—he asked permission to say a word or two before the question was disposed of. He certainly failed to see how the long extracts the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) had read bore directly upon the present Bill. He did admit, and he was one of the first to assert, that the circumstances which had given rise to the present Bill were a great engineering scandal. It had been his lot to have a good deal to do with engineering matters in India, in connection with the government of one of the Presidencies there; and he must venture to say that if the same gross failures had taken place in connection with any of the public works of that country, the persons who were responsible for them would have been inevitably made responsible. Under those circumstances, he certainly rejoiced that Sir Thomas Bouch was not to be responsible for the new works. At the same time, he failed to see how the matter could be appropriately discussed in the House. A Committee upstairs was, undoubtedly, a more fitting tribunal in which to discuss it. In that view, he hoped that the President of the Board of Trade would so manage matters that the Committee would be able to 1889 come to a conclusion in the course of the present Session. There would be great complaints in the County of Fife if the question remained over for another year. At the present moment they were subjected to enormous inconvenience. Their position now was much worse than it was before the bridge was originally constructed, seeing that the ford ferry arrangements had been put an end to and discontinued. They were, consequently, in a much worse condition than they were before the Tay Bridge was built. He only wished now to express a hope that his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade would not make the Reference to the Committee which he had placed upon the Paper so wide that it would be almost impossible to dispose of the inquiry in the present Session. It appeared to him (Sir George Campbell) that the Reference was much wider than was necessitated by the circumstances. They knew very well the causes of the accident. They knew that it had resulted from failure and blunder in the construction of the bridge; but the President of the Board of Trade proposed to refer to the Committee much wider questions—questions as to the site of the bridge, the form of the bridge, and various other extraneous matters. He did hope that when his right hon. Friend rose to move the Instruction which he proposed to give to the Committee, he would explain that the Reference he intended to make was not of such a character that it would preclude the possibility of disposing of the whole question in the course of the present Session.
§ MR. C. S. PARKER
said, he would ask the attention of the House only for a moment. He had to speak for the community chiefly interested in the navigation of the River Tay—the City of Perth—but as the House seemed to be agreed, he would confine himself to asking a question. He understood that it was proposed specially to charge the Committee with the important inquiry into the effects on the navigation of the river, as well as into the conditions of safety for the travelling public. He wished to ask his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, whether the result of that Instruction to the Committee would not be considerably to prolong the inquiry; and, if so, whether the expense of providing evidence 1890 should not fall upon the public rather than upon any single community that might be most interested in protecting the navigation?
§ MR. ANDERSON
wished to put a question to his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. His right hon. Friend was aware that there were plans and specifications deposited in the Bill Office in connection with the present scheme, signed by Sir Thomas Bouch. He (Mr. Anderson) wanted to know, if the Reference suggested by the right hon. Gentleman was agreed to, the Committee to whom the question would be referred would be no longer bound by those plans, and would be no longer in any way pledged to Sir Thomas Bouch? If he could obtain an assurance from his right hon. Friend upon that point he would be perfectly ready to withdraw the Amendment he had moved.
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
wished to point out to his hon. Friend (Mr. Anderson) that the Committee would not be bound by anything that might be brought before them, but would deal with the whole question as they might think fit. He was informed that the plans were not signed by Sir Thomas Bouch. He (Mr. Chamberlain) had not seen the plans himself; but that was the information he had received. Perhaps he might be allowed to answer the other question which had been put to him. Bather more time would undoubtedly be taken up by the Bill in consequence of the Reference he intended to move, than by an ordinary inquiry before a Private Bill Committee. On the other hand, he did not see any reason why the inquiry should not be brought to a close during the present Session. As regarded the other question which had been put to him, the Committee would certainly have the power to call for evidence upon any of the matters that were within the scope of the Reference.
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, the plans were not signed by anybody; but the specifications were signed by Sir Thomas Bouch. He begged now, with the leave of the House, to withdraw the Amendment.
§ MR. BIGGAR
remarked, that there was one matter in connection with this Tay Bridge Bill, in regard to which the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade was somewhat ambiguous, and that was as to 1891 the expense of the inquiry. The question had been raised by the hon. Member for Perth, and it seemed to him that these Scotch Gentlemen were rather disposed to get hold of all they possibly could. Seeing that this Tay Bridge was a matter in which very wealthy Corporations and Railway Companies were interested, he thought that these wealthy Corporations and these wealthy Railway Companies ought to be able to bear the expense of the inquiry without an appeal to the charity of the British taxpayers.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
Bill read a second time, and committed to a Select Committee of Seven Members, Four to be nominated by the House and Three by the Committee of Selection.
Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to inquire and report as to whether the Tay Bridge should be rebuilt in its present position, or whether there is any other situation more suitable, having due regard to the safety of the travelling public and the convenience of the locality.
That their special attention be directed to the interests of the navigation, and that the height of the bridge shall be so fixed as not injuriously to interfere with the river navigation.
That they shall consider generally in what way any bridge that may be authorised should be constructed so as to secure its permanent safety.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the Reports of the Court of Inquiry eld by the direction of the Board of Trade, and also the Report of Mr. Rothery, on the Tay Bridge disaster, together with the evidence taken by that Court, be referred to the Committee."—(Mr. Chamberlain.)
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON
said, he had an Amendment to move to the Resolution just moved by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. It was a very short one. It was—And that the Report of General Hutchinson to the Board of Trade, dated the 5th day March 1878, relative to the opening of the Tay Bridge for passenger traffic, be also referred to the Committee.It appeared to him (Sir Alexander Gordon) most important that that document should be officially referred to the Committee by the House, as well as the Reports of Mr. Rothery and other Gentlemen, for it appeared that the accident 1892 had arisen in consequence of the deviation by the directors from the Orders of the House. He would read four lines of Clause 6 of the Act authorizing the construction of the Tay Bridge. It was as follows:—Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the deposited plans, the number and position of the piers of the bridge across the Tay, and the width and the height of the openings between the piers shall be such as shall be prescribed by the Board of Trade.The accident had arisen in consequence of the deviation from the deposited plans approved by the House; and it was most important that the Committee about to examine the question should ascertain whether the Board of Trade did authorize that deviation from the plans or not. When a Private Bill was approved by Parliament, he thought it was their duty to see that their Orders were obeyed. The deviation from the plans in his case was the cause of the disaster; and unless the Committee had full power to go into the question it would be evaded and shirked altogether. In fact, the Board of Trade and their officers were quite as much on their trial as the Railway Company; and he hoped there would be a full and searching inquiry in the interests of the public. The Railway Inspectors of the Board of Trade constituted a Department, as the House well knew, which cost about £7,000 a-year; and it had been established simply for the purpose of guaranteeing the safety of these railways and bridges beforehand for public traffic, and it showed a serious defect in their arrangements that such a disaster could occur after a railway had been reported safe for public traffic by a gentleman appointed and paid for that special duty. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would consent to add this to his Instruction, in order that the public safety might be properly secured in future.
At the end of the Question, to add the words "and that the Report of General Hutchinson to the Board of Trade, dated the 5th day of March 1878, relative to the opening of the Tay Bridge for passenger traffic, be also referred to the Committee."—(Sir Alexander Gordon.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."1893
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, he could not help thinking that the line chosen by his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir Alexander Gordon) was a little inconvenient. He (Mr. Chamberlain) thought that it would be altogether out of place in that inquiry to enter into a discussion of the operations of the Board of Trade and the conduct of its officers in connection with the Tay Bridge disaster. His hon. and gallant Friend had mistaken the scope of the inquiry to be conducted by the Committee. It was not to be a judicial Committee to decide who was to blame for the Tay Bridge disaster; but a Committee to decide engineering and commercial questions connected with the proposal for re-establishing that bridge. If he were to accept the proposal of his hon. and gallant Friend it would be quite certain that they would not be able to conclude the inquiry that year. Under those circumstances, he must object to make the proposed addition.
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON
said, that, by the leave of the House, he would withdraw the Amendment. He wished to explain that an hon. Friend on his right took off his hat to second the Amendment before the hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) rose; but the Speaker did not happen to see him.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
said, he quite approved of the course which had been adopted by the Board of Trade; but he wished to call attention to one clause of the Instruction which said that they should consider generally in what way any bridge that might be authorized should be constructed so as to insure its permanent safety. He thought that that was throwing upon the House the responsibility of the bridge in future; and he did not think that it was a responsibility that they ought to undertake.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
Ordered, That the Reports of the Court of Inquiry held by direction of the Board of Trade, and also the Report of Mr. Rothery, on the Tay Bridge disaster, together with the evidence taken by that Court, be referred to the Committee.
Ordered, That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers, and records, and that Four be the quorum of the Committee.