HC Deb 23 August 1881 vol 265 cc764-7

Order for Consideration, as amended, read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be now considered."—(Mr. Courtney.)


begged to move that the Amendments be considered on that day three months. He did so on the ground that the quantity which the Bill permitted to be hawked in the street, a maximum of 20 gallons, would prove dangerous. He also objected to the size of the vessels allowed by 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. Warton,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, the Bill, which sought to apply a regulation to a traffic largely carried on, would affect the comfort and convenience of a large number of people. It was proposed to prohibit the selling of more than 10 gallons on carts in the streets, and if that were done the result would be to entirely prohibit the trade. The trade represented to him that they had supplied this useful material largely throughout the country for many years, and that not a single accident had happened. A profit of about 1d. or even less per gallon was made, and it was clear that it would not pay a man to send out a horse and cart for 10d. a day. Even an allowance of 20 gallons, which he understood the Government would accede to, would be insufficient, and the trade asked that they should be allowed to carry non-explosive and tested oil along with the 20 gallons of ordinary oil. He would only add that the hawking of petroleum was of great advantage to the poor, who were by its means furnished with the materials for a cheap and bright light.


observed that as the hon. and learned Member for Bridport (Mr. Warton) appeared to think that the Bill would encourage a dangerous traffic, and as the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) believed that it would unduly restrict a useful trade, he should, at that period of the Session, allow one set of arguments to answer the other. He hoped that the Bill would be now considered.

Question put.

The House divided;—Ayes 61; Noes 10: Majority 51.—(Div. List, No. 409.)

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill considered.

On the Motion of Mr. COURTNEY, the following clause was added to the Bill:— (Saving of rights of municipal boroughs.) Nothing in this Act contained shall extend to authorise the hawking of petroleum within the limits of any municipal borough in which, by any lawful authority, such hawking shall have been or may hereafter be forbidden.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 (Regulations for hawking petroleum).


said, he proposed to amend the Bill by the substitution of "twenty" for "ten," so as to enable 20 gallons to be hawked.

Amendment proposed in page 1, line 14, leave out "ten" and insert "twenty."—(Mr. Courtney.)

Question proposed, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."


said, he did not think the limit should be fixed so low as 20 gallons for petroleum not inflammable at 100 degrees.


said, he must also object to this restriction, as the petroleum as usually hawked was not of a highly explosive nature.


said, that 20 gallons in one vessel was a large quantity to carry about for poor people who wanted only small quantities. There might be danger in carrying so large a quantity in one vessel.


said, that petroleum was sold at about 1s. a gallon; and if they limited what was allowed to be carried about to a quantity which would not pay the hawker they would materially interfere with the comfort and convenience of the poor. Since the production of petroleum in such profusion people had their cottages comfortably lighted, and could read their books and newspapers with pleasure—in fact, petroleum was one of the greatest sources of domestic comfort they possessed. What was the danger of carrying 20 gallons of petroleum, when there was none in 10 gallons? Were they going to interfere with the distribution by hawkers of a material which could only be distributed in this particular way on the ground of a danger which did not exist? The interference with the trade would cause great dissatisfaction, and deserved only the name of grandmotherly legislation? On behalf of the colliers in South Yorkshire, who used a great deal of this oil, he protested against the restriction proposed.


said, he only contended for a limitation as to the size of the vessel, not as to the quantity to be sold.


said, that the point had been carefully considered, and 20 gallons was fixed upon as a very fair compromise.

Amendment agreed to.


begged to propose an Amendment, the effect of which would be to make it necessary that the article should be carried in inclosed vessels holding not more than one gallon each.

Amendment proposed, In page 1, line 15, to leave out the words "in a closed vessel," in order to insert the words "in an inclosed vessel holding not more than one gallon each,"—(Mr. Warton,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."


opposed the Amendment.

Question put, and agreed to.


moved the omission in sub-section 4, lines 22 and 23, of the words "highly inflammable." He contended that there would be no danger if greater freedom of action were allowed, and that, as had been shown by the hon. Baronet (Sir Edward Watkin), the trade could not be profitably carried on by selling small quantities.

Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 22, to leave out the words "or highly inflammable."—(Mr. Hopwood.)

Question, "That the words 'or highly inflammable,' stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed, with Amendments.