§ Order for Second Beading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. AINSWORTH
said, he was sorry to trespass upon the House after so much time had already been taken up in considering the previous Bill; but he was intimately acquainted with the district in which it was proposed to carry this railway; and, being satisfied that no public advantage could be gained by the Bill, he felt called upon to move that it be read a second time upon that day three months. There was a line of railway in the district which was now worked by the London and Northwestern Railway Company; and this projected line was to run from that line by the side of Ennerdale Lake for a mile and a-half to the head of the Lake. The locality was very thinly populated; there were only one or two small farms; the population was very limited; and there were no mines or minerals which were worked on the line of the proposed railway. In point of fact, the district was somewhat similar to that for which another Bill was projected this year, but withdrawn—namely, the Buttermere Railway Bill. In many respects the two districts were similar in character; but the Buttermere Line led to a large slate quarry, which was in operation. That Bill was withdrawn, owing to the Petitions presented against it, in consequence of the damage it would do to the scenery. His principal objection to the proposed line was that it was unnejes-sary, and that it was not introduced in the interests of the inhabitants of the locality. Looking at the Bill itself, he found that it bore upon it, as the names of its promoters, a solicitor in the Strand and two other persons, both of whom resided in the City of London. No local names whatever were appended to the Bill; and he could not find that any individual connected with the county of Cumberland was promoting the measure in any way. It was promoted for some purpose at present unknown to him, and, he believed, entirely unknown to the locality. He thought these grounds afforded a sufficient reason for asking the House to agree to the Amendment.
§ 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. Ainsworth.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
said, the proposal made by the hon. Member for West Cumberland (Mr. Ainsworth) was one of the most extraordinary he had ever heard made by any Member of the House; and he had certainly heard a great many extraordinary proposals during the time he had been a Member of Parliament. This was a Bill for the construction of a railroad in the county of Cumberland, and it had already passed the House of Lords without opposition. It now came down to the House of Commons, and its only opponent was the hon. Member. The hon. Member had petitioned against the Bill, and the reason he gave to justify his Petition was that it proposed to go through a field which belonged to him—a field of common pasture, worth about 10s. an acre. The hon. Member asserted that the railway was proposed to be constructed for a considerable distance through his property; that it would affect it injuriously by severance, &o., and that the railway intersected one field to the extend of four acres. Upon this flimsy pretext, the hon. Member got up in that House, contrary to all the Rules which had hitherto regulated their procedure upon Private Bills, and moved the rejection of the Bill. After all, if the allegations of the hon. Member in his Petition were fully established, the question was simply one of residential or occupation damage, which, as everyone knew, was a fit and proper question to be decided by a Committee of the House. Therefore, without any further observations, he thought he might confidently call upon hon. Members to reject the Amendment.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, that it was hardly necessary to say that he had no interest in this matter, nor did he imagine that his hon. Friend who moved the Amendment was very much interested in it, as a question of private interest. But he thought that the public interest was considerably concerned in the line, and in all railways of this kind. Is was, as far as he could make out, which had no particular public object, either in 446 regard to the carriage of goods or passengers; but it would have the result of spoiling one of the most beautiful portions of the Lake scenery. [Mr. CAVENDISH BENTETCK: No!] He begged the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. That would be the case. It would go on the North side of Ennerdale Lake, and would very considerably damage the beauty of the Lake. No doubt, it might be said that this was a question which could be decided by a Committee; but, by an unfortunate arrangement of Public Business, the public were not represented upon Committees of this character, and he did not know whether his hon. Friend the Member for West Cumberland (Mr. Ainsworth), even by the help of the position he occupied as owner of this field, would be entitled to raise this question before the Committee. It was for the House of Commons to say, on the second reading of a Bill of this character, whether they desired that the best and most beautiful portions of English scenery should be spoiled without any public or private reason being assigned. It was upon that ground that the Amendment had been moved. He would not further detain the House; but if his hon. Friend carried his Amendment to a Division he would certainly support him.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 150; Noes 143: Majority 7.—(Div. List, No. 167.)
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed.