HC Deb 25 July 1883 vol 282 cc423-4

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


said, he did not wish to oppose the third reading of this Bill. The Bill had been referred to a Hybrid Committee, and it had now come down to the House upon the responsibility of that Committee. He wished, however, to point out that the Report of the Committee had not yet been printed, and that there were no means of discovering what Amendments bad been made in the Bills, which had, in the end, been treated as unopposed measures. It was not possible, therefore, to ascertain what understanding had been come to between the promoters and the opponents, and what the terms and provisions were of the Bills which the House was now called upon to pass as unopposed Bills. So far as the interests of the public were concerned, it was quite clear that the House was called upon to pass these Provisional Orders without possessing any complete or adequate knowledge in regard to them. It was quite true that they had been before the Hybrid Committee upstairs, and before the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, as unopposed Bills; and He supposed that these authorities were to be held responsible for having paid due regard to the interests of the general public. What he wanted to point out, however, was that, by the various Electric Lighting Bills now before the House, about one-half of the Metropolis and of the adjacent suburbs were to be handed over to a Company called the Metropolitan Brush Company. The other day he had referred to the small amount of capital which this Company possessed. He was not very well versed in City matters, and he had looked in vain for any quotation of the shares of the Company in the ordinary Share List. On making further inquiry he had discovered that the Metropolitan Brush Company had a nominal capital of £100,000, of which three-fifths, or £60,000, had been paid up. But he was told that the purchase and promotion money, and one thing and another, had run away with almost the whole of the money which had been raised. According to a not very new Price List, these £3 shares were selling in the City for a very few shillings. Nevertheless, it was to such a Company that one-half of the Metropolis was about to be handed over. He could only presume that the Board of Trade and the Chairman of Committees, notwithstanding that the Bill was unopposed, had satisfied themselves that the public interests would not suffer. Without further opposing the present Bill, he would content himself with having called attention to the position of the Metropolitan Brush Company.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed.