HC Deb 16 March 1883 vol 277 c700

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If, in the event of a Report from the Board of Trade being laid before a Committee of this House, on any Railway or other such Bill, having reference to tolls, rates, or duties as mentioned in the Standing Order adopted by the House on Monday 12th March, he will arrange that, if desired by the Committee, an officer of the Board of Trade shall attend to explain such Report and afford any other information on the matter which may be required?


in reply, said, that any Committee sitting on a Private Bill, if it desired the evidence of any witness, could come to the House for an order, in which case the witness would be bound to attend. But he thought it right to say that it would be very undesirable for the Board of Trade to volunteer to give evidence on private Railway Bills; and it would be equally undesirable that Committees should, as a general rule, ask for such evidence. The effect would be to make the Board of Trade a partizan in all such matters, and he did not think the Reports which they had undertaken to present to Committees would require any explanation.