§ MR. ROLLS
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he has now considered the Bills deposited by nine of the principal Railway Companies for revision of their rates and charges; whether he is now prepared to state the course he intends to take or advise with regard to these Bills; and, whether, having regard to the magnitude of the questions involved, and the important bearing of these Bills upon the trading, commercial, and agricultural interests of the Kingdom, and having further regard to the expenses in which traders and freighters would be involved by the consideration of these Bills in detail in Committee, he will advise such steps to be taken as will insure ample notice of the consideration of the Bills, and afford to traders, freighters, chambers of commerce and agriculture, and other public bodies, every facility for watching the Bills at the least possible expense?
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
I have carefully considered the Bills deposited by nine of the principal Railway Companies for revision of their rates and charges; but I do not think that it is usual for a Minister to state, on behalf of the Government, what course it is proposed to take with reference to the second reading of Private Bills before the second reading stage of them has been reached. I am still in communication with the representatives of the Railway Companies, and of the trades; and I hope that some satisfactory result will come of those communications. In the case of any Bill which passes the second reading and which is referred to a Committee, there will, no doubt, be full opportunity for consideration on the part of all parties interested.