HC Deb 05 August 1889 vol 339 cc421-4

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee).

* MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

The Amendment which I have put on the Paper is rather in the form of a suggestion to the President of the Board of Trade. The original proposal of the Bill had gone farther than necessary in taking power to enforce special systems of coupling. The Amendment would give the Board of Trade power to compel railway companies and owners of private trucks to adopt something like the light three link coupling now used on the Midland and, I believe, the North Western Railway. It would practically mean the universal adoption of the coupling pole, would be the very cheapest alteration possible, and would, I believe, result in a great saving of life. Hon. Members who have studied this question must be aware that there has been a diminution in the number of accidents since the Midland Company have adopted the coupling pole, and I sincerely trust, therefore, that this very moderate suggestion will be adopted.

Amendment proposed, Clause 1, page 1, line 24, insert— To provide for such of their vehicles employed in goods and mineral trains as cannot be coupled and uncoupled from the sides of the trains, such improved apparatus for coupling and uncoupling as shall make it unnecessary for men to go between the vehicles for the purpose of coupling or uncoupling, such order shall require every owner of any such vehicles used on the railway to adopt some improved apparatus for coupling or uncoupling which shall make it unnecessary for men to go between them for the purpose of coupling or uncoupling."—(Mr. Channing.)


I fully appreciate the moderate tone in which the hon. Member has raised this question, but it is impossible for me to accept the Amendment in view of the pledges I gave when I brought in this Bill. I will, however, assure the hon. Member that the matter shall not escape my attention.


I may remind the right hon. Gentleman that there is a Parliamentary Return now being completed on the subject of railway couplings which will greatly strengthen his hands in dealing with this question. After the assurances given to the House, I will not press the Amendment, although I am exceedingly anxious to see it carried.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


The next Amendment, which stands in my name, is so drawn as to cover one or two notorious cases to which I have drawn the attention of the House several times. Of course, if the right hon. Gentleman cannot accept it I will withdraw it.

Amendment proposed, in Clause 1, line 24, insert— To provide a subway, bridge, or footway at any station of the company where it shall appear that any considerable number of persons, whether passengers, or railway servants, or others, are daily compelled to cross the lines in passing from one part of such station to another part thereof; To provide all passenger trains with an efficient means of communication between the passengers and the guard and driver."—(Mr. Channing.)


I I can only say I feel myself bound on this Amendment as on the former one.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill."

* MR. W. M. MURPHY (Dublin, St. Patrick's)

This Bill was not read a second time till Friday night, and although I desire the insertion of several Amendments, I only had the opportuinty of putting them down to-night, and I think it is very desirable that they should appear on the Paper. Therefore, while I have no desire to delay or obstruct the Bill, I beg to move to report Progress. My Amendments are proposed in the interests of weak companies.

Motion made, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."


May I point out to the hon. Member that the Question has already been put that Clause 1 stand part of the Bill, and if, as I understand, his Amendments are to that clause, it is too late to put them? If he will place them on the Paper, or in any way communicate with me, I shall be happy to consider them. I may explain that I have already altered the wording of the clause in order to meet the very cases to which the hon. Member refers, and I would ask him to let the clause pass so that we may proceed with the Bill as far as possible.

* MR. R. K. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)

I should like to draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the fact that I have myself given notice of a new clause to this Bill with the object of securing the printing of fares on passenger tickets, and upon which I should like to take the opinion of the House if the right hon. Gentleman, cannot accept it.


I rise to appeal to the hon. Gentleman to let this Bill proceed, and I may remind him that there is no part of Her Majesty's dominions where a Bill of this kind is more required.


I have said before I have no desire to obstruct the Bill. I think, however, we should have an opportunity of discussing the Amendments, and, therefore, I cannot withdraw my Motion.


With regard to the remarks of the hon. Member for Southwark, I do not think the question of printing fares on tickets is of first-rate importance. I hope he will not press it so as to defeat the Bill. I would also ask the hon. Member for the St. Patrick's Division of Dublin to place his Amendment on the Paper.


I have done so.

Committee Report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.