§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ *(2.7.) MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N)
I am sorry that I am again compelled to trouble the House in regard to this Bill, but it is a matter of very considerable importance, and I have placed on the Paper an Amendment which I beg to move:—That the Order for Third Reading he read, and discharged, and that the Bill be re-committed to the former Committee.—That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert Amendments in the Bill providing that the triangular piece of land west of Gloucester Road Station be used only for railway purposes, or for the erection of buildings of a substantial and permanent character.The piece of land which is proposed to be taken for the purposes of this railway, is at the present moment a sort of "no mans' land," consisting of about two acres lying on the west of the Gloucester Road Station. It is surrounded by a number of good houses the proprietors of which object to its being converted into the sort of Cremorne which appears to be contemplated by the promoters of the Bill. I proposed an Amendment on the Second Reading of the Bill, but was unsuccessful. I must acknowledge that the Committee, to a certain extent, have modified the provisions of the measure, but I need scarcely point out how prejudicial and unpleasant it will be to the residents to have a resuscitation of such performances as those which were the principle features of the Cremorne Gardens, immediately behind their premises. I will not go into the question of whether Cremornes are necessary not, but what I do assert is that it is not the business of a Railway Com- 1198 pany to get land by compulsory powers for railway purposes, and then convert it into an exhibition. Similar exhibitions, such as the Fisheries and others, have quite ruined parts of South Kensington for residential purposes, and I think that a Railway Company which has obtained land for railway purposes ought not to be allowed to convert it by Act of Parliament into something else. I am quite certain that if the company came here with an original Bill for this object they would be defeated, and therefore I do not see why they should be allowed to do it under the provisions of an omnibus Bill. For these reasons I hope the House will agree to the Instruction I have moved.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the words "now read the third time," in order to add the words "re-committed to the former Committee."—(Mr. Bartley.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'now read the third time' stand part of the Question."
§ (2.10.) MR. COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)
The hon. Member for North Islington (Mr. Bartley) raised this question on the Second Reading, and it was again raised in Committee, but on neither stage was the hon. Member able to make out a case. The hon. Member says that the company, having acquired land for one purpose, ought not to be allowed to devote it to another; but this Bill will not give the company the power which the hon. Member imagines it does. The Bill leaves the question regarding the land exactly as it stood before, and the rights of the parties will remain the same. All that the Bill does is to leave to the company the rights they had before, and it would be altogether outside our Parliamentary practice to tack on to the Bill a provision which in effect amounts to an attempt to place a legal construction upon an agreement.
§ (2.13.) SIR J. DORINGTON (Gloucester, Tewkesbury)
As the Chairman of the Committee that dealt with the Bill I wish to say that the whole question raised by the Amendment of the hon. Member opposite was carefully considered, and it appeared that there was a misapprehension. There were two plots of land to which the word "exhibition" might apply; but the 1199 Committee inserted in the Bill a clause to provide that nothing in the measure shall apply to those pieces of land. We did not consider it right to impose on the company restrictions in regard to land which is undoubtedly their own, or to impose upon them fresh restrictions. I trust that the House will support the decision of the Committee.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.