§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."—(Mr. J. Stuart.)1073
§ MR. H. KIMBER
said, the Bill proposed to take over not only the whole of the Tramways of the Metropolis, but work them without limit as to time or conditions. He did not know whether it was the intention of the County Council to exercise that power if they got it to that unlimited extent. If it was their intention only to work the Tramways temporarily he should be quite content. He thought it was only reasonable that municipalities, having been endowed with the powers, and having the Tramways on their hands, would be at liberty temporarily to work them; but beyond the temporary working there was a strong objection on principle. This Bill proposed to introduce a large innovation in their system. The effect would be to make the London County Council the patrons of thousands—he might say tens of thousands—of persons who would be voters for the County Council. It would put into their hands a patronage which might be abused and very seriously impair the fair working of their institutions. There was a Bill now before the House backed by seven Members, five of whom sat on the opposite side, all bearing very respected names. The Bill seemed to be a tolerably fair Bill. It was headed "Tramways (Local Authorities) Bill." While it gave the municipalities power to obtain the Tramways it provided for the temporary working for a certain period until lessees could be obtained for them. He was not going to oppose the Bill, for with limitations he thought the Bill should pass. Perhaps these were matters more for a Committee, and if in order he should like to Move that these two Bills be referred to the same Committee. He hoped it would be a large Committee—larger than a Private Bill Committee. If these two Bills were put together a good Bill might be made out of them.
§ SIR J. B MAPLE
did not observe that the County Council took any power under the Bill to buy horses with which to work the tramways. He did not know if it was proposed to run the tramways without horses. It was comparatively easy to keep the rails from rising or falling below the level of the road, but when they came to the question of buying horses it was a very large affair. It would require a good 1074 deal of consideration. He thought the suggestion of his hon. Friend would be a very good one to follow.
§ *MR. G. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)
said, it was an unusual thing to propose that a Public Bill and a Private Bill should be referred to the same Committee. It was, he believed, altogether without precedent. What was proposed was no new thing. It was only new to London; many municipalities dealt, with it. Give to London municipal power under the Municipal Corporations Act and these difficulties as regards Legislation would cease.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read 2º.