Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question (6th May)—
That Standing Order l57 be Amended by inserting after the word 'Committee,' at the end of the first sub-section, the words 'and whether any communication has been received from the Board of Trade in regard to the Bill, or the objects thereof, of which in the opinion of the Committee it is desirable that the House should be informed.' "—(Mr. Dodd.)
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. CYRIL DODD (Essex, Maldon) rose to resume the Debate.
§ THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS (MR. MELLOR,) York, W.R., Sowerby
desired to call the attention of the House to the fact that this was a most unnecessary Amendment of the Standing Order. Everything proposed to be done by the Amendment could be done by the Committee under the Standing Order as it existed. It was most undesirable that anything should be added to the Standing Order which would cast doubt upon what had long been acted upon by the Committee, and would really militate against the work the Committee had in hand.
§ MR. DODD
said, the principal object of his Amendment was to bring the Standing Order up to date. Since the Standing Order was passed, railway companies had become more subject to the Board of Trade in regard to their rates and hours of service, and one of the objects of his Amendment was to secure that when the Board of Trade brought before the Committee any matter in relation to a railway company, the Committee, if they thought the matter worthy of the consideration of the House, should lay the facts before the House. At present the House did not know the facts, for it was the practice of Committees on railway private Bills not to mention to the House communications from public Departments unless 622 they came in the shape of Reports, and therefore the House often Debated those Bills in the dark. As, however, the Government, he presumed at the instigation of the Board of Trade, did not advise the Amending of the Standing Order, he asked the permission of the House to withdraw the Motion.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. J. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
said, it would be impossible for the hon. Member to effect by a side wind in this way an object which, as the Speaker had ruled on a former occasion, had no relation to private business.
§ Motion by leave withdrawn.