HC Deb 02 July 1896 vol 42 cc607-10

(1.) The council of any county, borough, or district may pay any expenses incurred by them and allowed by the Light Railway Commissioners with reference to any application for an Order authorising a light railway under this Act, in the case of a county council as general expenses, in the case of a borough council out of the borough fund or rate, and in the case of a district council other than a borough council as general expenses under the Public Health Acts. Provided that any such expenses and any expenses payable in like manner under this Act, if incurred by a county council may be declared by the Order authorising the railway or, in the event of an unsuccessful application for such an order, by the Light Railway Commissioners, to be exclusively chargeable on certain parishes only in the county, and those expenses shall be levied accordingly as expenses for a special county purpose under the Local Government Act, 1888.

(2.) "Where the council of any county, borough or district are authorised to expend any money by an Order authorising a light railway under this Act, they may raise the money required,—

  1. (a) if the expenditure is capital expenditure, by borrowing in manner authorised by the order; and
  2. (b) if the expenditure is not capital expenditure, as if it was on account of the expenses of an application under this Act.

(3.) The Board of Trade may from time to time on the application of any council extend, subject to the limitations of this Act, the limit of the amount which the council are authorised by an order under this Act to borrow, or to advance to a light railway company, and the limit so extended shall be substituted for the limit fixed by the Order.

(4.) When an Order under this Act authorises any council to borrow for the purposes of a light railway, suitable provision shall be made in the Order for requiring the replacement of the money borrowed within a fixed period not exceeding sixty years, either by means of a sinking fund or otherwise.

(5.) Any profits made by a council in respect of a light railway shall be applied in aid of the rate out of which the expenses of the council in respect of the light railway are payable.

MR. CALDWELL moved in subsection (3) after the word "may" to insert the words, "by an amending Order." He explained that provision was made in the Bill for inserting in the original Order the amount of money which any County Council might advance for the construction of light railways. This procedure secured the most perfect publicity for a matter that required the most careful consideration before any step was taken. The proposal in the clause was that the amount specified in the original Order might be increased with the sanction of the Board, and his object in moving the Amendment was to provide that the Board of Trade should not be entitled to do so merely on the application of the County Council; but that an amending Order should be required. He maintained that the publicity which was thought necessary in regard to the original amount was even more necessary in regard to any increase, but that increase might be due to the want of success of the scheme. The amount originally sanctioned might be doubled without the ratepayers being consulted. The procedure in connection with an amending Order would be exceeding simple. The local ratepayers would be the only people they would require to consult.


did not think the hon. Member need be the least alarmed. The grave consequences which he anticipated were by no means likely to follow if the Bill remained as it stood. The Bill followed' exactly the procedure adopted by Parliamentary Committees with regard to schemes which came before them, where a certain borrowing power was given with a provision that the Local Government Board or the Board of Trade might increase the amount, if necessity was shown by the promoters for that to be done. The original Order had to be approved by the Railway Commissioners and by the Board of Trade, and no borrowing powers could be given beyond those necessary for carrying out the scheme as originally approved.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

supported the Amendment. He thought it was necessary that they should have something in the nature of a judicial tribunal to ascertain the opinion of the locality before lending the money. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would see his way to accepting the Amendment.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted":—

The House Divided:—Ayes, 41; Noes, 165.—(Division List, No. 307.)


ruled that several Amendments standing in the name of Mr. Caldwell were out of order.

MR. RITCHIE moved to insert at the end of the clause, (6) Where a rate is levied for meeting any expenditure under this Act, the demand note for the rate shall state, in a form prescribed by the Local Government Board, the proportion of the rate levied for that expenditure.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 18,—