HC Deb 30 July 1896 vol 43 cc1120-4

(1.) The Local Government Board may make regulations with respect to the use of light locomotives on highways, and their construction and other conditions under which they may be used, and a breach of any such regulations may be thereby made punishable by a fine not exceeding ten pounds, recoverable on summary conviction.

(2.) Regulations under this may, if the Local Government Board deem it necessary, be of a local nature and limited in their application to a particular area.

MR. CHAPLIN moved in Sub-section (1) to leave out the words— and a breach of any such regulation may he thereby made punishable by a tine not exceeding ten pounds, recoverable on summary conviction.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. CHAPLIN moved at the end of Sub-section (2) after the word "area," to insert— and may on the application of any local authority prohibit or restrict the use of locomotives for the purposes of traction in crowded streets or in other places where such use may be attended with danger to the public.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. CHAPLIN moved to add at the end of the clause after the words last inserted— All regulations under this section shall have full effect notwithstanding anything in any other Act, whether general or local, or any bye-laws or regulations made there under.


wished to know whether the Amendment met the point he intended to raise by the next Amendment.


said the Amendment was intended to obviate the danger of its being supposed that any local bye-laws should prevail over regulations made by the Local Government Board. He thought the hon. Gentleman would see that the clause he proposed was quite unnecessary. Although Clause 1 provided that the Acts scheduled should not apply, there was nothing to prevent the Local Government Board making regulations similar to any of those contained in those Acts.


asked whether it would not be possible to insert something in the nature of an Extraordinary Traffic Clause, giving local authorities in Ireland power, in the case of any of their bridges or roads being damaged by the improper use of them, to recover damages, or to restrict their use.

In answer to Captain BETHELL,


said said that it was provided in Clause 1 that a light locomotive should be deemed to be a carriage within the meaning of any Act of Parliament, so that any provision of the Common Law as to the use of carriages would apply to the locomotives.


suggested that the Local Authorities might have the powers they had now.


said that the bye-laws of a local Act would be superseded only in so far as they were inconsistent to the regulations made by the Local Government Board. As to the Question put by the hon. Member for South Leitrim, there was a Bill to amend the law with respect to the use of locomotives only. The Extraordinary Traffic Clause dealt with traffic of all descriptions, and therefore it would be quite impossible to introduce it into this Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN moved to add at the end of the clause after the words last inserted:— And such regulations shall not be invalid by reason only that they contain restrictions or conditions which might be imposed under any of the Acts contained in the Schedule. The hon. Member said the Amendment would do no harm, it would stop litigation and would protect local authorities from unnecessary litigation or difficulty in dealing with the Local Government Board.


hoped his hon. Friend would not press the Amendment. The first section only provided that the enactments mentioned in the Schedule of the Act should not apply to locomotives provided they complied with certain conditions. That was to say, locomotives of the kind were relieved from the burden of those Acts. But there is no enactment that such locomotives should not be subject to similar conditions or regulations under orders made by the Local Government Board. So he was on safe ground in saying there was no possible objection in point of law to the Local Government Board making regulations to the same effect as to any portion of the Acts referred to. The hon. Member said the Local Government Board might hesitate to make such regulations. He could assure him that the Local Government Board would have no hesitation in the matter. If regulations were desirable they would be so advised, and there would not be the slightest objection to making what regulations were thought right.


said the remarks of the Solicitor General would be on record, and as they satisfied his object in moving the Amendment, he would withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. PARKER SMITH moved to add at the end of the clause, after the words last inserted:— Every regulation purporting to be made in pursuance of this Section shall be forthwith laid before both Houses of Parliament, and if an address is presented to Her Majesty the Queen by either House within the next forty days thereafter, on which that House has sat, praying that any such regulation may be annulled, Her Majesty in Council may annul the same without prejudice to the validity of anything done in the meantime in pursuance thereof; but subject as aforesaid every regulation shall, while unrevoked, be of the same validity as if enacted in this Act. The hon. Member said he hoped the Amendment would be accepted. It was discussed at some length upstairs. It commended itself to the Committee at large, and the principle was then accepted by the Government, but in consequence of difficulties as to how it was to be worked out in detail it was withdrawn on the understanding that it would be moved in the House. There was no doubt that the House ought to have an opportunity of discussing and criticising these proposals. It appeared to him that the knowledge that these things would be upon the Table of the House and be subjected to the criticism of hon. Members had a great effect of itself. He begged to move his Amendment.


said that he should find great difficulty in accepting the whole of the hon. Member's Amendment, for a reason with which he thought the House would sympathise and agree. They were very rapidly, he hoped, approaching the end of the Session, and supposing that the regulations were not completed before the House adjourned, the manufacturers of these new vehicles, who were looking forward with the greatest anxiety to the passing of this Bill, would find that, in consequence of the regulations not having received the approval of that House, they would be unable to use these new carriages until Parliament re-assembled. He thought that that would be going beyond what was necessary in this case. He admitted that it would be important that the regulations should be laid before Parliament, and therefore he was willing to accept that part of the hon. Member's Amendment which required that the regulations should be forthwith laid before both Houses of Parliament, in order to give hon. Members an opportunity of criticising them. In these circumstances he hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would withdraw his Amendment. ["Hear, hear!"]

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn; Amendment suggested by Mr. CHAPLIN agreed to; clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 4,—