HC Deb 15 June 1896 vol 41 cc1047-50

Order for Third Heading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."


proposed to leave out the words "now read the Third time," and to add instead thereof "recommitted in respect of a new clause (Lands and buildings in the parish of Islington to continue liable to rates)." He said that the clause which he had been requested to move by the Vestry of Islington was one to enable the local authorities to require the payment of rates from the railway company from taking possession and during the process of pulling down and the construction of the works. The matter affected the constituency which he represented, but since he had put down the Motion he had received representations from other local authorities that they might have similar privileges to those which had been given to the Corporation of the City. He had no objection to the clause when framed being made general. He admitted that it was a late stage at which to make this proposal. By an oversight, which was capable of an explanation, and due to the General Election of 1895, the Vestry authorities had failed to obtain, like the City of London, which had its Remembrancer, a clause in the Bill for their protection. Power had been obtained to make the railway to certain southern suburbs, and it was proposed to make an extension north as far as Islington. Owing to the General Election, the fact that the Bill simply stood over was overlooked by the local authorities, and he regretted that they were not communicated with. The result was that the City Corporation obtained their clause, but the Vestry did not. This was a principle and a precedent. He now asked that the same clause should be introduced on behalf of the other parishes. What would be the effect of the omission? While the city would gain, the parish of Islington would lose, several hundreds a year. Moreover, the Railway Consolidation Act provided for payment of the Poor Rate. So that, again, they had the admission of the principle that rates ought to be paid. But the Sewerage and Lighting Rate would not come under the Act. The company now came to the House for an extension of time to do these works, and so far what was really a re-enactment of their original Acts, and it should be required to do justice to the other ratepayers of the parish. He maintained that equality was equity and equity consisted in giving these parishes, which were comparatively poor, the same as the City of London. He moved to re-commit the Bill that an act of justice might be done the local authorities.


hoped the House would not agree to the Motion of the hon. Member for Islington. In the first place it was very unusual for an hon. Member to ask the House to insert a clause in a Bill without giving the promoters of the Measure and the opponents of the clause any opportunity whatever of being heard. In the second place, the question had already been before the Court of Referees on locus standi, and the locus of the clients of the hon. Member for Islington was disallowed.


said he did not seek to reverse the locus standi Court, he only asked the House to prevent an injustice to the ratepayers clue to an accidental omission of the local authority.


pointed out that whatever the intentions of the hon. Member might be, the effect of the acceptance of his Motion by the House would be to reverse the decision of the Court, which would be a most unusual course, unless some very good ground could be shown. He believed that no ground had been shown for such a course.

MR. H. C. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E.)

was sorry to ask the House to differ from the Chairman of the Committees, but as the representative of the adjacent borough and parish of St. Luke, he rose to support the hon. Member for Islington. There would be no injustice done to the promoters if the Instruction of his hon. Friend were carried, because if the Bill were re-committed both parties would be heard before the Committee. The Chairman of Committees had pointed out that the parish of Islington were not heard before the Court of Referees on the ground that the Court held they were not before them. No one could deny what his hon. Friend had said, namely, that the City and South London Rail way Bill was hung up during the Dissolution of Parliament, and that the local authorities were unaware of the fact that the Bill was being proceeded with this Session. The act of justice done the city of London should be done the other local authorities.

MR. C. T. MURDOCH (Reading)

could not help thinking the Amendment was a very unusual one. The City and South London Railway was to a certain extent a pioneer railway. It was almost the first railway constructed in London upon the purely electric system, and it was impossible, under those circumstances, that it could be completed in the time originally stipulated. An extension of time was therefore asked for. The Bill seeking extension was carefully considered in Committee, and was now sent to the House for Third Reading. The hon. Member for Islington now asked, on what he thought very insufficient grounds, to send the Bill back to a Committee in order that an entirely new system of taxation might take place in regard to that railway. In rejecting the Motion of the hon. Member the House would simply confirm the ruling the Speaker gave the other day. He sincerely trusted that in simple justice the House would support the decision of the Committee.

MR. B. L. COHEN (Islington, E.)

thought the adoption of the Amendment would establish a very valuable precedent. There were important railways piercing the very heart of London, and it was only right the companies constructing those railways should be liable to assessment during the period of construction. For these reasons he, as a Metropolitan Member, hoped the House would consent to the Motion.

MR. G. C. T. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

asserted in the name of Islington that Islington did not want anything that was unfair. The Amendment would give Islington a particular advantage. The railway went through several parishes, and therefore it seemed to him that all the parishes ought to have some advantage or else none at all.


said he had stated he was prepared to see that was done.


said that as the clause was drawn it would simply give Islington an advantage, and he was opposed to the system of catching votes by advocating the claims of a particular constituency. He should vote with the Chairman of Committees against the clause.

Question put, "That the words 'now read the Third time' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 192; Noes, 70.—(Division List, No. 241).

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.