HC Deb 19 April 1898 vol 56 cc386-401

On the Order for the Second Reading,

MR. WILLIAM FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)

I do not intend, Sir, to occupy the time of the House at any length, but the circumstances under which this Bill conies before the House are peculiar, and I beg to move as an Amendment to the proposal for Second Reading— That in the opinion of this House it is undesirable that permanent powers be given as sought for by the London and North Western Railway (Steam Vessels) Bill, but that they be granted for a term of ten years. I will just read to the House a clause which might be usefully inserted in the Bill— The Company shall at all times provide all reasonable and proper facilities, including conveniently timed and arranged trains for the conveyance over their railways of passenger and other traffic passing between England and Ireland, viâ Holyhead and Kingstown or Dublin, in vessels other than those owned or worked by the Company, and shall accommodate, manage, and forward such traffic as expeditiously as and on equal terms in all respects with traffic using the Company's own vessels between the said ports or any of them. The Railway and Canal Commission shall have the like jurisdiction to hear and determine any complaint of a contravention of this enactment as they have to hear and determine a complaint of a contravention of Section 2 of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1854, as amended by subsequent Acts. A complaint under this section may be made by any steam packet company working steam vessels between Holyhead and Kingstown or Dublin or by any of the authorities mentioned in Section 7 of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1888, without proof that the authority is aggrieved by the matter complained of. The Act, which the London and North Western Railway Company seeks to pass without any discussion, as I understand it, has a preamble, which reads as follows— Whereas the London and North Western Railway Company (in this Act called 'the Company') are partly owners and partly lessees under the Crown for a long term of years of the Inner Harbour at Holyhead and the works and premises connected therewith, and have expended large sums of money in the extension and improvement of that harbour in pursuance of the powers conferred upon them by the several Acts of Parliament relating thereto; and whereas the Company, under the authority of Parliament, own, maintain, and work a station and a railway on the River Liffey at North Wall, Dublin, and under like authority hold all the share capital in the Dundalk, Newry, and Greenore Railway, and maintain and work that railway, together with piers or landing places at Greenore and Greencastle, in the Lough of Carlingford. So that this preamble sets forth that the railway company are part owners of the harbour at Holyhead. In my opinion it is most objectionable that railway companies should own harbours at all. I think that these public utilities should not be owned by private companies, and I put it to this House that when the railways were granted certain monopolies it was never contemplated that they should apply to harbours, and that there should be a power on the part of private railway companies to exercise a monopoly over passenger and goods traffic using these harbours. There is no country in the world but England that would grant to railway companies such facilities as these. It is said that in the management of the communication between London and France these powers are perpetual, but the circumstances are entirely different and exceptional with regard to the traffic between England and Ireland. The London and North Western Railway Company own a part of the line between Chester and Holyhead, and, owing to the geographical difficulties in connection with running a new line between these two points, the London and North Western Railway Company have a perfect monopoly between England and Ireland, or between London and Dublin; that is to say, that they monopolise the traffic between two capitals of two nations. Now, Sir, I contend—and I think it will not be denied by any Member of this House—that this is an exceptional position, that ought not to be allowed to be occupied by any railway company. I see that the; President of the Board of Trade is here, and I am very glad of it, because this is a matter which affects his Department, which is supposed to have a certain amount of control over railways. The fact is that this state of things would not be allowed to continue, only that the railway interest absolutely rules the House of Commons. It rules the Government, and rules the Board of Trade, and, in a word, rules the Legislature. I remember last Session, when there was a Debate of this kind, on a similar question, that it was closured absolutely on the Motion of an hon. Member, who is a director of the London and North Western Railway Company, on a matter concerning his own company, which was under Debate. I consider that it is nothing less than a public scandal that a railway director should be permitted to closure discussion in the House of Commons, when the conduct of his railway is under consideration, and I trust, Mr. Speaker, that the railway directors on this occasion who are present will abstain from voting on this Motion when it comes to a Division, because I mean to press this subject to a Division. The House of Commons has passed over questions of this sort far too lightly, and considering the enormous influence that railway companies exercise upon the commercial fortunes of the kingdom, I say that this House has been lax in its duties in permitting such Bills, affecting such large interests, to pass without discussion or debate. What are the circumstances under which these powers are asked for? The London and North Western Railway Company comes to this House, and asks for perpetual powers in regard to communication which they exercise between England and Ireland. We have a perpetual Coercion Act in existence, with regard to the political destinies of Ireland, and I am certain that this House ought to consider before it grants another perpetual Coercion Act in regard to the commercial destinies of Ireland, because, after all, that is what it comes to. The London and North Western Railway Company control everything in regard to communication between this country and Ireland. Of course, when they come to this House they put a plausible case before it, and make certain statements. Take the present Bill. The third portion of the preamble on the top of page 2 of the Bill says— And whereas the Company have established and for many years past conducted to the advantage of the public an efficient service of steam vessels between Holyhead and places in Ireland, and it is expedient that the powers hereinafter mentioned should be conferred upon the Company, and that the Company should be authorised to apply their funds to the purposes of this Act. Now, this lays down as a statement of fact that the Company have done all this for the advantage of the public during the past. What is the real fact? That statement has been contested for years past. So long ago as 1853—almost half a century—this Company did not give satisfaction to the public who were travelling between England and Ireland, and I find that in May, 1853, it was ordered— That a Select Committee be appointed to examine and report upon the present state of communication between London and Dublin via Holyhead as regards the expeditious conveyance of mails, the transport of troops, and the conveyance of the public generally, and the Irish representatives in particular in their attendance at this House. So that so long ago as 1853 this subject engaged the attention of this House, and that state of things has been going on ever since. The London and North Western Railway Company pursued the even tenour of their way until public attention was drawn to the way in which they were conducting their business, and the result was that after a certain amount of discussion, and after a certain amount of public attention had been focused upon their doings, we did obtain what the Company considered concessions; but what they regard as concessions I only regard as rights, that concession being that third-class carriages had been added to the mail trains. I was speaking yesterday to one of the principal officials of the Company, and he told me that it was a great compliment that third-class carriages had been given to passengers between London and Dublin. But the fact is that in every railway in the United Kingdom there is third-class accommodation. I know, as a member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, that we have the greatest difficulty in approaching the London and North Western Railway Company, and I assert here fearlessly that if this Company is given perpetual powers with regard to its ships it will set at nought Parliament, and everybody else who seeks to control it in the future. This is a question which every Unionist ought seriously to consider, because the more reasonable the communication between England and Ireland, the more chance you have of preserving the Union. Personally, I wish that the communication between us was cut off entirely, so that we should have to be allowed to conduct our own legislative business in our own country, and not be troubled by the high fares and the difficulties of communication which the London and North Western Railway Company places in our way. I do not wish to delay the House too long, but this is a matter of great importance, and it is one that affects the producers and manufacturers, and the travellers between Great Britain and Ireland. It may be said that this is one of those Irish questions which have been agitated in this House for years. The President of the Board of Trade knows that I have been consistent on all railway matters for years from all points of view. I believe that railways ought to belong to the State, and not to private companies. I should like to point out this fact, that it has been given as the decided opinion of people who have had experience in these matters that the cost of transit of manufactured articles by our railway companies exceeds by a million and a half of money what the cost of transit of the same goods would be if carried by the State managed railways of Germany and France; and yet here we have a private railway company absolutely asking this House of Commons to give perpetual powers in order that they may control our business and the passengers and goods carried between England and Ireland. I trust that the result of the few words I have said will be that the House will consider very seriously before it gives the powers which are sought for under this Bill. I do not wish it to be understood that I am entirely in opposition to the London and North Western Railway Company. On the contrary, I admit that their service is wonderfully good; but to give a company a monopoly I say creates a dangerous state of affairs which ought not to be sanctioned by this House. I will conclude by moving the Amendment which stands in my name, and I ask the House to carefully consider this question, because it is one of extreme importance as regards communication between England and Ireland.


Do I understand that the hon. Member moves that the Bill be read a second time this day six months, or the Amendment which he handed to me, and which is as follows?— In the opinion of this House it is undesirable that permanent powers be given as sought for by the London and North Western Railway Company (Steam Vessels) Bill, but that they be granted for a term of ten years, and that the following clause be added. That, the hon. Member will observe, does not read logically without some addition.


Well, I will stand by the first part, or any part that the House will accept.

MR. JOHN E. REDMOND (Waterford)

seconded the Amendment.

SIR W. H. HOULDSWORTH (Manchester, N.W.)

I rise with great diffidence as a director of the London and North Western Railway Company to make any observation upon the speech of the hon. Member opposite. I rather gather from some parts of his speech that he thinks that on railway Bills a railway director, especially a director of the railway promoting the Bill, should not appear at all in this House on the subject. I will assume that the hon. Member is fair enough to admit that when any question conies before this House both sides ought to be heard, and if that is the case it appears to me that it would be scarcely fair that those who know the circumstances of the case in connection with the Bill should, at any rate, not have an opportunity of being heard and of putting the views of the railway company before this House in order that the House may judge of the merits of the question under dis- cussion. With regard to railway directors voting upon a Bill, that is another question altogether, and I regret that the Committee which sat upon that question has given no direction whatever to enable railway directors to know what, in their opinion, the House ought to do. That is a minor matter, but I certainly do say that in cases of this sort those who represent the interest which is bringing forward the Bill, so long as private Bills are allowed to be brought in, should have an opportunity of saying what they can in defence of them.


May I say that I never intended to say that hon. Members should be closured and not given an opportunity of giving the opinions of those whom they represent? That is an entirely different thing to voting upon questions in which they have a direct personal interest.


I have had great difficulty in discovering what the hon. Member's objection really is. The grounds upon which the Company brought forward the Bill are simply these: in 1848 the Company was granted by Parliament the precise powers, and no greater powers than those which appear in this Bill. At that time it was a novelty for a railway company to be allowed to use their capital for purposes of promoting the owning and running of steam ships. It was to some extent an experiment, but Parliament has from time to time not only renewed those powers which were given in 1848 for a term of years, but has gone further in regard to other companies, and has given perpetual powers such as are sought for by this Bill. I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that perpetual powers have been given to every railway in the United Kingdom, and certainly they have been given to every railway company that has asked for them. I think he admitted that, but he said that there was an exception with regard to the London and North Western Railway Company, because that Company forms the only communication to the ports to which these steamships sailed. But the hon. Member must be aware that there are many places of the same kind, and it is impossible, unless you have the whole country cut up among competitive railway companies, that the circumstances should not exist which he brings before the House—namely, that one railway company has one line of communication. It may be called a monopoly to that port, but I can assure the hon. Member that it is not exceptional in the case of the London and North Western Railway Company at all, but it exists in many other companies which have similar powers. The hon. Gentleman seemed to think—and I notice that the same idea very often occurs in speeches on Railway Bills in this House—that this Bill contains some concession of very great value to the Company, given to the Company for the Company's benefit. I quite admit that the duty of a railway director is to take care of the interests of the shareholders, but Parliament must recognise that these railway companies do give to the public certain benefits, and I think it is desirable that they should be encouraged in doing so; and it appears to me that Parliament and the public have also gone further, and have desired and clamoured for railway companies to spend more and more capital, in order to give greater and greater facilities to the public. But how can railway companies expend their capital for the public benefit, unless they bring Bills into the House? I can assure the hon. Member that there are many cases in which Bills are brought forward which are not so much in the interests of the shareholders as they are for the public benefit, because the shareholders would rather not expend the capital; and I would venture to tell the House that in this case the London and North Western Railway Company are only seeking the same powers as have been granted to all the other companies in the country, and I know of no reason why the London and North Western Railway Company should be excluded from the enjoyment of those powers, which are not so much for the shareholders' benefit as for the public convenience. I may say that there have been no petitions presented against this Bill. I do not see how there can be, because there can be no objection, when Parliament has granted these powers from, time to time since 1848, to continuing these powers. The only difference in this Bill is that we ask for these powers to be perpetual, instead of being for a term of years, and I cannot see that that makes any very great difference. We are only asking for what has been granted to other companies, and I confidently appeal to the House to give its sanction to the Second Reading of this Bill. I believe that it will be for the public benefit. But the House ought not to expect railway companies, unless they have some perpetual interest in their works, to expend large amounts of money, or, at any rate, to expend so much as they would do if they had permanent powers, through which they might look for some return for the capital expended.


I am not quite sure that the House has accurately grasped the point which is at issue, which is a very simple point, and one which is very simply and easily understood. The London and North Western Railway Company is, as everybody knows, a great carrying company between England and Ireland. In 1848 as the hon. Baronet has said, this Company obtained powers for a certain term of years to run steamers between Holyhead and Dublin, and these powers have from time to time been renewed by Parliament. Now, on this occasion, the London and North Western Railway Company come to this House and ask Parliament to give up the control which it has up to the present maintained in its hands, by only giving leases for terms of years, and ask for perpetual running powers over the Channel. The objection that Irish Members have to this proposal is this: we believe that this is an effort to create an absolute monopoly of traffic between England and Ireland. At present the London and North Western Railway Company has a monopoly so far as Holyhead, but from Holyhead to Ireland they have not a monopoly. I believe that the oldest steam shipping company in existence is the Irish Steam Packet Company, which runs packet steamers from Holyhead to Kingstown, and if perpetual powers be given to the London and North Western Railway Company as asked for under this Bill, I think those powers will be used to crush out this old Irish company, and establish an absolute monopoly between London and Dublin. That is the point at issue. It is a very easy point to understand, and I have no other reason for intervening on this subject than to elucidate that point, so that hon. Members may grasp it and understand, at any rate, the position of the Irish Members, who are only anxious to prevent what they fear will be a monopoly if these perpetual powers are given. Why should the London and North Western Railway Company object to having these powers for terms of years renewed from time to time? I think it would be a very unwise thing for the House of Commons to release the power it at present possesses over this Company, and I trust that, under the circumstances, the Bill as it stands will not be proceeded with, and that the Amendment of the hon. Member for the St. Patrick Division of Dublin will be accepted.


The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has somewhat narrowed the grounds of opposition to this Bill. The position of the hon. Member was different from that taken up by the hon. Member for the city of Dublin. The hon. Member for Waterford thinks that if the House grants the request of the London and North Western Railway Company the position of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company will be seriously endangered. Let me point out to the hon. Gentleman that the competition which exists between the London and North Western Railway Company and the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company can always be under the control of the House. The City of Dublin Steam Packet Company runs into Holyhead Harbour under a contract which is renewed from time to time by this House, and it does not in any way compete with the London and North Western Railway Company as far as general cargo goes. At the present moment an arrangement of the most amicable character exists between the two companies, and as far as this Bill is concerned the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company are not under the apprehensions which are felt by the hon. Gentleman opposite; for, if they were, they would take the ordinary course of presenting a petition against the Bill, but that has not been done. No petition has been presented by any of the great organisations connected with the commerce of Ireland against this Bill, and I think I may appeal to the hon. Gentleman upon this ground, as to whether the fears he has expressed are well founded. Every exertion has been made to increase the communication between England and Ireland, and to promote further and better tourist arrangements. Is the step which the hon. Gentleman opposite is taking likely to encourage this movement? What has the London and North Western Railway Company done for Ireland? They have spent, between Holyhead and Dublin, over a million of money, and no other Irish company has spent anything like that sum in promoting the interests of those who desired increased facilities for communication between England and Ireland, and by this Bill the London and North Western Railway Company are only asking from the House of Commons those powers which have been granted to every other railway company owning steam packets in the United Kingdom. It is true that Holyhead Harbour is to a certain extent under the control of the London and North Western Railway Company, but from that very harbour, or a portion of it, there is competition by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, and, as far as other interests are concerned, there is most direct competition from Liverpool. If the London and North Western Railway Company are largely interested in Holyhead, so are the Great Western in Milford, the London and South Western in Southampton, and the Great Eastern in Harwich. There is really no substantial ground for the objection of the hon. Gentleman opposite upon that point. The hon. Member for the City of Dublin alluded to the fact that the service of the London and North Western Railway Company did not give satisfaction. But we have no evidence of that by any public body, and I will remind him that the service has been recently very largely accelerated, and, so far as the mail service is concerned, the Company has done everything that has been asked of it by the Post Office, and it is most anxious to do all it can for the purpose of improving its services. I submit to the House that neither the hon. Gentleman who has moved this Amendment, nor the hon. Gentleman who has seconded it, has given any substantial ground for the position which they have taken up with regard to this Bill, and I hardly think it is in the interest of any class in Ireland to place any impediment in the way of investment of capital by railway companies in that country. The London and North Western Company is only asking for the same facilities and the same protection as have been granted to other companies, and they do it as much for the benefit of the future of Ireland as for the benefit of their shareholders.


Mr. Speaker—


The hon. Gentleman has lost his right to speak by seconding the Amendment.


I raised my hat at the same time as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Water-ford. Had he not done so, I should have said what I wish to say now.


I will not stand in the hon. Member's way if the House has no objection.


I hope I shall prove that I deserve the courtesy extended to me by not taking up the time of the House. I gathered from the right hon. Gentleman who spoke on behalf of the Government that the Government were not going to be impartial on this question, and by their action they are going to prove what I believe to be the case—that the London and North Western Railway Company are masters of the Government. I had hoped that a question which so primarily affects Irish interests and the Irish people would be allowed to be decided on its merits, and that the Government would not throw their weight in the scales in favour of this important Company. The right hon. Gentleman, who seemed to hold a special brief for the Company, asked us to remember what the Company had done for Ireland. I asked him to kindly remember what the Company have been doing for themselves, and I would ask him and the representatives of the Company in this House: do they think that anyone in the House is so simple as to believe that what they do is done for the honour and glory and benefit of the Irish people, and not with an eye to their own business? They are there for commercial purposes. But that is an entirely different thing to allowing them power to control the people of Ireland and to use the people as they please. Now, Sir, I have had experience recently of the dealings between this Company and the Government. I am not at liberty at present to say what they are, but I think it will be seen very shortly that they are really masters of the Government. They are not only the mail carriers, with a monopoly of the mail service between London and Dublin, but they also carry mails between Dublin and the North Wall, and the result of giving them these perpetual powers will be that they will run out of existence the City of Dublin Company. They are masters between Holyhead and Dublin, as they are masters of the road between London and Holyhead. What are we to expect then? At present they make what terms they please, as I shall have an opportunity of proving on a future occasion in this House. It has been said that other companies get perpetual powers. All I can say is that the granting of perpetual powers is a mistake to any railway company, and if that sort of thing has been allowed to pass on other occasions we are thoroughly determined that it shall not pass unchallenged now, because the powers they already have are absolute, and you cannot get into or out of Ireland without their fixing any price they please. They can make any terms they like, and if they succeed in removing the City of Dublin Company, then you will be handing the sea over to them, and they can fix what terms they like there as well as on the land. It is a question not only for this House, but for the taxpayers of Great Britain and Ireland, because their money has to go to pay for these mail contracts, and they should have a voice in deciding whether this Company is to have a monopoly or not. I say it is a most reasonable thing to ask that a limit should be put to the term during which the Company shall run their boats. No one has troubled them for the last 14 years about their contract, but it is a very great check that periodically at least they will have to come here and ask the House for permission to renew it. There have been many accidents upon their boats—unfortunately too many. I am not afraid to say what none of the Gentlemen who have spoken on the other side can say, that I have not a shilling in either Company, and I can therefore say this for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company with a clear conscience, that although they sent the first steam vessel across the Atlantic, they have never

lost a life yet in the conveyance of mails and passengers to Ireland. But the same cannot be said for the London and North Western. They have lost very many lives, and some of the boats too. Give them these perpetual powers, and you will have no control over them of any sort. It is a reasonable business question that this House is asked to decide, and I am very sorry that the Government have again placed themselves on the side of this great monopoly. I will not longer trespass upon the indulgence of the House, and will only urge every hon. Gentleman who wishes this House to control the railway companies, and not the companies to control this House, to support my hon. Friend upon this question.

The House divided:—Ayes 97; Noes 51.

Aird, John Goschen, G. J. (Sussex) Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Allison, Robert Andrew Gunter, Colonel Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Anstruther, H. T. Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G. Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)
Arrol, Sir William Hare, Thomas Leigh Purvis, Robert
Ascroft, Robert Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Renshaw, Charles Bine
Balcarres, Lord Heath, James Rickett, J. Compton
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Hill, Rt. Hon. Lord A. (Down) Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.
Bartley, George C. T. Holland, Hon. L. Raleigh Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. L. Royds, Clement Molyneux
Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham)
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l) Lafone, Alfred Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks.) Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Logan, John William Sharpe, Wm. Ed. T.
Brookfield, A. Montagu Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Bucknill, Thos. Townsend Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Lowe, Francis William Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lowther, J. W. (Cumberland) Smith, A. H. (Christchurch)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Macartney, W. G. Ellison Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Macdona, John Cumming Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox'fd Uny)
Colomb, Sir John Chas. R. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W. M'Killop, James Thornton, Percy M.
Curzon, Viscount (Bucks) Mappin, Sir Frederick T. Verney, Hon. Richard G.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Marks, Henry Hananel Vincent, Col. C. E. H.
Fardell, Sir T. George Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Walrond, Sir Wm. Hood
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Monckton, Edward Philip Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Fellowes, Hon. Allwyn Ed. Monk, Charles James Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne More, Robert Jasper Wills, Sir William Henry
Fisher, William Hayes Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Wilson, John (Govan)
Flannery, Fortescue Nicol, Donald Ninian
Folkestone, Viscount Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) Paulton, James Mellor Mr. Cochrane and Mr.
Fry, Lewis Penrose-FitzGerald, Sir R. Galloway.
Goldsworthy, Major-General Perks, Robert William
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Goddard, Daniel Ford Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Allan, Wm. (Gateshead) Goulding, Edward Alfred Roberts, J. H. (Denbighs.)
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Griffith, Ellis J. Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bayley, T. (Derbyshire) Harwood, George Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Billson, Alfred Hazell, Walter Steadman, William Charles
Blake, Edward Hudson, George Bickersteth Strachey, Edward
Brigg, John Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Sullivan, D. (Westmeath)
Broadhurst, Henry Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire) Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Caldwell, James Lambert, George Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
Cameron, R. (Durham) Leng, Sir John Warner, Thomas C. T.
Cawley, Frederick Lloyd-George, David Wayman, Thomas
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness.) Macaleese, Daniel Wedderburn, Sir William
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.) Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Dalbiac, Col. Philip Hugh Maddison, Fred. Woodhouse, Sir J. (Hudd'rsf'ld)
Dalziel, James Henry O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Woods, Samuel
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Chas. Philipps, John Wynford TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Doogan, P. C. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Mr. William Field and Mr.
Duckworth, James Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Patrick O'Brien.

First Ten Resolutions agreed to.


I rise to ask a question of privilege. Cannot the vote of a director of this Company voting in this Division be disallowed?


Of any railway director?


No, Sir, of any railway director of this Company voting on this Bill.


That is not a matter for the Speaker—it is a matter for the House. The only Rule on the subject is that a Member having a direct pecuniary interest of a personal and not of a public character ought not to vote. It is for the House, and not for me, to say whether a Member has or has not come within this Rule.


Am I at liberty to move that any director of the London and North Western Railway Company who has voted in this Division shall have his vote disallowed?


Not in such terms. If the hon. Member can name any Member whom he can say has so voted he is at liberty to move that that vote be disallowed, but he cannot make a roving Motion.

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