HC Deb 16 March 1899 vol 68 cc940-1

Motion made, and Question proposed— That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they consider the terms and conditions proper to be imposed upon the said Railway Companies on the occasion of their amalgamation, in respect of reductions of fares, rates, tolls, and charges leviable by them on their local and continental traffic, and in respect of the provision of any such further and better facilities for the conveyance of passengers and goods as may be properly required from them."—(Mr. Woods.)

MR. WOODS (Essex, Walthamstow)

I think, after the long Debate on this Bill on Tuesday, that the promoters of the Measure, and the right honourable Gentleman at the head of the Department affected by it, will not require any arguments from me to commend to them the Instruction which I have put down on the Paper. It is so plain, practical, and just, that I hope the promoters of the Bill and the right honourable Gentleman will see their way to accept it.

MR. COSMO BONSOR (Surrey, Wimbledon)

I oppose the Motion on the ground that a very strong Committee is to be appointed with a very wide reference, and practically all the subjects referred to in the Instruction can be dealt with by that Committee on the clauses of the Bill. I do not think it is at all necessary that the Committee should be instructed as to the course of procedure which they are going to take, and as a matter of principle, I must ask the House to refuse the Instruction.


Mr. Speaker, I hope the honourable Member will not press his Instruction. He is well aware that the Committee may consider these questions, if they think fit, without any Instruction at all. They have full power to consider this matter, and I think that to give the Committee an Instruction with regard to one particular point, and that a point in reference to which these two railway companies are doing more at the present time than any other railway company in the metropolis, would be casting a reflection on the action of those railway companies. The Instruction is not at all necessary.


Do I understand from the statement of the right honourable Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade that there will be no limitation on the kind of evidence which can be brought before the Committee? If so, I am perfecty willing to withdraw my Instruction.


The evidence will be regulated by the Rules of the House.


It is quite clear that anyone who has a locus standi under the Rules of the House will be able to give evidence before the Committee.

MR. J. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

When I saw this Instruction on the Paper it struck me that the subjects mentioned were the very points which the Committee would inquire into. Under the circumstances, I think the honourabe Member for Walthamstow should be content with the assurance which has come from the other side, and withdraw the Instruction.


After the explanation that has been given, I beg to withdraw my Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.