HC Deb 16 July 1902 vol 111 cc430-5

Order for Second Reading read.

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

(9.0.) MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

said the House would expect from him a statement of the reason why he opposed the Second Reading of this Bill, the object of which was to extend the time by two years for the purchase of land and completion of the works. He would ask, in the first instance, this question of those who were in charge of this Bill, whether the property was still in the hands of the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy. This railway was one of many paper railways which they had in the metropolis. It had already placed four Acts of Parliament on the Statute-book, and this was the fifth Bill presented to this House by the promoters. Although the line was authorised in 1893 the railway had not yet been opened to the public. This railway was financed, engineered, and constructed by contractors for whom the London and Globe Company were responsible, a company which was now hopelessly bankrupt. They had been told that a, considerable part of the line had already been constructed, but he would like to point out, in the first instance, that the tunnel through which this line passed was of a very small size, and it could not possibly carry the traffic which its monopoly should call upon it to carry. Speaking on behalf of many Londoners interested in this matter, ho urged that they were entitled to know whether the line was to be under the direct control of Mr. Yerkes, the promoter of many derelict tube schemes in the Metropolis. This was a question of some importance, owing to the fact of the connection of that gentleman with the District Railway Company. It was no doubt possible, indeed it was extremely probable, that this line would join up with the District Railway at Charing Cross, or some other derelict railway on that route. If they authorised the construction of this line it would be used as an ally of the District Railway, to divert traffic from its natural course on the District Railway. Before the House consented to the Second Reading of this Bill surely they were entitled to have some definite and final statement from the promoters. The promoters of this line promised as long ago as 1894 that the line should be made, but it still remained a paper line. To those who had examined the question it appeared to be only one of the bases of the American schemes which were largely connected with speculative operations on the London Stock Exchange. If this House sanctioned this proposal, it would deprive for a number of years a, large portion of the Metropolis of the advantage of rapid means of communication, and would thus inflict a serious blow at many of those attempts which were made by municipal authorities and others to deal with those social evils under which the vast industrial population of London suffered. The more the proposals in this Bill were considered, the more clear it became that the policy contained in it might be summarised by saying that the object was to bring afloat the speculative operations of stocks of discredited steam railways, and to divert from its natural course traffic which should relieve the congested districts of the Metropolis. The intention of Parliament in creating a comprehensive scheme for the treatment of underground railways was that they should be thoroughly useful to the public, and that there should be competition, but the effect of this Bill would be that the company would be tied hand and foot, and that it would be unable to carry out that object. The true object of this Bill was not to serve London, but to serve the District Railway, and it was therefore for that reason that he suggested they should insist on having from the promoters of the Bill some definite assurance that they would work in harmony with other tube railways, whether promoted by them or by their antagonists, so that there might be rapid and cheap communication afforded to all dwellers in the Metropolis.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words, 'upon this day three months."—(Mr. Claude Hay.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

said although he was in favour of all competition, and of as large an increase of tube railways as possible, and recognised the enormous importance and benefit that tube railways would confer on districts through which they would go, yet there were two or three points worthy of consideration before the House agreed to the Second Reading of this Bill. This Bill was part of a system of railways or tubes which was to circulate throughout London. The promoters had no doubt followed out the recommendations of the Joint Committee that tube railways should be constructed on a system for the whole of London. Those who had followed the evidence before that Committee would realise the importance of that recommendation, because the frequent trains that would run along the electric railways would have to be dealt with so that junctions might be formed at the different suburbs. Unfortunately this group of railways had to a certain extent amalgamated, but it had only made itself into a system for feeding the future electrified railway of the present District Railway. It utterly failed to do that which every tube railway system must undertake to do, and that was to do its share to relieve the great pressure of the over-population and crowding of the great district in the East End of London. This system of railways did not touch the East End of London except on the fringe. The promoters, in the paper which they had issued that morning, suggested that the White chapel Stepney and Bow Line carried out that idea. That might be so, but it must be remembered that the traffic on this part was already very heavy, and those who were acquainted with the East End of London knew that the traffic was such that it could not possibly carry any more. Therefore the fact remained that this Bill would not be in any way a relief to the East End of London.


Order, order! I understand that the hon. Member is dealing with the Baker Street and Waterloo. Railway Company. I do not see how that affects the East End of London.


It is part of the system which leads up to this particular line. It has been urged by the promoters that this line supplies the East Enc" of London. I am arguing that it does not.


This Bill does not ask for new powers to make any new line. It only asks for further borrowing powers. I do not see how the hon. Member's observations are in order upon it.

MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)

There are a great number of Bills on the Paper dealing with the subject of tube railways. Would it not be possible on one of these Bills to raise something in the nature of a general discussion?


It might be if new powers were asked for. It is quite competent for the House to say that it declines to grant new powers, but it would be unfair to the promoters of this particular Bill to allow irrelevant arguments to be introduced upon it because the House desired to raise a general discussion on other Bills.


I quite understand your point, Sir, but I do not wish to allude to any of the other Bills except those that are promoted by the syndicate which is promoting this one. After all, this syndicate is to work in conjunction with other rail ways. I will merely say that this is part of a system of tube railways which fail to do anything for the East End of London, and therefore it ought not to be considered as part of a complete system. Consequently I do not think the House ought to sanction it.

MR. BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)

On a point of order, Sir, may I ask how it is possible for a railway which runs from Waterloo Road to Baker Street to do anything for the East End of London?


I have already pointed out that this Bill is merely one extending the powers already granted.


I will merely say that, in my opinion, this House ought not to concede any extension of powers to this Company, it is contrary to the recommendations of the Joint Committee of last year, which was that any railway sanctioned should be part of a system for the whole of London.

(9.18.) Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 174; Noes, 10. (Division List No. 300.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E. Button, Thomas Dolling Causton, Richard Knight
Allan, Sir William (Galeshead Bousfield, William Robert Cautley, Henry Strother
Allhusen, Augustus Henry K. Brassey, Albert Cawley, Frederick
Arkwright, John Stanhope Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Chapman, Edward
Arrol, Sir William Brotherton, Edward Allen Charrington, Spencer
Atherley-Jones, L. Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Bailey, James (Walworth) Burdett-Goutts, W. Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Burns, John Cremer, William Randal
Bartley, George C. T. Butcher, John George Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Buxton, Sydney Charles Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Caine, William Sproston Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan
Bigwood. James Caldwell, James Delany, William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Beland, John Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Doogan, P. C. Lee. Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham Redmond, William (Clare)
Doughty, George Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Remnant, James Farquhamson
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Renshaw, Charles Bine
Duke, Henry Edward Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Richards, Henry Chares
Duncan. J. Hastings Leveson-Gower, FrederickN.S. Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalv bridge)
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W, Llewellyn, Evan Henry Roberts, John Bryn (Eition)
Faber, George Denison (York) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R, Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Rolles on. Sir John F. L.
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r Lowther, Rt Hn J W (Cum. Penr Ropner, Colonel Robert
Field, William Lundon, W. Round, Rt. Hn. James
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Macdona, John Cumming Rutherford, John
Fisher, William Hayes MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Fison, Frederick William MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Samuel, Harry S. (Limeh use)
Flannery, Sir Fortescue MacVeagh, Jeremiah Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Flynrt, James Christopher M'Crae, George Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Foster, Sir Michael (Lord. Univ. M'Govern, T. Spear, John Ward
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M'Iver, SirLewis(Edinb'gh W. Stevenson Francis S.
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Stroyan, John
Grant, Corrie Majendie, James A. H. Sullivan, Donal
Green, Walford D (Wednesbury Mansfield, Horace Rendall Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Greene. Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Groves, James Grimble Mellor, Rt. Hn. John William Thomas, David Alfred (Merthy r
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Milvain, Thomas Thomas, J A (Glamorgan Gower
Harwood, George Mooney, John J. Toulmin, George
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Hayden, John Patrick Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir WilliamH.
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Nannetti, Joseph P. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Hogg, Lindsay Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whit-, George (Norfolk)
Hudson, George Bickersteth O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Jeffreys, Arthur Fred Paulton, James Mellor Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Pease. J. A. (Saffron Walden) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Jones, David Brynm'r (Swansea Peel. Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire Pemberton, John S. G. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Jordan, Jeremiah Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Joyce, Michael Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wylie, Alexander
Kearley, Hudson E. Plummer, Walter R. Young, Samuel
Kennedy, Patrick James Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Yoxall, James Henry
Lambert, George Power, Patrick Joseph
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Price, Robert John
Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. Purvis, Robert TELLERS FOR THE AYES℄
Lawrence. Sir Joseph (Monm'th Ratcliff, R. F. Mr. Banbury and Mr.
Layland-Barratt, Francis Reddy, M. Herbert Robertson.
Leamy, Edmund Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Ambrose, Robert Flower, Ernest TELLERS FOR THE NOES ℄
Bull, William James Harrington, Timothy Mr. Claude Hay and Mr.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Jameson, Major J. Eustace Warner.
Channing, Francis Allston Morgan, Dav. J. (Walthamst.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Strachey, Sir Edward

Bill read a second time,