HC Deb 12 March 1903 vol 119 cc677-80

said he begged leave to move the Instruction standing in his name with regard to the Charing Cross, Euston, and Hampstead Railway Bill. The words in Clause 8 which he proposed to omit related to the taking away of the subsoil without compensation. He noticed that according to this Bill the full price was paid in this respect to the owner of the adjoining property, and his contention was that this was a new principle which was now being introduced, and was one which ought not to be agreed to by this House. His object was to make a provision whereby the owner of the subsoil might protect his property from damage by means of compensation, whereas if the company was allowed to take the subsoil without this provision, it appeared to him that such owners would not be protected. In the Bills passed last year—he alluded to the Tube Bills—a provision of this kind was inserted, and a similar provision was inserted in the City and North-East Suburban Electric Railway Bill, the Second Reading of which had just been passed. This provision secured that in the case of owners whose property was not taken if damage was done by the work compensation would be paid. If this Instruction was not agreed to, a man might have the subsoil taken from him, and in the event of his property being damaged he would not be in a position to obtain any compensation whatever from the company. He did not think he needed to labour the matter any further, because he had been given to understand that the promoters were willing to meet him by accepting his Instruction. The effect of this Instruction would be to allow the Company to take the subsoil, but not to allow them to take it without paying for it in the usual way. He begged to move.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee to omit, in Clause 8, page 7, all the words before the words 'the Company,' in line 32, and all the words after the word 'respectively,' in line 36."—(Mr. Griffith Boscawen.)

MR. SKEWES-COX (Surrey, Kingston)

said he rose to say that on behalf of the promoters of this Bill they have no objection to the Instruction of the hon. Member for Tonbridge, which they were willing to accept.

MR. VICARY GIBBS (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

said that all he desired to say was that he hoped the action which had been taken by this company in regard to this matter would be followed by any other companies coming up before this House for Bills of a similar character, for if this were done much needless discussion would be avoided.