HC Deb 01 June 1905 vol 147 cc508-27


As amended, considered.

MR. PEMBERTON (Sunderland)

said that in moving the Motion which he had upon the Paper, he and those who supported him did not desire to upset the decision of the Committee to any great extent, but to try and get carried out what they understood and what they hoped was promised in the Second Reading. They had hoped the clause as put before the Committee by the promoters would avoid unreasonable competition. The point he was taking up, partly on behalf of the town he represented, and partly on the part of others affected, was that where there were tramways supported by the local rates, tramways run under Parliamentary powers by municipalities, they should not be put in a bad position. They thought the Bill as presented to the House would press hardly upon such tramways, because the clause he wished to omit would give the railway company powers for running motor' buses in towns in such a way as to compete in what was called the "pick up" traffic; that these 'buses would not only serve those who wished to go by train, but also those who wished to go from one part of the town to another, and they could not say to what extent that would compete with the existing tramways. If they did compete they must lessen the receipts of the trams and thereby impose a greater liability on the ratepayers. They were not trying to interfere with the facilities of those who wished to go to the railway station, but to stop unreasonable competition. The clause not only affected the towns but the country districts. The alteration he suggested did not affect the country districts in any way, and it only affected those towns where they had municipal tramways, and therefore would not interfere with the powers the company would get under this Act to serve the public in the country districts. All they wanted to do was to safeguard the existing rights of those towns and urban districts which possessed municipal trams, and to safeguard the ratepayers as far as possible. It might be urged that it was impossible for motor-'buses to compete with electric trams and that might possibly be so, but that was not yet decided, and at any rate if it was possible to compete they wanted to prevent that competition. He thought railways had quite enough to do to serve the places they now served, which in many cases they could not do, and it was therefore a great pity that they should get powers to perform a work now very well done by the municipalities. He did not ask the House to interfere with those districts where the trams were run by private companies, because he saw no reason why they should interfere with one company in favour of another.

The clause which he wished to move provided that the company should be able to run 'buses and carry on a certain amount of traffic in towns with the consent of the local authorities and of the Board of Trade. The company had to get the consent in writing of the local authority and then of the Board of Trade. That protection, he submitted, was sufficient, because if he was successful in his Motion the Board of Trade would not allow the consent of the local authority to be withheld for any unreasonable cause. He did not intend to occupy the time of the House at any length, but to put the matter before the House and let it decide. This was practically a new power. It was true it was given to the Great Eastern Railway last year, but this was the first time this point had been raised. Two or three railways had similar clauses in Bills this year but they were eliminated before the Bills went to Committee, and it was left for this railway company to test this very important point first in Committee upstairs and then in this House. He did not wish to contest the decision of the Committee, but he thought they were justified in bringing a new fact before the House. The question was, should a railway company be allowed to so extend their position as to give a motor service all over the country or should they be allowed to extend it only to those districts which were not served by an efficient tramway service, and only then when the Board of Trade considered it should be done. That was the question in a nutshell. He begged to move.

MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)

said in rising to second the Motion he desired to make a few observations for the purpose of showing the reasonableness of the position its supporters had taken up in this matter. The powers the North-Eastern Railway Company were endeavouring to obtain were exceedingly numerous and were for the purpose of running motor-'buses, with whicht hey had been experimenting, in the rural districts through which their railway system operated. Everyone was prepared to give them all assistance possible towards utilising, for their own purposes and for the purposes of the public, a system of motor-'buses in badly supplied rural districts; those who supported this Motion had the fullest sympathy with the railway company in their attempts to supply rural districts with this means of locomotion. They also wanted to use these motor-'buses for the purpose of carrying passengers, passengers' luggage, and mails in the cities and towns as well as the rural districts. In that also the supporters of this Motion went a long way with them, but they differed from the railway company when they asked for powers to enter into direct competition with the municipal tramways in urban districts. If this Bill with the Amendment went through, the company would have full power to extend their present experiments in rural districts and with permission in the district of an urban or municipal authority, but would not have power to enter into competition with a public tramway which might be on the route they wished to travel over. He submitted that the supporters of the Amendment had a perfect right to object to the company getting any such power. But it was clearly laid down in the evidence given before the Committee by Sir George Gibb, the chairman of the company, that that was the object the company had in view. They were anxious "to get a little of their own back," which had been taken away from them by the public authorities. But, if that was going to be allowed, the tramways which had had to come to this House for their powers, and whose lines had been curtailed, would have their revenue curtailed, also and the municipality would suffer and the ratepayers be placed under greater liability.

He and those who acted with him objected to those powers being given because they thought it would be unreasonable competition with the municipalities who had to come to Parliament for their powers. In the last twenty years or so this House had sanctioned an expenditure for tramways of £28,625,000; that expenditure had been sanctioned, approved, regulated, and controlled by the powers given by this House, and now when the debt had been created on the security of the rates, was it just that they should be asked to consent to a Bill which would enable a private company which had a considerable monoply in the North of England to endanger the position of the ratepayers who were pledged to pay part of the £28,000,000, by entering into competition with them? If this power were given to the railway company, it would be one of the strongest weapons in their hands for preventing the encouragement of municipal tramways. He argued this point from the general standpoint, because if this power was given to the North Eastern Railway to-day, next year other companies would come to the House for similar powers and quoting this Bill as a precedent. And what would be the position of the towns in the districts which these railways served? The railway company would be in a position to threaten the municipal authorities and say, "If you get your trams we have already power to initiate a system of motor-'buses and we will put them on your streets in competition with your trams," and owing to the great influence that could be brought to bear in small towns there would be no attempt on the part of the municipal authorities to go on with their undertaking.

There was one most significant point in connection with this Bill, and that was that this company, which was prepared to enter into competition with the tramway authorities, was not willing to enter into competition with other railways, and run 'buses in the districts served by them. That was most significant. With regard to the attitude of the hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick, whose absence to-night they regretted, and that of the hon. and learned Member for Ripon, he might say that the hon. Member for Halifax had an instruction on the Paper on the Second Reading, and certain promises were given and a certain understanding was arrived at between the promoters and opponents of the Bill. The hon. Member for Berwick on that occasion said, I understand the object of my hon. friend who moved the instruction is to secure that in the Committee there shall be certain safeguards or limiting words which shall, in his opinion, protect the tramways. Those were the words of the Gentleman responsible for the conduct of this Bill through the House He went on further and said— The Bill might proceed to Committee, and if there is not a settlement in Committee which is satisfactory to my hon. friend, of course there are opportunities on the Third Reading and the Report Stage when he can bring the matter before the House. That was how the understanding had been departed from. What did the hon. and learned Member for Ripon say? He said their object was not a competitive one, and the instruction was withdrawn upon that understanding. He sincerely trusted that the Amendment would be carried.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 39, line 1, to leave out Sub-section (d) of Clause 54, and insert the words, (d) Nothing in this section contained shall authorise the company, in any city, borough, or other urban district provided with a system of tramways owned or worked by the local authority, to run any railway omnibus otherwise than for the conveyance of railway passengers, passengers' luggage, and mails to or from a station or hotel of the company, without the consent in writing of the local authority for such period as may be therein specified."—(Mr. Pemberton.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

COLONEL BOWLES (Middlesex, Enfield)

said that, as the Chairman of the Committee which had this particular question under consideration, he wished to say a few words. He desired to deal with this question not from its broader aspects but simply in a judicial manner. The case of the Committee was so conclusive from a judicial point of view that it needed no other. He only wished that hon. Members opposite had paid some attention to the evidence brought before that Committee. It had been said that the North-Eastern Railway did not wish to run in competition with other companies. He desired to point out that it was the Committee's own regulation that no such competition should take place. The North-Eastern Company had powers over other lines, but it was explained that they did not wish to bring their motors omnibuses to Bradford and other places where there were tramways, and so the Committee thought the simplest way would be to exclude those places where the company had no stations or lines and where they only had running powers. Therefore he thought that the remarks of the hon. Member for Barnard Castle were very unfair. Those inaccuracies only went to show how great was the danger of the House upsetting the judgment of its Committees. The evidence given before the Committee was most impartial and it was very carefully sifted. The hon. Member had tried to put before the House the great bugbear that this would constitute a precedent for other railway companies. [An HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!] If the hon. Member who said "hear, hear" had taken the trouble to be present in the Committee-room he would have known that these powers were already possessed by the Great Eastern Railway Company. Another railway company had withdrawn a similar clause to this because the Post Office demanded certain regulations. The hon. Member for Barnard Castle was apparently not aware that if his Amendment were carried it would take away from the Post Office the very powers they asked for from the railway company, and that was that they should take up and put down their mails.


The hon. and gallant Member will find that we include the mails in my Amendment.


begged the hon. Member's pardon and said those words had escaped his notice. He pointed out that the powers asked for were already possessed by the Great Eastern Railway Company, and at the present time a railway company, if it chose, could promote another company which could carry out all these objects without coming to Parliament. The Amendment, it carried, would deprive the railway company of the power of picking up or setting down passengers between its station and its hotel, and it was clearly shown before the Committee that there would be great difficulty in carrying out such a regulation. He thought that questions of this kind ought to be left to the judgment of the Committee upstairs. He could not help feeling that the prospects of this railway company competing against the existing tramways had been to a very considerable extent exaggerated and were imaginary. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick had pointed out, what they desired was that they should have these powers in order that the omnibuses might act as feeders to their railway system. It was true that the manager of this railway did clearly state that he would not be averse to running omnibuses in opposition to the tramways, but he could not help thinking that as he had been under a severe cross-examination he had for the moment allowed the irritation caused by that cross-examination to get the better of him. They had it in evidence, he admitted, that the manager of this railway would not bind himself not to run in competition with the tramways. It was impossible to run a new system of motor-omnibuses without to a certain extent running in opposition to something already in existence. The real question was, Was this a reasonable opposition? And the Committee, after carefully sifting the evidence, had come to the conclusion that there would be no unreasonable competition between these motor-buses and the tramways. He thought the opposition was more sentimental than real, and he hoped the House would not accept the Amendment.

MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

said that Sheffield had a very efficient tramway system in which they had invested £1,000,000, and they did not want to have within their boundaries the competition of an outside body like a railway company. They had no objection whatever to allowing motor-omnibuses to run to and from the railway stations and the hotels carrying passengers and passengers' luggage, but they objected to them picking up passengers in other places than the station and the hotels, and so competing with the system of the Sheffield Corporation. He deeply regretted not to be able to support a Committee of the House, but this clause put forward by the North-Eastern Company was evidently regarded as a test clause by the other railway companies, and, if it were carried, doubtless next year the Midland and other railway companies would ask for similar powers. This Bill would introduce a new principle, and it would constitute a distinct hardship if railway companies were allowed to come in and compete with large corporations. He asked the House to pause before they adopted a principle of this kind, which would be very oppressive to local authorities.


supported the Amendment on behalf of the corporation of Leicester, who thought the Bill in its present form might authorise systems of traction which would compete with their tramways in a manner that might not be quite fair to those whose money they had been expending on that undertaking by the authority of Parliament. The general view of the corporation was that railway companies ought not to be permitted to take up and set down passengers except they were journeying between the various railway stations or railway hotels. Leicester had expended £750,000 upon a complete system of electric traction, and the corporation had made special arrangements and facilities to expedite the transfer at reduced rates of passengers passing between the various railway stations in the town of Leicester in order to meet the convenience of railway passengers. This Amendment was not supported in a spirit of hostility to the railway companies, which they recognised had done great service to the public in developing the great towns of the country. He begged to support the Amendment.

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

said that Nottingham did not lie in the area served by the North-Eastern Railway, but it was situated in the area of a railway company which would no doubt like similar powers conferred upon it to those contained in this Bill. He trusted that hon. Members would realise that this was a very grave question. This was not a matter which lay between the North-Eastern Railway Company and the Committee on the one hand and a few Members of Parliament who sat for constituencies within the North-Eastern Railway's area. It was a matter which lay between the railway companies which, one after another, would seek to obtain these powers if the powers were given now, and the great municipalities of this country and their tramway enterprises. It was as a precedent that he opposed the clause in the Bill and supported the Amendment.

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

said that as one of the representatives of the city of Manchester he should be inclined to speak on this question from a municipal point of view. A great deal had been said in this debate about the strong objection entertained by municipal councils to competition by motor-omnibuses, but he could not think that that opposition was well founded. He did not think that view would commend itself to the House, because it would be upsetting the deliberate judgment of the Committee. Too little attention in these days appeared to be paid to the decisions of Committees of the House. On the Second Reading of this Bill Amendments were put down by the representatives of the various great cities in opposition to the Bill because it contained this clause. That opposition was modified in order that the clause might be considered upstairs, and the result was that municipalities had been protected by the clause which had been placed in the Bill giving railway companies the power of only running their omnibuses in connection with their system to and from their railway stations or hotels, so that the companies were prevented from running their motor vehicles without limitation. It was all very well to say that the tramlines brought passengers to the railway stations, but they did not enter the stations, and persons arriving with luggage would not have the same accommodation by tram as they would have by motor-'buses which would take them right into the station.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

Is the right hon. Baronet aware that that is provided for in the Amendment.


said he did not think that this House should do anything which would diminish the advantage to the travelling public of competition. He could not think it was a wholesome principle that municipalities should not only be enabled to enter into this kind of trading, but that they should be protected against competition by special legislation. He regarded the proposal of the company as conferring a great boon upon the travelling public.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

contended that Committees upstairs had to deal with particular cases and not with general principles, and that the House had a perfect right to intervene when a general principle was involved, as it was in the matter now under consideration. The House had no concern with the intention of a particular railway company. What they had to consider was what would be the inevitable result of the thing as a whole. If this power were given to the North-Eastern Railway Company, every other railway company would come for it sooner or later, and it would be held as a sword of Damocles over the head of every corporation who wished to extend its system of tramways. They knew how bitter the feeling was in regard to the competition of the tramways, and if they granted railway companies such powers the danger would be not so much what they would actually do with them as what they would threaten to do, and in that way they would check municipal enterprise considerably. The corporation of Bolton, which he represented, was not immediately concerned in this Bill, but Bolton had spent a large sum of money on electric traction, and now was the time to guard themselves, because, if this principle was adopted, it was inevitable for the whole country. All he asked for was that corporations who had spent their money on tramways should have the same protection in these matters as was given to railway companies. The clause in the Bill was opposed to a well-known principle of railway procedure. When railway companies had running powers over each other's lines they guaranteed that they should not call at intermediate stations, and that they must go from one point to another. All that the local authorities were asking was that the same thing should be done for them. The right hon. Baronet the Member for North-East Manchester said the omnibuses would go to the railway station. The supporters of the Amendment did not wish to stop them going there, but they wanted to prevent them stopping on the way. That was the point. The railway magnates whom he saw before him should act towards the corporations in a spirit of fair play. They treated each other in the spirit in which the House was now asked to treat the corporations. The House was now asked to take a most important and just decision. It was asked to guard the rights of the masses of the people, and they would be most justly indignant if the House did not give them as much justice as was given to the monopolist railway companies.

MR. LLOYD WHARTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Ripon)

said it was a somewhat remarkable fact that hon. Members on the other side of the House were seeking to deprive the working classes of the country of a large additional means of transit, for if these 'buses were to carry anybody they were most likely to be people of the working classes. [An Hon. MEMBER: No.] Why not? The hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division was there as a representative of working men, and yet he was to-night attempting to stop a means of transit which had already been approved by the House on the Second Reading of the Bill, and which had been passed by a Committee upstairs. The corporations were afraid that if the North-Eastern Railway Company tried to do their duty to the district which they served there might be some precedent set up detrimental to tramway services which had been established probably at too great a cost. There had been talk about the poor ratepayers, but the North-Eastern Railway Company paid in rates £450,000 a year. [An HON. MEMBER: Where does it come from?] It came out of the pockets of the owners of the railway. [An HON. MEMBER: Out of the pockets of the public.] They had had to pay one-sixth of the cost of the Newcastle tramways and one-sixth of the cost of the Hull tramways, and he thought that was worthy of the attention of the House. What was really the object which the North-Eastern Railway Company had in view? Their object was to assist passengers to get to their destination, and therefore this Bill was very much in the interests of the travelling public. Hon. Gentlemen who were opposing the Bill would, if their action succeeded, prevent a good deal of facility being given to travellers by rail which they would obtain if the company's proposal was carried out. Sir George Gibb in his evidence had said something in regard to competition.

He wished to say something as to what that competition would be in the case of Hull, which was one of the largest centres of population on the North-Eastern Railway. A passenger arriving there would find a motor-'bus which he could enter provided it was going in the direction in which he wanted to go. It was very possible that the motor-'bus would have to go a certain distance along the road which the tramway now traversed. If that was competition he admitted that competition to a certain extent would take place. But what about the traveller? What the hon. Gentleman opposite proposed was that that man should have to go into the street carrying his goods or getting a porter to carry them to the tramway car which would be followed by the motor-'bus for about a mile. Then he would have to get out of the tramway car and get into the motor-'bus in order to get to his destination which was probably four or five miles out in the country. That was the pleasant journey he was to have instead of the one provided for in this Bill. That was the competition which, the House was asked to say was so adverse to the interest of the British public. He maintained that the Bill was very much in the interest of the British travelling public. As to the earning power of motor-'buses he could tell hon. Members that last year, if they were on one side or the other in that matter, they were on the wrong side. The railway company did not ask this Bill in order to earn a large amount of money. They had a great monopoly, and they were trying to do their duty to the public within that monopoly by providing a comfortable way of travelling which hon. Members opposite were trying to prevent.

MR. JOHN O'CONNOR (Kildare, N.)

said the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North-East Manchester had stated that the House should be slow to interfere with the decision of a Committee upstairs. He quite agreed with that general principle, but when the Chairman of a Committee came to the House and said that the House had no right to put down Amendments to their Report it was taking the matter a little too far. He wished to remind the right hon. Baronet that in his speech on the Second Reading of the Bill he said he should be sorry if it were not clearly understood that a city in the position of Manchester, in common with any other large place, should not have competition against the tramways except under proper regulations approved by the city. The effect of the Amendment would be to carry out the view expressed by the right hon. Baronet. This was not a question of municipal trading at all. It was a question of general principle as affecting this House. He had had some experience of Committees upstairs, both as a member of them and as an advocate who had appeared before them for some years, and he submitted that when a great scheme had been sanctioned by Parliament, and when great expense had been incurred on account of it, Parliament had always been careful not to sanction any conflicting scheme for a long time. This principle ought not to be departed from because the scheme sanctioned by Parliament happened to be that of a municipal body. Parliament would be stultifying itself if it refused to give careful consideration to the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Sunderland. Municipal bodies had equal rights with private companies to the benefit of the principle upon which Parliament had hitherto acted in connection with schemes which involved the borrowing and expenditure of large sums of money.

It was not necessary to go far for a precedent in support of the Amendment. There were lines of omnibuses running daily between the railway stations in London, but they did not stop in the streets to pick up passengers. A friend had informed him that on one occasion he was going to Euston Station in a cab which met with an accident, and that he had to leave the cab, his luggage being placed on the wayside. On hailing a railway omnibus his friend was told by the conductor that he had no power to stop, and that he dare not take him up. Reference had been made to the evidence given before the Committee, and particularly to what was said by Sir George Gibb. Sir George Gibb was an expert on all matters relating to railway traffic in Great Britain, and there was scarcely a case upstairs where he was not called upon to give evidence. He gave evidence in favour of an amalgamation scheme of certain railways in Ireland, and the House passed the scheme. What was the result? A few days ago the company which executed the system of amalgamation had been asked to call a public meeting of the shareholders in order to consider the disastrous position brought about by the evidence of Sir George Gibb in connection with that amalgamation. Therefore, schemes which were supported by Sir George Gibb should be looked upon with some suspicion at least. For these reasons he would vote in favour of the Amendment.


said the hon. Gentleman opposite had stated that there was in this matter something in the nature of a principle involved affecting this House. He felt, therefore, as the representative of the Board of Trade, that he ought to say something about it. He considered it would be a most disastrous thing to carry the proposed Amendment, In the first place, to do so would be to upset the decision of the Committee, which had considered all the evidence and the facts in this particular case. They all understood perfectly well why so much fuss was being made about this; the drum municipal had been beaten again. So far as the principle was concerned this case was exactly the same case which was discussed in connection with the Newcastle tramways; it was the question to what extent municipal authorities, because they were engaged in a particular kind of trading, should be allowed a monopoly which would not be given to anybody else engaged in the same trade. In the case of the Newcastle tramways the proposal made was that the matter should be referred again to the Committee; it was not proposed that this House should decide the question on the spot. Why was not that course taken, to-night? He thought he knew the reason. The Committee on the Newcastle Tramways Bill reaffirmed their original decision, and the municipalities or their representatives felt that they would not dare to face the House of Commons again on the subject, and, therefore, accepted that decision. But now they wished to avoid any danger of that kind by carrying their proposal in the House, most of whose Members had not considered the arguments.

With regard to the question of competition, nothing had surprised him more than that hon. Gentlemen should speak as if this were a form of competition to which railways were never subjected. It was true railway companies did get a monoply, but they paid very dearly for it, they paid a great deal in Parliamentary expenses, and they had to buy the ground over which their lines passed. Municipalities on the other hand, started a large system of tramways which were not confined to their own district, without having to buy any of the land over which they ran and if they were successful it was to some extent at the expense of the railway companies with whom they competed. The railway company, too, was probably the largest individual ratepayer in the district. When there was any talk of running trams over Westminster Bridge municipal representatives said that motor omnibuses could not possibly compete with trams. [An HON. MEMBER: In London.] Over and over again witnesses representing municipal owners of tramways had appeared before the Traffic Commission and given evidence to the effect that owing to the greater cheapness of tramways motor-omnibuses could no compete with them. Yet when a railway company wanted to run motor-omnibuses, as in this case, the municipalities said just the opposite. The Board of Trade was compelled constantly to interfere with railway companies and to carry out Acts which were in the interests of the public, but which undoubtedly meant great deal of expense to the railway companies; and he thought that the representative of the Board of Trade was equally called upon to use whatever influence he could to prevent railway companies from being unfairly treated.


said there was a difference between a public and a private enterprise.


said that as long as this House permitted private enterprise to engage in the same kind of industry as public enterprise they were bound to see that they were allowed to compete on fair terms. For these reasons he sincerely trusted the House for once would not listen to the municipal interest. It was beginning to be a question whether this House should direct the municipalities, or whether the municipalities should control the House.


said that as he was the Member who had taken action on the Second Reading, and had withdrawn the instruction which he had moved on the assurance of the Vice-Chairman of the North-Eastern Company, he wished to state his reasons for supporting this Amendment. He considered that the Amendment was most reasonable. If it were carried it would do three things. In the first place, it would allow a free hand to the railway company in the rural districts and would let them carry any traffic they chose to take. In the second place, it would allow them to carry traffic to and from railway stations and hotels in towns; and in the third place it provided that where the company proposed to pick up passengers in the district or town where Parliament had authorised a system of tramways, the matter should be referred to the Board of Trade, or a Committee of this House, to decide whether the claim was reasonable and legitimate.


said that if the question were left to the discretion of the Board of Trade he was perfectly willing; but he understood that the Amendment would not permit the Board of Trade to settle the principles on which this clause was to be carried out.


said that the Amendment should be read in connection with the final sub-section of the clause in the Bill which gave the Board of Trade power to alter or vary the conditions. He could say with perfect confidence that those who supported the Amendment did not desire to prevent equal competition, but unequal competition. At present any corporation or tramway company in an urban district had to come to this House, or to the Local Government Board for a Provisional. Order; and why should not this railway company go through the same process? The danger of passing the clause as it stood was a very real one; it was the danger of crushing out competition. It should be remembered how the railway companies had used the canals. It seemed to him that the clause as it stood was a threat to prevent the growth of municipal or other tramways which would interfere with the railway monoply.


said that he would not have intervened in this debate but for the observations made by the Secretary to the Board of Trade. He thought the House had a right to expect that in a matter of this kind the hon. Gentleman would have sustained a judicial character. Instead of that the hon. Gentleman went out of his way to stigmatise municipalities for setting up a tramway system antagonistic to railway companies. He could assure the hon. Gentleman that that was unfounded. No such attitude had been taken by the municipality of Newcastle, which was the case referred to by the hon. Gentleman. In all his experience, the House of Commons in matters of this kind looked broadly at what was bust for the public interest and not at what was best in the interests of either a municipality or a particular company. The arrangements which had been made between the Midland Railway and one of the great provincial municipalities was a fair compromise. They could not ignore the fact that a broad principle was at stake here. When the question of principle was raised a sort of pledge was given by the representatives of the

North-Eastern Railway that no competition was intended with the tramways. He was opposed to the railway company obtaining absolutely unfettered powers to institute motor-omnibus services in towns, and he suggested-that the Bill should be referred back to the Committee upstairs for the purpose of having it made clear that claims of this kind by the railway company should be referred to the Board of Trade, and dealt with according to the varying circumstances of each particular case.

MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)

said he would like to put before the House the case of a town with a system of electric tramways which were only just paying their way. A railway company had two stations in that town, and if they were allowed to run motor-omnibuses between the two stations, they would run along the principal streets and might almost ruin the tramways of the corporation.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 127; Noes, 110. (Division List No. 192.)

Acland-Hood, Capt Sir Alex. F. Dickson, Charles Scott Hornby, Sir William Henry
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C. Houston, Robert Paterson
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Doughty, Sir George Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hozier, Hn James Henry Cecil
Anson, Sir William Reynell Duke, Henry Edward Hudson, George Bickersteth
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O Dyke, Rt. Hon Sir William Hart Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred
Baird, John George Alexander Elibank, Master of Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon Col W.
Balcarres, Lord Fellowes, Rt Hn Ailwyn Edward Kerr, John
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds Ferguson, R. C. Munro(Leith) Kimber, Sir Henry
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J(Manc'r Knowles, Sir Lees
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lamont, Norman
Banner, John S. Harmood- Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Laurie, Lieut-General
Bignold, Sir Arthur Finlay, Sir RB(Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Bill, Charles Fison, Frederick William Lawson, John Grant(Yorks NR.
Bingham, Lord FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Lee, Arthur H(Hants. Fareham
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fitzroy, Hon Edward Algernon Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Forster, Henry William Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Brassey, Albert Galloway, William Johnson Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol. S)
Brymer, William Ernest Gardner, Ernest Lowther, G. (Cumb. Eskdale)
Bull, William James Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Caldwell, James Gordon, Hn. JE (Elgin & Nairn) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Campell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Goschen, Hn. George Joachim Moconochie, A. W.
Chapman, Edward Grenfell, William Henry M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gretton, John M'Calmont, Colonel James
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R. Hamilton. Marq of(L'nd'nderry Majendie, James A. H.
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Hare, Thomas Leigh Markham, Arthur Basil
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Marks, Harry Hananel
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Helder, Augustus Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir HE (Wigt'n
Dalkeith, Earl of Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.) Montagu, Hon. J. Scott(Hants.
Davenport, William Bromley Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Morpeth, Viscount
Mount, William Arthur Round, Rt. Hon. James Tuff, Charles
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Valentia, Viscount
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Walker, Col. William Hall
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Percy, Earl Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Pilkington, Colonel Richard Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Pretyman, Ernest George Smith, RtHnJParker(Lanarks) Worsley-Tay or, Henry Wilson
Purvis, Robert Spear, John Ward Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Randles, John S. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lords(Lancs.)
Rankin, Sir James Sullivan, Donal TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Thornton, Percy M. Colonel Lockwood and Mr.
Roberts, John Bryn(Eifion) Tollemache, Henry James Herbert Robertson.
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Pryce-Jones Lt.-Col. Edward
Ainsworth, John Stirling Jameson, Major J. Eustace Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Allen, Charles P. Johnson, John Reddy, M.
Atherley-Jones, L. Jones, Lief (Appleby) Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Barlow, John Emmott Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Reid, James (Greenock)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W. Renwick, George
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Kilbride, Denis Rickett, J. Compton
Boland, John Lambert, George Ridley, S. Forde
Brigg, John Langley, Batty Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Bright, Allan Heywood Leese, Sir Joseph F(Accrington Roche, John
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Lundon, W. Roe, Sir Thomas
Burns, John Lyell, Charles Henry Rolleston, Sir, John F. L.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Macdona, John Cumming Runciman, Walter
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Cautley, Henry Strother MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cheetham, John Frederick MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Clancy, John Joseph M'Kean, John Shackleton, David James
Cremer, William Randal Melville, Beresford Valentine Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Crooks, William Morgan, David J (Walthamstow Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Delany, William Murphy, John Shipman, Dr. John G.
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Slack, John Bamford
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Norman, Henry Soares, Ernest J.
Eve, Harry Trelawney O'Brien, Kendal (TipperaryMid Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR(Northants
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Flower, Sir Ernest O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Toulmin, George
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Dowd, John Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Gorst, Rt. Hon Sir John Eldon O'Malley, William Ure, Alexander
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Groves, James Grimble Parkes, Ebenezer Whiteley, H. (Ashton und Lyne)
Hammond, John Parrott, William Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Hardie, J Keir(MerthyrTydvil) Partington, Oswald Woodhouse, Sir JT(Huddersf'd
Harwood, George Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Young, Samuel
Hayden, John Patrick Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington Yoxall, James Henry
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Philipps, John Wynford
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Higham, John Sharp Platt-Higgins, Frederick Pemberton and Mr. J. H.
Holland, Sir William Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Whitley.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill to be read the third time.