HC Deb 29 May 1905 vol 147 cc153-9


Order for Second Reading read.

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

CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

said he desired to oppose the Second Reading of this Bill for the purpose of drawing attention to the bad and even dangerous state of Ludgate Hill Station, the property of these lines, and a station greatly used in the evening and the morning by a great number of those he had the honour to represent in this House. Most of the platforms were what was known as island platforms, and when they were crowded at certain hours of the evening and the morning there was considerable danger to passengers, especially in the darker months of the year. Moreover, the approaches to the station were very bad. The condition of the station was not denied by the company, nor had it been questioned in any way. Since 1898 this state of things had repeatedly been brought to the notice of the company and yet nothing had been done, and in the present Bill, which was an omnibus Bill, no steps were being taken to provide a remedy. He fully realised that these great railway companies, although they were monopolies, had as much right to consideration and fair treatment, and that the shareholders who had invested their money in these undertakings had as much right to fair treatment, as the public whom they served.

The Corporation of London, for whom in some measure he was speaking, contended that the condition of things at the station could be considerably ameliorated at a very small expense by the utilisation of the land which was already in the hands of the company in the near neighbourhood. They further contended that statutory powers were not necessary for this purpose; if they Were the corporation, asked how was it they were not included in the powers taken by the Bills of 1900, 1901, 1903, and the present Bill? The corporation as the public authority had applied to the Board of Trade. The Board of Trade were unable to act and the Railway Commissioners had no power to interfere, as this matter was beyond their powers. The company contended they could not act without powers, for which, however, they did not apply, and the station remained a great inconvenience and danger to the passengers of this line, many of whom were his constituents. Then the company came to the House seeking powers to carry out works on other parts of their system. It was under these circumstances that he and those he represented felt that the only way they could endeavour to obtain redress was by appealing to-this House in this way. He moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.

DR. SHIPMAN (Northampton)

said he took this opportunity of opposing the Bill on altogether different grounds to those stated by his hon. friend, a ground which concerned the conveyance of passengers' luggage from train to the boat. The company had a primitive method of placing all the luggage together in a heap, and fastening it up with, a rope, and so hoisting it from the train to the boat. Inasmuch as a great deal of the luggage consisted of light baskets covered with canvas or leather, considerable damage resulted from the pressure of the rope. The remedy was a simple one. It was, instead of using these ropes, to have crates or barrows or some other contrivance by which the luggage could be safely and easily moved from train to boat. He supported his hon. friend in his opposition.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day six months.'"—(Captain Norton.)

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

SIR W. HART DYKE (Kent, Dartford)

said with regard to the remarks of the hon. Member for Northampton who seconded the rejection of the Bill, he might say that there was nothing in the Bill which dealt with the matter to which the hon. Member had referred, but nevertheless he would give that matter his consideration and not be so churlish as to ignore it. He assured the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite that the overcrowding at Ludgate Hill Station was not nearly so great now as it had been in the past. He was not prepared say that it was a perfect railway terminus, but it was not without interest to point out that there had not been a single accident to a passenger there since this question was last raised in the House several years ago. This Bill had passed in another place, and before either House no petition had been presented against it. He submitted that what the House now had to consider was what was the real scope and object of the Bill before it, and the real test upon which the vote of hon. Members should be taken should be whether the measure, as it stood, carried out the object of the Bill to the convenience of the public. It was an omnibus Bill of a very small character taking powers to widen Ashford Station and other places on the line, and also to acquire small pieces of land here and there for that purpose. That was all the Bill proposed to do. With regard to the question of Ludgate Hill Station, some years ago the London and Chatham Company built two considerable stations near Ludgate Hill in order to relieve the congestion of that station. He might also say a very great change was taking place in regard to suburban traffic. The tramways had already considerably reduced the traffic to and from Ludgate Hill Station, and if the project of carrying those lines across Blackfriars Bridge were given effect to the traffic would be depleted to a still greater extent. In these circumstances the company could not at present contemplate the enormous expenditure which would be incurred by the rebuilding of the station. He appealed to the House to give a Second Reading to the Bill, which was absolutely necessary for the improvement of the traffic over various portions of the undertaking, but which was not concerned at all with Ludgate Hill Station.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

said he believed the company had on more than one occasion admitted that the condition of Ludgate Hill Station was dangerous.


I do not admit that.


said he believed that the general manager admitted that its condition was one that could not be defended by the company.


I refuse to admit that.


said he could assure the hon. Baronet that that was the case.

SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)

said it was not in the correspondence which he had in his hands.


said that was quite possible, but his hon and gallant friend had assured him that that was the case, and he was quite prepared to take his hon and gallant friend's assurance. On October 30th, 1899, it was admitted that the station was unsatisfactory and the general manager then stated that plans would be prepared for the improvement of the station, especially with regard to the access to the platforms. That was at once an admission on the part of the company that there was a case for improvement. This was the only occasion on which they could attempt to obtain any consideration, and the only opportunity they had was by opposing the Bill. While he agreed entirely with the case put forward by his hon. friend, he himself would give his vote against the Bill chiefly as a protest gainst this company having any increased powers whatsoever. They were informed when these two companies amalgamated that the public were going to have reasonable facilities, but as a fact the amalgamation killed all competition and the state of these railways was now a public scandal and a disgrace. The management of the expresses was abominable, the Continental boat express sometimes took an hour longer than scheduled time, and the management of the company so far as its passengers were concerned was as bad as it could well be. The House ought to bear this in mind before they gave the company increased powers. So ar as he was concerned he should support the rejection of the Bill.


said, so far as he was concerned, it was not necessary to enter into the question as to whether the Continental express service was good or bad; all he need point out was that this Bill had nothing to do with it, and he protested against hon. Gentlemen opposing a Bill against which they had not advanced a single argument. The only people who would lose by the rejection of this Bill were the friends of hon. Gentlemen opposite whose cause they were championing at the present moment. If there was anything wrong with the Continental expresses this was not the time to raise the question. The rejection of this measure would have the effect of stopping works being carried out. They heard a good deal of sympathy expressed by hon. Gentlemen opposite for the unemployed, but they were now opposing a Bill which would provide work for the unemployed. The directors were endeavouring to remove certain causes of complaint by improving portions of their line, and he hoped the Bill would be read a second time.

Question put.

The House divided;—Ayes, 105; Noes, 92. (Division List No. 184.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Fisher, William Hayes Knowles, Sir Lees
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lawson, John Grant (Yorks N. R
Baird, John George Alexander Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham
Balcarres, Lord Forster, Henry William Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W (Leeds Gardner, Ernest Leigh, Sir Joseph
Banner, John S Harmood- Garfit, William Lockwood, Lieut-Col. A. R.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Long, Rt. Hn Walter (Bristol, S)
Bigwood, James Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Macdona, John Cumming
Brassey, Albert Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Goulding, Edward Alfred M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A. (Worc. Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Heath, Sir James (Staffords. N W Morgan, David J (Walthamstow
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Heaton, John Henniker Morrell, George Herbert
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford.W.) Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hoult, Joseph Parkes, Ebenezer
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Houston, Robert Paterson Pemberton, John S. G.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow Huoson, George Bickersteth Percy, Earl
Dalkeith, Earl of Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Pierpoint, Robert
Dickson, Charles Scott Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Dimsdale, Rt. Hn Sir Joseph C. Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Duke, Henry Edward Joicey, Sir James Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Fellowes, Rt Hn Ailwyn Edward Kimber, Sir Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. King, Sir Henry Seymour Purvis, Robert
Finlay, Sir R. B (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs Kitson, Sir James Reid, James (Greenock)
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wilson-Todd, Sir W H. (Yorks.)
Robinson, Brooke Thorburn, Sir Walter Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tritton, Charles Ernest TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tyneside Tuff, Charles Frederick Banbury and Mr.
Smith, Rt Hn J Parker (Lanarks Walker, Col. William Hall Galloway.
Stanley, Rt Hon. Lord (Lanes.) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Stone, Sir Benjamin Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Ainsworth, John Stirling Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Dowd, John
Atherley-Jones, L. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Jacoby, James Alfred Parrott, William
Brigg, John Johnson, John Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Bright, Allan Heywood- Jones, D. Brymnor (Swansea Philipps, John Wynford
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Power, Patrick Joseph
Burns, John Joyce, Michael Rea, Russell
Burt, Thomas Kearley, Hudson E. Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Buxton, Sydney Charles Kennedy, Vincent P (Cavan, W. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Caldwell, James Kilbride, Dems Robson, William Snowdon
Campbell, John-Armagh, S.) Langley, Batty Roche, John
Channing, Francis Allston Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Clancy, John Joseph Leese, Sir Joseph F (Accrington Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Crooks, William Levy, Maurice Soares, Ernest J.
Dalziel, James Henry Lewis, John Herbert Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Delany, William Lundon, W. Strachey, Sir Edward
Donelan, Captain A. Lyell, Charles Henry Sullivan, Donal
Doogan, P. C. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) M'Crae, George Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower
Eve, Harry Trelawney M'Hugh, Patrick A. Ure, Alexander
Fenwick, Charles M'Kean, John Wallace, Robert
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, N E M'Kenna, Reginald Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Manners, Lord Cecil Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Gilhooly, James Mooney, John J. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Murphy, John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Hammond, John Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Hayden, John Patrick Nussey, Thomas Willans Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Helme, Norval Watson O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Captain Norton and Dr.
Hunt, Rowland O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Shipman.

Main Question put, and agreed to. Bill read a second time, and committed.

Forward to