§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. CHARLES ROBERTS (Lincoln)
said that there was a point of some public importance involved in this Bill, to which there was a very wide opposition in his constituency, because one of the provisions gave power to obstruct the waterway over the river Trent by the erection of a bridge across it. That waterway was of real importance and value to many industries in that part of the country. He was informed that some 2,000,000 tons of traffic passed up and down it in the course of a year. The bridge was proposed to be erected at such a point that owing to the rapidity of the tide and the shifting nature of the channel it would prove a most serious obstruction to navigation, if it did not lead to the practical cessation of the use of the waterway. He had a Motion on the Paper "That the Bill be read a second time this day six mouths," and if some modification of the plans were not made to secure the unimpeded navigation of the river, he would reserve his right to continue his objection to the passing of the Bill. His contention was that great railway companies had no right to cripple and strangle the waterways of the country.
*THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. KEAULEY,) Devonport
said there was no doubt that this particular Bill was of great interest to the district where the proposed bridge was designed to be placed. The Trent was unquestionably an important link in the system of inland navigation between the Midlands and 1650 York, and the opposition to the bridge represented by the numerous petitions against the Bill was not confined to one particular locality. The Trent was a most important river; and the Board of Trade had a particular interest in the matter as trustees for the public in the oversight of tidal rivers. The Board of Trade had sent down one of their technical advisers who had investigated the subject thoroughly on the spot and had prepared a Report which would be presented to Parliament within the next few days. That Report would be available for the use of the Committee upstairs, and Board of Trade witnesses would be available to be examined by the Committee. He therefore asked the House to send the Bill to the Committee upstairs, and he could assure his hon. friend that his constituents would have the fullest opportunity of bringing their case before that Committee.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed.