HC Deb 18 July 1911 vol 28 cc955-93

Order for Third Reading read.

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


I beg to move to leave out the word "now," and to add at the end of the question the words "upon this day three months."

The House might expect me to apologise for raising this question a second time, but on the occasion when it was discussed about a fortnight ago, I had tabled a Motion to reject the Bill, and I gave way, naturally, to my hon. Friend who preferred to raise the issue by proposing an Instruction to the Committee. But had my Motion come on I should undoubtedly have asked the House to reject the Bill altogether, and not to go through what I felt certain would be the unsatisfactory process of attempting to investigate the question further in the form in which it had then been presented to the House. I should have urged that this question deserved a far fuller inquiry than was possible under any possible circumstances before the Committee which had given it already a great deal of attention, and which has now had two sittings further to consider the case. That fuller inquiry, I believe, could only have taken place by an investigation quite apart from this House, a thorough investigation ab initio into what is the best scheme for dealing with the centre of London, especially is connection with the very important question of general metropolitan traffic. The scheme as it has been presented in this House has been from the very beginning, upon much too small and narrow a scale. It emanated from a committee of the City Corporation which is called the Bridge House Committee, and it emanated, as one can see by reading the evidence brought before the Committee of this House, from the brain of the chairman of that Committee. I bring no accusation against the chairman; I have no doubt he was actuated with the fullest desire to do what he-thought was best for London, but the idea of solving the traffic problem of London and also ameliorating the conditions of congestion which holds good on London Bridge emanated from the brain of that gentleman, as he told us in his evidence, and was not the result of any general public inquiry of an important nature which might, and I think ought, to have taken place previously.

Many of us have been on municipal bodies, and one knows, when a scheme has been once started, how keen those who are in favour of it become in order to carry it through, and one can see perfectly well that this idea of a bridge by St. Paul's and a through thoroughfare from Southwark was something which the committee of the Corporation looked upon as a pet child, and they have done their utmost—I do not take exception to their action in this re- spect—to press it forward without allowing, as I think they ought to have allowed, a real full public inquiry—an acquisition of the general views of the public on this question. We know that from the very first, until the scheme came before the Committee, the Corporation never consulted any architect of eminence at all. They consulted their own surveyor and their own engineer, and they brought, out the scheme in their own way. In a question of this magnitude—because after all, the treatment of the surrounding areas of St. Paul's is of as great magnitude as any improvement in any city of the world—what ought to have been done by the Corporation was to have a full inquiry beforehand and to invite other architects to give their views. I can conceive no city in the world setting to work on a great improvement in the way and by the methods adopted by the committee of the Corporation.

That being so, when the scheme came forward, of course, it encountered an enormous amount of criticism. We know there was hardly a good word which could be said for it by any person of eminence in the world of art. We know that artists of great repute wrote to the papers and protested that the scheme was not in accordance with their idea as to how the City of London should be treated from an architectural point of view. We have artists of the eminence of Ernest George, Alma Tadema, Reginald Blomfield, Sargent, Brock, Frampton and many others, all of whom we must recognise as being authorities in questions of art, protesting against this treatment of the central portion of the City of London. Notwithstanding all that, the scheme has got so far that the City Corporation could not of course retire. They were bound to press it forward, and they brought it before the House. I do not wish to say anything in the least offensive to the City Corporation, but I am entitled to say that, in doing so, they did mislead this House and the public with regard to the amount of support which the proposal had behind it.

I have asserted that the only support it had emanated from this Bridge House Committee of the City Corporation. I know many important members of the Corporation themselves disapproved of it, and thought it was not an adequate treatment of the question, but when they came before the House they represented in their statement, and it had a great deal of effect upon some of us, that they had also behind them the London County Council. They stated that the London County Council actively supported the Committee by sending their chief engineer to support it. Literally that is true, but the fact is that, so far as the evidence of the engineer of the London County Council went, there was no suggestion that he should appear before the Committee until last May. When the London County Council—I am speaking from their published records—met after the recess, they found a report from their committee, and, as a matter of urgency, allowed their engineer to give evidence before the Committee. So strong was the opposition to that innocent looking report that it was never allowed to come on before the London County Council until last week, and therefore until last week there was no authority given by the London County Council itself to its engineer to give evidence in support of this scheme.

When you look into the reports of the county council you find that the council, as a whole and as a public body, has never considered the scheme and has never given its authority to it in any way whatsoever. I venture to say, that ought to have some influence with Members of this House in regard to the scheme which is brought forward and represented as being approved by the county council. So far as regards the public debates it has never come before that council at all. On one occasion the council dealt with the subject, and I hope the House will allow me-to read a portion of the report in regard to that occasion, because it has a very important bearing on some other points in connection with the case. The report, which is dated 29th November, 1910, states that the improvements committee had been in communication with the City Corporation with reference to the. cash contribution that was to be made by the county council towards the cost of carrying out the northern improvements, that is to say, the portion between St. Paul's and Cheapside. The county council, being very economically minded at that time, insisted that they should not pay more than: £300,000, and they carried that very much in opposition to the view of the City Corporation. In this report they quote a letter which was written on behalf of the County Council to the City Corporation. It is in the following terms:— 25th July, 1910. Sir,—Referring to the conference held on the 15th ultimo between representatives of the Council and of the City Corporation and to your letter of the 19th instant, with regard to the construction of a new bridge over the River Thames, I have to inform you that the Improvements Committee of the Council are prepared to recommend the Council to make a contribution towards the cost of such a complete scheme as shall be satisfactory to the Council, the Council's contribution being limited to one-half of the net cost of the proposed widening of St. Paul's Churchyard between Cannon Street and Cheapside, the contribution being subject to the condition that if the net cost of this portion of the complete scheme exceeds £600,000, the Council's contribution will be limited to £300,000. The Council's Finance Committee have resolved to support the proposal. This offer is subject to the conditions that the Council shall be satisfied as to the details of the scheme in all respects, and in particular as to the adequacy of the southern approach to the bridge, and shall be satisfied that no further expenditure on its part will be necessary for a considerable period either with regard to the continuation to the south of Southwark Street, of the southern approach, or in any other portion of the scheme. It is further proposed that the payment by the Council of the suggested contribution should be spread over as long a term as possible. The Committees concerned will be glad to learn what proposals the City Corporation desires to make on this point. The whole arrangement indicated above is further subject to the Council being afforded such facilities as it may desire for constructing tramways on the new bridge and approaches, it being understood that the Council shall be under no obligation to construct such tramways or, if constructed, to extend them to the north of Cheapside so as to link up with the existing tramways in Aldersgate Street. This report came up in the county council without any recommendation, and with merely the statement:— We are in communication with the Highways Committee, and will report further in due course, and submit any necessary recommendations. No further recommendations have ever since then been made by any committee of the county council, and therefore I think I am justified in saying that these conditions hold good, and that the conditions in this letter will be the only written conditions which in future will bind the county council in regard to this scheme. What does that mean? There are some important points raised in this letter. In the first place all that the county council has considered in reference to this scheme has been the question of how much money it should contribute to the widening of the approach streets on the north to St. Paul's, but they have never given any attention to the question as to whether or not the scheme is a wise scheme, or the best scheme, at any rate, that could be produced. I think we can very well understand the attitude of the county council. I am not quarrelling with the county council as regards this matter. A proposal is brought forward in the City Corporation, and they say: "You make the bridge at your own cost entirely out of the trust money which you have at your disposal and which arises from the Bridge House Estates. The position of the county council is—you go ahead; it is your business; it is not our business; we are not concerned in this matter. When you have finished this thing and got the approval of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and when you have got the scheme carried through, we will come into it with our hands absolutely free. We will not bind ourselves to make a tramway, or to link up the Aldersgate tramway, and we will not bind ourselves to spend a penny on the improvement of the approach to the bridge on the south side of the river. We are left free." If that is the position of the county council, it raises a very important question, namely, have we as the House of Commons got before us anything that can be considered a complete scheme? Certainly we have not.

There is to be no further expenditure in this matter for many years on the southern approach, and yet, in the Debate the other day, a great deal was made of the fact that the southern approach to the bridge was to be absolutely improved by pulling down houses and opening up the road, so as to enable tramways to be taken out at the Elephant and Castle, which is the point where everyone wishes the tramways to converge. A great deal was made in the last Debate on the question of trams. A great many of my hon. Friends voted for the Amendment because they were so anxious to get trams over the bridge to link up the north with the south. Are we sure, have we any guarantee whatever, that that improvement in the tram service is coming about? There is no word in the Bill relating to tramways. I submit if this scheme had been properly thought out and elaborated the Committee would have had before them the proposals in respect of trams, and the Bill itself would, I think, have authorised the making of trams, and the whole settlement of this question should not have been handed over to the county council. We have to remember, also, that no such linking up of the trams can take place except by a very great expenditure, which will fall upon the London County Council. We know that Aldersgate must be widened if it is going to form part of a great arterial road through London. We know, also, that in Southwark there would be considerable expenditure, which must fall on the county council and the London ratepayer in order to complete the scheme. That in itself is a consideration which will stand in the way of any settlement, and of any rapid construction of this, new tramway. We also have another very grave matter to consider. We know, as a matter of fact, and especially since the second inquiry took place, that the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's view the construction of tramways in the neighbourhood of the cathedral with great anxiety. They have told the Committee that no engineer would undertake the risk of making a tramway to the south of the south transept. Who knows that the same difficulty may not accrue in regard to the tramway proposed to run along the east end of St. Paul's. We know that the Dean and Chapter have so great an anxiety about it that they managed to obtain in this Bill a very remarkable Clause that, if when these works were about to be constructed they considered that St. Paul's would be endangered in any way the question should be left to the decision of an engineer—I think the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers—and if he came to the conclusion—and it looks as if he would be bound to do so from the evidence —that tramways would be dangerous to the structure of St. Paul's, and that this subway along the east end of St. Paul's would be a source of danger, the whole thing would collapse and no tramcars could even run round there. I submit with the greatest respect to this House that all those things should come before it in connection with the scheme itself, and that we ought not to be forced into the position of having to announce them to the House after the Bill has been considered by the Committee. What the City Corporation should have done was to elaborate the scheme, and have had all the views of opponents brought before them, and then have made everything public. If that had been done it could not then be said that the question had not been fully considered.

There is one other point. We have had no evidence to enable us to arrive at a conclusion as to whether this scheme is really the best scheme that could be devised. Even if what I have just said does not come to pass, and even if it is found possible to make the subway and link up the tramways, personally, I doubt very much indeed whether it is wise to try to bring such a great mass of traffic through the very heart of the city. The Bill proposes to make a street that is eighty feet wide. In all probability that is wide enough for the bridge. It is about the width of Westminster Bridge, and would probably carry the tramway and other traffic for years to come, because traffic across a bridge is always moving and there is little obstruction. But to say that there would be sufficient width in the streets in the neighbourhood of St. Paul's Churchyard is, I believe, to fail to recognise the most elementary principles laid down by modern authorities in regard to traffic. The main arteries that go through London should be at least 100 feet broad. Anybody who studies this question carefully with maps, as I have done at the time of the inquiry by the Royal Commission, and considers you have got to have a double line of trams and provide for horse traffic and motor traffic, will see that to provide anything less than 100 feet wide as a main artery through London is merely to lay down something that will be inadequate for the requirements of the future. Along the streets to which I have referred there is a constant succession of warehouses with big vehicles stopping constantly in front of them which form a considerable source of obstruction. Therefore no one who really brought forward the best scheme for a bridge to lead straight through London, even if the bridge was limited, as I think it might be, to eighty feet, would say that a street eighty feet wide was broad enough for the increasing traffic of the next sixty, eighty or. 100 years. That raises the question as to whether it would not be very much better if this extra traffic went round St. Paul's. Aldersgate Street is not the only place where the northern trams come into London. The level you have to raise in order to get up to the top of the hill are very awkward, and it would be very much better if you want to get to the Elephant and Castle from the Angel to abandon altogether the idea of trying to drive a tramway direct through the centre of the busiest part of London.

I was very much struck by the difficulty with regard to this skew bridge. It arose from the fact that whoever designed the bridge thought it was necessary to make use of an existing street in the south of London, whereas it would be better not to go there at all. Personally, I believe that if you want to connect St. Paul's Churchyard and the Elephant and Castle you would make a very much better scheme of it if you abandoned altogether that little street and ran the bridge at right angles straight across the river straight on to the Elephant and Castle. I only mention that because I want the House to understand that there are these questions which should have been considered. I have read every word of the evidence before the Committee of Inquiry, but it did not cause me to hesitate in any of the views which I have expressed. Personally, I have a very high opinion of the way in which private Committees do their work in this House. There is no better tribunal; but one requirement is absolutely essential, and that is that the case before the Committee should be fully supported by evidence and fully opposed by evidence. I do not believe it possible for a Committee of this House to arrive at the best conclusion except by a case going through the normal course of being supported and opposed by counsel and witnesses, and experts, so that the Committee may have before it all the views on both sides. This was not the case here. The Bill came forward almost as it is: there was little opposition, except on behalf of a few people whose property would be taken. From the public point of view there was no real criticism of this scheme. The Committee were anxious to get to the bottom of the whole question, and did what they could by asking for information, but they were not in a position to consider the whole question carefully and thoroughly and thrash out all the arguments that can be brought against the scheme. Those were my reasons which if I had had an opportunity at an earlier stage I should have advanced in favour of rejecting the scheme. I question whether the second inquiry has made any alteration in the position. I have read it through and it has not withdrawn from my mind, the objection which I state, namely, that the opposite side never had any real chance of putting this case before the Committee. What was done? The Committee were called to consider the Instruction which this House had passed, to the effect that they were not to sanction any scheme unless they were convinced that it was the best scheme for architectural and other reasons. The Committee proceeded, and the Corporation brought before them three additional witnesses. I do not wish to say a word against those gentlemen, but as to the method adopted in order to get them to give evidence I noticed something in one of the statements made by Sir William Emerson. He said the Corporation had written him a letter asking if he would advise them upon this proposal. He replied that he would prefer to act in conjunction with two others, and he found two who had taken no part in the public discussion, and suggested the names of Mr. Collcutt and Mr. Burnet to act with him. If a full inquiry was going to be made the essential thing was to get the views of some who had taken an interest in the matter and who had opposed the proposal. It was a curious thing to go about looking for somebody who had not opposed it. Surely, if they want to get at the bottom of the minds of those who opposed it, the best way would be to go to them and ask their views, and so enable the Committee to make a thorough inquiry and to cross-examine illustrious artists and other gentlemen opposed to this scheme. If that had been done we should have felt ourselves in much more difficulty in asking the House to disagree with the recommendations of the Committee. It is perfectly clear that the great object of the City Corporation was to get this Bill along as quickly as possible. They wanted to get it through this year, and they knew that if they delayed too long they would not get it through.

They set to work, therefore, to find these three gentlemen who would support their Bill, and brought them before the Committee to give evidence. In doing so these three gentlemen did something which I think this House never intended them to do. They set to work to narrow the instruction down to a very great extent. The first words in their report were whether they had to construe the word "scheme" in the instruction as meaning the official scheme of the Corporation, or any alternative scheme, for a bridge to open at or near St. Paul's Churchyard. I think that the House of Commons the other day took by no means so narrow a view. I think what was in the minds of the House at that time was that this matter required a much fuller consideration— not merely an inquiry as to whether this was the exact point at which St. Paul's Churchyard ought to be entered, but really whether this was the best scheme, taking-into consideration all the questions to-which I have referred.


Will the hon. Gentleman read the next line of the Report?


Yes. We have considered the scheme and also some other suggestions. The instructions open three questions: (a) The best adaptation to public needs. (b) The appropriateness of the character of the structure, (c) Architectural design. On these three points of view, adaptation to public needs, the road which was to come to a point at or near St. Paul's Churchyard, and architectural design, these gentlemen undoubtedly gave their opinions. But one of them, and by no means the least, Mr. Collcutt, says that a bridge giving a vista of St. Paul's could be made, and, in his opinion, would be perfectly practicable; and he went further, in answer to a question by one of the members of the Committee, and said, that it would be easy to pick out a better scheme than this one. If it is easy to pick out a better scheme than this one, I must say that the Committee is not treating the House fairly when they report that this is the best scheme. In view of all these facts, I think it cannot be really said that we have exhausted this question. I ask the House to send this Bill back, first of all in order that the City Corporation may see their way to produce something more worthy of their own position and their own reputation. Everyone admits that the great opportunity of London occurs now. We may miss it; we may take advantage of it. If the Corporation have obtained the views of people of experience who are opposed to the scheme, if they have made themselves responsible for its details, they could come forward with much greater backing behind them, if we are wrong in thinking that a better scheme could be devised.

If there is a chance of devising a better scheme surely it is worth while to delay for one short year. There is no doubt that there will never be a question of this kind of greater importance to London than that which we are considering at the present moment; but is there going to be set up once again in London a great monstrosity to which everyone will object? We are told that when the proposed bridge of the corporation is finished a magnificent building will have to be erected in the place of the present oyster shop in order to give a vista. There is going to be nothing to look at in this scheme at all. Is it not possible to devise some scheme that will be worthy of the reputation of this great city? I cannot help thinking that the City Corporation have failed to put aside their amour propre in this matter. I think if we read between the lines that is what it is. If they were willing to put that aside and to consider the question for another twelve months, and ready to consult the views of architects and others, they would be absolutely invincible if they came back and still asked that their scheme should be carried forward. I do say that it is only just to the House that they should consider the whole question, and not bring forward merely a truncated proposal, connected with no tramway and with even very little probability that it will be con- nected with the tramways, but that they should come forward, after fresh consideration, with a full and complete scheme that the House will thoroughly understand.


I beg to second the Amendment. The hon. Gentleman opposite has dealt with the subject in so full and comprehensive and admirable a manner that it is not necessary that I should detain the House with many observations. In the previous Debate we had on the subject I remember the Chairman of Ways and Means deprecated the recommital of this Bill because it would reflect on the Committee upstairs. One can quite understand the position which the right hon. Gentleman holds after what he said. On the last occasion none of us who opposed the acceptance of this Bill desired in any way to reflect on the work done by the Committee upstairs. From the evidence which was brought before them, most unquestionably they could only have come to the decision they came to. I do not complain of that, it is not our attitude on the present occasion, or certainly it is not my attitude. I do not complain of what the Committee did, but my complaint is against the promoters of this scheme. I do not think that the promoters after the action of the House of Commons, have carried out what was the express desire of the House. The desire of the House was that some other scheme should be considered besides the one scheme which they brought forward, and in that desire the House was undoubtedly backed, as the hon. Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson) said, by expert opinion outside the House and, practically, one may say by all the great expert opinion. I interpret the action of the House on that occasion to mean that other schemes should be considered and especially that those schemes should be considered with due regard to the possibility of opening up a vista and a clear view of the magnificence of St. Paul's. I think that that is a desire which is worthy of the House of Commons, and I think we are entitled to ask what has been done in that direction.

Has anything really been done to consider alternative schemes, to consider one alternative scheme? It was only the other day, or a few weeks ago, after practically a few hours' work, that the Committee have again sent back their report to the House. Surely it is amazing to think that in that short space of time they could have carried out what was the spirit and what was the desire of the House of Commons. I venture to suggest that our real desire has not been complied with in any way, and that the attitude of the promoters has been entirely to back one scheme. They have had one scheme in their minds and they had an attitude of antagonism against other schemes, and they have refused in any way to criticise, go into, or give evidence on any except their own particular scheme. One must not forget since we discussed this matter in the House before, at any rate if not the spirit the letter of Instruction has been taken note of by the promoters of the Bill in that they have brought before the Committee the evidence of three architects. I do not think I am wrong in saying that in the evidence they have given those architects have done more or less nothing but back the one scheme. They have given no critical evidence before the Committee on any other scheme whatever. I personally resent, and I think the House ought rather to resent the fact that they should be asked to blindly follow the advice of three architects, however eminent they may be, who are simply backing the wishes of the promoters of this scheme. Far be it from me to question these gentlemen's ability. I am aware they are architects of standing, and that their opinion ought to be paid great attention to, but at the same time I do recollect, and I do know that the opinion they have expressed is the opinion of a small minority among the architects in this country. Whether that is so or not, I say it is beside the point, and it is not the point at issue for the House of Commons.

9.0 P.M.

It is for the House of Commons to decide what it wants with regard to this scheme. It was only the other day that the House expressed the desire that an alternative scheme ought to be considered. My hon. Friend the hon. Baronet the Member for the City (Sir F. Banbury) asks me where I get that from. Perhaps I am not attending strictly to the letter of the Instruction, and that I am going more to the spirit of the Instruction, and what I believe was the spirit of Instruction of the House of Commons. I say that the point we have here therefore is a small one, and it is, has the Committee in this small time had the opportunity of discussing any scheme except the one scheme of the Corporation? It is folly to argue that they have. They had no opportunity to do so, and it would be quite impossible for them to do so. It would take months to ascertain the possibility of an alternative scheme, and the cost of an alternative scheme. It is folly to say, and it is contrary to the spirit of the House of Commons Instruction, that in such a short space of time we should again be asked to accept the original scheme and no other scheme. I quite recognise if, as I hope they will, the House rejects the proposal this evening, that undoubtedly a difficulty arises. What is to be done in future? I daresay some hon. Members may say that if you reject the Bill again this evening you are in exactly the same position as you were three or four weeks ago. I think there are several answers to that question. Who is to give the time and the trouble and to bear the cost of going into and putting forward another alternative scheme? I think there are several answers to such a question, but of one thing I feel quite certain, and that is that after the attitude of the House of Commons it is incumbent upon the promoters of the scheme, the original promoters, to treat this question in a far more broad-minded spirit than they have done in the last few weeks.

It seems to me monstrous, and I do not wish to use any unnecessarily strong" language, but it does seem to me monstrous that after the decision of the Houses of Commons the promoters of the Bill should simply go out and choose to take three architects of their own choosing and bring them before the Committee of the House of Commons to back up their scheme. Surely it is reasonable to think that after the action of the House of Commons they might at any rate have asked some independent body, the Institute of Architects, or some other, to nominate some independent committee to give a decision on this point, and to instruct them before they came to a Committee of the House. Would it not occur to them after that decision that they should no longer stage-manage this scheme entirely by itself, and that there ought to be some independent expression of opinion, or outside opinion on this point, and that the Committee should at any rate have had evidence before them, and evidence untainted by the fact that it had been put forward by the original promoters of this Bill? The promoters of this Bill have one desire and one only, and that is to carry the original scheme through whatever the House of Commons may think. I think they have taken far too high-handed an attitude on this point. The scheme is one of almost national importance, and cer- tainly of great magnitude and interest to the whole country. It is not a question which affects London or the City only. I do most sincerely believe that the trustees, with the funds at their disposal, could find some different scheme, some alternative scheme, which would carry out their utilitarian wishes and add enormously to the architectural and artistic reputation of our country, and that would be an enormous addition to the beauty of the Metropolis of this country.


I desire to say a few words on the part of the Corporation of the City of London. We have been told by the mover of the Amendment (Mr. Dickinson) that we never consulted anybody but our own engineer. That is an absolutely incorrect statement which ought never to have been made. After the decision with regard to the Southwark Bridge, we began by consulting the late Sir Benjamin Baker, one of the most eminent engineers in this country. We have our own engineer, but his name is not Baker at all, and he is not dead yet. Sir Benjamin Baker was an independent engineer; since his death his business has been in the hands of his partners. We have been more particularly connected with Mr. Mott. I think it shows the weakness of the attack on this scheme that such incorrect statements should be made.


Was my hon. Friend incorrect in saying that Mr. Mott is the engineer to the City?


He is not. The engineer to the city is Mr. Sumner, a different man altogether. Mr. Mott was an engineer, acting entirely on his own behalf. He was not an officer of the Corporation in that sense at all. We are told that this scheme emanated from the brain of the present chairman of the committee. I wish to characterise that statement as being as ridiculous as it is incorrect. Mr. Do-money, who is a very excellent chairman, has been chairman only since the middle of January last, and therefore cannot possibly have had much to do with the matter. The chairman last year was Mr. Thomas, who had more to do with it; and the chairman for some years previous to that was Mr. Algar, who had still more to do with it. But it is not correct to say that the scheme emanated from any gentleman's brain whatever. The rule of the Corporation is to have a new chairman every year, and the committee, not the chairman, does the work. Again, it shows the weakness of the attack that such statements should be made in the House of Commons. Then we are told that we are pushing the matter forward with undue haste. We have been, considering it now for over ten years. Six or seven years ago we came to Parliament with a scheme to build a new bridge in. place of the present Southwark Bridge. That scheme we had to withdraw, because it was altered in. Committee upstairs. It was not a very good scheme, and was never much admired by the county council, because we could not very well provide for taking the trams from North to South. Therefore, that scheme dropped, and in the committee we have been considering the matter for more than ten years. Ever since the opening of the Tower Bridge we have been called upon to provide extra accommodation for crossing the river, and the Corporation have been continually considering the matter. It is said that we have not seen the eminent architects who wanted to be heard. As a matter of each they came to see us, and told us what they wanted. We are charged with misleading, but there is no proof of that whatever.

All I have to say with regard to the county council is that we are aware that the public will have tramways whether you like it or not. Therefore, one of the first things we did after calling in Sir Benjamin Baker was to consult the county council as to what they wished in the matter. They have always made it a point in whatever scheme was brought forward that they should be allowed to construct a tramway in some way or other. Now we are told the county council are not pleased. All we know is that they have practically agreed to give us towards carrying out the scheme altogether, without the tramway, £350,000, and their officers have been allowed to give evidence in favour of the scheme. What my hon. Friend altogether forgot is that the county council have taken care not to pledge themselves or their successors to build a tramway at all. They could not very properly do that. As in the case of Blackfriars Bridge, the county council themselves will have to bring in a Bill to get power to construct the tramways. I have sufficient confidence in the county council to think that they mean business, and I do not want any more pledges than we have got. We have been told that we ought to have consulted the architects who made complaints in the papers and elsewhere. That is just what we thought we ought not to do. What we tried to do, and I believe succeeded in doing, was to get eminent gentlemen whose opinions we did not know and who had not openly expressed any opinion at all. In Sir William Emerson, Mr. Collcutt, and Mr. Burnett, I think we found those gentlemen. I will read a letter from Mr. Leonard Stokes to show how thoroughly he agrees with what has been done—a letter which does away with the argument that we ought to have called in those gentlemen. Mr. Stokes writes on July 3rd:— St. Paul's Bridge. Dear Mr. Domoney. I see by the papers that you have appointed three very distinguished gentlemen to help you with the above question. Will you allow me to thank you for the very straightforward way in which you have dealt with this question of architectural help since your Bill received the check in the House of Commons. I hope now everything will go smoothly, and that the past may be forgotten and the hatchet buried. Yours very truly, (Signed) "LEONARD STOKES. That shows that the gentlemen who were complaining are entirely satisfied with what the Corporation did in the matter. I do not say that the Corporation could have done less, because, after the order of this House, it was necessary that they should submit to the Committee some architectural evidence, leaving it to the House of Commons Committee to get any other evidence they chose. As far as I know they got all that was necessary. Personally, as an architect, I should be only too pleased to throw open the view of St. Paul's altogether. But that must not be done with sacred trust money left for the purpose of taking the people across the river. An extraordinary feature of the agitation is that we have all sorts of proposals to do things, but nobody offers a shilling to pay for the cost, or even to retain the proposed architects. Except so far as we can fit it in with the traffic question, we have no right whatever to spend this trust money on any other object. My own opinion is that our scheme will show up the dome of St. Paul's as well as any other scheme we can think of. If you want to show up St. Paul's properly you must find two or three millions of money; but you will not get anybody to find it for you. Our scheme will show up the side of St. Paul's and the dome. All that you want to show up is the dome and the galleries. The architects have forgotten altogether that the dome is round, and that, looked at whichever way you like, it is pretty much the same. This other scheme would at least cost two millions more money. We have not got that money. We should have to borrow that money. I should be one of the first from the Corporation to move to withdraw this scheme if we were in any way pledged to borrow more money. We have to consider as* honest men and protect the bondholders, to take care that there is plenty of security for their money. Much as I should like to consider the matter in regard to the vista, or any other point of view, I never could agree to a skew bridge. Either from an architectural or engineering point of view, a skew bridge is a monstrosity, and no professional man would ever consent to have his name connected with a skew bridge if he could help it. I admit it has been found necessary in some cases of railway bridges, but it is never allowed if it can possibly be avoided. Therefore, I object altogether to a skew bridge.

Another question we have to consider is the traffic question. The constant problem which we have before us, and I have had many years' experience in respect to it, is what to do with the traffic. We have the best police in the world in the City, and we manage the traffic in such a way that all the other countries of the world are now copying our example. According to a recent census we have coming into the city a hundred thousand vehicles every week-day. We have over a million of people coming in every week-day, 400,000 of whom come to work, and the others for various other reasons. Our constant problem is how to get them in and out with the greatest convenience, so as not to interfere with or endanger the lives of each other. We have succeeded in doing it pretty well, I am glad to say, and we hope to do it even better when we get this Bill. Then, about the width of the bridge. It is eighty feet, and that is everything that is required, and that is all the expense we ought to be asked to go to. Too wide a bridge does harm rather than good. We have done everything that we can, and have considered this question now for a good many years. We have consulted everybody, and our scheme has not only been approved by the Corporation Committee, but approved by the Corporation itself unanimously. The Corporation consists of 232 members, therefore they are not likely to be dictated to by any one person. I should say that this scheme is the one apparently advocated by the Royal Commission on Traffic. I should like to say personally, and from my own humble experience, that I know of no scheme that will better carry out the purpose we want, namely, to let the people in and out of the City. In conclusion, I am glad to know that Mr. Stokes and those who have complained against this Bill have now buried the hatchet and are quite satisfied with our proceedings. I hope the House to-night will confirm the decision of the Committee, which took very much trouble upstairs to inquire independently and fully into the matter.


The Corporation have to-night spokesmen who have commended this Bill to the House. I should like, as one who takes some interest in the county council, though I cannot say I am authorised to speak for them, also to commend this Bill to the House. What is the position which we take up? That this scheme is after all the best and the most practical scheme, and the scheme that holds the field. It is the first time, so far as I am aware, that the City Corporation and the London County Council have ever entered into an agreement for a great London improvement in connection with our traffic. If only for that reason I should be sorry indeed if these arrangements were to break down, and if nothing came of the long negotiations between these two important bodies to promote a lasting agreement which I believe will be to the interests of London, of the London citizen, and of London traffic. The hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection of this Bill said, amongst other things, in connection with the tramway system that he believed that there was very little possibility that the Northern and the Southern systems would ever be connected by means of this bridge. I do not know what evidence he has got for saying that. I have a good deal of evidence to offer to the contrary.

After all, long negotiations have proceeded between the county council and the Corporation on this very matter of carrying the London tramways across that bridge. If this county council or any other county council seeks to promote a Bill in Parliament by which these tramways can be carried across the bridge, by which the Northern and Southern systems can be joined, I say we have an undertaking from the Corporation—who, after all, are also honourable men— that they will in every way aid us in promoting such a Bill. I believe all parties on the county council, not only the engineer of the county council but also the architect, have both given evidence in favour of this scheme and in favour of this Bill. I have never heard one word of objection come from any Member, on whichever side he sits, to this scheme. I have heard criticism, and possibly argument, that it might not be the most perfect scheme. There are a good many of us who are perfectly willing that this scheme should be well looked into from the architectural point of view. After all, we are all quite desirous of seeing beautiful things in London. After this scheme has gone back to the Committee, after three architects have been consulted, we have now proved, after all, that beauty has been considered as well as utility, the traffic arrangements, and matters of that kind. Three very eminent architects inform this House and the citizens of London that from the architectural point of view it is really a very good scheme.


I said that the county council had never had this scheme before it. I really would like to ask the hon. Gentleman whether it is not a fact that the actual scheme has been withheld from the county council, and that the council never had the opportunity, as a council, of discussing it?


A strong committee of the county council has had the scheme before it. No exception has ever been taken to this committee, which decided to go into negotiations on this scheme with the Corporation. No objection whatever has been taken to the architect and the engineer of the county council being allowed to give evidence in favour of this scheme.


Grave objection has been taken to the fact in the council that the committee has consistently abstained from bringing before the council this proposal. I would also explain that the architect of the council was never instructed to appear on behalf of this scheme. He was summoned by a member of the committee at the second inquiry, not the first—


The hon. Member had the opportunity of making his speech.


Nobody knows better than the hon. Member that there have been at least half-a-dozen opportunities to anybody who desired to avail themselves of them for questioning the conduct of the county council in allowing their officers to give evidence, and for raising questions of censure or criticism on the scheme to which the hon. Gentleman objects. What is the attitude of the hon. Gentleman and those opposed to this scheme? He says the whole scheme should be sent back; that London could wait another year. London has waited long enough for a new bridge. Our traffic is congested. We must have a new bridge. How long are we to wait for it? Suppose this scheme is sent back. Who are to be further consulted? The hon. Member says, "Let everybody be consulted." Who have we consulted? The Corporation, the London County Council, the officers of the London County Council, three British architects, and a very eminent committee has looked into this question. Is this House going to set aside all this valuable evidence, and is it going to override the Corporation, the London County Council, one of its own committees, and three British architects? I say the evidence is overwhelming in favour of the scheme. I am not certain that this scheme is absolutely perfect, but I say that it holds the field, and I say that this House ought not to override the local authorities entrusted with local government, who give the best of their time to local government, and ought not for a single moment longer to delay this matter, which is most important for the whole of London and for London traffic.

Let me say something on the score of expenditure. Some hon. Members ridicule the idea of one or two millions being a large expenditure. We heard from the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Morton), who speaks for the corporation, that if an alternative scheme is produced it will add something like another million to the cost of the bridge. Let me say this for the County Council which I represent. We are not prepared to increase our contribution of £350,000 proportionately, and if the House is going to reject this Bill, and is able— I do not think it will be able—to force upon the corporation this far more expensive scheme, I say on behalf of the ratepayers of London we will not increase our amount proportionately. We agreed to £350,000; we give that cheerfully, but we are not prepared to double that amount if the Corporation are compelled by the House to build a bridge which they do not want, and which is to be more expensive by something like a million of money more. We must keep before our minds these commercial considerations, however much we may like to beautify and adorn the Metropolis. We are trustees for the ratepayers, and we say this is the most practical scheme, and it can be combined with a great amount of beauty and ornament. I hope the House will read this Bill a third time, and allow the proceedings to be commenced as soon as possible.


When this question was before the House a few weeks ago I voted that it should be referred back to the Committee. I gave that vote with a thoroughly open mind, and with all due respect to the hon. Member for Sutherlandshire (Mr. Morton), if I do not hear stronger arguments given in favour of this Bill than he has given, I am afraid I shall have to vote with my hon. Friend the Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson) for its rejection. I am ready to be convinced. I feel this is a great question, and one that needs grave deliberation before we commit ourselves to it. The only argument I gather from the speech of the hon. Member for Sutherlandshire—and we all admire his great work upon the City Corporation and the valuable services he has given to that Corporation for many years—was the argument about two millions. If that is his only argument I am not convinced by it. Two millions for this great national scheme! We spend nearly two millions upon a "Dreadnought," and a "Dreadnought" is absolutely out of date in ten years, but here we have a great scheme before us which is to last for ages probably. We are building for the future, for ages to come in the erection of this great bridge which is to be a national monument. In this great City of London we are glad and thankful for the great advances that have been made in architecture, but there have been many great mistakes made in the past because we have been parsimonious with our money in many schemes. I could mention many great buildings in London where great mistakes have been made. I am anxious that the House should not make a mistake in this respect again for the sake of a couple of paltry million. This is a matter which has to last for ages, and I am surprised that the hon. Member for Fulham, with his large heartedness and love for London, should speak for the London County Council and say they will not spend a penny or a pound more than absolutely necessary. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider that statement, and I believe if it was required the people of London would back him up in spending two or three more hundred thousand pounds in encouraging this project.

I want to hear whether it is possible or not to carry the tramways under another scheme. One of the architects says a better scheme might be brought forward, and I should like to know if such a better scheme could not be brought forward. It was remarked it would be impossible under another scheme to carry the tramways through, but in these days of wonderful engineering enterprise anything is possible. We know that a great church near the Mansion House a little while ago when they were extending the South London Railway, had its foundations removed, and I believe at this moment that church is supported on girders. If anyone can prove to me that it is impossible to have tramways carried through under another scheme perhaps I would vote for this Bill, but I want to know is it impossible. I am very anxious about this great national scheme. I think we ought to rise to the occasion and to say throughout this Bill if the strongest argument in its favour is that a better scheme will cost two millions more. Some one told me the other day it would cost £20,000,000. I am pleased to hear a greater scheme can be carried through for £2,000,000, and if we can have tramways under that scheme I will vote for the rejection of this Bill.


I had ample opportunity of stating my views on this Bill on the last occasion, and I only rise now to refute some definite dogmatic statements made in this House which to my mind are absolutely inaccurate. First of all, we were told no opportunity was given to the Committee upstairs for considering an alternative scheme. I do not think it was the duty of the promoters to bring forward evidence against their scheme, but be that as it may, the Chairman of the Committee upstairs gave every opportunity to the other side to produce an alternative scheme. I want to read a letter written to the Chairman of the Committee by Professor Beresford Pite asking to be heard, and he wrote, stating:— My evidence would be directed to pointing out the architectural possibilities of the alternative suggestion which was published in 'The Times,' connected with my name and referred to in the proceedings before your Committee, etc. He asked to be heard so that his alternative scheme might be brought before us, and yet we are told that no opportunity was given for the consideration of any other scheme. The hon. Member opposite stated that the architects called in by the Corporation were called to support the particular proposals of the Corporation. I repudiate that statement entirely; they were only called in to give their advice on the matter, and the nature of their report was not known until it was signed and sent in to the Corporation, and, in spite of that fact, hon. Members opposite make the statement we have heard here tonight. The hon. Member for Kennington (Mr. Stephen Collins) has suggested that a tramway scheme might be possible under an alternative scheme. I think it has been generally accepted that that is quite impossible. I will read two or three words from the letter of the engineer to the Dean and Chapter:— I should regard the carrying out of such a proposal as certain to cause the most serious damage to the structure of the cathedral. What stronger words could be used than those? One hon. Member stated that practically it meant that even under the Corporation scheme the tramway system would have to be dropped, because to construct a subway on the eastern side of the cathedral would be dangerous. The engineer to the Dean and Chapter acquiesced in the Clauses of this Bill dealing with that matter. It is not the same thing to build a subway on the eastern side as on the south side. The City Corporation are bound in their improvement scheme to take those warehouses which at present have deep basements which would be almost sufficient to carry the subway required for a tramway system. Therefore the excavations on the east side would be a negligible quantity as compared with what would be required on the south side. A misleading statement has been made to the effect that the present architect to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, though in London at the time, was not called to give evidence before the Committee. The present architect to the cathedral only received his appointment about two years ago, and I ask, would it be fair to call that Gentleman who next year will have to advise the Dean and Chapter when these works are carried out.

The late architect, who has been the architect to the Dean and Chapter for many years, agrees with this Bill, and he gave evidence. He held that position from 1897 up to two years ago and he agrees with the corporation scheme, and yet we are told in the Whip which has been issued against this Bill that the present architent was not called, the inference being that we did not want to call him. Independent architects were called in by the corporation because they felt that in doing this they were adhering not only to the letter but to the spirit of the Resolution of this House. These independent architects reported that in their opinion the scheme adopted by the corporation is the best for the fulfilment of the objects of the Bill, both in respect of architectural design, convenience of traffic, and for the public needs, is the best suited to the character of the site, and that views not less interesting than the suggested vista will be opened up by the proposed scheme of the corporation. The Bill has been upstairs again, and everybody has been heard for and against. The Committee upstairs has reported that the Preamble has been proved, and that this Bill contains the best scheme. The alternative scheme would necessitate the dropping of the tramways, and yet we are asked to drop this Bill after all this expense and years of trouble. I hope this motion for the re-rejection will not receive the support of this House, because I believe this Bill contains the best scheme which the corporation has been able to produce, and I think the House will be well advised to accept the scheme and give the Bill a third reading to-night.


I think it is only fair that I should correct some of the misstatements which have been made to the House. In the first place the hon. Gentleman opposite who moved the rejection of this Bill has developed a very different line of attack against the Bill. I congratulate him upon having changed his line of attack. But with all respect to him I do not think he has been fair to the House. He has attacked the Bill on the ground that the county council and the corporation are not in earnest in regard to the tramway scheme, and he has stated that there is no indication in the Bill that the tramway scheme would be brought in. The hon. Member opposite is one who for many years past has taken a great interest in the traffic problem of London. There is no hon. Member of this House who has a greater knowledge of our procedure and practice in connection with Parliamentary business, and in view of those facts he must know very well that the City Corporation has no power whatever to bring a tramway scheme into a Bill of this kind. Therefore the hon. Member's statement is slightly misleading to the House. I have sat now for a good many years on Parliamentary Committees, and I have never yet known an undertaking given before a Parliamentary Committee of this House by any responsible individual or by any responsible body to be broken. The City Corporation have told us that there is at the present moment an agreement between the City and the county council to build this tramway, and in view of the evidence which the hon. Member gave before the Royal Commission on London traffic, he ought to be the first to doubt the validity of any such agreement. Here you have the City Corporation saying to the county council: "If you promote a tramway within our boundaries not only will we not oppose you but we will help you all we can." I do not think under these circumstances it is fair to tell the House that there is no agreement between the Corporation and the county council and that this matter has not been discussed.

The last time this Bill was before the House it was sent back, and with all respect I say rightly sent back, because the House was of opinion that a sufficient body of evidence had not been heard on the ground of the great danger that it might affect one of your great national monuments. It was sent back with a specific object. The hon. Gentleman who seconded this Motion imputed to the Committee that instead of trying to meet the wishes of the House we went upstairs and simply reaffirmed our decision. The moment the House came to that decision, on behalf of the Committee, I instructed the clerk of the Committee to write to the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and pointing out that, in view of the decision of the House we should like him to come and assist the Committee by giving evidence. The Secretary of the Royal Institute of British Architects wrote, as follows:— In reply to your letter of yesterday, the President of the Royal Institute desires me to say that he has every wish to assist the Committee on the above Bill in its deliberations, and if the Chairman desires him to do so and will kindly inform him when he wishes our witness or witnesses to appear, he will have pleasure in causing their attendance, at the same time, the President desires me to ask you to be good enough to inform the Chairman of the Committee that he has just been told by a member of the Corporation that the Corporation propose to appoint three architects to advise them on their scheme before it is again laid before Parliament. If this step is taken it entirely meets the views which the Royal Institute has expressed from the beginning of the discussion of the new bridge; for the only point that the Royal Institute has ever urged, either upon the Corporation or upon Parliament, has been that as the problem is, in the main, an architectural one, it should be prepared under architectural advice of adequate authority. Without any further communication from me, as soon as the names of the architects were published in the papers, the President of the Royal Institute wrote the following letter:— The President of the Royal Institute has asked me to say that he will be glad if you will kindly inform the Chairman of the Select Committee on the St. Paul's Bridge that the announcement of the Corporation's appointment of three eminent architects to advise them upon their proposals, entirely meets the views of the Royal Institute. From the beginning of the controversy the Royal Institute has confined itself to pressing that some such steps should be taken. Now, that these gentlemen are appointed, the Institute has no further views to express in the matter, and the Chairman will probably not consider it necessary to ask for the attendance of any of our representatives when the scheme prepared by the three architects is laid before the Committee. In the face of that statement, I do not think it is quite fair either to the Committee or to the promoters to say we attempted to go behind the expressed wish of the House. The hon. Gentleman opposite made a statement that one of the architects who signed the report was against the scheme, and in the circular issued against the Bill they state that Mr. Collcutt said it was easier to kick out a better scheme. I quite admit Mr. Collcutt said that, but he gave about sixty or seventy answers, and I am perfectly certain, if I were to pick out one answer which the hon. Gentleman opposite might give in regard to a Bill of this kind, I could show, he said, directly opposite that which he intended to say. I have it on the authority of Mr. Collcutt that what he said was that the cost of providing what he considered an alternative scheme would be absolutely prohibitive. It was not a question of one or two millions. Mr. Collcutt, after all, signed the report that this was the best scheme. The hon. Gentleman went on to say the present scheme was unsatisfactory as regards traffic. The only person who appeared before the Committee upstairs on the question of traffic was Professor Beresford Pite. He gave us a very interesting exposition of his views, but he admitted, although he had prepared an alternative scheme, he had done so without any knowledge of the geological strata. He told me he was not a traffic expert, and had drawn up his plan from the Ordnance Map. If it is a question of traffic conditions, personally I would rather take the views of Sir William Nott-Bower, Commissioner of City Police, or the Assistant-Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, both of whom appeared before us. With all respect to the hon. Gentleman opposite. I think I would prefer the views of those two gentlemen either to those of himself or those of Professor Beresford Pite.

I really think the hon. Gentleman who prepared this circular might have been a little more frank to the House. They say the present architect of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, although in Lon- don at the time, was not called to give evidence. Is that a fair statement? You have a Bill promoted which the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's think may injure the fabric. They go to the promoters and say, "We think we are going to be damaged, but we want to agree with you," and the promoters say, "We want to agree with you." They come to an agreed Clause, but they say, "In the event of your carrying out your work and any question of damage occurring, the question of damages must be referred to the court of arbitration to be set up." In that event one of the most important witnesses on behalf of the Dean and Chapter would be the present architect of St. Paul's, and I do not think in fairness he could have attended before the Committee upstairs. The late architect, who is, after all, more familiar with the fabric of St. Paul's, did appear. The opponents of the Bill, in saying the present architect had not been called, set out what purports to be a letter of the architect. I say, "what purports to be a letter" advisedly, because one taking up this document would think the letter is set out in full. It is nothing of the kind. The most important part of the letter has been left out. It relates to the scheme as it originally appeared in "The Times," and it says:— The fact that the Dean and Chapter have done their best to safeguard the cathedral against the dangers threatened by a subway connected with the bridge must not be construed into the admission that they are favourable to any scheme whatever. They would still regard the old scheme as full of risks to the building. There the letter stops. I notice the next paragraph in the original is left out:— While the construction of a subway near the south side of the Cathedral (which the new scheme might involve) is, in my opinion, and, I gather, in that of the promoters of the Bill too dangerous to be even contemplated. I think those who quoted the letter of the architect might have quoted it fully. I will now answer the point of the hon. Gentleman opposite on the question of tramways. It was stated on the authority of Professor Beresford Pite that the alternative scheme would only cost £200,000, but the corporation on the authority of the President of the Valuers Society of London, estimate it will cost £1,730,000. If you carried forward the alternative scheme, it would not be possible in the opinion of the experts who came before us, the engineer of the City of London, the engineer of the county council, and all the other experts—to construct any road north and south of London. You must run the tramway up the new bridge before you can get them to the subway. I tried to meet the objection by suggesting that as soon as they got across the bridge they should dip down and by a subway run up to the eastern end of St. Paul's. The engineers assured me you could not dip down there with any safety, because it would be something like double the most sudden drop you have at present, and that would be impossible. The late architect of St. Paul's and the three architects called on behalf of the corporation, all stated, on the question of bringing the tramways to the southern side, that, whilst as an engineering feat it would be quite possible to construct a subway which when once in position might instead of being a source of danger to the Cathedral be a source of strength to it, yet they, as responsible engineers, would not take the risk which St. Paul's would be in during the process of construction. If you could construct a subway down the river in one piece and then take it up to St. Paul's and put it down at once, there would be no danger, but the danger to St. Paul's during the course of construction was so great that they unanimously reported that under no circumstances would they be responsible for such work.

I do not know whether that meets the hon. Gentleman's point, but, at any rate, that was the evidence before the Committee An hon. Member opposite talked in a very curious way of the action of the City Corporation in appointing the architects, and laughed at the idea that it had been thought advisable to select men who had not been connected with the public controversy on the subject. But what would have been said if the Corporation had chosen architects who had publicly expressed themselves strongly in favour of their own scheme? Surely the only proper method to go upon was to call in men who had not expressed any view and were able to bring fresh minds to bear upon the matter and to consider all the details of the case quite apart from the controversy going on in the papers?

The House of Commons is quite competent to throw out this Bill if it will, but if it does throw it out it will be doing great harm not only to the representatives of the City of London but to the question of the provision of traffic facilities which are undoubtedly necessary. Should the House throw the Bill out it will be very hard on the two representative authorities which have agreed as to the necessity of this scheme. The House, in discussing a ques- tion of this kind, ought occasionally, apart from the general policy of a question, to place some reliance on the people whom it deputes to discuss details. If the House comes to the conclusion to-night that this scheme ought to be thrown out it will, no doubt, be perfectly within its rights, but it ought not to overlook the fact that there are many intricate details which have had to be considered and which could only be properly considered by seeing the plans and by hearing the witnesses personally. I am afraid the House, with the best will in the world, may come to a false decision by simply being swayed by general statements made by people on ex parte evidence who have not the full facts before them. Under these circumstances I ask the House to say that this Committee which sat for a considerable period of time fully carried out the intentions of the House by calling in as experts people competent to advise them. The Committee has reported with a full sense of responsibility that it considers this the best scheme that can be carried out, and I ask that the Bill be read a third time.

10.0 P.M.


I am in the position of being a member of the Committee who disagreed with his colleagues. We were asked to reconsider the scheme by Instruction of this House with a view to its bearing on the great problems of London traffic and the stability of St. Paul's Cathedral. But I may say, as the result of my experience as a member of the Committee, we had really only one definite scheme before us. Another was shadowed out but nobody could say that it was definitely or clearly put forward. The previous speaker, in the course of his remarks, referred on three separate occasions to an agreement between the City Corporation and the London County Council with regard to the traffic coming across the bridge, but there was never anything like a real presentation of the case in regard to that. I object to all the schemes, and I do not believe that the scheme so eloquently spoken to by Mr. Beresford Pite would satisfy those who advocate the Corporation scheme. The latter scheme has been defended on the ground that any alternative scheme would place upon us the obligation of laying tramways in the future in a subway. May I say at once I am convinced that there never ought to be any line of tramways carried into the hill on which St. Paul's stands while that structure itself is in the comparatively unstable state of equilibrium which the engineers describe it to be in. We have to make up our minds, on whatever form or line this traffic question may be solved, the tramways, when they come, must travel on the surface, and that will lay upon us the necessity of providing a much wider bridge and thoroughfare than this or any other scheme offers.

With regard to the agreement which apparently exists between the two great London governing authorities I would like to remark that, in all our discussions, not so much as a section of a drawing, plan, or detail was laid before us. With regard to the engineering question, it is rather significant that one of the leading authorities —the technical expert attached to the Cathedral—was never called before us, and it was only when I asked for the superintending architect of the governing authority of the greatest city in the world that he was forthcoming. The first question I put to him was had he been invited to consider this scheme. His reply was in the negative; he has never had it before him. That takes me back to one of the biggest Royal Commissions ever appointed in recent years by this House—a Commission which sat in 1903 to discuss the whole question of London traffic. That Commission laid it down as a necessity for dealing with the traffic of London that no thoroughfare of first-class importance should be less than 140 feet wide, and the plans were in the library for great schemes for running a huge arterial thoroughfare north and south across the Thames. Although that line of traffic deviated somewhat, so far as the city portion is concerned, yet it left the Elephant and Castle and its termination reached the "Angel" at Islington. That scheme was for an arterial thoroughfare of 180 feet in width, and they provided underground subways, where there were further lines of mechanical transport. After all these years and the Town Planning Act, with all the discussion upon that, we have this scheme brought before us. I have one scheme here before me. It was the scheme brought in in 1909, and it shows first a skew bridge proposed across the Thames by the City Corporation, and secondly, as to the north half of the St. Paul's Bridge scheme, it is part and parcel of the scheme the Committee of these days threw out. The hon. Member for Fulham (the right hon. Hayes Fisher) made one or two remarks. He said the county council had this scheme before them; we have no evidence of that.

The first man selected or invited by the City Corporation may be described, with every respect, as a thick-and-thin supporter. He goes and he selects or associates with himself two other able gentlemen. When I saw the name of at least one of these gentlemen I felt bound to listen to him, and all of us felt bound to listen to him on artistic matters relating to London. It was suggested that there should be a vista by a great thoroughfare leading up to St. Paul's, and should be about 160 feet wide. Now in the scheme of the Royal Commission we have a very similar road 140 feet wide, and while the witness said he inclined for the moment to the Corporation scheme he felt that it wanted a vista, and he therefore proposed that in the near future one should be built somewhere in the neighbourhood of the Peel statue. I said to him, "Then you do not consider this the best scheme possible?" "No," said he. In his heart he disapproved this scheme. It is wholly unworthy of the great City of London. The third gentleman came with high credentials. I asked him whether he thought the present view of St. Paul's, seen from the river, standing as it were on a great cliff of warehouses and walls, was to be preferred to one which would uncover the south portico or not. That gentleman committed himself to the very daring opinion that these walls and warehouses rather added to the mystery of the sacred building, and led persons to think what might foe behind it.

Passing on to the architects, I would only make this remark regarding the superintendent architect of the London County Council. He gave in his evidence before the Royal Commission that due regard should be paid to the question of perspective. No one in this discussion has remarked a letter of 10th June, which is a reprint of "The Times" of 2nd June. It was signed by the names of those who carried great weight, and I think had qualifications of those whom the Parisians of the eighteenth century called together when they set out to remodel their city and give them a commercial and artistic metropolis, which the Hausmanising of Paris did give. The gentlemen who signed the letter were Mr. Ernest George, Sir George Frampton, Mr. Reginald Blomfield, Mr. John S. Sargent, Sir Laurence Alma Tadema, Sir Thomas Brock, Mr. John Belcher, and Sir Aston Webb. We are told that only three were invited by the City Corporation. There were, I think, other invitations—


Can the hon. Gentleman tell us who were those invited? I was on the committee, and I say it is incorrect.


I am exceedingly glad to have that remark. I have reason to believe that in the way these things are done other architects have been approached, and they could not see their way to bless this scheme. With regard to the engineering question no one has stated that there were some great engineers who dealt with this matter a few years ago. Sir John Wolfe Barry, Sir Benjamin Baker, and Mr. Barclay Parsons. They gave it as their opinion that no scheme of a less ample character than that which was outlined in the Royal Commission would serve for any length of time the needs of London traffic. The scheme submitted by the great City Corporation is a good scheme within the limit of their funds. After all we must remember they are the trustees of public funds. What we claim is that they should co-operate with the London County Council in a larger measure, possibly with the Treasury in some measure and we should have a truly Imperial scheme. They have £160,000 a year to deal with within the near future, and they can very well afford to do it. The London County Council have already committed themselves in Kings-way, which is the latest of their works, to a minimum width of 100 feet. This bridge is only eighty feet. Someone says a bridge does not need to be as wide as a street. That is true, but for a great portion of its length this bridge is a street. We have been called derisively a nation of shopkeepers. If this scheme passes we shall deserve that title to the full. I do not for a moment hesitate to believe as a Londoner that if in the possession of this magnificent gift of the genius of our people in the years which have gone by, merely out of respect to a draper's warehouse, the peoples of Europe know that this splendid Cathedral is for ever to be hidden away and the approaches to it are merely to be seen, as it were, by a glance over the elbow as one hurries by, they will smile at the supineness of a people who were so utterly unable to appreciate that which the Fates had given.


Everyone who heard the speech of the hon. Member who has just sat down must have become fully conscious that he attacked this scheme from an entirely different point of view from that which was adopted in the previous Debate. He does not like this scheme, neither does he like, as I understand, the scheme which gave a direct vista of the south front of St. Paul's. That is not the way he would deal, were he omnipotent, with the great traffic problem of finding a thoroughfare north and south across the river. He wants to reject this scheme, not because he has a better one or because the House of Commons desires a different one, but because he thinks it may be possible to find something which is more suited to the dignity of the Metropolis of the Empire than the scheme which has now twice been dealt with by the Committee upstairs. I hope the House will feel that it is impossible to defer the settlement of this most important question until every human being is satisfied, and every scheme has been discussed from every point of view, that a scheme should be advanced to deal with this complicated matter. We have, after all, to deal with it as practical men. We have to deal with it from the point of view of finance—not the most important, but still important. One hon. Gentleman said this was an Imperial matter, and we ought to deal with it in an Imperial manner, but he did not suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should find the money.


Part of it.


Has the hon. Member the Chancellor's consent to that view? Does he seriously think that the Empire is going to find money in order to broaden the streets of the City of London or a great thoroughfare across the river? It is a London question, and though London ought never to be oblivious of its great position as the City of the Empire, to say, as the hon. Gentleman does, that £2,000,000 does not matter, is really to ask the House of Commons to treat the ratepayers of London in a manner in which they would not treat the ratepayers or taxpayers of any other part of the kingdom. But I agree, though we cannot ignore the financial question, it is not the only question. As regards traffic, I feel that I cannot say anything of great value to the House, and I may be allowed perhaps to endorse what fell from the chairman of the committee He appealed to the House on that particular question, and on that particular aspect of the question, in language which I think must have carried weight with everybody. He said: "We have examined all the details in a manner which it is impossible to present to an assembly like this. We have heard the witnesses. We have had stated to us the question in all its aspects, and the judgment we have arrived at, be it good or bad, must be better, or at all events better founded, than that of an assembly which has not heard the evidence, which must find it quite impossible to deal with these particularly complex considerations, and which can only deal with them through the broad issues which are laid before it." What are the broad issues? What moved the House, I am quite certain, to remit the Bill to the Committee was not the question whether a street should be widened, or whether the proposal in the Bill was a good or a bad way of attaining what we all desire, namely, better communication between North and South London. What moved the House was the æsthetic aspect of the question, and that alone.

If it had not been the question of the beauty of the Metropolis, I do not think there would have been a voice raised in the House on the Report that the Bill should go back to the Committee, and I do not believe that after the Committee have given the Bill further consideration any Amendment would have been moved on the Third Reading. I believe I can claim that I have pleaded in this House for a wider and broader consideration of those questions relating to the æsthetic beauty of London. I think that things still unsolved, not only in my time, but in the time of our immediate ancestors, are perfectly scandalous. If the hon. Gentleman opposite has £2,000,000 or £3,000,000 to dispose of, he will find that an enormous amount could be done in removing some of the eyesores which utterly disfigure some of the fairest sights in the Metropolis. I believe that the carrying out of that work would not cost £2,000,000. You would do much more for St. Paul's and the vista of St. Paul's by removing an atrocious iron structure than by a good many more ambitious and more expensive schemes. I will make a further concession to the House. I do not agree with what was implied by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Essex), who stated that London should take Paris as its model. I am far from thinking that if we had the power and if we had the money it is what we ought to do; but I do agree that, while London gains immensely by the evidence of natural development everywhere visible, we do err undoubtedly by not having a sufficient number of those vistas, those great street effects, which are to be found in some modern metropolis. We err, no doubt, in not having a sufficiency of them. While we ought to have every rational opportunity for improving those architectural street vistas, do you really think that that end would be attained by the plan which the hon. Gentleman does not really approve of, and which many of those who have spoken do not approve of—by having a bridge diagonally across the river and leading up to St. Paul's. I am not going into that aspect of the question, but I do ask hon. Gentlemen to study what took place in the Debate the other day.

Sir Christopher Wren did not think that the north and south sides were the proper points for a vista. He thought that the east end and the west end were the proper points on which a vista should abut. He deliberately arranged such streets as did go north and south —I have looked at the plans myself—so that they did not proceed towards the north and south sides of the transept. That was not his view of the way St. Paul's should be treated architecturally. I wish that it was practicable to carry out Wren's own idea as to the way in which that immortal monument of his genius should be used for architectural purposes. But at all events this can be said with perfect confidence, that the way that was proposed in this House and was remitted to the Committee was not the way which would ever have commended itself to Sir Christopher Wren. But I feel that it would be trespassing unduly on the House if I plunged them at this time of night into æsthetical considerations. I will only most respectfully say this. The matter was debated at length the other day. The House, by a majority, referred the matter back to the Committee. The Committee have reconsidered it. They have called architectural experts who, before they gave their evidence, received general approval as persons competent to deal with this problem. The Committee have dealt with the matter after hearing these architectural witnesses, and they have given their conclusions to the House again. I venture to think—though I agree entirely with the Chairman of the Committee that the House has the absolute right to deal with this matter as it likes— that the House, which is not essentially an artistic body, will take upon themselves a very great responsibility, after all the investigations to which the matter has been subjected, if now on the Third Reading they throw out a Bill which by the admission of all will do so much for the convenience and the development of London.

The CHANCELLOR of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. Joseph Pease)

, rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

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

The House divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 104.

Division No. 282.] AYES. [10.30 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Levy, Sir Maurice
Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda) Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)
Acland, Francis Dyke Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Agnew, Sir George William Elverston, Sir Harold Logan, John William
Ainsworth, John Stirling Emmott, Rt. Hon. Alfred Long, Rt. Hon. Walter
Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire) Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Low, Sir F. (Norwich)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Lundon, Thomas
Amery, L. C. M. S. Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Lynch, Arthur Alfred
Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R. Fell, Arthur MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Armitage, R. Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes Maclean, Donald
Ashley, W. W. Flavin, Michael Joseph Macmaster, Donald
Astor, Waldorf Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead) Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J. Forster, Henry William MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Furness, Stephen Macpherson, James Ian
Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.) Gardner, Ernest MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Baldwin, Stanley Gastrell, Major W. Houghton M'Callum, John M.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Gill, A. H. Magnus, Sir Philip
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Manfield, Harry
Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester) Goldsmith, Frank Martin, J.
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Meagher, Michael
Barnes, G. N. Goulding, Edward Alfred Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Barnston, Harry Greene, W. R. Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Bathurst, Charles (Wilton) Greig, Colonel J. W. Mooney, J. J.
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Gretton, John Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)
Beale, W. P. Guinness, Hon. W. E. Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Gulland, John W. Mount, William Arthur
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hackett, John Munro, Robert
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Needham, Christopher T.
Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich) Hamersley, A. St. George Neville, Reginald J. N.
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.) Newton, Harry Kottingham
Beresford, Lord C. Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry) Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)
Bigland, Alfred Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Nolan, Joseph
Bird, Alfred Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Black, Arthur W. Harwood, George O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Booth, Frederick Handel Haslam, James (Derbyshire) O'Connor T. P. (Liverpool)
Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.) Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry O'Dowd, John
Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid) Haworth, Sir Arthur A. Ogden, Fred
Brady, J. P. Hayden, John Patrick Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Helme, Norval Watson Paget, Almeric Hugh
Brunner, J. F. L. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Parker, James (Halifax)
Burn, Col. C. R. Henderson, Major H. (Berks) Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Henderson, J. M. D. (Aberdeen, W.) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Butcher, J. G. Henry, Sir Charles S. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Carlile, sir Edward Hildred Hills, J. W. Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hinds, John Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)
Cator, John Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)
Cautley, H. S. Hohler, G. F. Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Cave, George Holt, Richard Durning Pollard, Sir George H
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Pollock, Ernest Murray
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University) Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich) Power, Patrick Joseph
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Price, Sir Robert S. (Norfolk, E.)
Clive, Captain Percy Archer Hume-Williams, W. E. Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.
Clough, William Illingworth, Percy H. Radford, George Heynes
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Ingleby, Holcombe Rainy, A. Rolland
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Cooper, Richard Ashmole John, Edward Thomas Rawson, Colonel R. H.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Johnson, William Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Cotton, William Francis Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Reddy, Michael
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Joyce, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Crooks, William Kebty-Fletcher, J. R. Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Crumley, Patrick Kelly, Edward Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Kerry, Earl of Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Dawes, James Arthur Kyffin-Taylor, G. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Delany, William Lamb, Ernest Henry Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Denman, Richard Douglas Lane-Fox, G. R. Roche, John (Galway, E.)
Dixon, C. H. Lansbury, George Roe, Sir Thomas
Doughty, Sir George Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Ronaldshay, Earl of
Duffy, William J. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rl'nd, Cockerm'th) Rose, Sir Charles Day
Duke, Henry Edward Lee, Arthur H. Rowlands, James
Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen) Sutherland, J. E. White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Salter, Arthur Clavell Sutton, John E. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Swift, Rigby White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Sanders, Robert Arthur Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knuttford) Whitley, Rt. Hon. J. H.
Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Talbot, Lord E. Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Sheehy, David Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.) Williamson, Sir A.
Simon, Sir John Allsebrook Terrell, Henry (Gloucester) Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
Smith, Harold (Warrington) Thomas, J. H. (Derby) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Spear, Sir John Ward Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North) Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Spicer, Sir Albert Valentia, Viscount Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Stanier, Beville, Walters, John Tudor Wolmer, Viscount
Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay Worthington-Evans, L.
Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan) Yate, Col. C. E.
Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire) Watt, Henry A.
Stewart, Gershom Wheler, Granville C. H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Morton and Sir F. Banbury.
Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.) White, Major G. D- (Lancs., Southport)
Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Adamson, William Hardie, J. Keir Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.
Addison, Dr. C. Harmsworth, R. L. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Quilter, William Eley C.
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Hayward, Evan Raffan, Peter Wilson
Barran, Sir J. (Hawick) Higham, John Sharp Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Hillier, Dr. A. P. Richards, Thomas
Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hill-Wood, Samuel Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish Hodge, John Roberts, George H. (Norwich)
Bowerman, Charles W. Hughes, Spencer Leigh Robinson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford
Brace, William Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Bryce, J. Annan Hunter, Wm. (Lanark, Govan) Robinson, Sidney
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Rowntree, Arnold
Buxton, Noel, (Norfolk, N.) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)
Byles, Sir William Pollard Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Jowett, F. W. Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. King, Joseph (Somerset, North) Snowden, P.
Chancellor, H. G. Kirkwood, J. H. M. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Strachey, Sir Edward
Clynes, J. R. Lewis, John Herbert Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot M' Curdy, C. A. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Davies, Ellis William (Eifton) M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe) Wadsworth, J.
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Marks, Sir George Croydon Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S) Marshall, Arthur Harold Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid.) Molteno, Percy Allport Walton, Sir Joseph
Essex, Richard Walter Mond, Sir Alfred M. Webb, H.
Ferens, T. R. Morgan, George Hay Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Morrell, Philip Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)
Fleming, Valentine Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C. Wiles, Thomas
Gelder, Sir William Alfred Neilson, Francis Wilkle, Alexander
Glanville, Harold James Norman, Sir Henry Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Goldstone, Frank Norton, Capt. Cecil W. Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Greenwood, Granville, G. (Peterborough) Nuttall, Harry Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) O'Grady, James
Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Palmer, Godfrey M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Grant and Mr. Dickinson.
Hancock, J. G.

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the third time, and passed.