§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and question proposed, "That Bill be now read a second time."
§ Mr. SHERWELL
I beg to move, as an Amendment, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."
I am not opposing this Bill in any factious spirit. I recognise that in some respects it is a very ungrateful task for any Member of this House to find himself in opposition to a scheme which in the intention and desire of the promoters is designed in the public interest. But, having regard to the entirely changed conditions in railway control and management in recent years, and the fact that under their power of monopolies railway companies are able either to promote or most mischievously to hinder the economic and industrial interests of great communities, I am going to submit that we should not grant any extension of powers to any railway company except we be satisfied that the new powers are really required in the public interest, and that the company asking for these powers have properly and faithfully discharged the powers they already possess at the hands of this House. I do not propose to challenge in any way the desirability of the powers asked for under the provisions of this Bill. The powers which this Bill proposes to confer are powers that may well be of utility to the particular districts concerned with 642 them, but I am going to submit one or two considerations to justify the plea that so far as the use which they have made of its existing powers is concerned the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company, who are promoting this Bill, have not and do not start with a certificate in their favour. In what I say to-night I am voicing the united opinion of what will be generally admitted to be one of the most important industrial centres in this country. The county borough of Huddersfield, with a population of 110,000, is not only the centre of an enormously important textile industry, but also the centre of a great engineering industry and an enormous industry in the chemical trade. Yet this important borough is being, and has for many years past been, treated as if it were only an affair of a very small and, from the commercial and industrial point of view, a negligible community, and as if its highest economic and commercial interests were merely to be held as a ransom for the convenience of a particular railway company.
The facilities provided by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company and its associated company in Huddersfield for passenger traffic are a public scandal, while the provision that is made by the company for handling an enormously important and large goods traffic, represents a handicap to the growth and commercial interest of Huddersfield, which no important community in this country ought to labour under at the present time. It is difficult in this matter to distinguish between the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company on the one hand and its associated company, the London and North-Western Railway Company, although in all the facts which I propose to adduce, I am going to make a distinction and will only deal with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. But it is very difficult to distinguish between the responsibility of the two companies. The interests of the two companies are almost insufferably bound up together. They have a joint station, and they in turn appoint the station master and the goods manager of the station. Some years ago, the Midland Railway Company obtained powers from this House to construct a line connecting their main line system up to Huddersfield. For that purpose they acquired one of the finest sites in the borough, a site which at present would be invaluable to the corporation. They proceeded to construct their line, but as soon as the line was 643 constructed, they were bought out of competition by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company and its associated company, the London and North Western Railway Company, with this result, that what is probably the most magnificent and valuable site in the whole of the county borough of Huddersfield, is at present practically valueless. There is not even a signal box, a coal chute, or a shed of any kind. There are no platforms for passengers or goods traffic. The effort of the Midland Railway Company was made abortive by the action of the Lancashire and Yorkshire and the London and North-Western Companies, which has brought about a condition of things that is worse than the condition of things that existed prior to the obtaining of powers by the Midland Company.
The abortiveness of that scheme represents a great financial loss to the ratepayers of the county borough of Huddersfield. The assessment for local rates on that derelict line, the area of the Midland Railway Company to-day, is only £100, £82 in the county borough area of Huddersfield, and £18 additional in townships lying outside. The difference in the assessment of local rates as between the site prior to the Midland Railway Company going there, and the site at present represents an annual cash loss to the ratepayers of Huddersfield of £1,000, while the condition as regards passenger and goods traffic, which obtains under the management of this company to-day, is such as to be almost incredible at this period of the twentieth century. I am not making this protest to-night for the first time. There have been repeated protests on the part of the Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, the Commercial Travellers' Association, the Tradesmen's Society, and various other interests in Huddersfield for years past. Let me give some idea of the actual condition of things that obtains under the management of this company at the present day. Let me deal with the goods traffic first of all. The real fault with which I charge the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company—and incidentally the London and North Western Railway Company—is that the company has never in its provision for the town or district, attempted to keep pace with the growth of commerce and trade, and the growth of the life of the town. It is trying to adapt facilities which were provided for a com- 644 paratively primitive state of things to the needs of a highly complicated condition of things, brought about by the abounding prosperity of the town for the last ten or fifteen years. There is admittedly—and I do not suppose the railway company on its part will for a moment deny it—in that district a total inadequacy of siding accommodation and warehouse accommodation for the storing and handling of goods. Let the House observe what this involves. It involves on one part ruinous delay in the transmission of traffic; it involves, on the other part, an excessive strain on the staff of the railway company. I propose, with the leave of the House, to give a few illustrations of what this condition of things is. Let me, in the first place, quote from a statement made by one of the largest traders in the borough of Huddersfield:—The three companies, the Midland, the London and North Western and the Lancashire and Yorkshire, are worked by one agency, traders are without competition, and the work is done very badly in the joint yard and warehouse of the Lancashire and Yorkshire and the London and North Western Railway Companies. The premises are totally inadequate for the work. The whole place is congested with traffic, and they have frequently to work all night and on Sundays to clear the congestion. Whole train loads of goods are frequently sent away to siding at Hillhouse, Kirkburton, Lockwood, Brockholes, and as far as Penistone, thirteen miles away, causing untold dissatisfaction and inconvenience. The transit of local goods or any town traffic has become a bye-word. Three and four days is an ordinary period for the delivery of goods between Bradford and Huddersfield (eleven miles), and between the latter place and Halifax (seven miles).Three or four days for the transmission of goods over a distance of eleven miles or seven miles. Let me give to the House a statement by the secretary of the Chamber of Trade of Huddersfield, which represents the Tradesmen's Society and Manufacturers. He says:—We are of opinion that the trade of Huddersfield has outgrown the facilities provided by the existing joint goods station. The present goods warehouse and sidings are totally inadequate to deal with the goods as they are received. The staff has for some time been working overtime and on Sundays, and even this does not enable them to cope with the work.I have a further statement on behalf of the corporation made by the borough engineer and surveyor, who says:—One of the greatest difficulties is the delay in the transit of wagons whereby consignments which have been sent off regularly in accordance with my instructions, at the rate, say, of three wagons per day, are allowed to accumulate until nine and sometimes twelve wagons are put into the sidings at one and the same time, and only forty-eight hours are allowed for the unloading of the same. This is most unreasonable, but although complaints are made from time to time of these irregularities, very little improvement has been made.I have other statements on behalf of other bodies which I could read to the House if it were not unduly trespassing 645 on its time. I have in my hand a document containing particulars of some hundreds of cases which I placed in the hands of the representative of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company some few days ago. Here are instances giving the number of trucks, the specific time at which they were sent off, and the specific date on which they were received. I do not attempt to pick out these particulars, some of which are so extraordinary as to seem altogether ludicrous. When we find the railway company taking four days to deliver goods over a distance of seven miles, and taking as much as three weeks to deliver goods at a distance of twenty or twenty-five miles, and when these instances represent detailed statements not merely by individual traders, but by the corporation and departments of the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trade, it is perfectly impossible for anyone who reads those statements fairly to escape the conclusion that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company are sadly neglecting the faithful discharge of those powers with which this House has entrusted them, and that they have not a sufficiently clean case in their past record in the great district of the West Riding to justify them in coming to this House to ask for further and extended powers. I mentioned just now that one incidental consequence is not merely the ruinous delay to the transmission of goods, but that it also represents an excessive strain upon the staff of the railway company. I understand that the shunters in this goods yard have worked overtime on no fewer than twelve out of the last fourteen consecutive Sundays. In the goods warehouses, where the men work under three shifts from 6 a.m. back to 6 a.m., I am informed that the men have worked regularly on Sundays during the last three months.
That in itself represents a very formidable indictment against the management of this company of that part of their line. The company have issued a circular to Members of this House referring to the objections which are taken to this Bill. It makes the suggestion that these delays relate to a particular period and to abnormal weather conditions. It is suggested that these were really in a period of great pressure last February, and there was a season of fogs. I want to assure the House, from particulars in my possession, that there is absolutely no reasonable justification for a plea of that kind. I 646 have had the honour to be the representative of Huddersfield for seven years past, and this question of the inadequacy of the means taken by the railway company to deal with the traffic of the district has been a live question throughout the whole of my connection with the Constituency. To attempt to say that the delays in February were attributable to fog is to speak without the book. I do not pretend for one moment that the Huddersfield climate is the most perfect in the world, but it is a great libel on the Huddersfield climate for a great railway company to suggest that it is due to specially foggy days in the month of February. And it is to that we have to look for an explanation of these mischievous delays! The fact is they are entirely due to the neglect of the company to expand their facilities with the great expansion of the trade of the town. Unless that can be recognised, no effective remedy can be found for the state of things to which I have referred. Let me refer, for a moment, to the passenger traffic and the sort of facilities which are afforded by this company in respect of it.
I have certain particulars, and may I give the House one or two illustrations. There is a magnificent service of trains to Huddersfield if one goes on the Great Northern Railway as far as Wakefield, or if one goes on the Great Central Railway as far as Sheffield and Penistone. When Penistone is reached on the Great Central and Wakefield on the Great Northern, we then find ourselves handed over to the tender mercies of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company with disastrous results so far as the possibility of regularly keeping our engagements is concerned. I find it necessary in order to keep my engagements in the constituency to travel by the 1.30 train from King's Cross to Huddersfield. I get along perfectly till I find myself delivered over to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company, and then my troubles begin. That train is never punctual, and I count myself particularly fortunate if I am not more than thirty minutes late at the end of the journey at Huddersfield, and again and again I have been put to considerable inconvenience in the keeping of public engagements because of the unusual lateness of that train, which is never punctual. The same may be said of the 3.15 train. Let me refer to the trains from Huddersfield to London. Under the present pressure of Parliamentary life it is not safe for a Member on these benches to trust to the travelling facilities on 647 Monday morning to be in his place here on Monday evening, and it has become necessary, in the exigencies of our Parliamentary existence, to travel always up to town on the Sunday. There is only one reasonable train, reasonable that is to say technically, and from the schedule point of view, that one can select, and that is the train timed out of Huddersfield at 10.10 on Sunday morning, and due to arrive in London at 3.15. It is supposed to catch the London express at Wakefield. I met a Huddersfield man this week who told me that he travelled by the 10.10 last Sunday and caught the connection at Wakefield. I told him it was so notable an event that it ought to be published broadcast to the credit of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. It is only once in a blue moon that you could hope to establish the connection at Wakefield.
The last time I visited my Constituents I left Huddersfield at 10.10, and travelled with two changes as far as Wakefield, which is twelve miles away. I succeeded by the hospitality and goodness of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company in arriving at Wakefield at 11.50, so that I took an hour and forty minutes to cover twelve miles. That is not exceptional, and it is hardly possible, I suggest to the company, under normal conditions, to make the connection at Wakefield unless one can by some consideration prevail on the authorities at Mirfield to telegraph to the authorities at Wakefield to have the train kept for thirty minutes. Abuses of that kind are a most serious factor in the commercial and industrial necessities of a great community. The circular which the company issued to Members of this House this morning states that objections such as I have outlined are really not relevant to a Second Reading discussion of this Bill. I confess I cannot agree, for what is a request for a Second Reading of this Bill? It is a request which necessarily raises the question of the character and deserts of the company that puts forward the request. No company has the right to ask increased powers at the hands of this House unless it can show a clean record in respect of its use of existing powers. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company is not ignorant of these matters. As I have pointed out, repeated protests have been made; I myself have spoken repeatedly in public on the question in that district within the last few years, and the Manager of the Line has been good 648 enough to tell me privately that he honoured me by reading my speeches, so that he at least cannot plead that this is a new question so far as he himself is personally concerned. On 11th February last representatives of the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce had an interview with the General Manager of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company at Manchester, and many questions of passenger and traffic facilities for goods and mineral traffic were gone into. The complaint in Huddersfield is that, despite that long interview, practically nothing tangible has resulted up to now.
The company suggests, and do so, I believe, in their circular to the House, that they did at least put on an extra fast train between Huddersfield and Bradford in the morning. That is true; but that extra train really replaces one which the company took off at the time of the railway strike. I shall be told probably that the company cannot be expected by this House to run unremunerative trains. I agree; but there are two considerations, I submit, which qualify that claim. In the first place, I charge the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company and its associate companies with having done nothing adequate in the past to stimulate or to encourage a great increase in passenger traffic. On the contrary, owing to the shameful inadequacy of their provision, they have driven a number of the traders of Huddersfield to the necessity of travelling to Bradford by road on motors owing to the absence of suitable trains for their business. I also submit this further consideration: No one asks the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to run unremunerative trains. I would be the last man to make such a request of them, but I would remind them that in their monopoly they have prevented that competition which nowadays always ensures adequate facilities to a great industrial community. I do not want to take a purely arbitrary position of hostility to the company. We have put forward what I venture to submit are perfectly reasonable proposals to them.
I have suggested, and I suggest here now, that if the company want to get their Bill they should appreciate the gravity of the case I have submitted to the House, and they should at least guarantee the provision of additional siding and warehouse accommodation in Huddersfield district. I should be perfectly willing personally to support the Second Reading of this Bill on one condition, namely, if the representa- 649 tives of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company were prepared to say to-night that they would give an undertaking to consider in conference these real grievances of the Huddersfield traders, and to consider seriously their request for reasonable increased facilities with this guarantee, that, failing agreement in that conference as to what constituted reasonable increased facilities, they would abide by the arbitrament of some arbitrator to be nominated by the Board of Trade. We, on our part, do not take up an unreasonable attitude in this matter. We are so convinced of the shameful character of the arrangements that we are perfectly prepared to produce our evidence and take the decision of any arbitrator on the merits of our case, but we cannot consent to be put off with some proposal of a conference which carries with it no commitment on either side, and which gives Huddersfield and the districts no guarantee that after the conference any remedy may be found for any grievances that may be proved. I take what I submit with all confidence is a reasonable attitude in my hostility to this Bill, and I beg to move that it be read a second time upon this day six months.
§ Mr. MARSHALL
I desire to second the Amendment. I think that the case which my hon. Friend has made out requires the very careful attention of the company. I should like to supplement what my hon. Friend has said in regard to the state of confusion that is caused throughout the whole of the system of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company by delays similar to those which he has stated occur in the Borough of Huddersfield. My hon. Friend has several times mentioned the constituency which I have the honour to represent (Wakefield), and he has done so in such a way as to indicate that practically all the virtues of railway management ceased when once you leave its borders. That is very evident when you consider the reputation that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company has, unfortunately, by its lapses and failures, secured, generally speaking, throughout the whole of the West Riding of Yorkshire. I know that that is a rather severe and sweeping statement, but for a very long time the delay in regard to both passenger and goods traffic that occurs on the Lancashire and Yorkshire system in the West Riding of Yorkshire has been a bye-word amongst those who have to use the railway. The great activity of trade 650 in the West Riding during the past two years has undoubtedly put upon the railway system in Yorkshire a very great burden. No one would wish that burden to be lightened by a decrease of the trade which we are at present so happily enjoying, but it seems to me to be essential that we should have efficient management in these centres of the textile industry, such as Halifax, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield, and Leeds. It is there that the traffic is collected, and once you get a state of confusion and delay in a place like Huddersfield it is transmitted throughout the whole of the system, and puts people to the greatest possible inconvenience.
I am glad to think that the Great Northern Railway Company do not always listen with disfavour to telegraphic requests such as those referred to by my hon. Friend. If they did, I am afraid that some of us would be waiting at Wakefield for a very long time before we were able to reach London, perhaps with disastrous effects to the party that we have the honour to support in this House. The railway servants in a centre like Wakefield, where the traffic is gathered together and transmitted to distant parts of the country, have again and again complained to me that in consequence of the delay that arises on other parts of the system they are kept about their work for very long hours. I have had particulars given to me of enormously long hours that have been worked in connection with the goods traffic at the Wakefield centre and also at the Normanton centre. Under these circumstances I submit that we are justified in bringing this matter before the House, and in urging that before we grant the desired facilities, many of which are most excellent and almost necessary, consideration should be given to the grievances of the railway servants and of the textile community generally, which this company ought to serve, and which it has a monopoly for the purpose of serving. I have the greatest pleasure in supporting my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. LEACH
I wish to support my hon. Friend in the line he has taken in opposing this Bill. I think the House will agree that he has made out a very strong case against this company being given the increased powers for which they ask until they have given proof that they intend to treat Huddersfield and other similar centres in much fairer and better fashion. 651 I have known the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in this district for more than fifty years, and I have undergone a good deal of the unfortunate experience to which the hon. Member for Huddersfield has referred. I have frequently to go to my own Division (Colne Valley), and I can fully corroborate all that my hon. Friend has said about the inconvenience of the trains when one gets on the Lancashire and Yorkshire system. One can never rely on the time at which he will reach the end of his journey. I submit that a railway company which treats a great centre of industry like Huddersfield in the manner described by my hon. Friend is not worthy of increased powers, and the way in which it treats its passengers is not such as to commend it to the favourable consideration of this House. If for nothing else than the way in which it treats its workpeople, I should be opposed to any further facilities being given to this company until it promised to treat them in better fashion. I very heartily support my hon. Friend.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
I cannot agree with the hon. Member opposite that a very powerful case has been made out against this Bill. The hon. Member for Huddersfield dilated at length on the inconvenience which he was caused on one or two occasions by having to wait half an hour for a train. On that ground he desires to restrict the whole activities of the railway, and to place a barrier against the Bill which they have brought before Parliament. As one interested in railway development in this country, I feel that the action which hon. Members in this House take in respect of Railway Bills, is certainly not in the interest of the community, nor is it calculated to assist in the development which, after all, these Bills are for the purpose of bringing about. I could give a number of anecdotes in reference to the way in which Members put down Motions for the rejection of Bills, not because those Bills are hostile to the interests of the community, but simply because the Members themselves have some petty grievance against the companies concerned; perhaps they have met with incivility on the part of an official, or they may have been put to some inconvenience by a train being a quarter or half an hour late. No one can say that these Bills are inimical to the interests of the community. If any private Member is to come forward and do what 652 he can for his own private interests—I do not say that that is the case with the hon. Member opposite on this occasion—and these Bills are to be blocked, it is a travesty of what the action of this House is supposed to be. After all, what we are asked to confirm on this occasion is the Second Reading of the Bill. That is to show whether or not we are in agreement with the principle of the Bill. Having put forward his objections, I hope that the hon. Member will withdraw the barrier that he has set up against the Bill, and so enable us to deal with a Bill which is in the interests not only of the companies concerned, but also in that of the traders of a district.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned." I desire to support the exceedingly moderate and able appeal made by my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to postpone this Bill, or, at any rate, to offer some guarantee of their support to the claim he has put forward. The Noble Lord who has just sat down, and who has so ably advocated the cause of the community at large, has asked my hon. Friend what his remarks have to do with the public interest. If my hon. Friend's remarks had nothing to do with the interests of the community as a whole—and, personally, I very much differ from that expression of opinion—my remarks will certainly have a good deal to do with it. I do not in any way intend to attack this Bill. As an Irish Member, as an Ulster Member, I have no particular object in defeating this Bill, nor, indeed, have I any particular desire to see it reach the Statute Book. I speak now in the interests of a large and important community, and of a thriving and flourishing Irish trade, which has been severely hit by regulations which have been imposed upon it by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, along with other railway companies of the United Kingdom. My hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield said that in his opinion this particular railway company had not made out a full case for the rights that had been conferred upon them in the past, and that, therefore, in respect of the immediate future he was not in favour of conferring any further rights upon them. I entirely agree with him.
The new regulations which have come into force are a bolt from the blue, a complete overthrow, an absolute somersault 653 of the system that has been successfully in vogue in the Kingdom for the benefit of the railways and the traders during the last forty or forty-five years. Under that system the consignment of perishable goods from Ireland to England, and vice versâ, was very simple and very convenient; it turned out to be an exceedingly workable one. In plain words it was to this effect: the consignor in Ireland sent over his eggs or butter in large quantities to the great distributing centres in England-London, Liverpool, Manchester—and when these commodities had reached these centres they were split up and distributed to smaller centres. These goods were sent to the order of the consignor. They had on the name and address of the consignor, and they were signed by a distinguishing mark. Within the last few weeks the English and Irish railway companies have said that this system that has worked so very well in the past must now be abolished. Why? In order, of course, they declare, that inconvenience should be done away with, and that the great loss they had suffered so long should be suffered by them no longer. What is the real object of the railway combine, the railway monopolists of Great Britain and Ireland? Their real object is to try and squeeze more out of the public, to try and increase their freight charges, not only in Ireland, but in Great Britain. The proposed change took the following form: The full name and address of the consignee, and also the ultimate destination, was to be clearly indicated upon the box. It fell to my lot, as representing an Ulster constituency very much concerned in the egg and butter trade of this country, to ask a question in this House some few weeks ago concerning the attitude of the railway companies upon this subject. The English railways had, through their clearing house, already conceded the point that the names and addresses need not fully be inscribed upon each package. Subsequent to my question, I am glad to say that the Irish railway companies showed at least their good sense by following suit. But two very great and grave grievances remain which, if not removed, will undoubtedly prove detrimental to the life of this thriving industry, which means so much not only to the poor little Irish peasants scattered throughout the agrarian districts of Ireland, but to the great merchants and consumers of Great Britain. I beg to confine my remarks to these two principal points. Under these new regulations what is known as the 654 destination rule has come into operation. Under this rule the ultimate destination of every package must be stamped and clearly indicated. Packages will not be carried according to the old system and at the minimum or what is known as the tonnage rate, but will of course and of necessity have to be carried at the maximum or scale rate, which is some 25 per cent. higher. That, of course, is no gain whatever to the railway companies! The ostensible reason given by the railway companies——
§ 9.0 P.M
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Do I understand the hon. Member to say that this refers entirely to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company?
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
It refers to other railway companies as well, but it refers distinctly to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, and speaking for my particular Constituency, I am more concerned with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company than with any other railway company in England.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member has a complaint against all or a considerable number of railway companies, of course he cannot raise that on a Lancashire and Yorkshire Company Bill. He must confine his observations to some cause of complaint especially made against that company.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
I quite agree, Mr. Speaker, that perhaps I might have been led away, but not only have the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company brought forward new regulations, but also the other companies have followed suit, and during the remainder of my remarks I certainly shall confine myself to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not think that will do. It is really obvious that the complaints of the hon. Member refers to several railway companies who are acting together. His proper course is to bring in a Bill to alter that state of things. It is not the fault of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company alone.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
I fully admit it is not the fault of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company alone, but 655 they are part and parcel of this general agreement. They have gone into the Clearing House, and have taken up their position alongside other railway companies, and this is the only opportunity open to me—as no such things as Clearing House Bills have come before the House of Commons of which I know—of raising these exceedingly important issues in which my Constituency is interested.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is not entitled to take advantage of the fact that there is an Omnibus Bill of a particular railway company to raise a grievance which applies not to that railway company alone, but to other railway companies. It stands exactly in the same position as third-class "sleepers"; it cannot be raised upon any one separate railway company's Bill. It is a general matter which must be dealt with by a general Bill, and it is open to the hon. Member to bring in a Bill to abolish this particular system.
§ Mr. MOONEY
On a point of Order. Up to a certain period the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway carried produce from Ireland at certain rates, and when they are asking for increased powers, is it not in order for the hon. Member to show that the company are putting conditions on Irish produce which are prohibitive to the producer, and that therefore they should not be granted these increased powers?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If he can show that the increase of these rates is peculiar to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, certainly.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
Do I understand that because the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company commits a certain breach of public duty, and because other railway companies do it also, I have not the opportunity of criticising the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company upon a Bill brought in for their benefit, and for the extension of their powers?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I said the hon. Member must deal with all fairly and all alike. If they are all at fault, they must be all dealt with alike, and one must not be selected for criticism because that particular company is acting in conjunction with a number of other railway companies. If the hon. Member can differentiate the case of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company from other companies, well and 656 good. Then the hon. Member is entitled to do so.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
I think I am entitled to differentiate the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company, because most of the produce from my own Constituency (East Tyrone) is brought over the line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, and as Member for that constituency I have a very particular interest in seeing that the company treats Irish produce at least as well as it was treated heretofore. I propose to show that not only does the destination rule I have mentioned tend towards the annihilation of Irish trade in eggs and butter, but I would like to give the proposals that have been made to me by the representative of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company very kindly at my suggestion sent over an official to Belfast to consult with business men in my constituency engaged in this important trade, and as far as I am aware, the following proposals were made, that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway should allow large lots as in the past to come over their line at the minimum rate, and also—and mark this great difference between the old custom and the present one as proposed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway—to have them split up and relabelled for their ultimate destination at the chief manufacturing or industrial centres to which they were originally sent. The traders in the North of Ireland object to this proposal. They say it is even worse to run the risk of the relabelling of goods at these large stations by porters on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway than to pay the full maximum rate of the original proposal, because the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway have refused absolutely to take complete responsibility for the ultimate destination of these goods, and therefore, the loss of risk would be tremendous upon the Irish producer and the British consumer.
It reminds me very much of a proposal such as this. Supposing the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway to-morrow proposed that the first-class passengers on their line should travel on the old terms, but that in every third-class compartment, there should be a barking and biting dog. Of course it is perfectly true the fares would be the same, but most of us who would travel third-class would not be willing, in these circumstances, to take the 657 risk of travelling with the barking and biting dog, and would prefer to travel first-class, and for similar reasons, the trade would in this case prefer to pay the maximum rate. I come now to the second point, which is that this proposal of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway would mean an immense increase of outlay by Irish traders. The old system of collection in Ireland was that at various small centres in the country, a representative from a fairly large-sized town should call round periodically and collect the various amount of eggs and butter. He would mark them with a distinctive mark, and leave them there, until they were required, when he would wire from the central office and they would be sent straight to their destination. But according to this proposal they will have to have the full address of their final destination stamped upon each, and that would entail a tremendous loss in messengers and car hire, such as the Irish traders would not be able to stand. The excuse, of course, of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company is that the loss sustained in the past has been from the indefinite marking of these packages. What do the traders say? The Irish traders have now come forward and offered the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to fully stamp and brand both name and address upon each package. These new regulations will mean increased rates and increased gain for the railway company. From my Constituency to certain districts in England it is absolutely necessary to send the goods over the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway because there is no means of transit, and naturally we desire to make the best of the situation. The result of these new regulations will be that the British consumer will inevitably have to pay a higher price for those commodities. Another fact is that the Irish producer and the Irish trader will actually get less for his trouble and for his produce. What is the position to-day regarding the consignment of goods from Denmark to Hull across the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway as compared, for instance, with a consignment of goods from Belfast to Fleetwood? It is a disgrace to this country to have to admit that Denmark and other foreign countries have an absolute and complete preference over Ireland and the home country, and surely Ireland, at least, deserves equal treatment to Denmark, if not a great deal better treatment. Ireland 658 is by far the best consumer that England has got in the markets of the world, and she is also the best producer, and Denmark is nothing in comparison with Ireland. Therefore Ireland ought to be put in a better position than Denmark, and restrictions which do not apply to Denmark should never be made to apply to Ireland. If the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway took up this attitude from necessity I should have some consideration for them, but is there any necessity to put these restrictions on Irish produce? There is no necessity whatsoever.
Standing here as an Ulster Member, representing a Protestant and Catholic Constituency of butter and egg producers, I say that I never would submit to a single Protestant in my Constituency, be he Orangeman or anything else, being allowed to suffer under regulations brought in by an English railway company. I think the promoters of this Bill by this time must be fully aware that there is considerable oppostion to this Bill, not only from Ireland, but from all parts of the United Kingdom. The hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sherwell) made an exceedingly strong case against the railway company from the point of view of his constituents. I should like to ask if there is any possibility of this Bill getting through Committee before Whitsuntide, and I would like also to ask how many Parliamentary days are at our disposal? Supposing this Bill passes its Second Reading to-night, what chance will it have of going up to Committee and passing before the Whitsuntide recess. My hon. Friend the Member for Newry (Mr. Mooney) says that in his opinion this Bill has practically no chance at all of passing into law before Whitsuntide, and under those circumstances why cannot this railway company be magnanimous and adjourn this Debate and postpone their measure until the important and vital question which I have mentioned has been determined. How is that to come about? A meeting is to take place to-morrow of the English Clearance House, and if this question is fully discussed in that asembly, and treated in anything like a favourable manner, I can assure the promoters of this measure that we shall cease to be strong opponents of this Bill. Let me inform the Lanacshire and Yorkshire Railway Company that unless they endeavour to put an end to the disgraceful state of affairs that has arisen owing to their recent regulations, they will 659 find the opposition of hon. Members sitting on these benches of quite a different character to that which they have been accustomed to see in the past. We are all agreed that this Bill should not proceed, and this is a view which appears to me to be strongly supported in every quarter of the House.
§ Mr. CRUMLEY
I rise to second the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate, and I wish to say a few words on behalf of a trade in Ireland which has suffered very much by the action of this railway company. It appears that I am prevented by the ruling of the Chair from coupling any other company with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. Unfortunately, some eight or nine months ago a plague broke out in Ireland which every hon. Member of this House knows as the foot-and-mouth distemper. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, as well as other companies, when they found that there was twenty-one-days' detention at the ports of embarkation in this country, broke through a rule which had existed for about forty-five years. They have agencies in every part of Ireland; they are a great carrying company, and at the present time they are parties to this pooling arrangement, and are assisting in breaking through this long custom of through booking. There are now three bookings instead of one, and it is calculated that this places upon traders who are sending live stock to England an increased cost of from 50 per cent. to 60 per cent. I put down a question to the President of the Board of Trade with regard to this matter, and I was told that if I would furnish him with particulars he would inquire into the matter; but the Board of Trade has every facility for going to the Clearing House in London or in Liverpool, and of getting for themselves information which it would be impossible for me or any other Member of this House to give them. This pooling has now gone on for nearly two years, and it is starving the ports of Ireland. The time was when there were two boats leaving Drogheda daily, but now there are only about two boats in the week.
The same applies to the dead meat trade of Ireland. They have starved that trade out. I remember when there was a large dead meat trade done between Ireland and England, and the rates then charged were £4 6s. 3d. per ton from the Midlands of Ireland to London at owners' risk, and 660 £5 5s. at the company's risk. At the same time they could export meat from Denmark to London for 35s. or £2 per ton. Colonel Plews, the general manager of the Great Northern Railway Company of Ireland, requested me to give him my opinion as to what the charge should be, and I told him £2 per ton. He on the part of the Irish railways agreed, but the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and the London and North-Western Railway still held out and would not agree. That is the way Ireland has been treated. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway would carry a ton of American bacon over to Ireland for 15s. a ton delivered in Belfast or in Derry, but for carrying the same quantity of Irish bacon they charge £1 2s. 6d. per ton. They are now trying to starve out the country in regard to its butter and egg produce. They have destroyed the cattle trade of Ireland. I would urge the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to meet the traders fairly, to resume their former charges and through bookings. We would then let them have their Bill, but until they come back to their senses and make their charges the same as they were before the distemper broke out, so far as I am concerned I will continue to protest against them having their Bill. I am sure the Irish party will not allow them to get their Bill unless they treat us properly. We have taught the London and North-Western Railway Company a lesson, and the same will, I think, be said of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to-morrow. I hope, therefore, they will come to an arrangement at once with the Irish party.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
I rise to resist the Motion on the ground that this is a Bill of an omnibus character, and covers works which are of great urgency. I understand that I am precluded by the Rules of Order from going into the case which has been attempted to be made out by the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sherwell), but surely the essence of their case is that these things are of urgent importance, and should be dealt with straight away. The whole point of this Bill is that it deals with works which are required here and now. The Bill consists of certain connecting lines and widenings of various junctions, powers to make bridges, powers to buy various lands necessary to make those bridges, and powers to extend stations, all of which are of urgent importance to increase the facilities for passengers and for traders. I 661 resist this Motion for the Adjournment mainly because the Bill covers works which are urgently required for the development of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway system. It is notorious that, throughout the length and breadth of Lancashire, trade is very good and that all facilities are required which can possibly be provided by the railway company. My hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield made that the basis of his remarks. The hon. Member for Wakefield repeated the argument, but the remarks with regard to trade in Lancashire and Yorkshire are equally applicable to the other districts within the company's area of working, and it would be a great injustice to the localities which are affected by this Bill if this House adjourned the Debate. I beg to express the hope that my Irish Friends will allow the Debate to proceed, so that a reply may be given to the case they have put forward.
§ Mr. MOONEY
The hon. Member who has just spoken said it was of urgent importance that this Bill should be read a second time. Has he considered what the company will do if the Second Reading is adjourned for a week? There are thirty petitions against this Bill and the company has met a good many of them, but still there are some which have not been withdrawn and we do not know whether they will be. The very unusual course has been adopted of grouping this Bill before it has received a Second Reading. It has been put in a certain list, and there stands before it a Bill of a very contentious character which cannot be finished before Whitsuntide. Therefore, even if the Bill be read a second time to-night, it will not come before the Committee for some weeks. Consequently the railway company will not be damnified unless this House or the Committee of Selection decides to have the Bill taken out of its present group and taken before a Special Committee. I have listened to every word spoken in this Debate. The hon. Member for Huddersfield has put forward one set of facts which he says should be considered before any further powers are granted to this company. My hon. Friend the Member for Tyrone has brought forward another set of facts. I understand that the companies are meeting to-morrow to discuss the same questions, and surely the House of Commons should wait and find out what attitude the railway companies intend to take up before they grant further facilities to a company which 662 already has very great powers. If this were a matter of life or death to the railway company I should agree that there is urgency, but that is not the case. If the House reads the Bill a second time to-night nothing further can be done till after Whitsuntide. The Bill which stands before it in the Committee in which it is grouped, is the Hull and Barnsley Railway Bill, which will probably occupy all the time between now and the adjournment for Whitsuntide. I think the promoters are very unwise in not consenting to this adjournment. I came to the House with the intention of supporting the Bill. I have no quarrel with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, and, on general principle, I should have voted for the second reading. But now, I think, a case has been made out for delay—a delay which would enable a reasonable compromise to be arrived at. If my hon. Friend goes to a division on the motion for adjournment I shall vote with him, and if, after that, the railway company will not agree to an adjournment, I shall vote against the second reading of the Bill, because I consider they are not showing a reasonable spirit. I should like to ask representatives of the Board of Trade for an explanation with regard to one particular Clause——
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must wait for that until the Motion for the Adjournment has been disposed of.
§ Mr. MOONEY
Then I will only suggest that it would be well to adjourn the Debate in the hope that a reasonable compromise may be come to during the interval.
§ Mr. BARTON
I desire to resist this Motion for Adjournment. The case put before the House dealt with the dissatisfaction which exists in respect of the services rendered by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. I represent a constituency served by this company, and I know that we have considerable grievances against this, in common with other railway companes. But I do not see what good purpose is going to be served by opposing this Omnibus Bill, because the only affect will be to make it impossible for the company to discharge the service which we want it to render. The Mover of the Motion for the Adjournment based his case entirely on the bad services rendered by the railway company. At the same time he assured us that he had no objection to this particular 663 Bill. That is an exceedingly bad principle to go on. If we want our railway services improved, surely we ought rather to encourage sound proposals which are brought before us by the railway company and deal with them on their own merits. I cannot see how any advantage can possibly accrue from the postponement of this Debate.
§ Mr. BOOTH
This Bill affects my Constituency, for Knottingley, where certain works are to be carried out, is entirely within my Constituency, and naturally we want those works to proceed and further facilities to be given. My sympathies are with the public in all these matters. At the same time I feel bound, after the discussion which has taken place, to vote for the Adjournment of the Debate. I do it with some reluctance, but I see no other way out of the difficulty. The opposition to this Bill comes from various quarters, and I am afraid the House would only give a very confused vote upon the Motion for Second Reading to-day, because many hon. Members are quite uncertain what course they ought to take. I have not quite made up my own mind. I want to hear the Bill further discussed before I can decide to support it. Under these circumstances I would appeal to the promoters to agree to this Motion, seeing that no definite progress can be made with the Bill for some weeks. After an adjournment the House could have a clear issue before it. Only to-night, as a result of a conference between the railway company and some hon. Members, a considerable amount of opposition to the Bill has been withdrawn. That shows that the postponement of the date had a very good effect, and that hon. Members have come to support this Bill who would have been compelled to vote against it had it been taken to a vote previously. My view is that, if a short adjournment takes place, many others who have been somewhat hostile may be able to come forward, as some hon. Members have been able to come forward, with a changed attitude to the Bill. With a sincere desire to help the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company in anything that may be lawful and expedient in the way of granting additional powers, and particularly with the object that there shall be no uncertain vote given by the House upon a matter which affects my own Constituency, I appeal to the promoters to postpone their Bill, and to bring it for- 664 ward when the House will have a much clearer idea how to vote.
§ Sir J. D. REES
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has chosen a curious way of advantaging the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, which has never brought him here too late on a Monday or any other morning. I protest against this policy of procrastination. It is merely part of the general hostility to Railway Bills. When I heard the hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. A. Redmond), who has succeeded to the seat of his father with all his gifts of eloquence, if not all his gifts of relevance, I felt sure there was going to happen, what was confessed by the hon. Gentleman who succeeded him, namely, an effort to bring about in the case of this Bill the undeserved and unjust fate which befell the Great Western Bill the other day. The hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sherwell) is always temperate. He complained that the trains were slow and that the delivery of goods was slow. Would he deprive the districts to be served by five new lines——
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is not speaking to the Question, which is that the Debate be adjourned.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I apologise, Sir. I wish to protest against this and beg the hon. Member to withdraw his Motion, because, as one who attends the Debates on all Railway Bills, I think the policy of hitting one railway because another has offended, and generally endeavouring to put off all Railway Bills and promoting unemployment, and of general hostility to the development of the country, seems perfectly deplorable. I beg the hon. Member to reconsider his decision.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I would ask hon. Members not to vote in favour of this Motion. They will remember that this Bill was on the Paper a week or a fortnight ago, when there was a good deal of discussion, not in this Chamber, but in the immediate precincts of this Chamber. It is now on the Paper again, and we have been discussing its merits for something like an hour and a half. One side of the question has been presented to the House, and I do not think anybody has attempted to present the other side. Would it not be a great pity to throw away the hour and a half we have already spent upon it, for some of us may not be able to be here on the occasion when it is taken, or may have forgotten the excellent arguments 665 put forward by hon. Members opposite. Is it not better to finish the discussion now? With regard to the petitions presented against the Bill, it is said there are thirty in number. In all probability a great number of those are petitions asking for special Clauses. You can settle your arguments just as well when the Bill 666 is in Committee as when we are discussing the Second Reading. I hope the House will go on with the Bill.
§ Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 85; Noes, 206.667
|Division No. 73.]||AYES.||[9.52 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Adamson, William||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Dewd, John|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Grady, James|
|Boland, John Plus||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Malley, William|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Joyce, Michael||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Brace, William||Keating, Matthew||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Brady, P. J.||Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Shee, James John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Kelly, Edward||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kilbride, Denis||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||King, Joseph||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lardner, James C. R.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Leach, Charles||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Cullinan, J.||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Reddy, Michael|
|Delany, William||Lundon, Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||McGhee, Richard||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Doris, William||MacNeill. J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Duffy, William J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sheehy, David|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leltrim, S.)|
|Esmonde Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Meagher, Michael||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Esslemont, George Birnle||Molloy, Michael||Watt, Henry A.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Mooney, John J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Muldoon, John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Hackett, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. W. A. Redmond and Mr. Sherwell.|
|Hardie, J. Keir||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cautley, Henry Strother||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Gulland, John William|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar|
|Alden, Percy||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon, Charles P. (Stroud)||Clough, William||Hancock, J. G.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Craik, Sir Henry||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Crooks, William||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Dalrymple, Viscount||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barton, William||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hills, J. W.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Dawes, J. A.||Hodge, John|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Duke, Henry Edward||Home, E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Bird, Alfred||Falle, B. G.||Hudson, Walter|
|Blair, Reginald||Fell, Arthur||Hunter, Sir C. R.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Boyton, James||Forster, Henry William||John, Edward Thomas|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Gill, A. H.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Gilmour, Captain J.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Bull, Sir William James||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Goldman, C. S.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Goldsmith, Frank||Lloyd, G. A.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Goldstone, Frank||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Campion, W. R.||Grant, J. A.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Carllie, Sir Edward Hildred||Gretton, John||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Griffith, Ellis J.||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Cator, John||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Maclean, Donald|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russeil (South Shields)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Rees, Sir J. D.||Thomas, J. H.|
|M'Mordie, Robert||Richards, Thomas||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Middlebrook, William||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Webb, H.|
|Morgan, George Hay||Robinson, Sidney||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rowlands, James||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Munro, Robert||Rowntree, Arnold||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Whitley, Rt. Hon. J. H|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Sanders, Robert A.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Sanderson, Lancelot||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Parry, Thomas H.||Shortt, Edward||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wing, Thomas|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Perkins, Walter F.||Stanier, Beville||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Peto, Basil Edward||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Pirie, Duncan Vernon||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Pointer, Joseph||Stewart, Gershom||Young, W (Perthshire, East)|
|Pollard, Sir George H.||Sutherland, John E.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Sutton, John E.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Sykes, Alan John (ches., Knutsford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Needham and Mr. Rigby Swift.|
|Radford, G. H.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
I believe I am right in saying that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway are very desirous of meeting the traders of Huddersfield, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Trade, and the Corporation of Huddersfield at a joint conference, when the whole of the questions which affect Huddersfield can be discussed at a round table conference. The railway company have endeavoured to discuss some of these problems. I have here the dates when they tried to meet representatives for Huddersfield, but they did not succeed from one cause or another. But the undertaking that I am able to state on behalf of the company still holds good, that they are most sincerely desirous, along with the Northwestern Railway, their joint operators in Huddersfield, of meeting various representative bodies in that town and endeavouring to come to a complete understanding. I am not able to go beyond that, but it seems to me that when the Lancashire and Yorkshire and North-Western have made a very definite offer and expressed a desire that a joint conference should be held, that desire should not lightly be set aside.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
On that point I cannot say anything at all. They will endeavour to understand the problem as affecting Huddersfield. Let me pass on 668 from Huddersfield. What is the opposition that is being put against this Bill? The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway affects a large area of the industrial community of this country, but there has been no suggested opposition from any other industrial centre. That is an extraordinarily strong point. I am a trader who has had from time to time difficulties with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. Sometimes I have emerged successful, at other times I have been defeated, but I expect my experience as a trader with them is similar in result to the applications made to them by other traders, and if there had been any great number of complaints of unfair treatment I am certain all Members of the House would have heard of them in view of the fact that this Bill was before Parliament. There are many representatives on both sides of this House of constituentices through which the Lancashire and Yorkshire system runs, and not one of them so far has hinted at any desire to speak against the Bill on the ground of the Bill itself. The opposition, therefore, is confined on the English side for the time being to the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sherwell), the hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Marshall), and the hon. Member for the Colne Valley (Mr. Leach), all of them representing comparatively small areas. On the other hand, there is no opposition from the large areas in which the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 669 Company operate. I submit that it is not sufficient ground for refusing a Second Reading to this Bill that the hon. Member complains that the company have not done certain things. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company have repeatedly expressed themselves as desirous of discussing the matters referred to.
The other case which has been made against a Second Reading of the Bill is by hon. Members from Ireland on the question of the marking and addressing of goods. If there is one observation more true than another, it is that any criticism they make against the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company on that score ought to be made also against all the railway companies in the United Kingdom. All the arangements as to markings are applicable to Irish railways, and therefore they have no cause of complaint specially against the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company. On the other hand, I have a distinct and definite sympathy with the hon. Member for East Tyrone (Mr. W. A. Redmond) when he suggests that there is a differential rate between butter and eggs coming from the Continent as against those coming from Ireland. I hope in a very short time it will cease to be a fact that there is any differential rate against Irish produce coming into this country and in favour of produce coming from the Continent of Europe. On that ground I wish to say that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company are prepared to undertake to discuss the whole question of the addressing of goods with the other railway companies concerned and represent to them the views of the Irish traders, and also to use their best endeavours to arrange a meeting between the Railway Clearing House and the Irish traders to discuss the matter and will also support a proposal with a view to bring about equality of treatment in the method of dealing with Irish and continental traffic, so far as the addressing of goods is concerned. I think that statement is descriptive of their desire to deal with this question, and I for one have no right to express any view beyond what is in these words. I look with a certain amount of hope to putting right this deferential rate which, it seems to me, is unfairly in existence at the present time in favour of continental produce.
May I as a personal matter explain how I come to be speaking with respect to this Bill. I have the honour to represent one 670 of the Divisions of Manchester, and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company asked me to put my name on the Bill. I did so, and I thought it was my duty to make such observations as I could on behalf of their Bill. I have no official connection with the company. This is an Omnibus Bill, and there is one point to which I must draw attention in regard to Clause 37. That Clause deals with the liability of the company for the carriage of goods at sea. It was intended by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company, when it was put in the Bill, to put them on the same, footing as the Great Central Company were put in by a Clause in a Bill passed by this House last year. It so happens that objection has been taken to the Clause, and with a view of lightening the Bill as much as possible, and making it as non-controversial as they can, they have authorised me to say that at the proper time they will see that this Clause is withdrawn. Therefore, so far as the House is concerned, it need not be taken into account. There is no reason why this House should not give the Bill a Second Reading. Not one objection has been taken to any part of the Bill. The whole of the objections have been with regard to matters outside the Bill. The hon. Member for Huddersfield laid down the dictum that it should be shown that the works referred to in the Bill are necessary. I am convinced they are necessary and very desirable in themselves. In regard to the question of whether the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company have conducted themselves in a proper manner, it happens that the only complaints made are those of the hon. Member from Huddersfield and his supporters. Hon. Members from Ireland have said what is true as much in regard to the other railway companies. Because there is nothing in the objections which have relevancy to the Bill, I venture to hope that the House will give a Second Reading to the Bill, and that, the details will be dealt with by the Committee upstairs.
§ Mr. HUDSON
The hon. Members for Huddersfield and Wakefield told us that there were serious grievances on the part of the railway servants, and that is why I rise to address the House.
§ Mr. SHERWELL
On a point of Order. I did not say what the hon. Gentleman has suggested. I made two explicit statements, but I made no charge of general grievances in regard to the railway servants.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I think that is a point of difference rather than a point of Order. The hon. Gentleman mentioned that men had been overworked; that they had long hours; and that they worked on Sundays. The curious feature of this complaint to which I wish to call attention is that those who represent the organised railway workers have not received the complaint. We should have been most happy to take the matter up if we had found that there were grievances of that kind. There have been grievances with regard to the clerks, and negotiations have been proceeding for some days, through my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport. I have to say that yesterday their case was met, and, so far as the railway men are concerned, we have no further objection to the Bill. There is another interesting feature in connection with the discussion on this important Bill. It was said by the hon. Member for Huddersfield that the Company was acting contrary to the economic and trading interests of the people concerned in the districts, also that competition was entirely destroyed by the taking over of land by this company, together with the London and North-Western Company. But he seemed to my mind to answer his own question further on in the Debate. He said he would never expect them to run unremunerative trains. That is the secret of the whole matter. The one important feature outstanding in this discussion is this: that four years ago we had a most interesting debate as to the policy of railways. It was predicted then that the very thing that is now urged against this company would happen. Those of us who fought this matter strenuously at that time lacked the necessary support, and now the whole of the difficulties which we predicted are arising, and people are beginning to be alarmed about them.
The truth is that this is not peculiar about the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company. What may be said in this respect on this particular Bill can be said of every railway company in the country, and consequently, if we have to deal with it, let us do so from the general point of view of policy, and not from the point of view of one particular railway company. Because if we do—I want to be fair; I am seldom on the side of a railway company—then, in common honesty, we should vote against every Railway Bill that comes into this House. That is the only consistent policy. Therefore we had better consider the matter in its broad and serious aspect. If the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company 672 are forced into the position in which they are owing to the pooling and working arrangements that have come into existence, I blame this House for allowing it. But that is a different matter from this Bill. Let us put the blame on the right shoulders. We ought not to have allowed it four years ago. Having allowed it, why take up a single Bill? Let us reserve the whole matter, and have a debate on the root principles of the question. Whether you like it or do not like it, you have been carried in the direction which we predicted four years ago. If you are not prepared to face the whole question, do not begin to take umbrage on one particular Bill. That is not going to remedy it. Whether this is going to force you into nationalisation, or what is going to be the ultimate issue, you really have an evolution of what transpired when you allowed in this House without question, except so far as we were concerned, the whole question to go by default under the impression that you were going to get a working agreement and a pooling arrangement which was all going to redound to the benefit of the trading community. We told you at the time that it was not, but the majority was against us, and in consequence here we are to-day. It is quite true, as my hon. Friend from Tyrone said, that the conditions for the cross-channel traffic have been altering not only with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company, but with all the companies. This is the truth. We had better face it as it is. Therefore, I say, rather than deal with this as a separate case, we should deal with the general question on some occasion, if we want to put it right. I could not conscientiously vote against this Bill unless I voted against every Bill of the kind brought before this House.
§ Mr. LARDNER
I feel very sorry that the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate was defeated, because I feel that I am in a position in which I am bound to vote against the Bill. One Clause alone, which provides for a railway to Goole, leads me to oppose the measure. The reason I oppose the power being given is that I object to this House giving to a railway company any extension of facilities which would be detrimental to any part of the United Kingdom. I say that the giving of this power to those who claim this extension of these railway facilities in England would be very seriously detrimental to the trade of Ireland. The Lancashire and Yorkshire 673 Railway does not merely begin and end on this side; it has connection with eleven Irish ports—Sligo, Londonderry, Belfast (viâ Liverpool and Fleetwood), Newry, Dundalk, Drogheda, Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, and Cork; and now the company asks for powers to build a railway to Goole, one of the East coast ports. My objection to that power being given is that at the present moment Danish butter and eggs are brought into this country under more favourable conditions than Irish eggs and butter, and if I make that clear I think it will be justification for any Member of the House to vote against the Second Reading of this Bill. Danish butter and eggs, to any amount under one ton, can be brought to this country exempt from the labelling regulations; that is, they need not be addressed or marked with the destination mark. Previously in Ireland we could also do that, but for some reason or other best known to themselves the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company have decided that consignments of eggs and butter from Ireland must be addressed and marked with the destination mark, with the result that Irish eggs and butter are at a very great disadvantage compared with Danish eggs and butter. I do not think that the House should do anything to encourage such a state of affairs. In the first place, we have the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway connected with eleven Irish ports—that is, they have practically full control, with their collecting companies, of the whole of the carrying of Irish eggs and butter. I will give some figures to show the importance of the trade. I took the trouble to get the statistics of eggs and butter for last year. I find that we sent £2,540,000 worth of eggs to this country, vastly the greater bulk of which was carried by the Lancashire and Yorkshire service, whether by water or by land. We exported no less than £3,671,000 worth of butter last year, which is more than half the total output of butter of the United Kingdom. The result of the Bill, if it be passed, would be that by one Clause at least you would enable this company to give facilities which would enable Danish butter to be brought to this country more expeditiously, to the detriment of Irish trade. That would be a state of things that ought not to be allowed. I was glad to hear the hon. Member for South-West Manchester (Mr. Needham) state, on behalf of the company, that they were prepared to discuss the 674 whole question of the address and destination of goods with other railway companies; and that they were quite ready to meet the Irish traders and to use their best endeavours to secure a meeting between them and the Railway Clearing House, with a view to bringing about equality between Irish and Danish traffic. Half a loaf is better than no bread, but I think it comes very badly from a railway company with no less than eleven port connections with Ireland to hold out to us the hope of doing its best to advocate equal treatment with Denmark. Having regard to the great interests the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company have in this country and in the development of Irish trade and agriculture, they should be prepared to give better terms to the Irish farmer and the Irish stock raiser than to the Danish stock raiser. That is not an unreasonable proposition, but the most they are prepared to do is to discuss this. They are not prepared to advocate it. Those are expressions of a pious opinion, and I must honestly say I would welcome their statement in a much more hearty manner if the company had said, "We will take up the Irish traders' case and go into the Clearing House and do our best to put the Irish trader in at least a better condition than the foreign competitors." They say they will discuss it, but they do not say that they are going to advocate it or press for it. I hope we will hear before the Debate concludes that they will change their attitude. Recollect you are dealing with a trade of over £6,000,000 per year, the majority of which is carried by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company and the companies connected with it. In the Danish trade the only condition is that the stuff shall go direct from truck to steamer. Exactly the same condition applies in Ireland, except that on the Irish side the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company have the profit on the traffic three parts of the way. It has been said if you kill this Bill you will kill the possibility of urgent development of the railway, but you only put it back a year. If you allow a railway company or any other great combine with tentacles so widespread that it has eleven port connections, to kill the Irish egg and butter trade for six months, you cannot restore that trade in a year or in ten years, but you can reintroduce your railway Bill next year, and issue a whip to your Friends to support it. I appeal to the Friends of this Bill who are anxious to be friendly to the Irish traders and to 675 develop the interests of their company as well as the interests of their country to go the length of saying that when they go to the Clearing House the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company will not alone discuss the question of equal treatment, but that it will advocate it and go even further and say they will give the Irish trader and stock raiser better treatment than the Danish competitor has at the present time.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I cannot help feeling that the House is ready to divide on this Bill, and that the matter has been discussed very fully on one side and the other. I rise to make an appeal to the House to give this Bill a Second Reading. It has been already described in detail by the hon. Member opposite. It is an Omnibus Bill which gives power to the railway company to give further facilities in various localities and to promote the interests of people in different parts of the country. There is not a single provision in this Bill which is not to be found in the ordinary Railway Bill, and there is nothing whatever against public policy. What is the opposition against it? As far as I can make out, that which has come from hon. Members below the Gangway seems to have been met to a large extent by the undertaking read out by the hon. Member opposite.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
With regard to the other opposition, it comes almost entirely from the hon. Member for Huddersfield and the hon. Member for Wakefield, and has reference to the carriage of passengers and goods. I wish to show the House the nature of the opposition put forward as a reason for rejecting the Second Reading of this Bill. Take the carriage of passengers. It is well known that the railway company's officials have had a conference, not only with the Corporation of Huddersfield, but with the Chamber of Commerce, and I hold in my hand a long report of the latter conference. It states that the representative of the railway company was thanked for promising a new train to Huddersfield at nine o'clock, and that they would certainly report to the Chamber of Commerce that they had been fairly and frankly met by the management of the railway company. The matter was treated in a businesslike way between the Chamber of Commerce on one side and the officials of the railway company on the other. That is the way in which such 676 questions ought to be treated; they ought not to be discussed across the floor of this House. Then take the carriage of goods. The hon. Member for Huddersfield, as I am instructed, has made complaints which have been investigated by the railway company, and it has been ascertained that they all occurred during the period ranging from December of last year to March of this year, and no less than 65 per cent. took place in February. That was a period when they had very bad weather—fog, rain, and snow. In addition to that, they had a large congestion of traffic. To show the nature of the complaint take, for instance, one customer, who complained that twenty-two wagons were delayed during February and March. They had eighty or 100 sent per month. Another customer complained about sixteen instances in February, March, and December, and something like 750 wagons were sent. Is it really the business of this House on the Second Reading of a Bill to consider such details as those? I submit that they are really matters which ought to be dealt with in a business-like way between the officials of the railway company on the one hand, and the Chamber of Commerce on the other. The valuable time of this House ought not to be taken up in discussion of them.
§ Mr. MOONEY
On the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate, I said that when I came into the House I was not animated by any spirit of hostility to this proposal, but that I thought fair time ought to be given for the consideration of the very important points concerned. Since then the view which I held has been largely met by the offer made by the hon. Member for South-West Manchester, as representing the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. I have had an opportunity of consulting the hon. Member, and I understand that he is authorised to make an alteration in the undertaking which he gave to the House.
§ Mr. MOONEY
The hon. Member read out an undertaking on the part of the railway company, and I understood him to agree to insert further words.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
I do not wish any misunderstanding. The hon. Gentleman asked me if the words had a certain meaning, and I understand that the words in 677 my hand have the meaning which the hon. Member wishes to attach to them. If, however, he uses the word "undertaking," I object to it.
§ Mr. MOONEY
I do not think there is any difference between us. This will greatly influence my vote. The undertaking, as I read it now, is that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company are prepared to undertake to discuss the whole question of the addressing of goods with the other railway companies concerned, to represent to them the view of Irish traders, to use their best endeavours to arrange a meeting between the Railway Clearing House and the Irish traders to discuss the matter, and also to support and bring forward, if necessary, a proposal to bring about equality of treatment in the methods of dealing with Irish and Continental traffic, so far as the addressing of goods is concerned. There is the alteration of the wording which has certainly met my point of view against the Bill. Speaking for myself, if the Bill goes to a Division I shall certainly support it, for I think we have been met very fairly.
§ Mr. WING
I had desired, on behalf of the fruit dealers and importers of Hull, Manchester, Bolton, Wigan, and Bury, that this Bill should be postponed. They certainly had a grievance against the Bill, and those in this House who represented the interests of the company. This seems, notwithstanding the opinion of some hon. Members, to be the only time in which the traders could express their views through their representatives on facilities and charges, and at the change that has occurred during the last eight or ten years, with the result that the charges have doubled, this ultimately resulting in increased prices to the purchasers. These difficulties having been placed before those responsible for this company, they have met the distributors of perishable goods magnanimously, having undertaken to meet them and discuss the whole matter with the view to bringing about some readjustment which we trust will be satisfactory to all parties. That understanding has changed my attitude and brought about my support, if necessary.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I would like to direct the attention of the House more particularly to the general merits of the Bill. It so happens that I am personally acquainted with nearly every part of the line that this Bill touches. It deals with the township in which I was born, with the town where 678 I went to school, with the town where I lived up to being married; it deals with the district where I now reside, and it deals very largely with my Constituency. I have been waiting for the opportunity to discuss some of the important questions of this Bill. In the first place, I must enter my protest against the speech of the Noble Lord the Member for Maidstone when he informed the House in a grandiloquent sort of manner that some apology was needed from us for having the audacity to discuss this Railway Bill at all. I submit that this is the only opportunity we have to give a real impression of our views to the Board of Trade and to the railway companies, and if the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company get the idea that they have only to come down and say this is an Omnibus Bill and that we have no grievance or that our grievances are so petty that we ought to be ashamed to mention them, and that they are to get carte blanche—if that is the view of the railway companies, I differ from them. I submit it is an elementary right of Members of the House of Commons to bring into view the action of a corporation or a company on these occasions in order to see whether they are justified in asking for these powers, I have a point to raise, and the only opportunity for raising it is upon Second Reading. I have approached the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company in private, and to a certain extent they have satisfied me, but not altogether. I have received various complaints from different parts of the line with regard to the hours of service of station masters, and within the last month I have had several communications from Lancashire station masters. I have always carefully avoided taking up the case of any man in my own immediate locality for obvious reasons, but when one gets complaints from one's native district and round about there, I think one is justified in bringing them to the notice of the House.
The station masters of this great company have been very loyal both to the company and to the public during recent troubles, and therefore upon that account I do not think their case should be neglected. I submit that to have station masters working the whole of Sunday and every Sunday is an intolerable position. The railway company say there are only a few cases where the conditions of Sunday labour are unsatisfactory, but I appeal to them whether it is not right to have a review of the 679 station masters' position now. The railway servants generally, it is well known, have improved their lot. No one begrudges them that, and no one denies credit to their respective champions who brought that about. I do not say I am justified in voting against this Bill because I have a few personal complaints to make, but I would impress upon the railway company that this is a suitable time for the directors to review the work of the station masters, particularly in regard to Sunday work. I do not make that appeal in any Sabbatarian spirit. It may be that a man may want to take a walk with his wife and family into the country on a Sunday, or it may be he wants to take them to a place of worship, but it is necessary he should have a Sunday off and that for a certain period he should be free from his arduous duties. The hon. Member for Monaghan (Mr. Lardner) rested his arguments, in opposing this Bill, on some advantages to the port of Goole. I am entirely opposed to his argument in regard to that. I do not think this House would be justified in listening to opposition from an Irish quarter that some trade may be diverted, as sufficient for denying the granting of these facilities to Goole. I do not say that, from the point of view of his own locality and constituency, he is not entitled to put his position temperately.
§ Mr. LARDNER
My point was that better facilities should not be given to foreign produce on this railway than are given to Irish produce.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
At the present time, under Free Trade, there is inequality, and what I want is equality.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I do not object to the hon. Member's request for equality of treatment. The hon. Member for North Monaghan said he was going to vote against this Bill on account of the Clause relating to Goole. If he is justified in doing that then I am justified in appealing to the contrary for the North-Eastern part of England to vote against him on the same ground. I wish to point out the danger of dealing with an Omnibus Bill like this from a local standpoint. I want to consider this question from an Imperial point of view. 680 I desire to warn the House that there is a time limit in this Bill to the effect that if the works of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company are not begun and completed in a certain time, heavy fines may be imposed or else the powers may lapse. The effect of that will be that the company will be continually coming before this House. While I admit that the principle has some force in it, I think it is carried too far. I wish to know whether there is not an opportunity on this Bill to reconsider that question and whether the five years mentioned is really the correct and reasonable time. I put that forward as a suggestion for the consideration of the Railway and Canal Committee. I desire to draw attention to the case of Knottingley. This is a place where a number of railway systems seem to terminate or converge, and my constituency which has been referred to repeatedly, is unfortunately situated in certain respects. I do not believe that the hon. Member opposite who defended the Bill has ever been to the station of Knottingley, for if he had he would never have referred to it as a Lancashire and Yorkshire station. As a matter of fact it is a joint station of the Great Northern and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Companies, and it is the station at which I alight late on Friday night thoroughly exhausted by my labours in this House. When you come to Pontefract, that is entirely a Lancashire and Yorkshire station. I do not see how the company are justified in coming for extra powers at Knottingley when they are not dealing with the problem in its entirety. The difficulty really is not so much at Knottingley as at Pontefract. Trains are held up largely because of the congestion at Pontefract. We have always expected that when the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company tackled the problem in my constituency they would effect great improvements at Pontefract station, and I submit to the director that they will not have solved the problem merely by passing this Bill; they will only have dealt with a portion of it. I must say the footbridges are a great improvement, but they are not entirely to my satisfaction as they at present appear in the Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS (Mr. Whitley)
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 274; Noes, 87.683
|Division No. 74.]||AYES.||10.55 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Millar, James Duncan|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Forster, Henry William||Mooney, John J.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Morgan, George Hay|
|Alden, Percy||Gibbs, George Abraham||Morrell, Philip|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Gill, A. H.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Gilmour, Captain John||Morison, Hector|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Munro, Robert|
|Astor, Waldorf||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Goldman, C. S.||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Goldsmith, Frank||Needham, Christopher|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Goldstone, Frank||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Grant, J. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Nield, Herbert|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Gretton, John||O'Malley, William|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Barton, William||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Haddock, George Bahr||Parker, James (Hallfax)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Hancock, John George||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Bigland, Alfred||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Bird, Alfred||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Blair, Reginald||Hardie, J. Keir||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Harris, Henry Percy||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Boyton, James||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Brace, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Radford, G. H.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henry, Sir Charles||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bull, Sir William James||Higham, John Sharp||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hills, John Waller||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hohler, G. F.||Richards, Thomas|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Holt Richard Durning||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Campion, W. R.||Hudson, Walter||Robinson, Sidney|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hunt, Rowland||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Ingleby, Holcombe||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Cator, John||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Rowlands, James|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Royds, Edmund|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Clough, William||Kerry, Earl of||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Clynes, J. R.||Keswick, Henry||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Larmor, Sir J.||Sheehy, David|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Shortt, Edward|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Simon, Rt Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Crooks, William||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lieut-Colonel A. R.||Stanier, Beville|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Sutherland, John E.|
|Dawes, J. A.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Sutton, John E.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Swift, Rigby|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Maclean, Donald||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Falconer, J.||Manfield, Harry||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Thomas, James Henry|
|Fell, Arthur||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Middlebrook, William||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Touche, George Alexander||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Toulmin, Sir George||Whitehouse, John Howard||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whitley, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Valentia, Viscount||Wiles, Thomas||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Wills, Sir Gilbert||Younger, Sir George|
|Webb, H.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Weston, Colonel J. W.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Wheler, Granville C. H.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Adamson, William||Hodge, John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Horner, Andrew Long||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Boland, John Pius||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Dowd, John|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Grady, James|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Joyce, Michael||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Keating, Matthew||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Shee, James John|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kelly, Edward||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Kilbride, Denis||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Crumley, Patrick||King, J.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cullinan, John||Lardner, James C. R.||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Leach, Charles||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Delany, William||Lundon, Thomas||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lynch, A. A.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||McGhee, Richard||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Doris, William||Macpherson, James Ian||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Duffy, William J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||M'Mordie, R. J.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Watt, Henry A.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Meagher, Michael||Whyte, A. F.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Molloy, Michael||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wing, Thomas|
|Hackett, J.||Muldoon, John|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Murphy, Martin J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Booth and Mr. W. A. Redmond.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
§ Question, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question," put accordingly, and agreed to.
§ Main Question, put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read the second time, and referred to the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills.