§ (1) With a view to affording time for the consideration and formulation of the policy to be pursued as to the future position of undertakings to which this Section applies, the following provisions shall, unless Parliament otherwise determines, have effect for a period of two years after the passing of this Act, or where as respects any particular provision a longer period is expressly provided, for such longer period:
- (b) The Minister may, after giving not less than one month's notice in writing, take possession, in the name or on behalf of His Majesty, of the whole or any part of any other railway undertaking or of any light railway or tramway (other than a tramway or a light railway used as a tramway belonging to a local authority),
1553 canal, inland navigation, undertaking, and subject as hereinafter mentioned any harbour, dock or pier undertaking, or of any plant belonging thereto or used thereon (exclusive of privately owned railway wagons), and of any barges, tugs, and other craft owned or held by the undertaking of which possession has been taken:
- (c) The directors and other persons concerned with the management, and officers and servants of any undertaking of the whole or part of which, or of the plant whereof, possession is retained or taken shall obey the directions of the Minister as to the user thereof, and any directions of the Minister in relation to any undertaking or part or plant thereof of which possession is retained or taken—
§ (viii) for securing that manufacturing and repairing facilities and auxiliary and ancillary services shall be used, and the purchase and distribution of stores shall be conducted, in such manner as may he most conducive to economy and efficiency:
§ (d) For enabling any directions given by the Minister under Sub section (c) of this Section as to alterations, and improvements and additions to be carried into effect the Minister may, by Order, authorise the owners of any undertaking to acquire any land (including easements) and to construct any works, and the Order may incorporate the Lands Clauses Acts, subject to such modifications as may be specified in the Order, being modifications of those Acts made or authorised to be made by the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act, 1909, or any other enactment, and may incorporate or apply any of the provisions of any enactment relating to the construction, maintenance, or working of railways, light railways, tramways, canals, harbours, docks, and piers, and any such Order shall have effect as if enacted in this Act: Provided that nothing herein contained shall be deemed to empower the Minister to authorise the acquisition, otherwise than by agreement, of any land belonging to the owners of another undertaking to which this Section applies, or of a local authority, or of a harbour dock or pier undertaking, but the Minister may authorise the acquisition of an easement or right of using such land for the purposes of any works the construction of which he may authorise under this Section:
§ (e) In the case of any undertaking of which possession is retained or taken by the Minister as aforesaid any rates, fares, tolls, dues and other charges directed by the Minister shall be deemed to be reasonable, and may, notwithstanding any agreement or statutory provisions limiting the amount of such charges or increases therein, but without prejudice to claims or complaints in respect of undue preference under the provisions of the Railway and Canal Traffic Acts, 1854 to 1913, be charged in respect of any undertaking during the period for which the Minister retains possession of such undertaking and for a further period of eighteen months 1554 after the expiration of the said period, or until fresh provision shall be made by Parliament with regard to the amount of any such rates, fares, tolls, dues, and other charges, whichever shall first happen.
§ (3)—(a) For the purpose of giving advice and assistance to the Minister with respect to and for safeguarding any interest affected by any directions as to rates, fares, tolls, dues, and other charges or special services, a committee shall be appointed consisting of five persons, one being a person of experience in the law (who shall be chairman) nominated by the Lord Chancellor, two being representatives of the trading interest nominated by the Board of Trade, one being a representative of transportation interests nominated by the Minister, one being a representative of labour interests nominated by the Minister of Labour, together with, if deemed advisable, one additional member who may at the discretion of the Minister be nominated from time to time by him.
§ (b) Before directing any revision of any rates, fares, tolls, dues, or other charges, or of any special services, the Minister shall refer the matter to the committee for their advice, and they shall report thereon to him, and where such revision is for the purpose of an increase in the net revenue of any undertakings which the Minister determines to be necessary, the committee shall also advise as to the best methods of obtaining such increase from the different classes of traffic, having due regard to existing contracts and the fairness and adequacy of the methods proposed to be adopted.
§ (c) The committee, before reporting or advising on any matters referred to them under this Section, shall, unless in their discretion they consider it unnecessary or undesirable to do so, give such public notice as they think best adapted for informing persons affected of the date when and the place where they will inquire into the matter, and any persons affected may make representations to the committee, and apply to be heard at such inquiry, and, if the committee in their discretion think fit, the whole or any part or the proceedings at such inquiry may be open to the public:
§ Provided that, for the purpose of this provision, any city, borough, county, or district council shall be deemed to be persons affected in any case where such council or any persons represented by them may be affected by any proposed revision as aforesaid.M
§ (d) The committee shall hear such witnesses and call for such documents and accounts as they think fit, and shall have power to take evidence on oath, and for that purpose any member of the committee may administer oaths.
§ (e) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament to all or any of the members of the committee such salaries or other remuneration as the Minister, with the consent of the Treasury, may determine.
§ (f) For the purposes of this Section, special services means the services mentioned in Section five of the Schedule to the Orders relating to railway rates and charges, and in the corresponding Sections of the Schedules to the Orders relating to canal tolls, rates and charges confirmed by various Acts passed in the years eighteen hundred and ninety-one to eighteen hundred and ninety-four.1555
§ (4) Section twenty of the Local Government (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1916 (which relates to the establishment of new routes for omnibuses). shall continue in force until the expiration of two years after the passing of this Act, and shall have effect as if—
§ (a)the following provision was substituted for Sub-section (2) of the Section (that is to say):
§ (2) Except as provided in Sub-section (4) this Section shall not be deemed to detract from any existing powers of highway authorities in regard to omnibuses; and
§ (i)the following Sub-section was added to the Section (that is to say):
§ (4) Where, upon application for a licence to ply for hire with an omnibus, the licensing authority either refuses to grant a licence or grants a licence subject to conditions, in either case the applicant shall have a right of appeal to the Minister of Ways and Communications from the decision of the licensing authority, and the Minister shall have power to make such Order thereon as he may think fit, and such Order shall be binding upon the licensing authority.
§ (6) Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to exempt from any rate any undertaking to which this Section applies.
§ Lords Amendment:
§ In Sub-section (1, b), leave out the words "one month's," and insert instead thereof the words "three months."
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment." I should propose to add at the end of paragraph (6) of Subsection (1) the wordsProvided that such notice as aforesaid shall not, in the event of the matter being referred to an advisory committee as hereinafter provided, be given until the Committee has reported.The effect of that will be that there will be at least one month's clear notice to any undertaking after all inquiry has been made. As the Amendment stands, as it was sent down from the other House, it would mean that three months might elapse and very considerable delay would take place, whereas if all inquiries are made and then there is a clear month, that will be amply sufficient to give every protection to the undertaking.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Lords Amendments:
§ Leave out the word "other" ["any other railway undertaking"], and insert instead thereof the word "statutory."—Agreed to.
§ After the word "tramway" ["any light railway or tramway"], insert the word "undertaking."—Agreed to.1556
§ Leave out the word "canal" ["canal, inland navigation"], and insert instead thereof the words "or of any canal or."—Agreed to.
§ After the word "mentioned" ["as hereinafter mentioned"], insert the word "of."—Agreed to.
§ Leave out the word "thereto" ["any plant belonging thereto"], and insert instead thereof the words "to any. such undertaking as aforesaid."—Agreed to.
§ Amendment made in lieu of Lords Amendment disagreed with:
At end of paragraph (b) add the words
Provided that such notice as aforesaid shall not, in the event of the matter being referred to an advisory committee as hereinafter provided, be given until the committee has reported."—[Mr. Shortt.]
§ Lords Amendments:
§ In Sub-section (l, c) leave out the word "any" ["and any directions of the Minister"], and insert instead thereof the word "the."—Agreed to.
At the end of paragraph (vii), insert the words
Nothing in this Section shall be construed as authorising the Minister to compel the owners of any such undertaking either to incur capital expenditure or to draw upon their reserve funds for new works or capital improvements to an extent which would seriously interfere with their finances, it being the intention that the financing of the undertakings from a capital point of view shall remain as far as possible with the owners.
§ —Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (1, d) leave out the words"—under Sub-section (c) of this Section," and insert instead thereof the words "under the last foregoing paragraph."—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (1, d)s leave out the word "including" ["including easements"], and insert instead thereof the word "or."—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (1, e)s leave out the words "but without prejudice to claims or complaints in respect of undue preference under the provisions of the Railway and Canal Traffic Acts, 1854 to 1913."—Agreed to.
Insert the following new paragraph:
(f) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act the rights of a consignor or consignee of goods or minerals, any trader or class of traders, or any port or harbour authority or dock company to complain to the Railway and Canal Commission under the Railway and Canal Traffic Acts in respect of undue preference or undue disadvantage or allowances or rebates in relation to the provision of station accommodation or terminal
services shall not be deemed to be affected, and it shall be no answer to any such complaint that the railway company in respect of which the complaint is made was acting under the directions of the Minister.
§ Leave out Sub-section (3).—Agreed to.
§ Leave out Sub-section (4).—Agreed to.
§ In Sub-section (6), leave out the word "rate," and insert instead thereof the words "local rate or assessment."—Agreed to.
At end, add, as a new Sub-section,
(5) For the purposes of this Act possession so taken or retained us aforesaid shall confer on the Minister such rights of control and direction as may be necessary for the exercise of his powers under this Act, but shall not confer on him any rights of ownership.
§ —Agreed to.