§ LORD REDESDALE
said, it was important both to their Lordships and the public, that there should be some certainty as to the time after which the House would not name Select Committees for the consideration of opposed Private Bills. It very often happened that as the Session advanced, doubts arose in the minds of the promoters of Bills whether they would have time to carry their measure through that House; and, therefore, it was desirable to give notice of the last day upon which Committees would be appointed to decide on Bills which were opposed. The day he proposed to name was ten weeks from Monday next; because, beyond that period there would be great difficulty in obtaining Committees to sit on Bills so as to give them due consideration. He begged to move—That the Committee appointed by the House to name the Select Committees for the Consideration of Opposed Private Bills shall not name any such Committee on any Opposed Railway Bill after Monday, the 20th of July.
The EARL of WICKLOW
thought the proposed interference most unjust. There never had been such an accumulation of business as during the present Session, and many of these Bills had been suspended, in order to give precedence to Bills introduced by Government. The Bill introduced by the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade (the Earl of Dalhousie) suspended all Railway Bills; and he considered the practical effect of that measure, together with the Resolution now proposed, would be to deprive the country of those projected railways which had been brought before Parliament at great expense. Why should a particular period be fixed when it was not known whether Parliament would sit so long? The Resolution, under any circumstances, would have the effect of throwing out a vast number of Bills, and in his opinion it would be unjust both towards the promoters and the public to adopt it.
§ LORD REDESDALE
, in reply, stated that so far from private business in that House being in arrear this Session, he had never known it so advanced. A large 173 body of Railway Bills had been commenced in that House, which was a novel proceeding; many of them were now in progress through the House of Commons, and a considerable number had come up from the House of Commons, some of which were now before their Lordships' Committees. Last Session their Lordships had no Bills before them until a late period, yet they got through a larger amount of business than he had ever known before, and he feared that more railways were then sanctioned than would be advantageous. The present Motion was not made for the sake of the House, but for the sake of the parties themselves who had Railway Bills to promote; for they would know what chance they had of getting through that House when they knew the exact time up to which opposed Bills might go before Committee.
§ Resolution agreed to.