HL Deb 25 July 1848 vol 100 cc785-6

On the Motion for the Third Reading of the London and South Western Railway Company's Acts Amendment (Extension, Deviation, and New Works) Bill,


objected to the principle involved in the Bill, of empowering a railway company to establish steam packets, and he moved the omission of certain words in the preamble for the purpose of restricting the railway company to its proper province.


was one of those who felt that, certain rules having been laid down by their Lordships for the guidance of their conduct in matters of this description, they were called on to pay the utmost respect to the report and decision of the Committee in the present instance; and most undoubtedly he should he inclined to pay the utmost respect to the Committee on this particular Bill. But he conceived their Lordships' principle was to pay the utmost respect to the decision of a Committee upon matters of which the object was to promote that which was essential to the working out of the enterprise, whether it were the South Western Railway or any other work. Making a railroad to Southampton, or making any other railroad, was the object; but what had the question with respect to the railroad to do with the construction of steamboats? The construction of steamboats had no relation to the question with respect to that railroad. He begged their Lordships not to be bound by any general feelings of the propriety of giving support to the decision of a Committee of their Lordships' House, when that decision was upon a point not at all within the scope or province of that which it was given the Committee to consider, namely, the construction of a railroad. This was beyond the railroad altogether. He knew one instance already of inconvenience from railroads interfering with harbours, and getting possession of a harbour and steamboats. Under these circumstances, he recommended their Lordships to adopt the Amendment of his noble Friend.


explained the reasons which had induced the Committee to recommend the adoption of the clause. He thought the objections ought to have been made on the second reading of the Bill, and not have been reserved till the present advanced stage, and after the whole measure had been referred to the consideration of the Committee. The Committee had given its decision upon public grounds alone, and not from any desire to confer peculiar advantages upon the company. It was considered that the concession of the power involved in the clause afforded the best means of securing safe and expeditious communication with the Continent.


supported the Amendment. He would appeal to their Lordships' experience if there was not a disposition on the part of railroad companies first to get their terminus at a port, then to get possession of the harbour, and next to commence as steamboat proprietors? If the clause now in question was sanctioned, there would be a steamboat monopoly in the hands of the railway company at the port of Southampton.


would oppose the Amendment, because he thought the public interest would be best promoted by the Bill as it stood. There was no company so capable of carrying on the communication between this country and the Channel Islands and Havre as this company was; and if the power of establishing that communication was withdrawn, the interests of the country would suffer.


suggested to the noble Earl the propriety of postponing the further consideration of the subject till another day. He was not disposed to enter upon the question now; but, if compelled to give an opinion, he must say that he very much coincided with that given by the noble Duke.


said, he was decidedly in favour of the Bill as it stood. Their Lordships should recollect that a powerful railway proprietary like this could easily find means to carry out their object by the establishment of a steamboat company composed of the same parties as the railway company, if they were not allowed to accomplish it under this Bill.

After some further conversation,

Debate adjourned.

House adjourned.