HL Deb 16 July 1849 vol 107 cc363-4

LORD BEAUMONT moved the Second Reading of the Tyne Conservancy Bill, in order that it might, according to the usual course of proceeding, be referred to a Select Committee. The object of the Bill was to secure the conservancy of the river, and to make the harbour of Newcastle a safe harbour for shipping. At present the property was held in trust by the corporation of Newcastle simply as conservators of the Tyne. That corporation not having fulfilled its duties, it was desirable that another board should be appointed. Commissioners had been sent down by the Board of Admiralty to inspect the river, and they had reported in the strongest possible manner against the continuance of the present state of things. There being nothing in the Bill contrary to the general principle of Private Bills, he trusted that, in accordance with the established rules of the House, their Lordships would allow the Bill to be read a second time.


opposed the second reading of the Bill. It was something new to him to hear that it was the established rule of the House to read every Bill a second time, and refer it to a Select Committee. It was certainly a novel principle in equity to him, that in the case of trustees neglecting to perform their duties, another board should be appointed, as a matter of course, to carry into effect the objects of those trusts. This was not a mere transfer of duties, as the noble Baron had styled it; it was the confiscation of property held by the corporation of Newcastle for 500 years, and the transfer of it to new commissioners for new towns distinct from Newcastle. It was true that these new commissioners had declared their readiness to undertake these new duties, and to take with them the existing tolls. Nay, they had also professed their readiness to pay all the debts of the old board. But what was there in that? He should have no objection to take the revenues of the Marquess of Westminster, and along with them the payment of his debts; for he had no doubt that he should be some 100,000l. a year the better by such a proceeding. He looked upon the present question as a question of property, and was prepared to oppose any outrage upon the rights of property, no matter whether that property belonged to an individual, or, as in this instance, to a corporation. There was also a flaw in the Bill, which, in his opinion, was fatal to it. By one of the provisions of the Bill, it was proposed that the present corporation was to have a preponderance of votes in the new board. In that case, what became of the charge of neglect? because the same neglect would take place in the new board, where the majority of votes was given to the old corporation.


said, that the Bill came before their Lordships under very favourable circumstances, not only as to the report of the Admiralty, but also from the fact that it passed through the other House of Parliament without a division. More than that, it having been referred to a Select Committee of the other House, five of the Members were in favour of it. The Bill, therefore, should not be strangled on the second reading. It should be read a second time, and then the merits of the Bill could be properly discussed.

Several noble Lords having declared themselves for or against the second reading,


said, he would reserve to himself the right of voting against the Bill when it came from the Select Committee, if certain alterations were not made in it; but he trusted their Lordships would now assent to the second reading.

On Question, that the word "now" stand part of the Motion,

House divided:—Contents 42; Not-Contents 30: Majority 12.

Resolved in the Affirmative. Bill read 2a, and committed.

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