HL Deb 14 March 1867 vol 185 cc1766-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Redesdale.)


was understood to express a doubt as to the expediency of proceeding with this measure pending the inquiry on the subject now going on in the other House.


asked the noble Duke to consider the position in which railway companies would be placed by the postponement of this Bill, supposing that such a measure was really desirable. The creditors of a company might seize the rolling stock and movable property unless the Bill to be passed was to have a retrospective effect. This was one of the best Bills ever proposed, con- sidering that railways were made and privileges given to them for the advantage of the public, and creditors advanced their money with the full knowledge of this fact.


said, he was placed in an embarrassing position by the request to abstain from proceeding with this Bill because the Government had a Bill of their own; but he believed that on fuller consideration of the subject noble Lords would see the desirableness of proceeding with the Bill. Its object was simply to suspend the power of creditors to take railways in execution until the 1st of August, and unless the protection was afforded which this Bill contemplated, seizures might take place during the time that the Bill of the Government was under discussion. No one could have any idea of the embarrassment at the present moment of the railway world except those who had inquired fully into the subject; and if this Bill passed it would to a certain extent tranquillize the minds of those who were interested in the various railway securities. If Parliament should be of opinion that it was not expedient to pass the Bill, creditors might proceed, and the railways might be thrown into confusion. He should not press the Bill if the noble Duke saw any serious objection to its principle; otherwise he did not think there was any reason why the Bill should not be read a second time, and the committal of it postponed to a distant day. He thought that even if it went no further, a good effect would be produced by it.


said, the objection of his noble Friend (the Duke of Richmond) was not to the principle of the Bill. The House of Commons had appointed a Select Committee to inquire into the subject, which had passed Resolutions very much in the spirit of the noble Lord's Bill; and a Bill was about to be introduced based on that Report. If this Bill were proceeded with, they would be sending to the other House a Bill precisely similar in its character to that introduced I there. But if the noble Lord thought there would be any advantage in the way of settling the minds of those interested, he saw no objection to the Bill being now read a second time, and hoped the noble Duke would concur in that view.


asked if the Bill had not better he deferred till the Report of the Royal Commission was before their Lordships.


said, the question under discussion would not be affected by the Report of the Royal Commission.


, as a Member of that Commission, hoped it would be able to present its Report early next month.

Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly.