HL Deb 16 July 1868 vol 193 cc1226-7

said, that, while he agreed in the principle of the Resolution passed by their Lordships a few evenings ago on the Motion of his noble Friend (Lord Taunton), yet it required some little modification. The alteration he proposed was principally confined to the addition that the Report of the Board of Trade should be made "after the Bill had been read a first time in this House." With regard to the policy of increasing the fares and rates on railways, a parallel case would be the tolls on turnpike roads. In the case of turnpike trusts, money had been borrowed and roads had been made, many of which had been ruined by the railways. The policy of Parliament in such cases had been not to increase the tolls, but to reduce the interest, in order that the debt might be paid off. He was more strongly than ever of opinion that no separate increase of tolls should be granted to any railway company. No doubt peculiar circumstances might arise, but they would be such as to apply to all railways, and not to any one in particular. If Parliament once admitted the principle that when a railway by its mismanagement and improvidence had brought itself into difficulties it might come and ask for an increase of fares, there would be no end to such cases. The Legislature would, in fact, be offering a premium upon railway mismanagement.

Standing Order No. 179. amended by inserting after Section 3. the following Section:— Section 4. That no Bill which proposes to increase the Rates now payable on the Conveyance of Goods or Passengers on any Railway shall be read a Second Time until a Report from the Board of Trade on the Subject, made after the Bill has been read a First Time in this House, shall have been laid upon the Table of the House. Ordered, That the said Standing Order, as amended, be printed.