HL Deb 25 January 1878 vol 237 cc456-7

asked Her Majesty's Government, If it is their intention to introduce any measure to deal with the management of Railways during the present Session; and, if so, whether such legislation would be in accordance with the recommendations of the Royal Commission?


The noble Duke is aware that the powers of the Railway Commission will cease at the end of the next Session of Parliament. Under these circumstances, I can give him no more definite reply than that the question of renewing the powers of the Commission must very shortly come under the consideration of the Government; and that the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Railway Accidents will, necessarily, be connected with this subject, and considered at the same time.


said, that the Answer of the noble Lord could not be considered at all satisfactory, as it seemed like agreeing to read a Bill a second time that day six months; or, at any rate, dealing with the question at an indefinite time. He remembered that last year the noble Earl at the head of the Government told them that the Government were waiting with anxiety the Report of the Royal Commission; and although he was not able to go as far as his noble Friend behind him (the Duke of St. Albans), and ask the Government to adopt the Report en bloc, yet there were some very valuable recommendations in it which were capable of being framed into a practical measure, and he trusted that before the end of the Session some measure based on them would be introduced. He saw no reason that the Government could give for shelving the Report of the Royal Commission, unless they were able to state that the Railway Companies themselves were taking effectual measures to bring about the state of things which the Royal Commission recommended.


I must say as to railway brakes, to which the noble Lord opposite has referred, that a Circular issued by the Board of Trade to the different Railway Companies has not yet been answered. When all the answers have been received, it is hoped they may be of so satisfactory a nature as to make it unnecessary to bring forward any legislative measure on the subject. I have to say, further, that the Government have under their consideration not only the question of the liability of Railway Companies for injuries to those employed by them; but the general question of the relation of employer to employed in this respect.

House adjourned at half-past Six o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter before Five o'clock.