§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.
§ LORD HENNIKER
, in moving that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill, as amended, said, that on the second reading he stated, in reply to the noble Marquess, who was not now present (the Marquess of Ripon), that his suggestion that a licence ought to be granted for the experimental use of steam on tramways, if the local authority of the district or districts in which half or more of the length of such tramway was situated did not object, should be carefully considered before the Bill was in Committee of the Whole House. He might now say that his noble Friend the President of the Board of Trade had given the matter his most careful consideration, and while fully realizing the importance of the suggestions of their Lordships' Committee who reported this Session, he had come to the conclusion, considering all the circumstances of the case, that it would not be advisable to make the Amendment suggested. So many opposite interests were involved, and. so much difficulty would arise with regard to the local authorities all over the Kingdom, in the 605 event of any alteration being made, that it had been thought desirable to adhere to the number of consents which were required by the Tramways Act now, and also by the usage of Parliament, before a tramway was laid. In the event of there being, in future, any general legislation as regarded tramways to carry into effect the other recommendations of the Committee which sat this Session, the question of the number of consents which, would be required was a very serious one, and one that must be considered not only with regard to the use of steam, but also with regard to the consents for the original construction of tramways. There were some few, but not important, Amendments in the Bill. They referred entirely to the means to be adopted to compel the Tramway Companies, with the least possible expense to the public, to keep their tramways and roads in a proper state of repair. These clauses had been very carefully considered, not only by the Board of Trade, but by those who were more particularly responsible for the Private Legislation of this country, and were entirely within the spirit of the recommendations of the Report of the Select Committee upon Tramways of this Session.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ Amendments made: The Report thereof to be received To-morrow.