HL Deb 19 June 1879 vol 247 cc131-2

Order of the Day for the Third Reading, read.


appealed to the noble Earl the Chairman of Committees to postpone the third reading for a week. The Preamble of the Bill set forth that it was desirable to widen London Bridge and its approaches; but it did not state in what way that object was to be carried into effect. The measure had passed through the House of Commons as an unopposed Bill; but he hoped, in the interval, that any Members of their Lordships' House who took an interest in the material condition of the Metropolis would look at a model of the proposed alterations which was now displayed in one of the Committee Rooms, and satisfy himself, before the Bill proceeded further, what was proposed to be done. They would see that it was proposed to carry out on each side of the existing Bridge, to the extent of 11 or 12 feet, a pathway composed of iron cantilevers; the beautiful stonework of the parapet was to be done away with, and iron " filagree work " would be substituted. In fact, the whole character and form of the Bridge, which was one of the chief ornaments of the Metropolis, would be entirely destroyed. The Bill was described as one " for widening London Bridge; " but it would have been better described as one for its disfigurement past all hope of recovery. Unfortunately, they had not many fine monuments in London, and it seemed to him deporable that any of the few they had should be destroyed simply for commer- cial speculation, or through the neglect of Parliament. He remembered the passing of the Act which gave power to take a railway over the River, and which was carried by an iron bridge across Ludgate Hill, cutting in two the facade of St. Paul's. There never was a greater calamity to London, from an artistic point of view; and he always looked back with shame and regret to the fact that he did not raise his voice against that Bill when it was before Parliament —a circumstance which weighed upon his conscience ever since. He trusted his noble Friend would not refuse to accede to the appeal which he made in the present case.


concurred in the request of the noble Earl, and would express his approval of all that he had said. From the description which the noble Earl had given of the proposed alterations, he could not conceive but it would ruin the appearance of the Bridge. He trusted that, under the circumstances, his noble Friend the Chairman of Committees would not object to a postponement of the third reading of the Bill.


said, after the appeal that had been made to him, he could but consent to the postponement of the Bill for a week.

Bill to be read 3a on Thursday next.