HL Deb 01 August 1899 vol 75 cc1004-6

House in Committee (according to Order).

Bill reported without Amendment.


My Lords, during the progress of this Bill through the House of Commons it was made to apply, quite rightly in my humble opinion, to Private Acts as well as to Special Orders, but there is the difficulty that it is quite right that it should be imperative to insert in every Private Order what is called the Nuisance Clause—that is the clause that provides that the undertakers shall not be exonerated in respect of any nuisance. That is done because in the Orders no power of taking land compulsorily is given, and it is quite right that where land is taken by agreement the proviso against a nuisance should be inserted always. That is according to the precedent that prevails in regard to Private Bills as in all other cases. But, my Lords, according to the wording of this Bill, as it now is, it is practically imperative to incorporate in every Private Bill this Nuisance Clause. Now I think it is quite clear that that ought to depend upon the facts in each individual case. Where land is taken compulsorily that clause never is, and probably never ought to be, inserted. At any rate, the insertion of that clause would be contrary to the Report of the Joint Committee which was delivered to your Lordships' House some time ago. I merely wish to mention this matter. I know the noble Lord who is in charge of the Bill does not wish to have it returned to the Commons amended, and therefore I thought it necessary to make these remarks to show that in dealing with Private Bills the opponents should not be entitled to take it as an argument for the necessary insertion of this clause into every Private Bill. I think my noble friend will agree with what I have said upon this point, and possibly if he does so it would be of advantage that he should confirm that opinion.


I am very glad that my noble friend has drawn attention to this point, because I think it will tend to simplify matters when these special Acts are referred to Committees, and will prevent any misunderstanding with regard to the inclusion in this Bill of what is known as the Nuisance Clause. Of course, the difficulty only applies really to special Acts, because in the case of Provisional Orders the Board of Trade, no doubt, will make the necessary omissions, and in the case of special Acts we have thought that the Committee should have reserved the same power of omission as the Board of Trade have in the case of Provisional Orders. The alternative would have been to omit altogether the Nuisance Clause; but as the majority of these special Acts contain it, it was thought to be more advisable to insert it in the Bill, giving to the Committee the power to make the omission in cases where the Bills did not require the insertion of the clause.

Standing Committee negatived; and Bill to be read 3a on Thursday next.