§ LORD RIBBLESDALE
My Lords, I beg to ask the Chairman of Committees a question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether he has under consideration the expediency of proposing an alteration of Standing Order No. XXII., the effect of which is to 406 give local authorities an absolute veto upon any proposal for the construction of a new tramway. In the event of the London County Council promoting a Tramway Bill they have to obtain the consent of the local authorities, and accept conditions the local authorities desire to impose, not always to the public interest. The difficulty is increased by the fact that very often a tramway runs through the districts of several road authorities, who have different views as to what their particular districts require. I believe the Standing Order could be amended so far as London is concerned by the insertion of a very few words. If I receive any encouragement from the noble Earl I will bring forward a motion at the beginning of next session.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (The EARL of MORLEY)
I am entirely in sympathy with my noble friend, and I think I expressed that view a week or two ago in this House. This preliminary objection which any local authority can take to a tramway going through any part of its district is not conducive to the public interest, although I think the road authority ought to have a strong voice in such matters. I have had the question brought before me in relation both to London and other parts of the country. As Lord Ribblesdale said, the question, so far as it affects London, is not on all fours with other parts of the country. I am very anxious, if possible, to move an Amendment to the Standing Orders in question. It is now too late in the session to do so, as I should not like so important an Amendment to be made without the local authorities having ample opportunity of expressing their opinions upon it. I did not, therefore, include any Amendment to this Standing Order in the Amendments I moved a day or two ago. I am, however, in hearty sympathy with my noble friend, and I hope to move an Amendment to Standing Order No. XXII. next session.