§ LORD BRASSEY
My Lords, I rise to move that the Order made on 25th March last, that no Private Bill brought from the House of Commons shall be read a second time after 18th June, be dispensed with. The Dover Graving Docks Bill is the result of negotiations which have been pending for some time, and I am glad to say that the opposition which was threatened to the Bill has been withdrawn. Graving docks are urgently needed at Dover. There are no dry docks between Southampton and London, and the English cross-Channel steamers are sent to Calais for repair. Those responsible for the management of the port of Dover agreed with the promoters of this Bill that it was desirable that the scheme as originally submitted to a Committee of the other House of Parliament for the construction of two large graving docks should be approved, but in deference to the view of the Admiralty the scheme has been reduced, and it is now proposed to construct only one graving dock. Those interested in the port of Dover are hopeful that at some future time the present restrictions may be withdrawn. In conclusion, I have to inform your Lordships that all the local authorities of Dover, the harbour board, the town council, the chamber of commerce, and the railway companies, have petitioned in favour of the Bill, and I therefore hope your Lordships will suspend the Standing Order and give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Moved, "That the order made on the 25th day of March last, "That no Private Bill brought from the House of Commons shall be read a second time after the 18th day of June next," be dispensed with, and that the Bill be now read 2a."—(Lord Brassey.)
§ LORD GLANTAWE
My Lords, I wish to support the Motion which the noble Lord has just moved, and I hope the Admiralty, on reconsideration, will not place a limit on the size of the docks. I have had considerable experience in these matters, having been a member of the Swansea Harbour Trustees for nearly forty years. Graving docks have been constructed there from time to time, and the result has always been, that a dock 703 constructed to meet present requirements has invariable been found in a few years to have been too small; and unless there is special reason for limiting the size of the dock at Dover, I hope, for the benefit of the people who are taking an active part in its construction and the shipping community generally, that the restrictions as to the size of the dock will be removed. I am glad that the opposition to the Second Reading has been withdrawn, but I would strongly press upon the Admiralty and those who are in authority at Dover to consider very carefully the question of the size of the dock to be constructed, so that no capital may be wasted, and that the port may benefit from the experience of other ports in the construction of docks of a similar nature.
, who had given notice, on the Motion for the Second Reading, to move "That the Bill be read a second time this day three months," said: My Lords, I think I ought to explain that in putting on the Paper this Amendment, which I have since withdrawn, I had no desire to place any impediment in any way to the construction of these graving docksat Dover. My object was to avoid anything like obstruction in the future to a Channel ferry service being established, and we consequently approached the promoters and have been able to arrive at a satisfactory agreement on this matter. In those circumstances I do not intend to move the Amendment standing in my name.
THE ACTING CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Lord BALFOUR of BURLEIGH)
My Lords, I had the opportunity of some conversation with the noble Earl the Chairman of Committees upon this matter last week, and I am glad to be able to respectfully advise your Lordships to agree to the Motion. In this case, again, there is no fault lying at the door of the promoters. The delay was caused on account of objections taken by the Board of Admiralty to some of the provisions of the Bill, objections far-reaching and in the nature of public policy. These matters have been adjusted to the satisfaction of the Admiralty, but the negotiations have had the effect of delaying the presentation of the Bill to your Lordships. In these cir- 704 cumstances, and as it will now pass, I understand, as an unopposed measure, I hope the House will agree to the Motion.
§ THE EARL OF GRANARD
My Lords, I wish to state in a few words the view of the Admiralty. In the first instance the Admiralty objected to the Bill, for the reason that if the dock was made the size originally proposed, it would take away a large amount of water from the naval harbour. Since then the promoters have modified their original proposal, and the Admiralty now see no reason to oppose the Second Reading. The Admiralty, however, intend to submit a number of Amendments of a protective character when the Bill goes before the Select Committee. With that reservation, they offer no opposition to the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed for To-morrow.
§ London County Council(General Powers) Bill.—Read 3a, with the Amendments; further Amendments made; Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.
§ Gosport Gas Bill; Central Ireland Electric Power Bill; Sligo and Arigna Railway Bill; London United Tramways Bill; Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Tramways (No. 2) Bill; Holderness Water Bill.—Read 3a, with the Amendments, and passed, and returned to the Commons.
§ Pier and Harbour Provisional Orders (No. 1) Bill [H.L.].—Returned from the Commons agreed to, with Amendments.
§ Honourable Artillery Company Bill [H.L.]; Leith Burgh Bill [H.L.]; London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Bill [H.L.].—Returned from the Commons agreed to, with Amendments. The said Amendments considered, and agreed to.705
§ Liverpool Corporation (General Powers) Bill; Tyne Improvement Bill; Widnes Corporation Bill; Margate Corporation Bill; Manchester Corporation Bill; Burnley Corporation Bill.—Returned from the Commons with the Amendments agreed to.
§ Edinburgh and District Water Order Confirmation Bill [H.L.]. — Read 2a (according to order), and (pursuant to the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1899) deemed to have been reported from the Committee; and to be read 3a To-morrow.
§ Public Offices Sites (Extension) Bill.—Reported from the Select Committee with Amendments; committed to a Committee of the Whole House Tomorrow, and Standing Order No. XXXIX. to be considered in order to its being dispensed with.