§ MR. W. H. SMITH
said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, taking into consideration that Saturday afternoon has recently become a general half-holiday among the working classes in the Metropolis and that Battersea, Park is much resorted to by them as a place of recreation, Her Majesty's Government will consent to remit the toll for foot passengers on Chelsea Bridge after Two o'clock on Saturdays, in extension of the privilege which is now enjoyed on Sundays and on other holidays?
I am sorry, Sir, to be again obliged to give what I fear may be regarded as a repellent answer. I am afraid, however, that we cannot undertake to throw open Chelsea Bridge free to foot passengers after two o'clock on Saturdays at the expense of the public. This is not, it is true, a very large demand on the part of the hon. Member, whose larger request was made the other night, when the House emphatically declined to accede to it. The hon. Member, therefore, now prudently asks an inch where he could not get an ell, and proposes that we should throw open the bridge after two o'clock on Saturdays. Now, no line of principle can be drawn at two o'clock, although the preposition may be one which is derivable in itself for the population of London. All we can undertake to do is to communicate with the Metropolitan Board of Works on the subject, in case the Board think fit to make a proposal 1634 to put the saddle on the right horse, and cause the charge to fall on the inhabitants of London, on whom it ought to fall.