§ Lords Amendments considered.
§ MR. MONK
said, he should be glad to know what course the Government proposed to take with regard to these Amendments, and if they intended to agree to them. His constituents had learnt with great astonishment that, after the recommendations of the Select Committee on Tramways, with regard to steam power, and after a Bill had passed through that House for the purpose of authorizing its use, the House of Lords had struck out all the clauses with regard to mechanical power on tramways. The Committee had reported unanimously in favour of steam power; and, in addition to that, the principle was confirmed in a very full House by 216 votes to 119. The Bill had gone before the other House, and it had come back with all the steam power clauses struck out. It appeared, so far as he could learn, that that had been done at the instance of one person, without any evidence having been taken by the other House; and therefore he wished to ask the Government whether they intended to agree with these Amendments, or to confirm the views arrived at 1856 by the House in the case of the Private Bill to which he had referred, as well as by a Committee which sat for several weeks and took a great amount of evidence, and eventually issued a Report in favour of the use of steam power based upon evidence of the most satisfactory nature? This was a matter in which he knew his hon. Friend the Chairman of Committees had taken a great interest, and upon which he had appointed a very strong Committee, consisting principally of hon. Members who were usually Chairmen of Private Bill Committees. It was a very serious matter that after the enormous expense to which the promoters of these Bills had been put, at the last moment, by the mere will and whim of a single Member of Parliament, the power and right to use steam on tramways should be denied to England and Wales. He therefore hoped, in the first place, that the Government would not agree to those clauses being struck out; or, at all events, if they did so, they would assure him that the expenses to which the promoters of these tramways had been put in the matter should not be thrown away, but that legislation with regard to steam power should be proposed next year.
MR. J. G. TALBOT
agreed with his hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Monk), that it would be a great convenience to have the consideration of the matter taken to-morrow.
§ Consideration of Lords Amendments deferred till To-morrow.