§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Dodds.)
§ MR. C. H. WILSON (Hull, W.)
I rise to move, as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a second time upon this day six months. The object of the Bill is to enable the Felixstowe Railway and Dock Company to run steam vessels between Felixstowe and certain ports on the Continent. One reason why I oppose the Bill is that it is not really what it pretends to be, but that it is an endeavour to obtain for the Great Eastern Railway Company powers which Parliament have already refused to confer upon that Company directly. The Felixstowe Company propose to charter, hire, and maintain steam vessels for the conveyance of passengers and goods between their dock pier and works at Felixstowe and Amsterdam, Dunkerque, Bremerhaven, Hamburgh, Altona, and Cuxhaven, or any other port on the River Elbe. The Great Eastern Company have obtained powers to run to Harwich, and from Harwich to Rotterdam and Antwerp, which powers they are now using; and one of my contentions, in opposing the present Bill, is that they do use those powers in a manner inimical to the general interests of the community. For in- 419 stance, they are making use of their railway monopoly to carry goods by this route at such rates as render it impossible for any other lines to compete with them. Perhaps I may be allowed to give one or two figures to show the use which the Great Eastern Railway Company are making of the powers they possess of carrying goods by means of steam vessels. They are now carrying goods from Harwich to Antwerp and Rotterdam at the same rates as the steamers trading from Hull and other ports; but in order to do this they have to carry goods from the manufacturing districts of Lancashire and Yorkshire at low and unprofitable rates. For instance, I will take the cases of Manchester and Leeds. The distance from Manchester to Hull is 90 miles, while the distance from Manchester to Harwich is 229 miles, and yet the charge is the same in both cases—namely, 20s. a-ton — that is to say, that the Great Eastern Railway Company make use of their powers to carry goods by a line of steamers which entails their being carried for four times the distance than would be the case if the more convenient port of Hull were employed. At Leeds the same thing happens. The distance from Leeds to Hull is 50 miles, whereas the distance from Leeds to Harwich is 211 miles, or more than four times the distance, and in both cases the charge for railway carriage is 18s. 6d. a-ton. If Parliament is to continue to give facilities for the exercise of a railway monopoly of this character, the only effect will be to enable the Great Eastern Company to crush out private enterprize in regard to shipping, and to practically inflict great injury upon the manufacturing interests of the country. This Felixstowe Railway is a railway only 13 miles in length. It begins at a small village, and ends somewhere on the sea shore, at a place which is, perhaps, not generally known, but which is called Felixstowe. One of the reasons of the Company for seeking these powers is that when the dock is constructed there will be a great depth of water—about 23 feet—below the ordinary tides; but, at the same time, they are asking for powers to run steamers to places on the Continent that are eon-fined to a limited draught of water; and consequently the increased depth they propose to give, and which they set out as an advantage, will be, to the steamers 420 which will have to run, of no advantage whatever. The traders, however, are already fully supplied by the General Steam Navigation Company, who are petitioning against this Bill. Not only are the General Steam Shipowners' Association Petitioners against it, but there are Petitions from the Corporation of Hull, and also from the Hull Chamber of Commerce and Shipping. Now, Sir, Hamburgh is one of the ports to which this little rail way asks to be allowed to run steamers. But there are aleady to Hamburgh from London some 10 steamers running per week, and 12 steamers a week from the ports of Hull, Goole, and Grimsby. There are also steamers running already from Harwich, which is the port from which this little railway proposes to carry on their trade. In point of fact, not only is the existing trade amply and satisfactorily served, but, in fact, there are at present more steamers running than there is profitable employment for. If this were a genuine Bill—genuine in this way—that it is precisely what it represents itself to be, my impression is that, judging from the Bill itself and the clauses which it contains, it would be looked upon as simply the measure which the Great Eastern Railway Company introduced in 1869, and which was refused by this House, which declined to give the Company the powers then asked for of running steamers to these Continental ports. They are now making use of this small railway of 13 miles in length to endeavour to obtain the powers which Parliament have already refused to grant to them. It may be looked upon as a somewhat extraordinary course that I should oppose this Bill upon the second reading; but I do so as a matter of principle. It appears to me scarcely right that any Company, especially such a small Company as the Felixstowe Railway Company, should introduce a Bill of this nature into the House of Commons; and one object I have is to save the expense of time and money which will be involved, if the Bill is sent to a Committee, in establishing that the object of the Bill is not what it pretends to be. I am glad to see the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton) in his place. The noble Lord is one of the Directors of the Great Eastern Railway Company, and he will probably be able to throw some light upon the subject, 421 and to inform the House whether my surmise is correct that this Bill is simply intended to be made use of by the Great Eastern Railway Company, and is, in reality, to enable them to exercise powers which Parliament has already refused to grant to them directly? I would say, further, that this is really a national question. The Great Eastern Railway Company are now running steamers from Harwich to certain ports under powers obtained from Parliament; and I wish the noble Lord to explain to the House whether these steamers are running at such a profit that it is desirable in the national interests to extend these powers to such great monopolists as Railway Companies, and by that means to crush out the existing private shipping enterprize—that private enterprize which has done so much to extend the maritime supremacy of England, and without which England would not have occupied her present position. I am satisfied that if this principle of giving exceptional powers to Railway Companies had been adopted in the past the trade of the country would never have been developed as it has been. I will not further trouble the House, I will only add that, as the whole question of railway management is about to be brought before Parliament, this is certainly not the time when it can be considered desirable to ask the House to confer upon a Railway Company such powers as those now asked for. I therefore beg to move that the Bill be read a second time on this day six months.
§ SIR JOSEPH PEASE (Durham, Barnard Castle)
I beg to second the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend, and in doing so I wish to say a few words upon the principle involved in the Bill, rather than upon any question affecting any arrangements between the Felixstowe Railway Company and the Great Eastern Railway Company. This Bill appears to me to involve a very considerable amount of principle; and I am sorry that there is no Representative of the Board of Trade on the Front Bench to explain what the views of the Board are in reference to the question and the principle we are asked to adopt on this occasion. The Bill proposes to give to the Felixstowe Railway Company 422 the power of running steam vessels to a variety of ports named in the Bill, and to charge such reasonable rates or sums as they shall think fit. Now, that places enormous power in the hands of this Railway Company. Suppose that, in the course of the new railway legislation Parliament is about to adopt, we come to the conclusion that foreign cattle must be taken, on its arrival at the port of debarkation, at the same rates as are charged on home-bred cattle, this Bill, if it is passed, will enable the Felixstowe Railway Company to convey cattle for nothing, in order to equalize the dues upon foreign and English cattle, so far as the railway charges are concerned. Many of the Railway Companies possess at this moment the power of running steam vessels to Continental ports. The London, Brighton, and South Coast Company have, I believe, power to run vessels from Newhaven to French ports; the London and North Western Company from Holyhead to Kingstown, Dublin, and other parts of the Irish Coast, and other Railway Companies possess similar powers. Then, how far is this principle to be carried? If you are going to allow the Great Eastern Company or the Felixstowe Company to run steam vessels to all parts of the Continent, you cannot refuse the same privilege to the North Eastern Company and to other Companies which at the present moment have no power to run steam vessels, or to employ them, except in their own river and clock service. It certainly seems to me that if this doctrine is to go forward it must go forward at full length. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Mundella) seemed to think the other night that we had come upon a new Free Trade era, and that every facility should be afforded for conducting the trade of the country upon the lowest possible rates, and without restrictions as to capital. If that is so, then this Bill ought to be passed; but if the principle is good in this particular instance it ought to be good all over the country. These are the reasons which have induced me to second the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Hull. I was anxious to have the opportunity of addressing the House, in order that I might call attention to the important principle involved in the Bill.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Charles Wilson.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ LORD CLAUD HAMILTON (Liverpool, West Derby)
I merely wish to say a word in regard to the reference which has been made by the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) to the Great Eastern Railway — namely, that that Company, with which I am connected, has nothing whatever to do with the Bill. It is neither for nor against it; and, therefore, the allusions made to that Company by the hon. Member for Hull have been made under an entire misapprehension. I have not read the Bill myself; but I understand that Clauses 4 and 5 refer to the Great Eastern Company; but they only relate to arrangements which may hereafter be made for traffic agreements, or for the participation by the Great Eastern Company in the joint exercise of some of the powers sought for under the Bill. I do not know with what object those provisions have been inserted in the Bill; but I do know that the Great Eastern Company has had nothing whatever to do with the matter.
§ MR. QUILTER (Suffolk, Sudbury)
I am unwilling, as a new Member, to intrude myself upon the House; but the extraordinary attempt which has been made upon this side of the House to stop the further progress of this Bill has induced me, as a resident in the locality which is served by the Felixstowe Railway, and one who is, therefore, naturally acquainted with it from the commencement of the undertaking, without having any personal interest in it, to I rise and say a few words in answer to I the arguments which have been brought forward by the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) and the hon. Baronet the Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease), who have moved and seconded the Amendment for the rejection of the Bill. Now, this railway is altogether an exceptional one. It has been made almost entirely with private capital; it has held out no inducements whatever for the investment of capital. It is now completed on contracts entered into with private capital; and all that the Com- 424 pany ask is that, now the railway has been completed and the docks made, they should be permitted to enjoy those facilities for which they have been made, and for which the docks have been constructed. And who is it, and what is it, that seeks to interfere with the development of legitimate enterprize? It is certain vested interests. Similar vested interests have invariably sought to interfere with every new undertaking brought forward in this House on former occasions. I think that the House has expressed a strong opinion against any decided attempt to interfere with an important commercial undertaking; and I trust that to-day the House will be equally prompt to discountenance any attempt to prevent a Bill of this kind—a bonâ fide genuine Bill—from going before a Select Committee. The hon. Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) has tried to throw some doubt upon the genuineness of the Bill; but I do not think that he succeeded. It is simply a Bill to enable the Company to hire and employ steam vessels, to make charges for the conveyance of traffic, and to make agreements with the Great Eastern Railway Company and the Steam Navigation Company for the interchange, collection, and delivery of traffic. There are also one or two minor powers contained in the Bill. The noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton) has already answered one question which I intended to answer—namely, that the Great Eastern Railway Company have nothing to do with the Bill; and there are no powers sought for under the Bill which would confer upon the Great Eastern Company any advantages they would not be able to obtain for themselves. I am in a position to say that this is a genuine Bill of the Felixstowe Railway Company; and I do trust that the House will enable those who have bonâ fide invested their money in the untertaking to enjoy such reasonable facilities as they ask for in the Bill. I would further submit that this is not the place where the arguments and reasons which have been adduced by the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) and the hon. Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) can be properly discussed. I have always understood—and if in ignorance I make a mistake I hope the House will pardon me—that a Select Committee of this 425 House was the proper tribunal for considering points of this character—points which simply affect the question of competition and rival Companies. It is only before a Committee that the merits of the Bill can be fairly argued, and the arguments both in favour and against it can be thoroughly threshed out. Under these circumstances, I trust that these attempts to hinder and obstruct the progress of an honest, bonâ fide industrial enterprise will meet with that disapprobation which it merits at the hands of the House.
§ MR. KING (Hull, Central)
I also, as a new Member, venture to ask for the indulgence of the House while I offer a few remarks in opposition to this Bill, not only upon general grounds, but also upon the ground of the special interests involved and the special injury which may be inflicted upon the Port of Hull, and oven upon the Port of London, if the powers asked for by the Felixstowe Railway Company in the provisions of this Bill receive the sanction of Parliament. We have been asked to accept the statement that the Great Eastern Railway Company have no interest in the promotion of the Bill; but I think it would be difficult to convince the House that that Company are not very materially interested in it, and that they are not, at any rate, watching it with interested affection, in the hope that they may be able to obtain, under the provisions contained in the measure, powers which they had formerly sought unsuccessfully to obtain from this House. That such is the position of the Great Eastern Company in reference to this Bill appears to me to be absolutely beyond argument. The noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton) says that the Great Eastern Company are not interested in the Bill. Now, let me take Clause 5, which provides that the Company, on the one hand, and the Great Eastern Company on the other, may, from time to time, make and carry into effect, alter, and rescind, agreements and contracts for participation by the Great Eastern Company in the exercise jointly with the Company of all or some of the powers conferred by the Act upon the Company and the Great Eastern Company, and shall have, and may exercise, all the necessary powers to participate in the exercise of the powers con- 426 ferred by the Act upon the Company—that is, the Felixstowe Railway and Dock Company—by the Bill now sought to be read a second time. And what are the powers in question. They are powers to run steam vessels from Felixstowe to Amsterdam, Dunkerque, Bremerhaven, Hamburgh, Altona, Cuxhaven, and any other port or place on the River Elbe. In 1869, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) has reminded the House, the Great Eastern Company sought powers from Parliament to enable them to run steam vessels from Harwich to the Elbe; but the House very properly refused to grant them. Felixstowe and Harwich are practically the same thing; the little river, the Orwell, alone divides them; and, consequently, this Bill, if passed, will confer upon the Great Eastern Company powers which they previously sought to obtain, and which, if this Bill passes, will be obtained by the Company in a most circuitous, unfair, indirect, and underhand manner.
§ LORD CLAUD HAMILTON (Liverpool, West Derby)
I rise to Order. I have stated distinctly that the Great Eastern Company have nothing to do with this Bill; and I therefore call upon the hon. Member to withdraw the statement he has just made.
§ MR. KING (Hull, Central)
I withdraw the statement with the greatest pleasure; but I certainly wish that the Bill had been drawn in a better manner, so that the public might have been able to understand who are really promoting it. What is it that the promoters say on the back of the Bill? They say—A Bill to enable the Felixstowe Railway and Dock Company to run steam vessels between Felixstowe and certain foreign ports, and for other purposes.Now, I have made a special effort to find out who the shareholders of this Company are. I went to the ordinary channels of information; but I found that although the list of every other Limited Liability Company is allowed to be inspected at Somerset House, on the payment of a small fee, that in the case of Railway Companies there is no such right. Therefore, I can only form a judgment as to the real persons who are promoting the Bill; but, seeing who is to be benefited by it, I say, unhesitatingly, that the only people who can 427 have an interest in the Bill are the Great Eastern Railway Company. [Cries of "No!" and "Order!"] I unreservedly withdraw any hint that they may have a pecuniary interest in the promotion of the Bill at this moment; but only let the Bill go through Committee and receive the sanction of Parliament, and it will soon be seen that the Great Eastern Company will manifest a lively interest in it. The Felixstowe Company own 13½ miles of railway, upon which £288,000 has been spent; and they have raised by share capital and debentures a sum of £174,000. Where the other £114,000 has come from I should like to know very much, and I think it is very probable that the Chairman or one of the Directors of the Great Eastern Company might throw some light upon the matter. From what has been said the House are to believe that it has been raised by private enterprize, so that I am prepared to admit that my opposition to the Bill on this point has somewhat fallen to the ground. After what has passed I feel bound to acknowledge that the Great Eastern Company have not that interest in promoting the Bill which I believed them to have when I first looked at the Bill; but the result is exactly the same. They already work the line for 65 per cent of the gross receipts, and now it is proposed to concede to the Company the right of running steam-vessels from Felixstowe to certain foreign ports on the Elbe. Everyone knows that it would be absolutely impossible for a little Company like this to work steam vessels from Felixstowe to the Elbe. This is one of the most out-of-the-way spots in the world, and there are already 10 steamers a-week from London to the Elbe, four from Grimsby, four from Goole, 12 from Hull, two from Newcastle, and two from Sunderland; and whatever claims the trade with the Elbe may have for the consideration of the public, it certainly cannot be said that it is inadequately supplied with shipping accommodation. In fact, there are lines of steam vessels trading there already weekly, fortnightly, and monthly; so that, quite apart from the question of principle which has been raised, and which I, for one, am very glad to see raised, at a time when the subject of railway legislation is attract- 428 ing special attention—quite apart from the principle whether the Railway Companies should be allowed to own steam vessels or not—I think it would be a most unbusinesslike proceeding for the House to admit that the Great Eastern Company have no interest in the matter. It certainly would be most unbusinesslike to allow a Company who have already spent £114,000 more than they have been able to raise by share capital or debentures to embark upon a course which must entail the raising of a still further amount of capital, and must, in the end, result in ruin and disaster.
§ THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Mr. COURTNEY) (Cornwall, Bodmin)
I hope my hon. Friend the Member for West Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) will not think that I am discourteous if I make a very brief reply. In respect to the general question—namely, the conferring of powers upon Railway Companies to run steam vessels, I think it is somewhat late in the day to raise an objection now, seeing that several of the existing Companies do run steamers of their own. I do not know whether the Great Western Company still run their own vessels, or whether they have been stopped; but I believe that the London and South-Western Company do, and the London, Brighton, and South Coast. The South-Eastern, the London, Chatham, and Dover run to Calais, and the Great Eastern to Antwerp and Rotterdam. Therefore, the principle of allowing steam vessels to be run in connection with railways has already been sanctioned. My hon. Friend raises a special objection that the Bill is virtually promoted by the Great Eastern Railway; but that allegation has been repudiated by the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton), and I think we may trust the Committee on Standing Orders to see that no clauses are inserted in the Bill which would be in contravention of the Standing Orders of the House, and that no clauses would be sanctioned which would enable the Railway Company promoting the Bill to enter into improper agreements with any other Railway Company. If such clauses do exist in the Bill they will inevitably be struck out in Committee. Other points have been raised in the course of the debate, such as the question of competition; but if there is any 429 serious question of competition the opponents of the Bill will be allowed to argue it befor the Committee, and submit evidence upon the whole question. All of the matters which have been referred to in the discussion are matters which cannot be considered by the House as a whole, but must go to a Committee. It is most undesirable that any Private Bill should be discussed in the House except upon general principles; and the kind of objection which has been raised to the present Bill is precisely that which should be considered by a Select Committee. For these reasons I hope that the House will consent to read the Bill a second time.
§ SIR E. ASSHETON CROSS (Lancashire, S.W., Newton)
I only wish to say one word. It seems to me that this railway is in this dilemma. It either belongs to the Great Eastern Railway Company or it does not. Of course, I accept the statement of my noble Friend the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton) that the Great Eastern Company have nothing to do with the promotion of the present Bill; but then we are placed on this horn of the dilemma. If these powers are given to the Felixstowe Company, how do they propose to establish and work the steam vessels they seek power to run? The other horn of the dilemma is, whether they would not be compelled to call the Great Eastern Company in to their assistance? If they have nothing to do with the Great Eastern Company, how is it that we find that Company working this small line of 13½ miles in length? I defy the Great Eastern Company to get rid of both horns of the dilemma.
§ MR. EVERETT (Suffolk, Woodbridge)
Felixstowe and the whole of this railway line are in the division I have the honour to represent. The original Act constituting the Company who are promoting this Bill was passed in 1875, and by it the Company was authorized to construct a railway from the Great Eastern line at Westerfield to Felixstowe with a pier at the last named place, and it was incorporated by the name of the Felixstowe Railway and Pier Company. In 1879 another Act was passed, which authorized the construction of a dock and other works at Felixstowe, and the name of the Company was changed to the Felixstowe Railway and Dock Company. The rail- 430 way has now been constructed for some time, and the dock is nearly finished; and the natural complement of the work is that the Company should have power to enter into contracts for the hire of steam vessels for carrying on trade from the dock and railway to Continental ports. That is the request now made to the House, and it is not an unusual request to make. In fact, the enterprize of the Company would be entirely frustrated, and it would be much more likely to come to the grief which my hon. Friend the Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) predicted for it if these powers are denied to the Company than if they are granted to it. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have expressed a doubt as to where the money is to come from. Now, most of the line passes through the single estate of a man of very large wealth, who is deeply interested in what is now going forward, both in connection with the railway and the dock. There is no fear, therefore, of the enterprize coming to grief. The statement that this Company is, by some manœuvre or false pretence, really acting on behalf of the Great Eastern Railway Company, has been most distinctly denied by the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton). I am also authorized to say, on behalf of the Felixstowe Company, that they have no connection whatever with the Great Eastern Company, except that the existing line is now worked by that Company on a lease which terminates in the present year. So far from the Felixstowe Company being made use of as a cat's-paw by the Great Eastern Company, it is in view of the possibility of having to enter into competition with the Great Eastern that the Felixstowe Company desires to obtain the powers of appearing before the Railway Commissioners, which the passing of the present Bill will confer upon it. As a new Member, I am not well acquainted with the usual mode of proceeding in regard to Railway Bills; but I am told that it is not customary to oppose a Bill on the second reading unless it raises some new principle. This Bill does nothing of the kind. It is simply to empower the Felixstowe Company to enter into arrangements for the hire of steam vessels, and similar powers have been constantly conferred upon Railway Companies. I think it would be altogether unjust of this 431 House, sitting here in the interests of the public, were it to interpose difficulties in the way of extending trade and commerce, for the interest of the public certainly lies in increasing the facilities for carrying on the operations of trade. I have no wish to impute motives; but I cannot help thinking that the speech which we have heard from the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. C. Wilson) affords an indication that the fear in the minds of the opponents of the Bill is that a competition may arise in regard to the trade of the Port of Hull which they will find it difficult to meet. But we have all of us, in this country, in every kind of business, to face competition; and I would respectfully submit that it is no part of the duty of this House to put difficulties in the way even of the fullest and most severe competition. I hope that the House will adhere to the course it has hitherto pursued in regard to a Bill of this nature, and that it will allow the Bill to pass a second reading and be carried to a Select Committee, notwithstanding the interested opposition which, in a somewhat unusual manner, has been directed against it.
§ SIR HENRY TYLER (Great Yarmouth)
As a Director of the Great Eastern Railway, I rise to corroborate the statement of my noble Friend the Member for Liverpool (Lord Claud Hamilton) that the Great Eastern Company have nothing whatever to do with the Bill now before the House. It is quite true that for some years the Great Eastern Company has worked the Felixstowe Railway, which was constructed through the influence of Colonel Tomline. It runs in great part through the estate of that gentleman, and is also connected' with the basin at Felixstowe; and the promoters of this Bill now ask apparently for powers under which they may be able to establish a sea service by steam vessels between Felixstowe and certain ports on the Elbe. So far as we—the Great Eastern Company—are concerned, we consider Felixstowe to be on the wrong side of the water. Our establishments are on the Harwich side, and we do not think that Felixstowe is properly situated for such traffic. We have nothing, I repeat, to do with the present Bill; and if the question comes to a division we do not intend to vote for it.
§ MR. H. ROBERTSON (Merioneth)
I shall be very brief in the remarks I propose to make, and I make them not as a new Member, but as an old Member; and I must confess that it is somewhat irregular, if not almost an act of impropriety, to discuss a question of this kind on the second reading of a Private Bill. The proper course is to refer it to a Select Committee, which is the only tribunal by which its merits can be fairly considered. The Standing Orders of the House prescribe that due notice shall be given to all parties whose interests are affected by the provisions of any Private Bill in order that they may get a fair hearing. Instead of providing a fair hearing, are we now, upon an ex parte statement, to shut the door of justice? What is the case that is sought to be made out againt the promoters of the Bill? It is contended that we are not to give shipping facilities to a small Railway Company owning a line of only 13½ miles in length, because by so doing we may prejudicially interfere with and disarrange the trade now carried on in the Ports of London and Hull. The hon. Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease), who seconded the Amendment for the rejection of the Bill, is more interested, I presume, in the fortunes of the North Eastern Railway; and he seems to fear that some injury may be done to the great railway monopolies if this little Company is to have the power of chartering steam vessels in order to compete with them. I can quite understand that the North-Eastern Railway do not wish to be interfered with; and, so far as the Great Eastern Railway is concerned, we have been given to understand that Felixstowe form a better port than Harwich. [Sir HENRY TYLER: No.] I am told that there is a much greater depth of water; but still that is a matter of fact, which can be inquired into by a Select Committee, and any injury any traders or others may sustain by competition is also a fair subject for the investigation of the Committee. Certainly these are not matters which ought to influence the House in coming to a decision upon the second reading.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed.