§ (1) Any matter which, under any Light Railway Order, whether made before or after the passing of this Act, is to be determined by arbitration, shall be determined by the Light Railway Commissioners as arbitrators, if the parties make a joint application to the Commissioners for the purpose, and where under any such Order the Board of Trade have power to appoint an arbitrator for the determination of any matter, the Board of Trade may appoint the Light Railway Commissioners to be arbitrators.
§ (2) Where the Light Railway Commissioners act as arbitrators under this Section, whether in pursuance of an agreement between the parties or of an appointment by the Board of Trade, the Board of Trade Arbitrations, etc., Act, 1874, shall apply as if the Light Railway Commissioners were appointed arbitrators by the Board of Trade in pursuance of a special Act, and the Arbitration Act, 1889, shall apply for the purpose of the determination of the matter by the Light Railway Commissioners as if the arbitration were pursuant to a submission.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "may" ["the Board of Trade may appoint"], to insert the words "with the consent of the parties."
This particular Clause relates to matters which under the Order "shall be determined by the Light Railway Commissioners as arbitrators, if the parties make a joint application to the Commissioners to appoint them for the purpose." The Clause goes on to say that "where the Board of Trade have the power to appoint an arbitrator for the determination of any matter, the Board of Trade may appoint the Light Railway Commissioners to be 74 arbitrators." We ask, first, that the parties should be allowed to express their opinion if it is possible for them to agree that the Light Railway Commissioners should be appointed arbitrators between them, and that then the Board of Trade may appoint them. We are afraid that the word "may" will be construed, as it very often is in Acts of Parliament, as being equivalent to "shall." That is not, what we desire. What we wish is that where the parties are quite agreed that the Light Railway Commissioners shall act as arbitrators, then in that, and in no other case, shall the Board of Trade be at liberty to appoint them as arbitrators. This Amendment is moved from both sides of the House, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will see his way to accept it.
§ Amendment agreed to.