§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
rose, pursuant to notice, to move, "That a Message be sent to the other House, requesting a Copy of the Report of the Committee on Railway Bills, and also the Resolutions agreed to by that Committee." When this subject was before noticed, he had stated, that property to the amount of between 30,000,000l. and 40,000,000l. would he involved in the railways that were proposed to be formed. He now found that the Bills actually before the House of Commons, and which had been read a first time, involved a sum of upwards of 28,000,000l. The House of Commons considered that this was a matter which demanded serious consideration; and, in consequence, a Committee was appointed to inquire into it. That Committee, after an elaborate inquiry, had recommended that no Railway Bill should be further proceeded with, until the Committee to which such Bill had been referred reported to the House on nineteen different heads which were distinctly specified. Amongst these heads were, the fitness of the line of railway chosen—the likelihood or non-likelihood of its interfering with other lines—what number of shares was contemplated, and how many were subscribed for, &c. But the most important point of inquiry was, whether there was a fair likelihood of a greater degree of accommodation being afforded to the public after the completion of the railway than previously existed; or, in other words, how far the sacrifice made by individuals was likely to be exceeded by the additional accommodation which would thereby be afforded to the public. He conceived, that it would be extremely useful to their Lordships if the Report and Resolutions were laid before them.
§ The Earl of Ripon
was rejoiced that his noble Friend had taken this preliminary step towards affording the public additional security on this important point. There were two classes of persons whose interests it was most desirable to protect; the one consisting of persons, who, dazzled by the 387 brilliant prospects held out to them, engaged in these schemes without knowing what probability there was of their being ultimately successful; the other comprising those who were generally treated with very little ceremony by speculators—he meant the persons whose property was affected by the proposed undertaking.
§ Motion agreed to.