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that is, commencing at Westminster Bridge ?—
more to say." He could not, however, so easily leave the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman), who was also an interested party. The right hon. Gentleman had declared on the pre-liament Street? vious evening, with his usual eloquence and ability, and in a most ingenious and disinterested manner, that he had nothing whatever to do with this matter, and would not act upon the Committee. But that right hon. Gentleman was in the committee-room every day; not being a member of the Committee, he had the advantage of being called as a witness, and his evidence had some weight with the Committee. When he so strongly protested that he had no interest whatever in the matter, and that if it had been necessary for the public convenience, he would have allowed this roadway to go through his drawing-room, he must say that he was very sceptical on that point. He thought that it would have been better if the right hon. Gentleman had been on the Committee, and had, as he might then have done, fully and openly expressed his views upon the subject. The question turned entirely on the traffic. The great object of the embankment was undoubtedly to relieve certain thoroughfares from a portion of the traffic which now choked them up. Without casting any disparagement on the character of the witnesses who opposed the scheme, he must say that he would not give a farthing for the opinion of some of them. They were not in the habit of driving in a carriage through the crowded streets, and had not sufficient actual experience of the matter to enable them judge. On the other hand, Sir Richard Mayne, whose business it was to regulate the traffic of the metropolis, must, both from his own observation and from the information which he officially received, be the most competent and reliable authority on the question. The allegation that the prolongation of the embankment from Whitehall to Westminster Bridge would impede the flow of traffic, was one of the greatest bugbears ever put forward. He desired the attention of the Committee to the following passages from Sir Richard's evidence
"Do you think, then, that it would be of great public convenience to find an alternative road to Westminster which should relieve the streets that you have mentioned and a portion of their traffic? It would be very.
"Would that roadway embankment tend to relieve all the streets, by taking the traffic that wishes to go between the City and Westminster Colonel Knox
"Whereas, if it commenced at the foot of the lieved by the City traffic being taken off at once, bridge, the traffic of Bridge Street would be reand so the concourse of traffic at the corner of Parliament Street greatly diminished?—It would relieve not only that traffic; but if there was an opening about Charing Cross, it would be likewise go to the north, to St. Martin's Lane; a great the means of a great deal of the traffic that would part might go, and it ought to go-it might be compelled to go that way.
Persons might, by a slight detour, avail themselves of the street in front of the Horse Guards,
Yes; that in front of the Horse Guards would and so avail themselves of the embankment ?— not relieve Charing Cross.
"It would probably bring a larger amount of traffic to Whitehall and Charing Cross ?—I think it would be very likely to aggravate the evil at Charing Cross.
regret, that such a decision should be come to You would hear, I presume, with very great that this Committee should determine to stop the line short at Whitehall Yard ?—It would make a very inadequate relief to the difficulties that I
have alluded to."
Those were the views of a witness who was much better qualified to form a judgment on the matter than Mr. Pennethorne, the architect. The fact was, that there was scarcely any street which was not intersected at right angles by some other street. That was the case where Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Bridge Street, and Farringdon Street met, and where, perhaps, the greatest traffic in London was to be found. When one side of Bridge Street was taken down, as it would be in time, there would be no difficulty in regulating the traffic. The hon. Member for Westminster on the previous night made a grand flourish about the care he took of the interests of his constituency, and declared that to the peer and the wharfinger he would serve out even-handed justice. But did any of the wharfingers between Richmond Terrace and Westminster Bridge appear before the Committee against the Bill? None did so. The truth was, that they were perfectly satisfied with the compensation which they were to receive, and were by no means obliged to the hon. Gentleman for interfering. If the constituency of Westminster were polled, he believed, that nine out of ten would support the scheme, and reject the view of the hon. Member. The hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) complained that
his constituents would derive no benefit that point, accidents constantly happened. from the embankment, but he believed It was the strongest case of public inconthat they would get as much advantage venience which had ever been made out; from it as any other body of citizens if for it was not mere inconvenience, but they went that way. Those who lived absolute danger to life and limb. Sir in the smoky regions of the Tower Ham- Richard Mayne told them that it was lets would be very glad to walk westward essential to the correction of the evil that and enjoy the open embankment. One there should be a second way of getting of the main obstacles to the project was from Westminster Bridge to the City. The the want of harmony which prevailed be- object was to prevent the traffic running tween the Commission of Public Works along Bridge Street and sharp round the and the Board of Woods and Forests. corner by way of Parliament Street to was most painful to see the heads of those Charing Cross. The counter scheme did two branches diametrically opposed to each not effect that object, and it would entail other on the subject, as they were at pre- an additional expenditure of £300,000. sent. No great metropolitan improve- The scheme of the promoters of the Bill ment would ever be effected until the would achieve the desired result, and the noble Lord at the head of the Govern- only objection to it was its interference ment was able to make them agree. with one or two private residences. There was private inconvenience on the one hand, and public convenience on the other. In his opinion, the case on the part of the public was made out, and the decision of the minority of four was right, while the decision of the majority of seven was wrong. It was just the case in which the House ought to adopt its own view. He disclaimed any imputation upon any person who had opposed the scheme. He gave credit to the majority of the Committee for believing that the counter scheme was the better scheme. He gave the Duke of Buccleuch credit for believing that he had a better case than the public. But he could not admit the Duke or any other man to be judge in his own cause; and having read the blue-book, he had come to the conclusion that they ought to reject the counter scheme, which did not meet the main difficulty pointed out by Sir Richard Mayne, and for the removal of which legislation was most required.
MR. NEWDEGATE said, that having been a member of the Committee which sat nine years ago upon the embankment of the Clyde, he wished to say a few words upon the subject at present under discussion. He had long formed a strong opinion in favour of the embankment of the Thames, but he thought the embankment and the carrying a roadway from Whitehall Place to the foot of Westminster Bridge two distinct proposals. In the case of Glasgow it was necessary to provide for the traffic of a commercial district, and the Committee authorized a roadway and a railway along the quays. The case of London was different. The Committee had wisely rejected the proposal to pass a railway, even from Whitehall Place
MR. DENMAN said, that the perusal of the evidence led him to the conclusion that in this instance argument was all on the one side and evidence on the other, and that the majority of the Committee for once were wrong and the minority right. No Member of the House supposed for a moment that the influence of the Duke of Buccleuch or any other man could prevent the Committee from doing what they honestly deemed to be for the best. But, at the same time, it was idle to say that private interests were entirely disregarded. In his opinion they had been allowed to overweigh public interests. No doubt, the right hon. Member for Stroud was perfectly sincere in declaring that all private interests should yield to those of a public character; but he was not exactly a witness on whose evidence entiro reliance should be placed, because he had a natural bias on the question whether or not the amenity of his residence was destroyed. The Duke of Buccleuch also said in his evidence that he did not think that the advantage to the public was sufficient to warrant the injury which would be done by the scheme to himself and his neighbours. The great desire to protect private interests was the reason of the counter scheme being proposed. But the question was whether those private interests were not inferior to the public convenience. Sir Richard Mayne, who was the best authority upon the subject, said in his evidence that he was obliged to place additional policemen at the corner of Bridge Street and Parliament Street, where the great confluence of traffic occurred, to protect Members coming to the House; and that, notwithstanding every precaution at
cept as to the footway along the embankment: they felt that very material facts had been withheld from them, and they found that if they recommended the House to limit themselves to this narrow scheme, they would virtually be delaying greater metropolitan improvements, which had been kept back from temporary considerations of expenditure, but which must be carried out at some future time.
to Blackfriars, but they had proposed a roadway, because the internal communications to the City were obstructed: the Strand was insufficient for the traffic. They had also wisely rejected the roadway from Whitehall Place to the foot of Westminster Bridge; because, if it were carried to that point, the inevitable inference would be that it must be carried on between the Houses of Parliament and the river. In 1848 he had been employed as a justice of the peace for the Liberties of Westminster to swear in as special constables a number of the workmen employed in the House: some of them had been tampered with, and refused to serve. It then occurred to his mind, and to the mind of the magistrate who was acting with him on that occasion, that the terrace on the bank of the river might, in the event of any popular excitement, if a roadway had been caried along it, be made the point from which the Houses of Parliament would be assailed. It was his belief that Parliament had wisely decided that no thoroughfare should pass between the House and the river; and he trusted that the House would continue to adhere to that determination. The scheme of Mr. Pennethorne for making a new street from Whitehall Stairs, widening Parliament Street and the streets to the south of that House, reaching the riverside beyond the precincts of the House, was not a new one, for it had received the sanction of a Commission in 1844, consisting of men of the highest character and of the highest qualifications both of taste and judgment, and was in his (Mr. Newdegate's) opinion infinitely preferable to the footway or any roadway along the embankment from Whitehall Stairs to Westminster Bridge; while, if a street were carried from the foot of Westminster Bridge past the old Board of Control Office to the Whitehall end of Parliament Street, the traffic which at present crowded the crossing of Bridge Street and Parliament Street would be divided, and all danger or inconvenience to hon. Members in passing to and from the House would be avoided. This was part of an extensive scheme for the improvement of that part of the metropolis, and it was probably because no Chancellor of the Exchequer had found it agreeable to find the money for carrying it out that the scheme had not been undertaken sooner, and did not appear on the pre-contest Westminster on that question as a sent plan. He believed that the decision party man, no one would be more delightof the Committee was perfectly right, ex-ed with his success than he should. The
LORD ROBERT CECIL said, he thought the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets deserved the thanks of the House for bringing back the discussion to the intrinsic merits of the subject. He could not understand why, on a hybrid Bill like that before them, the House should forget all the considerations on which such measures were usually discussed, and should allow all the debate to turn on the name of the Duke of Buccleuch. He was quite tired of hearing the duke's name brought up in the discussion. In other Private Bills great landowners had appeared before committees by their counsel, and had had their interests considered; and if there had been any discussion afterwards on the decision of the Committee, the House, as far as he could remember, had not routed out the name of any single individual affected, and degraded itself by debating the question with reference to his interests solely. If only for the sake of its dignity, he hoped the House would decide the question on public grounds solely, and would leave the Duke of Buccleuch to take his chance with any other subject of the realm to have the road come before his house, and to take his compensation like anybody else if it were for the public advantage, or to have the road diverted in another direction if that were a greater advantage. But, at all events, let not the House of Commons present the unseemly spectacle of debating a great metropolitan improvement on the interests of a single individual. The right hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman), who had been attacked by the hon. and gallant Member for Marlow (Colonel Knox), was perfectly well able to take care of himself; and with regard to the hon. Member for Westminster (Sir John Shelley), whom he had also attacked, probably the hon. Baronet knew his constituents best; but if the gallant Member at the next general election would
case was a very simple one, and lay in a nutshell. The question was really thiswhat were they to pay, and what were they to pay it for? If he were possessed of unlimited funds, as a metropolitan improver he would embank not only the Thames, but every other river which flowed through a great city; but, not being in possession of unlimited funds, the question was, whether the advantages offered were equal to the price to be paid for them. A great deal of doubt had been thrown over that part of the question, but still the facts were clear. If the road were carried over the embankment in front of the houses of the lessees, the metropolis would have to pay for it; but if the road were not carried over it, the lessees would pay for the embankment. That was £90,000 saved; and if Lord Carrington's house were not taken, another £10,000 would be saved. Then came the question of compensation to the Crown lessees. The right hon. Member for Stroud had put that at from £45,000 to £90,000, but no man was a good judge in his own case; and, taking the lowest of these two sums, that would make £145,000 which would have to be paid for the luxury of carrying the road along the embankment to Westminster Bridge. If the embankment was upon a level, it might relieve the traffic; but, owing to the want of provision which marred all metropolitan improvements, a railway had been allowed to take such a level that that relief could not be afforded. Therefore the traffic would have to climb a hill to get to Westminster Bridge. The hon. and gallant Member for Marlow had, with great felicity, compared it with Ludgate Hill. [Colonel KNOX: I did not.] He regretted that his senses had deceived him; but the fact remained that there would be a hill, and they had it in evidence that heavy traffic would not mount a hill if it could be avoided. The heavy traffic would make the small detour by Parliament Street. Then, as to omnibuses, they went where they could pick up fares, and those fares they picked up where people lived. Nobody would live upon the embankment, and therefore the omnibuses would not go there. Then there were the private broughams and Hansom cabs. He hoped to hear no more about a conflict between aristocratic convenience and popular rights, for there could not be a more aristocratic measure than to make a road solely for broughams
and Hansom cabs. But the point was not whether broughams and Hansom cabs should have a short cut, but whether it was worth while to spend £100,000 for the luxury. The House had been led upon a false scent-the red-herring had been dragged across their path-and they had been drawn away from the financial considerations, which would not have been the case if they had had to find the money. If the outlay was to come from the Exchequer, the scheme would have gone the way of the British Museum job, the South Kensington job, and other brick-and-mortar jobs which had come forth so plentifully from the same source. But the funds were to be provided from a tax which was almost a solitary instance of a tax upon an article of first necessity. Persons living fifteen or sixteen miles from the river, who had no interest in the embankment, were to be taxed to pay for that prodigal, extravagant, job. He could not help thinking that the real object of the scheme was not before the House, and the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works had given them a hint of the ulterior design to which this was the introduction. They were, it appeared, to have a terrace carried along the river front of that House to Chelsea, in order to make a grand boulevard for the ornamentation of the City. He repeated, that if he had unlimited means, nothing would give him more pleasure than to expend those means in ornamenting London; but he feared that in those matters they were getting into the hands of the "men of taste," who were the most incorrigible depredators upon the public purse that ever cursed an economical House of Commons. They seemed to consider that the House of Commons possessed Fortunatus' purse, and that if a thing had been done at Dresden or Paris, therefore it should be done in London. He sincerly wished that in any future scheme of reform means could be found for rating "men of taste," and that they could be provided with a single pocket which could be laid under contribution to provide funds for the tremendous extravagances which they urged upon the country. But, at least, working men who lived fifteen miles from the river, who cared nothing for the ornamentation of the City, ought not to have the burden imposed upon them. It might suit hon. Gentlemen opposite, having a Duke in full cry, to chase him merrily, and to ignore the simple question of pay
ment. He only hoped hon. Members, when next they met their constituents, would explain their conduct with regard to the coal duty. He repeated that the mere demands of the traffic were not sufficient to justify the expenditure to which they were invited, and the grander scheme for the ornamentation of the City was too extravagant to be entertained. Therefore, upon those grounds, putting aside all questions of private rights, he thought the Committee ought not to proceed with the plan of the right hon. Gentleman.
MR. DENMAN said, that he had not stated that the Committee were not governed by the consideration of the traffic. He believed that they were governed by public considerations, and the traffic was one of those considerations. All he had said was, that from the evidence he himself had come to the conclusion that the four were right and the seven were wrong.
SIR JOHN SHELLEY said, as so much had been made of Sir Richard Mayne's evidence, and the Committee had been taunted with not having cross-examined him, he begged to say he could not admit that gentleman's authority as decisive. Any one who travelled through London could judge of the traffic as well as the Chief Commissioner of Police. He would answer Sir Richard Mayne by Sir Richard Mayne. Here was Šir Richard Mayne's evidence before the Royal Commission. He was asked by Sir Joshua Jebb whether, putting aside the question of public or private interests, he would advise getting on to the embankment near Westminster Bridge, or getting on to it near Whitehall Place; and his answer was-" I think it would be very important that there should be an approach to it at Westminster Bridge, but I think (alluding to Mr. Pennethorne's plan) the other would, perhaps, be as good in effecting the whole object.' [An hon. MEMBER: Read the next question.] He would do so. Mr. Hunt asked Sir Richard Mayne-" You mean in addition?" and his answer was—
MR. CRAWFORD said, the hon. and learned Member behind him (Mr Denman) seemed to think that the members of the Committee had been unconsciously led to a certain conclusion out of deference to certain influences. As a member of the Committee, he could say for himself, and he believed he spoke the sentiments of those with whom he voted, that on arriving at a conclusion he was governed by no other consideration than the traffic. The objections to bringing a large amount of traffic suddenly upon Westminster Bridge had been already stated, he believed there would be a great and increasing traffic upon what would be the great highway between the eastern and the south-western portions of the metropolis. There was also the inconvenience of bringing that traffic upon the point where it would cross the stream of traffic passing over Westminster Bridge. He thought the Committee were justified in their conclusion, notwithstanding the evidence of Sir Richard Mayne. When Sir Richard Mayne was before them, the Committee were not aware that they could cross-examine him upon points connected with the alternative scheme. The hon. Member for Marlow (Colonel Knox) had referred to the block of traffic at the bottom of Ludgate Hill, where the traffic along Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill was struck by the traffic along Farringdon Street and Bridge Street; and it was because the Committee believed that there would be a worse block at the foot of Westminster Bridge, that they came to the conclusion at which they arrived. He repeated that the question of traffic was the sole consideration that had guided the Committee, and it was not fair for hon. Members to impute that they were governed by other motives; and if such an imputation should be again made," subject to the limitations herein after he begged to say that the hon. Gentleman contained," a public roadway should be making it was stating what was not the made upon the embankment and viaduct 100 feet wide up to the eastern boundary
Yes; both are of the greatest importance. The remainder of the same answer was this-"If persons were required to go the whole line from Bridge Street to Blackfriars, very few indeed would use it.” How those last words were to be explained he did not know.
Clause agreed to; as was also Clause 7.
MR. LOCKE said, he wished to move the omission, in line 33, of the words "subject to the limitations hereinafter contained." The first part of the clause provided for the making of an embankment and viaduct on the left bank of the Thames, and described the parishes through which the works would pass. The second part of the clause-in which it was he desired to make his Amendment-provided that,
Lord Robert Cecil