Page images

wish; and if they desired that the Bill should be referred to a Select Committee, the Government would offer no objection. MR. HENNESSY said, he would withdraw his Motion.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Main Question put, and agreed to.
Bill read 2°, and committed to a Select



Order for Third Reading read.
SIR GEORGE GREY moved that the

Bill be read a third time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third


MR. BARROW said, he objected to the principle of the Bill. IIe should have been more satisfied with the Bill if it had been made permissive. He objected to it, because it violated the principic that representation and taxation ought to go together, and put the taxation of the country too much under the control of the magistrates. One of the clauses provided that & magistrate whose act as a member of the board was appealed against, should not form one of the tribunal appealed to, but that would be very little protection to the ratepayers. He would move as Amendment that the Bill be read a third time that day three months.


Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."

The Bill was based very much on the Welsh highways system. The Home Secretary had stated, that the Welsh highways cost, on an average, only £6 per mile; but he found, from a letter which he had himself received from the clerk of the Llansawel district, that in the mileage of those highways in some instances the mileage of bridle roads and footpaths was included. On the face of a Return which he himself had moved for, it appeared that in the Vaynor district, out of 64 miles, 3 miles conpaired. In the Pontypridd district, out of sisted of highways neither used nor re


tracks occasionally repaired. Looking at 181 miles, 70 miles consisted of mountain these facts, he was inclined to consider £6 per mile a high average, and he thought that the statistics of the Home Secretary could not be relied on. He objected to the esization, and to which the ratepayers were tablishment of a system tending to centrallished in Wales, and were now about to be opposed. Highway boards had been estabestablished in England. A central Board would soon be asked for to rule unruly boards and to secure uniformity of highway that the only proposition involving a liberal It was worthy of remark, concession to the ratepayers had come from the other side of the House-the proposithe right of interposing a veto between the tion for giving to a majority of the vestries provisional and final order of the magistrates. That proposition had been rejected by the Liberal Home Secretary of that which called itself a Liberal Government, though many of those who sat near him had long since ceased to put any faith in that designation. He rejoiced that the Bill had to go before another assembly, where the wishes of the ratepayers might, perhaps, receive more attention than they had received from the Home Secretary in that House.

MR. FREELAND feared that it was too late to do more than enter his emphatic and deliberate protest against the passing of this wretched Highways Bill. By delegating to an irresponsible body the option of imposing a new system involving local taxation on their respective counties without being bound to consult the ratepayers, he thought that the Government had struck a blow at a principle that every Liberal ought to hold sacred, the principle that taxation and representa tion should go together. The Committee had been chosen exclusively from among those who approved of the principle of the measure, though it was difficult to say what that principle was; yet when this happy and united family got into a committee room upstairs they divided, as he found from a Return which he held in his hand, no less than ten times on the clauses.

MR. H. A. BRUCE said, that from ten years' experience of the working of the South Wales Act he was enabled to say that the system had worked well, and had given general satisfaction. Many of the mountain tracks referred to by the hon. Gentleman had been improved, and generally the roads were put in a better coudition than they were under the old system.

SIR BALDWIN LEIGHTON observed, that the power proposed to be given to the magistrates was not unprecedented, for at present the justices had to decide upon the erection of lunatic asylums. If

the new powers were given to the magistrates, he did not believe that the rate payers' interests would at all suffer; for, if the rates were heavier-which he did not expect there would be the compensation that the roads would be better looked after.

SIR GEORGE GREY said, he hoped the hon. Gentleman would defer to the very large majorities which had already affirmed the Bill, and that the House would not be put to the trouble of dividing. They had heard how beneficially a similar measure had operated in Wales, and he must repeat his belief, that so far from the system it proposed being expensive, it would, while improving the roads, also

turn out to be an economical one.

MR. THOMPSON said, that although that Bill had been very handsomely abused in that House, the number of petitions that had been presented against it were few, and indicated a great falling-off as compared with the number presented in 1860 and 1861 against a similar measure. As to the supposed addition which the measure would entail to the taxation of the country, he had taken the opinion of some of the best surveyors in his neighbourhood, and one of them said that he would keep the roads in his district in repair for £100 a year less than they now cost. Other gentlemen having practical knowledge bore their testimony with equal emphasis in favour of the theory that the division of the country into districts each sufficient to occupy the whole time of an experienced person would really be an economical proceeding. He must also deny that the Bill would sever the connection between taxation and representation. It only applied to the highways of the country that principle of union and co-operation which had produced most of the great improvements of the age.

that the measure would prove agreeable to the ratepayers. Parishes might certainly have neglected their duties in regard to the repair of highways, but there were ample means under the existing law of compelling the surveyors to discharge their duties. No reasons had been adduced to justify so extensive an alteration of the existing machinery for the maintenance of highways as was proposed by the present Bill. If the House were about to legislate for the convenience of the higher classes, they might depend upon it they would purchase good roads at a severe cost. It was unnecessary to cast that element of discontent upon the country. Hon. Members who cited their own experience, and their own cases of grievance, had neglected the means which the law afforded them of procuring the object they sought. If individuals felt aggrieved, individuals had a most ample and ready remedy. Hon. Members who complained of the badness of their roads should have indicted them. The passage of the Bill would be a proof of want of courage in the class which complained; and he was confident that the fact would add much to the discontent which the Bill was calculated to produce. The people of England did not like to be governed by a class which had not the courage to assert their own just rights. He trusted that in another place, where the members were exclusively of the class for whose benefit the measure was especially intended, they would take due care that they did not purchase somewhat improved roads at the expense of the feelings of their poorer neighbours. By casting on them a sudden expenditure which was not allowed for in the agreements under which they held their farms and land, the Bill would inflict class taxation in its most aggravated form.

MR. NEWDEGATE said, in the constituency which he represented there was but one feeling in regard to the subject, and that was that the proposed intervention of justices in the highway boards was but a means of superseding the legitimately expressed voice of the ratepayers. He regretted to hear hon. Gentlemen representing a large town argue in favour of that invasion of the corporate privileges of the country parishes. The House, it appeared, was about to pass a Bill which was calculated to create the greatest discontent throughout the whole of the counties in England. Let them not flatter themselves Sir Baldwin Leighton

MR. HARDY thought it only fair that he should bear some of the brunt of adverse comment which had been directed against that measure. So far from the Bill deserving the strong language which had been used against it, he believed that it would not only improve, but cheapen the roads. Good roads were in themselves cheap; for they tended to save horses and carts to a degree of which many persons seemed to have no conception. As to putting a new tax on the tenant, there was not the least ground for the assertion.

MR. NEWDEGATE: The hon. Member is misrepresenting me. I said by creating

a sudden change the agreements under which the tenants hold their land, and the calculations on which those agreements are founded, will be defeated.

MR. HARDY said, the sudden change could only amount to three tenpenny rates, and to that amount the tenants were liable at present. If a parish had neglected its roads the rates might at first be high; but he did not think that would be an evil. A fallacy seemed to have pervaded the arguments against the Bill. The roads were not made for the parishes through which they passed, but for the public at large. At present, there was no audit of the surveyors' accounts; but under the Bill there would be an audit, and an efficient one. He did not altogether approve of the Bill, for he would have made it compulsory. He believed the magistrates would only put it in operation where it was required; and both the ratepayers and the public would derive great benefit from it.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:-Ayes 152; Noes 31: Majority 121.

Main Question put, and agreed to. Bill read 3o, and passed.


Clause (Rules for Harbours under local Acts to continue in force) brought up, and read 1o.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Clause be now read a second time."

SIR HUGH CAIRNS said, it was impossible to begin to discuss this Bill at midnight.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned." Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put, and agreed to. Clause read 2o, and added.

Another Clause added.

Further Consideration, as amended, deferred till Thursday.



Order for Committee read.

SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, he would move that the House go into Committee on the Bill.

MR. BRAMSTON requested that the Bill might be postponed for a fortnight, in order that the parties interested might examine the map or plan at the Admiralty. Committee deferred till Monday, 16th June.



[BILL NO. 134.] COMMITTEE. Order for Committee read. Bill considered in Committee. Clauses agreed to.

SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, that the number of bullets fired into the Volunteer butts was so large that the practice prevailed among boys and others to disturb the soil, in order to get at the bullets. Much injury to the butts was caused by these trespassers; and as the criminal law did not reach the offence, he wished to propose an additional clause, imposing, on summary conviction, a penalty not exceed ing £5 for the offence. Clause agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported; to be considered To


House adjourned at half after Twelve o'clock.

HOUSE OF LORDS, Tuesday, June 3, 1862. MINUTES.]-PUBLIC BILLS. — 1a Highways; Education of Pauper Children.

3 Peace Preservation (Ireland); Local Government Supplemental.

Royal Assent.-Customs and Inland Revenue; Bills of Exchange (Ireland) Act (1861) Amendment; Limerick Markets; North Devon Railway and Dock; Rathmines and Rathgar Improvement; Queenstown Improvement; Bristol and Exeter and Chard and Taunton Railways; East London Water; Berwick-upon-Tweed Harbour; South Molton Corporation; Barnsley Local Board of Health; Leeds New Gas; Brean Down Harbour, &c.; Bristol Water; Falmouth Water; Tendring Hundred Railway; Bollington (Prestbury) Improvement and Lighting; Trammere Improvement; Dublin and Meath Railway; Dundee and Perth and Aberdeen Railway Junction and Dundee and Newtyle Railway; Uxbridge and Rickmansworth Railway; Leadburn, Linton, and Dolphinton Railway; London and South-western Railway (Additional Powers); Dundee Water; Kent Water; Frosterley and Stanhope Railway; Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway and Dock; Edgware, Ilighgate, and London Railway; North British Railway and Carlisle and

Silloth Bay Railway and Dock Companies; the old law, as well as provisions for the North British Railway and Port Carlisle Dock suppression of the practice of illicit sale of and Railway Companies; North British RailThe subject was one way (Monktonball and Ormiston, and Dalkeith intoxicating liquors. Branches); Dublin (Borough) Fire Brigade, on which legislation was urgently needed, &c.; Leeds Water; Edinburgh Roads and and he trusted, that notwithstanding some Streets; Halifax Corporation; Stockton and opposition had been manifested, the meaDarlington Railway (Towlaw and Crook); Deaf and Dumb Poor Asylum; Dollow and Kilmore sure would be allowed to proceed.

Commons Inclosure.


LORD BROUGHAM said, he regretted the absence of the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as he wished to put a question to him in reference to an opinion which, he said the other evening, had been given by the law officers of the Crown, to the effect that the Slave Trade Abolition Act did not make it a felony to fit out a foreign vessel in a British port for the slave trade. If that were really the state of the law, not a day ought to be lost in passing some measure to put a stop to that abominable traffic in our ports. Recently a vessel had been fitted out at Liverpool for the slave trade, and had been subsequently captured with 640 slaves on board. He wished to know whether the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, or of other legal authorities to which the noble Lord referred, was given before or after the case of the Nightingale ?

EARL GRANVILLE suggested that it would be better for the noble and learned Lord to give notice of his Question for a future day, when the Government would supply him with all the information in their power on the subject.

[blocks in formation]

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into a Committee on the said Bill.

THE EARL OF AIRLIE said, he thought it inconvenient and unbusiness-like to discuss the principle of a Bill and then to go forthwith into a consideration of its clauses upon the same evening. The measure involved a principle of some novelty as regarded Scotland. It gave very arbitrary powers to magistrates to relax the rules of evidence, imposed on the police the duty of reporting against the keepers of public-houses, and afforded the keepers of those houses very scanty opportunity of rebutting the charges that might be made against them. Mr. Munroe, the town clerk of Glasgow, and Mr. Smart, the superintendent of police in that city, had furnished him with evidence tending to show that the very stringent provisions included in the Bill were not necessary. He did not desire to obstruct the measure; but he believed that if a little further time were given for its consideration before proceeding with the discussion of its clauses, it might be passed this Session in a much more perfect shape. He begged, therefore, to move that the House resolve itself into Committee on the Bill on Friday, the 13th of June.

Amendment moved, to leave out "now," and insert " on the 13th instant."

THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH hoped the noble Earl would not divide the House against going into Committee that night. Their Lordships generally were, he believed, as ready to enter into the discussion of the provisions of the Bill now as they would be a fortnight hence. The measure was the same in principle as Home Drummond's Act, and it merely sought to amend the defects which had crept into the details of the existing law.

THE DUKE OF ARGYLL also expressed a hope that the Amendment would not be pressed. The Bill had been before Parliament and the country for a very long time, and it introduced no new principle. For his own part, he had had ample time to consider all the details of the measure.


THE EARL OF MINTO regretted that | Calthorpe, L. this Bill, which was to remedy the evils created by the restrictive measures which had been for years in operation in Scotland, did not carry out all the recommendations of the Royal Commission. particularly referred to that recommendation of the Royal Commissioners to enable certain houses to remain open after eleven o'clock at night. What was called "the bond fide travellers" clause had been a fruitful cause of evil, and had led to many infractions of the law. The evidence before the Commissioners also proved that the number of unlicensed houses had increased after the passing of the ForbesMackenzie Act. There was a good deal that was new in the Bill, and that required careful consideration; and therefore he hoped bis noble Friend would succeed in his Motion for the postponement of the Committee.

[blocks in formation]

On Question, Whether the said Clause shall stand part of the Bill? their Lordships divided:-Contents 39; Not-Contents 17 Majority 22.


Westbury, L. (L. Chan- Haddington, E.
Home, E. [Teller.]
Morton, E.
Buckingham and Chan- Portarlington, E.
dos, D.
Powis, E.
Newcastle, D.
Shaftesbury, E.
Richmond, D.

Normanby, M.

Amherst, E.

Belmore, E.
Cardigan, E.

Doncaster, E. (D. of
Buccleuch and Queens-

Durham, Bp.
Rochester, Bp.

Abinger, L.
Blantyre, L.

Churston, L.
Digby, L.
Egerton, L.
Foley, L.
Lilford, L.
Polwarth, L.
Rossie, L. (L. Kin-
Rayleigh, L.
naird.) [Teller.]

Silchester, L. (E. Long-

Stewart of Garlies, L.
(E. Galloway.)
Strathspey, L. (E. Sea-
Sundridge, L. (D. Ar-

Somerset, D.

Airlie, E. [Teller.]
Camperdown, E. [Tel-
De Grey, E.
Grey, E.
Minto, E.

Saint Germans, E.

Tredegar, L.
Talbot de Malahide, L.
Wynford, L.


Boyle, L. (E. Cork and
Castlemaine, L.
Crewe, L.

Granard, L. (E. Gra-
Overstone, L.

Somerhill, L. (M. Clan-

Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Wodehouse, L.

Dungannon, V.
Lifford, V.

Amendment negatived.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 15 to 21 agreed to.

themselves to be Travellers liable in a Clause 22, (Persons falsely representing Penalty).

De Vesci, V.

LORD WODEHOUSE said, that the law in England proceeded on a sound Hutchinson, V. (E. Do- principle. It endeavoured to take care noughmore.) Melville, V.

that public-houses, where spirits, wine, and beer were sold, should not become disorderly houses, but it did not attempt to regulate the morals of the population.

THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH said, that the clause would be a protection to

A question arising as to what constituted a bona fide traveller,

LORD OVERSTONE thought that all the difficulty arose from the attempt to make people moral by Act of Parliament. He conceived that it would be better to substitute reason and conscience for the stringent provisions of the Bill.

THE DUKE OF ARGYLL understood the noble Lord to argue that the Legislature should in no manner take measures for limiting the sale of spirits with the view of ameliorating the habits of the people. That was not, however, the principle hitherto acted on by the Parliament of this country, which had imposed restrictions on the sale of excisable liquors, partly for the protection of the revenue, and partly for the sake of the morals of the people.

VISCOUNT MELVILLE objected that this was a more restrictive principle than any that had yet been introduced in legislation upon this subject, and moved that the clause should be struck out.

« PreviousContinue »