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Smithfield Market Removal Bill

Volume 117: debated on Thursday 19 June 1851

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Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

rose to object to the new schedule of tolls which he found the Government proposed to introduce into the Bill. The Select Committee to which the Bill had been referred, had approved of the schedule which had been originally inserted, and it was only an hour previously that he had made the discovery that the Government was about to propose another schedule in Committee of the House, by which some of the tolls would be increased 100 per cent.

said, the Government had no objection to the original schedule of tolls inserted in the Bill, if the City preferred it; but the reasons in favour of the schedule about to be proposed would be stated at the proper time in Committee.

said, it was a question which concerned not the City or the Corporation of London alone, but the public at large; and as the question was one which required careful investigation, he, on the part of the public at large, recommended the Government to leave it to the Select Committee. He asked the right hon. Baronet to allow the Bill to be referred back to the Select Committee.

said, that there was no intention on the part of the Government to press their schedule of tolls if was objected to. It would be for the Committee to decide upon the question when it came before it. He must observe, however, that the tolls were more moderate than those proposed by the City; but there would be no objection on the part of Government to have them revised by the Committee.

wished to know whether he was to understand that the schedule was withdrawn? ["No, no!"] As to the tolls proposed by the City, it should be remembered that they were framed with the view of defraying the expense of removing a neighbourhood of several hundred houses constituting one of the greatest nuisances in Middlesex. In a short time the tolls would have been reduced, and until then the City surrendered the whole of its income. The tolls proposed to be established under the Bill would be permanent. The question of tolls ought to be referred to the Select Committee.

said, that the time to oppose the schedule would be when the point came before the House in Committee. It would be quite out of place to discuss its merits upon the question that the Speaker leave the chair. He thought there were no grounds shown for referring the question back to the Select Committee at that time, especially as a Committee of the House was the proper tribunal for deciding on a question of tolls.

said, he should then move that the House resolve itself into Committee that day six months. He was surprised that the Government should exhibit such an anxious desire to press forward a measure which had been approved in the Committee only by the casting vote of the Chairman. It might, indeed, be said that the majority of independent Members on the Committee was against the Bill, for a Member of the Government was on the Committee, and it was understood he had but one duty to perform there, namely, to vote in support of the measure under all circumstances. Any unprejudiced Gentleman, who would take the trouble to read the evidence taken before the Select Committee would admit that what was proved there was scarcely sufficient to justify the shutting-up of a single butcher's shop, much less so serious an interference with the rights and privileges of the city of London, which they had enjoyed for centuries. He thought that the preamble of the Bill had not been proved. When the measure was originally referred by the House to a Select Committee, he believed that the House was under the impression that the Corporation would have an opportunity of showing, before the Committee, whether their proposed alterations and improve- ments in the market would or would not remove the objections raised against it in its present form. That opportunity, however, had been refused to the Corporation; and he, therefore, hoped that the Government would not press the present Bill, but would allow the Corporation to prove, as they could if they were allowed, that all the objections to the present market could be removed, and that all the space that was wanted could he given. There was nothing so difficult as to change markets. They might do away with Smithfield market; but they would have other markets springing up that would be still more objectionable. He, and those who, with him, opposed the present Bill, did not object to other markets; on the contrary, he had himself voted in the Committee for the enlargement of the Islington market, a proposition which was negatived only by the vote of the Chairman. Some objections had been made to a petition, signed by 80,000 persons, against the removal of Smithfield market; but there was one petition, which he himself knew to be genuine, which bore the signatures of 7,500 electors of the city of London; and surely it deserved the most serious consideration. He trusted that the House would admit that he was asking only what was reasonable in requesting that the Corporation should be allowed an opportunity of showing that they could remove all the objections to the present market. Almost every grazier and salesman approved of the present site, and the only complaint urged was on the score of want of room, and that ground of complaint would be removed by the plan proposed by the Corporation. The Bill before the House provided that the market should be removed to a distance of five miles from its present site, and that no other market should be established within a distance of seven miles from St. Paul's. Such an enactment would very materially increase the price of meat, so that there the question concerned the entire public. But, again, the public felt dissatisfied that the site for the new market had not as yet been pointed out. Why should not the Government frankly declare at once where the site was to be? Then the Commismissioners who were to have the carrying out of the provisions of the Bill were not named. Why should they not be named at once? No doubt they were Gentlemen of great respectability whom the Government had determined upon appointing; but he wanted to know who they were. He should again press upon the House the consideration that the Bill was not required. Let the House pass any Resolution it might please for the regulation of cattle driven through the streets of London, for that was the chief subject of complaint. Let them resolve that cattle should not be allowed to be driven through the streets at certain hours, and all the other objections could readily he obviated.

Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, "this House will, upon this day six months, resolve itself into the said Committee," instead thereof.

took that opportunity, as he wanted to leave the House, of stating that the coming forward of the Government with a proposition of additional rates, appeared to be an attempt to take by surprise the whole community. He thought the new schedule ought not to be pressed until it had been sent back to the Select Committee. It appeared that the Bill before the House had been assented to only by the casting vote of the Chairman of the Committee; and therefore, under all the circumstances, he thought it would be the best plan for his hon. Friend to withdraw his Motion, and for the Government to submit the new alterations to the Select Committee. As to the question of site, he thought the Government ought to state whether they had as yet fixed upon any place as the site for the new market, and, if they had, to declare where it was; for he did not like to see Government going on mysteriously: where there was mystery there was always a suspicion of something wrong.

was sure his hon. Friend could not have been in the House when the objection to the new schedule was first raised. The Government had no interest in pressing it; but the Committee of the whole House was the proper and legitimate tribunal for settling the question of the tolls. If the Corporation could then show any valid objection to the schedule, the items could be separately discussed. As to the charge made by his hon. Friend, of the Government acting mysteriously, there seemed to be some sort of suspicion during the discussion upon the second reading, that the Government had already agreed upon the site of the new market. He (Sir G. Grey) had then declared that there was no foundation for such a supposition. He stated that no approximation even had been made by the Government in regard to it, and that there could not be any attempt made to fix upon a site until the House should have decided between the plans proposed by the Corporation and the Government. He now begged to repeat that statement; and he was totally at a loss to think why there should be such a suspicion entertained by any one as that the Government had determined upon a site which they wished to keep secret. The hon. Baronet (Sir J. Duke) could divide the House on his Amendment if he pleased; but the question had already been fully discussed, and a large majority of the House had decided in favour of the present Bill, and against that which involved the plan suggested by the City. The Bill had since been considered in a Select Committee, and approved of. It was not correct to say that the approval of the measure was decided in the Committee by the casting vote of the Chairman, for the Chairman, on that occasion, voted only as a member of the Committee, and not in virtue of his office. The Committee had made some valuable alterations in the Bill, by one of which they had tied up the hands of the Government for a limited time, in order to see whether the City would adopt the option given to them of administering the provisions of the Bill, and would take the new market under its own control, as he hoped they would do.

complained that a new schedule of tolls had been adopted by the Government without the cognisance of the Select Committee, which, nevertheless, was to be abandoned if the City opposed it. The question of tolls was the main question, because money was proposed to be raised on their mortgage to build a new market. This was a question, therefore, not so much for the City as for the public, especially for those who were engaged in the supply of fresh meat to the market, and it could be looked on in no other light than as one of the utmost importance. The House, it was true, had already affirmed the principle of the Bill; but the principle of the Bill had nothing to do with these tolls. They were now coming to the details; and they already experienced the difficulties attending the contemplated removal. The right hon. Baronet acknowledged that he had not yet selected a site, but surely the public had a right to complain that the Government had not selected a site for the proposed new market. There was not a farmer in the country, nor a butcher in the metropolis, who was not interested in the site. Indeed, it was a question in which every one who consumed flesh meat was in some degree interested. But the House ought not to go to work in the dark. The House ought to know the names of the Commissioners. His belief was, after careful consideration, and having no private interests to consult, that the removal of the market would not remedy the evils of which they complained in connexion with Smithfield, and that any alteration would rather aggravate those evils than otherwise. But, independent of that belief, and submitting to the decision of the House as to the removal, he did think that the proposal of the hon. Baronet (Sir J. Duke) to refer back these tolls to the Select Committee was entitled to serious attention. It might be that these tolls were lower than the tolls proposed in the City Bill, but this had nothing to do with the question; the House knew nothing about them; and they ought not, therefore, at present to be pressed. He thought that the Government ought not to have the large discretionary powers which the Bill proposed to intrust to them; and if his hon. Friend pressed his Motion to a division, he should certainly divide with him.

thought it would be more convenient to discuss the details of the Bill upon its successive clauses in Committee than upon the question that the Speaker leave the chair. He was unwilling, therefore, to prolong the discussion further than to say, in answer to some questions that had been put, that it was not intended that the Commissioners should be paid. With respect to the erection of a new market, and the sufficiency of the tolls, he begged to say that those questions had been carefully considered by the Government. Estimates had been made of the probable produce of the tolls according to the schedule of the Bill as now printed; and the Government had reason to believe that the revenue, from those very moderate tolls, would be quite sufficient for covering, not only the interest of the loan, but also of defraying the current expenses of the market, and that no supplementary grant would be necessary. He begged to say, also, that the tolls in the new schedule were almost identical with the schedule in the original Bill. The only alteration consisted in a mere simplification of the schedule annexed to the Bill, and in converting the duties on lairs and slaughter-houses into a rate instead of tolls, to make them correspond with the other duties.

thought that both Bills ought to have been sent to the Select Committee, or that no Committee should have been appointed at all. He was formerly in favour of the removal of Smithfield market; and if the question now was, whether they should retain Smithfield market in its present condition or remove it, he would still be in favour of its removal, but he thought that the proposed improvements of the market totally altered the case. He confessed that he had come out of the Select Committee with the impression that the Bill of the Government, though it dealt very summarily with Smithfield, would not get rid of the nuisances connected with it.

hoped, that after the decisions both of that House and the Select Committee in favour of the principle of the Bill, all parties would agree to allow them to get into Committee to consider its details. He hoped the opponents of the Bill would bear in mind that it contained a clause giving full power to the Corporation of London to erect a new market if they pleased, so that the same argument could not now be used as was used on a former occasion—that the Bill would interfere with the charter of an old corporation. He maintained that the graziers were almost to a man in favour of the Bill.

complained that all the objections which had characterised the former Bill were to be found in the present measure. The House ought to know where the site of the new market was to be fixed, and who were to be the Commissioners. As to the Commission, it would have been better to have vested its powers in the Secretary of State at once, for the Commissioners could do nothing without his concurrence. He wished to hear also how the expenses of the market was to be paid, and what that expense would be. If the market was to be on the north side of London, then he had to complain, on behalf of those he represented, in the first place, of the distance which all those who had business in the market would have to traverse; and, secondly, that all the cattle coming from the southern counties would be driven right through the town. On the part of the Surrey side of the metropolis he protested against this Bill, and his own opinion was that the pre- sent site of the market was far better adapted to the general convenience of the metropolis than one situated four or five miles distant.

said, that when the Bill was formerly before the House he had abstained from voting upon it; but, considering how materially and vitally it affected the agriculturists of the southern counties, in which he was interested, he had now determined to oppose it. It was understood to be the intention of the Government to erect a new market at some considerable distance on the north side of London; and, if so, this would necessarily compel the farmers and graziers of the southern counties to drive their sheep and cattle many more miles than they did at present, and in this way deteriorate the value of the animals. Were the interests of the farmers of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, and Dorsetshire, not to be considered in this question?

said, that as Chairman of the Committee of Selection, he was of course deeply interested in any question relating to the formation of the Committee on the Bill. That Committee had been appointed to secure a complete inquiry into the merits of the case, and into existing rights and interests. The Committee of Selection had taken two Members who had each expressed themselves strongly on the opposite side of the question; judging that those two hon. Gentlemen would fairly represent both sides. The other five were impartial, and the Committee of Selection deemed themselves fortunate in securing the valuable services of his hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Cardwell); and neither that hon. Gentleman nor the other five Members were interested in taking anything from the Corporation. It was most unfair not to support the Committee, but it would be worse to reverse their decision. He felt warranted, as Chairman of the Committee of Selection, in asking the House to allow the Bill to go into Committee. It would be most unfair to stop the measure at this stage.

said, he had not opposed the Bill at any former stage, because he had thought that both Bills ought to be before the House; but now as he could no longer promote that object, he should vote against this Bill, as being very inconvenient to the county he represented.

said, that this was not the same Bill which had been dis- cussed before. The Corporation of London was not open to the charge of delaying the public business by the opposition they gave to such a measure, and by their laying before the House their objections to it. Some hon. Members thought they did their duty to the public by reading in the newspapers everything that was written about what-were called the nuisances of Smithfield market, and then coining down and voting for doing away with it. The House, by the Bill then before it, was declaring the Corporation of the City of London incapable of managing its own local affairs; it was declaring the citizens incapable of judging of what belonged to their own internal interests. It was a course which must finally recoil against the Government itself. It was part of the system of centralisation which the Government had been long carrying on. They had been centralising the management of the poor-laws and of the police, and last year they had carried the principle into their Act for removing the interment of the dead from the metropolis. These acts were interferences with the local government of the metropolis. He had complained of it in the debates upon the Intramural Interment Bill last Session, and now they were bringing in a Bill to regulate the supply of water, in which the same objectionable principle was again embodied. The Government had recently become publishers of books, and now they were taking upon themselves the onus of supplying meat to the metropolis. But he had still further to complain of the manner in which this Bill would interfere with one particular parish, the parish of St. Sepulchre, which would incur an addition of 600l. to the poor-rates annually, in consequence of the removal of Smithfield market. As to the objection to the driving of cattle through the streets, that nuisance would be increased in a threefold degree by the removal of the market to the north side of the metropolis. There was no complaint from any quarter as to the arrival of cattle at Smithfield. The only complaint was as to cattle leaving it. ["No, no!"] He begged the hon. Gentleman's pardon, but he had read the evidence, and he stated the fact as it appeared there. And to cure that objection, which would equally arise under the circumstances of the market being situated in another quarter, they were about to perpetrate an act of gross injustice against the Corporation of London. He would give his most strenuous opposition to the Bill.

said, he was one of the four Members of the Select Committee who voted in favour of the Government Bill, but he had done so quite disinterestedly.

, as one of the Members for the City, begged to say that he highly approved of the course which his Colleague (Sir J. Duke) had adopted on the present occasion, because, in his opinion, the Bill was a most improper and unjustifiable interference with the rights of the Corporation.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 64; Noes 26: Majority 38.

List of the AYES.

Adair, R. A. S.Hall, Sir B.
Baldock, E. H.Hanmer, Sir J.
Barrington, Visct.Hatchell, rt. hon. J.
Beckett, W.Heywood, J.
Bernal, R.Heyworth, L.
Birch, Sir T. B.Jermyn, Earl
Bouverie, hon. E. P.Langston, J. H.
Brotherton, J.Lewis, G. C.
Brown, W.Lockhart, A. E.
Buck, L. W.Mackinnon, W. A.
Buller, Sir J. Y.Matheson, Col.
Campbell, Sir A. I.Miles, W.
Cardwell, E.Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Childers, J. W.Mulgrave, Earl of
Christopher, R. A.Patten, J. W.
Clifford, H. M.Phillips, Sir G. R.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L.Pilkington, J.
Cowper, hon. W. F.Prime, R.
Craig, Sir W. G.Ricardo, O.
Dalrymple, J.Salwey, Col.
Davie, Sir H. R. F.Slaney, R. A.
Dawes, E.Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Duncan, G.Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.
Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.Tancred, H. W.
Ebrington, Visct.Thicknesse, R. A.
Ellice, E.Thompson, Col.
Evans, W.Verney, Sir H.
Farrer, J.Villiers, Visct.
Ferguson, Sir R. A.Wawn, J. T.
Forster, M.Wood, Sir W. P.
Freestun, Col.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.


Grey, R. W.Hayter, W. G.
Grosvenor, Lord R.Hill, Lord M.

List of the NOES.

Baird, J.Lygon, hon. Gen.
Burroughes, H. N.Mackie, J.
Cubitt, W.Macnaghten, Sir E.
Davies, D. A. S.M'Gregor, J.
Duncan, Visct.Masterman, J.
Dundas, G.Mullings, J. R.
Frewen, C. H.Reid, Col.
Heneage, G. H. W.Rice, E. R.
Henley, J. W.Sotheron, T. H. S.
Humphery, Ald.Stafford, A.
Lacy, H. C.Thornhill, G.

Waddington, H. S.Williams, W.
Wall, C. B.Willoughby, Sir H.


Duke, Sir J.Sidney, Ald.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

House in Committee; Mr. Bernal in the Chair.

Clause 1, relating to the Appointment of Commissioners.

said, that if the Government would not let them know the proposed site of the market, they might at least let them know the names of the proposed Commissioners.

said, that they were not yet selected by the Government, so that it would be impossible to name them. They were not yet at liberty to select them, nor would they be until the House should have passed the Bill. And even after the Bill should have been passed, he hoped the Commissioners never would be named, but that the City would take the management of the new market into its own hands, according to the provisions of the Bill.

hoped that the City never would be prevailed upon to take the management of the new market into its hands. It was always the custom, when powers were given to trustees or Commissioners by an Act of Parliament, to set forth the names of such trustees or Commissioners in the Act, and he therefore requested the Government to name them.

was exceedingly glad to hear that the City of London would never interfere in the matter, for he thought it would be unsafe to allow them to have anything to do with it.

said, that if that were the hon. Gentleman's opinion, he had better move the omission of the words of the Bill which gave the City the option of undertaking the management of the new market. The question now was the erection of a new market, and it would be for those who regarded this as an important question to suggest to the Government, and urge upon the Committee, the propriety of being fair and open with the large masses of people who were interested in this matter. And it would be more fair and open if the right hon. Gentleman would consent to name the Commissioners; but if the right hon. Gentleman still refused, and said that the nomination was in his unlimited discretion, they at least would have done their duty.

said, that there was a strong reason why the Government should not be called upon to name the Commissioners. The Select Committee was desirous to carry into effect the recommendation of the Board of Trade, namely, to preserve the privileges of the City, and they had therefore given to the Corporation the option of carrying into effect the provisions of the Bill. The period during which they were to have that option was six months. It had been printed three months, but it should be six. If, at the expiration of six months, the Corporation refused to act, then the Secretary of State might appoint the Commissioners; or, in case the Corporation signified their desire to act, and afterwards made default in doing so, then, at the expiration of eighteen months, and within three years after the passing of the Act, the Commissioners might be appointed—so that the power was to last for three years before the appointment might actually take place. Under such circumstances it would not be reasonable to expect the Government to name the Commissioners. He would take that opportunity of stating that three calendar months had been the term at first agreed upon by the Committee, but it was subsequently extended to six. He, therefore, moved that the word "three" be struck out, and the word "six" substituted for it, in the first clause.

Amendment agreed to.

said, that the Corporation were well placed for managing a market in the centre of London; but if the market was to be carried several miles out of the limits of the city, what inducement was there to the Corporation to undertake the management? Hon. Members should not conceal from themselves that the Government evidently desired to get all the power they possibly could into their own hands, and that the principle of centralisation was at the bottom of all their proceedings. The Corporation had had the management of the market for centuries; but the Secretary of State now sought to abolish that power. To deal with the matter openly and fairly, the Government ought to strike out the word "Commissioners" from the Bill, and substitute for it "Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department;" for the Commissioners could do nothing without him. The Secretary of State, it was obvious, was intended to be the controlling power.

thought it was only reason- able that the names of the Commissioners should be given. It might be better to postpone the clause until the Government had had time to name the Commissioners.

said, it was too late to move the postponement of the clause, inasmuch as the Committee had commenced amending it.

said, that the whole of this discussion had arisen out of the recommendation of the Committee upstairs, which was, to give to the City the power, if they chose to take it, of conducting the metropolitan market. The right hon. the Home Secretary had written to the City authorities on the subject, and they had refused to accept the management. Six months, however, remained to the Corporation to determine whether they would take the offer or not. He hoped they would, and that by that time they would have got rid of their anger. He hoped, also, that his hon. Friends near him would see that there was time enough in six months to name the Commissioners.

said, that as he was favourable to the removal of Smithfield market, he had voted for going into Committee; but he would not say that it was fair that the intended site should be concealed. The views taken by the hon. Baronet and the advocates of the City side of the question, appeared to him perfectly reasonable. It was said that there was still hope that the City would take the management of the market; but in the meantime the Corporation would be placed under menace, because they would not know who the Commissioners were to be, and they had a clear right to say that they would not accept in that capacity persons who were obnoxious to them.

observed that whoever undertook the duties of conducting the market would undertake one of the most profitable speculations in the world. The Government did not desire to take the power upon themselves, but wished the City to accept it, for the interests alike of the inhabitants of London and the graziers—of those who produced the food, and those who consumed it.

said, the Bill before the Committee was not the same as that which passed the Select Committee; there were already two alterations in the clause under discussion; and there were others proposed in other clauses, besides the new schedule.

said, there was another reason why they should know who were to be the Commissioners. The Commissioners were the persons who were to choose the site, subject to the Government. Now, in all the suburban districts were gentlemen's seats, and parks, and villas. Their property would be deteriorated by the neighbourhood of a market, and they would not have the opportunity of coming to the House to state their objections and the value of their property.

was understood to say that the Commissioners would not be invested with the power to take land.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the clause as amended stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 54; Noes 17: Majority 37.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clause 3, giving power to establish a new market.

thought that the reasons for naming the site of the proposed market wore stronger even than those for naming the Commissioners. Three or four places had been suggested, but as none was fixed upon, there was nothing tangible to discuss. No limitation was put on the discretion of the Commissioners, and they might possibly choose a site equally densely crowded as the present site, to which so much objection was raised. He believed it was impossible to remove the market, in fact, from Smithfied; for if Smithfield was nominally abolished, other markets in the same vicinity would spring up. It was important to have a central market, and he denied that any market could be so central as the present. At a morning sitting, with a thin attendance, and so many Government Members present, it was useless to divide upon the clause. He would only point out the poor and clumsy contrivance for concealing the difficulties of the question, by concealing the names of the Commissioners, and the name of the site.

thought, that if the locality of the site were mentioned, it would lead to evils which it was very proper to avoid. Speculation would immediately ensue. It would be difficult to obtain the land upon reasonable terms, and all sorts of obstacles would be interposed which the city of London could bring to bear. He trusted the hon. Members—some of them belonging to the respectable corporation of London—would refrain from imitating the example of Irish Gentlemen, and desist from that species of opposition with which they now seemed disposed to treat this measure.

could only repeat the answer of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, that as the Government had not come to any conclusion on the choice of the site, they could not communicate what their decision might be. As to the person who had been employed to examine, and who had given evidence before the Committee with reference to the eligibility of different sites, he (Mr. Lewis) could assure the House he was in no way employed by the Government. Indeed, consistently with the form of the Bill, the Government could not decide upon any site, for the Bill gave the City authorities the power of choosing the site, if within six months they should elect to undertake the management and formation of the market; they would, in that case, themselves select the site they considered most convenient, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.

said, if they knew who the Commissioners were to be, it might obviate the necessity of the site being named; for if the Commissioners were parties in whose judgment they could repose confidence, they might leave the choice of the site to their own discretion.

, in reply to the remark of the hon. Member (Mr. Mackinnon), held that the opponents of this Bill belonging to the corporation of the city of London, had done nothing in connexion with the subject to compromise their character. They had stood up and endeavoured to protect the property of the City, and oppose a bad measure, and this they felt they were bound in duty to do.

objected to the unlimited powers of the Commissioners. A site ought to be fixed on, and an estimate of the cost should be laid before them, in order that the Committee might decide on the merits of the subject.

said, the progress of the Bill was evidenced by the fact that the Government was in doubt, and had not made up its mind on another clause, which was also to be left open to contingency, But with regard to the contingency of the corporation of London taking the management of the market, the question had been debated two successive days, upon the letter of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State, and the corporation had decided by a majority of about nine to one not to take the management, inasmuch as the market must be out of their jurisdiction, and its management attended with neither honour nor profit. That appeared to him the common-sense view, and the view which, no doubt, would continue to actuate the corporation. He was quite sure a Bill with such clauses as these would never become the law of the land; and jeopardising, as it did, an immense amount of property, and creating immense inconvenience, it ought to be taken at a later period of the day, and in a fuller House; and he should, therefore, move that the Chairman do now report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

observed, that whenever they sat again they would be in the same state, and there would be equal ground for the same Motion.

begged the hon. Gentleman to withdraw his Motion, since the morning sitting had been given by the Government for the purpose of discussing the Bill in Committee.

said, whatever the result might be, it would not be the consequence of an expression of public opinion, but of the influence of the Treasury benches. Why was the Secretary of State to be the dictator on a subject like this? Surely the wants and requirements of two millions of inhabitants could be more safely left to the House, as the representatives of the people, or to the people themselves. He would say it was quite unjustifiable by legislation to destroy an ancient market, and not to name the site of the new market, which was to obviate the inconvenience of the present site, As to enhancing the value of property in the neighbourhood, that was one of the great difficulties, and only proved that it was easier to find fault than to devise remedies. He did not contend there on the part of the corporation of London; but having made himself practically acquainted with the Bill, he unhesitatingly asserted that no site was so convenient as the present site, and they were about to legislate more upon the prejudices of bygone matters, than upon facts as they now exist. The hon. Member then withdrew his Motion.

suggested the introduction of the words "or by Parliament," after "Secretary of State"—that the site might be approved by Parliament.

did not see how that consent could be given. It might be inferred, if the House gave powers for the compulsory purchase of land, but it was proposed to obtain the site by agreement.

Clause agreed to, as were Clauses 4 to 9.

Clause 10, which enacts that when the new market is provided, the Commissioners are to report to the Secretary of State, who is to declare by notice in the London Gazette that the new market is opened, and Smithfield closed.

moved the omission of the whole clause, after the word "opened." He said his object was to give the public the advantage of as many markets as they pleased; but not to shut up the ancient market of the City. The corporation did not wish to interfere with the Government, or those persons who wished to establish new markets; but they did wish to retain Smithfield, and he should therefore divide the House upon the clause.

said, the very principle of the Bill was that a new market should be substituted for Smithfield, in a more suitable place, and at a greater distance from the centre of the metropolis. As the Amendment would entirely defeat the purpose of the Bill, he should move that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question.

would, in the event of the Motion of the hon. Member for the City being negatived, move the omission of the words following the word "markets," that is to say, prohibiting the opening of any new cattle market in Westminster, Southwark, or within less than seven miles of St. Paul's Cathedral. He taunted Government with wishing to establish a most arbitrary monopoly, whilst they professed to be a liberal Government, having "no monopoly" inscribed on their banners.

supported the Amendment. Circumstances might arise which might render other markets desirable on the Surrey side of the Thames.

said, the City advocates now declared that they were friendly to the freest competition with regard to new markets; but before the Committee, the City put it forward on every opportunity that the market was established by a charter granted by Edward III., and confirmed by Parliament, which charter gave the Corporation the sole power to hold a market. The Committee desired to reserve to the Corporation all the rights granted to them by their charter, and had therefore given them the opportunity of establishing this new market if they thought proper. They had inserted in this Bill the very words of the original charter of Edward III., and these were the very words which were now proposed to be omitted.

reminded hon. Gentlemen that the Corporation of London had not always courted competition, for in the Islington Cattle Market Act, a clause was introduced giving them compensation if the tolls of Smithfield should fall off.

denied that the clause was introduced at the desire of the Corporation. They did not fear competition. Let other markets be made, but leave them their ancient market to improve, and if not suitable the trade would desert it for one more convenient.

also said, the Corporation did not desire a monopoly, but the Government fearing that the measure would be a failure unless they had such a power, reserved a monopoly in their own hands.

Amendment proposed, "In page 4, line 43, to leave out from the word 'opened' to the words 'Public Markets,' in page 5, line 5."

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 48; Noes 21: Majority 27.

Another Amendment proposed, "In line 5, to leave out from the words 'Public Markets' to the words 'Borough of Southwark,' in line 7."

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 47; Noes 20: Majority 27.

moved the substitution of "three" for "seven" miles; and said the opponents of the Bill were the advocates of unrestricted competition against a Government monopoly.

would not be led into a debate on a principle of politics; but he would just observe, that having made the hon. Gentlemen who opposed the Bill advocates of free trade, and opponents of monopoly, if they went much further they would have the hon. Baronet opposite a strenuous supporter of municipal reform. The provision that no new market should be opened within seven miles was inserted, as he had before said, because it was the provision in the charter of Edward III.; and as he firmly believed the Bill would be carried out by the Corporation, he hoped the House would send the Bill on its progress through Committee without limiting the privileges of the City.

observed that the charter said seven miles from the City, but the Bill provided that the prohibited distance should be seven miles from St. Paul's.

said, that without the words in question, the City would be in a worse position than it was at present; for if the City undertook the management of the new market, they would do so, not in virtue of their charter, but of this Bill, and would then lose the benefit of the provision in their charter unless it was re-enacted in this measure.

remarked that there seemed to be a vast deal of ingenuity exercised to coax the City into taking the management of this market, but the City told them plainly they would have nothing to do with it.

Another Amendment proposed, "In line 8, to leave out the word 'seven,' in order to insert the word 'three,' instead thereof."

said, it had been assumed that his hon. Friend the late Lord Mayor of London was opposed to the formation of a market within seven miles of the city: but his hon. Friend was misunderstood. The best evidence given before the Committee that had sat upon this subject was that of the Brighton butchers, who stated that the whole of the inhabitants were opposed to this Bill; and 150 of the butchers of Bath had petitioned against the removal of Smithfield market. It was perfectly plain his hon. Friend the Member for London had to oppose this Bill under very unfavourable circumstances. The majority of the metropolitan Members were at that moment sitting upon Committees, and it was, therefore, out of their power to tender to him their aid. He (Sir G. Pechell) thought it was high time that Mr. Bernal should report progress, so that the remaining portion of the Bill might be considered at an evening sitting, when the metropolitan Members would have an opportunity of being present.

thought the City of London had not been fairly treated on this question, inasmuch as despite the declarations which he had publicly made in that House to the contrary, it had been represented that the Corporation of London was desirous of preventing the holding of markets within seven miles of the city. He wished the House to consider what injustice this clause would inflict on, for instance, the constituents of his hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth (Mr. W. Williams) who would be compelled to purchase their meat at a market at least seven miles from the city, although there were many vacant spots within three miles of the city, on the Surrey side of the Thames, on which markets might very well be formed. It was plain that, without such a contrivance as this of prohibiting the holding of any cattle market within seven miles of the city, the Government would not be able to succeed in their attempt to take the management of the London cattle market out of the hands of the corporation. He would take that opportunity of assuring the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Cardwell) that he had no desire to defend abuses. If that hon. Gentleman should introduce a hill for the reform of the Corporation of the City of London, he should have his warmest support.

remarked that, if they got rid of Smithfield market, they must get a better; and it was on that ground that they ought to establish one market.

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

The Committee divided:—Ayes 46; Noes 18: Majority 28.

Clause agreed to, as were Clauses 11 to 15.

Clause 16.

observed that, in the event of the City undertaking the management of the market, there ought to he a provision that the tolls should be paid into the treasury of the City of London.

said, there were various modifications that might be made in the Bill if the Government could receive a positive assurance that the City would undertake the management of the market.

said, they could introduce words to the effect suggested by the hon. Baronet in the 38th clause.

Clause agreed to, as were Clauses 17 to 25.

Clause 26, which incorporated the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act into this Act.

said, the accounts ought to be audited, whether the City was to receive the tolls, or the Commissioners.

observed, that if the City provided a new market, and found the money, they would be in precisely the same position with regard to it as they stood in now. They did not propose to send in the accounts to Somerset House to be audited, if, instead of its being public money, it was corporate money.

reiterated his opinion that the public ought to be protected by having the accounts audited; and if it were found that the tolls yielded a surplus, the public ought to have the benefit.

remarked, that the parish of St. Sepulchre would lose 600l. a year in poor-rates if the market were removed, and the vicar would lose 60l. per annum. He thought there ought to be compensation in these cases.

Clause agreed to, as were also the remaining clauses.

It was then agreed that the Schedule should be printed with the Bill, as amended, on the understanding that it might be amended on the bringing up of the Report.

Preamble agreed to.

House resumed; Bill reported as amended.