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West Riding Magistracy

Volume 217: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1873

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he is aware that in a district of the West Riding, consisting of the important and populous townships of Pudsey, Idle, Calverley, and Farsley, with a population of 29,214, an area of 8,447 acres, and a rateable value of £81,153, there is only one magistrate, a clergyman, who usually resides, not in the district, but in the township of Leeds?

in reply, said, the facts stated in the Question of the hon. Member were substantially correct; but he was informed that there were sittings twice a-week at Bradford, distant about four miles, with good railway communication. There had been no local expression of a desire for more magistrates and no complaint of inconvenience from the existing state of things. If there were any such desire, it should be conveyed to the Lord Lieutenant or the Lord Chancellor; but, considering the population of the neighbourhood, perhaps they could not do better than combine to appoint a stipendiary magistrate.

asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that no railway passed through any one of the parishes named?

said, he was not; he knew only what he had been told in the letter sent him by the clerk of the peace.

Railways—Railway Passengers' Communication—Questions

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Upon what grounds the Board of Trade have further extended for one month the period of use of the rope system upon the Railways of the United Kingdom; and, if this extension is not intended to be final, what course the Board or the Government will pursue to ensure a compliance with the Act of 1868 as to a proper means of communication between passengers and guards, which it was the intention of Parliament should be provided for the safety of travellers?

in reply, said, he had extended for a month the period of use of the present rope system, in order to give time for the expression of opinion by railway companies upon a very different rope system in use in the United States, in which the rope is conveyed through the carriages inside under the roof. On the 1st of August he should withdraw absolutely the sanction of the Board of Trade to the ordinary rope system, and would leave, as he was bound to do, the companies to propose other means of communication, instead of it. For the present he should be ready to sanction the American rope system.

asked the right hon Gentleman, Whether his attention has been again drawn to the failure of the cord system of communication between passengers and guards on Railways; whether he has, in accordance with his statement on the 13th June, 1872, withdrawn the provisional approval given by the Board of Trade to that system; and, whether there is any hope that the electric communication will soon be established on all Railways?

in reply, said, the electric system of communication had succeeded upon some of the lines on which it had been tried, and it was equally true that it was attended with difficulty in its application on lines where the trains were frequently separated. He could not say how far the withdrawal of the old rope system would bring about a larger adoption of the electric system.