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Metropolis Gas Companies' Bill

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1876

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( Sir James Hogg, Sir Andrew Lusk, Mr. Goldney.)

Bill 28 Second Reading

Order for Second Reading read.

Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. I do not propose to occupy the attention of the House by entering into any lengthened details. The Bill is substantially the same as that introduced last year and referred to a Select Committee, which was presided over by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster). The provisions of the Bill brought in last year were applied to two Companies—the Commercial and the Ratcliffe—and the main provisions of the present Bill have been agreed to by the Gas Light and Coke Company, the Imperial, and the Independent Company, which have become incorporated into one Company by a scheme of amalgamation, and the clauses suggested by the Select Committee last year and considered by that Committee to be favourable to the consumers, together with the clauses subsequently introduced, providing that issues of fresh capital shall be put up to public auction, have been inserted in a Bill promoted by the amalgamated Company, and approved by the Board of Trade and the Corporation of London and the Metropolitan Board, which Bill has been referred to a Committee. The object of the present Bill is to secure uniformity of legislation, and, as was done last Session, I propose to take the second reading and then to refer the Bill to a Select Committee. I believe the House will consider that uniformity of legislation is desirable, and therefore it is not necessary that I should trouble the House by reading any extracts on the subject. I may, however, mention that the great principles of the Bill are these—that the price charged shall be regulated by the dividend; that the initial price shall be 3s. 9d. per 1,000 cubic feet; that the illuminating power shall be 16 candles; and that the dividend shall decrease or increase at the rate of 5s. for every 1d. of increase or decrease in the price. The Corporation and the Metropolitan Board of Works consider that the adoption of these principles will tend to produce economy. I beg now to move the second reading of the Bill, and I regret that the Rules of the House render it necessary that the Bill should be referred to a Select Committee.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Sir James Hogg.)

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Motion agreed to.

Bill committed to a Select Committee.