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Great Eastern Railway Rill

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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(BY ORDER.)

said he wished to move the Instruction standing on the Paper in his name in regard to this Bill. The words he wished to have omitted dealt with the proposal of the company to acquire certain common lands in the urban district of Tottenham. Some year ago the Tottenham Urban District Council secured the passing of an Act of Parliament which gave them the right to certain common lands to be used as a recreation ground, but the Great Eastern Railway Company now proposed to take away those rights. This was a very serious matter. This company, like other companies, seemed to wish to deal with the public in a very arbitrary manlier. Its Bill was pock-marked with proposals to interfere with public rights over footpaths and common lands. This was the first clause which suggested such an interference, and, unless the hon. Member for Lewisham, who was in charge of the Bill, could give a guarantee that a similar quantity of land in the same neighbourhood would be handed over to the Tottenham Urban District Council to be used as a recreation ground, he should feel bound to press his opposition to a division. The company were acting in an arbitrary and high-handed manner, and, if the proposals contained in the Bill were sanctioned, he submitted that there would be a most unfair interference with public rights.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee, when dealing with Clause 10, page 8, line 3, to leave out from 'In,' to

'thereabouts', in line 15 (inclusive).—( Mr. Tally.)

said the history of the case might be put in a nutshell. The company required, for the widening of its lines, just over an acre of land, which, as the hon. Member had stated, was common land. The company were at present in negotiation with the Tottenham Urban District Council in regard to the terms on which they should have this land, and they were on the eve of a satisfactory settlement. The Tottenham Urban District Council had very properly lodged a petition against the Bill in order that it might have a locus standi when the Bill went before a Committee, where the whole matter could be threshed out. The suggestion that the company should give an equal amount of land was scarcely applicable to this case. Prima facie, of course, it was undesirable that the area of recreation grounds in populous localities should be diminished, but this case stood on a very different footing. The ground proposed to be taken was rough common ground, which, in the ordinary sense, could not be termed a recreation ground; and what he understood would be done was to devote the money which the company proposed to pay for this acre of land to improving and laying out the remainder of the common land. This would be a great benefit to the locality, and he trusted the House would realise, from what he had said, that so far from the company desiring to act in a highhanded manner, they were anxious to do their best in the public interest.

said it was all very well to suggest that the matter could be threshed out upstairs, but he wished to point out that that would involve the Tottenham Urban District Council in considerable expense. This was a matter which could well be settled on the floor of the House. There was no part of London to which working people were flocking in larger numbers. There was also no part of the Metropolis so short of open spaces. Tottenham was almost entirely inhabited by working classes—by unskilled rather than by skilled labourers—and he would remind the House that between 4.45 a.m. and 5.15 a.m. each week-day something like 4,000 of these men travelled from Tottenham into London for their work. It would easily be understood therefore that there was a strong feeling, on this side of the House at any rate, against the action of railway companies in taking away land already allocated for public purposes, and he hoped that the mover of the Instruction would divide upon it unless he got an ample assurance that other land would be given in exchange for it, and that, if possible, the area of this piece of common land should not be reduced.

said the point of difference was this, that it was agreed that if the railway company took this land other land would be substituted for it. That was agreed to by both the railway company and the Tottenham District Council.

said he understood the hon. Gentleman to say that the railway company was to pay money for the land taken to the district council, which money was to be used in improving land at present in their possession.

said that the Report of the Board of Agriculture, to which any Committee to which this Bill would be remitted would attribute the greatest importance, very distinctly stated that in their opinion the ordinary rule which required a railway company to substitute other land would not be so beneficial for the district as would be the payment of a sum of money to the district council to be applied by them in the purchase of additional land for recreation purposes or for the improvement or enlargement of existing recreation grounds in the district. As the Tottenham District Council was an elected body, surely they might be trusted to decide as to how best to meet the re quirements of their own district. He should have thought they were a much better body for that purpose than the railway company, and it would be advisable to leave to them the decision as to what additional land, if any, they were to purchase, or what improvements were to be made on existing recreation grounds.]

said that the land at Totten- ham was of very small value, and a very small amount of money would be given for it; but when the district council came to buy other land they would have to pay a very large sum. It seemed to him that the purchase of the necessary land ought to be imposed on the railway company and not on the council.

said there was another point. The House viewed with great suspicion any attempt to take away open spaces by any company, more especially a railway company. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham spoke of the necessity of taking this land to widen the lines, but Clause 10 showed that the land was required not for that purpose, but for purposes of minor moment. The railway company might take land, therefore, at some other spot, and not necessarily at this particular spot. Unless the hon. Gentleman gave the House some assurance that the same space of land would be given in place of that taken, he would vote for the Instruction.

said there was in London an association known as the "Commons and Footpaths Preservation Society" to which many hon. Members belonged and subscribed, and which performed a- very useful and necessary work in preserving playgrounds and recreation grounds in and around London. The executive of that association had considered this Hill, and had passed a resolution that a clause should be inserted providing that the railway company should secure for the Totten-

AYES.

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.Crean, EugeneGilhooly, James
Allan, William (Gateshead)Crombie, John WilliamGurdon, Sir William Brampton
Allen, C. P. (Glouc., Stroud)Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)Hammond, John
Ashton, Thomas GairDelany, WilliamHardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil
Austin, Sir JohnDilke, Rt. Hon. Sir CharlesHarwood, George
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)Donelan, Captain A.Hayden, John Patrick
Bell, RichardDoogan, P. C.Hayne, Rt-Hon. Charles Seale-
Blake, EdwardDully, William J.Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.
Boland, JohnEdwards, FrankHolland, William Henry
Brand, Hon. Arthur G.Farquharson, Dr. RobertHope, John Deans(Fife, West)
Brunner, Sir John TomlinsonFenwick, CharlesHorniman, Frederick John
Burt, ThomasFfrench, PeterJacoby, James Alfred
Buxton, Sydney CharlesField, WilliamJameson, Major J. Eustace
Caldwell, JamesFlannery, Sir FortescueJones, David Brynmor (Swansea
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)Flavin, Michael JosephJordan, Jeremiah
Carvill, Patrick G. HamiltonFlynn, James ChristopherJoyce, Michael
Clancy, John JosephFoster, Sir Walter (Derby Co)Kearley, Hudson E.
Condon, Thomas JosephFurness, Sir ChristopherKennedy, Patrick James

ham District Council a similar area of land in lieu of that proposed to be taken away. He trusted the hon. Member for Lewisham would give an assurance that not only compensation would be paid to the Tottenham District Council for the land taken, but that an area of land equal to that taken would be given for playgrounds for the children.

said that every airhole stopped up in London was a detriment to the surrounding districts. He had a considerable interest in a district in the neighbourhood of Tottenham, and he hoped the railway company would not be allowed to take this land without substituting a similar area of land for it.

thought the question was not thoroughly understood. The population in this district was increasing enormously, and the railway company were, for the safety of the travelling public, compelled to get land for increasing the size of the lines. The railway company were perfectly prepared to pay to the district council what was right and proper for the land, and the details could be discussed in Committee upstairs. If the time of the House was to be consumed in discussing petty details of private Bills there would be none left for the consideration of national and Imperial affairs.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 110; Noes, 133. (Division List No. 66.)

Kinloch, Sir John George SmythNorton, Capt. Cecil WilliamRoche, John
Lambert, GeorgeO'Brien, Janus F. X. (Cork)Shipman, Dr. John G.
Langley, BattyO'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Layland-Barratt, FrancisO'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)Soares, Ernest J.
Leamy, EdmundO'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)Spencer, Rt Hn C. R(Northants)
Leng, Sir JohnO'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)Strachey, Edward
Levy, MauriceO'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)Sullivan, Donal
Lewis, John HerbertO'Dowd, JohnTennant, Harold John
Lough, ThomasO'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N.
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.O'Malley, WilliamWallace, Robert
M'Hugh, Patrick A.O'Shaughnessy, P. J.Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
M'Kenna, ReginaldO'Shee, James JohnWarner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Markham, Arthur BasilPartington, OswaldWason, E. (Clackmannan)
Mellor, Rt. Hon. John WilliamPaulton, James MellorWhite, Luke (York, E. R.)
Mooney, John J.Pirie, Duncan V.Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)Priestley, ArthurYoung, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Murnughan, GeorgeReddy, M.
Newnes, Sir GeorgeRedmond, William (Clare)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Tully and Mr. Caine.

Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)

NOES.

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. E.Hain, EdwardPilkington, Richard
Aird, Sir JohnHalsey, Thomas FrederickPlatt-Higgins, Frederick
Allsopp, Hon. GeorgeHardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd.Purvis, Robert
Anstruther, H. T.Haslett, Sir James HornerBandies, John S.
Arcbdale, Edward MervynHeath, James (Staffords., N. W.Rasch, Major Frederic Came
Bailey, James (Walworth)Hogg, LindsayReid, James (Greenock)
Bain, Colonel James RobertHope, JF (Sheffield, BrightsideRenshaw, Charles Bine
Balfour Rt Hn Gerald W. (LeedsHorner, Frederick WilliamRentoul, James Alexander
Balfour, Maj K. R (Christch'ch)Houldsworth, Sir Wm. HenryRenwick, George
Bartley, George C. T.Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh.Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Staly bridge
Bathurst, Hon. Allen BenjaminHozier, Hon. James Henry CecilRitchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (BristolJeffreys, Arthur FrederickRopner, Colonel Robert
Bignold, ArthurJohnston, William (Belfast)Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter-
Boulnois, EdmundJohnstone, Heywood (Sussex)Round, James
Brookfield, Colonel MontaguKenyon-Slaney, Col. W (Salop)Royds, Clement Molyneux
Carlile, William WalterKimber, HenryRussell, T. W.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)Kitson, Sir JamesSackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)Laurie, Lieut.-GeneralSamuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)Lawson, John GrantSassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.Lee, Capt. AH,(Hants. Fareh'mSharpe, William Edward T.
Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc.Legge, Col. Hon. HeneageSinclair, Louis (Romford)
Charrington, SpencerLeighton, StanleySkewes-Cox, Thomas
Churchill, Winston SpencerLong, Col. Charles W (EveshamSmith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos H. A. E.Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, SSmith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Coghill, Douglas BarryLonsdale, John BrownleeStanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Cohen, Benjamin LouisLowther, Rt. Hn. W. (Cum. PenStevenson, Francis S.
Col lings, Rt. Hon. JesseLucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)Stroyan, John
Colomb, Sir John C. ReadyLucas, Reginald J.(PortsmouthThomas, David Alfred(Merthyr
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. EllisonThomas, J. A. Glam., Cower
Cripps, Charles AlfredMacdona, John GummingThorburn, Sir Walter
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (BoltonMaconochie, A. W.Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Dickson, Charles ScottM'lver, Sir Lewis (Edirb'gh, WValentia, Viscount
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.Malcolm, IanWalrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Doxford, Sir William TheodoreMaxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E(Wigt'n.Warr, Augustus Frederick
Durning-Lawrence, Sir EdwinMildmay, Francis BinghamWason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Egerton, Hon. A. de TattonMoore, William (Antrim, N.)Welby, Lt.-Col ACE (Taunton)
Fardell, Sir T. GeorgeMorgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd.Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.Willox, Sir John Archibald
Finch, George H.Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Fisher, William HayesMurray, Charles J. (Coventry)Wortley, Rt. Hn. C.B. Stuart-
Fletcher, Sir HenryMurray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Flower, ErnestNicol, Donald Ninian
Garfit, WilliamO'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens

TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Penn and Mr. Banbury.

Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Gordon, Maj Evans-(Tr.H'ml'tsParker, Gilbert
Grant, ComePeel. Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley

The following Instructions also appeared on the Paper:—

(MR. FLAVIN.)—That it be an instruction to the Committee, in Clause 23, line 4. to leave out "twenty or more," and insert "any."

(Mr. KEIR HARDIE.)—That it be an

Instruction to the Committee to insert the following Clause:—

"It shall not be lawful for the Company by any rule, bye-law, or order, to in any way restrain, or punish, or dismiss any person in their service from acting or for having acted as an elected member of any public body, or for acting in the interest of any registered trade union, co-operative society, benefit society, or of any lawful organisation in which such person has an interest, during the hours in which such person is not bound by the terms of his contract of engagement with the Company to devote himself to the Company's service."

(Mr. JOYCE.)—That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert the following Clause:—

"All works and undertakings carried out by the Company under the provisions of this Act shall he subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Fair Wages Resolution of the House of Commons in all respects as if such works and undertakings were a Government contract, and any failure to observe this condition shall subject the Company to a penalty of twenty-live pounds for each day over which the offence lasts, such penalty to be recoverable by the workmen affected or by any registered trades union whom said workmen may authorise to act in their name."

(Mr. J. P. FARRELL.)—That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert the following Clause:—

"Where the Company propose to erect dwellings outside London under the provisions of this Act they shall issue free of cost a pass to enable tenants of such dwellings to travel to and from the station nearest the new dwellings to that nearest their former residence."

The next Inst motion standing on the Paper, in the name of the hon. Member for North Kerry, is not in order. It proposes to give a mandatory direction to the Select Committee to set aside the form of clause which is prescribed by the Standing Order with regard to houses of the working classes. That is altogether an abuse of the use of Instructions. The next throe Instructions, standing in the names of the hon. Members for Merthyr Tydvil, Limerick, and North Longford, are out of order because they seek to take the occasion of a private Bill and the time of private business to discuss general questions which apply equally to all railways.

asked by what means were railway companies to be compelled to give proper housing accommodation.

inquired under what circumstances and conditions would it be in order to introduce the question raised by his Instruction.

It would be in order in a resolution on a Tuesday. It would be in order on a public Bill dealing with the question, but it is not in order upon a private Bill affecting a particular private company.

said that the Instruction was intended to deal with a particular order issued by the Great Eastern Railway Company, and which, so far as he knew, had never been issued by any other company.