Page images
PDF
EPUB

§ 2.-COURSE OF PROCEEDING UPON RAILWAY BILLS IN

[blocks in formation]

It is not the object of this work to treat of the law and practice of Parliament in proceeding on private bills. Several able publications are already extant upon this subject; and as all railway bills are entrusted to the care of parliamentary agents (a), who are intimately acquainted with the practice of Parliament, it is unnecessary to discuss such matters in detail. But, as the course of procedure observed in passing a railway bill through Parliament, may at this time be a matter of interest to many persons, a short summary

of the proceedings which take place is given in the text; and

(a) Various duties and responsibilities are imposed upon the parliamentary agent who has charge of a Private Bill in the Commons. (See Commons' Standing Ord., Nos. 140. 141, post 52). He is personally responsible for the observance of the rules prescribed by Parliament, and also for the payment of all fees and charges; and, before any party can be heard upon any

petition against a bill, an appearance to act as the agent for the same must be entered in the Private Bill Office, in which appearance must also be specified the name of the solicitor and of the counsel who appear in support of any such petition. See Rules laid do wnby the Speaker, 1827; May on the Law and Usage of Parliament, 397.

Preliminary No.

tices, gc.

the standing orders of both Houses of Parliament, so far as they relate to railway bills, and the formation of the committees to which they are referred, are annexed. The author trusts that this portion of the work may be found useful to landowners and other persons, who are interested in the numerous railway bills now before Parliament;-for their use it was intended; but it does not purport to treat in minute detail of each successive step in parliamentary practice (s).

For reasons which will presently appear, the proceedings in the House of Commons are first considered.

By the privileges of the House of Commons, all bills which involve pecuniary charge upon the Queen's subjects must originate in that House; and railway bills are consesequently passed first in the Commons (t). And it may be here remarked, that, by applying at the “ Private Bill Office," the progress which has been made with any bill may be ascertained (u).

A railway company, having become provisionally registered under the provisions of the statute already mentioned (v), may be supposed to have raised the necessary funds to enable them to proceed with the undertaking,

(6) May on the Law and Usage of Parliament; Frere on the Practice of Committees of the House of Commons; Riddell on Railway Parliament. ary Pract. ; Lumley's Parliamentary Pract.; and Beavan & Walford's Parliamentary Cases, are works which treat on the practice of Parliament; and a very useful summary of the practice before Parliamentary Committees, may be found in Walford on Railways, 2nd ed., Appendix, II. and III.; also in Collier's edition, of the Consolidation Acts, Appendix, 34.

(0) 1 Bl. Comm. 170. See also,

3 Hat. Appendix ; May on the Law
and Usage of Parliament, 322. In
the session 1846, the standing orders
were suspended to enable the House
of Lords to originate Irish Railway
Bills. See Frere's Practice, 91.

(u) The Private Bill Register, which
is kept there, is open to public in.
spection daily, between the hours of
ten and six. See Commons' S. O.,
No. 138, post, 52. As to the service
of notices at the Private Bill Office,
see Id., No. 160, post, 56.

(v) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 110, ante, 2.

.

Preliminary No- and accordingly surveys are made, traffic-tables prepared,

and such other preliminary proceedings taken, as may appear to the company to be necessary to comply with the standing orders in Parliament. We proceed to notice some of the principal preliminary matters required by the standing orders of the House of Commons.

A notice (x) of the intended application to Parliament must be published in three successive weeks, in the months of October and November, or either of them, in the London, Edinburgh, or Dublin Gazette, as the case may be, and in some one county newspaper. (Commons' S. O., No. 19, post, 34).

Duplicate plans and sections (y), with a book of reference (z), are required to be deposited with clerks of the peace in England or Ireland(a), and with the principal sheriff clerk in Scotland (6), on or before the 30th November, (Commons' S. O., No. 27, post, 36), together with a published map, with the line of railway delineated thereon, so as to shew its general course and direction. (Commons' S. 0., No. 54, post, 41). A copy of the plans, sections, and book of reference, and of the published map, must, on or before the 30th November, be deposited in the office of the railway department of the Board of Trade (c). (Commons' S. O., No. 53, Preliminary Nam post, 41). Another copy of the plans, sections, and books of reference must also, on or before the 30th November, be deposited in the Private Bill Office, (Commons' S. O., No. 33, post, 38); and in cases where the work is situate on tidal lands within the ordinary spring-tides, a copy of the plans and sections must be deposited at the Board of Admiralty. (Commons' S. 0., No. 28, post, 37). A copy of so much of the plans and sections as relates to each parish in which the work is intended to be made or enlarged, with a book of reference thereto, must also, on or before the 30th November, be deposited with the parish clerk of each such parish in England, the schoolmaster (or town clerk in royal burghs) in Scotland, and the clerk of the union in Ireland. (Commons' S. 0., No. 32, post, 38).

(2) As to the heading of this notice, see Commons: S. O., No. 20, post, 34. As to its contents, Id., Nos. 20, 26, post, 35.

(y) As to the manner in which the plans and sections are to be made, see the plan annexed, post, Appendix; also, Commons' S. O., Nos. 27, 29, 30, post, 36; Id., Nos. 48, 49,50,51, 52, post, 40. As to the days and hours when a deposit will be deemed invalid, see Commons's. O., No. 42,

No. 27, post, 36.

(a) If the clerk of the peace resides at one place and his public office is at another, the plans should be deposited at the latter place: Walford on Rail. ways, App., ccli.

(6) These officers are required to mark on the plans, &c., the time of the deposit ; to permit all parties who apply to make copies, and to retain one of the copies deposited, sealed up, and produce it in Parliament. Commons' S. O., No. 31, post, 37. See also, 1 Vict. c. 83, post, App., 3.

post, 39.

(z) As to the contents of the Book of Reference, see Commons' S. O.,

On or before the 15th December, application, in writing (d), must be made to the owners, lessees, and occupiers of lands or houses intended to be taken, which application must be served in the manner particularly specified; and separate lists must be made of the names of such owners, lessees, or occupiers, distinguishing which of them have assented, dissented, or are neuter in respect thereto. (Commons' S. O., No. 21, post, 34); and notice, in writing, of an intended bill

, whereby work authorised by any former act is intended to be relinquished, must be given previous to the deposit of the petition for the bill, to the owners and occupiers of the lands in which the relinquished work is situate. (Commons' S.O., No. 41, post, 39).

The foregoing are the preliminary steps which must be taken, before the petition for the bill is presented to Par

(©) Now at the office of the Com. missioners of Railways. See 9 & 10 Vict. c. 103, s. 3, post, App., 224.

(d) See the form of this application, post, 35, Lists of owners, lessees, and

occupiers must be lodged in the Private Bill Office when the petition for the bill is deposited. Commons' S. O., No. 139, post, 52.

lices, de.

Preliminary No- liament; and it is also necessary that an estimate and sub

scription contract be prepared. Upon this subject the standing orders require that an estimate of the expense of the undertaking under each bill shall be made, and a subscription entered into to three-fourths of the amount of such estimate se). (Commons' S. O., No. 34, post, 38). The subscription contract must be entered into subsequent to the last day for receiving petitions for private bills in the previous session (f), and the subscribers must bind themselves, their heirs, executors, and administrators, for the payment of the money so subscribed, to be recoverable by action at law. (Commons' S. O., No. 47, post, 40). Previous to the 15th January, a sum equal to one-tenth part of the amount subscribed must be deposited with the Court of Chancery in England or Ireland, or the Court of Exchequer in Scotland. (Commons' S. 0., No. 46, post, 39). In some cases, as where the work is to be made by means of funds to be raised upon the credit of present surplus revenue, (Commons' S. O., No. 35, post, 38), or out of money to be raised upon the security of rates, under which no private pecuniary profit is to be derived, the subscription contract may be dispensed with under certain prescribed conditions. (Com

mons' S. O., No. 36, post, 38). Proceedings in the On or before the 31st December, the petition for the bill,

and a copy of the bill (g) annexed to the petition, and also

house.

(e) See the form of the subscription contract, post, App., 253.

(f) The last day for receiving petitions for private bills is announced in the early part of every session. The subscription contract must contain the name and description of every subscriber, his signature, and the name of the party witnessing the same, and the date of the same. Com.

mons' S.O., No.37, post, 39. Copies of the subscription contract, with the names of the subscribers, &c., must be printed and delivered at the Vote Office, for the use of members, previous to the deposit of the petition for the bill. Ibid., No. 40, post, 39.

(9) As to the contents of the bill, see post, 103. The standing orders require certain provisions to be in

« EelmineJätka »