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which the option of revision or purchase becomes available (x).

No notice of revision or purchase can be given under the above-mentioned powers, until an act of Parliament has been obtained for authorising the said guarantee or the levy of the purchase-money, and for determining the manner in which the option shall be exercised; and three months' notice of the intention to apply for such act of Parliament must be given to the company affected thereby (y).

(x) Id., s. 5, pɔst, App. 29. (y) Id., s. 4, post, App. 29. In the Document already referred to, ante, 401, note (d), the following remarks are made upon the above statute :

"The first material attempt on the part of the legislature to place the public in a more advantageous position with regard to railways was not a very successful one. The 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, provides, that, after a lapse of twenty-one years, when the dividends shall equal or exceed 107. per cent., the Lords of the Treasury, on giving three months' notice, may revise the scale of tolls, fares, and charges. The hope of revision held out by this clause, was, however, quite illusory, for no precautions had been taken to settle the principle on which dividends should be calculated. The capital on which dividends were declared, exceeded, in many cases by large sums, the actual outlay; and there existed no efficient system of accountability by which Parliament could obtain anything like an accurate knowledge of the net profits of railway companies. By the Companies' Clauses Consolidation Act of 8 Vict., certain rules were laid down with respect to the augmentation of capital by the creation of new shares, but

your Committee are given to understand that this act does not prevent companies from allocating shares among the proprietors at par when actually at a premium, in order that they may pocket the premiums.

"It is established by the most satisfactory evidence, that, in the case of many companies, large additions have been made to the nominal capitals, beyond what has been required by the actual outlay, through the creation of shares, not at the current market price, but at par. To take one of the most common operations of the successful companies: if, for instance, shares being at cent. per cent. premium, a million were required for an undertaking, and to raise that million, shares for a million were created, in order to enable the proprietors to divide among themselves another million in the shape of premiums, it is clear that the nominal capital exceeds by 500,000l. that of which the actual outlay required the creation; and, consequently, that a dividend is made on a sum exceeding by so much that outlay. In this way the object of Parliament, in subjecting companies to a revision of fares when the dividends should equal or exceed 10. per cent., could always be de.

Powers enabling

the Lords of the Treasury to purchase Railways, &c.

Powers to lay down branch railways.

VII. For the purpose of enabling branch railways to be made, in certain cases, the Railways Clauses Consolidation Act enacts, that "nothing in that act or the special act shall prevent the owners or occupiers of lands from laying down any collateral branches of railway, for the purpose of bringing carriages upon the railway, but subject to the pro

feated. Mr. Hudson, a member of your Committee, specified several instances, in companies with which he was connected, where large additions were made to the nominal capitals by these and other means. For instance, he states, that, by an arrangement between the Great Northern and the Great North of England Railways, it was stipulated that the latter should receive 101. per cent. on every 50%. share till 1851, when they had a claim to be paid off in 47. per cent. stock at 2501. a share; thus creating a new nominal capital of 2501. for every 501. He states also, that, to meet a purchase by the Newcastle and Darlington Company, new 251. shares were issued to the proprietors at par, when they were at a premium of 201. It is obvious that the money required could have been obtained by a much smaller issue of shares, had the 201. premiums, as well as the 257. shares, been applied to the purposes of the company, and not divided as a bonus among the proprietors.

"But by another section of this act, (the 2nd), the Lords of the Treasury are empowered, after the expiration of twenty-five years, to purchase the railways, whatever the rate of divisible profits may be, upon giving three calendar months' notice in writing of their intention, on payment of a sum equal to twenty-five years' purchase

of their profits, estimated on the average of the three preceding years. This power to purchase on such extravagant terms, and under such limitations, held out small hopes of relief; so that, upon the whole, the position of the public with regard to railways was not thereby materially improved.

"Whilst your Committee thus express their regret that the public interests were so little consulted in the arrangements with railways for so long a period, they have seen with satisfaction the commencement of a

better system. In consequence of sessional orders of the House, both in this and the previous session, clauses have been introduced into all acts relative to railways, either for the construction of new lines or the extension of old lines by branches, reserving the power, whenever it should be deemed necessary, to revise and regulate the scales of fares and charges; and as nearly all the great companies have either obtained or applied for acts for the construction of branch lines, and the extension of old lines, they have thereby enabled Parliament to place them under such control or superversion as it may be deemed expedient to adopt; and thus the hope may at length be entertainedthat means for securing the public against oppressive and extravagant charges will yet be adopted."

Branch Railways.

visions of the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 55 (z); and the company are Powers to lay down required, at the expense of such owners, &c., to make openings in the rails, in places where the communication can be made with safety to the public, and without injury or inconvenience; and the company may not take any toll for the passing of passengers, &c. along any branch; but the branch may not run parallel to the railway, and openings may not be made in certain places; and persons using the branch are subject to the company's bye-laws, and are required to lay down the most approved off-set plates and switches (a).

The powers which may be exercised by the Commissioners of Railways in regulating branch railways have been already considered (b).

mit telegraphs to be constructed.

VIII. Every railway company is required to allow the obligation to perCommissioners of Railways to establish and lay down upon their lands a line of electrical telegraph for her Majesty's service, and to give every reasonable facility for laying down and using the same on her Majesty's service, subject to such reasonable remuneration to be paid to the company as may be agreed upon, or, in case of disagreement, as may be settled by arbitration. And it is provided, that, subject to a prior right of use for the purposes of her Majesty, the telegraph may be used by the company, for the purposes of the railway, upon terms to be agreed upon, or, in case of disagreement, as may be settled by arbitration (c). If a line of electrical telegraph shall have been established by the company, or by any other persons, otherwise than exclusively for her Majesty's service, or exclusively for the purposes of the railway, or jointly for both, the use of such telegraph for the purpose of receiving and sending messages

(z) See these provisions, post, App., 20.

(a) 8 Vict. c. 20, s. 76, post, App.,


(b) Ante, 90.

(c) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 13, post, App., 33; 9 & 10 Vict. c. 105, post, App.

Obligation to permit Telegraphs

shall, subject to the prior right of use thereof for the serto be constructed. vice of her Majesty, and for the purposes of the company,

and subject also to such equal charges, and to such reasonable regulations as may be made by the company, be open for the sending and receiving of messages by all persons alike, without favour or preference (d).

Obligation to pay duties, and tithe commutation rentcharges.

IX. The duties payable in respect of railway passengers are levied under stat. 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 120, which enacts, That the company of proprietors of every railway in Great Britain, along which any passengers shall be conveyed for hire, in or upon carriages drawn or impelled by the power of steam or otherwise, shall pay, for and in respect of all such passengers, at and after the rate of one half-penny per mile for every four passengers so conveyed (e). But this tax is not payable in respect of passengers conveyed in the third-class trains, travelling under the conditions imposed by stat. 7 & 8 Vict. (f). And every company must keep a book open for the inspection of any authorised officer of stamp duties, containing an account of the passengers conveyed daily for hire along the railway, and, within five days next after the first Monday in every month, a copy of such account must be delivered to the Commissioners of Stamps, with an affidavit or affirmation, to be taken before a justice of the peace, of the secretary, chief clerk, or accountant of the

company, verifying such account; and at the time of delivering this account, the stamp duties chargeable in respect of the passengers conveyed, according to such account, must be paid (g). Every company must also give a bond, with sufficient sureties, to be renewed as often as it shall

(d) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 14, post, App., 33.

(e) 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 120, s. 4, and Sched. (A.), post, App., 1.

(f) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 9, post, App., 31.

(g) 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 120, s. 50, post, App., 1.

become forfeited, or as the parties thereto shall die or become bankrupt or insolvent, or reside in parts beyond the seas, or whenever the Commissioners of Taxes shall require it to be renewed, for the due performance of all matters required to be done by the above act; and, on default of such bond being given or renewed, 100l. for every day of such default is forfeited (h). And it is provided, that the Commissioners of the Treasury may compound with the proprietors of any railway for the above-mentioned duties, during any period not exceeding seven years, and such compensation may be renewed from time to time (i).

With respect to rent-charges, the stat. 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, provides, that, if a rent-charge, or part of a rent-charge, apportioned under the Tithe Commutation Act upon lands taken or purchased by a railway company, or upon any part thereof, becomes in arrear, the person entitled to the rent-charge may distrain to recover such arrears upon the effects of the company, whether on the land charged with such distress or not (k). The company are also required to pay land-tax and poor-rate in respect of lands, whilst the railway is in the course of construction (1).

X. Every railway company must make such returns to the Commissioners of Railways as they may direct of the aggregate traffic in passengers, in cattle, and goods; also of all accidents attended with personal injury; and also a table of all tolls on each class passengers, and on cattle and goods conveyed on the railway; and if such returns are not delivered within thirty days after they are required, a penalty of 201. a day during such neglect is incurred (m); and

(h) 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 120, s. 51, post, App., 2.

(i) Id., s. 52, post, App., 2. (k) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 22, post, App., 36.

(1) 8 Vict. c. 18, s. 133, post, App.,


(m) 3 & 4 Vict. c. 97, s. 3, post, App., 15; 9 & 10 Vict. c. 105, s. 2, post, App.; and see further on this subject, ante, 98.

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