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Authority of the
Board of Trade, to
5. The Board of Trade were originally authorised (c) to take certain steps to compel railway companies to comply legal proceedings. with the provisions contained in their respective acts of Par
liament; but a more extensive measure being declared to be expedient, that enactment was repealed, and the following authorities substituted, by stat. 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85.
Whenever it appears to the Board of Trade that any of the provisions of the acts of Parliament for regulating any railway, or the provisions of that act, or of any general act relating to railways, have not been complied with by any railway company, or any of its officers, or that any railway company has acted or is acting in a manner unauthorised by the provisions of the acts of Parliament relating to such railways, or in excess of the powers given, and objects defined in such acts, and it also appears to the Board that it would be for the public advantage, that the company shall be restrained from so acting, the Board shall certify the same to the Attorney-General for England or Ireland, or to the Lord Advocate for Scotland; and thereupon the Attorney-General or Lord Advocate shall, in case such default shall consist of non-compliance with the pro
be immediately, or, if travelling, at
5. Any person found in the com-
Note.-Persons wilfully obstruct. ing the company's officers, in cases where personal safety is concerned, are liable, under the 3 & 4 Vict. c. 97, s. 16, to be apprehended and fined 57., with two months' imprisonment in default of payment.
6. Any passenger cutting the linings, removing or defacing the num ber-plates, breaking the windows, or otherwise wilfully damaging or injuring any of the company's carriages, shall forfeit and pay a sum not ex. ceeding 57., in addition to the amount of damage done.
(c) By 3 & 4 Vict. c. 97, s. 11, post, Appendix, 17.
visions of any of the acts of Parliament before mentioned, proceed by information, or by action, bill, plaint, suit at law or in equity, or other legal proceeding, as the case may require, to recover penalties or forfeitures, or otherwise to enforce the due performance of the said provisions by such means as any person aggrieved by such non-compliance, or otherwise authorised to sue for such penalties, might employ; and in case the default shall consist in the commission of some act unauthorised by law, then the proceeding shall be by suit in equity, or such other proceeding as the nature of the case may require, to obtain an injunction or order (which the judge in equity or other judge is authorised and required to grant, if he shall be of opinion that the acts of company are not authorised by law) to restrain the company from acting in such illegal manner, or to give such other relief as the nature of the case may require (c). But it is provided, first, that no certificate shall be given until twenty-one days after the Board has given notice to the company of their intention to give such certificate; secondly, that no legal proceedings shall be commenced, under the above-mentioned authority, for any offence, except upon such certificate as aforesaid, and within one year after such offence has been committed (d).
With respect to companies which may become bankrupt, under the late statute, 7 & 8 Vict. c. 111 (e), it is provided, that, previous to the passing of the last examination in the Court of Bankruptcy, the Court may make an inquiry into the cause of the failure of the company, and transmit a copy of the balance-sheet to the Board of Trade, and certify the cause of the failure of the company, and any special circum
(e) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 17, post, Appendix, 34.
(d) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 18, post, Appendix, 35.
(e) As to how far railway companies come within the operation of this statute, see post, Appendix, 74, n. (a).
Authority of the Board of Trade to require certain returns to be made.
stances relating to the arrangement of the affairs of the company (e); and the Board of Trade may, on the receipt of the certificate, recommend her Majesty to revoke and make void all the powers, privileges, and advantages granted to the company, by any charter, or letters-patent, or act of Parliament (ƒ). The Board of Trade are also authorised to cause all the papers relating to such failure, and to the formation and management of the company, and to the conduct of any of the Directors or other officers, to be laid before the Attorney-General, who may direct whether any, and what, proceedings shall be taken against the parties (g).
6. The Board of Trade may direct every railway company to deliver returns (h) (according to the form provided by the Board) of the aggregate traffic in passengers, according to the several classes; and of the aggregate traffic in cattle and goods respectively, on the railway; also of all accidents which shall have occurred thereon, attended with personal injury; and also a table of all tolls, rates, and charges, from time to time, levied on each class passengers, and on cattle and goods conveyed by the railway (i); and it is provided that such returns shall be required, in like manner, and at the same time, from all the said companies, unless the Board shall specially exempt any of them, and enter the grounds of the exemption in the minutes of their proceedings(k); and every officer of any company, who wilfully makes
(e) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 111, s. 25, post, Appendix, 82.
(f) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 111, s. 26, post, Appendix, 83.
(g) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 111, s. 27, post, Appendix, 83.
(h) The returns made under this and the following enactments are stated in the yearly reports made by the Board of Trade.
(i) If such returns are not delivered within thirty days after they are required, the company are liable to pay to her Majesty 201. for every day during which they wilfully neglect to deliver the same. (3 & 4 Vict. c. 97, s. 3, post, Appendix, 15).
(k) 3 & 4 Vict. c. 97, s. 3, post, Appendix, 15.
Authority of the Board of Trade to regulate the speed of mail trains.
Authority of the Board of Trade to appoint auditors and umpires.
with any of the required conditions, (except as to the amount of fare), upon such terms as shall appear more beneficial and convenient for the passengers (r).
8. The obligations imposed on railway companies, to transmit her Majesty's mails, are considered elsewhere (s). An early statute required them to convey the mails by trains propelled at the maximum speed of their first-class trains (t), but, by a subsequent statute, the Postmaster-General is authorised to require that the mails shall be forwarded, by certain railways, at any rate of speed which the InspectorGeneral of Railways shall certify to be safe, not exceeding twenty-seven miles in the hour, including stoppages (u).
9. The Board of Trade are authorised, if they think fit, to appoint an umpire, to determine certain matters referred to arbitration, under the provisions of the Consolidation Acts. This power applies to all cases where a railway company one of the parties interested in the application; and the Board may be called upon to exercise their powers, if the arbitrators neglect or refuse to appoint an umpire. See the Companies' Clauses Consolidation Act, 8 Vict. c. 16, s. 131, Appendix, post, 109; the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 8 Vict. c. 18, s. 28, Appendix, post, 124; the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act, 8 Vict. c. 20, s. 129, Appendix, post, 191.
And by the Joint-stock Companies Registration Act, 7 & 8 Vict. c. 110, s. 38, (Appendix, post, 55), the Board of Trade are required in certain cases, on the application of a shareholder, to appoint an auditor to examine the accounts
(r) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 8, post,
(s) See, on this subject, post.
(u) 7 & 8 Vict. c. 85, s. 11, post, Appendix, 31.