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THE USE OF TRACTION ENGINES ON THE HIGHWAY. A deputation, representing the agricultural and mining interf sts, waittdupi n Sir George Grey at the Home Office on Friday, for Ihe purpose of asking him whether it was nc,t practicable to have a ra ent order rescinded which provides that, traction engines should only travel on the high ways at night. Lird Kinnaird, M P., introduced the deputation Lord Kinnaird said that Sir George was aware that a very large and influential meeting was held the day previous of those interested in the use of traction en- gines. He (the speaker) had had the honour of pre- siding over that meeting, and would read the resolu- tions. They set forth that the order which enforced traction engines travelling at night would virtually pro- hibit their being used at all. Sir G. Grey said that, with regard to the Act, it was a recent one, and the 5th clause imposed upon the Secretary of Stats the duty of issuing such an order where it should appear that the passage of these en- gines along the highways was dangerous and incon- venient to the public. Where he had received appli- cations from magistrates or persons competent to form an opinion that these engines were dangerous and in- convenient, he had generally referred the application to the chief constable of the district alluded to, and if his opinion confirmed that of those who forwarded the application, he had felt bound under the clause of that Act to issue the order restricting those engines to travel by night. He had not prohibited the engines travelling, but only restricted their being conveyed from one place to another to certain hours of the night He wrote a letter to a farmer s club in Scotland who had asked him to revokean order which had heenissued respecting Wakefield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. but of course this club had no knowledge of the particular district. In this case he (Sir George Grey had received an application from eight magistrates of the district;, and they represented that the use of locomotives at all hours of the day was in- convement and dangerous. That opinion was con- firmed by the chief constable of the district. A memoria WM presented from the Steam Ploughing Company, asking for a revocation of the order whica he issued, lie sent this to the justices, who, upon fall consideration, adhered to their opinion, and they were supported by several other persons. Under thes i circumstances h« felt that it was impossible to rescind e restriction. The deputation now said that he mIght impose regulations, but he doubted whether the words prohibit or restrict" meant imposing regula- tions. This subject had been agitated in the news- papers, and he had received some letters upon the subject. It had been said that these engines could be made to move without noise or sending forth smoke, but he did not pretend to give an opinion upon this matter. Of course, if they could devise any means by which they could get rid of this inconvenience and danger, the whole difficulty was at an end. An order could be revoked if it could be shown that the grounds on which it was granted no longer existed. He did not think the Parliament would allow the unrestricted use of the highways. He had been asked to prohibit in one case because a farmers wife had met with her death and this had excited great fee ing in the district. The magistrates were very urgent that he should prohibit, but he did not think that it was a reasonable thiug to do, and he gave the order for restriction, and he had not heard of any inconvenience or danger since it had been issued. He thought they should direct their attention to the question whether they could devise any means for prevention. Lord Harris said that this restrictive order was virtually prohibitive. It was almost, if not altogether, impossible to move these engines at night. <> Sir George Grey thought that if they could not re- medy the evil, their application should be made to Parliament and not to him. If he received positive evidence of danger and inconvenience, he did not tbin!' that he could do otherwise than act. Sir J. Hay, presented some memorials, which set forth the arguments that had been used by the depj1* tation. He happened to know that the eight magis' trates who signed the application in the second instance were not the same as those who signed the first. Sir George Grey I agree that it its desirable that not the least restriction should be put upon the use Of these engines which is not absolutely necessary. The question is—What is the least restriction ? Sir J. Hay: We say that they could travel at cer" tain times of the day with proper precautions. I agree I with Lord Kinnaird, who has suggested that when one of these engines was travelling along a highway* m-should be kept one hundred yarls in advance; and if he saw a carriage or horse approaching, that be should signal to the man who had charge of the engine to stop. A penalty should be attached for non-com* pliance with these orders. Sir George Grey A penalty is rather for Parlift* ment. Lord Kinnaird thought what Sir George Grey had said showed the necessity of getting an amendment of the Act. He was of opinion that Sir George Grey, in' stead of applying to the chief constable for confirma' tion, should apply to other of the magistrates. Sir George Grey said that if he received any pro" posed regulations from owners of machinery, he would submit them for the consideration of the magistrates* just as he had the memorial of the farmers' club. Other gentleman having addressed the Home Secre", tary, Sir George Grey remarked that Parliament had as" sumed the danger, and therefore it was for them (the deputation) to show that the danger and inconvenience did not exist. He should be very glad if they could prove it. The best thing they could do would be to obviate the danger. If regulations were sent to hiiO he should forward them to the magistrates of any dis* trict respecting which a restrictive order might be asked. Lord Kinnaird thanked the Home Secretary, and the deputation withdrew. a.