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ftgncttlture, &r.


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THE SOUTH WALES RAILWAY. FnlDAY JULY 4TH.—As soon as the Committee RJ assenibted this morning, the room was ordered to 11 cleared, and after the Committee had remained some tim in deliberation, strangers were rc-admiited. Mr. E. Buller, the Chairman, announced that the Coir mittee were now prepared to proceed with the 21st ciausi and requested the promoters of the Bill to inform tll Committee what course they intended to adopt. Mr. Cockburn wished to understand whether it was th 21st or the 20th clause that was to be proceeded with. The Chairman said that it must he the -1st clause, a that contained the line of the railway. The 2Dth ciausi contained the power to make the railway according lo til deposited plans. He wished to know how the promoter of the Bill intended to act after the decision of the Stand ing Orders' Committee, and the non-consent of thi Admiral fy. Mr. Austin said that it was clear they could not proceei with the clause, which had been rejected by the Standing Orders' Committee yesterday. The course which lie in tended to propose to the Committee to adopt, if tbej thought fit, was the chiuse he held in his band, and whicl, he would presently read. He was quite aware that the proposed clause was precisely similar in effect to the 17tL clause of the public Act. Mr. Buller, M,P.-It is the Admiralty clause. Mr. Austin-Yes. That clause provided that it should not be lawful for any company to construct on the shore of the sea, or any estuary or navigable river, wherein the tide flows and reflows, any railway or bridge across any arm of the sea or navigable river, without the consent of the Board of Admiralty. That was to say, it should not be lawful for the company to coustruct any such bridge as had been proposed across the Severn without the permis- sion of her Majesty, assented to by two of the Lords of the Admiralty. The powers of the company to construct the bridge were limited by the operation of the 17th section in the General Act. W herever, therefore, Par- liament granted powers to construct a railway the 17tli section came between to restrict them. The Parliament enabled the Company to execute their works, subject to the supervision of the Admiralty and the Board of Trade. Parliament had, by its own act, incapacitated itself from granting suflicient powers for properly constructing the line for it can only grant powers subjected to the influence ot the 17th section of the Railway Act. It is proposed that tne Bill should not be passed as it now stands. He proposed to insert a clause which would have the effect of preventing the Company from crossing the Severn without the consent of the Admiralty being first obtained. The Learned Counsel then read the clause, which was to the effect that it should not be lawful for the Company to con- struct a bridge over the Severn without the consent of the Admiralty. "ar Cockburn observed that it wasptecisely the same as the lith section of the General Railway Act. Mr. Austin-His Learned Friend was right. He con- tended that the Company should have been able to make te railway just as it had been proposed with the provision e 'ad stated. Ihe effect of the proposed clause was, mutatis mutandis, similar to the proviso of the 17th section of the General Railway Act. The Legislature "ad frequently granted powers of this description, subject LO the veto of the Board of Admiralty, and had passed ieverat Bills containing clauses similar in effect. He would instance, as a precedent, the circumstances attend- ng the case of the Chester and Holyhead Railway. In I, at case there was a question, which of two modes pro- posed for crossing the Menai Straits was the better. Both dans were objected to on the part of the Admiialty, and it yas determined that a Bill should be granted for making a ine the whole way to the opposite shore of Holyhead; HIt it was provided there should be a break, that no Par- lamentary power should be given to pass the Menai Hrails. A supplementary Bill had, however, subse. ["' ntty received the roya) assent, and the break had been 11 1 tilled up. In the nrat instance, the Company had two brokeu lines of railway, which were sanctioned by Par- liament, in the expectation that the Company would at some future period obtain the consent of the Admiralty to the passage of the Menai Straits, and which expectation u was fully realised. It was a similar case with the project now before the Committee, and he admired the justice and propriety of the mode which the Legislature had adopted by this course, by not deferring the execution of works of great public importance for the period of an entire year. There was no doubt of an ulterior arrangement with the Admiralty—at least, the presumption was very strong that the Severn could be crossed. The only reason in Par- liament why, at present, the Severn could not be crossed was, that such a course would militate against the decisions 101 of the Standing Orders' Committee. In addition to the case of the Chester and Holyhead Railway, which he had mentioned, precedents existed in the Southampton and Dorchester, the Syston and Peterborough, and various other lines. It had been admitted that the preamble was true, and it now remained for the Committee to decide 11 whether the preamble of the Bill had been proved. The stale of facts was known to the House at the time the Bill "as referred to it. The Committee had confirmed the truth of the allegations contained in the preamble. It stated that it was intended to make a line of 187 miles in length, with branches to the extent of 211 miles, with an amount of opposition, more nominal than real, as the pro- portion of dissents on the line was only as I to 71 assents. The committee on a former occasion had stated, that they would not pass the preamble, in consequence of the oppo- sition of the Admiralty, as while that opposition was continued, the general 'working of the Bill would be crippled. That being the opinion of the Committee, they reported against the Bill in the House of Commons. The house, however, thought the scheme a desirable one, and referred it back to the Committee to proceed with the clauses of the Bill, in order that it might be reported. I lie allegations in the preamble are already announced to have been proved. The Committee had been called upon to state in what way the clauses could be reported so as to furnish the House, on the report being brought up, with full information as to the entire contents of the Bill. There was no doubt it was quite competent to the Com- mittee to pass the Bill as it now stood, and also to insert clauses in the Bill, for the purpose of reporting the Bill in a more perfect state than at present. The only question remaining was, how could the Committee report the mat- ter appropriately to the House? The Committee could doubtless, if they approved of the proposed clauses, report the Bill with them, and they were perfectly at liberty to consider any new clause that would enable them to arrive at some satisfactory conclusion; and there was no difficulty in the proposed clause that could not easily be surmounted. The Committee having deliberated some time, The Chairman said the Committee was not prepared either to adopt the proposed clause, or to accede to the request to leave the matter in the hands of the Admiralty. The course which was still open to the promoters of the Bill was to obtain the larger portion of their line. The Bill would give them power to make their line from Pem- broke aniil ishguard to the water side of the Severn, by ■ carrying it over the bridge at the Auxt Passage, or by taking it through Hock Crib, or by bringing it round by Gloucester, as it might he afterwards found most expedient. If the promoters of the bill acceded to these terms they were at liberty lo proceed; at the same time the Committee were willing to listen to any statement that might be urged in opposition. Alter some discussion, Mr. Austin said he would propose an alteration in the preamble which would enable the Company to pass the river by the Aust passage, or by the Hock Crib or by an application, in a future session of Parliament, to carry their line into Gloucester or to any place that might here- after appear desirable. General Johnson observed that it would be open to the Company to proceed during a future session. Mr. Austin —Yes, only we wish to carry out our plan if possible during the present session. The preamble might be amended so as to give us power to make a rail- way from Brimspill to Aure. We wish to obtain a communication with the Forest of Dean Railway at the same time that we have a connexion between London and the south of Irelanll. The Chairman said the proposal was consistent with the meaning of the Committee. There was, however, one part of the resolution of the Committee which militated in some measure against the proposal, for by carrying the line up to Aure it would be carrying it out of the sphere of the line laid down. The piint was then discusspd at considerable length, and was eventually decided by the Chairman saying the Committee were of opinion that it would not be consistent with their previous decision to allow the railway to be carried further than Chepstow. The preamble Was then altered, the words" with a branch to join the Forest of Dean Railway," having been struck out. Mr. Cockburn, on behalf of various landowners, ob- jected to the preamble being passed, on the ground that the line uot only occupied the country through which it immediately proceeded, but virtually the eutire of the remaining portion. The promoters of the Bill ought to be satisfied with a line as far as Chepstow, and they ought not to have any other. By their present scheme they were precluded from crossing the Severn, and if some other project should come before Parliament prepared with a Bill to go over the Severn in a manner that should be satisfactory to the Admiralty, they would be told by the South Wales Railway Company that they had no right to Hppear before Parliament, as they the (South Wales Com- pany) were already in possession of the ground. The Committee had giveTT them an inchoate right to prevent other projects from being brought forward in a future session, and on this ground he objected to the passing of the preamble. The room was then ordered to be cleared. On our re- admission, The Chairman said the Committee had agreed that the following amendment should be inserted in the preamble -namely, that the making of a railway from Fishguard and Pembroke to Chepstow, with a branch to Monmouth, would be of great public advantage. The preamble, as amended, was then agreed to and passed. The clauses of the Bill were then proceeded with, and were all acceded to without opposition. The Bill was ordered to be reported. At the close of the proceedings the Chairman asked whether the prOUloter., of the Monmouth and Hereford Railway would be ready to proceed with their project to morrow morning. The consideration of that scheme would involve the same difficulties as had accrued in the South Wales Railway, as to the crossing of the Severn. And he would put to the promoters, whether, at the present advanced period of the session, it was advisable to proceed with the schemer Would it not be better to defer it until the next session 1 Mr. Cripps, who appeared on behalf of the Monmouth and Hereford Company, said the question required some consideration; but, at all events, he should be prepar to state to-morrow morning what course he intend to adopt. le The COillmiltee thfn adjourned till to-morrow. e I- MONMOUTH AND HEREFORD RAILWAY. -» SATURDAY, JULY 5TH.—The Committee re-assemblt e at the usual hour this morning, antI immediately pr ceedetl to the consideration of the above sclietile. 6 I • opened the case for the promoters I o iserving that. l!e proposed to submit to the Committee R S unopposed Bill, and lie hoped there would be no difficult B in the matter. It would be necessary to alter thepreainb e, of the Bill. In consequence of the difficulty attending tl crossing of the Severn, it was intended to abandon tf: part of the railway in that vicinity. Theatterationsreste S? j'.e. ex')t('Rncy. constructing a line of railway! j junction would be formed with the Sout ales Railway, so as more intimately to connect Mon i mouthshire and Herefordshire with that line. Power would then be required to be taken to make a short branc into the Forest of Dean, so as more effectually to open u 1 that rich mineral district; and by continuing the line t the eastward an unbroken line of communication would b established between Hereford, Ross, Monmouth, ant lm'jPct had some time since been referred ti >e Committee, which had met with favourable notice r ?» I W?8 .ca"ei' *'le Gloucester and Forest of Dean Railway had, however, been defeated in the Standing Orders ommittee, and it was proposed to make a commnnicatiot with that line when it should receive the Parliamentary sanction. Ihe line would terminate at the parish o aisdon, so that the junction with the shorter railway could be easily effected. The original length of the line had been laid down at 4j miles, it had, however, been subsequently reduced to 3i miles. It was proposed, how- ever to retain the original capital iu the Bill of £ .").")0,0()G. Ihe Board of Trade had reported favourably of the line, and had stated that it was well calculated to afford o-eneral accommodation to the districts which it traversed, and would be of great service to the Forest of Dean, by opening up the mineral fields there. It was proposed by this branch to furnish Hereford with a proper supply of coals. 1 he present price of coals at the pit's mouth was Gs. 6(!. per ton, and the expense of carriage by the Wye was 9s., and, it carried by land the amount was 13s. The railway would convey the coal for 3s. per ton, so that the coal which was now sold in Herelerd at 21s. per ton would, if the railway were constructed, be sold at the moderate price of lis. per ton. He would also remark that in Hereford, which was a kind of Arcadia, nothing was so much desired as a facile communication with neigh- bouriug counties for the disposal of its agricultural and orchard produce, the trade in which was now almost in abeyance in consequence of the great expense and delay in transmission. Cyder was at present a complete drug in the market, and was sold at a mere nominal price, averaging from 4d. to Gd. per gallon, a price which was not nearly sufficient to remunerate the producer. It was also to be hoped that before long Herefordshire would possess a legitimate market for the sale, of its hops. It was a notorious fact that nine-tenths of the hops sold at Worcester were originally brought from Herefordshire. The construction of the proposed line would tend in every way to promote the interests of Hereford and Monmouth, and the intermediate and adjacent places. He would not enter into any exposition of the engineering details, as he intended very shortly to call Mr.°BruneI, the engineer, who would explain tothe Committee the course of the line. He would now proceed with the examination of witnesses, and as the Bill was unopposed, he trusted the Committee would be in a condition to pass the preamble of the liue without any difficulty. In reply to a question from Mr. Cripps, Mr. Talbot said it was his intention to have the line carried from Westbury, via Gloucester, to the north bank of the Severn. Mr. Anthony, who was the first witness called, stated that a proper supply of coals would be a very important point. coals were principally supplied from the forest of Dean, and were generally brought by the Wye. Very little was exported in consequence of the difficulty attending its transmission. The witness also spoke as to the traffic in copse-wood for charcoal, hops, and cyder, which latter article was sold at 2^d. per gallon, and deposed generally as to the benefits which would be derived to the county it tlle |jne were constructed. ilr. S. Powell, of Old Forge, said he had been engaged in trade ad his life, and was well acquainted with the na- vigation of the Wye, !\ud also possessed a complete -now eige of the trade in t|ie counties of Monmouth and Hereford. The commerce was principally conveyed by water. Great quantities of bark aud copse-wood were pro- duced in Herefordshire. The wood when converted into charcoal would be transmitted by the railway into Stattordslnre, lor the use of the iron trade. I l!Urrna?'. 'l' close of the examination of the as wi ness, sai it was not necessary to examine any more witnesses as to the generfll fuce of the jistrictJs which the line traversed. The principal difficulty in the project was the branch to Blalsdon. It appeared to the Committee that there would not be a suflicient terminus there. Mr. Austin said he would at once proceed to the engmcerlUg clldence, so as to satisfy the Committee of the practicability of the entire scheme. After which the Committee decided that the preamble of the Bill was proved. The clauses were also agreed to, and the Committee broke up.

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