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LORD ST. LEONARD'S introduced into the House of Lords, a few days since, a bill for the better security of railway passengers, which consisted Simply of the following words :—" From and after the 18th of July next, it shall not be lawful to lock both the doors of any railway carriage while any passenger is within it." Never was a bill to remedy a public grievance drawn up in fewer words. It required no preamble to urge its neces- sity upon the attention of the Legislature that had already been sufficiently proved by the events of the day. In a recent collision on the Great Western Railway, near Bristol, the lives of several passengers had been saved through the accidental possession of a key by one of their unmber. It might have been though that this one instance of the danger arising to passengers from the locking-in system, apart from the many which had preceded it, would be sufficient to ensure the passing of Lord St. Leonard's Bill. It was, however, destined to meet a different fate. On Monday night the bill was presented to the House for a second reading. The opposition to the measure proceeded from the Government in the person of Lord Granville. The objec- tions advanced were of that plausible and hack- neyed nature which is the general characteristic of reasons brought forward to check useful legis- lation. "The provisions of the bill were good— the Government were fully alive to the importance of the subject —it had, in fact, through the Board of Trade, urged the railway companies to alter their practice. But it was undesirable that the bill should pass." Such was the tenor of Earl Granville's speech, and his words were echoed by his supporters. The reader will naturally ask, if the bill was admittedly good and would have remedied an evil confessed on all sides-if it would have effected an object which the strong representations of the Government were unable to secure-why was it not allowed to pass ? The answer is to be found in one of those set phrases with which the readers of Parliamentary proceedings and Minis- terial explanations are perfectly familiar. "The whole subject" of the better security of railway » passengers "was under the consideration of a committee. It was not worth while to legislate then on a single point." Lord St Leonard's saw that it was useless to press the measure, and rather than take a division the result of which might have been misconstrued, he consented to withdraw the bill. The public are thus left, when railway traffic is at its height, without one long-desired safeguard against danger and annoyance. The committee can scarcely present its lengthy and elaborate report before the close of the session—too late for the Government to introduce any measure founded upon its researches. The whole matter is thus virtually left over for another Parliament, and possibly another. Government, to deal with. Meanwhile, that very large number of her Maiesty's subjects who travel in railway carriages unprovided with keys, are privileged to avoid as best they may the risk of being smashed in what is not an unfrequent occurrence on our railway lines—a break down, followed by a colli- sion. We say nothing of the additional danger of travelling in a locked carriage with a passenger who may be either a madman or a Miiller. It is satisfactory to note that the committee, the existence of which has been made a reason for throwing out Lord St. Leonard's Bill, has one special object of inquiry before it, in which its labours may produce a satisfactory result. It is charged with the duty of ascertaining what ap- pear to be the best means of communication be- tween railway passengers and guards, and has taken a good deal of evidence, from inventors and others, upon the point. This subject, too, has recently given rise to a correspondence between the Board of Trade and the Railway Clearing- house. It is admitted that some method of com- munication is absolutely necessary; the question is, how to provide a plan at once simple and efficient. It is not a difficult matter to enable any passenger to draw the guard's attention but the guard can at present be of no assistance unless he stop the train and how is he to know that the warning may not have proceeded from a mis- chievous or frivolous motive? Some means of enabling a guard to visit any carriage to which his attention may be called, is therefore the de- sideratum. In no way can this be done in England so well as by,attaching a secure footboard to the side of the carriages, to run from end to end of the train. We cannot in this country adopt the system which prevails on the American and some of the continental lines, and have sufficient space in the interior of the carriages for a„ passage right through the train. Our lines tire so narrow, and the land adjoining them so valuable, that this is a conve- nience which we can never hope to realise at home. But the space which would be required for a practicable footboard on one side only of the carriages, is surely not a quantity which it woryd be impossible to provide. On piany of our lines there is already sufficient room for this between the rails and the platforms, &c.; and on others it might be provided by an alteration in the position of a few pillars or buttresses, the expense of which would be trifling compared with the lasting ad- vantage to the public. No doubt there is a relutance on the part of railway directors to take t steps necessary to effect such a change. to find that in certain powerful quarters the do-nothing policy of railway boards meets with tacit approval, and that futile objections are urged against plans which appear to have in them all that is really necessary to meet the wants of the case. With regard to the construction of footboards, for ex- ample, it as been urged that they would be no real security for life, because there' is reason to belive" that the murderer of a gentleman,, who I t, ■teasTecently killed on a French railway gained access to his victim by this means! Thus one single and coojecfctwal instance of dauger arising indirectly from the footboard plan, is urged as a set-off against the general security which it would 1 obviously afford to all railway passengers. We 1 hope no better reason than this can be advanced against the introduction of the system, for in that case we feel assured that the railway boards will either adopt the plan of their own free will, in the desire to secure the public safety, or that they will be compelled by legislative interference to introduce it, or something very much like it. A case of some importance to inkeepers was decided on Wednesday last by Mr. Dayman, the Wands worth police magistrate. A publican was summoned for allowing four men to play at cards in his house, and he pleaded guilty. The police, however, could not prove that the men were play- ing either for drink or for money, and the magistrate said he did not see that any offence had been committed, because after all did not matter what- the game was, provided the parties did not play for money or money's worth. The Act stated that there must be gaming. Persons might play at games of skill, and whilst one of the most skilful games that could be played. It did not require stakes to raise an interest in the game. Unless the parties were playing for a stake, the case did not come within the meaning of the Act of Par- liament. The summons was dismissed.






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