Sir EOBEET BOEDEN:
The Board of
Eailway Commissioners can do the same thing, because they must approve also; and, if they arbitrarily refuse approval, then, as a matter of fact, the project embodied in a private Act of Parliament for the construction of a railway could not be carried out. But we do not find that such bodies act in that arbitrary way, and the Board of Eailway Commissioners will be governed by conditions, and by public opinion in the exercise of the powers which are conferred upon it by this Bill, just as the minister and the Board of Eailway Commissioners have been governed by conditions, by public necessity, in exercising the powers which would still remain to them if this Bill were not passed. After all, it does not seem to me that the portion of the Bill to which my hon. friend objects really deals with more than what one might call a detail. The provision is this:
If the board deems that the construction of a railway upon the proposed location or upon any portion thereof is not in the public Interest it shall refuse approval of the whole or of such portion.
That necessarily would be their power, by arbitrary refusal of approval, to accomplish that very thing under present conditions. The provision goes on:
And in any case where the board deems It in the public interest it may, as to any portion of the proposed railway, make any order, or require the taking of any proceedings, provided for by subsection seven and eight of this section.
That is, they may insist upon the granting of running powers fipon some other railway located substantially in the same place, which will be able to perform not only the service that it has already undertaken, but the additional service which would be performed by the new railway if it were constructed. The purpose of the Bill is to avoid the duplication of railway lines and the construction of unnecessary lines, so far as that is consistent with affording a reasonable and necessary service to the public.
Topic: II, 1916