Murphy, Joseph John. 'The private and local business of parliament'. - Dublin: Dublin Statistical Society,Vol.1, Part VI, 1856 , pp311-321
Journal of the Dublin Statistical Society Vol.1, Part VI, 1856
I will not attempt any detailed exposure of the vices of the
system ; the rather as this has been admirably done by a writer in
the Edinburgh Review for January, 1855, in an article entitled
"Private Bill Legislation" which I will not spoil by attempting
to condense. I will here speak only of the enormous expense it entails
on the promoters of bills, especially when they meet with opposition.
In the latter case the expense is so great, that it is by no
means uncommon to oppose a bill on perfectly frivolous and untenable
grounds, in hope that the promoters may find it cheaper to buy
off opposition than to contest it. And who can tell how many useful
enterprises are rendered impracticable, because they are too
small to pay the expense of obtaining the necessary powers from
Parliament? The Limited Liability Act does not meet this objection,
for it affords no facilities for obtaining the power of compulsory
purchase, which is equally necessary, in many cases, with that
of the limited liability of shareholders.
It is, besides, utterly unreasonable to expect members of Parliament
to do the kind of work which is thrown on them by our system
of private legislation. The expression private legislation is, in fact, a
misnomer, a contradiction in terms. It is not legislation at all, but
administration; and administrative work is not suited to Parliament.
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