Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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208                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XVL
and that it would be well that East-Bourne should da what nearly all other towns had done, go to Parliament, and ask for extensive additional powers. Mr. Wallis invoked my co-operation which I gladly gave, because I was at one with him both as regards the principle that more powers were required by us, and also as to the general details of those powers as suggested by Mr. Wallis. Everything went smoothly at first in the Committee work connected with the preparation of the Bill, and generally, but when the details became known to the public, some of them met with strong opposition. Mr. Wallis was between 2 fires. He wanted the Bill, and he wanted to get into Parliament, and he found that his continued support of the main features of the Bill wrould lessen the chances of his winning the parlia­mentary seat. So in a very shabby and unhandsome manner he made a scapegoat of me, got the matter taken out of my hands, and the draft Bill transferred to a new Committee presided over by Alderman Boulton who pulled it considerably to pieces, but eventually secured for it the sanction of Parliament in a very mutilated and disjointed form. It now stands on the Statute Book as the 48 & 49 Vict., c. clxv.
Personally, I did not regret for some reasons Mr. Wallis's change of front, for it took a great burden off my shoulders, because I was acting at the same time as Counsel for the Corporation of Hastings, who had gone to Parliament for an Improvement Bill which they employed me to draft. I followed the lines of my original draft for the East-Bourne Bill, and gave effect to my own ideas as to the most convenient and orderly sequence of the subjects. The Hastings people gave me their entire confidence. The Bill was approved with practical unanimity both by the Hastings Town Council and afterwards by the townspeople in public meeting assembled, under the " Borough Funds Act, 1872.'* The Bill passed through all its stages in the Commons and in the Lords, satisfying the well-known critical eye of Lord Redesdale, then nearly at the end of his important public career.
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