A History of Private Bill Legislation

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These volumes will, it is hoped, suggest, however inadequately, the public service rendered by Chairmen of Committees and Members of both Houses who, in successive Parliaments, have devoted themselves to the work of Private Bill Legislation. How great and useful a work this is and ever has been, and how essentially it has contributed to the national well-being, may be gathered, though imperfectly, from these pages. But no such record can adequately show the patience and industry which for many centuries have been devoted to this task, accompanied by a solid good sense and knowledge of affairs, without which the task could not have been properly performed.<br><br>There is something painful in the reflection that so much unrequited labour, though bestowed on business of enormous value to the whole country, has passed with such scanty acknowledgment. Outside the walls of Parliament these labours are known to a very limited circle. By constituencies they are wholly unrecognised, because generally unknown. It would be agreeable to me if I could hope that these volumes would create a juster appreciation of the public service thus unostentatiously rendered. In the House of Commons there are easier paths to popularity.

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