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ELECTRIC TRAMS., Issue 7980, 8 August 1889
At last evening’s sitting of the City Council the question of electric trams came tip, the matter having been postponed from last meeting, when the following recommendation of tho General Committee was made “ Your Committee hits carefully Considered the subject and examined drawings find descriptions, and recommend the Council to give facilities to the Tramway Company to carry out the overhead system of electrical propulsion of cars, subject to the plans and specifications being first approved by the City Engineer, and the posts for carrying the wires to be over 20ft high.” Cr Sinclair said that at tho previous meeting he had moved that consideration of the matter be adjourned so as to give councillors some time to look into it. He had since learnt all he could about electricity in regard to tramways, and he was led to believe that electricity was in use as a motive power in tramways in many other places, and that it was a success, but was not without its disadvantages. It, however, had not been proved that there was any serious objection against its use. He therefore did not see why the application should not be granted.' Cr Solomon asked if Cf Sinelaif moved the adoption of the report. The Mayor explained that he moved its adoption when the matter was before the Council last time ; Cr Sinclair would now probably second it. Cr Sinclair said ho would second the motion.
Cr Solomon said he saw no serious objection to this electric tramway. He had seen one in operation iu Melbourne, and it scorned to him a very good thing indeed.
Cr Kimbell said that there would be no gain in hurrying *on the matter, and he intended moving an amendment. Some fifty or sixty cities in America had adopted electrical tramways, but there were a number of systems iu operation there. The “ overhead ” system was not now approved of there, and lines laid on that prin ciple were being altered ; it was therefore advisable that there should be a little delay before they were committed to this system here, lie then read extracts on the matter from the 4 American Journal of Electricity,’ and went on to say that he would then “ drop into poetry.” He accordingly proceeded to read a stanza or two of a poem which had for its theme the death-dealing power that lay hidden in the overhead wires of the tram system in question. He said that if ono of these wires broke it was “sudden death” to any person that it touched. Cr Cohen remarked that this was unmitigated nonsense. Or Kimbell denied this, and continued reading the poem notwithstanding repeated protests from the Mayor, who said that the councillors did not meet there to listen to poetry. At lost His Worship said that he ruled Cr Kimbell to bo out of order. Cr Kimbell : How am I out of order ? I am reading on electricity. The Mayor: I simply say this: that when a man makes himself ridiculous in the eyes of his fellow councillors he is out of order, and if any man persists in doing that I shall not tolerate it. Any statement Cr Kimbell may make I am quite willing to hear, but it is quite contrary to the rules of this Council to allow written speeches or speeches read from a periodical, and I do not intend to allow it. Cr Kimbell said he would obey His Worship’s ruling, and would content himself with moving as an amendment that further consideration of the matter be held over for six months. The amendment found no seconder. Cr Cohen said the Tramway Company hadjarrived at the conclusion that when some other system should be substituted for the horse system at present followed, and they had no doubt made full inquiries and satisfied themselves that the elcdtrlc system was a good one. All that the Council required to do was to see that there was no nuisance created, and no denger to citizens to be feared. No doubt, these things had been reported on by tho Engineer to the colony. The citizens should welcome rather than oppose the proposal, and ho had no hesitation in saying that Or Kimbell’s objections did not exist.
Cr Smith agreed with the last speaker, and said that he understood that the electric system was a great improvement on the horse system. Cr Carroll said that if there was no danger, and if there was nothing to prejudice the present agreement with the company, the Council should not stand in the way of the company, especially as they were said to be going to spend L 20,000 on the work.
Cr Barron said that if there was any mention of new concessions or interference with the present agreement the Corporation solicitors would of course be consulted, and they would put things in proper form. The Council simply affirmed the principle, and said : “Wo give the company every facility to run their trams by electricity; all other matters go back to the Committee to be arranged in legal form.” Cr Hardy said that one of the principal reasons the Committee considered the application favorably was because a large number of horses would be taken off the roads ; and not only would the roads then be cleaner, but they would also be saved to a great extent. Cr Cramond supported the proposal, and said he had no doubt but that before long some of the Yankees would come over with a proposal to place all wires underground. The Mayor pointed out that the adoption of the report did not mean that the company had power to commence right away. The report stated that the Committee, having considered the application, recommended that the company should be allowed to do a certain thing, and if the plans were in any way doubtful the General Committee could lay the matter before the Council again. The motion for the adoption of the report was then put and carried, only Cr Kimboll dissenting.
ELECTRIC TRAMS., Issue 7980, 8 August 1889
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