HC Deb 07 September 1831 vol 6 cc1239-40
Lord Althorp

moved that the House resolve itself into a Committee of Ways and Means.

Mr. Alderman Wood

rose for the purpose of contradicting a report which had got into circulation, in consequence of a statement made by the hon. member for Preston, and founded on a petition from a Mr. Jeffery, that a settlement had taken place in the New London-bridge, that it was badly constructed, that the bricks were of the very worst quality, and that the day before both Sir John Rennie and Mr. Banks had been to examine the defect in a boat. He had immediately made application to these gentlemen in consequence of these assertions, and he held in his hand letters which he had received from Sir John Rennie, and Messrs. Jolliffe and Banks, in which those gentlemen stated, that they had examined the state of the London-bridge, and had found that no settlement had taken place which might not be expected in a structure of so great magnitude; that it was perfectly safe, and that the old bridge might be removed whenever convenient. Sir John Rennie also stated, that the bricks used in the construction of the bridge were perfectly sound. He also denied having been in any boat on the Thames, until that day, since the 1st of August. The statement made by the hon. Member was entirely without foundation.

Mr. Hunt

said, the worthy Alderman had employed the very persons who had most interest in concealing the defects. Mr. Jeffery had written to Sir John Rennie stating the defects, but had received no answer. That gentleman had, therefore, no other way to make the affair public, but to bring it before that House. He had examined the bridge himself, and was convinced it was unsoundly built, and that one of the arches had sunk more than eight inches, and all the Aldermen of London might talk as much as they pleased, but they would never get their new bridge on a level again.

The House resolved itself into a