HC Deb 09 August 1839 vol 50 cc154-7

The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the third reading of this bill.

Mr. Hawes

objected that the title of the bill was not accurate, as it excluded Lambeth, which was part of the metropolis, and the inhabitants paid their proportion to the coal duties. He did not wish for any specific improvement, but he suggested, that the Commissioners of Woods and Forests should have power, if they should think fit on a survey, to apply a portion of funds in their hands to the improvement of Lambeth. He would, therefore, move, that certain words should be added to the preamble.

Mr. Clay

said, that it was not the intention of the committee to vest any power of surveying and carrying out any alterations or improvements not recommended by the committee. There were many improvements in Lambeth and Westminster which were most desirable; the improvements of Westminster, were brought before the committee by one of the Members for that city, but the committee, after long consideration, decided that those mentioned in the preamble were most important. In the report of the Poor-law Commissioners last year there was a very important report from Dr. Southwood Smith, as to the health of the metropolis, and from that report, it appeared, that out of a population of 851,229 persons in the twenty unions of the metropolis, there were 5,692 cases of typhus fever, or six-tenths, more than one-half per cent, of the population; whilst in the Whitechapel union, one of the twenty unions, where the population was 64,000, there were 1,505 cases of typhus fever, or five times more than the proportion of the other unions. And all this was traced principally to the want of drains. He trusted, therefore, that the inhabitants of the metropolis would consent to such light taxation as would effect this great object.

Mr. Alderman Humphery

wished, that the hon. Gentleman had referred to Dr. Smith's report as to Lambeth; if he had, he would have found as great evil from fever; and he did think that the preamble should be enlarged, for a street might be made on the Southwark side of the river, from Westminster-bridge to London-bridge, for less than 50,000l.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he should object to the proposed amendment. In the first place, the bill before the House was not for the purpose of effecting the contemplated improvements, but only for the purpose of giving to the commissioners of Woods and Forests the means of ascertaining, during the recess, what would be the expense of completing those improvements, and it would be for Parliament to determine next year whether those improvements ought or ought not to take place. The present bill had been unanimously recommended by the committee, which was not a packed committee, and he was the only Member of Government on it. The improvement in Lambeth, he was ready to admit, was of great importance to the whole metropolis. But he was not going to discuss the merits of these different plans, but to carry out the objects of the committee, which he was most anxious to effect.

Bill read a third time.

Mr. Hawes

formally moved the insertion of words as he had proposed.

Mr. Hume

asked if there was sufficient money out of the 200,000l. to effect this additional improvement; for, if there was, he would support the amendment.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

replied, that, from their present information, it appeared that there would be no surplus.

Mr. Alderman Humphery

thought, that if the improvements recommended by the committee were properly managed, there would be a surplus, and that surplus, whatever it was, he wished to secure for Lambeth and Southwark.

The House divided on the insertion of the words proposed by Mr. Hawes:—Ayes 8; Noes 34: Majority 26.

List of the Ayes.
Attwood, T. Vigors, N. A.
D'Israeli, B. Yates, J. A.
Duncombe, T.
Ewart, W. TELLERS.
Hinde, J. H. Hawes, B.
Hodgson, R. Humphery, J.
List of the NOES.
Barnard, E. G. Lushington. rt. hn. S.
Bernal, R. Muskett, G. A.
Bridgeman, H. Palmer, C. F.
Brotherton, J. Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.
Bruges, W. H. L. Pechell, Captain
Chapman, A. Philips, M.
Clay, W. Phillpotts, J.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Price, Sir R.
Darby, G. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Ellis, W. Russell, Lord J.
Fielden, J. Smith, R. V.
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Fremantle, Sir T. Wood, C.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wood, Colonel T.
Hodges, T.L.
Howard, P. H. TELLERS.
Jervis, S. Baring, F. T.
Lushington, C. Hume, J.

Bill passed.