HC Deb 23 February 1842 vol 60 cc900-2
The Speaker

informed the House, that the two bills—the Buildings Regulation Bill, and Boroughs Improvement Bill—at the head of the list of orders for a second reading, contained provisions, as coming from the Lords, which were inconsistent with the privileges of the House of Commons.

Mr. F. Maule

felt he had no other course than to move, "That the Buildings Regu- lation Bill be read a second time this day six months." He hoped, however, that there would be no objection to refer the provisions of both bills to a committee up stairs, which should have the power of taking evidence as to details with the view of producing measures which would meet the general concurrence of the House. It was of the utmost importance, that an end should be put to those disgraceful scenes which daily occurred in large towns in consequence of speculators, who were in the habit of running up houses of the worst description for the lower classes of the community.

Lord Ashley

very much regretted, that it was necessary in consequence of some informality to postpone the consideration of this bill for so long a period. He had visited many of the places alluded to, both in London and in other manufacturing towns, and he could therefore speak from experience of the absolute and immediate necessity of some speedy legislation on this subject. The House could have no notion of the immense amount of moral and physical evil which resulted flow the condition of the dwellings of the working classes in the great towns.

Viscount Sandon

hoped they would proceed cautiously, lest, while in pursuit of certain remedies for admitted evils, they aggravated instead of curing them. He trusted the committee would produce such a bill as would be adapted to the various localities of the country.

Sir J. Graham

cordially and entirely concurred in the course about to be taken with these two bills. This was the second time these two bills had come down from the other House of Parliament, having been founded on an investigation before a committee of that House. It was the duty of the House of Commons, as a representative body, to look carefully into the details of these bills, deeply affecting, as they did, the lives and comfort of a large class of her Majesty's subjects. In the last Session of Parliament the right hon. Gentleman opposite had introduced another measure connected with the drainage; on the part of the Government he had to announce his intention to bring forward a measure on the same subject, founded upon that formerly introduced by the right hon. Gentleman. With respect to the second bill on the paper, he was not prepared to pledge himself to many of the provisions it contained. There was one important provision, for instance, in the Boroughs' Improvement Bill, to which he had a serious objection, enabling town-councils to mortgage the borough-rate without any limitation for the purpose of making these improvements. That was certainly rather a dangerous power, and one to which he would not at once subscribe. But it would be best considered when the measure was again brought before Parliament, and he earnestly hoped that no delay would take place in that respect. He should have no difficulty in coming to an understanding as to the composition of the committee to which they should be referred. It should be a fair and impartial committee. He did anticipate the utmost possible advantage from passing some such measure into law.

Buildings Regulation Bill read a second time that day six months.

Mr. F. Maule,

in proposing the same course with reference to the Boroughs Improvement Bill, expressed the great satisfaction he felt in hearing that the right hon. Baronet had undertaken to bring forward a bill on the subject of drainage, founded on the sanatory report of the Poor-law Commissioners. He should most readily give his humble assistance to the right hon. Baronet in this matter, and he did hope that great good would be effected by the three measures in conjunction.

Mr. M. Philips

was glad that such an arrangement had been made between the two right hon. Gentlemen. The Drainage Bill would be of the utmost importance. It began at the right end; for most speculators ran up their buildings, leaving the drainage to the very last, as a mere matter of chance. He wished to know whether all the bills would be referred to the same committee.

Sir J. Graham

said, that the Buildings Regulation Bill and the Boroughs Improvement Bill should be referred to the same committee; but the Drainage Bill should be introduced on the responsibility of her Majesty's Government.

Borough Improvement Bill to be read a second time that day six months.

The Speaker

left the Chair—House in committee on the