HC Deb 12 May 1847 vol 92 cc731-2

VISCOUNT MORPETH moved the Order of the Day that the Health of Towns Bill be committed. He wished to go into Committee pro formâ, as some alterations were intended to be made in the Bill.


wished to put a question to the noble Lord respecting this Bill. If he had been correctly informed, the noble Lord was now about to withdraw every part of the Bill which affected the city of London, and he wanted to know why the city of London was, all at once, to be excluded? It was true the noble Lord at the head of the Government was a Member for the City; but what was fair for one was fair for another, and he should like to know why the metropolis, swarming with people of all nations, was to be excluded from the Bill, and the city he represented—Lincoln—one of the cleanest and best-conducted towns in the United Kingdom—was to be included? He did not attribute motives to any one, but they all knew that large constituencies had great persuasive powers. He begged to ask the noble Lord, whether it was his intention, and, if so, the reason, to exclude the metropolis from the Bill—one of those towns which required the earliest and the closest consideration?


said, he believed it was a part of the provisions of this Bill to make it compulsory upon municipal towns to adopt the regulations of the Bill, and suggested whether, instead of making it compulsory, it might not be optional?


hoped the noble Lord, who had already surrendered so much, would not give way much more, or the Bill would become of very little value. The Bill met with approbation and support out of doors; and if he adhered to it in its integrity, he would find more than encouragement, even enthusiasm, in its favour.


could confirm the observation of the hon. Member, and stated that the petition he had presented in favour of the Bill from Liverpool, had been signed by several hundreds of the working classes within two or three hours; and he could bear testimony to their strong and intense feeling towards the measure. It was gratifying to see that they could appreciate the subject, and that they did not leave it to the wealthy classes. He hoped that no undue obstacle would be thrown in the way of the Bill, and that the noble Lord would show the necessary vigour in carrying it into effect.


said, the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln had forgotten to notice that there was a new Board of Commissioners created under this Bill. He was not prepared to admit this principle, and he did not think that any Board would be able to manage the conflicting interests which would be put into action, and that the Bill would he much better carried out under the superintendence of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests.


had consented to omit the metropolis from the Bill, not because its provisions were less necessary there than in Lincoln, but because owing to its immense size, and the large mass of previous legislation he had to deal with, he found it impracticable to include it; and he was afraid, if he had grasped at everything, he might have caught nothing. In reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, he said he was not prepared to make the provisions of the Bill applicable to corporate towns optional, though there was very little that was really compulsory in the Bill. With respect to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Bolton, he trusted that neither he (Viscount Morpeth) nor the House would show any disposition to make undue concessions.

Order of the day read on the question that the Speaker do now leave the chair.


moved that the House be counted.

Thirty-four Members only being present, the House stood adjourned ten minutes to Six o'clock.