HC Deb 20 July 1848 vol 100 cc613-5

said, that he should certainly have been very happy to have extended the whole of the provisions of the Public Health Bill to the metropolis, and to have extended the principle of representation which was adopted in that Bill. But he felt great difficulty, in a community which comprised upwards of two millions of inhabitants, in having proper representation, or applying the provisions of the Bill; especially where the natural direction of the drainage was not found to correspond with the boundaries and divisions of unions, parishes, or districts. Under these circumstances, he did not find himself able to introduce such sweeping alterations in the present sewage commissions as to put them on the representative basis which he desired. The drainage of the metropolis was at present vested in seven commissions, besides the Regent-street Commission. It was now proposed to include the city of London in the guardianship of a general Commission, and to put it under the same rules as have been applied to the outlying districts. The provisions of the Bill would enable works of public drainage to be carried on by the united Commission; to which powers, in conformity with the Public Health Bill, would—as to house drainage and the removal of nuisances—be given. The principle would be adopted of spreading all charges for permanent operations over long spaces of time, say thirty years, so as to make the burden less felt. He also pro- posed that the parties to be intrusted with sewerage operations should remain a Commission appointed by the Crown. The important work of devising drainage would he thus put in the hands of the best persons, able to undertake the responsibility; and it would be enacted that this Commission should report annually to Parliament. Thus the body would be brought under the direct control of the Legislature. He proposed also to limit the duration of the Commission to two years. These were the leading features of the Bill, for leave to bring in which he had now to move.


would divide the House against the Motion. The House divided, but only thirty-two Members being present, it stood adjourned at Two o'clock.