HC Deb 25 May 1848 vol 98 cc1414-5

On the Motion for the House to go into Committee on this Bill,

MR. SPOONER, rose to move that the Committee be postponed for a fortnight. His reason for making that Motion was, that several deputations from influential persons connected with waterworks companies had had interviews with the noble Lord opposite before the Bill went into Committee, at which interviews the noble Lord pledged himself that certain clauses, having for their object the protection of water companies, should be introduced into the Bill. Those clauses were printed, and laid before the House, and yet they were withdrawn by the noble Lord without discussion, and without explanation. This appeared upon the face of it to be so much like a breach of faith, that he felt it was his duty to move that the Committee be postponed for a fortnight, in order that a full explanation of the matter might be given by the noble Lord.

VISCOUNT MORPETH said, it did not appear to him that the course he had pursued in Committee on this Bill was at all open to the charge of a breach of faith. In the course of the discussion in the Committee, it appeared to the Committee desirable that no powers for the compulsory purchase of any waterworks should be taken; and those powers were consequently struck out of the Bill. Under these circumstances, he did not consider it necessary that the clauses defining the conditions upon which such compulsory purchase should be made were necessary, and therefore they were withdrawn. He was quite prepared, after the clause in which power was given to the local boards to construct waterworks, namely, the 66th Clause, to introduce a proviso that no such waterworks shall be laid down or constructed in any town where there was already a waterworks company in existence, without the consent of the proprietors of such waterworks being first obtained. He certainly would not recommend the hon. Gentleman to press any discussion upon the clauses to which the hon. Gentleman had referred, as in that case there would probably be far greater objections offered by the House to them than had hitherto been expressed.

Amendment withdrawn.

House in Committee.

Bill went through Committee.

House resumed.

Report received, and ordered to be printed.