HC Deb 10 March 1851 vol 114 cc1178-9

wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department. He held in his hand a paper purporting to be a report of the Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers, in which it was stated that the general expenditure of the Commission amounted to 69,511l., while the sum expended for the management of the Commission was 23,465l. He wished to ask if any measure would be introduced this Session for any alteration in the present Commission of Sewers, which expired about the end of the Session. There was a report in circulation, that the Commissioners were about to raise a large sum of money, on the security of rates. He wished to ask, whether it was proposed to introduce any Bill for enlarging and continuing the Commission, and whether the Government had given their sanction to the raising of any such loan?


said, that an Act, under which the present Commission of Sewers was constituted, would expire this Session, and it would be necessary to introduce a Bill to revive the Commission. He would not say when that Bill would be brought in, but it must be in the present Session. With regard to the money which was to be borrowed, if the hon. Gentleman would refer to the fifth page of the paper to which he adverted, and which stated the powers given to the Commission to borrow, and the difficulties which they had met with in that respect, he would find that the Government had no right to interfere with those powers which had been given to the Commission by law. The Commission stated that they had found themselves unable to raise the money they required; but he was not aware that they had any intention of raising a loan. With regard to the expenses of the Commission, it was his duty, under the Act, as Secretary of State, to appoint an Auditor, and for the last two years he had done so; and he had received a report from the gentleman he had appointed, which stated that a very careful investigation had confirmed him in an opinion he had formed, that the accounts of the Commission were kept in a clear and satisfactory manner; while the adoption of a plan for contracting for the performance of works, instead of that of the weekly employment of men, was calculated to diminish the uncertainty of the expenditure which existed under the previous practice, and to promote economy.