§ SIR BENJAMIN HALL
would now put to the noble Lord the Member for Plymouth (Viscount Ebrington), the questions of which he had given notice:—From how many and what districts of the metropolis the sewers rate of 6d. in the pound, recently ordered, is to be collected? What sum that rate will produce? Whether the several rates are to be expended in the districts from which they are collected? What new works are proposed? And whether they are to be completed before the present Commission expires; and if not, what portions will be completed? And whether any part of the extraordinary amount about to be levied is to be applied to payments of existing liabili- 591 ties; and, if so, how much is to be so applied?
§ VISCOUNT EBRINGTON
said, it was notorious that any imputation whatever might be conveyed in a question; and unless the House would consent to hear the answer, a very unfair impression might be produced; but on the present occasion a very short answer would suffice. The sewers rate of 6d. in the pound had not been levied in all the districts within the jurisdiction of the Commission, but in eight of them only. Those eight districts had a rental of above 4,400,000l., and the sum proposed to be collected was 110,000l. The several rates must by law be expended in the district from which they were collected, with the exception of the contribution from each towards the expense of management, and the central and other offices. A great number of new works were proposed, which he would not trouble the House with detailing. One embodying a system of arterial drainage for the metropolis south of the Thames, and another of similar character for the north side, which would each cost a large sum. There were others which had been already sanctioned by the Court, and only waited the collection of the necessary funds. The hon. Baronet (Sir Benjamin Hall) wished to know whether the new works, or any portion of them, would be completed before the present Commission expired. But, as it was notorious that the present Commission expired of itself at the close of this Session of Parliament, and as it had been announced by Government that they were to bring in a Bill which, it was to be presumed, would supersede the present Commission, relieving them from their labours, and imposing them on some other body to be approved of by Parliament, he (Viscount Ebrington) was unable to say what portion of the works would be so completed. He could only say that there were a great number of works in hand. Seven or eight miles of additional sewers had been made since the report of the Secretary was written, and some of the most unhealthy districts of the metropolis relieved. The cash overdrawn at the banker's amounted to about 5,000l., and the liabilities now unpaid, not, as at the close of last year, to near 80,000l., but only to little more than 40,000l. Rates hail been made for about 110,000l., great part of which was at present in course of collection.
§ VISCOUNT EBRINGTON
said, it was impossible for him to state what works would be carried out, as under the present defective Act it was impossible to borrow more than 10,000l., and works to the extent of more than 100,000l. had been planned in full detail and approved of.