HC Deb 14 May 1851 vol 116 cc945-6

begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he were disposed to adopt any stringent and immediate measures for remedying the existing nuisances and dangerous consequences resulting from barrel-organs and advertising vans? He wished to call the right hon. Gentleman's attention particularly to the fraud that was committed by advertising vans. While the public journals were compelled to pay a duty of 1s. 6d. on the smallest advertisement, the proprietors of those vans were permitted to exhibit advertisements without any such payment.


said, he had already stated that it was undoubtedly the duty of the police to exercise the powers vested in them by law, to remove dangerous obstructions from the public streets. He had called the attention of the Police Commissioners to the case which the hon. and gallant Gentleman had pointed out to him, and he believed it was not a single case. An order had been issued on the 9th of May (since the hon. and gallant Gentleman had brought the case under his notice), directing the police authorities to adopt measures by which such organs should not be allowed to play in any public street or road, in which their playing could be attended with danger. There was ample evidence that those barrel organs constituted a dangerous nuisance, and the owners of the organs had promised that they should not be sent out any more to places within the metropolitan police district. He would ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman, if he should see any more of these organs, to give him notice of the fact, and he would communicate with the Police Commissioners. With respect to advertising vans, it was impossible to define very accurately what was really an obstruction in such cases; but there was no doubt that were they to be found in such places or positions as would lead to the danger of accidents occurring, they ought to be, and would be, equally liable to removal by the police, in the same way as the barrel organs. He did not consider it was necessary to introduce any Bill, as he thought the powers vested in the police under the general law were quite sufficient to meet the case. With regard to the question of revenue, it was not one for him to entertain. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman had any fears for the revenue, he should communicate with his right hon. relative the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


I beg to say, if the right hon. Gentleman does not bring in a Bill, I will.