HC Deb 09 July 1855 vol 139 cc618-9

said, he wished to ask the right hon. President of the Board of Health whether it was his intention, at that late period of the Session, to proceed with the Public Health Bill?


said, that considering the late period of the Session, and the fact that he had been allowed to pass through Committee a very long and important Bill, as well as to make considerable progress with another, it would hardly be acting fairly by the House if he attempted to persevere with the Public Health Bill that Session. He might, however, take that opportunity of remarking that the Bill had been very maturely considered by a Committee which had sat upon it twenty-one days, had taken a great deal of evidence, and had suggested several Amendments. It had afterwards been reprinted and circulated in the country; and he had received a great many further suggestions, some of which he intended to adopt. He proposed therefore merely to move the committal of the Bill pro formâ, in order to insert those further Amendments, and then to allow it to be again circulated in the country during the recess. It would, however, be necessary to provide, by a short Bill, for the continuance of the General Board of Health for one year, and he should propose to insert in it clauses for the reappointment, if it should be thought necessary, of a medical council, and also to attach a medical officer to the Board. To that Bill he hoped no objection would be made. With regard to existing interests, and particularly with regard to gas and water Companies, he had to remark that the clauses now in the Bill were not the original ones, but that they had been inserted by the Committee at the suggestion of an eminent professional man who had appeared before them on behalf of several of the Companies. Those clauses had since met with great opposition from gas and other Companies, and it would be his duty during the recess to consider any representations that might be made to him on the subject. There were, however, other parties to be considered besides the Companies—namely, the public—and it would be for him so to arrange matters, that whilst a due regard should be paid to the interests of the Companies, the interests of the public at large should not be endangered.

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