HC Deb 12 August 1857 vol 147 cc1472-5

Order for the consideration of the Bill, as amended, read.


said, it was his duty to oppose the further progress of the measure. The Bill which had been introduced in the House of Lords, had taken almost the whole of the manufacturing interests in Scotland, which it seriously affected, by surprise. The large malleable iron and earthenware manufacturers especially had great reason to complain, inasmuch as no opportunity had been afforded them of stating to the House, through the usual channels, the oppressive manner in which the Bill would operate against them. The result would be that they would be brought under the general operation of one clause in the Bill, which would be exceedingly injurious to their interests. [The hon. Gentleman read letters to the House from some of these manufacturers in support of that statement.] Besides, he contended, the exceptions made in the Bill to its operation were so large that its whole value would be absolutely lost. For example, by reason of those exceptions, the Bill would not tend to purify the atmosphere of the upper valley of the Clyde from the contaminations produced by the numerous manufactories which bordered upon it. For any practical purpose, indeed, the Bill would be a mere nullity, inasmuch as the great transgressors would go free, and by the operation of that sweeping exceptional clause all the smaller ones would be excused. Besides, in different parts of the country, as in Edinburgh and Glasgow, where it was more especially important to suppress the smoke nuisance, the Bill would go to supersede local Acts passed with that view, and which were very stringent. But the principal objection he took to the Bill was, that it had been brought in by private parties. He submitted that a Bill to regulate the police of the country ought not to be in such hands. A Select Committee should have been appointed to take the whole subject into consideration, and to ascertain in what degree such a Bill was likely to affect the manufacturing interests of the country. For those reasons he would move as an Amendment that the Bill, as amended, be considered that day three months.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the further consideration of the Bill, as amended in the Committee, be adjourned till this day three months."


said, he was surprised at the course adopted by the hon. Member, after the long time which had been afforded for the consideration of the Bill; yet the hon. Member said it had come upon the House by surprise. It also appeared to him that the hon. Member had answered his own objections; for while on the one hand he claimed exemption for a large class of manufactories, on the other hand he complained that there were already too many exemptions. Let his hon. Friend reconcile these contradictions if he could. He had received communications from nearly all the Scotch Members who had given their assent to the principle of the Bill; and on the second reading some concessions were made, in consequence of, which he had understood that there would be no further opposition to the Bill. The question of the smoke nuisance had been already settled in this city, where all the operations carried on in Scotland were performed, and every one had agreed how beneficial had been the effect of the measure as applied to the Metropolis. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had originally excepted glass works, potteries, and the like; and yet Mr. Pellatt, who had headed the opposition, was himself the person to introduce a Bill the very next Session to bring glass works within the operation of the Act. Not a single petition had been presented against the Bill, while he had received very strong assurances of support. He regretted that it contained so many exceptions, for he found upon a late visit to Manchester that the consumption of smoke had been enforced with the best results. He should resist the Motion of the hon. Gentleman, because he felt that the measure was most beneficial, and that those who now opposed it would be desirous to bring themselves within its operation. He hoped the hon. Member would not oppose the further progress of the Bill.

Motion put, and negatived.


proposed a clause giving an appeal to any party who may be dissatisfied with any decree.

The clause was brought up and read 1°.

Motion made that the clause be now read 2°.

After a few words from VISCOUNT DUNCAN against the clause,

Motion negatived.

Clause 1.

MR. BUCHANAN moved an Amendment, substituting 200 yards for a quarter of a mile, as to the distance of the factories from the town.

Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 13, to leave out the words "a quarter of a mile," in order to insert the words "two hundred yards," instead thereof.


consented to reduce the distance to 300 yards.


said, that this would not answer his purpose.

Question put, That the words "a quarter of a mile" stand part of the Bill.

The House divided:—Ayes 57; Noes 3: Majority 54.

Amendment agreed to.

VISCOUNT DUNGANNON moved an Amendment exempting iron foundries.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. BUCHANAN moved a similar exemption for brew-houses.


opposed the Amendment, which was negatived.

Clause 12.


objected to the unlimited amount of parish assessment authorised by the clause. He moved the omission of the clause.


opposed the Motion. There was no legal difficulties in applying it.

Question put, "That Clause 12 stand part of the Bill."

The House divided:—Ayes 32; Noes 27: Majority 5.

Bill to be read 3° To-morrow.