HC Deb 13 August 1857 vol 147 cc1532-4

said, seeing the First Commissioner of Works in his place, he would beg to ask him a question. The other day the right hon. Gentleman, in answer to a question put to him by the hon. Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley), stated that he had entered into communication with the local authorities of Lambeth with regard to certain noxious trades carried on in that parish, and which, as was obvious to the perception of every one who put his nose out of the library windows of that House, were to a considerable extent the cause of the bad vapours which entered the House from the direction of the Thames. The question he had now to ask the right hon. Gentleman was, whether that communication had led to any result, and if so, whether he felt himself at liberty to state it to the House?


said, he was glad that his hon. Friend had put that question to him, for the matter to which it related had become one of very serious nature in consequence of the course which the local authorities in the Parish of Lambeth had chosen to pursue on this occasion. With the permission of the House he would read a letter which he had caused to be sent to the Vestry of Lambeth on the subject, and their answer:— Office of Works, &c., July 30. Sir,—By direction of the First Commissioner of Her Majesty's Works, &c., I send you herewith an extract from a report from Mr. Goldsworthy Gurney, who has the charge under this Board of the warming, lighting, and ventilating of the Houses of Parliament, respecting the nuisances affecting the atmosphere of those Houses from offensive manufactories on the other side of the river. I also enclose a copy of a letter, dated the 23rd instant, from Mr. Gurney to the Solicitor for this Department, specifying some of the manufactories referred to by him; and I am to request that you will submit these papers to the Vestry of the Parish of Lambeth, and move them to cause steps to be taken for the suppression or abatement of the nuisances in question. I am, &c., "ALFRED AUSTIN, Secretary. "Thomas Roffey, Esq. That letter was sent on the 30th July, and in reply to it he received on Tuesday last the following communication from the Vestry Clerk:— The Vestry of the Parish of St. Mary, Lambeth. Vestry hall, Kennington-green, Aug. 10. Sir,—I beg to inform you that your communication of the 30th ult. respecting the nuisances affecting the atmosphere of the Houses of Parliament from offensive manufactories on this side of the river was submited to a Vestry Meeting on the 6th instant, and, in reply thereto, it was resolved that Mr. Austin be informed that this Vestry has had the matter referred to in his letter under their consideration, and are not prepared to take any legal proceedings, in connection therewith. "I am, &c., THOMAS ROFFEY, Clerk of the Vestry. "Alfred Austin, Esq. The House would therefore see how important it was that the Act of 1855 should have contained the clause inserted on the recommendation of the Select Committee, imposing penalties on the local authorities for the neglect of duty on their part, and how much it was to be regretted that that clause should have afterwards been expunged. He would only add that he hoped early in next Session the House would pass a short Bill to remedy the omission, and to compel the local authorities, on requisition being made to them, to act in the discharge of their duty.

Back to