HC Deb 24 May 1860 vol 158 cc1712-4

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [15th May], "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.


was understood to oppose the progress of the measure at so advanced a period of the night.


said, that he thought the Bill objectionable in many particulars, but in the belief that it would be properly scrutinized in Committee, he would give his assent to the second reading.


contended that there were grave objections to the Bill on the ground that the Metropolitan Board of Works were about to usurp the power of the vestries, and cause parishes to pay excessive taxation. The board also proposed to re- tain their present elective system, although by the constitution they were not elected by the ratepayers, but by the vestries, and the members elected did not fairly represent the Metropolitan districts. Some provision ought to be made in the Bill for an alteration in their constitution. If these points were attended to in Committee he had no objection, but the Bill must be almost entirely remodelled. He would move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months, in order to enable the hon. Member for Bath to explain more fully its objects. The hon. Member concluded by moving that the Bill be road a second time that day six months.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."

Question proposed "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


explained the object of the Bill, which was to apportion more fairly the drainage and sewerage expenses among the districts of the Metropolis. There was a debt of £200,000 to be paid off, the payment of which was in the first instance divided among forty districts, upon some of which it pressed very severely in proportion to the amount of benefit they had derived. The Metropolitan Board of Works proposed to take £73,000 of the debt for the main drainage of the Metropolis, which would relieve some of the parishes, and allow of a fair distribution of the remaining sum. It was not proposed, however, to make any alteration in the mode of electing the members of the Metropolitan Board, as the system had hardly had a fair trial. The Bill was the result of careful deliberation, and the Committee which he would have the honour to propose would have the power to take further evidence and propose such modifications as would be thought most effectual in accomplishing the objects for which it had been framed. It was, however, a matter which pressed, as unless the Bill passed, the Board would have to enforce an unjust payment from several parishes.


said, he thought the House had great cause to complain that the Metropolitan Board of Works should ask them at the end of May to pass a Bill consisting of more than 100 clauses. They ought to pause before it gave any more power to the Metropolitan Board of Works so long as it was constituted on its present basis.


said, he could not understand why this Bill was not brought forward at an earlier period of the Session, if the Metropolitan Board were anxious to have the money that was due properly apportioned. However, he would not oppose the proposition for the second reading, with a view to the Bill being referred to a Select Committee; but he must reserve to himself the right of opposing the Bill after it came back from the Committee, if it was not materially improved.


said, he objected to a great many clauses in the Bill. Many of the powers given by the Bill were extremely arbitrary.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2°, and committed to a Select Committee.

House adjourned at a Quarter after One o'clock.