HC Deb 19 March 1862 vol 165 cc1853-5

Order for Committee read.


said, he would only ask for the Committee pro formâ.


said, as the hon. Member had consented to modify the provisions of the Bill with the view of meeting the objections he had urged against the measure, he should feel it his duty, in the interests of the City of London, to withdraw his opposition to it.


said, he was sorry to find that the Corporation of the City of London were satisfied with the Bill. Certain parishes and districts of the metropolis objected to the Till, as it imposed upon them liabilities amounting to £ 200,000, for which they alleged they were not responsible either in law or equity, and he hoped the House would be informed of the grounds on which such a proposal was made. He would suggest that the information could be supplied from the evidence taken by the Select Committee of 1860, to which a similar Bill had been referred, and be trusted that evidence would be presented to the House.


said, he thought he should not have any difficulty in satisfying the hon. and learned Gentleman that the cases to which he had alluded had been considered with the view of consulting the interests of the parishes referred to.


said, there was an indisposition on the part of the House and the metropolis to give increased powers to the Metropolitan Board. He thought the Bill ought not to pass in its present shape. When the Bill was first brought in, he himself suggested that it should go to a Committee of five, which was done. That Committee was selected as if it were a private Bill before which counsel should be heard. The Committee confined itself to one point having reference to a financial matter. He thought it would be better to refer the Bill to a Committee of fifteen, who would treat it as a public Bill.


said, he did not wish to throw any difficulty in the way of the Board proceeding with the Bill. He thought, however, that before the Bill was referred to a Select Committee the question of the direct election of the Members of the Board should be first discussed in the House. The Metropolitan Board ought to be able to do for the Metropolis that which the Corporation of the City of London could do for the City; but when they sought for the additional powers which were proposed to be given to them by the Bill, it was felt that they had not acquired the confidence of the ratepayers generally. He believed that that confidence would be much strengthened if they were elected directly by the ratepayers.


said, having given notice to move amendments, he thought it very desirable that the amendments of the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets should be brought forward now and disposed of at once. The amendments went to the principle of the election of the Members of the Board.


said, that the amendments of the hon. Member (Mr. Ayrton) though very complicated, contained the important principle of the direct election of the Members of the Metropolitan Board of Works by the ratepayers—a principle approved by the Committee which sat on local taxation last year—and, as containing that principle, were worthy of the attention of the House of Commons. A decision ought to be arrived at whether the present system was to continue, or that in existence in all borough corpora- tions, in accordance with which taxation attended representation.

Bill considered in Committee.

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again on Wednesday 9th April.