HC Deb 20 March 1866 vol 182 cc577-8

said, he would beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the difficulty now existing throughout the Metropolis of getting rid of manure and offal; and whether any steps are contemplated by the Government for facilitating their removal?


, in reply, said, that great complaints had been made in different parts of the metropolis by the contractors for the removal of refuse that they were unable to remove it in consequence of the orders, or rather the notices, published by various local authorities. The Secretary of State for the Home Department yesterday received a letter from the Board of Works, Holborn district, containing the Report of the Medical Officer of that district, in which he stated that in consequence of the interpretation put by the contractors upon those notices they were unable to remove any of the stable manure, and that even, which was hardly credible, they declined to remove the street sweepings of the metropolis because there possibly might be some horse dung mixed with it. The difficulty appeared to have arisen principally from a misconception of the effect of the notices issued by the local authorities. He had obtained the notices of those authorities of which complaint was made, and found that their terms by no means prohibited the introduction into their district of any such articles as were not likely to propagate infection. It seemed to be impossible that any local authority could regard the introduction of all refuse from the metropolis as likely to propagate the cattle plague, when the week before last there were only fourteen cases of the cattle plague in the whole district of the Metropolitan Board of Works, and last week there were only twelve. In one instance, however—that of the county of Kent, the local authorities had issued notices which were decidedly beyond the powers given them by the Orders in Council—namely, by absolutely prohibiting the introduction of all dang from the metropolis into their county. By no construction of the Orders of Council could such a notice be, in his (Mr. Baring's) opinion, brought within the powers given to local authorities. His right hon. Friend the Secretary of State had suggested to Sir John Thwaites, the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, that the latter should communicate with the local authorities of those counties whose orders were supposed to prevent the removal of those materials from the metropolis in order to put an end to the misapprehension that existed. He believed he could answer for the county of Kent that they would be willing to cooperate with the local authority of the metropolis in arranging some system by which the accumulation of such deposits as might possibly be injurious to public health might shortly be put an end to.