HC Deb 16 July 1872 vol 212 cc1242-3

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, considering the Report made to the Lambeth vestry on the 4th instant by Dr. M'Cormack, Medical Officer of Health for the Lambeth district, that on the 18th June he examined the water of the Lambeth Company, and also that of the Vauxhall Company, with results showing but very slight improvement in the water supplied by the Lambeth Company, and that the Water of the Vauxhall Company continued to exhibit the same degree of impurity as it did the previous month, some means cannot be adopted, either by fine or otherwise, to oblige the Vauxhall Company to furnish pure water?


pointed out that the Board of Trade had no power to fine in such cases. If it were proved that a company furnished impure water or an insufficient supply, as in the case of Bermondsey, the Board of Trade could serve a notice upon it, requiring it to remove the cause of complaint, and if reasonable means were not taken to do so, the Board might then—but not till then—proceed in a Court of Law with a view to the infliction of penalties. In regard to the case mentioned, the evidence before him did not altogether tally with that contained in the Question. He had not seen the Report of Dr. M'Cormack, but he had before him that of Major Bolton, the Water Examiner of the Board of Trade, for the month of June—those Reports were furnished every month—which stated that on the 11th and 15th of that month the water of the Vauxhall Company was clear and bright, and that of the Lambeth Company clear but imperfectly filtered, owing to the filtering area being insufficient—a defect which the company was taking steps to remedy. The Report of the Registrar General (Dr. Frankland) for the same month stated that the Thames water delivered in London maintained the improved quality he had previously reported, and that all the companies, with the exception of the East London Company, were delivering clear and transparent water. The evidence before him, therefore, went to show that the state of things was better than the Question of the hon. and gallant Member implied.