§ COLONEL BERESFORD
asked the hon. Member for Colchester, Whether the Metropolitan Board of Works have any power to prevent the storing of, or to compel the removal of petroleum, in and from any place within the limits of the City of London; whether, in the event of an explosion taking place at any premises where many thousand barrels of petroleum are now said to be stored, there are any precautionary measures which the Board of Works can enforce to save life and property; whether the atmosphere in the locality of petroleum is not more or less largely impregnated with vapour given off from it; what danger from explosion of the vapour of petroleum in mixture with air is to be apprehended; what destruction of life and property must be expected to result from the dense volume of black smoke which would issue from flaming petroleum in store; whether, if it escaped to the Thames, the shipping in the Thames would not be destroyed; and, whether it has been suggested by the Officers of the Board, or of the Fire Brigade Department, that immediate steps should be taken to avert such a calamity?
§ DR. BREWER
said, in reply, that the Metropolitan Board of Works had no power to prevent the storing of petroleum to any amount in any wharf or warehouse in the City of London. The 1992 Petroleum Act, 31 & 32 Vict., only applied to the storing of petroleum in places where it might be exposed to a temperature of 100 degrees. The Board could not enforce any measures for the protection of life and property in the event of an explosion or conflagration taking place in premises where barrels of petroleum were stored. The amount stored last week was 45,554 barrels, containing 35 gallons each, but these did not include privately stored petroleum. The head of the Fire Brigade Department wished that steps should be taken to isolate the stores of petroleum, and that a building should be constructed applicable to the storing of all petroleum.