§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
, in moving that the Bill he now read a second time, said, at present there was a great want of provision for sanitary regulations in Ireland, in both the towns and the country, and the Bill was framed on the lines of the Act for England and Wales of 1872, in order to meet that want. Owing to the different circumstances of Ireland, this measure was more likely to be successful in that country than the Act of 1872 had been in this. In Ireland there were units of areas which did not exist in England—namely, townlands, electoral divisions, and dispensary districts, and therefore uniformity of area for the districts of sanitary officers would be secured in that country which it was impossible to obtain in this country. The first four clauses provided for the establishment of urban and rural sanitary authorities, the urban being municipalities or places having analogous powers to municipalities, the rural sanitary authorities being the Boards of Guardians. The 5th clause contained a power to the local governing Board to change rural sanitary districts to urban sanitary districts, and vice versâ. The 8th clause provided for vesting in the new authorities the power relating to the treatment of diseases which were contained in various Acts of Parliament. The 9th clause provided for the transfer of property to these new sanitary authorities. In the 10th, provision was taken for the appointment of the sanitary officers of the districts, and for their salaries, half of which would be paid out of the means provided by Parliament, and the other half by the local rates. It was proposed to take compulsory powers under proper restrictions for the purchase of land for burial-grounds where they were necessary, and also for providing intercepting hospitals at Irish ports of call, with a view to prevent the 668 introduction of cholera or other diseases. The Bill likewise contained provisions as to the formation of united districts for the purposes of water supply and drainage; and, as in the case of the English Act, there was a clause enabling the Public Works Loan Commissioners to lend money at 3½ per cent to local authorities for sanitary improvements. He could have wished to combine the consolidation of the sanitary laws of Ireland with a measure for improving its sanitary condition, but as that was now impracticable, he thought it better to defer the task of consolidation till a future occasion, when it could be considered in conjunction with a like work for England, and to introduce at once a useful measure of social reform. That was no party question. He had endeavoured to consider it fairly, with the aid of the best advice he could obtain, and he now invited the co-operation of Irish Members, whose suggestions for the Amendment of the Bill should receive his fullest attention.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir Michael Hicks-Beach.)
§ MR. M'CARTHY DOWNING
congratulated the right hon. Baronet on having the good fortune to bring in that measure. In order, however, that they might ascertain the feeling of the people of Ireland on the subject, he hoped that the Committee on the measure would be fixed for as late a day as possible.
§ MR. MELDON
said, that the measure was sadly wanted in Ireland, and he knew that it would be gladly welcomed.
§ MR. R. SMYTH
thought the provisions of the Bill were of a most valuable character, and he was sure they would give the greatest satisfaction.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, that as he wished to give ample time for the full consideration of the measure, he would fix the Committee for Monday, the 15th June.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday, 15th June.