HC Deb 28 March 1878 vol 239 c118

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, in reference to the promise made to a deputation of bakers with regard to the Smoke Nuisance Act on the 24th April 1874, that a fair case for inquiry has been stated. I promise you the inquiry shall be thorough and general, Whether any inquiry in which the evidence of engineers was taken was ever held; and, if so, whether its results were made public?


There seems some slight difference in words in the Question and what fell from the Secretary of State in answer to the deputation of the 24th of April, 1874. The Times of the following day reports, I believe accurately, that— Mr. Cross promised he would cause strict inquiries to be made into the matter laid before him by the deputation, and that he would form his own judgment according to the information he thus received. Inquiries have been constantly made by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, with the assistance of the Engineer appointed under the Act. The results of those inquiries were made known to the Secretary of State from time to time for his information, but no public Report has been made. The complaint of want of notice, which was made by the deputation, has been rectified by a form of notice issued to the proprietor whenever an application is made for authority to prosecute. I may add that the number of bakers reported by the police in 1874 was 644, and in 1877 434; that 120 summonses were applied for in 1874, and 63 in 1877 only; and that out of 3,130 bakers in the Metropolis as defined by the Act, 3,067 conducted their business so as to obviate any necessity for legal proceedings against them.