HC Deb 08 August 1881 vol 264 cc1198-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that on July 21st a fire broke out in Ladbroke Grove Road, Notting Hill, but that no water could be obtained from the Water Company's main; whether it is the fact that in case of a London fire it is necessary to invoke five separate authorities having no unity of action:—1. The Police, controlled by the Home Secretary; 2. The Water Companies; 3. The Salvage Corps, controlled by the Insurance Companies; 4. The Fire Brigade, controlled by the Metropolitan Board of Works; and 5. The Streets, controlled by the Vestries; and, if he will consider whether these authorities might not be amalgamated for the purpose of fire extinction?


, in reply, said, he had seen a report on the subject, from which it appeared, not that there was a scarcity of water, but that it was not at high pressure, owing to an accident to the main. With reference to the second part of the Question, he had to say that the police were not directly concerned in extinguishing fires, having merely to keep order; that the Salvage Corps was employed in the private interest of the Insurance Companies; while the Vestries were not concerned at all. When the question came to be determined on whom the duty of supplying water to the Metropolis should devolve, it would certainly become necessary to consider whether the Fire Brigade should not also be placed under the same control as the water service.