HC Deb 23 June 1881 vol 262 cc1090-1

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has yet received a reply to the letter addressed by him to the Lord Mayor in reference to London Fish Supply; whether he is able to communicate the tenor of such reply to the House; and, whether, in case such reply is not satisfactory, he is prepared to initiate or suggest any measures for the improvement of the facilities and increase of supply of this important article of food?


Sir, I have received a notice from the Town Clerk of the Corporation stating that a Committee has been appointed to inquire into the present unsatisfactory state of the fish supply of the Metropolis. But considering how long the matter has been in the stage of inquiry, I think the time has come when something should be done. I hope that Billingsgate Mar- ket may be improved; but as the main supply of fish now reaches London, not by water, but by train, there seems no reason why the 4,000,000 inhabitants of the Metropolis should be dependent on a single waterside market, with a very bad land access. I can see no good ground for a claim that the supply of this essential article of food to our vast Metropolitan population should be the monopoly of any single authority. I do not see my hon. and gallant Friend the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works (Sir James M'Garel-Hogg) present; but it seems to me that a Body which represents millions of people within this City, and which has already accomplished great and useful works, might well take up this subject; and if they are disposed to undertake to remedy this great want for the benefit of their constituents, they may count on my assistance, and, I doubt not, will receive the support of this House in carrying out any well-considered scheme they may propose.



asked the hon. and gallant Member for Truro, Whether in his opinion the Metropolitan Board of Works would establish a market for land-borne fish in case they should receive the support and sanction of the Home Office? [Cries of "Notice!"]


said, the hon. Member should put the Question upon the Paper in the usual way.


said, he had no wish to evade the Question; but as the House appeared to be of opinion that Notice should be given, he would postpone his answer.