HC Deb 26 May 1881 vol 261 cc1323-4

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether, seeing that the Rivers Conservancy Bill has after reference to a Committee passed the House of Lords, and has in this House been carried on the Second Reading by a large majority, the Government will take immediate steps for the nomination of the Select Committee to which the Bill has been referred, so that its provisions may be duly considered with a view to legislation in the present Session?


Considering that the Bill in question is substantially one for giving facilities to those localities which may desire to obtain legislation suitable to their necessities, and that the importance of such a measure has been recognized not only by the present, but by the preceding Government, Her Majesty's Government certainly had hoped that the nomination of the Select Committee would have been assented to without difficulty as soon as the House re-assembled after the Easter Recess. But the number of miscellaneous Notices that have been given, coupled with the pressure of Business and the operation of the Half-past Twelve Rule, have delayed the nomination of the Committee. I am perfectly well aware, and deeply sensible, of the urgent importance in the case of several river basins of legislation of this description. I very much sympathize with those hon. Members who do not altogether agree with me in regard to the proposed composition of the Committee, or to the method of procedure which I propose on behalf of the Government to adopt; but, considering the importance and urgency of the subject, I would venture to hope that those hon. Members may waive their Notices and allow the nomination of the Committee to proceed. Be that as it may, it, has been, and it remains, the desire of the Government to prosecute this measure with the least possible delay, and to secure legislation on the subject in the present Session.