§ MR. FIRTH
asked the honourable Member for Truro, When the Metropolitan Board of Works propose to proceed with the Charing Cross and Tottenham Court Road Improvement; and what is the reason of the delay in proceeding with it during the past five years?
§ SIR JAMES M'GAREL-HOGG
The Metropolitan Board of Works have been prevented from carrying out the improvement from Charing Cross to Tottenham Court Road by the extreme and unprecedented stringency of the 33rd section of the Metropolitan Street Improvements Act, 1877, which relates to the provision of accommodation for the labouring classes to be displaced; but, under special arrangements with the Secretary of State, the Board are now engaged, and are far advanced, in the 27 purchase of property in Newport Market which will be required for the improvement, and in respect of which the Board some time since received an official intimation from the Secretary of State that, notwithstanding the terms of the 33rd section, the Board would be permitted to clear the ground with a view to letting it for the purpose of the erection of labourers' dwellings. Until, however, Parliament has taken into consideration how far the provisions of the 33rd section can be revised, I am unable to say whether it will be within the power of the Board to complete this and other improvements. I would add that the Act passed in 1877 authorized the Board to carry out no less than 11 improvements, some of them of an extensive character; and, with the exception of the Western improvements and the widening of Gray's Inn Lane, the Board have already given full effect to the powers conferred by that Act.