HC Deb 04 May 1885 vol 297 c1485

asked the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, Whether the Committee of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade are unable to make the necessary increase in that body, and in the plant, owing to the want of funds; and, whether this is mainly due to the refusal of the Fire Offices to increase their contribution to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, and to their opposition to the Bill for the removal of the limitation of the halfpenny rate?


asked, whether the principle of calling upon insurance companies to pay for the protection of those who did not themselves pay for their own protection was not an unsound one; and, whether the burden ought not to be borne equally by the whole of the ratepayers?


In reply to my hon. Friend, I beg to say that the state of the funds now at the disposal of the Metropolitan Board of Works for Fire Brigade purposes has certainly prevented them, on more than one occasion, from entertaining requests made for additional stations; and no doubt if Parliament had passed the Bill which I introduced last year for the increase of the insurance companies' contributions and the removal of the limitation of the rate, the difficulties under which the Board are placed would have also been removed. With regard to the second Question which has been addressed to me, I think the hon. Member had better give Notice of it, because it introduces controversial matter, and I cannot answer it on the spur of the moment.