§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the contemplated scheme for pulling down houses in Chelsea, now inhabited by about ten thousand of the working classes, in order to erect upon their site blocks of palatial residences; and, whether he will take steps whereby provisions similar to those contained in the Standing Orders of both Houses of Parliament, which impose upon Railway Companies severe regulations as to the pulling down of dwellings of the working classes, can be made applicable with regard to similar demolitions by private landowners, in time to prevent the eviction of thousands from Chelsea of the artizans and others from their homes, without any prospect of their finding others in the neighbourhood in which they have long resided?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Sir, my attention has been called to schemes contemplated by Lord Cadogan for the improvement of part of his Chelsea estate. According to the best information I can obtain, the largest scheme will affect the present residences of about 1,400 people, and Lord Cadogan has insisted on industrial dwellings being provided sufficient to accommodate 800 persons. None of the new residence, the building of which is contemplated, can, by the utmost stretch of exaggerated language, be described as "palatial." The execution of the schemes cannot be begun till Michaelmas, 1887, when the present lease expires. The Chelsea Vestry have sanctioned the intended improvements. Standing Orders imposing certain conditions on Railway Companies who seek to acquire compulsorily the houses of others do not appear applicable to the case of a private owner dealing with his own property. But I would point out that, in the present case, Lord Cadogan proposes voluntarily to do more than any Standing Order would require.