§ MR. NORRIS (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse)
asked the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, If any measures are being, or will shortly be, taken to facilitate communication between the banks of the river below London Bridge, which is so much needed by the people of East and South London; and, whether he can hold out hopes that a new bridge below the proposed Tower Bridge will be constructed at an early period; and, if not, will he explain the reasons?
§ THE CHAIRMAN (Sir JAMES M'GAREL-HOGG) (Middlesex, Hornsey)
I beg to inform the hon. Member that the Metropolitan Board is now engaged in the establishment of a free ferry between North and South Woolwich, powers for which were obtained last Session. In addition, the Board has given instructions for the preparation of plans for an opening bridge below the proposed Tower Bridge, and the whole question of communications below London Bridge has been referred to a Sub-Committee. Whether the Sub-Committee will feel in a position to recommend a bridge or sub-way I cannot say; but I must remind the hon. Member that the financial difficulty is a serious one. The Coal Dues, to which the Board has naturally looked for many years for funds for such purposes as this, will expire in 1888; and unless they are renewed, or some other source of revenue presented, not only Thames communications, but other equally desirable improvements may have to be indefinitely postponed.
§ MR. RITCHIE
desired to know whether it was a fact that the Metropolitan Board presented a scheme to Parliament which would have involved an expenditure of between £1,000,000 and £2,000,000 for making a sub-way between the two sides of the river? If that were so, why was it that they were unable, from want of funds, to make one or other of the means of communication referred to?
§ SIR JAMES M'GAREL-HOGG
I may say that that partakes of the character of ancient history. If my hon. 1134 Friend will give Notice, at the proper time I will give him a proper answer.