HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc511-2
COLONEL DAWNAY (York, N. R., Thirsk)

asked the President of the Local Government Board. Whether his attention had been called to the proposed new bye-laws of the Thames Conservators, by which no direct action will be taken to put a stop to the insanitary nuisances caused by houseboats and steam launches; and that, although a bye-law provides against casting any sewage, rubbish, or other offensive matter into the River, this will not be taken to apply the shocking condition of things seen at places where the River is shamefully polluted by the sewage from house-boats; whether he is aware that any objection or representation against the proposed new bye-laws must be made on or before the 28th instant; and, whether, in the interests of the millions of people who depend upon the Upper Thames for their water supply, he will compel the Thames Conservators to take immediate and efficient steps to free the River from its present and over-increasing state of pollution?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

My attention has been called to the proposed new bye-law of the Thames Conservators. I have been in communication with the Conservators on the subject. I am informed that the hon. Member is incorrect in assuming what is stated in the first part of the Question. The Conservators state that the bye-law is intentionally drawn as wide as possible, to cover every possible mode of pollution of the river; and that it was so prepared with the object of carrying into effect Section 4 of the Thames Preservation Act. 1885, which enacts that it shall be the duty of the Conservators to make special Regulations for pro-venting the pollution of the river by the sewage of any house-boat or steam launch. The Conservators believe that when the bye-law comes into operation, it will have the effect of preventing the nuisance which now arises from vessels moored in or navigating the river. If the hon. Member would wish to make any specific suggestion as to any additions to the proposed bye-law, and will communicate it to me, I shall be happy to forward his communication to the Conservators.


gave Notice that in consequence of the answer of the President of the Local Government Board he would call the attention of the House to the subject, and move to disallow the proposed bye-laws of the Thames Conservancy Board, in consequence of their neglecting to deal with the nuisance caused by house-boats and steam launches.

MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

asked, Whether the legal advisers of the Local Government Board were satisfied that the bye-laws would prohibit house-boats from discharging sewage into the Thames?


said, that he had not considered it necessary to consult the legal advisers of the Board on the subject; but, so far as he had been able to ascertain the opinion of the officials, he thought that the bye-laws would have that effect.