HC Deb 22 March 1888 vol 324 cc36-7
BARON DIMSDALE (Herts, Hitchin) (for Mr. KENYON) (Denbigh, &c.)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, in view of the proposals made by the President of the Local Government Board, which may affect the position of the Metropolitan Board of Works, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to persevere with the appointment of a Royal Commission; and, whether any steps will be taken to limit the powers of the Board, ad interim, as regards their expenditure on sewerage experiments?


Yes, Sir; certainly. The Government were aware of these proposals when they assented to the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the past working of the Board. The Government are not in possession of any information to justify their interference with the progress of any works now being undertaken by the Board.


asked, if the right hon. Gentleman would state the names of the Commissioners the Government proposed to appoint, and when the Bill would be introduced into the House; or, if he could not answer the Questions now, when would he be able to do so? He would remind the right hon. Gentle- man that five weeks or more had elapsed since the promise of the Government was made.


In answer to my noble Friend, I have to state that the Commissioners have been appointed. They are Lord Herschell, who presides over the Commission, a well-known and eminent Queen's Counsel; Mr. Bosanquet; and a Director of the Bank of England, Mr. Henry Grenfell. Instructions have been given for drafting the Bill to constitute the Commission, and it will be brought forward with as little dely as possible.

MR. FIRTH (Dundee)

asked, whether the inquiry respecting the Metropolitan Board of Works would be retrospective?


said, his recollection was that the Reference to the Commission was precisely in the terms of the Motion of the noble Lord (Lord Randolph Churchill)—an inquiry "into the working" of the Metropolitan Board of Works. He understood that would include the whole of the working from the beginning; but he assumed the Commissioners would exercise some discretion as to the manner in which they would conduct the inquiry.