§ MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, with regard to his promise to offer facilities for referring to either a Select or Hybrid Committee the various Bills now before Parliament relating to the acquisition by some Public Body of the Water Companies of the Metropolis, whether he will give facilities for the passing of the Metropolitan Water Companies' Charges Bill, which contains provisions to prevent the companies from raising their rates through the quinquennial re-valuation of property, in prospect of the early purchase by the public?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
It will be impossible for the Government to give facilities for such a Bill, as our responsibilities must be limited to finding time for Government measures. I will1 not enter into any argument as to the matters which are naturally suggested by the question of the hon. Member; but I may say that, if the various Water Bills were referred to a committee, the Committee 1627 would have full powers to consider the terms and conditions on which the undertakings of the companies were to be acquired.