HC Deb 09 March 1891 vol 351 cc474-5
MR. R. G. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether information has reached him that the agents of the Midland Railway Company or others are pulling down houses in Somers Town, St. Pancras, and, in consequence, evicting many of the inhabitants, without having previously erected dwellings for those displaced; and, as this is not only a severe injury to the evicted tenants, but a serious damage to the trade of the neighbourhood, whether he will have steps taken to have the strict spirit of Section 33 of "The Midland Railway (Additional Powers) Act, 1890," stringently enforced, in the interest of the inhabitants of Somers Town?


Yes, Sir; information to that effect has reached me, but I have made careful and independent inquiry, and I find that the houses in question have not been demolished at the instance of the Railway Company, but of a private freeholder, whose solicitors inform me that the site has been cleared for rebuilding under the requirements of a reversionary lease granted to their clients in 1882, and that most of the houses were in a thoroughly insanitary condition, and altogether unfit for human habitation. As I stated in reply to a question on the 24th of January last, I have no reason whatever to believe that the Railway Company intend to evade their legal obligations, and they are now preparing a scheme for my approval with the view to giving effect to the 33rd section of the Act quoted.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state the name of his adviser?


I have not got the name with me, but I will tell my hon. Friend privately.

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