HC Deb 17 August 1893 vol 16 cc418-9
MR. BYLES (York, W.R., Shipley)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he has seen a letter in The Standard of Saturday last, from Mr. Herbert W. Seager, M.B., alleging that he rents a house from the Woods and Forests, and that the house is at times uninhabitable by reason of its being filled with deadly gases from a neighbouring cesspool, for which his landlord is responsible; that his wife and child have already died there from blood poisoning; that the Woods and Forest Commissioners refuse to take any action; and the local Sanitary Authority refuses to step in on the ground that it has no jurisdiction over Government property; and whether these allegations are admitted to be true; and, if so, whether the Commissioners will be compelled to adopt such measures as will protect the health of the inhabitants?


These allegations are not admitted to be true. I am informed that the deaths referred to occurred in 1887, and that Mr. Seager made no complaint to the Office of Woods about the cesspool until May, 1892. The cesspool had been made some time previously without any consent from the Department of Woods; but no complaint, has been received respecting it from any other resident (though some are in closer proximity than Mr. Seager), nor from the local Sanitary Authority. The Commissioner of Woods, however, on seeing Mr. Seager's letter in The Standard, at once communicated with the Sanitary Authority; but no reply beyond an acknowledgment has been received.