§ *MR. A. C. MORTON (Peterborough)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to the provisions of the Waterworks Clauses Act, 1847, which impose on the Water Companies the duty of keeping charged with water at all times (except when prevented by frost) all their pipes to which fire-plugs are attached; and, whether he has any power to enforce compliance by the Water Companies with this enactment; and, if so, whether he will at once take steps to secure that their pipes shall be kept properly charged with water for the purpose of extinguishing fire?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. SHAW LEFEVRE, Bradford, Central)
I am aware of the provisions of the Waterworks Clauses Act, 1847, to which my hon. Friend refers, but I have no power to enforce compliance by the Water Companies with this enactment. It appears that the only remedy is by way of mandamus, but I am unable to say who is to apply for the mandamus.
§ *MR. A. C. MORTON
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether his Department was not the authority to deal with all questions under the Act.
§ MR. SHAW-LEFEVRE
said, that was not so. If anybody had authority it was the local authority; but the Act did not define what authority was to enforce the provision.