HC Deb 13 March 1896 vol 38 cc874-6

The Orders for the Second Reading of the following Bills were postponed to the 24th inst.:—The Chelsea Water (Transfer) Bill, the East London Water (Transfer) Bill, the Grand Junction Water (Transfer) Bill, the Kent Water (Transfer) Bill, the New River Water (Transfer) Bill, the West Middlesex Water (Transfer) Bill, the Kent Water Board Bill, the East London Water (Height of Supply) Bill, the Staines Reservoirs Bill, the New River Company Bill, and the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Bill.


said, it would doubtless be for the convenience of all parties concerned that the whole of the Bills should be postponed for consideration on the same day—the 24th inst. It was the intention of the Government to introduce the Bill of which they had given notice in the House of Lords on Monday next, and on the following day that Bill would be in the hands of hon. Members, who would then have an opportunity of considering its provisions. For this reason it had been decided that the best course to pursue was to postpone all the Water Bills to the date named. ["Hear, hear!"]

MR. E. BOULNOIS (Marylebone, E.)

said, that, while not opposing the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman, he wished to guard himself against any idea that he willingly acquiesced in it. The Water Companies had done their duty in introducing the Bills to enable them to supply water to the increasing population of London, and if, through want of time or other reasons the Bills should be delayed or fail, he hoped the House would not throw the responsibility on the Companies. [''Hear, hear!"] He knew, of course, that it would be convenient that all the Bills should be considered on the same day, but at the same time he was aware, from previous experience in such matters, that it was possible that the wants of London might be thwarted in consequence of delay.

MR. J. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

said, he did not intervene for the purpose of raising any Debate, but merely to say that if an understanding wax come to on this matter he hoped it would be maintained. There would be sufficient opportunity between the day mentioned and the Easter holidays to establish any Committee or Committees that were required, and the Committees would enter upon their work immediately after Easter. He thought the course suggested a very desirable one, and it was difficult to see that any time would be lost by the course proposed to be taken.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

said, he thought the House generally was entirely in accord with the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman to postpone all these Bills until the same day. The fears of his hon. Friend opposite were really unfounded, because he was sure there was no desire in any section of the House to delay the Bills unduly if the House came to the conclusion that they ought to be referred to a Select Committee. He did not think any time would be lost. In fact, in the time given they might be able to come to some general agreement on the subject without a long discussion. He would like to point out that the day proposed, the 24th of March, was a private Members' night. He had a Motion down for that particular night, and though he did not mention that with any desire to delay the Bills, still he thought he might appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to give him an assurance that they would not endeavour to count the House out if these matters were disposed of, and his Motion came on.

MR. ABEL SMITH (Herts, Hertford)

said, his constituents were most deeply interested in these Water Bills. They thought that the inhabitants of the district had the first claim on the water, and they would call on Parliament to protect them from the injustice which they felt would be inflicted upon them by taking the water away.

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