HC Deb 11 February 1897 vol 46 cc152-3
DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)

moved the Second Reading of this Bill.

*MR. J. G. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

opposed the Bill on various grounds, among others that under the Bill it would be competent for jerry-builders (of whom there were far too many in and around London) to lease lands and put up structures which were attractive outside but insanitary and unhealthy, in consequence of there being no provision by the County Council to prevent damp by carrying off surface drainage. The London County Council were always coming to that House asking for additional powers, but he thought they should use the powers they had first before they sought to obtain more. He thought they would agree that it was not for London Vestries to take the initiative in this matter, but that the County Council should do so. [The hon. Member, who was heard with difficulty, owing to the conversation in the House, was understood to comment on the concrete used by jerry builders, which frequently consisted of crushed coke cinders, a little lime, and a sprinkling of Portland cement, and said that the, County Council ought to see that builders and district surveyors carried out their duties.] He hoped that the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill would give some assurance that the surface drainage of houses on lands tinder the supervision of the County Council would be seen to.

MR. B. L. COHEN (Islington, E.)

pointed out that the County Council had not powers at present to compel the local authorities to discharge their duties, assuming that they did not do so in regard to surface drainage. By their General Powers Act of 1893, they had powers as regarded low, Hat, level lands to insist that the drainage should he properly looked after, and they had powers to appeal to a tribunal constituted by that Act. He did not think it would be opportune to attempt to introduce into this private Bill provisions for powers which had hitherto been confined to local authorities. He hoped his hon. Friend would be satisfied with this explanation, and with the statement that the subject in which he took an interest was not and would not be lost sight of.

Bill read a Second time, and committed.

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