HC Deb 20 July 1897 vol 51 cc574-6
MR.CUMMING MACDONA (Southwark, Rotherhithe)

said he desired to ask the President of the Local Government Board a Question of which he had given private notice—whether he was aware that some of the residents in Bermondsey had been for the last three days (13th, 14th, and 15th inst.) without any water from the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company for household, sanitary, and factory purposes; and whether the local vestry had any power in the matter so as to compel this water company to provide a continuous supply of water for local purposes; if not, would he introduce a new clause in the Bill now before the House to that effect?

MR. STUART-WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)

Before that Question is answered, may I, Mr. Speaker, draw attention to a ruling of Mr. Speaker Peel, that questions affecting the individuals of the corporations should not be asked on private notice? ["Hear, hear!"]


This Question has, I am told, been on the Paper, and notice of it has been given.


But it has not been asked. [Cries of "Order, order!"]


I quite agree that as a general rule in Questions of this kind notice should be given to persons affected by them. ["Hear, hear!"]


The Question did appear on the Paper, and it was at my request that the hon. Member postponed it. If the House desires I am prepared to answer it now. I have communicated with the company, and from their reply it appears that there were 5 or 6 isolated cases of complaint on the 13th, 14th, and 15th inst. I shall be happy to show my hon. Friend the statement which I have received from the company. As regards the particular case with respect to which a letter was forwarded to me by my hon. Friend, I may state that I am informed that the cause of the trouble originated from some person—not in the service of the company—having shut the private stop cock cock supplying their premises. No new clause such as that suggested by the hon. Member will be required, in my opinion, in the Bill now before the House for the object which he has in view. If that Bill is passed in its present form, it will give full powers to the vestry to institute proceedings against the company in precisely such a case as this if they are of opinion that there has been a failure on the part of the company to comply with the statutory requirements.