HC Deb 22 July 1897 vol 51 cc831-3

All sewers existing within a district and not being private property, or not being and continuing under the management of persons appointed by the Crown, or by or in pursuance of any Act of Parliament or Provisional Order, together with all manways, lampholes, ventilating shafts, cesspools, surface gratings and their connections, sluices, and all appliances pertaining thereto, whether the same be the property of the local authority or of any person, shall be vested in the local authority: Provided always, that nothing in this Act contained shall affect the rights of any person or persons to the property or management of any sewers in virtue of any existing local or general police statute.


, after "district," moved to insert "not being a burgh," and to limit the clause accordingly. This clause, he said, was not quite consistent with the clause that does the same thing in the Burgh Police Act 1882, and this clause and other clauses which applied to burghs. The burghs had found very real inconvenience owing to the overlapping of the codes and rules in the different Public Health Acts and Burgh Police Acts. They were seriously apprehensive that fresh difficulties would arise in the management, both of their sewers and water, owing to this fresh Act coming in without any clear definition of how far it was to apply to burghs and how far it was not. He had endeavoured through the association of burgh officials to put down new clauses to deal with the point as far as possible, but it was too elaborate a matter for a private Member to deal with. The subject had so many ramifications that it could only be dealt with adequately by responsible officials of the Government.


said there was no use for the words proposed at this point. The Burgh Police Act, Section (215), vested the sewers in the Commissioners. He was quite aware that the hon. Member was raising the larger question, and he recognised that there was a serious question as to whether proceedings were to be under the Public Health Acts or the Burgh Police Act of 1892, in so far as the provisions of those two Acts related to sewers, drains, and water supply. He did not find it possible to deal with the matter in this Act, because, in the first place, it was impossible to do so until they had finally settled the incidence of assessment. But when this was done it was still true that the question required separate treatment, as it was a question of very considerable complication. The matter, however, would be looked into with the view of introducing a short Bill on the subject. He thought it would be better to deal with it in that way, and they could then elicit the opinion of the burghs in Scotland and settle the matter in accordance with public opinion.


said they welcomed the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, although they were sorry it had been made at such a late hour.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: Leave out "whether the same be the property of the local authority or of any person."

Clause 102,—