§ MR. W. F. D. SMITH (Strand, Westminster)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he can state the terms of reference to the Royal Commission on the London Water Commission?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. HENRY CHAPLIN, Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
The terms of the reference are as follows:— (1) To inquire and report whether, having regard to financial considerations and to present and prospective requirements as regards water supply in the districts within the limits of supply of the metropolitan water companies, it is desirable, in the interests of the ratepayers and water consumers in those districts, that the undertakings of the water companies should be acquired and managed either (a) by one authority, or (b) by several authorities, and, if so, what should be 99 such authority or authorities; to what extent physical severance of the works and other property and sources of supply of the several companies, and the division thereof between different local authorities within the limits of supply, are practicable and desirable, and what are the legal powers necessary to give effect to any such arrangements; (2) if the undertakings are not so acquired, whether additional powers of control should be exercised by local or other authorities, and, if so, what those powers should be; (3) whether it is practicable to connect any two or more of the different systems of supply now administered by the eight metropolitan companies, and, if so, by whom and in what proportions should the cost of connecting them be borne, and what are the legal powers necessary to give effect to any such arrangement?
MR. HARRY MARKSSt. George's-in-the-East) (Tower Hamlets,
asked when the Metropolitan Water Consumers Bill would be introduced?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
That Bill will be introduced, I hope, as soon as I see a reasonable prospect of proceeding with it, but I do not think there is any chance of my seeing that prospect before Easter.