§ MR. BARLOW (Somersetshire, Frome)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that a fire occurred at High Lane, Cheshire, on 8th April, and that, in consequence of the refusal of the fire brigade on arrival from Stockport to take steps to put the fire out, three or four stacks of hay, worth £200 or £300, were burnt; and is he aware that the Stockport Fire Brigade acted under the instructions of the corporation in this course, because the farm was outside the boundary and within the parish of Marple and that the Stockport Corporation have refused to allow the fire brigade to assist in extinguishing fires under such circumstances unless the Marple district are willing to contribute toward its maintenance a sum equal to about l½d. in the £ annually on the whole assessment of the Marple district, in addition to the charges and expenses of the brigade in attending; and will he state if this course meets with his approval.
§ MR. CHAPLIN
I am informed that the watch committee of the Stockport Corporation gave notice some time since to the Marple District Council that the fire-engines and appliances of the corporation would not be allowed to attend fires in their district. The ground for this action appears to have been that the district council had not agreed to contribute towards the fire brigade. It was in consequence of this that the fire brigade, acting under the instructions of the watch committee, declined to extinguish the fire in the Marple district which is referred to in the question. I understand that the Marple District Council have not been asked to contribute any such sum as that mentioned in the question towards the maintenance of the Stockport Fire Brigade. It is stated that no sum has been specified, and that the district council have taken no steps whatever to make an arrangement with the corporation for the protection of their district, 1509 no reply having been made to the communications sent to them by the corporation on three separate occasions. On the information before me, it seems to me that the responsibility in this matter rests with the Marple District Council.