§ MR. HORNER (Lambeth, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the case of Parker versus the London County Council, in which the plaintiff claimed damages for injuries caused by the council's tramears, and to the fact that responsibility was repudiated by the London County Council under The Public Authorities Protection Act, 1893; and, if so, whether he will initiate legislation to prevent the pleading of this Act in cases of injuries caused to the public by tramears and other conveyances owned by the London County Council and similar bodies.
THE SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. GRANT LAWSON, Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk)
I think that there has been some misapprehension as to the effect of the decision in the case referred to. As I understand the matter, the Court decided, not that the London County Council were not responsible for injuries caused to the public by their tramears, but that any proceedings in respect of the act, neglect, or default causing the injury must be commenced within six months. This is in accordance with the general rule, which, under Section 1 of the Public Authorities Protection Act, 1893, is applicable to persons acting in the execution of any Statute, duty, or authority, and I am not aware of any sufficient reason for making an exception to it.
§ MR. HORNER
Arising out of the Answer I hope I may be permitted to ask the hon. Gentleman whether it is within his knowledge that the London County Council kept up the correspondence in this matter until it was too late for the injured man to bring an action.
MR. GRANT LAWSON
I am not aware of that, but I think it very unlikely that the local authority would proceed in that manner.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The question of the conduct of the London County Council as defendant in an action cannot be raised.
§ MR. HORNER
The hon. Gentleman has not answered the concluding part of my Question as to whether he intends to initiate legislation in order to prevent this kind of abuse.