§ MR. STEADMAN (Finsbury, Central)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been directed to the case of the Birmingham Housing Committee versus John Roderick, in respect of seven houses owned by the latter which had been represented by the medical officer of health under Part II. of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890, as being in a state so dangerous and injurious to health as to be unfit for human habitation; if he is aware that through several adjournments of this case by the magistrates and their being unable to agree as to the facts of the case, the defendant owner was enabled to evade the proper carrying out of the repairs required by the sanitary authority, and that this action of the magistrates has caused more money to be spent in legal proceedings than would have sufficed to put the houses in a thoroughly sanitary condition; and whether he intends to take any administrative action in the matter or to assist sanitary authorities in their work by legislation.
(Answered by Mr. John. Burns.) My attention has been directed to a report of the Housing Committee of the Birmingham Town Council with respect to this case, from which it would appear that the facts are substantially as stated in the Question. I have, however, no power to review the proceedings of the justices in such a case, and I do not think I could usefully intervene in the matter.