§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
To ask Mr. Attorney-General by what Act or Acts London insurance companies are required to pay to the London Fire Brigade the sum of £30 per annum for every million pounds of insurances effected; does this statutory obligation extend outside the area of the London County Council; and, if not, would he consider the possibility of extending this obligation to all the extra Metropolitan districts where efficient fire brigades are established.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) My hon. friend has asked me to answer this Question. By Section 13 of 28 and 29 Vic, cap. 90 (The Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act, 1865), companies insuring any property in the Metropolis against fire are required to pay quarterly to the Metropolitan Board of Works (now the London County Council) a contribution towards the expenses of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade at the rate of £35 per annum for every £1,000,000 of the gross
§ and other Public Offices on the 31st day of March, 1907, specifying whether held in England or Ireland (in continuation of Parliamentary Paper, No. 163, of Session 1906):—
§ amounts insured. Outside the area of the London County Council there is no statutory obligation on fire insurance companies to make any such contribution, except in one or two large towns under the provisions of local Acts; but, in a number of towns and districts, it is the custom of fire insurance companies to make voluntary payments towards the expenses of dealing with fire. Full information on this subject will be found on page 17 of the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Fire Brigades, 1900 (No. 278, of 1900), which recommended that "all fire insurance companies should be required by law to contribute some proportion of the expenses connected with fire extinction, which is an obligation already recognised by some of the most important companies." I am not, however, prepared, as at present advised, to initiate legislation of the kind suggested.