HC Deb 24 November 1908 vol 197 cc111-2

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in reference to the number of deaths from accidental drowning on the Surrey side of Hammersmith Bridge, he is aware that the Borough of Hammersmith and the Urban Council of Barnes have each offered to pay one-third of the cost of erecting a protective wall or railing to make the embankment safe; and whether, in view of the refusal of the Thames Conservancy to spend any money for this purpose, he can take any action to procure the consent of the Conservancy and the early undertaking of necessary protective works.


I am informed by the Thames Conservancy Board that they have received and carefully considered a proposal made to them by the Barnes Urban District Council that a fence should be erected at the place referred to, the cost being defrayed in equal shares by the Council, the Corporation of Hammersmith, and the Thames Conservancy Board. This proposal the Conservancy Board have felt themselves unable to accede to, as the execution of protective works on the river banks is not, in their opinion, a duty with which they are charged, though they are ready, as I informed the hon. Member on 15th July last, to give the local authority permission to construct protective works provided these do not interfere with the use of the towpath or navigation. The matter does not appear to be one in regard to which the Board of Trade possess any powers.