§ Mr. W. CLOUGH
asked the President of the Local Government Board when the Royal Commission, appointed to inquire and report what methods of treating and disposing of sewage may properly be adopted, held its first sitting; how many sittings has since been held; how many Reports have been issued, and at what price per volume, and how much taxpayers' money has been already expended upon this Royal Commission; and whether he can say how many more Reports will be issued, when the final Report may be expected, and what the total cost of this Royal Commission is likely to be?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. John Burns)
The Royal Commission held its first meeting on the 21st June, 1898. There have been 93 formal meetings for taking evidence, in addition to a large number of other sittings. Six Reports have been issued in several volumes, varying in cost from a few pence to 14s. 9d. Up to the 31st July last the total cost of the Commission was £57,578, including the net cost of stationery and printing, but excluding the cost of accommodation. I understand that it is hoped that the final Report will be issued in the course of the next 18 months, and that it is possible that in the meantime there may be a further Report on standards for sewage effluents. I am informed that an estimate cannot at present be framed of the further expenditure which may be required.