HC Deb 26 June 1934 vol 291 cc964-5

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the fact that the London County Council propose to disregard the twice-expressed opinion of Parliament that Waterloo Bridge should not be pulled down, notwithstanding the fact that this bridge was specially named by Act of Parliament and accepted by Parliament as the national memorial of the battle of Waterloo; and whether, in view of the doubts which have been expressed as to the power of the London County Council to demolish Waterloo Bridge without the authority of Parliament, he will refer the question to the Law Officers of the Crown?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)

I was not aware that any doubts have been expressed with regard to the London County Council's powers to demolish Waterloo Bridge, but I understand that they have been advised by counsel that they have power to proceed with its demolition without the further authority of Parliament.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that the ancient Statute upon which the London County Council rely for power to pull down this bridge without the authority of Parliament specifically provides that a bridge shall not be pulled down unless it shall be so much in decay as to render the taking of the same wholly down necessary or expedient; and is he aware that the Royal Commission on Cross River Traffic, a statutory body appointed by Parliament, unanimously found that it was neither necessary nor expedient to pull the bridge wholly down and that it could be repaired?


If my hon. Friend will supply me with those points, I will undertake to have them examined.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I did supply the points to the Attorney-General, on the assumption that the right hon. and learned Gentleman would be consulted in the matter?


Will the Prime Minister inform the House who won the Battle of Waterloo?