§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
, in moving that the House be put into Committee on the said Bill, said, its object was to amend the law in the metropolis relating to slaughter-houses and certain other businesses, and was rendered necessary by the near expiry of the term of 30 years limited by the Metropolis Buildings Act of 1844, within which certain noxious businesses were permitted to continue 384 within the metropolis. The 55th section provided—That if any such business be now carried on in any situation within such distances, then from the expiration of the period of 30 years next after the passing of this Act, it shall cease to be lawful to carry on such business in such situation.Though the wording of that section might appear to be clear enough, in fact, doubts had arisen in respect of its legal construction, and it was contended that those noxious trades might still be carried on in places within the forbidden area if they had existed in those places previously to 1844. It was to put an end to this doubt, and to improve and extend the power of inspection that this Bill was introduced. It had been found that inspection had hitherto worked very satisfactorily, and there was every reason to believe that if the Bill now before their Lordships became law, under more stringent regulations and a system of closer inspection, all cause of complaint in respect of those trades which were still permitted might be removed. There were certain trades which were not desirable in any locality, but which not only afforded much employment, but were very useful to the community at large. If these trades could be carried on without detriment to the public health, transplanting them from one locality to another might be a questionable operation. For instance, if the fell trade were transplanted from Bermondsey, no very long time would elapse before as much inconvenience would be felt from it in its new locality as was now experienced from its being carried on in Bermondsey. Again, the custom of slaughtering in slaughter-houses within the metropolis increased the supply of animal food for the poor of London. A large quantity of what was known as "offal" was consumed by the poor as food, and this could not be if it was not sold fresh and sweet. In the summer months it was absolutely necessary that butchers should have slaughter-houses attached to their premises, so that they might kill and sell to their customers without the risk which would attend the sending them to the shambles, or having to be sent from any considerable distance. It was therefore proposed that these slaughter-houses should be continued under licence. The Bill now before their Lordships would afford 385 additional powers to the Metropolitan Board of "Works and the Commissioners of Sewers for the making of bye-laws in respect of the due regulation and inspection of places in which certain noxious trades were carried on. Clause 2 contained an absolute prohibition against the establishing of the businesses of soap-boiler, tallow-melter, or knacker within the limits of the Act. Clause 3 permitted the businesses of fellmonger, tripe-boiler, and slaughterer of cattle to be established anew with the sanction of the local authority. Clause 11 gave power to the Inspectors appointed by the Privy Council for the purposes of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act to enter slaughter-houses and knackers' yards for detection of disease. The other clauses were definition clauses and clauses providing for the making of bye-laws and other details. The Bill had received the approval of the trades affected by it and also of the Metropolitan Board of Works.
§ LORD LAWRENCE
observed that in the vestry with which he was acquainted complaints had been made of the rapidity with which this Bill had been passed through the House of Commons.
§ Motion agreed to; House in Committee accordingly: Amendments made; the Report thereof to be received on Tuesday next; and Bill to be printed, as amended. (No. 191.)