HL Deb 06 July 1875 vol 225 cc994-7

Order of the Day for the House to be put into a Committee, read.


said, that in pursance of the Notice he had given, he rose to call attention to the Water Supply of the Metropolis. It might seem anomalous that he should, on the Motion for going into Committee on the Public Health Bill, call attention to this particular subject, seeing that the Bill did not apply to the metropolis; but what he sought to direct their Lordships' attention to was the general principle on which Water Companies were allowed to charge for their water supply according to the annual valuation of property. Thus he thought that the ratepayers of the metropolis would have to pay an enormous amount of money in consequence of the action of the Metropolitan Water Companies in connection with the working of the statute under which the metropolis was re-valued from time to time. On each re-valuation, both the gross and the rateable value of property in this capital was largely increased. That, he ventured to think, would be found to be a result of the recent revaluation. The Water Companies made their charges on the "rateable value" of the premises; so that, with the increase of the value of property in the metropolis, those Companies could bring large additional sums into their coffers without extending their works or improving either the quantity or quality of the water. They could do this until their dividends reached 10 per cent. Since the Metropolis Valuation Act of 1871 came in force those Water Companies had raised their capital from £9,975,000 to £11,071,000, and they had further power to raise £792,000. Their plan for raising money was by the issue of additional shares, instead of by loans, which they could obtain at a moderate rate of interest. Their shares were readily taken up, because persons knew that when the time came—as come it would—when a central authority would have to purchase up the rights of those Companies, the purchase would have to be made at a very high rate on a very much increased revenue. It might be difficult to insert in this Bill a clause to protect the ratepayers against the Water Companies, but he suggested that the Government might well consider whether the operation of any new valuation of the metropolis ought not to be suspended for a year or two, in order that Parliament might have an opportunity of considering what ought to be done in respect of those Companies.


hoped he would be excused if he declined to follow the noble Earl into a discussion of the Metropolitan Water Supply, seeing that the Bill did not, as the noble Earl had stated, apply to the metropolis. The noble Earl was entirely out of Order, inasmuch as by a clause in the Bill the metropolis was expressly excluded from the operation of the measure, and consequently any reply he could make to the noble Earl's remarks would be entirely out of place.

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 109, inclusive, agreed to, with Amendments.

Clause 110 (Restriction on establishment of offensive trade in urban districts. P. H. s. 64).

Amendment moved to insert after ("Tripe boiler, or")— (" Manufacturer, smelting or burning ores or minerals giving off sulphuric acid, sulphuretted hydrogen, or ammoniacal gases, or.")—(The Duke of Northumberland.)


said, he was unable to accept the Amendment as the matter was dealt with by another clause, and hoped that the noble Duke would not press it.

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 33; Not-Contents 54: Majority 21.

Resolved in the Negative.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 111 agreed to.

Clause 112 (Duty of urban authority to complain to justice of nuisance arising from offensive trade).


moved, in page 39, lines 31, 34, 35, for ("urban authority") read ("local authority").


opposed the Amendment on the ground that all local authorities would not be fit persons to have such very large powers; but the local authorities would be able to report nuisances to the Local Government Board, and then they would be dealt with.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 113 to 123, inclusive, agreed to, with Amendments.

Clause 124 (Penalty on exposure of infected persons and things. San. 1866, ss. 25, 38).


moved, to insert— Any person who suffering from a contagious disorder wilfully communicates such disorder, and any person who while suffering, &c., &c,


said, lie could not accept the proposal. The word "contagious" had been studiously left out of the Bill, and he hoped that the noble Duke would not cause it to be inserted.


said, that the subject was one of extreme importance, as it touched the health of the people to a large extent.

On Question? Resolved in the Negative.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 125 to 167, inclusive, agreed to.


moved, after Clause 167, to insert the following clause:—