HL Deb 20 July 1876 vol 230 cc1618-20

Amendments reported (according to Order).


said, that the powers proposed to be conferred on the Local Government Board by these Orders were excessive. The period for the repayment of money for public improvements in this case should not exceed 50 years from the date of borrowing, and he would move a clause to that effect.

After the clause inserted in Committee moved to insert the following words:— ("Nothing contained in the Order hereby confirmed relating to the Borough of Birmingham shall entitle the urban authority to extend the time for the repayment of the money borrowed under the security of the Street Improvement Rate in the Act of 1851, or under the powers of the Parks Act, 1854, beyond the period of fifty years after the same have been respectively borrowed.")—(The Lord Redesdale.)


said, he could not agree in the view taken by his noble Friend of these Provisional Orders. He must also point out that the Local Government Board had no power to alter Private Acts of Parliament except by the authority of Parliament. They possessed merely the power of making communications in the form of Provisional Orders to Parliament, as to what they considered right to be done; and their Lordships, unless there were imperious reasons for taking a contrary course, always acted upon the recommendations contained in the Reports of their own Committees. He thought therefore that, on finding that the Local Government Board had adopted this Provisional Order after full deliberation and inquiry, their Lordships would be slow to come to a different conclusion and upset the whole of the local arrangements which the Department had recommended. The powers which it was now proposed to confer on the Local Government Board were not greater than those contained in Private Bills. Last Session two Acts, passed with regard to water and gas in Birmingham, authorized the repayment of borrowed money to be extended over a period of either 75, 85, or 95 years—he did not recollect which; and the arguments which then satisfied the noble Chairman of Committees of the propriety of granting such a long period of repayment applied with redoubled force now, when Birmingham was saddled with the additional burden of the improvements under the Artizans and Labourers Dwellings Acts to the extent, he believed, of half or three-quarters of a million. He believed the Local Government Board had exercised a wise discretion in adopting 75 years in this instance, and he trusted the House would not accept the Amendment.


objected to the Local Government Board practically legislating absolutely on these matters.


said, he must press his Amendment.


said, he was glad that his noble Friend (Lord Redesdale) had pressed this subject on the attention of the House. Large sums were being advanced for local objects throughout the country. The President of the Local Government Board brought forward his Budget the other day, which showed that the sums already advanced and likely still to be advanced in that way were very considerable; but the House of Commons was hardly aware of the extended period for which those loans were made. Happening himself to be a Member of the Public Works Loan Commission, he could state that, instead of those loans being made, as they formerly used to be, for 20 or 30 years, 50 years was now the ordinary period for their repayment. It appeared to him that those periods were much too long.

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 34; Not-Contents 18: Majority 16.

Resolved in the Affirmative.

An Amendment made; and Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.

House adjourned at Six o'clock, till To-morrow, Eleven o'clock.