HL Deb 31 May 1881 vol 261 cc1769-70



asked the Lord President of the Council as to the progress of the Bill for the Rivers Conservancy and the Prevention of Floods, and whether ordnance survey of the river basins could not be expedited, inasmuch as no works for the prevention of floods could be commenced, until the survey of these districts was completed?


said, he would take that opportunity of asking whether the Government would take some means to stimulate the publication of the 6-inch survey?


inquired whether the River Thames would not be included in the Bill, because otherwise great injustice would be done.


said, Her Majesty's Government had made every endeavour to forward the Bill in the other House of Parliament. It left their Lordships' House on the 17th of March, and was read a first time in the other House on the following day. The second reading was proposed on the 31st of March; but the debate on that Motion was adjourned, and was resumed on the 2nd of April, when an Amendment to read the Bill a second time that day six months was defeated by a large majority. His right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board proposed to refer it to a Select Committee, which was not to take evidence, but only to consider the clauses. Since the 8th of April every effort had been made by his right hon. Friend to further advance the Bill; but Motions to stop its progress and the operation of the half-past 12 o'clock Rule had proved a great obstacle to his efforts. There were, at the present time, 11 Notices against its progress, some being Motions which were not calculated to assist the Bill—such, for instance, as Mr. Healy's Motion to add Mr. Dillon's name to the Committee. He could assure their Lordships that if the Bill did not become law in the present Session, the failure would be attributable to no want of interest on the part of the Government. In regard to the completion of the Ordnance Survey of the river districts, he admitted that it would be a great advantage that it should be completed. The Government would endeavour to secure for the river basins a priority, and he would make inquiry as to the possibility of carrying out the suggestion of the noble Marquess as well as the noble Duke.