HL Deb 18 July 1911 vol 9 cc507-35

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(The Earl of Kintore.)

On Question, Bill read 3a.

THE DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND rose to move the insertion of the following new clause— (1) If any operation of the Board for the purposes of or in connection with the construction of any reservoir by this Act authorised has caused any diminution of the supply of water from any well borehole pond pool spring stream or watering place or other source of supply existing at the date of the passing of this Act within the administrative county of Middlesex and within a radius of two miles from the site of any such reservoir the Board shall upon the written request of the owner (which term in this section shall include any lessee or occupier) of such source of supply repay to the owner all costs and expenses reasonably incurred by the owner in obtaining such additional supply of water as may be or may have been reasonably necessary to make his supply of water the same as nearly as may be as his supply was before the commencement of such operations of the Board. (2) The owner shall afford the officers servants or other representatives of the Board at all reasonable times after the passing of this Act access to the source of supply in respect of which any claim is made under this section for the purpose of ascertaining particulars thereof and the level of the water therein. (3) Any question or dispute arising under this section shall be referred to and determined by a single arbitrator to be agreed upon between the parties or in default of agreement to be appointed on the application of either party by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and subject as aforesaid the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1889 shall apply to any such reference.

The noble Duke said: My Lords, I rise to move the Amendment of which I have given notice, and I shall endeavour not to detain your Lordships longer than I can help upon a matter which is, of course, of a rather technical character. But I am afraid I must spend sonic little time upon it, because it is necessary that I should put the whole case as distinctly as I can before you. To make a long story short, the Metropolitan Water Board propose to construct in the County of Middlesex two reservoirs of a very large size, and the method of construction is as follows. They intend to dig a ditch round these reservoirs—a ditch which in its whole circumference will reach a length of five miles. They mean to dig this ditch right down to the London clay, which lies 110 feet in some places below the surface. They intend to fill these ditches with concrete and then to dig out the interior of the circle so formed and fill it with water and so make a reservoir. This form of construction is not a very common one, I believe, and the scale on which it is proposed to do it in this instance is absolutely unique. It is perfectly evident that if you dig a ditch 110 feet deep and five miles long you will infallibly tap the whole of the water which rests upon London clay upon the water bearing surface. While this ditch is being dug and these works are being carried out the Metropolitan Water Board will have to pump extensively, and the consequence of their pumping, as we apprehend, will be that they will deplete all the wells in the surrounding district.

This is a populous district, full of small owners and occupiers who have wells, and we fear that the distress for water in consequence of the Board's operations will be very great. I can call in support of that statement no less weighty evidence than that of the Metropolitan Water Board's own engineer, Mr. W. B. Bryan, and with your Lordships' leave I will read some extracts from his evidence—

Q.—I think you told my friend Mr. Hutchinson this morning that during the time your trenches are open through the gravel to the London clay you will have pumping machinery here?


Q.—Is that liable to pump the water out of the surrounding gravel for a radius of some distance?

A.—It is.

Q.—Are you aware that a large number of the houses in the village of Wraysbury are dependent to a great extent for their water supply on wells?

A.—I gained that from some of the petitions.

Q.—May I ask what you propose to do in view of that?

A.—It is rather difficult to say what would be the best means, but I should think the putting down of a small temporary pumping station taking the water from the existing sources and laying some temporary pipes of supply. Then the engineer was asked whether there was anything of that sort in his Bill, and he replied "No." But he added that there were contingencies in the estimates which would cover that. Next he was asked whether that provision would be covered by the 10 per cent. contingencies, and he replied in the affirmative. He was then asked— Is that the usual thing for the ten per cent. contingencies to cover? and he replied— That will not be a large matter; it will be a very small matter indeed as compared with the cost of Reservoirs Nos. 1 and 2. Therefore, my Lords, you will observe, first, that the depletion of water is admitted by the Water Board's engineer, and that the supply to make good that loss to these small well owners would, on the engineer's admission, involve a very small cost to the Board. Then the following questions were put to the Water Board's engineer—

Q.—Are you prepared, as engineer, to come under an obligation to supply water if these wells fail?

A.—If it could be proved that these wells failed by reason of our works I think it would be fair that we should supply them with water.

Q.—But forgive me, you have just admitted to me that the water will be sucked out of the gravel for a very considerable area; many of these wells are within 200 yards of your works?

A.—I have just stated that if that be proved, it would be fair that we should supply them in some form or another with an adequate water supply.

Q.—Then I may take it you will be prepared to insert some obligation in the Bill to that effect?

A.—That would have to go through the solicitors and counsel for the Bill, but I have stated my opinion that it would be fair to do it.

Q.—There is another point, of course. How is a cottager going to prove that damage has been done by your pumping? That is an expensive matter?

A.—I am quite sure my Board would take a perfectly broad view of this matter.

Q.—Will you put a general obligation in the Bill?

A.—I am quite sure if the wells were depleted we should supply an adequate quantity either to the cottager or to other property owners.

I am afraid, my Lords, that the Board are taking rather a narrow view of the matter, and I appeal to the evidence of their own engineer to show three things—first, that the pumping will deplete the water; secondly, that there is no difficulty whatever and no great expense in the Board's supplying the well owners with water; and, thirdly, that in his opinion it would be a fair thing to do it.

There is another circumstance which shows that there is a real necessity for some provision such as I have proposed. I refer to the fact that the Board have come to an agreement with a large landowner near by to give him exactly the same compensation which they have refused to these small owners. They have come to an agreement with Lord Fitzhardinge to compensate him for any water they may pump away from any wells on his estate in consequence of these works. I ask, Why is Lord Fitzhardinge to have a protection which the small owner or occupier who cannot afford to appear before the Committee is denied? But I ought to state that Lord Fitzhardinge did not appear before the Committee. This was a matter of private agreement between the promoters and Lord Fitzhardinge, but it shows that the promoters are willing to consider the case of the big landlord though they entirely ignore the position of the small owner and occupier.

Now what are the objections to the clause which I propose to insert? So far as I have been able to ascertain, there are two main objections. One is a technical objection. It is that there is no precise precedent for the course which I am asking your Lordships to pursue in giving protection to these small owners. Underground water has been protected again and again in Private Bill after Private Bill, and provisions have been inserted for the protection of those who have the enjoyment of underground water. I have here a list of a dozen Bills each containing such a provision, but in most of those cases there is no provision for compensating the well owner during the construction of works. In a few cases, however, there is protection even during the construction of the works, but there is always protection for continuous damage; and one of the technical objections which the Board take, as I understand, to my proposal is that in this case there will be no continuing damage. They say that as soon as the concrete is filled in and the reservoirs made there will be no further depletion of the wells in the neighbourhood. That may be the case, but these works are going to take four years in construction. The damage done to a man who is dependent for his water supply upon a well in the neighbourhood will have to be endured for four years at least, and it may be longer, before his well would fill again. It does seem to me a very small point to take, that because in other instances there is continuing damage and that here there is not continuing damage, therefore a man is to have his wells depleted of water for four years or more without any remedy.

There is a further technical objection taken, and it is that in most cases compensation is given to individuals named. In this instance we ask for protection for all well owners within two miles of the reservoirs. Such a general protection has been given over and over again; but again the technical objection is taken that it has not been given in cases where the damage is not continuous. Then there is another objection—it is the only objection with which I shall trouble your Lordships further—and it is the objection upon which, as I understand, the Committee base their decision. I have already told your Lordships that underground water has over and over again been the subject of protection in Private Bills. But last year a Bill, as your Lordships are aware, was introduced called the Water Supplies Protection Bill, which was referred to a Joint Committee. That Joint Committee made a Report, and my noble friend Lord Kintore, who was chairman of the Committee who considered this Bill, said that in consequence of the nature of the Report of that Joint Committee he considered that protection should not be given to these small owners. I speak with great respect of anything which falls from my noble friend Lord Kintore. We all know that he has a great deal of experience of Private Bill Committees and that he gives much attention to these questions, but I humbly submit that he has entirely misunderstood the Report of this Joint Committee. I ask your Lordships' leave to read what my noble friend quoted from the Report of the Joint Committee, and I will then ask you whether, in your opinion, it bears the interpretation which he put upon it. The Joint Committee in their Report [Paragraph 3] said— As regards the question of compensation, it is clear that to give a right to compensation for loss of subsoil water, even within the limitations proposed by the Bill, involves an important alteration of the general law, which, as it stands, recognises no property in underground water unless it is flowing in a known and definite channel. But as the law was settled before the conditions in which its equity is now challenged had come into being, it is urged on the Committee as reasonable and proper that the law should be now reconsidered in view of the altered circumstances of the present time. And the Joint Committee go on to say— On the evidence given before them the Committee are satisfied that serious damage has been done to private property in particular localities by the pumping operations of water authorities, and they think it not improbable that similar injury is also caused by collieries, breweries, railway companies, and similar agencies who, like water authorities, extract water from the subsoil, but unlike them, are under no statutory obligation as regards the use to which such water is put. It has been forcibly urged on the Committee that if it be fair and equitable to levy compensation, as the Bill proposes, from water undertakers for injury done by the abstraction of water from the subsoil of private property, then the application of the same rule or treatment to all other agencies or industries causing similar injury cannot be resisted. In other words, it is claimed that any such change in the law as the Bill proposes, should, if approved by Parliament, be made of general reciprocal application. Then they go on to say—and this is the part of the Joint Committee's Report, I understand, on which my noble friend Lord Kintore relies— In these circumstances the Committee can go no further than to say that while they consider as worthy of notice the considerable body of evidence on their Minutes in favour of the principle of compensation for damage done by the abstraction of subsoil water, and while they also desire to draw attention to the evidence as to the difficulties to which it is alleged the general application of the principle of compensation would lead, they are unable to form a definite conclusion or make any recommendation on the subject (which is, indeed, of vast and far-reaching importance) without further careful and detailed inquiry. It is not only for this reason but for other reasons, to be presently mentioned, that they wish to repeat the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Sewage Disposal contained in their third Report published in 1903—that a comprehensive inquiry into the whole subject of surface and underground water supplies should be held before any legislative action is taken of the kind proposed in this Bill. And then my noble friend Lord Kintore, having read that extract from the Report of the Joint Committee, said— Those were, I think, wise words, and they cover the clauses you propose, and the Committee all think they should be refused. It appears to me that my noble friend thinks that because the Joint Committee said they were not prepared with any general recommendations affecting the whole question of underground water, therefore they meant to say that no relief to any of those who enjoyed underground water should in future be given under any Private Bill until there had been a general inquiry. I cannot believe that to have been the intention of the Joint Committee. What must have been in their minds was this—"We do not without more inquiry and more evidence see our way to lay down general principles with regard to underground water, and therefore, pending such further information, you must go on as you were before." And the situation which existed before was that each Committee on each Private Bill judged the case on its merits and gave protection for subsoil water when they thought the case demanded it. I admit that that is a happy-go-lucky way of dealing with this matter, but it is the only course open to us until there is sonic definite general rule laid down on the subject. In the case of Lord Fitzhardinge relief is given. The justice of the case is so patent that the promoters have given relief there. Therefore with all respect to the noble Earl I cannot think that your Lordships' House ought to support his contention, but, on the contrary, ought to say that until full inquiry has been carried out into all the circumstances Committees on Private Bills shall go on as before, judging each case on its merits and giving relief where they think relief should be given.

Let me go back for a moment to the question of principle. We are told that there is no precise precedent for this clause. I have told your Lordships in what sense there is not a precise precedent. There is precise precedent for everything in this clause, but it cannot be found in one Bill. There is a precedent in the Barry Railway Bill, only that in that case it was in favour of a general owner and not in favour of a district. In various Bills precedents are to be found; and all you are asked to do to-day is, in a case where the justice of it demands, to so far establish a precedent as to combine what you find in various Acts and put it into this one Bill on this one occasion. I do not know why we should be so afraid of precedents if the justice of the case demands this protection. Committees upstairs make precedents every year. It is better that your Lordships' House should make precedents than that they should be made by Committees. Your Lordships have a growing practice now of sending Private Bills to Joint Committees. I know there is a great deal to be said for that course, but it has this disadvantage, that you have no reconsideration of points of this kind. It constantly happens that justice which cannot be obtained in one House is obtained in the other when Private Bills go before two Committees; but where a Bill is subjected to one inquiry only there is no redress of grievances supposing that Committee should have omitted anything, unless your Lordships are willing to amend the Bill in this House on Third Reading and consent now and then to establish small precedents. I think I have said all I need say on this subject. I have endeavoured to put the case fairly before you, and I hope you will support the insertion of the new clause which I now move.

Amendment moved—

To insert the following new clause— (1) If any operation of the Board for the purposes of or in connection with the construction of any reservoir by this Act authorised has caused any diminution of the supply of water from any well borehole pond pool spring stream or watering place or other source of supply existing at the date of the passing of this Act within the administrative county of Middlesex and within a radius of two miles from the site of any such reservoir the Board shall upon the written request of the owner (which term in this section shall include any lessee or occupier) of such source of supply repay to the owner all costs and expenses reasonably incurred by the owner in obtaining such additional supply of water as may be or may have been reasonably necessary to make his supply of water the same as nearly as may be as his supply was before the commencement of such operations of the Board. (2) The owner shall afford the officers servants or other representatives of the Board at all reasonable times after the passing of this Act access to the source of supply in respect of which any claim is made under this section for the purpose of ascertaining particulars thereof and the level of the water therein. (3) Any question or dispute arising under this section shall be referred to and determined by a single arbitrator to be agreed upon between the parties or in default of agreement to be appointed on the application of either party by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and subject as aforesaid the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1889 shall apply to any such reference.—(The Duke of Northumberland.)


My Lords, it is never an easy task or a pleasant one for any one sitting on these Benches to have to ask your Lordships to refuse to agree to any Amendment proposed by the noble Duke. I can assure you that it certainly is no pleasant task for me, for my noble friend would be entirely right were he to claim me to be in large measure in sympathy with the general objects which I understand he intends his clause to serve. The noble Duke, I am glad to think, will find in this House and outside many ready to agree with him and me that some rights still attach to property, and that, where a property in private ownership is materially and permanently injured by the operations of a public authority carried on in the exercise of its powers, the owner should be compensated.

Though technically this is a Private Bill, it is in fact a Bill of very considerable public interest, and it contains various proposals of equal public importance. As originally opened to the Joint Committee to whom your Lordships referred it for consideration it contained yet more. For example, it contained proposals the effect of which would have been to place the Metropolitan Water Board out of the reach and beyond the control of Parliament for some sixty or seventy years. During the first decade of that time the scenic beauties of the Thames from Staines past Runnymede and Magna Charta Island up to Old Windsor would have been irretrievably ruined, and, again, the liability of the riverside lands in the district to floods would in our judgment not have been appreciably lessened, while the new intake for the large further supply of water to London contemplated by the Bill was planned to be placed directly opposite to the Windsor sewage farm only separated from the river by a low and porous bank.

Inclusive of a few days devoted to hearing the Thames Conservancy Bill, which was referred to the Joint Committee by the House of Commons, we sat altogether from the end of March till the beginning of June considering this Bill and the sixty-four petitions against it, and it must be a satisfaction to every member of the Committee, that, barring a single dissent early in our proceedings, all our decisions were come to unanimously, and further and of greater importance, that with the single exception of the case before the House at this moment our decisions have been accepted by all parties with a loyal determination, by working under them, to provide a supply of water admirable and adequate for twenty-five years and more, and still further to improve and add to that great work of river purification which has been carried on so well by the Thames Conservancy Board at great expense in the past.

During the hearing a clause similar in effect if not identical in words was pressed for by the Middlesex County Council. It was argued that where the water level in any well in the county council's area was even temporarily lowered by the trenching, the Water Board should be held compelled to add water up to the deficiency. We were not of ourselves prepared in a Private Bill to take this new departure, involving such a large question of principle, so in the confident expectation that the matter would be raised in one or other House of Parliament we decided as a Committee to take no action. The Motion of my noble friend, whose services both in Parliament and as an Alderman the Middlesex County Council are indeed fortunate to be able to rely upon, relieves us in that regard of any disappointment. The county council support the noble Duke in a Memorandum which I have seen, and I think I do it no injustice in saying that it endeavours to make three points. It says that it is now the settled practice of Parliament that water undertakers, when seeking fresh powers to construct new works, shall be put under obligation to make up in some form to owners of private wells in the vicinity any deficiency of water caused by the operations of the water undertakers; and in support of that assertion it quotes fourteen Acts of Parliament which have been passed between the years 1906 and last session. But, my Lords—and I think the noble Duke, having looked into the matter, frankly admits this to be the case—not one of those cited Acts is on all fours with this Bill. All of them are Acts sanctioning the sinking of new wells upon gathering ground of underground water already being drawn upon. As there exist no legal rights in underground water and as I believe it will pass the wit of man to devise enactments in regard to underground water which will in practice prove to be equitable all round, I think those compensation clauses were quite proper to be inserted. But this Bill has nothing to do with underground water. It relates entirely to surface water, to river water, proposed to be raised into reservoirs for storage and subsequent distribution. And, moreover, the pumping sanctioned in the Acts cited was intended to be permanent, and consequently any damage caused by the pumping would be permanent also, which is by no means the case here.


Might I ask the noble Earl whether he has looked at the Barry Railway Act?


Yes, I have seen it.


The clause there was not in respect of pumping underground water, nor in respect of permanent damage.


Oh, yes. I think that clause was inserted to meet the case of a permanent supply being possibly severed by the driving of a tunnel. The Middlesex County Council next point in their Memorandum to the clause inserted for the protection of Lord Fitzhardinge. I pass that by because, as my noble friend admits, the clause was an agreed one and was attached to the Bill as a manuscript clause when first presented to the Committee. I come to the last point—the reference to the extremely able and valuable Report of Lord MacDonnell's Joint Committee on the Water Supplies Protection Bill of last session. One of the three main objects of that Bill was to restrict the powers of authorised undertakers by rendering them liable for compensation for injury to private supplies due to their operations—the very object of the noble Duke's clause. Lord Maconnell's Committee took a great deal of evidence on this point, and their Report, which as the noble Duke truly said weighed greatly with my Committee, contained these words— The Committee wish to repeat the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Sewage Disposal contained in their Third Report published in 1903, that a comprehensive inquiry into the whole subject of surface and underground water supplies should be held before any legislative action is taken of the kind proposed in this Bill. With that Report before us we were confirmed in our opinion that it would be improper for us to allow compensation for which there was no exact precedent to be inserted before this House had been consulted and before inquiry into the whole question of water supply had been held. The necessity for such an inquiry is patent and admitted, and as one whose lot it has been to hear the evidence in connection with not a few Water Bills I would like without presumption and very earnestly to support that recommendation. The haphazard and arbitrary way in which local sources of supply are sometimes wasted, sometimes withheld from use, and sometimes appropriated for other and distant places without regard to the places from which the water is taken, is becoming an everyday experience of Parliamentary Committees. The time seen is to me to have more than arrived when such an inquiry ought to be held, and it is much to be hoped—may I address this remark especially to my noble friend Lord Allendale?—that the Local Government Board will be able to see their way to instigate such an inquiry at the earliest moment, and if this discussion this afternoon in any way conduces to that inquiry being held I for one shall be well content.

Holding the views I have mentioned, it was not, of course, necessary for the Committee to hear counsel for the Metropolitan Water Board in opposition to this proposal; but since the noble Duke gave notice of this new clause I have received from the Metropolitan Water Board some notes bearing on it with a covering letter. Your Lordships are always ready, indeed anxious, to hear both sides of a case before forming an opinion, and I would ask you with some confidence, more especially as I very infrequently intrude upon your Lordships' time, to give me three or four minutes more while I lay before the House the views of the Metropolitan Water Board. In reference to the cited cases in the Memorandum of the Middlesex County Council, the Metropolitan Water Board say— The Water Acts quoted are Acts authorising the sinking of wells and the abstraction of water by pumping as a permanent means of supply, and any injury that might be caused under those Acts would be of a permanent nature. In the case of the Railway Acts referred to, the apprehended injury was also of a permanent nature. They then go on to say— The works to be authorised by the Board's New Works Bill, so far as they affect the present question, consist of reservoirs, and any subsoil water would only he temporarily interfered with during the limited period for which pumping would continue in the construction of the puddle trenches. The clause desired by the Middlesex County Council would impose upon the Metropolitan Water Board the expense of providing a permanent supply for merely a short temporary interference. The words 'reasonably incurred' would be no protection to the Board, for an arbitrator would very likely hold that the laying on of a supply from the nearest authorised undertakers was reasonable seeing that local supplies would or might be liable to depletion. There is no precedent for inserting such a clause in a Bill authorising the construction of reservoirs not connected with a pumping submits. The insertion of the clause is an endeavour to impose upon the Metropolitan Water Board the general principles involved in the Water Supplies (Protection) Bill which was considered last session by a Joint Committee presided over by Lord MacDonnell. These proposals, as that Joint Committee reported, would involve an important alteration of the general law of the land which should not be made without a comprehensive inquiry into the whole subject of surface and underground water supplies. It would be unfair to the Metropolitan Water Board and the other large corporations and water authorities who opposed the passing of that Bill now to insert a clause giving effect to these principles before such an inquiry has been held. The Board's evidence on the subject has not been heard, but the case would no doubt be quoted as a precedent for imposing the clause on water authorities in every similar Bill. The matter of the underground sources of supply was fully dealt with in Lord MacDonnell's Report, and pending the inquiry therein suggested no general compensation clause of the nature proposed should be imposed in a Private Bill without the promoters of such Bill having an opportunity of fully considering its effect and calling evidence before the Committee considering the Bill. The clause suggested by the Middlesex County Council is of very wide application and refers to the diminution of any supply of water not only to any well but to any borehole, pond, pool, spring, stream or watering place. Any pond, etc., whether actually used or not, might be claimed to be a potential 'source of supply,' and any lowering of its water level would apparently have to be met by the provision of a substituted supply which in most cases would probably have to be permanent. Then the Board refer to the Fitzhardinge clause, and say— The county council referred in the course of the proceedings before the Joint Committee, and refer again in their Memorandum, to the fact that in the clause contained in the Bill for the protection of Lord Fitzhardinge (Clause 30) the Board are required to give a new or additional supply in the event of Lord Fitzhardinge's existing supply being diminished. The circumstances in that case are, however, special, for Lord Fitzhardinge was able to convince the Board that there was a substantial risk of injury to his well owing to the obstruction in the flow of water which will be caused by the laying of a number of very large trunk mains in close proximity to it. The provision has no reference to any possible injury resulting front temporary pumping. And the Water Board wind up by saying— The matter is of such far-reaching importance that it should not be in any way prejudiced before it is fully inquired into and dealt with by general legislation applying to all water seeking undertakings, whether for public water supply or for railway or mining purposes. Before I sit down I should like to be allowed to read the letter from the Metropolitan Water Board which covered these notes, and which is dated July 4. In it the Board say— The Law and Parliamentary Committee of the Water Board have this morning given the most careful consideration to the clause which the Middlesex County Council desire to insert in this Bill. My Committee entertain the strongest view that the clause should not be inserted, inasmuch as it deals with a vital question of principle and proposes to alter the general law as to rights in underground water. It is understood that this important question is to be made the subject of a general Parliamentary inquiry on the lines indicated by Lord MacDonnell's Joint Committee of last session, and my Committee feel that it would be unjust in the extreme to impose this clause upon the Water Board until there has, at all events, been a reasonable opportunity for the general inquiry to be held. There is no doubt whatever that if the proposed clause be imposed upon a water undertaking of such first class importance as that of the metropolis, it will attain great weight as a precedent, will go far to prejudice the question of the proposed inquiry, and thereby seriously damnify the water undertakings throughout the kingdom. The gravity of this injustice would be increased by the fact that the Middlesex County Council propose to insert the clause without affording the promoters the opportunity of calling evidence against it, for it will be remembered that your Lordships' Joint Committee struck out the proposed clause without hearing evidence against it. The Water Board are most willing to facilitate to the utmost a general inquiry into the whole question of compensation for interference with water rights, an inquiry at which the arguments for and against the whole question could be adequately dealt with, and the conclusions arrived at embodied in a model clause or Public Bill. They feel, however, that it would be a grave injustice to themselves and to others to prejudice the question by the insertion of a clause in the present private Bill, and on these grounds of high principle my committee feel that such legislation in the present Bill is open to the most grave objection. Agreeing generally, as I do, with the terms of that letter, which seems to me to be clear and convincing, and subject to anything that the noble Lord who represents the Local Government Board or the Lord Chairman may desire to say, I should like to express the hope that my noble friend will rest satisfied with the discussion he has raised this afternoon and will not on this occasion press his proposal further.


My Lords, this is not, strictly speaking, a question arising on a Public Bill, but the question is one of such far-reaching importance and affects so many rights that it well deserves the attention it has received. No one could have listened to the noble Duke, who went very thoroughly into the circumstances of this case, without feeling that the point which he pressed is one which has too much in the past escaped attention, and the neglect of which has inflicted great hardship. In the law of this country there is no right to percolating water, and in the absence of such right there is no doubt that these great undertakings brought into operation with statutory powers have inflicted a great deal of hardship. On the other hand, it has been necessary to provide great masses of the public congregated in populous areas with a supply of water, and it has been impossible to get that supply without executing works which inflicted this kind of injury.

Parliament is really placed in a dilemma. This is not, of course, a Bill for taking percolating water, but it is a Bill for making works which do to some extent temporarily affect the supply of percolating water, and the question is what is to be done? Parliament has to try to adjust the balance of convenience and inconvenience and to settle the matter in the general interest in the way that is least injurious. This is not a matter that can be dealt with according to any abstract principle. I doubt very much, if we had all the light that an inquiry might give—and I am far from saying there ought not to be such an inquiry—that we should be able to discover any principle to solve the concrete difficulties pointed out by the noble Duke. On the other hand, you have to remember that the Metropolitan Water Board has to supply the needs of this great metropolis, that it is urgently needed that a further supply of water should be got, and that that cannot be got under existing circumstances without inflicting considerable inconvenience, and, perhaps, a little injury. Parliament has taken the only course it could take. It referred the matter to a strong Committee presided over by the noble Earl who last addressed us, with instructions to do what is right in protecting, in all the cases where protection should be given, anything approaching to injury. I do not think the noble Duke would say himself that it would have been possible to cover every individual case.

There must be some hardship in a case of this kind, but the necessities of the public are so great that you must make up your minds to face some hardship. The Committee took the general question and then the principal cases brought before them, and they have introduced a large series of protective clauses covering the ground to the utmost extent they reasonably could. Again I say there may be points in which the Bill could have gone further, but I doubt it very much, after looking at what has been done. What you have in substance is this—not, as it emerged from the Committee, a Bill for abstracting percolating water, but a Bill for making works which are absolutely vital if a new supply of water is to be brought to London, and containing a series of protective clauses covering all the cases which the Joint Committee thought could be covered with a view to minimising the hardship to owners. Again I say to the noble Duke that I feel that probably there are cases which the Committee have not been able to cover. You cannot cover all the cases unless you make the law different, and give some rights in percolating water. But there being no such legal rights it is impossible to devise any scheme which will prevent people suffering a certain amount of inconvenience.

The only course you can take is to trust a Committee of this kind to do the best they can in putting in protective clauses. It is impossible to insert any general clause such as has been referred to without contravening the recommendations of Lord MacDonnell's Committee of last year. The result is that it seems to me, as far as I can judge, that you have got the best substitute that you could have in the clauses that are in the Bill. For my part I feel that if this Committee over which the noble Earl presided and which gave so much labour to this question has not done the best that could be done in the circumstances in which action was absolutely necessary, then there is no other course. I do not think that the clause suggested is one that can be supported either on grounds of law or in face of the recommendations to which your Lordships' attention has been called. If the recommendations of the Committee which had this question fully before them were departed from, we should be making a precedent and throwing the administration of this class of public business into a state of uncertainty which would make our later condition worse than the condition in which we now stand.


My Lords, I should not have intervened in this debate but for the fact that a decision for winch I was responsible is quoted as an indirect precedent for the Amendment asked for. With due respect to the noble and learned Viscount opposite and to the noble Earl, Lord Kintore, I entirely fail to see that they have answered one very crucial objection. The case is a fairly simple one. Here the Middlesex County Council come and ask for a very limited and for only a temporary protection, and the reply they get is that we are not going to give them the protection, however limited it may be, because there is no precise precedent for it. Everybody who has served as Chairman of a Private Bill Committee knows that whenever a thing of this kind is asked for he is always met by this question of precedent, and the question really turns upon the circumstances of the case.

The point I wish to make is this, that in the course of the proceedings, as I think was pointed out by my noble friend the noble Duke beside me, it was admitted by the promoters of the Bill that the Middlesex County Council had a clear right to the limited protection to which I have just alluded. I should like to refer again to the evidence of the Water Board's engineer. The engineer admitted that if these people were going to suffer from the operations of the Metropolitan Water Board it was only fair and equitable that they should be compensated; and to the final question that was put to hint he replied:— I am quite sure that if the wells were depleted we [the Metropolitan Water Board] would supply an adequate quantity either to the cottagers or to other property owners. When the promoters' engineer gave an undertaking of that kind I have always understood that it was a thing winch was eventually insisted upon if the Bill was passed. In this particular case that does not appear to have been done, and I fail to see why.

I should like to ask whether it is not possible to settle the question amicably now. If there is anybody here who represents the Metropolitan Water Board, all he has to do is to give an undertaking that the pledge given by the engineer will be carried out, and I imagine that the Bill would then pass without any further discussion or dispute. But the result of this discussion increases the conviction which I have always felt that in dealing with cases of this kind some more settled lines are distinctly advisable. I have myself frequently had considerable difficulty in endeavouring to decide points of this kind. As is obvious from the experience in regard to this particular Bill, the decision rests on the haphazard view which happens to be taken by the chairman, and it is clear, therefore, that these decisions must frequently conflict. I think it would be a desirable thing in the interests of Private Bill Committees if there were model clauses by which chairmen could be guided. But at the same time it seems to me an extreme hardship that, because there is no precedent and because there is no model clause, these people who are going to suffer from the operation of this Bill should not be permitted the protection for which my noble friend asks. It seems to me their case is so clear that if my noble friend goes to a Division I shall certainly support him in the Lobby.


My Lords, as reference has been made during the course of this discussion to the Report of the Joint Committee of which I had the honour to be chairman, perhaps your Lordships will allow me to make a few remarks on this subject. The Joint Committee was appointed to consider a Bill introduced into your Lordships' House by Lord Desborough. That Bill was largely promoted by owners of property, mostly in Hertfordshire, who complained that by the extension of the works of a water company, the name of which I forget for the moment, their property would be greatly damaged; and no doubt before the Committee a considerable volume of evidence was produced from which it might be inferred that the construction of waterworks and the sinking of wells in any great number does deplete the subsoil water supply of the neighbouring country and affects grazing and also the trees and other amenities of the locality.

The members of the Committee generally were impressed with the feeling that there was a grievance which ought to be remedied if it could be remedied. At the same time they thought that the scheme of the promoters of the Bill was an extravagant one in so far that it went to alter the old common law of the country which allows no right of property in subsoil water unless that water runs in a clearly defined channel. The promoters of the Bill also desired to shift the burden of proof and to put on the water companies or other undertakers the duty of proving that no damage had been caused. Our inquiries proceeded a considerable way, and then we came to the conclusion that if any damage had to be compensated for it ought not to be on such a narrow inquiry as we alone were competent to institute. We came to the conclusion that it was not water companies alone who caused this abstraction of subsoil water, but that railway companies, breweries, and many other commercial undertakings also abstracted subsoil water and caused a considerable amount of damage.

In particular cases the parties interested have been able to come to an agreement with the company that wished to extend its wells, and no doubt compensation has been agreed upon in many cases. In one large case that came before us we found that compensation had been paid for a considerable tract of country. But we were unable to make up out minds that any such provision as the noble Duke has placed on the Paper could possibly be supported by the evidence before us. We were also strongly impressed with the view that the resources of subsoil water throughout the country were not being properly husbanded, and that rivers were subject to pollution. Great water companies marked out large claims throughout the country, spheres of influence, as it were, within which they objected to any sort of competition. The result was that growing towns were seriously interfered with, and on the whole it seemed to us that the case was one which called for a much wider inquiry than we were authorised to make. And might I take this opportunity of impressing upon your Lordships that it is a matter of extreme importance for the future of this country that this subject should be fully inquired into and a map of the subsoil water supply and other water supplies of England recorded, so that when any particular company desires to increase the sphere of its operations it may consult the map and know how it is to proceed.


My Lords, I desire to speak with the greatest respect of the Joint Committee which sat on this Bill. What the noble and learned Viscount opposite said is perfectly true, that when you have appointed a strong Committee primâ facie you ought to have profound respect for the finding at which they arrive; but I shall say a word or two in a moment why I do not think that that view is necessarily antagonistic to the general line which the noble Duke has taken. But first of all I should like to call your Lordships' attention to this fact, which is my principal reason for venturing to intervene—that this is part of a very big question which involves enormous hardship to a number of perfectly unoffending persons. I belong to the County of Hertfordshire, to which Lord MacDonnell referred, and which has suffered acutely under the necessary requirements of the metropolis for water. It is perfectly true, as the noble and learned Viscount said, that this great city must be provided with water, but it is also true that immense hardship may be inflicted upon those areas from which the I water is drawn.

We have suffered enormously in Hertfordshire. We have been involved in a sort of life and death struggle to maintain our water. Sometimes we have succeeded, sometimes we have failed, but I am certain we enjoy general sympathy in the efforts to which we have been put. It is not proposed here to prevent in any way the making of these great reservoirs, necessary as they are. There is no such question. The only point is whether it is just or unjust, if this great corporation, the Metropolitan Water Board, make these works, that they should give compensation for any injury they inflict in so doing. It is not a question of a very large sum of money, as I shall show directly. I have reason to think that those who will suffer are small people, and they are engaged in this great controversy with this rich, important, and influential corporation. They do not say "Stop the waterworks," but "Give us that little compensation due to us in consequence of the injury you inflict upon us." That, primâ facie, is all that is asked.

The injustice to these people who lose their water is admitted by the noble and learned Viscount. It is admitted by the noble Lord who presided over the important Committee who considered it. It is admitted by everybody. The main reply to the demand for redress is, Wait, if you please, for the Report of an important I Commission which has not yet been appointed. As your Lordships know, we may wait till the Greek calends, or at least we may wait for a great number of years, before we get the Report of such a Commission. There is no sign of its being appointed. No doubt the inquiry will be a long one, and it will be a very long time before any Act of Parliament follows on the findings of that Commission. Meanwhile all these humble individuals as to whom the injustice is admitted by everybody are to go on suffering. I do not think that is just. The second answer is that there is no precedent for compensating people for a temporary injury. There are, it is said, precedents for compensation for a permanent injury but none for a temporary injury. I do not admit that. But, even so, that argument is worthless. The only difference between a temporary injury and a permanent injury is that the former is very much smaller. If injury is to be compensated for at all, there is no less reason why a temporary injury should be compensated for. It is a very much smaller matter it is perfectly true, but that is an argument on my side and not against me. There is to be no compensation unless there is loss. The loss would have to be shown before the compensation would become due.

I turn to the Committee over which my noble friend Lord Kintore presided. The noble and learned Viscount said we must not fly in the face of the Report of that Committee; but we have had the opportunity of hearing the noble Earl who presided over that Committee, and what did he say? He said that the Committee did not like to enter upon a new departure, but were quite sure the point would be raised in one or other House of Parliament. In other words, my noble friend and his colleagues did not think, the matter being in a sense novel, that it was right for them to undertake the responsibility for a new departure. But they said it would, of course, be raised in one or other House of Parliament—in other words, they left it to Parliament to correct any injustice in the decision to which they arrived. How, then, can it be said that in accepting the Committee's advice and undertaking the consideration of the matter we are flying in the face of the Report of that Committee? It is evident that they left the matter to us thinking they had not sufficient authority themselves to decide it. I said just now that if it was a new departure it was only very slightly novel. The noble and learned Viscount seemed to think that there was some difficulty in assessing the compensation. I do not think so. It is going to be done here in the case of Lord Fitzhardinge, and it was done in the case of several private owners in the Barry Railway Bill.

The Barry Railway Act, by the way, is exceedingly in point. It is quite true that that is not an Act connected with a water company, but it is only incidental, as it were, that the question arises in connection with a water company's Bill in this instance. In the case of the Barry Bill it was the making of a tunnel, and the case of the making of a tunnel is very much on all fours with the making of a reservoir. In the Barry case certain owners represented that they were likely to lose a certain amount of water, I believe through the construction of the tunnel, but at any rate in consequence of the tunnel, and they received compensation. There was no difficulty, and both Houses of Parliament passed the necessary Act to confirm that agreement. For these reasons we do think that your Lordships' House is called upon to decide on this matter. We think that to ask us to wait until a nebulous Royal Commission has decided the point is a not sufficient answer, and we ask, in the name of these comparatively poor landowners and occupiers who are in controversy with i an enormously powerful corporation, that the justice which your Lordships' House never refuses, and which cannot in the end come to any large sum, should be granted to them.


My Lords, this case has been so thoroughly gone into that I do not feel I ought to detain your Lordships very long in putting before you my reasons for saying that I, for one, should regret if your Lordships decided to reverse the decision come to by my noble friend Lord Kintore's Committee and insert this clause in the Bill at the present stage. My noble friend Lord Newton used a strong expression. He spoke of a pledge having been given by the Water Board's engineer in the witness chair that some such clause as this should be put in; but I think my noble friend will realise that his language is a little too strong, for in the quotation which the noble Duke read from the engineer's evidence it was quite clear that I when the engineer was asked whether he would agree to a clause to that effect being put in he referred the cross-examining counsel to the Board's counsel and solicitors, who obviously were the right people to be consulted.


I would refer the noble Earl to Question No. 1183.


I have not got the evidence before me. I am merely speaking from my recollection of what was read by the noble Duke. As I have said, I do not wish to go into this matter in any detail, because the details have been placed before your Lordships in the speeches which have been made and in the Memoranda circulated. I have had the Memorandum of the Metropolitan Water Board and that of the Middlesex County Council before me for some time, and I have gone into them very carefully with my advisers, and the conclusion that I have come to is that the Memorandum of the Metropolitan Water Board is substantially accurate, but that there are considerable inaccuracies in the Memorandum which supports the case of the noble Duke, especially as regards precedents. I may say that we have interviewed the parties, and we have absolutely failed to get from them a single precedent on all fours with the case which the Middlesex County Council submit.

The noble Duke laid stress on the Barry Act. I confess that I have not gone very carefully into the Barry Act, but I have looked through it and I cannot find an exact precedent for the clause which the noble Duke desires to insert in this Bill. Clause 33 in the Barry Act is obviously the clause which the noble Duke has in mind. That is a clause dealing, not with temporary pumping, but with permanent pumping. It was a clause inserted for the protection of a particular landowner in a particular case, and that is a thing very often done on merits. It is a different thing altogether from what your Lordships are asked to do this afternoon, which is to put in a general protection against any case that may possibly arise. The same argument holds good in the case of Lord Fitzhardinge. Lord Fitzhardinge's case, I am informed, is this. A number of very large trunk mains are to be laid close to an existing well, and obviously there is a danger of their doing that well permanent damage. That is the position of affairs, I understand, in which this protection has been given. Again, it has nothing to do with temporary pumping while the works necessary under the Bill are being carried out. In the case of this Bill the Middlesex County Council ask your Lordships to put in a protective clause for landowners, some of whom may be small but we have no reason to doubt that some may be big, but none of them thought fit to appear before the Committee.


It is an expensive process appearing before a Parliamentary Committee.


As a rule landowners, if they are going to suffer great damage, do appear, and do not get the county council to appear for them.


Can the noble Earl say that there are any large landowners besides Lord Fitzhardinge in that neighbourhood? My information is that there are not.


I have seen no list of the landowners affected, and neither party has produced one. As regards the other cases quoted in the Memorandum of the Middlesex County Council, they are all either cases of permanent injury to a water supply through permanent pumping or special cases like that of Lord Fitzhardinge. I was amused to see cases at Lincoln and Cambridge quoted. As far as I can make out, the principal case there for protection was a case of possible damage to roads and bridges, which I do not think can be claimed in support of the clause which the noble Duke has placed before us. I think it is admitted quite frankly that there is no exact precedent. I would point out that no case has been quoted which is at all near; and, as I say, in the course of vivâ voce examination the Middlesex County Council have been unable to produce one as regards the general position that has been stated by Lord Kintore and other noble Lords. I do not close my eyes to the fact that general legislation may, perhaps, be, necessary in a case such as this. It may or it may not; but the fact remains that those of your Lordships who have had to consider such a matter under the guidance of Lord MacDonnell have come to the conclusion that there is not at present sufficient information before us to enable us to come to a definite decision. As I have said, it may be desirable to give general protection; but those who have been most closely into the matter do feel that there is not enough information before us to make up our mind. If your Lordships insert this clause this evening you will be taking a very strong step in the direction of making up the mind of Parliament, and I should regret very much if such a step were taken in view of the small amount of information at our hands.

The noble Marquess says this is a small matter. I can assure him it is a very large and expensive matter. What has to happen? Under the clause the promoters will be liable for damage if there is any diminution of water anywhere within two miles of these two or three reservoirs. What does that mean? They would have, before beginning to dig their reservoirs, to take the level of every small pool in the district. They have no powers to do it. This clause generously gives them power to go and inspect once a claim has been made, but once a claim has been made it is assumed that damage has been done and that the water supply has fallen. No facility is given to the Water Board to make the inspections, but they would be necessary and would be a very expensive operation. Therefore do not let us imagine that this is a small matter. This is putting a very serious burden on the Metropolitan Water Board. I do not suggest that that is any final reason for not putting the burden upon them if it is necessary. I only mention it because it has been argued that this is a very small thing. In view, first, of the absence of precedents; secondly, in view of the fact that it would be a considerable step for Parliament to take in an alteration of the general law, an alteration that no one has made up his mind how to carry out if it is to be carried out; and, thirdly, in view of the fact that this is a clause asking for protection for people who have not thought it worth while to come themselves and ask for it—I should for these reasons regret it if your Lordships reversed the decision of the Committee.


My Lords, I should not have intervened in this debate but for the fact that I had to consider this question for more than thirty years at the Bar, and I have had, strangely enough, one or two cases since I have been on the Bench. What seems to be overlooked is that what is asked for here is not in respect of abstraction of water permanently when the works are made, but abstraction while the works are being constructed. I venture to say that in many Private Bills, where it was said that the making of a tunnel would drain wells until the tunnel was rendered watertight, a special clause was inserted in order to protect the people affected. I believe the Barry case was one, but others could be found.

If the noble Duke's clause dealt with the case of water abstracted by reason of the existence of the reservoir I could not support the noble Duke. I agree with the noble and learned Viscount opposite that there are many who think that our law has not been sufficiently careful of rights regarding underground water. My noble and learned friend Sir Edward Fry takes a strong view upon that. But I wish to deal only with this particular Amendment. These landowners do not say that when the reservoirs are constructed the result will be that their wells will be drained and that therefore they should receive compensation. As I have said, we could not in the present state of the law support that; but it is thought that in the course of the construction of the reservoirs the wells will be temporarily interfered with. They desire temporary protection, and if Private Acts are looked through I am confident it will be found that there are many precedents for compensation being allowed where wells are temporarily interfered with during the construction of works. I ask your Lordships to consider from a broad standpoint this particular claim. Having listened to this debate, I am satisfied that the claim of the noble Duke cannot be resisted upon the ground that there is anything in principle against it. It does not involve the considerations which Lord MacDonnell referred to—namely, rights as to underground water. I believe that where it has been shown that in the course of the construction of works temporary damage would be done, whether it be to roads, to water courses, or in respect of subsidence or anything of the kind, special clauses for protection, have constantly been inserted.


My Lords, the Metropolitan Water Board are, as your Lordships know, largely in touch with the London County Council, the interests of whose ratepayers are very much involved in the decision which may be come to tonight, and I wish to draw attention to one or two points on which the Water Board contest the figures which have been put before the House by the noble Duke. The noble Duke drew a picture of sufferings that might be involved through the construction of a trench which he said would be five miles long, and which would take, I think he said, four or five years to make, and which also would in certain cases go to a depth of 100 feet. The noble and learned Lord who has just spoken has cleared away to some extent the difficulty of inserting a clause to meet a temporary grievance. But the whole gist of the matter really lies in this—whether the supply of water will be affected to the extent which the noble Duke believes. The information which I have is this. The trench will not take five years to make, but will be made in four or five months. The whole length will no doubt be four or five miles, but the system of construction will only involve about 100 yards of the trench bring open at one time. As each section is completed the previous section would be filled in, and therefore the water which had been abstracted would no longer be abstracted from that surface. What your Lordships are dealing with, therefore, is not a question of years but of months, and not a question of miles but of yards; and while no doubt such a case may occur as would involve tunnelling to a depth of 100 feet, the distance which the Metropolitan Water Board's engineers anticipate they will have to go down is about forty feet. Therefore the whole question is very much narrower in compass than the Middlesex County Council are inclined to fear. I thought I ought to mention these facts because they are some guidance as to the position m which we stand. The insertion of the proposed clause would put the Water Board as representing the ratepayers to a very heavy expense for a comparatively small difficulty and one which would be of a very much more temporary nature than the noble Duke imagines.


My Lords, I wish to ask whether it is not advisable to give more consideration to this question than is possible to-day. I understood the noble Lord behind me to say that it would be impossible for him to support any general clause giving compensation for permanent diminution of water, but that he was prepared to support a clause—and he knew precedents—giving compensation for temporary diminution of water during the construction of the works. It seems that something of that kind might be done without in any way trespassing on the recommendations of Lord MacDonnell and his Committee as regards permanent loss of subsoil water. In this Bill there is a clause giving to Lord Fitzhardinge compensation in a particular case where it is admitted that a temporary loss of water would be occasioned. Would it not be possible if this debate were adjourned for the Water Board, who, after all, have not been directly represented in this discussion, to reconsider the subject from that point of view, and confer with the noble Duke behind me and those supporting him to see if some clause could not be framed which would extend to cases where it could be definitely shown that the same amount of injury might be done temporarily as in Lord Fitzhardinge's case, the same compensation which is already provided for in that particular instance? In order to raise the point I beg to move the adjournment of the debate.

Moved, That the debate be adjourned.—(Viscount St. Aldwyn.)


There is another consideration which must be taken into account. This is not a matter that could be disposed of quickly. To hold an inquiry such as the noble Viscount has suggested it would take weeks before the numerous parties interested could be brought together, and I understand this Bill presses. Speaking for myself, I have given reasons to show that I do not like the clause, but I would rather take this Bill, as it is an urgent Bill, with the clause in it than take it with the inquiry suggested by the noble Viscount. Like my noble and learned friend I have had some experience of what these inquiries are; they are most difficult things, because in these cases you are dealing with parties who have intangible rights, not legal rights. The reason for this Bill is so great that, speaking for myself, I must repeat that though I object to the clause I would rather have the Bill with the clause in it than lose the Bill through the adoption of the course proposed to be taken.


I ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion to adjourn the debate, by leave, withdrawn.

On Question, whether the proposed new clause should be inserted,

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 27; Not-contents, 58.

Northumberland, D. [Teller.] Stradbroke, E. Forester, L.
Westmeath, E. Gwydir, L.
Hindlip, L.
Salisbury, M. Hood, V. Macnaghten, L.
Llandaff, V. Mostyn, L.
Abingdon, E. Muskerry, L.
Camperdown, E. Alverstone, L. Newton, L. [Teller.]
Cathcart, E. Basing, L. Oranmore and Browne, L.
Halsbury, E. Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.) Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Mayo, E. Clonbrock, L. Templemore, L.
Morley, E. Courtney of Penwith, L.
Loreburn, L. (L. Chancellor.) Portman, V. Ilkeston, L.
Morley of Blackburn, V. [L. President] St. Aldwyn, V. Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.) [Teller.]
Abinger, L. Knaresborough, L.
Addington, L. Lawrence, L.
Bath, M. Allendale, L. Lucas, L.
Lansdowne, M. Armitstead, L. MacDonnell, L.
Beauchamp, E. Barnard, L. Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)
Carrington, E Blyth, L. O'Hagan, L.
Craven, E. [Teller.] Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.) Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)
Cromer, E. Charnwood, L. Robson, L.
Dartrey, E. Colebrooke, L. St. Davids, L.
Denbigh, E. Cottesloe, L. Sanderson, L.
Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.) De Mauley, L. Saye and Sele, L.
Waldegrave, E. Devonport, L. Shaw, L.
Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.) Shuttleworth, L.
Goschen, V. Eversley, L. Southwark, L.
Gough, V. Farrer, L. Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield.)
Haldane, V. Glantawe, L.
Hatchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.) Haversham, L. Swaythling, L.
Heneage, L. Welby, L.
Knutsford, V. Herschell, L. Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.