§ Mr. BENNETT-GOLDNEY
asked the President of the Local Government Board (1) whether the Local Government Board possess any jurisdiction over local authorities with regard to the disposal of sewage; if so, whether the Board have any knowledge of any local authorities in England which permit of the discharge of crude sewage into the sea or estuary of the sea in closer proximity to any sands or beaches used by the public for bathing or paddling or recreation than sixty yards from low-water line at spring tides; (2) whether the Local Government Board issue any regulations for the guidance of English local authorities with regard to the disposal of crude sewage; whether the Board is aware of any local authority which permits of the discharge of crude sewage into the sea or estuary of the sea in closer proximity to any inhabited dwellings than sixty yards from low-water line at spring tides; if so, will he say if any such authorities are authorised by the Board to permit of the flow of crude sewage into the sea during rising tides or when the currents habitually set inshore; and (3) whether he will ascertain if any of the authorities of any English seaside health resorts of more than 20,000 inhabitants, or of any smaller health resorts of more than 3,000 inhabitants, adjoining a larger one of more than 12,000, which at the present time permits of the discharge of crude sewage into the sea or estuary 1462W of the sea from an outlet which is either uncovered at low time, at spring tides, or which, if slightly submerged, is nearer to the sands or beaches habitually used by the public for bathing and recreation than fifty yards at low tide; and if, on inquiry, any such outlets are found to be in use for the discharge of crude sewage, if he will, in the interest of the public health and decency, communicate with the authority or authorities concerned with a view to their making provision to at once remedy such abuses in all populous resorts, so that no discharge of crude sewage shall be permitted at those places at a less distance from low-water mark at low tide than sixty yards, or at a less depth than four feet below low-water mark at the lowest tides?
§ Mr. BURNS
The jurisdiction of the Local Government Board in regard to the disposal of sewage by local authorities consists in their power to sanction or withhold sanction to loans. I am aware that there are cases in which the discharge of crude sewage takes place into the sea in the circumstances referred to in the questions. The Board do not issue any general regulations with regard to the disposal of sewage. The matter is one which has to be governed by all the circumstances of the particular case, and upon which the advice of an engineer having extensive experience of sewage disposal in tidal waters should always be sought. If the hon. Member will be so good as to furnish me with the names of the authorities he has in mind, I shall be glad to communicate with them.