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labouring classes. By the Act 14 & 15 | instalments. The general question had Vict. c. 34, passed in 1851, power was largely occupied public attention during given to town councils and local boards, the last few years, and the object with and to the vestries of parishes exceeding which it had been discussed was likely to 10,000 inhabitants, to borrow money from be promoted considerably by the operation the Public Works Loan Commissioners for of this Bill. In the Session of 1863 the the erection and furnishing of lodging- attention of Parliament was, for the first houses for the working-classes. The re- time, specially called to the effect upon the gulations under which loans were to be made condition of the poor in populous places of under that Act were those usually adopted the great public improvements which were by the Government when advances were being effected in the metropolis and other made for public works. Practically, how large cities ; in that Session an unusually ever, that Act never came into operation, large number of Bills were introduced for for only one application was made to the extending railway communication, and an Public Works Loan Commissioners for the opinion which pervaded the debates of that erection of dwellings for the labouring Session, and particularly those of 1864, classes. In the year 1855 another Act was that, while these measures were really was passed, the 18 & 19 Vict. c. 132, public improvements, as he believed they under which companies might be formed were, they ought to be accompanied by with special powers to erect dwellings— some measure giving additional facility for and not lodging-houses merely-for the the construction of the displaced dwellings labouring classes in populous places. That of the poor. He need not remind them of Act, however, conferred no power of borrow- what private munificence had done. It ing money from the Public Works Loan happened most opportunely that they had Commissioners and it proved also a failure; been able that morning to read that most for he believed that the Government Office, generous letter by Mr. George Peabody, in within the cognizance of which the provi- which he stated the conditions upon which sions of the Act came, had not received he proposed to supplement the most munimore than one communication on the sub- ficent donation which he had given to the ject. Already the Public Works Loan poor of the metropolis. The trustees had Commissioners had power to grant loans at therefore £250,000 as the nucleus of a moderate rates of interest for other pur- fund for large operations in the direction poses connected with the sanitary arrange- proposed by this Bill. He (Mr. Childers) ments of great towns, such as the removal should not be doing wrong to refer to the of nuisances and the utilization of sewage; urgent necessity for and the result of their and he now proposed, by the measure operations as stated in their Report, printed which he asked leave to introduce, to ex- last December. They said tend the power conferred by the Act 14 & 15 Vict. to minor local authorities in changes in the metropolis, by which the houses of
“At the present moment, owing to the vast all parishes, to public companies, and even the labouring poor have been demolished to so to private persons, who would thus be great an extent, the cost of accommodation for enabled to obtain from the Public Works them has been greatly increased. It, of course, Loan Commissioners advances to the extent the weekly charge for a single room of a very
varies in different localities ; but, on an average, of not more than half the cost of the poor description is from 28. 6d. to 38.; for two buildings proposed to be erected, and at a rooms, 58. or 68. 6d. ; and for three, from 68. 6d. rate of interest of 4 per cent, payable by to 78.” the usual instalments, and according to the In a note, it was statedsame conditions as loans for public works. The ordinary operation of the Act would be bid fair to be thrust out of house and home, and
“In London, unless steps are taken, the poor as follows:-All questions of interest and to have no place left to dwell in. Our Street repayment would be left, as now, to the Improvement Acts and our railway demolitions Treasury, subject to the general rules of are turning out the poor by thousands. Even in the Exchequer Commissioners, and the first our crowded and deplorable districts, such as the Commissioner of Works would certify as
streets and alleys running out of Drury Lane and
in the region of Seven Dials, apartments are not to whether buildings proposed to be erected to be had; and the rents in some neighbourhoods or improved under the Act were really have been raised 50 per cent. A respectable suited as dwellings for the labouring classes. omnibus conductor in our neighbourhood, who The Public Works Loan Commissioners seeks to have two rooms, dingy and small, to ac
commodate five persons, pays 78. a week. A would only have to satisfy themselves as wretched family, where the husband never brings to the security and the due payment of the to his homo more than 128. per week, and often less (where there are five children), pays 58. a week in the Home Office or some other authority for two low, damp kitchens. But the mere test which could judge of the condition of these contrast the squalor and discomfort of one of these localities, to remedy in some measure the tenements with the light and airy and agreeable excessive evils which resulted from overapartments in the Peabody buildings; and for one crowding. He hoped that this Session, if room there the charge per week is 2s.6d. ; for two the Government did not, some private rooms, 4s. ; and for three rooms, 58."
Member would introduce a measure which So far, the trustees of Mr. Peabody's gift, should confer power on a competent authofor £60,000, had provided accommodation rity to do something for porters and others for 850 persons ; and, even on this mode- who were compelled to live near to where rate scale, the rents realized gave favour- they were employed. The power so conable promise for similar undertakings. He ferred could be exercised gradually so as to would also refer to the report in that inflict the least amount of inconvenience morning's paper of the society which had inseparable from the wholesale demolition been formed for the erection of improved of houses by railway companies, and in this dwellings for the working classes, which way a useful remedy could be applied to an showed that the investment of capital in existing evil without those hardships conthese buildings, with moderate assistance sequent upon railway extension. While such as the Bill proposed, might be ex- wishing to see such a measure as that he pected to produce a fair Return. Upon suggested brought forward, he heartily supthe relations of supply and demand, he ported that now introduced. would quote a report presented a few MR. LOCKE said, that the granting of weeks ago to the Metropolitan Board of compulsory powers for public purposes had Works by Mr. Bazalgette, who said- not always proceeded on consistent, or even
“The effect, however, of all metropolitan rail-I beneficial, principles. But, as applied to way and street improvements is the destruction | the removal of nests of fever and the creaof large masses of houses, the occupants of which tion of suitable dwelling places for the are drivent towards the suburbs, and the area of labouring classes, the question became of of the present Session include within their limits general interest and acquired an importance of deviation about 16,000 houses. Now, assuming second to none. Dr. Ferguson had shown one-half of that number of houses only to be de- the effects of overcrowding in fever genestroyed, this would amount to one-sixtieth part of rating districts ; and when such districts all the houses in London, and the occupants of were discovered, compulsory powers ought these must find homes nearer to the suburbs, and will require ready means of access to the centre." to be given to the municipal authorities to
take down the dwellings in which the fever He need hardly say that the great majority lodged, and erect others in their stead. of the houses referred to were those of the Local boards, vestries, and similar public labouring classes, for whom other dwellings bodies had not the means, even supposing ought to be found. He believed the effect them to possess the will, to make advances of this Bill would be greatly to assist the for the erection of these dwellings ; in prodesired provision, and he thought he had posing to find the money the Government, stated sufficient to justify its introduction. therefore, were taking steps to confer on The House would have other opportunities the metropolis a boon long and ardently of considering its details.
desired, and difficult if not incapable of MR. KINNAIRD said, he could hardly attainment by any other means.
In furexpress the satisfaction with which he heard therance of the object in view, he thought the proposal of the Government to meet an by judicious arrangements it would be posevil admitted on all hands, and proved by sible likewise to secure the co-operation of the statistics which the hon. Gentleman had influential public companies. quoted. He had stated that he was far from SIR HARRY VERNEY said, that while deprecating any of those improvements in concurring heartily in any proposal having the metropolis which must follow upon the for its aim to benefit the poor, it should not great demolition of houses which was going be forgotten that, if all new buildings for on. While glad that Government proposed the accommodation of the poor were as to meet the immediately resulting evil, he lofty as those recently erected, London, as would suggest whether, as“there were large ' a place of residence, would be much less districts which were nothing better than healthy than it had been hitherto. Light fever-producing and pauper-producing dis-' and air would no longer penetrate as freely tricts, compulsory powers, such as those into the streets. If it were possible to inconferred on railways, could not be vested troduce some stipulations, that when the
buildings were lofty they should not be garet, Westminster ; and for other purposes, orcrowded together, it would add, he thought, dered to be brought in by Mr. Cowper and Mr.
CHILDERS. to the utility of the measure. He should also like to see a clause introduced, pro
Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 10.] viding that there should be a different set
QUEEN'S SPEECH-HER MAJESTY'S of pipes to carry off the rain water from those which carried off the sewage.
ANSWER TO THE ADDRESS, Motion agreed to.
THE COMPTROLLER OF THE HOUSE
HOLD (LORD PROBY) reported Her MaBill to enable the Public Works Loan Commis- jesty's Answer to the Address as follows: sioners to make advances towards the erection of Dwellings for the Labouring Classes in populous “ I have received with sincere satisfaction places, ordered to be brought in by Mr. CHILDERS, Mr. Chancellor of the Excufquer and Mr. your loyal and dutiful Address. The A8BRUCE.
surance of your continued interest in all Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 9.] matters which concern the domestic hap
piness of Myself and My Family is most PUBLIC OFFICES (SITE) BILL. gratifying to My feelings. LEAVE. FIRST READING,
“I rely with confidence on your attenMR. COWPER said, he rose to move tive consideration of the measures which will for leave to introduce a Bill to authorize the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Works be submitted to you. And your endeavours and Public Buildings to acquire, by compul- to improve the Law and to advance the sory purchase or otherwise, certain lands, welfare of my People will always receive houses, and premises in the Parish of St. My cordial co-operation.” Margaret, Westminster. The houses in question were those lying between Parlia
CATTLE PLAGUE BILL. ment Street, King Street, and Charles Street, and their removal become neces. Resolved, That the Chairman be directed to sary to enable the front of the quadrangle
move the House, that leave be given to bring in formed by the new Government Offices to Great Britain.
a Bill to check the spread of the Cattle Plague in be completed. The purchase of these Resolution reported. houses had been in contemplation for a Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Ilunt, considerable time, but they had not been Mr. Ilolland, Mr. Banks STANuope, and Sir interfered with till the progress in the James Fergusson. erection of the Public Offices rendered it Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 7.] actually necessarry to remove then). MR. LOCKE said, he was of opinion
PUBLIC PETITIONS. that this was a very bit-by-bit mode of
Select Committee appointed, as follows, “to proceeding which was proposed by the whom shall be referred all Petitions presented to right hon. Gentleman. All the houses the House, with the exception of such as complain down to Westminster Abbey must ulti- of undue Returns, or relate to Private Bills; and mately come down, and would it not, there that such Committee do classify and prepare ab
stracts of the same, in such form and manner as fore, be better to purchase them at once ? shall appear to them best suited to convey to the When the new Offices were built the House all requisite information respecting their houses in the vicinity would immediately contents, and do report the same from time to become more valuable.
time to the House ; and that such Reports do in MR. COWPER said, the Bill which he all cases set forth the number of signatures to
each Petition :- And that such Committee have desired to introduce did all that was ne
power to direct the printing in extenso of such cessary for providing the site which was Petitions, or of such parts of Petitions, as shall wanted for Public Offices. The widening appear to require it :--And that such Committee of the southern end of Parliament Street have power to report their opinion and observawould be an important metropolitan im, FORSTER, Mr. BONHAM-Carter, Sir James FER
tions thereupon to the House :"-Mr. CHARLES provement, but it could not be included Gusson, Major Gavin, Mr. Taverner John Micamong the purposes of this Bill.
LER, Sir COLMAN O'LOGHLEN, Mr. Hastings RusMotion agreed to.
SELL, Mr. Alderman Salomons, Mr.Owen STANLEY,
Mr. KINNAIRD, Mr. REGINALD YORKE, Mr. Robert Bill to authorize the Commissioners of Her Ma- TORRENS, Mr. M.Lagan, Mr. SANDFORD, and Sir jesty's Works and Public Buildings to acquire, by CHARLES RUSSELL :—Three to be the quorum. compulsory purchase or otherwise, certain lands, houses, and premises, in the parish of St. Mar
House adjourned at Twelve o'clock.
giving effect to the Prisons Act of last HOUSE OF LORDS, Session, by securing an adequate Inspec
tion of the several County and Borough Tuesday, February 13, 1866.
Prisons, said, that the Act to which he
referred had placed much power in the MINUTES.)-Took the Oath- The Lord Aveland: bands of the local authorities. A Com. Public Bill -- Second Reading-Sale of Land by Auction (2).
mittee of the House, of which he had the honour of being appointed the Chairman,
had given great consideration to the subSALE OF LAND BY AUCTION BILL.
ject, with the view of securing, as far as (no. 2.) SECOND READING.
possible, uniformity of action ; and the Moved, That the Bill be now read the Committee found that the Prison InspecSecond Time.-(The Lord St. Leonards.) tors, who had formerly numbered five, had
for various reasons, which it would not be THE LORD CHANCELLOR said, that since the first reading he had looked necessary for him to go into, been graduthrough the Bill, which he thought would of prisons had in reality become a mere
ally reduced to two, so that the inspection probably be a very useful measure.
formality. Even in the last Report of the his noble and learned Friend (Lord St. Inspectors, he found that all the prisons in Leonards) had inserted clauses in it ex- the kingdom had not been visited once in cepting sales ordered by the Court of Chan- the year. He did not now rise for the purcery from the operations of the measure. It was perfectly true that the precautions pose of asking an increase in the number of taken by the Court of Chancery with Inspectors, but he did desire to see some respect to sales carried on under its orders effectual communication with the local au
machinery established which would secure rendered such & Bill as that under con- thorities, and by which a harmonious and sideration unnecessary; but, at the same uniform system would be adopted. time, no harm would result if the Court of
EARL RUSSELL was understood to Chancery sales were not excepted, and it
that instructions had been given upon was very possible that if the excepting the subject by the Home Secretary, clauses were allowed to remain an invidious
THE EARL OF CARNARVON thought construction might be placed upon the
that the answer of the noble Earl was in measure. LORD CHELMSFORD entirely ap-. did not say what was the nature of the
reality no answer at all. The noble Earl proved the principle of the Bill, and con; instructions given by the Home Secretary; curred with the noble and learned Lord and he thought, therefore, that he should on the Woolsack in recommending the not be doing wrong in pressing the noble omission of those clauses which excepted Earl for a little further information on a sales made by order of the Court of
matter so important. Chancery. LORD KINGSDOWN also expressed nish the noble Earl with further particulars
EARL RUSSELL said, he would furapproval of the Bill. LORD ST. LEONARDS, in replying to mation from the Home Office.
as soon as he received some more inforthe objections taken to the measure, was
The EARL OF CARNARVON said, that understood to say that the Court of Chancery had machinery at its command to do his Question on Thursday.
under these circumstances, he would repeat all for its suitors that it was proposed by this Bill to do for the people at large, and it was, therefore, unnecessary to give THE CATTLE PLAGUE.-QUESTION. to the Court of Chancery what it already THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA rose to had.
ask the First Lord of the Treasury, WheMotion agreed to : Bill read 24, and ther Her Majesty's Advisers are prepared committed to a Committee of the Whole to recommend to Parliament that an InHouse on Tuesday next.
demnity be granted out of the Public Purso to all such Persons as have been compelled
to slaughter any Beast or Beasts (not of. PRISONS ACT 1866.-QUESTION.
fered for Sale in any Market, Fair, or other THE EARL OF CARNARVON, in rising Public Place where Animals are commonly to inquire of Her Majesty's Government, exposed for Sale), by Order of an Inspector What Arrangements they have made for appointed by or under the Authority claimed by the Lords of Her Majesty's Privy Coun-1 of Parliament passed in 1848 was to precil, to be contained in the Act of 1848, vent the spread of contagious or infectious c. 107, which Act still continues in force ? diseases among sheep, cattle, or other aniThe noble Earl said that the Privy Council mals, and the preamble of that Act was to had issued instructions to their Inspectors this effectto slaughter any diseased cattle they might
“ Whereas a contagious or infectious disorder, find on the premises of the owners. Now, known or described as the sheep-pox, or variola that Order purported to be founded on the ovina, now prevails among the sheep in some parts Act of 1848 ; but it appeared that the of the United Kingdom, and it is necessary to operation of that Act applied only to cattle take measures to prevent such disorder from exposed at any public fair or market, and spreading.”--[11 & 12 Vict. c. 107.] gave no authority to direct the slaughter The Act then proceeds to give the Privy of cattle on private premises, and there Council authority to make such orders and was, therefore, reason to suppose that the regulations as are necessary to give effect Privy Council had in that matter over- to its provisions. There is no doubt in the stepped their powers. But if that were so, world that the preamble of this Act reit was clear that those persons whose cattle ferred to sheep, and to sheep only; but, had been killed under the sanction of that on the other hand, the clauses of the Act Order had a peculiar claim on the Govero- are not confined to sheep, but will bear a ment for compensation, and he trusted construction permitting the provisions to that that claim would be recognized.
be applied to cattle. The question the THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH said, Government had to determine was whether that he was desirous of reminding the or not, if it were shown to them—as it noble Earl, before he answered the Ques- was shown to their satisfaction—that no tion which had just been put to him, that other Order would have any beneficial the issuing of the Order in Council giving effect, they would be justified in issuing power to Inspectors to kill any cattle they an Order calculated to give effect to the might think infected with the cattle plague, spirit of the Act, although, if strictly conunaccompanied by any restrictions upon strued, that Act might not expressly give the cattle traffic, was the most successful them the necessary powers. It must not -if he might use the term-method of be forgotten that remedial Acts are always spreading the disorder that could have to be liberally construed, and under the been followed. The effect of that Order circunistances we felt it to be our duty to was that owners of cattle, knowing what put a liberal construction upon this one. fate was to befall them, and knowing that The matter had to be determined at once they should receive no compensation for
- there was no time for deliberation and any cattle which might be slaughtered I do not hesitate to say that it was upon under the Order, took the matter into my advice that the Order was issued, as their own hands and sold their infected I thought it was fairly to be argued that cattle; and the result was, to use the words such an Order came within the real of Her Majesty's Commission, that the meaning of the Act. There is, however, disease was sown broadcast over the coun- great doubt upon the subject ; but if the try.
Order does go beyond the strict letter of LORD POLWARTH wished to know, the law it may easily be met by compenwhether it was the intention of Her Ma- sating the parties who have suffered under jesty's Government to renew the Order in it, although the injuries they have suffered Council complained of, or whether it would in consequence of its issue must be very cease when the new measure upon this slight, as the infected cattle slaughtered subject came into operation ?
under its regulations must have been of THE LORD CHANCELLOR: The little or no practical value to their owners. noble Earl (the Earl of Winchilsea), in Acting upon the opinion I had formed, I putting the Question of which he has did not hesitate to advise the Government given notice, has clearly pointed out that that they were bound to put a liberal conwhich I am perfectly ready to admit- struction upon the Act, as it would be namely, that there are no distinct terms useless to issue any Order that was not calcontained in the Act of 1848, authorizing culated to meet the requirements of the the Council to make such an Order as that case. of the 25th of August ; but I must ask
THE EARL OF DERBY: Tbe noble and leave of the House to state how the matter learned Lord has placed two constructions stood at that time. The object of the Act upon the Order in Council. First of all, he