§ Order, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [14th June], "That the Bill be now taken into Consideration," read, and discharged.
§ Bill Re-committed.
§ Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.
§ Clause 4 (How Expenses of Local Authority to be defrayed).
§ MR. PERRY WATLINGTON
proposed that after the word "expenses," there should be inserted the words "as are of a common nature."
§ MR. AYRTON
objected to the clause, as it gave power to a Board to levy rates for the suppression of nuisances on any parishes. The effect might be that great injustice would be done to particular parishes, and works carried out without the consent of their representatives.
§ MR. NORRIS
said, be hoped the clause would be retained in its present form, otherwise parishes which derived no benefit from the improvements carried out might be obliged to pay for them.
§ MR. SOTHERON ESTCOURT
said, difficulties would arise as to the levying of the money necessary for such expenses as could not be taken out of the common 1659 fund. Expenses that were in common should be raised in common, but he thought the power given to the Boards to levy funds for works done in particular parishes would require serious consideration.
said, he regretted that the Government should have gone back again to the Board of Guardians to take management of these financial affairs, considering the dissatisfaction that was caused by their management formerly. The proper course was to make each parish do its own work, and to compel the parochial authorities to act if they refused to do so. The truth was that the Poor Law Board and the Board of Health had nothing to do, and the consequence was that they were always ready to interfere in matters that did not require their interference. He thought the best thing the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lowe) could do would be to withdraw the Bill altogether.
§ MR. LOWE
said, the necessity of introducing a Bill of the kind had arisen from the fact that the House had thought proper to destroy the central body which had formerly existed, and to transfer its powers to the local authorities. But the new system, it was found, did not work, as the local authorities were unwilling or unable to enforce the unwelcome authority which had been committed to their hands for the removal of nuisances. There were 14,400 places in which there ought to have been local authorities to carry out the Act; but out of these there were 12,500 places in which no inspectors had been appointed—that was to say, in which there was no authority at all to carry the Act into operation. It was necessary, therefore, to find some means of carrying out the Act. The right hon. Gentleman said the existing local authorities should be compelled to act; but this was utterly impracticable, as there was no way by which a man complaining of a nuisance was able to reach them, the local authorities not being corporate bodies. The proposal in the Bill was that the duty should be discharged by the Boards of Guardians, a body that could easily be communicated with, and easily set in Motion. As to the question of payment, the proposal was that each parish should pay the expenses of removing nuisances within itself; but that the expense of an inspector of nuisances, common to an entire union, should be paid out of the common fund of the union. The expenses of such inspectors must be exceedingly small, and that alone would fall upon the common 1660 fund. All the main expenses would be paid by each particular parish for itself.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that there was a necessity for this Bill. Practically, there was no sanitary authority in the small parishes; and there were only two ways of remedying the evil; one to compel the local authorities to act, and the other to transfer the powers to Boards of Guardians, as now proposed, and this last course he entirely preferred, especially as the Boards of Guardians would now act on their own authority, and not be the instruments of a central board. However, he did not see the necessity for a permanent salaried sanitary inspector.
§ MR. PERRY WATLINGTON
withdrew his Amendment, and proposed in the same clause to omit the words, "common fund," and to add the words, "by means of an addition to be made to the rate for the relief of the poor of the parish in which the nuisance has arisen, and to be raised and paid in like manner as the money raised for the relief of the poor."
§ MR. SOTHERON ESTCOURT
expressed his opinion that inspectors should not be permanently appointed, and that Boards should have a discretionary power in their appointment.
said, it now appeared that the Boards of Guardians were not to be compelled to appoint inspectors; but it might be found that the Boards were not quite so pliable as seemed to be anticipated, and in that case there would be no local authority to provide for putting down nuisances. It would be better to name in the Bill a particular official who should be bound to carry the Act into operation.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, to give to the Board of Guardians absolute control over the parishes, to make the parishes pay all the expenses, and to give no appeal against the decision of the Board of Guardians—no remedy, no power of revision whatever—was a proceeding which was never before proposed to the House of Commons. If any one disputed the jurisdiction, the officer was directed by the Act to take proceedings in the higher courts, and thus a parish would be involved in a most expensive kind of lawsuit, and would have to pay all the expense, although it might have had no part whatever in the proceeding, and might even have protested against it.
§ Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill, as were also the remaining Clauses. Two additional Clauses were added.
§ MR. FREELAND
moved the following Clause:—No justice of the peace shall, unless objected to at the hearing of any complaint or charge, be deemed incapable of acting in cases arising under the said Nuisances Removal Act by reason of his being a member of any body hereby declared to be the local authority to execute the said Act, or by reason of his being a contributor, or liable to contribute, to any rate or fund out of which it is hereby provided that all charges and expenses incurred in executing the said Act, and not recovered as therein provided, shall be defrayed.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Preamble agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.