§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether it is in his power to lay upon the Table of the House any extracts of the number of the houses pulled down, and of the population compelled to seek new dwellings, since the year 1815, in consequence of the compulsory purchase in the Metropolis of land for the construction of docks, railways, new streets, public buildings, or other similar purposes?
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
I am unable to lay upon the Table the information referred to in the Question, and I know no means by which the particulars alluded to could now be obtained. As the hon. Member is aware, there are Standing Orders of both Houses of Parliament, which require that when, by a Bill, power is sought to take in any town or parish more than 15 houses 672 occupied wholly or partially by persons belonging to the labouring classes as tenants or lodgers, the promoters shall deposit in the Private Bill Office a statement of the number, description, and situation of such houses, the number of persons to be displaced, and whether any and what provision is made in the Bill for remedying any inconvenience likely to arise from such displacement. But this statement was first required by a Standing Order of the Lords in the year 1853. There was no similar Standing Order of the Commons till 1874. A Return could, no doubt, be made in respect of the period subsequent to those dates by the officers of the two Houses as to the number of dwelling-houses and persons who, according to the statements deposited in pursuance of the Standing Orders, would be affected by schemes embodied in Bills. Such a Return would, however, involve much labour in its preparation, and when completed it could not be regarded as satisfactory, as it would show what was proposed rather than what was actually done, even in cases where the Bills were passed without modification of the provisions bearing on this subject.