§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ (5.33.) Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE,) Tower Hamlets, St. George' s
I would appeal to my hon. Friend to withdraw his objection. This measure really constitutes the basis of the subject which has to be considered by the Committee. Its provisions in no way partake of the character of confiscation, but merely provide that by agreement or arbitration the Metropolitan Water undertakings may be purchased and a Water Trust formed to administer the water supply of London. It is generally understood that it is very desirable to have the whole question of the water supply considered by a Select Committee, and this Bill deals with the fundamental part of the question to be considered.
§ *THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (MR. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, Westminster
I wish, on behalf of the Government, to appeal to my hon. Friend not to persist in his objection. It is a matter of the highest importance, from the point of view of the Government, that this question should be examined in reference to every interest. Any delay that occurred in reading the 200 Bill might be exceedingly serious. On behalf of all Parties we strongly urge that this Bill should go to a Select Committee. We do not express any opinion on the provisions of the measure; but our proposal is that every interest concerned should have an opportunity of being heard before the Committee.
§ Mr. HALSEY intimated assent.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
Bill read a second time, and committed to the Select Committee on the Metropolis Water Commission Bill.
Ordered, That all Petitions against any of the Bills committed to the Committee presented Five clear days before the meeting of the Committee be referred to the Committee; that the Petitioners praying to be heard by themselves, their Counsel, or Agents, be heard against the Bill, and Counsel heard in support of such Bills—(Mr. Ritchie.)