§ MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attentions has been drawn to the condition of that part of the Channelsea river which lies within the county borough of West Ham; whether he is aware that, under certain conditions of tide and of weather, this water is little better than an open sewer, and therefore dangerous to the public health; also that for several years a conflict of opinion hits existed between the Lea Conservancy and the several local sanitary authorities as to the responsibility for the pollution of the river: and whether, having regard to the serious 321 annoyance and dangers arising from the present condition of these waters, he can take any steps to have the local responsibility determined and satisfactorily discharged?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. H. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
I believe that the facts are practically as stated in the Question, but the powers of the Local Government Board are very limited in this matter, and I have no authority to determine the local responsibility. I am alive, however, to the fact that the present condition of affairs is very far from satisfactory, and I am taking such measures as I can to bring about an improvement. I may add that the corporation are disinfecting the Channelsea daily, and they promoted a Bill this Session which would have given them absolute authority to cleanse and scour the river, but the preamble was held not to be proved.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
I have already given instructions to the inspector to visit the locality and make a report to me. I should like first to see what he has to say in the matter.