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Sanitary Act (Dublin) Amendment Bill—Bill 254

Volume 203: debated on Thursday 4 August 1870

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( Mr. Stansfeld, Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)

Committee

Order for Committee read.

said, he wished to know whether sufficient security had been taken for the repayment of the one-third of a million of money to be advanced to the City of Dublin for the execution of sanitary works. He desired to be informed what was the rateable value of the property upon the security of the rates of which the money was to be advanced, what was the rating limit, and how far the rates were already charged?

said, that the Public Loan Commissioners, who were to advance the money, could not by law charge less than 5 per cent interest; but it was in the discretion of the Treasury to reduce that amount. The Loan Commissioners were an independent body of gentlemen, receiving no salaries from the Government, and exercising their own judgment in obtaining adequate security for the money—a duty which they had always discharged with the greatest fidelity, and it was a beneficial arrangement that that duty should not be thrown on the Government, who might be biased by political or Parliamentary pressure. In this particular case it was in the power of the Public Loan Commissioners to lend the money without an Act of Parliament, were it not that the Commissioners required more security than could be given without a special Act. The money was lent upon the security of the rates of the city of Dublin, for the purification of the river Liffey, which had become so offensive that the Judges administering the law in Dublin had applied to have some other place to hold their sittings at. The Government gave a guarantee in the case of London when the Embankment was made and other works undertaken. He durst say that Dublin would be glad to get a guarantee too; but instead of a guarantee they would advance the money. As the Public Loan Commissioners required power to appoint a receiver to receive the rates in case of default on the part of the Corporation, the present Bill was introduced to give them that power.

said, in spite of the explanations of the right hon. Gentleman, the Bill was, in his opinion, most objectionable. The House ought not to allow it to pass, unless Parliament were always prepared to make advances to any town requiring similar aid for carrying out sanitary works.

said, he must protest against the system of borrowing from the Government for improvement purposes. The Bill was altogether peculiar.

said, he could not agree that the measure was a peculiar one, because on several occasions the metropolis had borrowed money from the Government for improvement purposes.

said, the authorities of Dublin were required to carry out the Sanitary Act of 1866, and the Bill was necessary to enable them to improve the Liffey, which was in a very noxious condition.

Bill considered in Committee, and reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, at Two of the clock.