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Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,

27 July 1860.

Veneris, 4o die Maii, 1860.

Ordered, That a Select Committee be appointed to consider the best means of providing or the increasing Traffic of the Metropolis by the Embankment of the Thames.

Veneris, 11° die Maii, 1860.

Committee nominated of

Sir Joseph Paxton.
Lord John Manners.
Mr. Cowper.
Sir John Pakington.
Mr. Alderman Cubitt.
Sir John Shelley.
Mr. Stirling.
Mr. Tite.

Lord Robert Montagu.
Mr. Walter.
Sir Morton Peto.
Mr. Philipps.
Mr. Roupell.
Mr. Yorke.
Mr. Beamish.

Ordered, That the Committee have power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records. Ordered, That five be the quorum of the Committee.

Veneris, 29° die Junii, 1860.

Ordered, That the First and Second Reports of Her Majesty's Commissioners for Metropolis Improvements, presented in Sessions 1844 and 1845; the Report of the Select Committee on Metropolitan Communications in Session 1855; and the Report of the Select Committee on the River Thames in Session 1858, be referred to the Committee.

Veneris, 27° die Julii, 1860.

Ordered, That the Committee have power to report their Opinion and Observations, together with the Minutes of Evidence taken before them, to The House.

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THE SELECT COMMITTEE appointed to consider the best means of

providing for the Increasing TRAFFIC of the METROPOLIS, by the EmBANKMENT of the THAMES ;-HAVE considered the matters to them referred, and have agreed to the following REPORT :

YOUR COMMITTEE beg leave to report to The House, that they have carefully considered several well-devised plans for the Embankment of the Thames, which have been brought before them, and that they have received much valuable evidence on the subject.

In connexion with the matter referred to them, your Committee considered it necessary to inquire into the line proposed for the low level sewer about to be made by the Metropolitan Board of Works, and they find that if that sewer were carried under the Strand and Fleet-street, an amount of injury would be caused to the trade and property of the district, which it is scarcely possible to estimate; whilst during the progress of the works the traffic along those great thoroughfares would be seriously impeded.

Your Committee have found that the various engineers who have submitted their plans, have recognised the importance of constructing the low level sewer along the foreshore of the river and within the embankment.

Your Committee have ascertained by evidence that the Metropolitan Board of Works, and the Thames Conservancy Board, are of opinion that the embankment of the Thames would be a great improvement both to the metropolis and to the river, and your Committee entirely concur in this opinion.

Your Committee, therefore, after careful consideration of the whole question, have agreed to the following Resolutions :-

That the embankment of the north side of the Thames from Westminster Bridge, to or nearly to Southwark Bridge, would afford a desirable mode of improving the banks and bed of the river, and facilitate the construction of the low level sewer along the foreshore ; while a roadway on the embankment would greatly relieve the crowded thoroughfares.

That by the construction of docks inside the embankment wall, wharfingers and other persons engaged in business along the river would, in most cases, derive increased facilities for conducting their various trades and occupations.

That the statements made to the Committee with regard to the probable cost of the proposed Embankment vary considerably, ranging from a minimum of 400,000 l. to a maximum of 1,500,000 l., according to the nature and extent of the plan; but these estimates include the cost of the low level sewer ; and there is reason to expect that a large proportion of the total first cost would be repaid by works of a productive character.

That as in 1861 the 8 d. and id. duties upon coal, and the 1 d. duty upon wine which were imposed and continued by Parliament for the purpose of public improvements in the metropolis, will cease, your Committee recommend that they be renewed for a limited period, and that the whole or part of the cost of the Thames Embankment be made a first charge upon them.

21 & 22 Vict. e. 104, s. 11.

The Legislature having already entrusted to the Metropolitan Board of Works the Main Drainage of the Metropolis,* and armed them with powers to deal with the foreshore of the River in connexion therewith, your Committee recommend that the construction of the Embankment be also confided to them.

For this purpose your Committee suggest that the above-mentioned duties be placed at the disposal of that Board for a limited period, and that the guarantee of the Imperial Treasury be likewise afforded them, according to the provisions contained in the 21 & 22 Vict. c. 104, s. 6.

Your Committee are of opinion that it would be most difficult to estimate before the works are completed the amount of damage that might be occasioned; they, therefore recommend that power be given to ascertain, after the completion of the works, the amount of compensation that may be due.

That while your Committee consider the Embankment of the South Side of the Thames forms a necessary part of any complete scheme for the improvement of the River and the Metropolis, yet it is of less urgent necessity than that of the Northern side.

27 July 1860.

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Mr. Jonathan Thorpe, Captain Edmund Burstal, and Mr. Benjamin Scott, examined.

[Adjourned to Tuesday, at One o'clock.

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