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existing Local Acts and the special circumstances of each particular locality. So with respect to the alteration in the numbers required to originate petitions for the application of the Act, the additional provisions subsequently introduced, by which the benefits of the Act may be conferred without any petition at all wherever it appears upon the returns of the Registrar General that the mortality has exceeded a certain proportion, counterbalance the absence of the facilities originally proposed. So also with respect to the provisions for obtaining a good and abundant supply of water at reasonable rates, and the triple alteration to which they were subjected, it may be matter of surprise to those unacquainted with the progress of the bill that the plan ultimately agreed to was a restoration, in every material particular, of the scheme propounded in the first draft. Other branches of the Bill passed with scarcely any alteration, or with alterations of very secondary importance; and amongst these may be mentioned the provisions which wrestle with the difficult subject of interment in towns, and those which introduce an entirely new system of rating. And after all, considering that the whole subject was essentially one for adjustment, it does not argue meanly for the character of the original Bill that it was found so capable of being easily adapted to the numerous and frequently conflicting suggestions to which it gave rise. It was conceived, framed, and conducted in an honest spirit: let us hope that in this spirit the Act will be received and considered, and that the same spirit may attend the working of the measure, actuating alike those who may adopt, execute, or superintend it.
The discussions upon the Public Health Bill immediately paved the way for other important measures of a similar character. The Act for consolidating the Metropolitan Commissions of Sewers, the Nuisances Removal and Diseases Prevention Act (by which a temporary Act applicable to the whole of the United Kingdom was converted into a permanent law, with great improvements both in machinery and detail),* and the Act for improving the sanitary condition of the City of London, all followed in rapid succession, and without a whisper of opposition.t Other measures of a minor character might also be included in the list; but enough has been said to justify the assertion, that the Session of 1847-8 was rich in sanitary legislation.
* This Act is printed in the Appendix, post, p. 209.
+ The first and second of these Acts were government measures; the last was founded upon a bill brought in under the direction of the Corporation of London.
It remains to say a few words with respect to the present publication. The Public Health Act constitutes the principal text; and the Nuisances Removal and Diseases Prevention Act, two or three additional forms, and a paper exhibiting in a tabular form the rates leviable under the Public Health Act and their several incidents, are inserted by way of Appendix. To the principal Statute foot-notes are added, in which pains have been taken to explain its structure and collate its numerous provisions ; references both backwards and forwards by pages, as well as by sections, have been inserted throughout; and the marginal notes have been completely revised, and many additional ones introduced. Some novelty has been introduced in the method of printing both statutes, the several sections having been divided into appropriate paragraphs; and advantage has been taken of other facilities afforded by the printer. The text of the whole has undergone the closest examination : in some few instances it will be found to vary from the copies issued by the Queen's printers previously to the 9th of November; but wherever a variance occurs, the text of this edition has been verified by the original roll, and will be found to correspond with the Queen's printers' copies issued since that date.
Some points respecting the claim of the Commons to the exclusive right of originating and dealing with matters of local taxation, arose out of the discussions upon the Public Health Bill; and these, as well as others illustrative of defects in the present system of ingrossing Bills in Parliament, are adverted to in the notes.
TEMPLE, Nov. 27, 1848.