social administration have gradually made their way into the new sphere, as the prepossessions and prejudices entertained by Parliament and the public mind slowly yielded to the moderate demands of the English exponents of centralisation. Here, then, it is our task to portray the results of this development under our previous classification of the powers of the Local Government Board. First, those of inspection. The principle of inspectability has been applied with scarcely less thoroughness to sanitary than to Poor Law administration; but here the inspectors have a slightly different The Board as position, because the superintendence of the inspector of local sanitary work has not been mapped out in public health. districts for the purposes of inspection. Superintendence is periodical and as occasion arises. Nevertheless, an inspector of the Local Government Board has the right to attend personally at the sittings of all local authorities entrusted with the carrying out of sanitary legislation, with the one exception of the Councils of municipal boroughs.2

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Further, under the Public Health Acts the Local Government Board may institute through its inspectors inquiries at any given place or time into local undertakings involving public health; and such an inquiry is nearly always held if the business taken in hand by the local sanitary authority requires the assent and approval of the Board. The powers

of the inspectors at sanitary inquiries are precisely parallel to those assigned in similar cases by the Poor Law to a general inspector. That is to say, they may summon the officers of the local authority and other persons before them, and may call for the production of papers and plans and other documents which will facilitate investigation. In case a landowner refuses to permit entrance upon his property, the Board may obtain an order from a summary court of jurisdiction, that is to say, from the local magistrates,--to enter, and such an order can be enforced in the usual way by penalty.3 The Board, however, has not to rely solely on the activity of the inspectors. There is also laid upon every

1 46 'Sanitary inspector" has the technical meaning of "Inspector of nuisin the Metropolis.


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2 Vide section 205 of the Public Health Act 1875.

'Public Health Act 1875, secs. 293-296.

local sanitary authority a duty-of the utmost importance in the scheme of control-of making a yearly report upon its administration of the Public Health Acts in its district, and upon sanitary works undertaken by it during the year. And thirdly, there is the financial supervision exercised by the central Board over the accounts of the local sanitary authority; this again is an important element in the system of sanitary control, to which we shall revert later.

When we come to the sub-legislative powers of the Local Government Board, they are found to be distinctly smaller in relation to the urban and rural sanitary authorities than those which it wields in the province of the Poor Laws. First and foremost, the Local Government Board has no power whatever to issue general orders for the enlargement and

The Board as a sanitary legislator.

interpretation of the code of public health. Modern sanitary legislation in England differs from the Poor Laws in one respect. It has been drafted with such attention to the minutia of administration that there was really no practical necessity to give the central authority any such general power of supplementary legislation as was required in the case of the more sketchy Poor Laws.

On the one hand, a strong disinclination was felt to permitting any further bureaucratic intervention on the part of the central Board in such of the business of local government as was concerned more or less exclusively with the peculiar interests of a locality; and this disinclination became stronger and in some particulars irresistible. It will be remembered that Chadwick's well-meant but headstrong attempt to introduce State control over public health failed in consequence of the strong opposition it provoked. Yet even Chadwick, with all his admiration for French ideas of government, never dreamt of introducing into England provincial authorities of the prefect type under the appointment and direction of a central bureau. Nevertheless, the gospel preached by overzealous evangelists of centralisation in England has led to a reaction during the last decade. Many complaints have been made against the "red tape" of "the Circumlocution Office," as the Local Government Board has been called in jest. These complaints have arisen largely in consequence of the

heavy burdens laid upon the Board by recent legislation. Dilatoriness is usually considered to be the mark of a government office, but the staff of the Local Government Board was undoubtedly over-burdened and over-worked at the time when the complaints of local authorities were loudest that is to say, in 1896, when the departmental inquiry, previously referred to, was instituted.1

In regard to sub-legislation generally, it is important to bear in mind that neither in the Public Health Acts nor in the Local Government Acts has Parliament ever given to any central authority that general power of issuing orders and instructions for general local government purposes which was conferred upon the Poor Law Commissioners for Poor Law purposes. Again, Parliament has always adhered strictly to the principle that no power of interference with any local authority is possessed by a central authority, save and in so far as it has been expressly granted by statute. Accordingly, every function of this kind possessed by the Board may be found in provisions of private or public Acts, which enable it to exercise specific powers over a single local authority, a particular class of local authorities, or local authorities generally, either by means of general rules or special regulations.

For the purpose of generalising from the particular provisions of so many different statutes, it is necessary to draw a distinction, and to classify the sub-legislative powers of the central authority according as they are concerned on the one hand with the formal laws,-that is to say, with the laws by which the constitution and areas of sanitary and other local authorities are defined,—and on the other with the material laws, which it is the duty of those bodies to administer. these two departments of sub-legislation the form of the ordinance differs. Moreover, the sub-legislative powers which relate to sanitary areas and organisation are far more important than those which are concerned with public health itself. Let us take these powers in the order named.


1. Even when the Local Government Board was first instituted, Parliament recognised the necessity of giving it power to alter the territorial divisions of local government under

1 See p. 256 note. As a result of this inquiry, the staff of the Local Government Board was largely increased.


to areas and organisation.

certain definite conditions and restrictions; but neither in 1871 nor four years later, when the Public Health laws were codified, did the Government venture to propose to Orders relating grant the new Local Government Board the same power of altering urban and rural sanitary areas as that which it possessed in its capacity of Poor Law authority with regard to unions. Even so, its powers of altering administrative areas are considerable. They are exercised under the form not of General Orders, which come into force immediately, but of Provisional Orders, which only come into force after many conditions have been fulfilled. Every such Order must be duly published in the places concerned, and must be preceded by a local inquiry, to which all interested parties are invited. After an Order is made, its operation is suspended until it has been incorporated in one of the Provisional Order Confirmation Bills, which are introduced every year, and until that Bill has been confirmed by Parliament. When the Confirmation Bill has become an Act, each Provisional Order contained in it has the same statutory force as a private Act of Parliament. Indeed, the Order may go through almost the same process as a private Bill. If controversial, it is laid before a Select Committee of Parliament, which has the right of amending it or even of rejecting it altogether. The procedure by Provisional Order is, as before observed, a substitute for private Bill legislation; but, apart from the alteration of areas, it may only be employed for certain definite purposes, such as the purchase of gasworks, the building of a light railway, the compulsory purchase of land, etc. One of the main objects of this institution is to facilitate and cheapen the granting of those special powers which have given so much elasticity to the work of local authorities in England. The central authority, which in this case may or may not be the Local Government Board, is of course only able to grant Provisional Orders for those specific purposes to which this procedure has been expressly made applicable by Parliament. For other powers a local authority must proceed by private Bill legislation.1

1 On Provisional Orders and their development, cf. Clifford's thorough exposition in his History of Private Bill Legislation, vol. ii. pp. 676-716, which, however, only takes us to the year 1886. Clifford points out that the authority

One of the most important of these purposes is the alteration of the territorial subdivisions of local government. Thus, when an urban district, or part of an urban district, is to be incorporated in a borough, or to take a case of more frequent occurrence-when a rural district, or part of it, is to be annexed to a borough or urban district, or again when a special district is to be formed to place a number of districts under a joint Board-in all these cases the local bodies desirous of the change may proceed by Provisional Order instead of by private Bill. In certain cases, moreover,

to grant Provisional Orders was first conferred upon the Enclosure Commissioners, a special central authority created in 1845. Special powers were assigned to the Board of Trade by the Electric Lighting Act of 1882, which made the approval of the Board by Provisional Order necessary for the erection of electric works by municipal or private bodies. Under 25 and 26 Vict. c. 19 the Board of Trade is also authorised to grant Provisional Orders for the erection of docks, quays, etc. The same authority may in the same way constitute Fishery Districts under the Fisheries Acts, Tramways under the Tramway Act of 1870, Water-works, etc.

In 1867 the Poor Law Board received powers to alter unions by Provisional Orders; this power was inherited by the Local Government Board in 1871, and since that time the Board's power of making Provisional Orders has been extended to many other purposes, more particularly by the Public Health Acts; cf., for example, Public Health Act 1875, secs. 176, 208, 211, 270-275, 279-281, 287-290, 303, etc. The following figures, illustrating the wide use of these powers, are drawn from Clifford; between 1848 and 1882 the Local Government Board and its predecessors issued 1205 Provisional Orders, including 503 under the Public Health Act of 1875. Of these 1114 were confirmed by Parliament without any opposition-an important fact illustrating the utility of this new mode of procedure. Eighty-four were controversial, and as such were submitted to Select Committees. Of these 84, 13 were thrown out altogether, and the rest were confirmed by Parliament with or without amendment. It may be added that in 1901, the last year for which the figures are available, 60 orders were issued by the Board, of which 51 were confirmed without opposition. Of the remainder one became unnecessary and was withdrawn, the other 8 were petitioned against but confirmed, in some cases with slight alterations. No doubt one reason why the Provisional Orders are so easily passed is the high estimation in which the opinion of the Local Government Board is held by the Select Committees. When a Provisional Order Confirmation Bill is contested, the Board states its case in what is supposed to be an impartial report, but is really, and in most cases inevitably, a brief in favour of the Order which it has itself approved. The opinion of the Board, like the Provisional Order itself, is indeed usually drafted in accordance with the report previously made by the inspector after a local inquiry. Accordingly, in spite of the impartial and judicial attitude of the Committees, private Bill legislation, at any rate in cases where the Bill is a Provisional Order, usually follows the lead given by the Local Government Board, and favours promoters. On the other hand, a vigorous opposition can usually obtain concessions (cf. Clifford, vol. ii. pp. 690 sqq., 710 sqq.)

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