11 MARCH 1865, Page 3

Lord R. Montagn's Bill for preventing the pollution of rivers

was withdrawn on Wednesday, after an instructive debate. It was admitted on all hands that the 'state of the English rivers is becoming frightful, pollutions of every description being poured into them, but this bill would have embarrassed the whole trade of the country, and created a new taxing machinery. Inspectors under it would have had power to stop any works which injured a river, and then tax the neighbourhood for compensation. Part of the evil no doubt can be remedied, for as Sir George Grey said, the moment the people are convinced that sewage is profitable sewage will cease to be thrown away. But the use of the streams to carry off the refuse of mills and mines is too great and too diffi- cult to replace to be lightly attacked or abandoned. The question is not as Mr. Bright argued, one between industry and angling, but even health must sometimes give way to other considerations.