Sir Robert Peel on Friday last made an excellent speech
against smoke. He showed that besides the immense mischief done by the effluvium, which pollutes the atmosphere, ruins the appearance of our cities, and produces disease, the waste involved amounts to 20 per cent. of all coal burnt. He also showed that it was perfectly possible to make furnaces consume their own smoke, and wanted an Act. Sir George Grey, however, pointed out that the law as it stands prohibits smoke from furnace chimneys, but the local authorities will not carry out the law. That is extremely natural, they being the chief offenders themselves ; but the truth -seems to be this. People are unwilling to carry out measures of prevention unless they can be made •complete, and household, .smoke be prohibited as well as factory smoke. That can be -done -either by a law to alter every chimney in the country, or by the; use of smoke sewers passing from house to house to a central furnace. That has been often suggested, and if the smoke could be utilized, say by the gasworks, so as to pay for the needful zinc pipes, could be easily enough carried oat. Perhaps a reformed House of Commons may have the nerve to try the experiment, , and so convert the metropolis into a white city, as beautiful se- any in the world. The present House has not in such matters the courage of a hutch of rabbits.