20 FEBRUARY 1875, Page 3

Mr. Cross's Bill for pulling down city rookeries and covering

the sites with barracks for artisans passed its second reading on Monday, under a shower of minute criticisms which would be better offered in Committee. The most important of them were, we think, those advanced by Sir Sydney Waterlow, who wishes the Metropolitan Board to 'be able to condemn diseased districts on reports from their own officers, thus relieving the Vestry officers of an unpleasant duty, desires that money should be raised on the security of the rates, and not merely of the land, and would pull down healthy houses if necessary to the com- pleteness of improvement. Sir J. Hogg and Mr. Rathbone also pressed this last point, which is most important, and might, we think, be secured by a compromise. The municipalities are only to pay market value for condemned areas, but if they take areas not condemned, but still required to open up the bad districts, they might be required to pay the usual ten per cent. additional. This will be the more easy, as the Treasury, we see, intends to lend money for the Act at 3f per cent., and requires repayment only in forty years. Both parties evidently intend to pass the Bill, and if Mr. Cross will take advantage of that, and strengthen his Bill here and there—for example, by making the permissive provisions compulsory whenever the death-rate of a district is above a certain per-tentage—he will have given us a working measure.