13 DECEMBER 1856, Page 2

Although it ended in no practical conclusion, the discussion at

the Society of Arts on Wednesday evening may assist to expedite the decisions of practical men. It was a debate upon the compara- tive merits of the three different courses for the drainage of Lon- don,—the entire removal of sewage by the ordinary mode be- yond the Metropolitan boundary, and even down to the German Ocean ; the distribution of the drainage in the form of irrigation over the fields of the circumjacent counties ; or the deodorization, consolidation, and carting of the substance in the form of " bricks " for agricultural purposes. The last plan has been tried with considerable success at Leicester, so far as purification is concerned ; but it has not proved commercially advantageous ; and as manure the " bricks " have not been accounted produc- tive of straw or any other agricultural growth. Those who are familiar with accounts from China have a strong prejudice against the irrigation plan ; and experience in this country has induced persons of nice perceptions to regard it as detestable. Upon the whole, the German Ocean is the favourite course ; for, notwith- standing the dictate of the present act of Parliament, there does appear to be a growing opinion against any plan of bombarding Erith and Gravesend in a manner more shocking to the sense than Lord Dundonald's supposed plan for the extinction of Cron- stadt and St. Petersburg.