Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XVL]           Municipal Trading.                         211
promoted a Bill for the purchase of the East-Bourne Waterworks. I had no share in the preparation of the Bill, but I had made 2 or 3 speeches in public in favour of the purchase.
On the general question of what in more recent times has come to be termed " Municipal Trading," my opinions have never changed. I am against all trading by Local Authorities in competition with the ordinary shop-keeper, with 4 exceptions, namely: gas, water, electricity, and tramways, but ordinary shop-keepers do not sell these things, and therefore I am not running counter to my own principles.
The reason why I name these 4 matters as exceptions to a general rule is simply this: to carry on the supply of gas, water, and electricity, and to work a tramway means constant interference with the roads, and therefore to obviate the inconvenience and risks of divided responsibility, I think that these 4 undertakings should be controlled by the Public Body which controls the roads and foot-paths. I wish it were possible, but of course it is not, to bring the telephone and telegraph services under the same control, for the same reason.
" Myth gmi libt, ttll i\t txufyr(Henry IK, pt. 1.)
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