THE NEW VIADUCT.
The committee had approved "a plan" for caps on the pilasters on the new viaduct. -- Mr. MILBURN explained that they were of white stone, which would be something like 500l cheaper than granite; besides, white stone corresponded with the caps on the other side of the viaduct.
BANK STREET -- THE PUBLICHOUSE LICENCES.
The committee had resolved -- "That Messrs SAUL be informed that the site at the Lowther Street end of Bank Street may be purchased at 3l 10s per square yard, and that the right to apply for a transfer of one of the licences belonging to the Corporation, to the premises in question, will be sold for the sum of 200l -- the licence of the White Lion Inn having lapsed."
Also -- "That the Town Clerk inform Mr. SAUL and Mr. BIRKETT that the minimum price for the Bush stables is 6000l, and that this committee are open to receive offers for the purchase of this property in advance of that sum."
Mr. CARTMELL reported that he had had an application from Mr. BROWN, dyer, for the site No. 5 in Bank Street, adjoining those already sold at the same price. -- Agreed to.
Mr. BEWLEY -- Has either Mr. BIRKETT or Mr SAUL bought the BUSH stable? -- The Town Clerk: No, I have not heard that they have done so. (Laughter.)
Mr. STEWART - Have you got shot of any of your publichouse licences? (Laughter.) -- The Town Clerk: I think there has not been any reply from Mr. SAUL. -- Mr. SAUL: The thing is altogether too dubious to be entertained. It is not clear whether the 200l is asked for the mere right to apply for a licence -- which we could apply for without the purchase -- or whether there is any guarantee that when the licence is applied for it will be granted. -- Mr. BENDLE: You misapprehend the state of the case. In applying for a new licence you would be in a different position from that you would occupy if you went as the owner of a licence already existing. -- Mr. SAUL: But there is no guarantee that the licence would be transferred from the old house in Annetwell Street to the new one in Bank Street. -- Mr BENDLE: It is impossible for the Corporation to guarantee a matter which it is for the magistrates to decide. -- Mr. STEWART: Is the fact of a publichouse having existed in Annetwell Street a proof that one is wanted in Bank Street? I presume that is the question. I must say it does not look well for the Town Improvement Committee to be advertising these licences at 200l apiece. (Hear, hear.) I would suggest that you make Sir Wilfrid LAWSON a present of them. (Laughter.) -- Mr SAUL: The licence which we inquired about was that attached to the house on the same site. -- The Town Clerk: That expired two years ago.
THE SOLWAY FISHERY ANOMALY.
The Mayor said he had received an important communication on the subject of the Solway Fisheries.
Mr. Tyson PATTINSON wrote as follows: -- "If it is not out of order might I ask you to bring before the Council the subject of the Solway Fisheries and to suggest that they, as owners of a fishery in Eden, should join in memorialising the House of Commons in favour of an inquiry into those destructive stake nets on the Scotch shore. Mr. S. HOWARD has consented to ask for a commission of inquiry, and it will strengthen his request if backed by petitions from those interested. I may mention that stake nets have been removed from all estuaries throughout Scotland, with the exception of the Solway. They are also in a great measure abolished in all estuaries in Ireland, as they have been found to be the most destructive and ruinous of any engine ever invented for the capture of salmon. I enclose you a chart of the Solway, which shows the great unfairness of our present fishery laws."
Mr. CARTMELL said the Board of Conservators, on which the Corporation was represented, felt very strongly as to the unfairness of the Scotch stake-nets being suffered to remain. Sir Frederick GRAHAM and other proprietors were also willing to co-operate in any effort to remove them.
Mr. HARDY said they were too apt to look on the question as it bore upon fishing, forgetting the general effect of a glaring injustice perpetrated by the law. The Cumberland fishermen had submitted to the action of Parliament, which took away the right of fishing enjoyed by them and their ancestors for generations; yet every time they went to the door they saw their Scotch neighbours exercising the right of which they had been deprived. There was no doubt a terrific destruction constantly taking place in salmon fisheries by the action of these stake-nets fished both at the ebb and the flow of the tide, and caught old fish both ways. Consequently, they were doubly destructive when compared with a bank net, a haaf-net, or any other net in common use on the English side. He saw them yesterday, and he could not help feeling indignant at the partiality which allowed such a contrast to continue. When a Parliamentary commission was granted, it would be shown that in whatever districts these nets had existed, they had uniformly produced the same effects. They were in use, until recently, in the estuary at the mouth of the Tay; but since their removal, the increase of fish had been so great as to lead the proprietors on the eastern shore to withdraw their nets altogether. As a public question in which they were interested, it behoved the Corporation to afford this movement all the support in their power. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. BENDLE -- I always understood that our neighbours on the other side of the Border only got hold of their privilege by what we may call a fluke --
Mr. BEWLEY -- To catch salmon? (Laughter.)
Mr. BENDLE -- Therefore they cannot grumble much if the right be taken from the.
Mr. HAIR said it would be found they had strong parties to deal with when the Duke of Buccleuch, Sir Frederick JOHNSTONE, and other great Scotch proprietors were opposed to them.
Mr. HARDY said that the Duke of Buccleuch, like Sir Frederick GRAHAM, now recognised the advantage of abolishing these nets.
It was then resolved to petition Parliament in favour of any effort which it may be decided to make, and to ask the members for the city and division to attend and support it by their votes.
THE TREATMENT OF SEWAGE.
A communication from the Council of Worcester was read, suggesting that a considerable portion of the expense to which a town might be put in dealing with its sewage, in order to prevent river pollution, should be thrown on the country at large. -- The Town Clerk: I should think it is very doubtful whether the Local Government Board would assume that responsibility. ("Hear, hear," and laughter.) -- On the motion of Mr. WHEATLEY, the letter was referred to the Sewage Utilisation Committee. -- Mr. SAUL: Perhaps you would add a rider to it, that the Sewage Utilisation Committee be called together for the purpose of considering it. ("Hear, hear," and laughter.)
The Mayor said he had received a communication from Mr. MASON on the subject of establishing telegraphic connection between the Gas Works and the Police Office; but as Captain WHEATLEY was present, perhaps he would explain what was contemplated. -- Mr. WHEATLEY said that at a meeting of the Fire Brigade the question of an improved alarm for fire had been discussed, and they had adopted a memorial in favour of establishing direct communication between the Police Office and the Gas Works. The Council ware aware that there was a steam buzzer in the enginehouse; there was some one always there; and it was undoubted that an important saving of time would be made if they had direct communication between the works and the Police Office. The cost would be very trifling; and if the question were remitted to the Watch Committee and the Gas Committee -- which he now moved -- he should be prepared to lay before them particulars as to cost and so forth, which he had no doubt would enable those committees to recommend that it be carried out. -- Mr. BEWLEY seconded the motion, which was carried.
THE INSPECTION OF COMPLETED BUILDINGS.
Mr. TODD had given notice of his intention to move the following resolution: -- "That when any dwelling house or other building shall have been erected, a certificate, under the hand of the City Surveyor, shall be given to the owner, stating that the said buildings have been erected in accordance with the deposited plans; and the same shall be reported to the Health Committee by the Surveyor, and duly recorded on the minutes thereof." -- Mr. TODD said he had found that the first portion of the resolution was already provided for in the Building By-Laws and also in the specification of the Surveyor's duties; but the second part -- requiring the giving of a certificate to be duly reported and recorded -- was nowhere provided for. It struck him as being somewhat strange that there should be a continuous record of plans of new houses having passed the Health Committee, without any provision being made for recording whether those buildings had been completed according to the deposited plans. Knowing that there was a by-law directing a certificate to be given, he had referred to the Surveyor's certificate book for the last ten years, and he found that during a series of years the giving of certificates had fallen entirely into abeyance. In 1867 only 19 certificates were granted; 21 in 1868; 9 in 1869; 1 in 1870; during the next four years no certificate at all was given; in 1875 and 1876 there were 8 and 7 respectively. Now, he presumed the Council would agree with him that if it was necessary for the Health Committee to inspect the plans of new houses, and to insist on certain conditions before the plans were approved, it should be equally important to inspect the houses when they were built, in order to see whether those conditions were complied with. (Hear, hear.) We were now in a sense starting afresh, with a new Surveyor; and knowing it was the Surveyor's duty to give these certificates, he had no doubt that duty would be carefully attended to by Mr. McKIE. But his object now was to insure that, when the Surveyor did give a certificate, the fact would be duly reported to the Health Committee and be recorded by that body. -- Mr. WILSON seconded the motion. -- Mr. HARDY said the neglect of which Mr. TODD complained had probably arisen from the fact that it had become so much a matter of course for the Surveyor to report houses as being satisfactorily finished, that the continued record of it was not considered necessary. In some cases, however, where houses had been occupied before a certificate had been given, the requisitions of the By-laws had been insisted upon. -- Mr. MILURN said the By-laws were clear enough; they only wanted to be carried out. They required that before a house could be occupied the builder must give notice to the Surveyor, who had to inspect it and give a certificate. If that was carried out, it was sufficient. -- Mr. TODD: But it has not been carried out. -- Mr. MILBURN: Just so. There is a great deal which has not been carried out lately. -- Mr. TODD: I am confident that in future the certificates will be carefully given; but what I wish to have is a record of them. -- Mr. HARDY: All persons are liable to be proceeded against who occupy houses without a certificate. -- Mr. WHEATLEY quite approved of the motion. It would be satisfactory to have such a record, and it would involve no trouble. -- Mr. HARDY: Who is to compel them to give notice? -- The Town Clerk: They are liable to a penalty if they do not give it. -- Mr. CARTMELL: The usage has been for builders to give notice to the Surveyor that they want a certificate. That requirement is not generally known among builders, and it would be well to put out notices making them aware of it. -- Mr. CREIGHTON thought it was needless to adopt the motion. It was only a question of detail, and the committee would see to it in future. -- Mr. HARDY: It will be inoperative until the public are made aware that it is required of them. -- Mr. JAMES said the Surveyor had frequently reported persons who had deviated from the deposited plans, and they had always taken steps to enforce compliance. They did the same when they found parties making alterations without applying to the committee. He did not see any call for the resolution. The Surveyor would put out a public notice, stating what was required. -- Mr. TODD'S motion was passed, omitting the first part, and simply requiring that each certificate issued shall be reported by the Surveyor to the Health Committee and be by them recorded.
RESIGNATION OF A COUNCILLOR.
Mr. WALKER -- Mr. Mayor, it is, I believe, well known to most of the gentlemen in the Council that it is my intention to leave Carlisle shortly. I don't know that this step calls for any explanation; but I may say that my medical adviser has for some time recommended me to go to a warmer climate, which, there is reason to believe, will be beneficial to me, and where my years my be protracted. One of the members of my family will probably be benefited in a similar way. Such being the case, I tender my resignation as a member of this Council. I understand that a fine of 10l is payable, and I beg to hand in a cheque for that amount. (Mr. WALKER handed a bank cheque to the Town Clerk.)
The Town Clerk -- You need not pay it. It only becomes due when you leave Carlisle.
Mr. WALKER -- I prefer to resign my seat, rather than allow it to become vacant by my absence.
The Mayor -- We have power to remit the fine. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. WHEATLEY -- I move that it be remitted.
Mr. BEWLEY -- I second the motion.
The Major -- I have no doubt that you all, with me, are very sorry that we are about to lose Mr. WALKER. He has conducted himself in the Council in the most creditable manner for several years, and I for one am sorry that he is going to leave us. But the reasons which actuate him alter the question very much, and no doubt he is doing what is best.
Mr. BENDLE -- I was not aware that Mr. WALKER was going to tender his resignation this morning, though I knew he had decided to leave England. I cannot let his resignation go by without saying that during the year I had the honour to fill the chair no member of the Council brought to bear on our discussions more independence or more ability and intelligence that Mr. Walker -- (hear, hear) -- and further, no member treated me with greater courtesy and respect. In all our meetings here, and also in many private meetings where I have had the pleasure of holding communication with him, I always found him to be a most gentlemanly and intelligent man. (Hear, hear.) I am sure the Council suffers a serious loss by his departure from among us, and it will be difficult to fill his place with a person of equal intelligence. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. ERRINGTON -- As chairman of the Watch Committee, of which Mr. WALKER is a member, I may say on behalf of that committee that we are sorry to lose Mr. WALKER'S services he always paid great attention to his duties, and we shall miss him very much.
The motion remitting the fine was then carried unanimously.
THE CORPORATION MUNIMENTS
Mr. BENDLE gave notice of the following motion: -- "That a committee consisting of the undermentioned members of the council be appointed to consider and report to the Council be appointed to consider and report to the Council on the desirability of providing a strong room for the safe custody of the muniments and documents belonging to the Corporation; and that, in the event of the committee reporting in favour of providing such a strong room, they also report as to the persons by whom, and the conditions on which, access should be had to such muniments and documents: -- The Mayor, Mr. MILBURN, Mr HAIR, Mr SIMPSON, and Mr. BENDLE.:
The Council sat two hours.
On the 4th of December the Museum Committee came to the conclusion that it is "not advisable to continue the Museum any longer at the expense of the Corporation."
On the recommendation coming before the December Council, it was adjourned for a month, and again for another month, in the hope that some outside effort would be made to resuscitate the Museum.
In reply to Mr. WHEATLEY, Mr. BEWLEY said he believed the term at which the Corporation entered upon the premises where the Museum is stored was Whitsuntide; so that they would have the premises on their hands about fifteen months in any case.
Mr. BEWLEY then moved that the recommendation of the committee, for abandoning the Museum, be adopted.
Mr. CREIGHTON seconded the motion.
Mr. CROWDER could not refrain from saying that in his opinion it would be a disgrace to the town to throw up the Museum. He thought that if they were to embrace the country gentlemen, they would in a little time succeed in acquiring a collection which would be a great attraction to the city. (Hear, hear.) He moved that the subject be deferred for a month, to give further time for its consideration.
Mr. HARDY said he had always felt a deep interest in the success of the Museum; but in his recent efforts to resuscitate it, he had met with so much of the cold shoulder from those upon whose aid he had been led to count, that he must confess his hopes in the matter were now very low. He must therefore resign the burden. He put himself in communication with the gentlemen who were at the head of a society of naturalists in Carlisle, from which body he some time ago had a letter, saying how highly they appreciated his efforts to keep the Museum going, and how great a boon it would be on a wet afternoon, when they could not follow their pursuits in the open air, to have the opportunity of studying indoors by the aid of Art what the elements prevented their studying outside. To his latest appeal, however, they had given no response. Therefore, as it was solely in the interests of that society that he asked the Council to postpone the subject two months ago, and as that had fallen through, he had no further objection to make to the resolution of the committee. At the same time, he must express his deep regret that the thing should have been a failure. He did not know what was to become of it. Perhaps it was originally received like the gift of a white elephant; but he was sure the gentleman to whose munificence they owed it thought the Museum would be of advantage to the citizens. He did not despair of some public action being take, even yet; but no doubt the supineness which had characterised the management from the first had been fatal to it, and it was not any lack of interest in the Museum itself which had brought it to its present position. The building was utterly unworthy of it; but is was the only place they could get in which to store it, and as the cost of anything was always a great element in the consideration of the Council, he was unprepared to ask them for more. He now abandoned all connection with it, and the Council must take the course it thought best.
The Mayor -- What do the committee propose to do with the articles?
Mr. BEWLEY -- Is that part of the resolution?
The Mayor -- No.
Mr. BEWLEY -- Then you had better decide upon the resolution before you come to that.
Mr. STEWART -- Our tenancy will not expire for fifteen months, so that there is really no hurry.
The Mayor was sorry that such a resolution should have been come to by the committee, and he was persuaded they had not done all they might have done in the matter. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. WHEATLEY said he should be reluctant to take any steps which would put an end to the chance of having a Museum in Carlisle. He was a member of the Committee which was formed to raise a fund in order to put the matter on a proper footing. At first there was some little interest shown in it, and several meetings were held. They arranged a sort of scheme, according to which the Corporation would pay the rent, as hitherto, and would do what it had undertaken to do, that is, appoint a custodian of the place, which was to be made available for visitors; while on the part of the public it was contemplated raising a sum by subscription in order to improve the entrance to the Museum, and generally to make the place more worthy of its purpose. But he must confess that after that it seemed like flogging a dead horse. (Hear, hear.) He felt very much discouraged himself. He believed the money difficulty could be overcome; but there seemed to be a want of that enthusiastic spirit which, at the outset at least, was necessary to give any hope of the continuance of a scheme of this kind. (Hear, hear.) It therefore did not seem to him that the Corporation would be justified in carrying it on further. Probably the wisest course to take this morning would be simply to agree to the resolution of the Museum Committee. They would then see what the public of Carlisle would do. If there was not a sufficient number of people interested in the establishment of a good Museum, the Council could not help it: they simply represented the public. (Hear, hear.) He could not sit down without saying that if there was a place in all England where they ought to have a good Museum, it was here. (Hear, hear.) This district was almost unrivalled in its early historical associations, arising from its position in regard to the Roman occupation of Britain; and when they considered the position of Carlisle as a centre of the railway system, enabling visitors to come and make use of our treasures, and considering the central position which the city bade fair to attain in connection with the education of the young, they could not imagine a place more admirably adapted for a Museum. (Hear, hear.) They ought to have a rich collection of Roman antiquities, of which they had the nucleus; they ought to have an unequalled collection of coins and medals; and of the arms in use in the wars on the English and Scottish borders, we ought to have such a collection as was not to be found anywhere else in Great Britain. He for one should be most willing to devote a fair portion of his time to attain the object, and he hoped that even yet there would be found sufficient public spirit in Carlisle to bring it about. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. AIKIN suggested that they should rent some cheap room in which to store the articles, until the time when a better public spirit would enable them to be turned to proper advantage. He knew there were gentlemen in the country who possessed very valuable antiquities, and who were only waiting until some responsible body took the matter up in order to make them over to it. It was premature for the Council to wash its hands of it altogether. A very little outlay would remove the things to a place where they would suffer no damage.
Mr. HARDY -- I don't think they are suffering much.
Mr. WHEATLEY -- It is we who are suffering. (Laughter.)
Mr. BEWLEY expressed his gratification that several gentlemen who thought otherwise should now have arrived at much the same conclusion as the committee, namely, that the articles were to a great extent worthless. ("No! no!") Well, the committee were supported in that view of the case by the report arrived at by some gentlemen outside, Mr. FERGUSON and Mr. NANSON, who stated in the most emphatic manner that the greater portion of the articles were not worth keeping. The birds were all moulting, having got into a state of dilapidation arising from old age he presumed. (Laughter.) The only things worth having were a few Roman antiquities, and so forth, which belonged to the Corporation. This property the Corporation could keep until the time came when, as Mr. CROWDER said, they could embrace the country gentlemen -- if embracing them would do any good. (Laughter.) They had been embracing the general public for the last four or five years, and asking their assistance, without any result; and no the Museum had fallen into a state of utter neglect and decay. It was all very well for Mr. AIKIN, Mr. HARDY, and Mr. WHEATLEY to pull a long face, and deplore that the thing was going to the bad, but they had done nothing to support it during the five or six years it had been in existence.
Mr. WHEATLEY -- We did not agree to support it. The Corporation undertook to do that.
Mr. CROWDER said though it had been in existence for four or five years, he believed there had not been a single meeting of the committee; and he was sure no proper effort had been made to obtain the support of the surrounding gentry in putting the Museum on a proper footing.
Mr. BEWLEY -- Have you seen it?
Mr. CROWDER -- I saw it a few years ago. (Laughter.) He said various parties of influence, including the Bishop, had shown an interest in it, and he was sure, if they exerted themselves, it would not be a failure.
The Mayor repeated his regret that this conclusion should be reached, and he regretted it the more, because they must take it as showing a want of public spirit.
Mr. BEWLEY -- Have you seen it" (Laughter.)
The Mayor -- Yes, more than once. But I don't think that has anything to do with it.
Mr. JAMES -- Need it be done with all this haste?
Mr. BEWLEY -- Hast! We have been waiting five years.
Mr. WHEATLEY suggested that at Whitsuntide they should give notice to discontinue the tenancy, and that would give time for "something to turn up."
Mr. BEWLEY adopted Mr. WHEATLEY'S suggestion.
Mr. HARDY -- That gives a chance to revivify the thing and resuscitate it something like Nineveh. (Laughter.)
In reply to Mr. MOFFET, the Town Clerk said the keys for the Museum were kept at the Surveyor's office.
Mr. MILBURN said they had spent more time in the discussion than the stuff was worth. (Laughter.)
The motion was carried.