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Industry rule in the early 1900

The issue was raised in Parliament and a review committee commissioned to draw up a bill.

But poverty and a lack of democracy prevented the emergence of a body of opinion in favor of protecting the environment. Many other issues were more pressing: jobs, food, universal suffrage, the right of association and better housing, to name a few.

Conservation would have to wait. Seven years later, Parliament remained deadlocked over the structure of the bill. Industry had won the battle. But not the war. 

The factory owners’ victory was short-lived. As things turned out, the parliamentary review laid the foundations for the significant changes that took place 50 years later, in the mid-1950s, and which by then could be implemented quickly in the wake of democratization. 

And so, in 1956, Parliament passed a law banning the emission of untreated sewage water into the environment. That paved way for the Environmental Protection Act of 1969.