HC Deb 19 May 1836 vol 33 cc1117-8
Mr. Hume

moved, pursuant to notice, for leave to bring in a Bill to authorise the rate-payers in counties to choose representatives to form a county revenue board for the assessment, levying, and administration of the county rates.

Lord Granville Somerset

said, that he did not see why the county funds should be transferred from the control of the magistrates, when no charge of malversation, or other alleged cause, was assigned for making the transfer. It was casting an imputation upon the county magistracy of the country which they did not deserve. He should wish to hear the views of his Majesty's Government upon this subject.

Lord John Russell

said, that the proper time to discuss the merits of the Bill would be after it should be printed; but he could not refrain from saying, that he did not think the Bill was at all calculated to cast any stigma on the magistracy of the country. He did not see why a more economical mode of administering the county rates might not be adopted without casting any imputation upon the county magistrates. He would be happy to see the subject receive full investigation which it would naturally do in the ordinary course of business, when the Bill would be introduced, printed, and circulated. Hon. Members would then have a much better opportunity of legislating with effect on the assessment and administration of county rates than they could now do, on the mere statement of the hon. Member for Middlesex. He felt, that it would be a harsh and unjust interpretation to take it for granted, as the noble Lord (G. Somerset) apprehended it might be, that the introduction of such a Bill was a fact in itself calculated to cast a stigma on the magistracy of England. The inference was not at all warranted by the circumstance. He was not prepared to say, that he would support the Bill of the hon. Gentleman; but he would state, that he believed there was a great wish in many parts through the country to have a more intimate control over the outlay of the funds of the corporations than at present existed.

The House was counted out.