HC Deb 26 February 1866 vol 181 cc1096-7

asked the President of the Poor Law Board to state on what principle he considered Electric Telegraph Companies ought to be assessed for the purpose of the Poor Rate?


said, that this was a matter that had been settled for some years past by courts of law. The principle laid down was that everything above the surface and below the surface was to be considered as "land." Upon this principle the pipes used by water companies under the surface are rateable, and the wire3 which conduct the electric fluid, whether through the air or under water or in the soil, constitute an occupation of the land, and as such form a subject to be rated. With regard to the means of estimating the precise value of the wires, that is left to the judgment of the assessment committees of unions through which they pass, subject to the provisions of the Assessment Act.