§ MR. CHARLES FORSTER
said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is the intention of the Government to repeal the Ratepaying Clauses of the Reform Act, and to restore the system of Compound Rating?
My hon. Friend is perfectly warranted in asking a Question on the matter, which has excited considerable interest in the country. I am afraid, however, I must ask his indulgence, in so far that it would not be possible for me fully and clearly to make known the intentions of the Government in answer to the Question, without anticipating the statement which is to be made in a few days by my right hon. Friend the President of the Poor Law Board (Mr. Goschen). To answer his Question according to the letter, however, I may say that we do not propose to repeal the ratepaying clauses of the Reform Act, or to restore, in the letter, the system of compound rating. We recognize the existence of a practical griev- 128 ance and desire to apply a remedy without at the same time re-opening the political controversies of the Reform Act. I think my hon. Friend will find, when the plan of the Government is before him, as it will be in the course of a few days, that, although we do not in the letter and form restore the system of compound rating, we do obtain from the remedy which we propose to apply those advantages which that system is calculated to secure.