HC Deb 22 February 1869 vol 194 cc170-85

, in rising to move for leave to introduce a Bill to provide for uniformity in the Assessment of Rateable Property in the Metropolis, said, he thought there was no Member of that House who would not approve the general scope and object of the Bill, which provided that where there was a common charge there should be a uniform assessment co-extensive with the area of that charge. Now there were in London a large number of different rates assessed over the whole metropolis, and no one would dispute the advantage of having a uniform assessment over the whole of that area. But there were also other improvements which he hoped would be effected by the Bill. Hon. Gentlemen were doubtless aware that the Union Assessment Committee Act of 1862 applied only to unions, and that the separate parishes in the metropolis, existing side by side with those unions, were not affected by it, and consequently did not enjoy the advantages conferred by that Act, which was introduced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. C. P. Villiers). It was proposed by the present Bill to direct the twenty-two separate metropolitan parishes to establish Union Assessment Committees, so that the first effect of the measure would be to put those parishes on the same footing with the seventeen unions. There was, however, a further object which he hoped would be accomplished by the Bill. At present a number of rates were levied in the metropolis on separate bases. These were the police rate, the poor rate, the county rate, the rate for the Metropolitan Board of Works, and the rate for the new Metropolitan Asylums Board. The Bill proposed to place all these rates on a uniform footing, and, if possible, to establish one basis for local and Imperial taxation in the metropolis. In fact, the object was the same as that which the right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Hunt) aimed at in his Bill as applying to the country at large, though the metropolis was exempted from the operation of that measure. The Bill of the right hon. Gentleman did not pass into law in consequence, he believed, of its having been introduced at a late period of the Session; but it was subjected to the scrutiny of a very able Committee, and much improved by the process. That Bill contained another valuable provision with regard to the definition of gross estimated rental. Great confusion arose from the various methods in which the rental was made up by different union assessment committees and by the separate parishes in the metropolis. Not only was there the greatest variety with regard to the deductions allowed, but also with regard to the manner in which they arrived at gross estimated rental. Consequently a great grievance was inflicted upon certain classes of occupiers, such as weekly tenants, for instance. In some unions the gross estimated rental was the aggregate amount of the weekly rents, while others contended that this was contrary to the law, which directed that the fair annual value of the house should be taken. This state of things might, in his opinion, be remedied by introducing a better definition of gross estimated rental in the present Bill, which, he might remark, contained no new principle whatever, but merely sought to carry out the principle of the Union Assessment Committee Act, that, where there was a common charge, common valuation lists must be established on the same basis; and the Valuation of Property Bill of 1867, which through the pressure of business did not pass, was really the foundation of the present measure. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) introduced his Metropolitan Poor Bill of 1867, of which they heard so much in London at present, he stated his views very clearly with regard to the necessity of having a common valuation of property in the metropolis. On the second reading of the Bill the right hon. Gentleman remarked— Great stress has been laid on the evils which will result from placing those charges on the Common Fund, owing to there being no system of uniform valuation iii the metropolis. I feel that point, and consequently I have endeavoured to meet the difficulty by Clause 62— 'The Poor Law Board shall from time to time assess on the several unions and parishes in the metropolis the amounts of their respective contributions to the Common Poor Fund in proportion to the annual rateable value of the property therein comprised, to be determined according to the valuation lists, or, where there are none, according to the latest poor rate for the time being for the union or parish, or otherwise, as the Poor Law Board from time to time direct.' It is quite true that we do not always know on what system a union or parish is assessed for Poor Law purposes; but the assessments for the Metropolitan Board and for the police rate we know are on the best available basis; and the Poor Law Board, in making an assessment, will be able to do as is done in counties. Though the assessments in the various unions of a county may be on different systems, the counties levy a rate on their own assessment, which is made on a uniform system throughout the whole county. So far, therefore, as it can be done, we have endeavoured to meet that objection by a clause in the Bill; but I propose to do more. My hon. Friend the Secretary for the Treasury (Mr. Hunt) has brought in a Bill to provide a uniform scheme of assessment for the whole country, with the exception of the metropolis. I will wait to see what is done with that Bill; but I have sketched a Bill for the metropolis, which I propose to introduce if my hon. Friend's should receive the sanction of Parliament."—[3 Hansard, clxxxv. 779.] That Bill did not, however, receive the sanction of Parliament, because there was not sufficient time to pass it that Session, but he might say that the House generally accepted the principle that it was necessary to establish uniformity of assessment. The only question which could arise was whether it was expedient to proceed to deal at once with this particular part of the machinery of local taxation—a machinery which in many other parts required to be altered. No doubt the whole system of our local taxation was full of every kind of complexity and difficulty, but still he thought this particular part was one which might be dealt with separately. It was indeed a matter of urgency, and he therefore trusted the House would pass the Bill as quickly as possible if he could show, as he believed he could, that considerable hardship and injustice were at the present moment arising from the want of such provisions as were contained in the Bill which he asked for leave to introduce. With regard to the country generally, the principal, though not the only, rate which extended over the whole county was the county rate. But that was not the case in the metropolis. They had in the metropolis a number of different charges. There were the police charges, the Metropolitan Board of Works rate, and the new rate imposed by the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University. It was probable that additional charges would be put on the metropolis, and he thought the House would be in favour of distributing the burdens imposed on the metropolis over large instead of small areas. The Bill introduced by the right hon. Gentleman opposite was most valuable in this respect. That measure had been very much criticized, but he hoped to take an opportunity before very long of telling the House what had been done under it, of correcting some exaggerated statements which had been made as to the expense incurred, and of satisfying the ratepayers in the metropolis generally that the burdens imposed upon them would not be so great as some of them anticipated. It was obvious that there must be a further progress towards the equalization of the rates, and he scarcely thought the House would consent to the equalization of rates unless some machinery were devised to control the local management of a portion of the general expenditure, by which he did not mean Imperial expenditure, but the more central metropolitan expenditure as compared with the expenditure in separate parishes. The common charges in the metropolis were on the increase. Taken roughly, there was the police rate of about 6d. in the pound, the county rate of 4d. in the pound, the Metropolitan Board of Works rate from 6d. to 7d. in the pound, and the rate for the Common Fund, which is about 5d. in the pound. These items together amounted to about 1s. 10d.; and if they reached 1s. 11d. they would represent a sum of £1,500,000. Nearly that sum was now raised over the whole area of the metropolis, but the present system of raising the money was full of anomalies, injustice, and inequalities. These rates were raised according to different principles. The two leading rates were the county rate and the poor rate. Until a week or two ago there had been no revision of the county rate in Middlesex since 1864, and, generally speaking, the rate was not revised more frequently than once in five years. And here he wished to point out that, on the basis of the county rate as settled in 1864, vari- ous new charges had been imposed on the unions and separate parishes in the metropolis. The Metropolitan Board of Works levied its rate according to the county rate basis. The police rate, too, was levied on the same basis, and it was another anomaly that it was collected with the poor rate. The new rate for the Common Fund of the metropolis, on the other hand, was levied on the basis of the poor rate; and there being no equality between the two, it resulted that if the county rate were adopted as a basis injustice would be done to a certain number of unions, while other unions would suffer if the poor rate principle were adopted. He would mention one or two instances which showed the utter want of system in regard to these rates. In the first place, it must be remembered that the metropolis was subject to four jurisdictions in reference to the county rate—namely, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, and the City of London. In these jurisdictions the county rate was made by different bodies and on different principles, though it nevertheless formed the basis of what might be termed the common operations of the metropolis. Take the case of Poplar, for example. There the valuation list for the poor rate was £473,000. The valuation for the county rate was £344,000, and if that valuation was too low, Poplar was not paying its fair share towards the expenses of the Metropolitan Board of Works. If, on the contrary, the valuation for the poor rate was too high, it was charged more than its fair share towards the common relief of distress. The fact was that there were different Boards, levying rates on different principles, and the consequence was that the valuations did not agree. In Middlesex there were eight unions, and the county rate valuation which had been in force until very recently was £2,600,000, while the poor rate valuation was £2,900,000. In the four Surrey Unions the county rate was £889,000, the poor rate valuation £944,000. The revision of the county rate, however, which, had just been made had effected a great difference, because the county rate, instead of being £500,000 below the poor rate, had become higher by £500,000 or more. He thought he had said enough to show that the whole system of rating, so far as valuation was concerned, was in a state of great confusion, and for that state of things he saw no remedy except to establish uniformity of assessment among all the unions, and for all the various rates that had to be raised. In establishing that uniformity in a case where so large a number of local authorities existed as were at present to be found in the metropolis there were no doubt considerable difficulties to be encountered, but with the assistance of the House he hoped those difficulties might be overcome. Another grievance under which many unions laboured, independent of their being taxed upon an erroneous basis, was that loans were contracted on the security of the rateable value of the property in separate parishes, and the instalments payable for thirty years to come placed upon a faulty foundation. The instalment did not shift with the rateable value, but was fixed, and the consequence was that loud re-monstrances were made against permitting such a state of things to continue. Most of the deputations which had waited on the Poor Law Board on the subject were from the poorer parishes, where it had been found necessary to screw up the valuation to the highest possible point. In parishes like St. George's, Hanover Square, no temptation to do that existed. The temptation, if any, was, on the contrary, the other way, because the lower the inhabitants were assessed in comparison with their neighbours, the higher would the rate in the pound appear which they would have to pay. A revision of the assessment in the parish of St. George was, he believed, in progress at the present moment. It had been stated in electoral and other returns that the usual difference there between gross estimated rental and rateable value was 10 per cent; but any hon. Member who lived in the parish must, he thought, be aware that the difference between the actual rent paid and the assessment to the relief of the poor was something very unlike 10 per cent. He knew a house in the parish of St. George which was assessed at £600 for the house duty, and not higher than £370 for the county and poor rates. The system of assessment being thus faulty, it would, he felt assured, be admitted that a case for immediate legislation on the subject had been made out. The simpler the organization, and the fewer the novelties introduced with a view to provide a remedy, in his opinion, the better. He had been informed that if valuation lists for the entire metropolis were to be made out de novo, five years at least must elapse before they could be completed. So long a delay was, in his opinion, very undesirable. The principle on which he desired to proceed was to secure uniformity of assessment, and that was to be done by two, or he might say by three means. In the first place, he would give all the unions a locus standi among themselves, so that one union might be able to appeal against the valuation of another. That was the principle of the valuation of property which had been introduced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford in 1867, and it seemed to him to be the proper principle on which to proceed. But, before the unions were brought together as he proposed, assessment committees must be established in those separate parishes in which none now existed, the number of which was twenty-two. One of the advantages of these parishes having regular assessment committees would be that the ratepayers in those parishes would be placed on the same footing as the unions, and would be afforded an opportunity of inspecting the valuation lists, which would be deposited in certain places. That would be quite independent of the general advantage of bringing the unions together. It was, he might add, astonishing to find to what an extent separate parishes had been able to exempt themselves from the operation of the general law. There were a large number of local Acts which stood in the way at every step. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1844 contained a special exemption of parishes with a population of over 20,000 from its operation, unless with the consent of two-thirds of the guardians, and the rights of separate parishes were reserved as regarded the relief of the poor. Those parishes, of course, escaped the operation of the Union Assessment Act, because they were not unions, but they came to a certain extent within the scope of the general law under the Bill of 1867, which empowered the Poor Law Board to amalgamate them together. They still however remained excluded from the operation of the general law so far as the levying their own rates and the making their own assessments were con- cerned; but he thought that could be no possible objection to the establishment of union assessment committees in these parishes, such as existed in all the unions. The next thing to be done after the establishment of separate assessment committees was to bring them together for the purpose of uniform assessment. What he should propose, then, in the first place, was to have representatives from the assessment committees, who should be able to meet together to decide on a common basis of action in regard to valuation, subject to the regulations laid down in the Bill. There had been various proposals with reference to an Assessment Board for the metropolis. It had been proposed that the Metropolitan Board of Works should be appointed an Assessment Board; that the Central Sick Asylum Board should be appointed; and that the justices should form the Assessment Board. It appeared to him far better to follow the general line of the Valuation of Property Bill—that each union assessment committee should elect its own representative; and thus to carry out as between unions the principle that had already been carried out as between parishes. In this way they would obtain a Central Assessment Board for the metropolis. He proposed that a scale of deductions should be inserted in the Bill, because he thought that such a scale was necessary if they were to arrive at anything like uniformity of assessment. At present the deductions in some, unions were from 20 to 30 per cent, while in others, without any apparent cause for the difference, they amounted to only 10 per cent. The Government had given considerable attention to the question, whether it was possible to lay down anything like a general system of deductions, and they had arrived at the conclusion that by naming a maximum amount of deductions and giving the unions a discretionary power below that maximum, it was possible to do so in a satisfactory manner. That principle would be acted on in this Bill. As to appeals by one union against the assessment made by another, he thought that if the appeal were to the Central Board it would be necessary to give an appeal from that Board itself, because it would be composed of interested parties. A multiplicity of appeals would lead to complication, and he was of opinion, therefore, that it would be more desirable that the Central Board should have a paid assessor, who would act as judge in appeals from one union against another. He hoped that the valuation which would be made under the new system would, be the basis, not only of the poor rate but the taxation levied by the Metropolitan Board of Works, the house tax, and, in fact, of all other taxes. It would be necessary to give the surveyor of the taxes and the Metropolitan Board of Works power to appeal against the assessment made by a union. Each union would make its own assessment, as at present, and would be required to revise its valuations at stated periods; but each union would have power to make an appeal against the total of the assessment of any other union. The power of appeal by one union against another would only be as regarded the totals. He believed that the effect of giving this power of appeal would be to insure great uniformity without a resort to the process of appeal being actually had recourse to in any considerable number of cases. When it was laid down that the surveyor of taxes would have a right to appeal against the valuation of any hereditament, and that the several unions would have the power of appeal to which he had just alluded, each union would be interested in bringing the valuation up to a proper figure. When the Bill was laid upon the table the House would be better able to judge of the machinery by which, it was hoped, uniformity of assessment would be secured. He wished to say one word as to gross estimated rental in connection with weekly tenants. Those tenants represented that in many instances they were suffering a great grievance in consequence of the present want of system. Memorials had been presented on the subject, and it had been suggested that a case should be brought in a Court of Law. Hon. Members might have seen from the report of proceedings in connection with Sir Sydney Waterlow's association for improving the dwellings of the industrial poor, that the way in which an Assessment Board had acted was to look at one block of buildings, the apartments in which were let at various weekly amounts, reckon up all these several sums, multiply the aggregate number of shillings by fifty-two, and say that the sum thus obtained was the gross estimated rental of the block. It was stated that, owing to valuations being made in that way, and to the abolition of the compound householders, the rateable value of weekly tenements had been raised by no less than 40 per cent. The difference in respect of value between weekly tenements and yearly ones was so clear that it was, he thought, possible to lay down some definition so as to avoid the hardship to which he alluded. Owing to the arbitrary proceedings of the assessment committees, and the difficulty of appealing, it was not easy for weekly tenants to obtain justice in this respect. He was glad that the increase of taxation in the metropolis was now engaging so much public attention, because this attention would lead to a more rigid supervision of the outlay. With a view to justice and economy in that taxation, he now asked the House to agree to his Motion that leave be given him to bring in a Bill to provide for uniformity in the Assessment of Rateable Property in the Metropolis.


said, that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Poor Law Board was correct in stating that it had been his intention, when at the Poor Law Board, to propose a measure having for its object what, of course, was the object of the Bill which the right hon. Gentleman now asked leave to introduce. In fact, it must have been the intention of those who placed on the metropolis the charges imposed by the Bill brought in by the late Government, that those charges should be raised on a uniform basis. It was quite clear that the principle of the right hon. Gentleman's Bill was a just one, and any question that might arise must be as to the framing of the Bill. He could not give any positive opinion on its details till he saw them in print; but it appeared to him that the right hon. Gentleman had endeavoured to follow the plan of the Bill brought in by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Hunt) the year before last. It appeared to him that the great thing at the outset was to obtain suitable bodies to lay down the basis of rating. He would observe that in a Board made up of representatives of the same parish there would not probably be mutual check and supervision to the same extent as there existed in a Union Board made up of representatives from several parishes; but the presence at the Cen- tral Board of the representatives of the surveyor of taxes, and other authorities besides the unions, might perhaps afford a security that the valuation in the various unions would be brought up to the proper amount. It was very desirable that there should be uniformity of assessment in the metropolis. The question of metropolitan taxation was a very serious one; and no doubt it would have to engage the attention of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department when next year, as he proposed, he should set about providing a new Government for the metropolis. As in a Bill such as that now proposed everything depended on details, he thought it would be more advisable not to discuss it until after it had been printed and placed in the hands of Members. In its principle it should have his hearty support.


said, he was of opinion that the inhabitants of the metropolis were greatly indebted to the President of the Poor Law Board for introducing the measure under discussion at this early period of the Session. He was glad to find that there was a prospect that they would now obtain a uniform and equitable assessment. The present system, under which different parishes had different modes of assessment, resulted in great injustice. He thought that a common basis should be formed upon which every tax, whether for local or Imperial purposes, should be levied, and that the system of assessing quotas on the parishes by the unions for poor rates, by the counties for county rates, and on the various districts of the metropolis by the Metropolitan Board of Works for drainage, &c, ought to be abolished, as it involved great inequality of taxation. He considered that the time had arrived when the exemption from taxation enjoyed by certain favoured districts—such, for instance, as the Temple, and the other Inns of Court—should be abolished.


, on behalf of the large constituency (Mid Surrey) affected by the measure, as within the metropolitan area, which he represented, tendered his thanks to the right hon. Gentleman for introducing this Bill at the commencement of the Session. The measure was the legitimate corollary of that introduced, but from various circumstances not carried to a successful con- clusion, by the late Government. In many of the parishes immediately adjoining those within the metropolis were to be found great numbers of the working hands of the metropolis, and with scarcely an exception no large landed proprietors or householders. The result was that the very serious burdens already borne by those parishes were daily increasing. Nothing could be more anomalous than that while in some of those parishes, especially in the southern districts, the valuation upon which they were assessed for the metropolitan rates amounted to the full value of the rack rental, in the most wealthy metropolitan parishes, such as St. George's, Hanover Square, that valuation did not, in many instances, exceed 50 per cent of the amount of the rack rental; so that even the low rating in this last parish formed no adequate measure of the difference of burden as between, it and less wealthy parishes. Looking to these facts, no doubt could be entertained that sooner or later a uniform system of rating must be adopted. It was just a moot point whether it might not ultimately be desirable to adopt the contributory principle, which had been found to work so admirably at the time of the Lancashire distress. The adoption of such a principle would not in any way prevent a uniform basis for taxation being agreed upon. Should the right hon. Gentleman succeed in carrying the present measure to a successful conclusion, much more good would flow from it than he ventured to anticipate would result from several other measures which had taken a far more prominent position in the Government programme.


said, he had been unable to ascertain from the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman whether it was proposed that a fresh valuation should be made for rating purposes. As such a valuation would be attended with great expense, many parishes might be unwilling to agree to such a proposal. This was a very important question; because he did not see how the various proposals contained in the Bill were to be carried out, unless each parish were accurately valued. At the present time, when a parish was rated by itself, it did not much matter whether the valuation was correct or not, as the worst that could result from an inaccurate valuation was that a ratepayer might have to appeal against the rate. When, however, all the parishes came to be rated together it would be highly important that they should be fully valued in order to secure a fair distribution of the burden of the rates. He did not know exactly what were the views of the right hon. Gentleman upon the subject, but in his opinion the most important question connected with the rating of the metropolis was that of the equalization of the poor rate. They all knew that a most inadequate amount was levied in the rich parishes in comparison with the poor ones; and this difference was much aggravated by the fact that in the poor parishes they paid upon a much higher valuation than they did in the rich ones. The rich parishes created many of the poor, and they were driven out of their bounds into the poorer parishes. He sincerely trusted that the right hon. Gentleman was not going to content himself with the measure now before the House, but would go a step further, and bring in a Bill for the equalization of these rates.


said, he hoped that there would be no delay in passing the measure, so that they might consider the more important question which had been mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke). He did not, however, himself think that the Government would be in a position to deal with that question until the present measure had been in operation for some few years. The first thing to be considered was the actual incidence and pressure of local taxation, which at present no one knew; and it was marvellous that they should so long have gone on increasing these burdens without taking care that they were placed on an equitable basis as between the various parishes. As the representative of three very large parishes in London he thanked his right hon. Friend (Mr. Goschen) for bringing in this measure, which he believed would be carried with acclamation from both sides of the House. When the measure passed into law, its operation would doubtless furnish materials for such an argument as that to which his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Locke) was anxious to give effect, but at present it would be wholly premature to discuss that matter.


said, he wished to point out, as a matter of fairness to the parish of St. George's, Hanover Square, that within the last few months the parish had been entirely re-assessed by an assessor who was independent of the local authorities, and who had been furnished with a copy of Schedule A of the income tax. The argument based upon a state of things formerly existing, was inapplicable and somewhat unjust to that parish in the present day; and although it might be an isolated parish, its contributions to the general fund for the police and Board of Works were raised on the county and not the poor rate. The parish had not had any great anxiety for re-adjustment since the introduction of the Bill of 1867.


said, that in some parishes it was customary to rate only the buildings, while in others the plant and machinery which the buildings contained were rated as well. Great doubt existed at the present moment as to what was really the law upon the point; but if the principle of rating machinery, &c, were generally adopted, it would have the effect of raising the rating in many cases upwards of 50 per cent. Such an increase, at a time of great commercial depression, could not fail to produce results of a serious character.


said, that as the representative of a manufacturing district, and with the experience gained by acting as Chairman of the Assessment Committee at Ashton-under-Lyne, he begged to assure the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goschen) that if he would determine what constituted "annual value" he would settle a point always felt to be one of very great difficulty.


, in reply, said, that those parishes which could show that they were at present fully assessed, would not be under the obligation of making an entirely fresh valuation. When the valuation lists had been made out by the different parishes and sent in, the totals of those lists would be dealt with by the Central Board. That Board would have nothing to do with the tenement valuation, but simply with the totals; if any parish, however had conducted its operation so as to reduce its valuation below the proper amount, facilities would be afforded for an appeal. A distinction had been very properly drawn between the equalization of rates and the equalization of assessments. He had always been in favour of equalizing, as far as possible the burdens of differ- ent parts of the metropolis; and he fully endorsed the spirit of the observations made by his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Locke). But he maintained that it was impossible to move faster towards the equalization of rates than was allowed by the discovery of the machinery requisite to insure that no abuse would arise from giving to local bodies a claim upon funds not locally raised. The movement made in the direction of equalization in the Act carried by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) must not be underrated. It was true that the poor rate was much greater individually than the other rates; but the other rates raised over the whole metropolis amounted to an aggregate of 2s. in the pound, out of an aggregate of 5s. in the pound representing the taxation of the metropolis as a whole; consequently nearly one-half of the metropolitan taxation was borne by the common area of the metropolis. Further progress, carefully made, would doubtless tend in the same direction; and the question of equalization of rates would certainly receive, as it deserved, the consideration of the Government. Regarding St. George's, Hanover Square, to which the hon. Member for Colchester (Dr. Brewer) had referred, the calculations, of course, had been made upon past and not upon prospective rates; but, taking the figures for last year, he found that the poor rate had been raised on an assessment of £905,000, and the county rate, according to the assessment of 1864, was on a sum of £1,076,000; but that assessment had been raisedto£l,250,000, so that the poor rate assessment of the parish was still £350,000 less than what was acknowledged to be its proper amount of county assessment. That was a striking instance of what had been, and what might still be, if these valuations continued to be made by different justices of the peace, in different counties, and at irregular intervals. The different modes of ascertaining the annual value, to which reference had been made by the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Samuda), might be dealt with and corrected in the scale of reductions hereafter to be laid down. By the Bill of 1867 those premises which were used partly as dwellings and partly as manufactories, were bound to follow the established uniformity of principle. When the Bill was brought in it would be found that its tendency was not to lower or to raise any special classes of property, hut simply to establish uniformity in the principle of assessing all kinds of property.

Motion agreed to.

Bill to provide for uniformity in the Assessment of Rateable Property in the Metropolis, ordered to be brought in by Mr. GOSCHEN, Mr. ARTHUR PEEL, and Mr. AYRTON.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 12.]