§ MR. KNOWLES
asked the President of the Local Government Board, If he would explain to the House why the Valuation of Property Bill does not apply to Scotland and Ireland, and if iron mines and all metalliferous ores are already assessed for the relief of the poor and other local purposes in those places; and, why coal and all other mines should not be rated in the same definite and specific mode as that proposed for tin and copper in the provisions of the said Bill?
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
Sir, the provisions of the Bill are not extended to Scotland and Ireland, because the objects which the Government had in view when introducing it are, for all practical purposes, already secured in those countries. Coal mines are already rated satisfactorily under the present law, which seems equally applicable to iron mines, the produce of both being of a comparatively certain and ascertainable character. The case of tin and copper mines, however, is exceptional, and it seems difficult to form an estimate of their probable annual value. Hence it is proposed to accept the basis of assessment contained in the Bill, which has the concurrence of all parties interested, not only of the owners and occupiers of the mines, but also of the Assessment Committees, as representing the general interests of the ratepayers.