asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he can explain the cause of the general increase in the valuation of property in the metropolis, which has occasioned so much discontent; and, whether the increased valuation has been occasioned by instructions from the 873 Local Government Board, with or without concert with the Inland Revenue Office; and, if such instructions have been issued, whether he will lay them upon the Table of the House?
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
, in reply, said, he was not aware that there had been a general increase in the valuation of property generally, though he knew there had been complaints of an increase in many parts of the metropolis. The cause, no doubt, of those complaints was that the quinquennial period had arrived when, in accordance with the Act of Parliament, a new valuation of the property in the metropolis had to be made. The new valuation would not come into operation till the 5th of April next, and in the meantime all persons who thought themselves to be injuriously affected by the assessment might appeal to the Assessment Committee and afterwards to the Sessions Assessment Committee. No instructions had been or could be issued from the Local Government Office in the matter, because the Local Government Board had no jurisdiction over the valuation of the metropolis. Nor had any instructions, as far as he was aware, been issued by the Inland Revenue Department, though they might have documents in their possession of importance in their bearing on the question, seeing that they had a voice in the preparation of the lists which served as the basis of the assessment. His right hon. Friend had sent him some valuations made by a private surveyor, showing a great discrepancy between his notions of the value of property in certain districts of London and the valuations proposed to be assigned by the overseers of the parish. No doubt the opinion of such a valuer would go for what it was worth before the Assessment Committee. His right hon. Friend had also sent him a statement of rents and a comparison between them, and the rents actually paid. If such rack-rents differed materially from the valuations proposed to be assigned by the overseers, that, in his opinion, would be a good ground of appeal.
§ In reply to Mr. HANKEY,
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, the Papers had been submitted to him privately, and therefore he could not lay them on the Table.