§ MR. J. G. TALBOT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the inhabitants of Halifax are still under an obligation to pay the Vicar's 973 Rate; and, if so, what steps the Government intend to take in regard to this matter?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
, in reply, said, there was no doubt that so long as the Act of 1829 remained unrepealed the inhabitants of Halifax were legally responsible for the payment of the Vicar's Rate. The Government were not prepared to surrender, without any quid pro quo, that portion of the rate levied on houses, amounting to £970 a-year. In order to show that the Government were desirous of compromising the matter, they would consent to repeal the Act on condition that £11,600–12 years' purchase—was contributed by voluntary subscriptions and paid over to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in respect of the rate on houses. The Government were of opinion that, when the inhabitants compared this settlement of the question with their position under the Act of 1829, they would be disposed to take advantage of the opportunity afforded to them.