§ Order for Committee read.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
expressed a hope that as the measure passed the 1640 second reading after considerable discussion without any opposition, hon. Members who had placed Notices on the Paper against the Order for going into Committee would not deem it necessary to act upon them, but would allow the Bill to be proceeded with, on an understanding that an opportunity would be given of bringing them forward on the Report.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Mr. Sclater-Booth.)
§ MR. RAMSAY,
in rising to move an Amendment, said, he had no desire to obstruct the progress of measures, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Sclater-Booth) would be able to see his way to accept the principles which he sought to apply to England, which were adopted in Scotland. He pointed out that in Glasgow alone there were 137,000 separate assessments last year, which amounted in value to £3,117,000. In the county of Lanark there were 200,000 separate assessments. The principles which were applied to those cases could easily be applied to this country. The Bill proposed that the valuation list should only be made up once in five years; but he contended that no reason had been shown by the Government why it should not be made up annually. The supplemental list was to be made up annually, and that would take as much trouble to make up as it would to make up a valuation list. He thought it was necessary to have his Resolution before the Committee in considering this Bill, seeing that it did not propose any basis on which to assess the value. There should be some definite rule for that purpose, and if such rule were not laid down he would give his determined opposition to the Bill. If they were not to have an annual, but a quinquennial valuation, he did not see what earthly use there was in making out a supplemental list every year. Another fault he had to find with the Bill was that it did not contain any rule by which the value of the property could be ascertained.
§ MR. ANDERSON
complained of the bad hearing which had been given to the hon. Gentleman, who had really more knowledge of this subject than most Members had. He quite concurred with the views which his hon. Friend had been endeavouring to put 1641 before the House, and therefore he would second the Motion. If there was anything good in English law, he thought Scotland should have it by all means, and he could not understand when there was something good in Scotch law that England had not got, why there was any objection to adopting it. In this case Scotland had an established system, which had been found to work well, and now, when they were passing a new Act for England, he thought the Scotch system ought to be adopted.
Amendment proposed,To leave out from the word That "to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in the opinion of this House, it is expedient that any measure introduced for the purpose of securing one uniform valuation should contain the following provisions:—That the justices of every county, and the town council of every borough in England, shall annually cause to be made up a valuation list showing the yearly rent or value for the time of the whole hereditaments within such county or borough respectively, and separately, within each parish or part of a parish, and each union or part of a union within such county or borough respectively, and specifying in each case the nature of such hereditaments, and the names and designations of the owners or reputed owners, and where there are tenants or occupiers, of the tenants and of the occupiers thereof respectively;That in order to the making up of such valuation list, the justices of each county, and the town council of each borough respectively, shall appoint one or more fit and proper persons to be valuator or valuators, whose duty it shall be to ascertain and assess the yearly rent or value of the several hereditaments within such county or burgh respectively, and to make up such 'valuation list in manner and form to be prescribed
That in estimating the yearly value of the several hereditaments the same shall be taken to be the rent at which one year with another such hereditaments might in their actual state he reasonably expected to let from year to year,"— (Mr. Ramsay,) —instead thereof.
Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, he could assure both hon. Gentlemen that he had carefully considered the Scotch system, and was sensible of the many advantages which belonged to it; but it was altogether inapplicable to this country. The present Bill was no new measure, but was only a measure consolidating the existing law on the subject, and making some amendments in it. If he had proposed to abolish the existing valuation committees it would not have been possible 1642 to pass the Bill. The second reading having passed without opposition he did not anticipate that a debate would have been raised at this stage of the Bill.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he had to complain of the Bill having been so unexpectedly brought on, seeing that the hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. J. Cowen), who had an Amendment on the Paper relating to it, was not in his place, having understood that it would not be taken for several weeks. He would move the Adjournment of the Debate.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
had no objection to the Adjournment of the Debate; but he denied that it was brought forward unexpectedly, or that there was any understanding it should not come on that night.
MR. J. COWEN
said, he had no idea the Bill would have been taken that evening, or he should have been in his place.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
hoped the hon. Member for Newcastle would have an opportunity of bringing forward his important Amendment at the earliest occasion possible. With that view, he would suggest that the hon. Member for Falkirk (Mr. Ramsay) should withdraw his Motion, so that the hon. Member for Newcastle might when the Bill came on again move his Resolution.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
believed there was not a single Member at his side had an idea the Bill would be brought forward that night.
said, the Amendment of the hon. Member for Falkirk (Mr. Ramsay) was of the utmost importance to Scotland, and suggested that a division should be taken on it, and then, if negatived, the hon. Member for Newcastle could bring forward his Amendment.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
said, that as there was apparently some misunderstanding on the subject, he would appeal to the hon. Member for Falkirk (Mr. Ramsay) to withdraw the Motion.
§ MR. RAMSAY
said, he was under no misapprehension, because the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board told him that 1643 if he could get the Bill on to-night he should do so. He would, however, withdraw his Amendment.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ Debate arising;
§ Debate adjourned till Thursday next.