§ MR. SUMMERS
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the local valuation lists and rate books give the names of the owners as well as of the occupiers of all rateable hereditaments; and, if so, whether he will cause a Return to be prepared of the number of public houses owned by brewers in each city, municipal borough, and Petty Sessional Division, respectively, in England and Wales, in each of the years from 1880 to 1890?
§ MR. RITCHIE
The valuation lists usually give the names of the occupiers and owners of the rateable hereditaments in a parish at the time when the lists are made up, but they are not corrected as regards these particulars when changes occur, and they do not distinguish the owners who are brewers. They would not be available for such a Return as is suggested. With respect to the rate books, the names of the owners at the time of making the rate should be entered in the rate book; but it too often happens that the parochial officers are not very careful to obtain accurate information as to the owners of 715 the hereditaments when the rates are collected from the occupiers. As in the case of the valuation lists, the rate books do not distinguish the cases where the owners are brewers. To obtain a Return from the rate books merely of the public houses in England and Wales, it would be necessary to apply to the overseers of all the parishes in the country, which number nearly 15,000. The overseers are unpaid officers, and in a large number of cases they have no paid assistants. It is quite certain that a Return of this character could not be obtained unless payment were made for its preparation; and even if payment were made, many months would elapse before it could be completed, and, when completed, its accuracy could not be relied upon.