§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
I beg to ask the President of the-Local Government Board whether his. attention has been drawn to the heavy additional burden which will be imposed on the ratepayers of the poorest districts in London by the Rating of Schools Bill, which proposes to exempt public elementary schools from rate ability; and whether it is the intention of the Government to support the Bill; and, if so, whether they will move or support an Amendment (in the event of the Bill being read a second time) excluding the London School Board district from its operation?
§ MR. RITCHIE
No doubt, Sir, if schools were exempted from rating, the additional burden, so far as they are at-present rated, would have to be borne by the other ratepayers. I would, however, point out that if, as is alleged, the result of assessing voluntary schools on their full rateable value were to be the closing of voluntary schools, the effect on the ratepayers would probably be much more serious than their exemption from 695 rating. The Government will state the course they intend to pursue when the Bill comes on for discussion.