HC Deb 01 May 1893 vol 11 cc1633-4

I have to ask the leave of the House to bring in a Bill for the equalisation of rates in the Metropolis. The Bill is only carrying out the unanimous Resolution passed by the House on February 24 in the present year—a Resolution which the Government pledged themselves to give effect to. The scheme is one which cannot be critically examined until all the details are before the House, and no advantage can be gained by having a Second Reading discussion on the First Reading. The principle upon which the Bill proceeds is to ask Parliament to levy, or rather to ask the County Council to levy, throughout the whole of the Metro-polis a uniform rate of 6d. upon the rateable value of London, and to distribute that rate amongst the Sanitary Authorities of the Metropolis according to the respective numbers of their population. I think the House will see, when it has the details before it, that the relief is given where it ought to be given, and burdens imposed where burdens ought to be imposed.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make better provision for the equalisation of Rates as between different parts of London."—(Mr. H. H. Fowler.)

*MR. WHITMORE (Chelsea)

said, that, in view of the opinion expressed by the House on February 24, it would be a waste of time to debate the principle of the Bill now; but he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would understand that on the Second Reading they would have to critically examine the details. While most hon. Members on his side of the House were in favour of further equalising the rates in London, they reserved to themselves full liberty of discussion upon the details, and of considering very critically the means by which it was proposed that the principle should be carried out, it being desirable that the responsibility and independence of the existing Local Authorities should not be unduly diminished.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Henry H. Fowler, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sir Walter Foster.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 332.]