§ MAJOR RASCH
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his attention has been called to the result of agricultural depression in Essex, owing to derelict and unoccupied land in the parish of St. Lawrence, the quota of land tax required renders an assessment of 5s. 10d. in the pound necessary, but that a higher assessment than 4s. is illegal; and, what he would suggest, by legislation or otherwise, under the circumstances.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT,) Derby
I have no responsibility in respect of land-tax assessments; the responsibility rests solely and exclusively with the Land Tax Commissioners. I am informed that if the rateable poor rate value of the unexonerated property in the parish of St. Lawrence, Essex, be adopted by the Land Tax Commissioners as representing its "real yearly value," an assessment of something like 5s. 10d. in the pound would be necessary to raise the quota payable by the parish. The hon. Member is correct in stating that a higher rate than 4s. in the pound would be illegal. The proper course would be to write off as irrecoverable the difference between the quota and the amount produced by a 4s. rate.
§ MAJOR RASCH
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what we are to do when the whole of the land of Essex has gone out of cultivation?
§ [No answer was given.]