§ £3,400, Supplementary, Royal Palaces—agreed to.
Motion made, and Question proposed:—
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £92,000 be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1896, for Rates and Contributions in lieu of Elites, &c., in respect of Government property"——
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said, he was bound to admit that latterly much progress had been made towards the Government paying their proper contributions in lieu of rates, at any rate in the metropolis. Of the Returns he moved for last Session, only one—the 1398 London Return—had been presented; and he should like to know when the Provincial Return would be circulated. With regard to London considerable improvement had been made. In his own parish, Islington, the contributions had been nearly trebled—the increase being from £4,300 to £11,000. In Clerkenwell a similar improvement had taken place; and it was contemplated that all the Royal palaces which were not actually Royal residences—for instance the Houses of Parliament—should in future pay as public buildings. There was one marked improvement in this year's Estimates, and it was explained in this note upon the Supplementary Estimates:—Hitherto, in England and Wales, the rule has been to defer payment until after the close of the half-year in which the Rates, which form the subject of the Contributions, are made. It is in order to obviate this delay that Parliament is asked to provide the additional sum of £92,000.He read this, not for the purpose of criticising it, but of welcoming the reform. Instead of keeping a sum of nearly £100,000 in hand every year for six months, Government property was to be placed on exactly the same footing as other property, and the payments would be in cash. What the Treasury did was to place itself in the position of ordinary ratepayers. He did not think he ought to do otherwise than express his very strong approval of the action of the Secretary of the Treasury, who had remedied an injustice, and, on behalf of the London parishes, he desired to pay a tribute to which he was eminently due. ["Hear, hear!"] But he would like to know when the Provincial Returns would be produced. He begged formally to move the reduction of the Vote by £100.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
said, he believed the Provincial Returns would be circulated within a few days.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.