HC Deb 04 June 1896 vol 41 cc487-91

(1.) The council of any county, borough, or district may pay any expenses incurred by them and allowed by the Light Railway Commissioners with reference to any application for an order authorising a light railway under this Act, in the case of a county council as general expenses, in the case of a borough council out of the borough fund or rate, and in the case of a district council other than a borough council as general expenses under the Public Health Acts.

Provided that any such expenses and any expenses payable in like manner under this Act if incurred by a county council may be declared by the Order authorising the railway or, in the event of an unsuccessful application for such an order, by the Light Railway Commissioners, to be exclusively chargeable on certain parishes only in the county, and those expenses shall be levied accordingly as expenses for a special county purpose under the Local Government Act, 1888.

(2.) Where the council of any county, borough or district are authorised to expend any money by an Order authorising a light railway under this Act, they may raise the money required,—

  1. (a) if the expenditure is capital expenditure, by borrowing in manner authorised by the Order; and
  2. (b) if the expenditure is not capital expenditure, as if it was on account of the expenses of an application under this Act.

(3.) The Board of Trade may from time to time on the application of any council extend, subject to the limitations of this Act, the limit of the amount which the council are authorised by an Order under this Act to borrow, or to advance to a light railway company, and the limit so extended shall be substituted for the limit fixed by the Order.

(4.) Where an Order under this Act authorises any council to borrow for the purposes of a light railway, suitable provision shall be made in the Order for requiring the replacement of the money borrowed within a fixed period not exceeding sixty years, either by means of a sinking fund or otherwise.

(5.) Any profits made by a council in respect of a light railway shall be applied in aid of the rate out of which the expenses of the council in respect of the light railway are payable.

The following Amendment stood on the Paper in the name of Mr. CALDWELL: To move in Sub-section (1), after the word "Act," to insert the words— and the amount thereof shall be raised by a rate imposed along with but as a separate rate from the rate imposed.


had put down the following Amendment: After the same word "Act," to insert the words— and the same shall be payable one-half by the owner and the other half by the occupier of lands and hereditaments within the said county, borough, or district, as the case may be, and shall be raised by a rate imposed along with, but as a separate rate from, the rate imposed.


ruled both Amendments out of order, on the ground that no proposal to make persons pay a rate for which they were not hitherto liable could be moved on the Report stage of a Bill. Both Amendments would throw the burthen wholly on the ratepayers, whereas the Bill threw it in some cases on the Borough Fund, which was not always replenished solely by rates. The second Amendment also made owners liable where they were not liable before.


On a point of Order, I desire to ask, Mr. Speaker, whether it would be in order to move that the occupier should pay the rate as imposed and deduct from his rent part of the amount?


No; if the hon. Member will look a little further down the Paper he will find two Amendments down to that effect, which I propose to rule out of order. [Laughter.] The next Amendment, which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Mid Lanark, is out of order as it stands, as it is impossible to make sense of it.

MR. CALDWELL rose to move to leave out the words "fund or."


That, again, I must rule out of order, as it is open to exactly the same objection that I took just now to the hon. Member's former Amendment. The two next Amendments standing in the names of the hon. Member for Mid Lanark and the hon. Member for Tavistock—one of which proposes that the owner shall pay half the rate direct, and the other that it shall be deducted from the rent—are also out of order, for the reason I have already given. The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for West Denbighshire is also out of order, because it proposes that every occupier shall be entitled to deduct the rate from his rent.

MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

asked whether he would not be in order in moving the first part of his Amendment, which referred only to the machinery for the collection of the rate?


said he had an Amendment that came before that, namely, to leave out from the first "any," in line 19, down to "may," in line 20, and to insert "expenditure incurred by the County Council under this Act."

Amendment agreed to.

*MR. JONATHAN SAMUEL (Stockton) moved an Amendment to make it compulsory, instead of optional, as provided by the Bill, on the Commissioners to declare the expenses incurred by a County Council with reference to an application for an Order, or any expenses payable, under the Act to be exclusively chargeable on certain parishes only in the county. A District Council might apply and obtain an Order authorising a railway, and the Council would be charged exclusively with the cost of construction. If the County Council were to obtain authorising Orders for the construction of railways, and the cost were not charged exclusively to the districts directly benefited, the District Council which undertook to construct its own railway would also pay through the county rate its proportion of the expenses of the railways constructed by the County Council. He contended that unless it was made compulsory on the Commissioners to adopt this course, some District Councils might be very unjustly affected. In a large county, such, for instance, as the county of Durham, it was possible that under the clause as it stood a district which was miles distant from the railway might be charged with some of the expenses. This clause as it stood would stop any progress being made in the construction of light railways, for the reason that if a District Council made an application for powers to construct such a line, the County Council would decline to entertain any other proposal unless the District Council making it undertook to pay all the costs of that construction. In his view, therefore, the Order as to expenses to be made by the Railway Commissioners should be compulsory and not optional.

Question put, "That the word 'may' stand part of the Bill."

The House divided:—Ayes, 205; Noes, 68.—(Division List, No. 222.)

MR. HERBERT ROBERTS moved, at the end of Sub-section (1), after "1888," to insert the following words:— Provided also, that every inc ease of rate levied for the purposes of this Act shall in all precepts for the levy thereof be described as a separate item of rate.


said he was unable to accept the Amendment, but he would assent to the principle by moving, at the end of Clause 15, the following new subsection:— (6) Where a rate is levied for meeting any expenditure under this Act, the demand note for the rate shall state in a form prescribed by the Local Government Board the proportion of the rate levied for that expenditure.


said he was prepared to accept the Amendment indicated by the right hon. Gentleman.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. CALDWELL moved, in Subsection (3) to leave out "Board of Trade," and to insert "Light Railway Commissioners," as the authority whose assent is necessary to any scheme.

Question, "That the words 'Board of Trade' stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

And, it being Midnight, further proceeding on consideration, as amended, stood adjourned.

Bill, as amended, to be further considered To-morrow.