§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as regards the effect of the Agricultural Land Rating Bill on the Royal Forest of Dean and the New Forest, whether it is the intention of the Crown to continue, after the passing of the Act, to contribute towards the local rates in respect of the enclosed woodlands on the now existing basis?
§ MR. HANBURY
My right hon. Friend will have understood, from my answer to a Question put by him on April 28, that the amount of the Treasury contributions in lieu of rates for Crown woodlands will depend on whether these woodlands are or are not included in the Returns under the Agricultural Land Rating Bill. The Treasury is consulting the Local Government Board as to whether they will be so included. If they are not included, the contributions will remain unaltered; but, if they are included, the contributions will be on the amount at which they would be assessed if they were private woodlands. The benefit which the Crown lands would in that case receive from Imperial taxation would be a question between the Crown and the general taxpayer, and would not really affect the local rates. If my right hon. Friend has any suggestion to make on the subject it shall receive my best attention. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
It would affect the local rates in the long run where they were rapidly increasing.