HC Deb 04 August 1898 vol 64 cc228-31

I move— To insert in line 22, the words 'thirtieth day of September,' in lieu of 'thirty-first day of March.' The Bill only runs during the continuance of the Agricultural Rating Bill, 1896, and that runs for five years; so that, at all events, it will be the difference between three years and five years of the sum that we are getting under the 1896 Bill. When that Bill was under discussion we pressed on the Treasury the desirability of giving Scotland the same as that which was given to England, and it was refused. Now, I want to know why the first, payment under this Bill should be postponed to the 31st March of this year. There will be the half-yearly payment falling due in September, and the only question is whether we should have a half yearly payment of £200,000 or £300,000. If my Amendment is adopted we should still only have three and a half years of the fair equivalent grant, but that is better than only three years.

Amendment proposed— Page 1, line 22, to leave out the words 'thirty-first day of March,' and insert ' thirtieth day of September.'"—(Dr. Clark.)

Question proposed— That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause.


I am afraid I cannot accept this Amendment, because the matter has been already arranged with the Treasury, and, as a matter of fact, it is necessary to adhere to the date of the 31st March because the sums that are voted must run out at the same time. The honourable Member will remember that the first sum of £27,000 is distributed among county councils and parish councils in Scotland in the same proportion as the amount distributed to them under the provisions of sub-section 3 of the principal Act. It is necessary that the two matters should run out at the same time, and that the two periods should synchronise.


What we complain of is that there was not enough money under the original grant, and you wanted more money to make up the deficiency. It is not a question of making up the deficiency for the next three and a half years, it is a question of making up the deficiency from, the Agricultural Rates Act. But I will point out also that in the case of England the money ran from the 31st March, 1897. It has been taken for granted that Scotland has got too little money under the Agricultural Rates Act, and it is admitted by the Government that we ought to be paid half our rates in the same way as England. That being admitted, the question arises, when the payment, so far as Scotland is concerned, should begin to run. Obviously it should be on the same date as the date on which the English payment began to run. Here you are postponing to the 31st September, or practically one year, the running of money which you admit, if Scotland had got her fair proportion in 1896, would have run from 1897 in the same way as the English money runs. I cannot, for the life of me, see how it can be maintained on any principle of justice that the Scotch payment should begin to run from September of this year and not from the period when the original payment was made. I shall by glad if the Lord Advocate will explain to us the principle on which he justifies this. This question relates entirely to whether Scotland is getting her fair proportion. It does not involve the question of any Treasury arrangement as to the distribu-

tion of this £27,000 amongst, different bodies; that has nothing to do with the matter. If you have been short-paid, and have not got your £27,000, your short payment will extend from the very first year. Let me give one simple example. England gets half of her rate from the 31st March, 1897; it runs from that date. We have been found to be short-paid, and now, what we ask is, that the Scotch payment should run from the original date. If we are short-paid the Scotch payment ought to run from the original date, as in the case of England. I must say that the Scottish people are most unjustly treated in this matter. First we get a short payment, and then, when it is admitted that we are short-paid you will not give us payment from the original date, but you make it run from a year and a half later. I can see no justice in such a proceeding as that, and I think it is absurd that in these matters of local taxation there should not be absolute equality. If we are entitled to the money we are entitled to it from the original date, and the original date was the 31st March, 1897.


We thought last year that we were to get a sum similar to that given to England, but as a matter of fact we did not get enough money, and what we have to do now is to remedy that. The Amendment I have proposed is rather in the way of a compromise, and I regret that the Lord Advocate will not accept it. If the Treasury will only make these payments during three years, all we can do is to protest against the treatment of Scotland by the Treasury in the usual fashion.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 79; Noes 20.—(Division List No. 278.)

Arnold, Alfred Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Arrol, Sir William Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Greville, Captain
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.
Balcarres, Lord Curzon, Rt Hn. G. N. (Lanc,SW) Hanbury, Rt, Hon. R. W.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r) Curzon, Viscount (Bucks) Heath, James
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Brist'l) Denny, Colonel Johnston, W. (Belfast)
Bond, Edward Doughty, George Kenyon, James
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lawrence, Sir E Durning (Corn.)
Brassey, Albert Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)
Brodrick, Rt, Hon. St. John Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E. Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Butcher, John George Finch, George H. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A R.
Cavendish, R, F. (N. Lancs) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverp'l)
Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbysh.) Fisher, William Hayes Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.) Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W. Garfit, William McArthur, C. (Liverpool)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Gordon, Hon. John Edward McKillop, James
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Goschen, Rt Hn. G. J. (St. G'rg's) Malcolm, Ian
Milton, Viscount Purvis, Robert Welby, Lieut.-Col. O. C. E.
More, Robert Jasper Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l) Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)
Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W. Willox, Sir John Archibald
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Robertson, H. (Hackney) Wylie, Alexander
Murray, C. J. (Coventry) Round, James Wyndham, George
Newdigate, Francis Alex Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)
Nicol, Donald Ninian Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
Penn, John Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Stanley, Lord (Lancs) Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Pierpoint, Robert Thornton, Percy M.
Pryce-Jones, Lieut.-Col. E. Webster, Sir R. E. (I of W.)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H. Dalziel, James Henry Ure, Alexander
Billson, Alfred Doogan, P. C. Wedderburn, Sir William
Brigg, John Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Macaleese, Daniel Yoxall, James Henry
Caldwell, James Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)
Channing, Francis Allston Provand, Andrew Dryburgh TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Colville, John Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.) Dr. Clark and Mr. Pirie.
Crombie, John William Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
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