§ 2. £209,705, to complete the sum for Rates on Government Property.
§ Mr. HAZELL (Leicester)
I desire to call attention to the salary of the Treasury Valuer for the inspection of rates, which has risen from £500 to £1,200. The position of this gentleman has been described by the Secretary to the Treasury, in a speech he made in 1893, as practically a, sinecure, inasmuch as the assessment, when once fixed, does not increase much, and the number of valuations from year to year change to a very small extent. I shall be glad if the right hon. Gentleman will explain his statement of 1893.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HANBURY,) Preston
In 1893 I was perfectly justified in what I said, but since the present Government came into office we have paid rates on the same scale as private owners. We are paying rates on quite a different footing, and the work of the Treasury Valuer has very greatly increased.
§ MR. CALDWELL, (Lanark, Mid)
With regard to the amount paid in rates, I find that the amount which England has received is very much in excess in propor- 792 tion to Scotland and Ireland. I think the Government should give an Instruction that the same principle should be applied with regard to the public buildings in those countries as is applied in England.
§ Mr. HANBURY
With regard to the rating in Scotland, the hon. Gentleman must remember that the Government buildings in Scotland are much fewer than in London, but the principle which is applied, I can assure him, is exactly the same.
§ Mr. CALDWELL
Before you came to value Government property in the same way as private property, you had some system of contribution to the rates, and under the system you made a contribution to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade of £10,000, because it was thought that the Government were not paying their full contribution. That should not now continue, because the moment the Government give the full contribution, the Fire Brigade is not entitled to the £10,000.
§ MR. HANBURY
With regard to that £10,000 for the Fire Brigade, that has been going on since 1894, when we first began this contribution to the rates, and before then; but it is part of a larger question, the question of local rating, which is now being inquired into by a Committee; and until that question is dealt with, I do not think it is wise to remove this £10,000 from the Vote.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ [Mr. STUART-WORTLEY, Sheffield, Hallam, in the Chair.]