§ MR. W. BENN (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether his attention has been drawn to the case of certain tenants of houses in Lowder Street, St. George's East, who have been imprisoned for rates due to the Stepney Borough Council, part of which rates had already been paid to the landlord with his rent; and whether he will consider the advisability of 276 giving the borough council power to proceed against the landlord instead of the occupier in cases where the former is receiving a rent which includes the rates due upon the houses.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) If the borough council made an order for the rating of the owners of small hereditaments in which dwelling houses are included, instead of the occupiers, the rate could be recovered from the owner. But the borough council are not disposed to adopt this course, as they think that it would not prove financially economical. I understand that in the case referred to in the Question the owner of the houses was not liable to the payment of the rate, that the rate could only be recovered from the occupiers, and that they were entitled to deduct the rate from the rent due or accruing to the owner, but that they failed to do so.