HC Deb 20 August 1909 vol 9 cc1713-27

3.0 P.M.

Every assessing authority entitled to impose assessments in the burgh shall levy all assessments which may by law be properly chargeable upon the occupiers of dwelling-houses on the owners of such dwelling-houses in place of the occupiers thereof (distinguishing always in each assessment the proportion applicable to ownership and the proportion applicable to occupancy), and that notwithstanding the insertion made in the valuation roll in terms of the Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act, 1854, and Acts amending the same, of the names of occupiers of such dwelling-houses: Provided that nothing in this Act shall prejudice or disqualify any person whose name is entered in such valuation roll in respect of his qualifications in virtue of the Representation of the People Act, 1884. And provided further that section thirty-one of the Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act, 1854, and sections three hundred and forty-four, three hundred and forty-five, and three hundred and forty-six of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, and the corresponding sections of any local Act shall not apply to any lands or premises being dwelling-houses to which the provisions of this Act apply.

Mr. SCOTT-DICKSON moved to leave out the Clause.

What has taken place in Committee seems to emphasise the objections which were stated on second reading with reference to the proposal for compounding. Clauses 12 to 17 are put in for the purpose of making effective the system of compounding which it is proposed to introduce. The Bill originally applied to houses of a rental of £15 and under, but the amount has now been increased to £26, with the result that, as far as Glasgow is concerned, nine-tenths of the houses will now come within the scope of the Bill. I am told that in Dundee, even as the Bill originally stood, nine-tenths of the houses would be affected, and the number must now be considerably increased. The hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division (Mr. Barnes) said that according to his view the Bill would introduce a change only so far as houses between £15 and £25 rental were concerned. I see, from the statement of the assessor of the City of Glasgow, that the number of houses in that city under £15 rental is, roughly, 124,000. The hon. Member says that those houses would not be affected. I do not know whether that is so or not; but, at any rate, there are not less than 30,000 houses between £15 and £25, so that according to the view of the hon. Member that is the number that would be affected by the Bill. The result will undoubtedly be in Glasgow, as in Edinburgh, that a very large amount of commission will be allowed. The hon. Member for the Bridgeton Division (Mr. Cleland) said that the sheriff would not allow a commission of 15 per cent. It is impossible to say what the sheriff will allow; he will allow what is fair and reasonable. In the past, in Glasgow, in public Bills as well as in Bills promoted by the Corporation, the percentage to be allowed to landlords for collecting the rates has been 20, 20, 25, 15, 25, and 25; so that in the precedents there is nothing below 15 per cent., while the percentage has gone up as high as 25.


May I ask whether that does not refer to rentals under £4?


I understand not. I believe, however, that in one case, although 20 per cent. is possible, in practice only 7½ per cent. is allowed. According to the town clerk of Edinburgh the result of this system of compounding will be to add 1d. or 1½d. in the £ to the rates. My position is that, in order to remove the grievance complained of, it is quite unnecessary to give effect to these Clauses or that there should be any system of compounding at all. It is quite out of the question to suggest that the collection of the rates at much shorter periods than once or twice in the year could be thoroughly carried out by the borough officials, if the matter were left in their hands, and much more cheaply than it could be done if the matter was put into the hands of the landlords. I object to it because it is a bad principle. The matter has been investigated by several Commissions, Royal and Departmental. So far as I know not a single one has done other than report against the system. The last pronouncement upon the subject was an expression of opinion by the Poor Law Commission. According to their view the principle of compounding—which, of course, has a larger vogue in England than in Scotland—is so bad that every effort should be made to get rid of it. They agree that it cannot be got rid of at once, but their view is that it ought to be got rid of as expeditiously as possible. Here you are not only not getting, rid of the principle, but going to extend it in the large cities, so as to include nine-tenths, more or less, of the ratepayers. I submit that that is a bad thing to do. It is more costly both to the corporation and to the ratepayers. It will result in a heavier burden being placed upon the ratepayers than if the collection was carried out by the officials of the corporation. You are also putting a burden upon the landlords who do not want to discharge the duty, and, I say, ought not to be compelled to discharge it. When it is said that an average can be taken as between the small and large houses, I reply that the owner of both is not one and the same, but often the owner of small houses has small houses only, and that, under those circumstances, it is not an advantage to him. Further as to the practical difficulties, which ought to be kept in view. While this Bill, if passed, will require that agreements should not be made for more than two months before entry of a dwelling-house, and while the occupancy will be made concurrent with the rent collection—the rents are collected monthly, with a month's notice—in point of fact an enormous number of occupiers of houses will continue to occupy them as at present, for six months or a year—although not bound to do so. The difficulty of collecting rates at very much shorter periods has been greatly exaggerated. I quite agree it will be much easier for the officials of the corporation that the landlord should collect them, and then hand the corporation's portion over by a large cheque. But it should be left to the officials of the corporation, whose duty it is. Then it is said that there is a provision in this Bill for notice to be given to the ratepayer by the landlord—of all people in the world—of how much is rent and how much is rates. In Committee upstairs it was practically admitted that these clauses were impracticable. By taking from the tenant—as will happen—exact knowledge of the rates he is paying you deprive him of interest in municipal affairs, and that has in the past led to municipal extravagance. It is put forward as one of the results of this Bill that the ratepayer will not know what he is paying in rates as distinguished from rent. I say that is aggravating the evils of compounding, and is a very good reason why it should be terminated. I am quite sympathetic to the Bill. I want it to pass. But I am quite convinced that to adopt this principle of compounding—particularly now—is to do the best to secure that needed legislation will not follow. Warnings have been given from both sides of the House as to the danger of loading the Bill beyond what it can stand. That is a very serious danger, and I ask the House to take it into account. By Clauses already dealt with to-day we have removed the evil that an agreement made in January or February had the effect of binding the householder for 16 or 17 months afterwards. In my judgment, by introducing this system of compounding on the large scale that it is now being done, we are introducing not only a bad principle, but a principle which, in my judgment, will go a long way towards wrecking this Bill. It is because of this that I beg most respectfully to submit to the House that this principle of compounding should not find a place in the Bill. It is a bad principle, the introduction of which is quite unnecessary. It is costly both to the corporation and the occupier, and probably even to some of the landlords, and if it takes away from the occupiers the necessary interest that they should have in municipal affairs, they will not, as they otherwise would do, take care that the rates are kept as low as possible.


I wish to put before the House in a few sentences the reasons why I think this Clause is absolutely necessary for the efficacious carrying out of what this Bill is intended to do. I listened with great interest to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and what struck me most about his speech was the weakness of the alter- native. He objects to the system of compounding, and I could not help wondering why it was that when he was Lord Advocate he did not introduce a Bill to do away with that system. If it is an evil in houses of a certain rental it ought not to be tolerated in houses of a smaller rental. What is the right hon. Gentleman's alternative proposal? That these rates should be collected for the corporation by corporation officials. Has the right hon. Gentleman ever thought what that means? Does he realise the enormous assembly of canvassers and collectors that would mean? How is he to collect the rates from weekly tenants? Does he know of any other place where the collecting of rates are less than quarterly? I respectfully put it to the right hon. Gentleman that while he would destroy the effective machinery of this Bill he places nothing in its place. What is the state of things at the present moment? Let him go and ask the opinions of any assessor of a central authority in Scotland, where they collect the rates once or twice a year, as to the money they have lost owing to the present system. If he does, I venture to think he will be astonished by the figures the assessor will put before him. I quite grant a priori, and from the purely doctrinaire standpoint, it is open to certain objection. I know well that the majority of the Poor Law Commission took that doctrinaire view, but after all you can carry doctrinaire principles too far and ignore practical experience. Against the dictum of the Poor Law Commission I set the dictum of the Departmental Committee set up in Scotland, representative of all parties and interests of diametrically opposite opinions, and I prefer to rest my opinion upon the stronger authority of men who inquired for years into local taxation, and who had for their chairman no less an ornament of the late Government than Lord Balfour of Burleigh. They heard evidence, and what was the decision they arrived at? We say, however desirable in principle it might be to abolish compounding, it is generally agreed that the practical defects of collecting and enforcing payments among a large number of the poorer classes of the large towns, who are weekly tenants and are constantly moving from one tenancy to another, are insuperable. I put that calm judicial finding of the Commission against the somewhat heated rhetoric of the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Certain specific statements, however, were made by the right hon. Gentleman, and he gave two London instances where people have given up compounding because, as the right hon. Gentleman alleged, of the inherent viciousness of the system—one was the Peabody Trust buildings and the other was the case of Islington. I think the right hon. Gentleman might reasonably complain of those who prepared his brief for not having told him the whole history. You have compounding in Islington at the present, but you pay the owners nothing whatever for doing it. The Act of 1868 differentiates between owners who live on and owners who live off the premises, and the local authority said to the owners of property at Islington, "You are going to collect our rates, but we will give you no percentage whatever." A case arose upon this, and the owners took the local authority to the courts. In the court of first instance it was decided in favour of the owners, but the Court of Appeal decided in favour of the Borough Council, and unfortunately the case went no further. What about the Peabody Trust? Why did they agree to give up compounding? I have the report here, and it states that during the year arrangements were completed through 14 of the estates whereby, through reduction of rents, the tenants were made liable for the payment of the rates to the local authorities on account of insufficient local allowances. But since that they found the new departure was so unsatisfactory in the case of every Peabody estate, with the exception of Tottenham, that they have been only too pleased to go back to the system of compounding. I venture to say that that disposes of the two cases introduced with such a flourish of trumpets by the right hon. Gentleman. As to the probable percentage to be allowed, I am glad the Lord Advocate has had the wisdom and foresight to provide that the amount of that shall be fixed by some impartial judicial tribunal. I think it is one of the evils of the system in England that the local elected body has so much to do with regard to matters of percentage, I do not think my Scottish colleagues who have not had the fortune to sit on an English local body know that there are two scales of compounding. The scale under the Act of 1868 provides that failing agreement with the owners of property, the figure should be 15 per cent., and where they did come to an agreement they would pay the agreed percentage on the sum collected. It is quite true to say that the allowances in many cases go up beyond 15 per cent., and the reason is that in those cases the landlords are held responsible and pay the rates for empty houses as well as occupied houses. I do not think the allowances fixed for places like Glasgow would probably be more than 7½, or, at the outside, 8 per cent., and I have been told that overtures have been already made to the Corporation that certain landlords would be willing to collect the rates and pay them to the corporation at a less figure. But the figure is to be fixed, by an impartial tribunal, and I am perfectly sure that the decision the sheriff will arrive at will be in the best interests of tenants and landlords alike. There is one great advantage with regard to the compounding system, and it is that it is very much less of a strain on the poor man to pay a little every week or every month than it is to pay the whole amount in one lump at the end of 12 months or twice a year. I am told that the effect of compounding would be to make working men spendthrifts, and they would cease to exercise a proper control over their public representatives. It was my bad fortune to pass through the last London County Council election as an unsuccessful candidate, and although the compounding system is in vogue in London, I may say that I never passed through an election in which the question of the rates bulked half so large as it did on that occasion. No doubt the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir F. Banbury) recollects the poster which had reference to money and rates, but I venture to say that what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Central Division of Glasgow said with regard to this thing being impractical, and that the landlord would finally end by exacting a lump sum, was not quite accurate. There is nothing impractical in the landlord publishing a fair statement of his rent and rates. The County Council, with regard to the Caledonian-road buildings and a lot of other cases, do it, and there is no difficulty in it. I am sorry to have detained the House at such length, but I have done so because I have had some slight practical experience from the point of view of rate-fixing and rate-collecting authorities, and that is the reason why I have ventured to put before the House certain considerations which may lead hon. Members to the conclusion that there is something to be said for this system of compounding.


I have much pleasure in supporting the Amendment of my right hon. Friend to omit this Clause. I may say that I have not in any way been con- verted by the eloquent speech of the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Cleland), and I hope to be able to show that in many of the statements he has made he has been misled by his desire to see this system, which apparently he views with so much favour, inserted in the Bill. Whether this system be good or bad, the chief reason why I object to it is that it has nothing whatever to do with the object of this Bill. I remember a great number of Bills of this character which have been introduced—I think the hon. Member for the Camlachie Division was responsible for the introduction of the first and second Bill on this subject which was introduced in this House. I believe I am right in saying that of all the numerous Bills introduced with this object in view only a few of them have attempted to deal with this question of compounding. The real object of those Bills was to alter the system upon which houses were let in Scotch counties, and compounding has nothing whatever to do with that question. Compounding has nothing to do with the manner of letting houses in Scotland, and it is introducing a system which has proved bad in England, and which a vast majority of the people who have studied the question at all consider to be an extremely bad system, which has led to numerous abuses in England, and especially in London. I gather that the hon. Member for the Bridgeton Division contested unsuccessfully an election for the London County Council, and he has expressed the opinion that the question of the rates had a considerable influence on that election. I quite agree with him; but amongst which class? It was not so much among the class who pay the rates directly as among the working classes who up to that time had been under the impression that they were not interested, and owing to that indifference great extravagances had been committed by the London County Council and the borough councils. I understood the hon. Member to say that the Report of the Royal Commission on this subject was not a practical one.


I said it was a doctrinaire Report.


Though that Report in theory might be very good, in practice it is very bad. The Royal Commission were unanimously of the opinion that it was most desirable that all classes of the community should, as far as possible, be made liable for the personal payment of rates in order that they may appreciate directly the effect of economical or extravagant administration. That seems to me to be a very practical and business-like statement; and what it amounts to is that unless a man has to put his hand into his pocket and pay directly a certain sum he does not really feel that there is any necessity for economy or for insisting that the people who put their hands in his pocket shall take as little out as possible. I think the hon. Member opposite challenged my right hon. Friend (Mr. Scott Dickson) to produce a single case where the system of compounding had not resulted in an advantage to the occupier.


I did not say that. I asked if the right hon. Gentleman had gone to the trouble of getting from the assessment authorities in Scotland the amount lost under the present system of collecting the rates once a year.


I do not wish to misrepresent the hon. Gentleman. The memorandum put into my hands by the town clerk of Edinburgh says:— If the rate is collected through the landlord it may be that there will practically be no arrears. That, of course, is from the point of view of the municipality. No doubt they would be saved a certain amount of trouble for which they would otherwise have to pay. To that extent the system under the Bill would relieve the occupier who paid in full. The amount of the Commission will certainly exceed considerably the amount of the present arrears. Therefore, the opinion of the town clerk of Edinburgh is practically opposite to the opinion expressed by the hon. Member opposite. The town clerk of Edinburgh thinks that under the system inaugurated in this Bill that the loss to the occupier will considerably exceed the commission which will have to be paid, and it will be greater than the arrears under the new system. I have some difficulty in understanding what is the state of things with regard to the arrears. It is said that the present arrears are less than 5 per cent., but it is assumed that the commission will be 15 per cent. It is admitted that under the Act of 1867 and 1868 the amount fixed is 15 per cent., and that on various occasions the amount has gone up to 25 per cent.


That is so, failing agreement.


There is no doubt a great many landlords are anxious to make agreements, because it saves them a certain amount of trouble. They hope that by collecting the rates themselves and receiving the commission they will gain a little bit. I do not blame them in the least, but that does not touch the principle that the occupier should feel the responsibility of paying the rates himself. I know that in England attempts have been made by landlords to combine together, actuated by the motive that it is right the tenant should pay the rates, but the agents told them that other landlords would not combine, and that the consequence would be they would find their tenants would soon go to the landlords who paid the rates, and their houses would be empty. That is why there has not been any great outcry against the present system. The town clerk said that, supposing the commission was 15 per cent., it would be an excess of 10 per cent. on the present losses in arrears. That puts a burden upon the occupier of £7,000 a year, and to that must be added the corresponding sum applicable to the poor, the school, and the water rates. That would bring the amount up to at least £13,000 per year, which is more than a penny rate in the £. He goes on to say that is a very serious new burden to place upon the occupiers in Edinburgh, and he asks what is the supposed compensating advantage which can justify such an imposition. The outstanding fact is that the Edinburgh occupiers are being mulcted to the extent of £13,000 per annum in order to pay to the landlords a commission they do not want. According to this Gentleman, we have the extraordinary sight of the Lord Advocate, who has been going about the country denouncing the landlords, and the Radical party proposing to pay £13,000 a year to landlords, who do not want it. The hon. Gentleman said that the tenant could be easily informed by the landlord what the amount of the rate would be, but the rate is collected once a year in Scotland, and as houses are let from May to May and the rate is levied in October, all the landlord will be able to tell the occupier will be what the rate of last year was, and the occupier will probably have to pay, not upon what the rate really is, but upon what it was. Unless I am wrong, you are imposing an impossible task upon the landlord and doing everything to encourage discontent and disagreement between occupier and landlord. The landlord will tell the occupier the rate of last year, and, if the occupier finds the present year's rate has been reduced, he will think he is being defrauded by the landlord, and bad blood will result. It may be right or it may be wrong to introduce a system of compounding—I think it is extremely wrong—but it cannot be right to introduce it in a Bill which has nothing to do with the subject. This Clause is also an enfranchising Clause. I am informed it is going to put 20,000 new voters on the list in Glasgow. If, as I venture to say, a rate-compounding clause should not be introduced in a Bill dealing with the period for which houses are let in Glasgow, still less should an enfranchising clause be introduced in it. It would have been very much more candid on the part of the Government if they had brought in a Bill dealing with elections in Scotland. There is no reason why they should not have done so; they have brought in a Bill dealing with elections in London. We should then have known what we were discussing, but now an English Member who does not know all the intricacies of Scotch Bills cannot be expected to know there is an enfranchising clause in this Bill. I venture to say there are not 20 English Members, certainly not on this side of the House, who know this fact. For that reason, because I believe a very important change is being introduced in the franchise of Scotland by this Clause, I shall vote against it.


The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London seems concerned because, under this Bill, some persons will pay their full rates who have never paid them before, and will consequently be entitled to obtain the franchise. If a system exists which makes it difficult for certain men to pay their full rates, and if payment of full rates be a qualification for the franchise, surely it is wise and proper to pass a measure by which full payment will be made more easy, and, if that has the effect of increasing the number of voters, I, at all events, shall not regret the circumstances. What we are doing is to place ourselves on all fours with the procedure in England. I do not think, looking at the discrimination of the English electors, the hon. Baronet need be greatly concerned. I know the effect of a broader franchise has not been to increase the Radical benches, but rather to encourage the Conservative element.


I was looking at it from the point of view of principle, and, whether it increases the Radical or the Conservative Members, you have no right to introduce an enfranchising Bill under the guise of altering the terms of letting.


We do not introduce it as a Franchise Bill. We make no difference in the law what- ever. If it be the law that a man votes because he pays his poor rates under this Bill, we make no change in regard to that. Now I pass to the question of compounding. I regret sincerely that the hon. Member for the Central Division of Glasgow (Mr. Scott Dickson) should have associated himself with this attack on the Bill by a side wind. The landlord interest has done its best to thwart this measure at every stage; it has been unsuccessful in its efforts, and the frontal attack has now been changed to an attack in flank. Compounding is an essential part of a Bill of this nature. I have in my time introduced eight or ten Bills, and on the strength of my experience I declare that the compounding of rates is an essential proposition if you are to carry out the scheme which this Bill has been framed to carry out. Every English authority has, after all, passed through the same process. I should like to read an extract from a letter by Mr. Wodehouse, formerly an accountant at Birkenhead, then at Burnley, and now of Westminster. He states that at Burnley pressure put upon the council was so great that they had to adopt compounding, because people declared they could more easily pay 1s. per week than 50s. a year. At Birkenhead the system of compounding proved the cheaper way of collecting the rates. He (Mr. Woodhouse) did not think any council would willingly go back to direct rate collection. I need only add that in this book will be found evidence by many closely connected with the collection of rates to the effect that they have been driven to compounding as the only solution of the problem of dealing with the taxation on short tenancies. The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Cleland) quoted the Local Taxation Commission, which, although agreeing on the abstract principle that compounding is not desirable, pointed out that it is the only possible way in which the business can be managed in certain localities. My hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton suggested that the taxpayer who does not pay his rates directly does not take the same keen interest in public expenditure. But that surely does not apply in the case of Imperial expenditure. The man who only pays indirect taxation, in the shape of duty on tea, spirits and tobacco takes a keen interest in Parliamentary elections, and I suggest the same observation applies to the municipal taxpayer. The system of compounding is not new in Scotland. In the Glasgow Act of 1866 it was allowed in the case of lets under £4; it was also allowed in the case of water rates under £10, while in the Burgh Police Act, 1892, the principle was also embodied. As a matter of fact, landlords are already compounding, although they do not appear to be aware of it. The rates in Scotland are divided into two parts, one being claimed from the landlord and the other from the tenant, and, although the landlord pays one-half, it is actually the tenant who in the end pays it in increased rent. The principle is therefore already established, and we only want to make it perfectly clear to the tenant that it is he who really pays the rates. The system is working smoothly in Scotland, and I may quote a question and answer from the evidence taken by the Committee on this Bill. The witness said: There were three interests concerned—the tenant's, the factor's, and the landlord's. He was asked:— Are any of these dissatisfied with the state of affairs? The answer was:— I never heard a whisper of dissatisfaction. I have been making inquiries all over England with a view to ascertaining the effect of compounding, and my experience has been that, except from a theoretical point of view, there is no complaint either by landlord or tenant or factor or middleman. I assert that if compounding is deleted from this Bill the Bill will be destroyed; it will then possess no advantage at all. I sincerely hope that my right hon. Friend the Member for the Central Division will not press his Amendment, as, if it is carried, it will certainly have the effect of defeating the purposes for which the Bill was introduced. I regard this question as essentially a tenants' question. The Bill has been called a Corporation Relief Bill, a Factors' Relief Bill, and a Landlords'

Relief Bill. As a matter of fact, it is a Tenants' Relief Bill which will rescue him from an antiquated system. The "Glasgow Herald" about a month ago, when this Bill passed its second reading, declared in a leading article that the reform of the house-letting system in Scotland is long overdue, and repeated many of the observations made in this Debate. With all these circumstances before it I hope the House will not regard this as a Tenants' Relief Bill. It is a measure which will assist landlords in the collection of their rent, factors in their work all the year round, and release house-letting from an indefensible system, into which it has fallen, and to which, to my surprise, the landlords so persistently cling. If the Bill is passed the accumulation of arrears, which so frequently grows up, will be swept away, and the house-letting system in busy communities in Scotland will assume the form which it has in busy English communities, and a man will get a house when he wants one, and letting will not be confined to a single fortnight in a year or moving to a single day.


I regret to say that I cannot accept this Amendment, and my reasons for not doing so have been so admirably stated by the hon. Member for the Bridgeton Division (Mr. Cleland), and the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Cross), that I think it is unnecessary to add anything. As in the past, so in the future the occupier will pay his share of the rates and we have taken great pains in Clause 17 of this Bill to leave him under no misapprehension on the subject.

Question put, "That the Clause to the words 'dwelling-houses' ['upon the occupiers of dwelling-houses'], stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 88; Noes, 20.

Division No. 488.] AYES. [4.0 p.m.
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Erskine, David C. Haworth, Arthur A.
Barnard, E. B. Esslemont, George Birnie Hazieton, Richard
Barnes, G. N. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Everett, R. Lacey Henry, Charles S.
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Faber, G. H. (Boston) Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Falconer, J. Hobart, Sir Robert
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Fenwick, Charles Idris, T. H. W.
Byles, William Pollard Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Cleland, J. W. Gibson, J. P. Jowett, F. W.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Gill, A. H. Kekewich, Sir George
Cooper, G. J. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Kelley, George D.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Glendinning, R. G. Laidlaw, Robert
Crooks, William Griffith, Ellis J. Lyell, Charles Henry
Cross, Alexander Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Mackarness, Frederic C. Parker, James (Halifax) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
M'Callum, John M. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Thorne, William (West Ham)
M'Micking, Major G. Radford, G. H. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Mallet, Charles E. Rees, J. D. Waring, Walter
Marnham, F. J. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Watt, Henry A.
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Myer, Horatio Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Williams, Sir Osmond (Merioneth)
Nicholls, George Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Sears, J. E. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Seddon, J.
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Sloan, Thomas Henry
O'Grady, J. Steadman, W. C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Captain Norton and Mr. Fuller.
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
O'Malley, William Sutherland, J. E.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fell, Arthur Randies, Sir John Scurrah
Bowles, G. Stewart Fletcher, J. S. Remnant, James Farquharson
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gretton, John Ronaldshay, Earl of
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert Tuke, Sir John Batty
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hills, J. W
Craik, Sir Henry Lamont, Norman TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. H. W. Forster and the Marquess of Hamilton.
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Morpeth, Viscount

Question, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and agreed to.

Amendments made: After the word "of" ["the occupiers of dwelling-houses"], to insert the word "small."

After the words "dwelling-houses," to insert the words "or which, though assessable in respect of occupancy of such dwelling-houses, are by law recoverable from owners."

To leave out the word "sections" ["and sections three hundred and forty-four"], and to insert the word "section."

To leave out the words "three hundred and forty-five and three hundred and forty-six."

To leave out the word "sections" ["and the corresponding sections"], and to insert the word "section."—[Mr. Ure.]