asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, owing to the taking of land for the Warwickshire Territorial Force Association, the rateable value of the parish of Kingsbury, near Tamworth, has decreased to the amount of £453 10s., in consequence of this land not being liable to rates; and, seeing that the loss to the local rates for the year ending 31st March, 1911, was £84 8s. 1d., and in view of the hardship thus entailed on local ratepayers, whether the Treasury will give an annual grant to make good such loss?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse)
I regret that I cannot comply with this proposal. Grants in lieu of rates are only made in respect of premises in the occupation of the Crown for the public service when such premises are provided and maintained directly out of Votes of Parliament. The premises in the occupation of county associations do not come under this category, being in a similar position to Volunteer premises prior to the Territorial Forces Act, for which no contributions in lieu of rates were given.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
For the purpose of a contribution in lieu of rates from the Imperial Exchequer premises and land are of the same value.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is a very great hardship to the parish which has suffered, and which has to make up the deficiency from the rates; surely the Treasury ought to give the balance in a case like this?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
It will be open to the local associations to make a voluntary contribution. Whether they will be prepared to do so, of course, I cannot say; but they will be in a position to do so.