§ 104. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Valuation Department of the Inland Revenue are sending out notices to rectors and vicars of parish churches throughout the country requesting them to state the names and addresses of the persons in whom the churches and graveyards of their several parishes are now vested; whether he can state by virtue of what statutory or other authority this is being done; and whether there is any legal obligation on such rectors and vicars to answer the questions so put to them?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the Andover Division on the 5th instant. With regard to the last part of the hon. and learned Member's question, I would explain that there is no legal obligation on rectors and vicars, where they are not owners of churches and graveyards, to answer questions which will assist in the valuation of these properties, but it is generally the case that where information is sought for the purposes of the State, it is freely given so far as it is available by the persons requested to furnish it without the need of compulsory powers being obtained and exercised.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I can assure the hon. and learned Member that there is no legal obligation to answer the questions.