HC Deb 20 March 1917 vol 92 cc715-6

Order for consideration as amended, read.


I beg to move, "That the Bill be recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House in respect of the Amendments to Clause 1, standing on the Notice Paper in the name of the right hon. Member for Glasgow (Blackfriars Division), to be moved on re-committal."

I move this in order to insert Amendments which have been practically agreed to. It will be remembered that there was a long Debate in Committee as to the amount of the expenses of the committees to be paid by the Government and by the local authorities. The original proposal was not favourably accepted, and we were very strongly pressed upon the matter. Picas were put forward on behalf of the poorer counties which it was said would be struck hard by having to pay half of the expenses which were required from them under the Bill as it stood. We discussed, first of all, the possibility of meeting the wishes of the House by a scale which would relieve the poorer counties, but we found that impracticable. We have seen the Chancellor of the Exchequer two or three times' about it, and he in turn has seen the Treasury officials, and we now propose that instead of one-half the Government should find two-thirds of the cost, leaving only one third to be found by the local authorities. We hope that the House will now accept that proposal, because we think it is very generous having regard to the whole circumstances of the position. I will give a few figures which will show how the new proposals will work out. It will be remembered that I was asked the other night for figures as to how much it would cost and what would be the cost to the rates, but I could only give a few cases that had come to my knowledge. I have had some figures got out to show exactly how the payment of one-third by the local authorities instead of one-half will apply to the rates. I will only give a few. I find that Kent county will pay £800 instead of £1,200, and the £800 will involve a charge of one thirty-third of a penny in the £. Worcestershire will pay £300 instead of £500, and that will represent one-eighteenth of a penny. Newcastle will pay £200 instead of £300, which will involve a charge of one thirty-sixth of a penny. With respect to the poorer counties I would point out that often their expenses are very small. Some of the hon. Members on the Irish benches were much concerned about the poorer counties in Ireland. I will give a few instances. Tyrone, which is one of the poorest, if not the poorest, has expenses only amounting to £25 a year, and this wall involve a charge upon their rates of one sixty-sixth of a penny. Nairn, the poorest county in Scotland, will pay to the extent of one-twelfth of a penny. The worst case of all is that of Hoxton in the north-east of London, and the cost there, largely I suppose because of the very poor property, will be one-sixth of a penny. One-sixth of a penny is the largest amount that will be paid by any local authority or any poor county throughout the length and breadth of the Kingdom.


Have you got figures for the county of Durham?


I am sorry to say I have not, but I think I remember something about Durham. The expenses there are rather high if my memory serves me right, and therefore they will have to pay something more than one thirty-sixth of a penny, but I feel sure it will be nothing like one-sixth. These figures have been got out to show the cases in which the counties would be hardest hit.

Bill accordingly considered in Committee.

[Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]

  1. CLAUSE 1.—(Administrative Expenses of Local and District Committees.) 992 words
  2. cc719-23
  3. NEW CLAUSE.—(Application of Principal Act in London.) 1,848 words
  4. cc723-9
  5. CLAUSE 1.—(Administrative Expenses of Local and District Committees.) 1,866 words
  6. c729
  7. CLAUSE 4.—(Alteration of Purposes for which Voluntary Funds may be Applied in Certain Cases.) 195 words
  8. cc729-40
  9. CLAUSE 5.—(Power to Chairman and v ice-Chairman of Statutory Committee to Sit in Parliament.) 4,299 words