HC Deb 25 March 1919 vol 114 cc262-3

A. It shall not be lawful during the period of the operation of the principal Act to raise the assessment (or in Scotland the valuation) for rating purposes of any house to which the principal Act or this Act applies by reason only of any increase of rent permitted by this Act.


This is a privilege Amendment, because it violates our rules that the House of Lords is not entitled to amend the law of rating. Under this Amendment the law of assessment for rating purposes would be amended. Therefore it is a breach of the privileges of this House.


I do not know whether the House will desire to discuss this Amendment. If so, I will move that the privilege be waived.


If the right hon. Gentleman proposes to ask the House to agree with the Amendment the privilege will be waived, but if he does not the proper course is to move that the House doth disagree.


Then I beg to move "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: At the end of Clause 5, insert (3) The principal Act, both as originally enacted and as extended by this Act, shall have effect as if in proviso (vi) to Sub-section (1) of Section one of that Act after the word 'until' there were inserted the words 'or in respect of any period prior to.' (4) Any rooms in a dwelling-house the subject of a separate letting shall for the purposes of the principal Act and this Act be treated as a part of a house let as a separte dwelling.


With regard to the first part of this Amendment, it really only repeats the same Amendment that the House has already accepted in Sub-section (1) of Clause 2, and it really is in the nature of a drafting Amendment. I think, on the whole, it is undoubtedly an improvement in the drafting of the Bill. With regard to the second part of the Amendment, the situation is quite otherwise, for it is something new. With regard to Sub-section (3) of the Amendment, there seems no reason whatever why the House should disagree with it, but with regard to Sub- section (4), I am afraid there does seem to us to be reasons why the House should disagree, because it either adds nothing to the Act of 1916, under which a part of a dwelling-house was the same for the purposes of the Act as a dwelling-house, or it commits this House, and it would commit both Houses of Parliament, to an almost indefinite and quite unintelligible extension of the measure. What is proposed is that any rooms in a dwelling-house which are the subject of a separate letting shall, for the purposes of the principal Act and this Act, be treated as part of the house let as a separate dwelling. Already a part of a house let as a separate dwelling is a house for the purpose of the principal Act and for the purpose of the new Act, but this seems to propose that any letting, whether for a dwelling-house purpose ox not, provided it is a separate letting, is, for the purpose of the principal Act and this Act as well, to be treated as a house let as a separate dwelling. I cannot imagine that that was the intention of the Amendment, and whatever Noble Lord proposed it he must have had something else in his mind. As it stands it would be impossible to advise the House to accept it, and after taking some little trouble to try and understand it from the records of the Debate elsewhere, I am not conscious in recommending that the House should not agree with it that we are sacrificing any benefit we should otherwise get. I do not know of any beneficial purpose intended to be served by this proposal. I think I ought first to move to agree with the first part of the Amendment.


I think the right hon. Gentleman should move to amend the Lords Amendment.


Then I will move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, to omit Sub-section (4).

Amendment agreed to.

Lords Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Lords Amendment: After Clause 5 insert