§ As amended (in the Standing Committee), further considered.
§ CLAUSE (51.—(Inspection of documents.)
Mr. SANDEMAN ALLEN
I beg to move, in page 53, line 1, after the word "ratepayer," to insert the words(whether a ratepayer in the rating area to which the documents relate or in some other area).4.0 P.M.
The next three Amendments have to do with the same point, and I would like to refer to them, with Mr. Speaker's permission. As the Clause stands, it will probably limit the right of inspecting and copying documents to the ratepayers in the particular area, whereas it is manifest that ratepayers in other areas may have just as much or more interest in making these inquiries. The point was raised in Committee by the right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb), among others. There might be a business firm in one part of the country with a material interest in another part of the country. Therefore, it was the general feeling—and the Minister agreed—that we should give that right to every ratepayer. On the other hand, there seems to be no necessity to encourage mere cranks or antiquarians to look up the list of the local authority without making some payment. Therefore, it was suggested that a small payment should be made if anybody wants to go through the old records. I have ventured to refer to the four Amendments together, and, with your permission, I will read the Clause as it would be if amended:Any ratepayer (whether a ratepayer in the rating area to which the documents relate or in some other area) may at all reasonable times on payment, in the case of a document which is more than 10 years old, of such fee as may be prescribed, and in any other case without payment, inspect and lake copies of and extracts from any rate book (whether current or closed), draft list, valuation list, notice of objection, proposal for amendment of the valuation list, notice of appeal, record of totals, valuation made by a valuer appointed by an assessment committee or minutes of the proceedings under this Act of any such committee or of a rating authority.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Neville Chamberlain)
This question was raised in Committee by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb), and I propose to accept the Amendment.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I suppose that by accepting this first Amendment we do not necessarily bind ourselves to accept the second Amendment which involves the payment of a fee for the inspection of any document over 10 years old. I rather resent the suggestion that antiquarians are cranks and that they should be required to pay for the inspection of documents more than 10 years old. They would not block the list of the authority, because it is very unlikely that such documents would be wanted for examination by other people. The documents at the Record Office are available to students without payment, and the same is true so far as the British Museum is concerned. I think, therefore, we might make some concession in the case of these very interesting documents and allow the students to have the same free right of examination that they have at the Record Office and the British Museum at the present time. Therefore, if possible, I would like the right hon. Gentleman not to agree to these special words which involve a charge for any historical research.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The acceptance of the particular Amendment which is before us does not, of course, necessarily carry with it any later Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Mr. SANDEMAN ALLEN
I beg to move, in page 53, line 1, after the word "times," to insert the wordson payment, in the case of a document which is more than 10 years old, of such foe as may be prescribed, and in any other case.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I do not think that these words should be inserted. I cannot help thinking that the hon. Member for West Derby (Mr. Allen) who moved them must have been rather obsessed by the personality of the right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb). He seems to think that everybody has an appetite for going to Record Offices and digging out facts. I do not believe that that appetite is so 1861 great, or that it is going to lead to any great rush for the inspection of these documents. This Amendment, apparently, is put forward to hinder mere frivolous research, but these inspections are seldom made by frivolous people; they are made only by historians. Therefore, I think those words might very well be left out.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Gentleman has really misapprehended what is in the mind of my hon. Friend the Member for West Derby (Mr. Allen) in moving the Amendment. As far as my memory serves me, the point was not raised in Committee at all. It was certainly not mentioned by the right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb). The point that appeals to me is this. Rummaging about among these old documents is going to be a rather troublesome business for the local authority who have to turn them up, and I do not think it is unreasonable, if somebody for antiquarian purposes wants to get at any old documents, that he should have to pay for his inspection. I am sure it is not contemplated that the fee should be a substantial one—it might be 5s. or something like that—and I suggest that it is not an unreasonable thing to say that the local authority—it is not like a museum— should be reimbursed for the trouble and the lime that will be expended in finding documents for the pleasure or interest of an individual.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
The Amendment says "such fee as may be prescribed." I hope it will not be a fee for each individual document, because, in such case, it might amount to a very consider-able sum.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I presume the fees will be prescribed under the rules and regulations which the Department will prepare. Will the right hon. Gentleman give instructions that the system of charging these fees shall not be per year of the documents, but per day or hour of the search. If anybody doing research work has to pay per year of the documents the fee will become prohibitive. Therefore, I hope the charge will he so much per hour or day.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not like to commit myself to the exact form of prescription, but I will undertake to endeavour so to frame these rules that 1862 unreasonable fees shall not be charged, and that it shall be made as easy as possible to anyone who wants to search the documents, consistent, of course, with due protection to the local authority.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 53, line 5, leave out the word "or."
In line 6, leave out from the word "totals" to the end of line 12, and insert instead thereof the words
valuation made by a valuer appointed by an assessment committee or minutes of the proceedings under this Act of any such committee or of a rating authority.—[Mr. Sandeman Allen.]
Mr. SANDEMAN ALLEN
I beg to move, in page 53, line 21, at the end to insert the words(3) Sub-section (5) of Section fifty-eight of the Local Government Act, 1894 (which provides for the inspection of documents belonging to the council of a rural district), shall not apply as respects any document to which this Section applies, or any other document which is required or authorised to be used under or for the purposes of this Act.I move this Amendment because I am advised that it is necessary in view of the Amendment which we have just accepted.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in. page 53, line 21, after the words last inserted, to add(3) For the purposes of this Section the expression 'ratepayer' includes an occupier who pays a rent inclusive of rates and also includes any person authorised by a ratepayer to act on his behalf under this Section.I am glad to see that the Government are going to accept the Amendment, and I therefore content myself by moving it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 64. (Crown Property used for public purposes to be rated.)
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move to leave out the Clause.
This is a Clause which was inserted in Committee against the advice of the representatives of the Government and which I now wish to ask the House to excise. It is intended to be a Clause to provide for the rating of Crown property. That is a subject which has been 1863 discussed on more than one occasion in the past, and, of course, the idea of the hon. Members who pressed very strongly in Committee for the insertion of this Clause was that it was unfair that property which happened to be occupied by a Government Department should not contribute its fair share towards the local expenses of the authority over the area in which it was situated. I agree That is a proposition which should be unassailable, and, if that were all that were stated by the Clause, personally I should have very little objection to it. But hon. Members will see that is not what the Clause says at all. It begins by saying:All property in the occupation of the Crown used for public purposes shall be chargeable in respect of rates.I need not point out, at any rate to the legal Members of the House, that that is an incorrect way of stating what no doubt is intended by those who were responsible for the Clause, because it is not the property which is chargeable in respect of rates; it is the occupier who is chargeable. That may be said to be a little inaccuracy which could easily be set right. Then, I call attention to what goes on:and the gross and rateable values of such property shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of Section twenty-two of this Act.That says something more than that Crown property should pay its proper contribution to the expenses of the local authority. That says that the assessment of the contribution which is to be paid shall be determined as laid down in Section 22. Let us turn to Section 22, and I think probably the first thing that hon. Members will notice is that, whereas this Clause 64 says thegross and rateable values of such propertyought to be determined in accordance with Section 22, the marginal note of Section 22 isAscertainment of rateable value.In other words, Section 22 makes no mention of gross value and gives no direction as to how gross value is to be ascertained. That is the second mistake in the Clause as it is drafted. Again, I do not want to dwell upon that, because we could correct that error by, leaving out 1864 the words "gross value." Take, then, the question of the rateable value. The rateable value according to the Clause is to be determined in accordance with the directions laid down in Section 22, and assuming, as one must assume, that the hereditament in question is not one of the classes specified in the first column of the table in Part I of the Second Schedule, it comes under paragraph (b) of Section 22, and that says that the rateable value is to be ascertained by estimatingthe annual rent which a tenant might reasonably be expected … to pay for the hereditament if he undertook to pay all usual tenant's rates and taxes and tithe rentcharge, if any, and to bear the cost of the repairs and insurance and the other expenses, if any, necessary to maintain the hereditament in a state to command that rent.I ask hon. Members to consider how that will apply to Crown property. Take, for example, the Houses of Parliament: How are you going to estimate the annual rate which a tenant would pay for this property if he were made responsible to the ratepayers? The thing would not work at all. Take, as another example, the Tower of London or a prison. All these cases show that you cannot continue that method of dealing with such property, when you are considering what is the proper contribution to be made to local expenditure. Therefore, you are thrown back upon what is the practice now, which is that the Treasury valuer, when there is any question of settling the contribution to be paid in respect of Crown property, talks it over with the local representative, and they agree between themselves as to a figure to be placed on the property which shall represent its rateable value.
How do they get at that figure? In some cases it is comparatively easy. If, for instance, a Crown Department takes over a house which is to be used as the residence of some officer of a Department, in all probability that house has already been assessed, and all They have to do is to take the existing rateable value and continue it. That is a simple test. When you come to properties like a new post office in a town, there is another post office with which you can compare it, and there are shops and offices and other buildings in the neighbourhood, and it is generally possible to arrive at a fair agreed valuation of the new property by comparing it with the values being put 1865 on other properties in the neighbourhood. You may get the case of property like a dockyard. Dockyards are, for the most part, old properties, the original expenditure upon which was rated long ago, and there may have been large extensions and alterations. Whenever the property in the neighbourhood is revalued, the Crown property is revalued at the same time. The practice of the Treasury has always been to follow what has been done in the cast? of other properties in the neighbourhood. When they are being re-assessed, Crown properties are also put up, and, if it is the other way, instead of being put up they are reduced. In the case of extensions the same principle is applied.
That is the general way in which the thing is being done. When you look into the matter carefully and remember that there is no question of withdrawing property from the contribution, the only question is what is the best way of arriving at a proper contribution. Why should we not adopt the method in operation at the present time—because all you have to consider is whether the system is fair and equitable as between the Exchequer and the local authority? I think the answer to that question, taking it broadly, is that agreement is, I am informed, always arrived at. The figure is the subject of personal discussion, and before it is settled they always come to an agreement. I really do not know what you could do to improve that method, which seems to me on the whole to be the fairest and most practical way.
In such cases as establishments belonging to the Admiralty, the War Office or the Air Force, great secrecy is essential in the national interests, therefore it is extremely desirable that an exception should be made in those cases. I know there is a great deal of feeling on this matter. Perhaps it is natural, where you get a burden to be shared between the local authorities and the Exchequer that the local authorities should always think the Exchequer should pay more, and the Exchequer always think that they should not pay so much. As these questions are always decided by mutual agreement, there really does not seem to be any ease for any alteration in the present Bill. That being so, I hope the Amendment which I have moved which involves the omission of Clause 64 from the Bill will be accepted by the House.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
I think hon. Members are satisfied with the statement which has just been made by the Minister of Health. Nevertheless, I am very much concerned about this proposal, because if this Clause is withdrawn people may think that they will not be entitled to pay under the old method. In eases where the local authority is in conflict with the Government authority a difficulty may arise, and I hope some words will be put in to make it clear to these local authorities that they will be entitled to collect the rates as usual.
§ Major RUGGLES-BRISE
I have heard the speech of the Minister of Health with considerable regret, and I think it is a regret that will be shared in a good many quarters of the House. I am also inclined to think that the right hon. Gentleman himself made that speech with a good deal of regret. It is quite true that the Minister of Health did not favour the three small points which arose in regard to the drafting of this particular Clause. It is quite obvious that if Crown property is rated like all other property, it would not pass the wit of man to devise a Clause which would put this matter in a proper form. When the right hon. Gentleman says that he considers that Crown property, or property occupied on behalf of the Crown, is rated to-day under the best possible method, I think a great many hon. Members would profoundly disagree with him.
The Government have introduced a most close and detailed method by which property shall be valued in the future in this country, and if that method is capable of being applied successfully to dockyards in private hands, why cannot that same machinery apply to dockyards occupied on behalf of the Government? If the principle is that Crown property should be valued like all other property, it would be perfectly simple to insert a Sub-section giving protection to particular parts of any Government factory in which secrecy has to be observed and which no one should be allowed to enter for assessment purposes. In the ordinary way, however, that would not affect the general principle, and it is the general principle as to whether Crown property should be rated as all other property is rated to-day that, I think, the attention of the House ought to be called. I know 1867 it will be claimed that by an ancient Statute of Queen Elizabeth Crown property is exempt from rating. I think, however, we must all agree that the constitutional position of the Crown in the time of Queen Elizabeth was very different from what it is to-day, and there is no reason why, even if Crown property was exempted 300 years ago under one Sovereign, it should not be made liable to rates to-day under another Sovereign.
The principle has been accepted that the Crown should contribute towards the rates, and the quarrel now is that it is not paying its fair share. I would like to point out one or two examples. I make no apology for repeating an argument which I used during the Committee stage. Supposing the Minister of Air decided to erect a new aerodrome in some rural locality. We all know that attached to that aerodrome there would be a large number of high power cars and motor lorries which would spend their time going backwards and forwards between the aerodrome and other localities. Under the system which is now proposed, those lorries and cars are to contribute nothing towards the upkeep of the local roads because they are not liable to make contributions to the Road Fund. Is there any contribution in a case of that kind towards the burden placed on the local authorities by the wear and tear of the roads.
It may be urged that the fact of new barracks being erected by the Government in any particular locality would bring more business to that locality, and that the residents would benefit in that way. As a matter of fact, we all know that in the case of the erection of new barracks or aerodromes practically all the requirements of those establishments are brought by lorries from some railhead, and therefore very little benefit accrues to the locality. According to a computation made by Sir Josiah Stamp the total value of property of a rateable character either occupied by the Crown or on behalf of the Crown or occupied by local authorities amounts to a sum of no less than about £1,000,000,000. A further computation puts the total value of property in private hands and owned by companies in the form of dwelling-houses with their appurtenances at about £2,200,000,000. If that be so, Crown and local authority property amounts to nearly one-third of the whole 1868 of the property of a rateable character in this country.
The amount paid by way of ex gratia contributions where Crown property exists is estimated to be 30 per cent. under what it should be, and that is equivalent to an additional rate of so much in the £ on other property. Surely it is clear that if the ratepayer has to pay his share of the Imperial taxes, then the taxpayer ought to pay his fair share of the rates. I ask the Minister of Health to consider the question of uniformity in this matter. The right hon. Gentleman claims that one of the main features of this Bill is that it will secure uniformity in rating, and what I am suggesting affords an admirable opportunity of achieving that uniformity, and if we get Crown property assessed like other property we shall be taking a large step in the direction of securing uniformity. It has been urged that the value of Crown property should appear in the rate books in both the gross and the rateable column, and that the value was to be on the basis of the contribution actually made.
I ask the Minister of Health if he insists on the deletion of this Clause, that at least in order to get uniformity in the valuation books we should have the proper gross and rateable value of the property inserted in the rate book, even if there has to be an additional third column. I am not putting this question too widely when I say that this Clause has been demanded by many associations of local authorities throughout the land, and it has also been asked for by the agricultural community, and by professional bodies. I hope that, even if the right hon. Gentleman does not give way on the main question, the Debate in this House this afternoon will focus the opinion of the country on this very important matter of Crown property. I should like, with all respect, to make one suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman, and that is that, failing allowing the Clause to stand as it is, he should make a proposal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the effect that, in view of the fact that Crown contributions to local rates are notoriously inadequate, a special contribution should be allocated out of the Road Fund to those areas in which Crown property is situated. I think that, if a special grant were allocated from the Road Fund to those areas, a little of the feeling throughout the 1869 country against the deletion of this Clause from the Bill might be allayed. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to take that point into consideration, though I sincerely regret that the Government should think it necessary to move to delete this Clause from the Bill, and I hope the time may not be far hence when a wider view of the subject may be taken, and when we shall see Crown properties paying their fair share of these local contributions.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
The course which the right hon. Gentleman is taking this afternoon in seeking to delete this Clause strikes a very serious blow at my constituency. My constituency happens to be almost entirely in the possession of the Government. Every single thing of value in Devonport and in parts of Plymouth is in the possession of the Government. The effect, therefore, of what the right hon. Gentleman is doing, is to place on every one of my constituents a taxation which, by the principles of equity, they should not be called upon to bear. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman, seeing that he admits that the object of this Clause is a just one, will consider some form of words which can do justice to those who call for justice in this Clause. The right hon. Gentleman, referring to the dockyards, said that most of these dockyards were old, and that, therefore, the contribution paid by the Government was in most cases a generous one. One-half, however, of the Devonport dockyard was built as recently as 1910. It cost £10,000,000 to build, and it is only a portion of the Government property in the area; and yet the total earn that the Government pay towards the rates in Plymouth is only £70,000. The total assessable value of the whole of Plymouth is £1,140,000, and the total assessable value, in so far as it can be made equivalent, of the Government property, is only £118,000. The Government are paying less than one-tenth towards the rates of Plymouth, whereas they should, in equity and justice, be paying about six or seven-tenths. If the Government did justice to the people of Devonport and Plymouth, their present rates of 13s. 6d. in the £ could be considerably reduced, and there is no reason why they should not be, because the Government prevent private enter- 1870 prise in my constituency. They have the whole of the sea frontage at their disposal, and they will not allow any private firm to come within many miles of it. If private firms were allowed to come there and to utilise that sea frontage, they would be paying rates on an assessable value of millions of pounds.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
That leads me to another point. The right hon. Gentleman, or rather, his colleagues, are shutting up Pembroke and Rosyth. Consequently, the employés at Pembroke and Rosyth are going to be sent, as regards many hundreds of them, into my constituency, where they are going to throw Devonport people out of work, and they, being thrown out of work, will be cast upon the rates. That illustrates the vices of this Government control, and the tremendous burden which it throws upon the people of my constituency. We are going to be called upon to support the persons who are being discharged by the Government, and the Government are trying to delete the Clause which entitles us to assess them upon a reasonable basis for rates. What the Government are really doing in my constituency is to levy an unjust taxation upon the inhabitants for the purpose of maintaining the Navy. Not only do they pay the direct taxation to which every citizen is liable, but, thanks to the Government occupation, every one of them is called upon to pay higher rates. The commercial community is over-rated, and the private householder is over-rated. There is no escape from the evils of the Government policy. Either they choose to build in their dockyards or they choose not to build. If they do not build in the dockyards, the unemployed are cast upon the ratepayers, and the ratepayers in any circumstances are paying too much.
If the right hon. Gentleman admits that the principle of this Clause is just, namely, that the Government should pay its fair contribution towards the rates, and if he objects to the actual words used in the Clause, I hope he will, before the discussion terminates, suggest some other form of words, because he cannot very well admit, as he has done, that the Clause is just in principle, and take a technical exception to it. He is taking 1871 this afternoon a very different exception to it from that which he took in Committee. He there took a technical objection upon the ground that it was an ex gratia payment that the Government made, and, therefore, the matter could not be discussed at all, but the sense of the Committee was so strongly against him that they carried this Clause in spite of his opposition. I hope the House will do the same this afternoon. I hope they will show a little determination in this matter, and not be put off with fair words and protestations by the right hon. Gentleman, who is making out that black is white, and that, really, in divisions owned by the Government, the Government are making a proper and generous contribution towards the rates. I understand that the Departmental Committee which inquired into this question recommended that what this Clause seeks to effect should be put into operation. It has been admitted for years that the Government are not playing fairly by the ratepayers in constituencies in which they own property. Even if they only own a post office in a constituency, and just make an ex gratia payment which is not adequate, every other tradesman in the town has to pay more. Representing, as I do, a constituency which not only has a vast Government dockyard—the finest dockyard in the world—but has a Royal Naval Barracks, a Royal Naval College, wharves, and a great many other properties, I think I am entitled to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman for justice, and to ask him to devise some form of words which shall allow justice to be done.
§ Sir HENRY CRAIK
If the matter were not so serious the speech to which we have just listened might give rise to considerable amusement. Complaints have been made about the closing down of Rosyth and Pembroke, but from the speech of the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) I suppose he wishes that his constituency had been put in the same position and that instead of Rosyth and Pembroke being stopped the Admiralty Dockyards at Devonport had been slopped. He tells us that in his constituency there are enormous dockyards employing a very large amount of labour and that if only the Government had the 1872 kindness to go away and remove those dockyards an infinite number of very prosperous businesses would be started, to the great advantage of the town and its ratepayers. Is this really a serious argument in favour of the proposal contained in this Clause? This whole question on its constitutional side is a very old question, and a very important one, which for years and years has engaged the attention of all who have been connected with administration.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
May I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman? He is making a very serious charge against me. He is suggesting that it is my wish that Devonport Dockyard should be immediately closed. I never suggested anything of the kind. I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that an offer was made that Pembroke Dockyard should be used as a sugar beet factory, but the Government would not allow it to be so used, and I say that this dog-in-the-manger policy which does not allow Government property to be used by private enterprise and at the same time refuses to pay a proper contribution towards the rates is an unjust one.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
The hon. Member certainly complained that the Government were occupying the whole of the frontage of Devonport, and that if they would clear out, it might be used more profitably for the community. This question is one of very large importance, and has a very broad issue, involving the whole relations between the central Government and particular localities. Many people overlook the fact that the central Government is not carrying on work of national importance, and has claims which are far higher than those of any one locality. It is carrying on that work in the interest of the whole nation, but it is felt to be fair and reasonable that a certain consideration should be shown to the localities ex gratia. Do not let us when we make that concession forget that some generations ago it would have been received with astonishment. It is not possible that these large Government undertakings should be fettered and bound by local considerations. That is the broad principle, but at the same time, as a concession, we may give some consideration to local interests. But suppose we do so. Do not let us exaggerate that concession. Is it not the case that each Government depart- 1873 ment as a whole is enormously profitable to the locality. They do not add to the poor rate. They do not ask for medical aid. They enormously add to the rateable value.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
If the right hon. Gentleman invites me, I say what about Rosyth and Pembroke? He says Government occupation means great benefit to the locality. It does not look like it.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
The Government ceasing to occupy these places has been ground for impassioned complaint. That continued occupation presumably is a thing that the localities wish to have. But I am not going to touch Devonport or Rosyth any more. I am speaking on the general question. On the whole Government properties are very valuable to the locality. They relieve the locality of an immense number of burdens. They do not make any claims which add to the cost of the Poor Law. If they deserve hospital assistance they always contribute abundantly and voluntarily for this purpose. But surely central government is working not for profit, but in the interest of the whole nation, and it is entitled if it puts its hand into its pocket and concedes a point which previous generations would not have listened to, it is entitled to say what the limit of the concession shall be. I wonder what the Government offices in the locality where we are are worth to the ratepayers and administrators of rates in Westminster. I wonder how Westminster would go on if there were no Government offices there. Is it not a fact that they curried away all the slums and in place of them they have vast highly rated property which contributes to the rates in abundant degree. Everyone knows that these Government offices increase the rents of the district enormously and bring vast sums to the authorities. The hon. Member for Maldon thinks it was a hardship that a certain aerodrome, should be established in his locality. I am certain that the conversion of agricultural land into a busy aerodrome, with all its industrial resources, was not for the injury of the rates or the ratepayers and I am certain 1874 also that if there was any proposal to remove that aerodrome, the locality would be very glad to make a fair and moderate arrangement in order to keep it where it is. That being the case I have no doubt the right hon. Gentleman will adhere to his determination to delete this Clause. But apart from all the legal pleas put from a particular locality on the broad constitutional point the Government has gone far in recent years in acknowledging its debt and, after all, has voluntarily acknowledged it to the locality. The Government have made a generous concession in respect of these offices and buildings carried on to the advantage of the nation. Do not let us press it to a ridiculous extent so that those localities should be listened to which are vastly benefited by the presence of Government offices and which now want the advantage both ways, first of all the advantage of the enhanced value of their property and then the additional advantage of being able to put an arbitrary rateable value upon Government property and demand that it should be rated according to their estimate.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that a generation or two ago we should have been astonished at the proposed rating of Crown property. He is apparently not aware that a Select Committee recommended, as far back as 1858, that all property except that in the personal occupation of the sovereign should be rated. As a matter of fact in 1859 a Bill was introduced to abolish all exemptions whatsoever. It was eventually dropped because the Government of the day was opposed to it, and it was not until 1860 that the Treasury made the first contribution in relief of rates on Crown property and granted a sum of £35,000. In 1863 the Treasury gave an undertaking that all future property they would take over for Crown purposes should be rated as such. In 1874 a Rating Bill was debated in both Houses, and an Amendment similar to the one now under consideration was introduced and strongly supported by leading Members of both Houses. The only reason it was withdrawn in 1874 was because the provision for that Rating Bill was limited to three clases of property—mines, woods and game. The Government as far back 1875 as 1874 gave an undertaking that whenever another Rating Bill should be introduced which was to affect all private property, consideration should also be given to the rating of Crown property. Nothing has been done from that day to this. It seems to me quite fair to claim that this is the first Hating Bill that has been introduced in any Parliament since 1874 dealing with all property in the county other than Crown property. When the Bill was in Committee we carried this Clause in the teeth of the opposition of the Minister and the Government, and we had 17 votes in favour of the Clause as it now stands and 10 against. That 17 included Members of every party. That, I think, in itself is proof that there is considerable-dissatisfaction throughout the country among ratepayers at the fact that Crown property, though need for public purposes, is not rated like all similar private property.
I think we are entitled to claim that the only possible way in which Crown property that is used for public purposes can be equitably rated is to make it subject to the same system of valuation and assessment by the same rating authorities as all private property in the same areas. That, I think, is a fundamental principle which the Minister of Health himself did not quarrel with. He sheltered behind the argument that it is impossible to rate Crown property equitably because it is of such a different nature and there are so many varieties of property. He gave us the instance of this House itself and said it would be impossible to rate it because you could not produce another house similar to it to test its letting value to a hypothetical tenant. Evidently the right hon. Gentleman has not consulted the Communist party. I suggest that this is the only house of its kind in the country, and big-pieces of property such as this could, of course, be dealt with outside the scope of such a Clause. But Government dockyards can be compared with private dockyards, and Government buildings could be compared with similar buildings in the same locality. The general body of ratepayers, in many parts of the country where there is considerable Government property have a very strong suspicion— whether well founded or not I am not in a position to say—that Crown pro- 1876 perty is very much under-rated compared with private property in the same area, and at present the ratepayer has no means of ascertaining whether the Crown is making a fair contribution on that property. There is no means in this Bill, outside this Clause, of testing it in the future. Therefore, we suggest that if the wording is wrong and the principle is right, it is the duty of the Government to meet us generally on this and bring in in another place, if necessary, some words which will remove this suspicion in the minds of the ratepayers. I support the suggestion that has been made from below the Gangway that the least the Government can do, if it has any respect for the opinion of the majority in the Committee, is to insert something which will enable the ratepayer, when he looks up the rate book, to know what is the rateable value of Crown property. That will give any body of ratepayers who feel that they have a grievance an opportunity to test what is actually paid by Treasury contribution and what in their opinion would be a fair sum, and if it much less than what appears to be fair they can take the necessary steps to impress it on the Government. In saying it is impossible to assess and rate Crown property in this way, the Government is confessing either incapacity or laziness.
As one of those, roughly speaking, as numerous Conservatives in Committee who voted in favour of the Clause as those who voted against it, I must say that it was with very profound sorrow that I found my right hon. Friend not accepting the spirit which really drew forth this new Clause. He has been overwhelmed, on the one side, by the prehistoric Toryism of the legal mind, which has compelled him to toe the line to some old, quite possibly valuable, law, and on the other side by what I consider is even more important to us in the House of Commons, and that is the grim determination of the Civil Service official to make it as difficult as it possibly can be made for us in the House to know the real cost of any Government department. Many of us quite agree as to the difficulties which will be found in dealing with places under military control. Possibly nothing has done more harm to the cause of those who want to see the rating of Government property than the 1877 speech of the hon. Member for Devon-port (Mr. Hore-Belisha). As if any Government, even a Liberal Government, could be so foolish as ever to close up Devonport, the best dockyard that ever will be! We all agree that there would be a difficulty in rating such places as the Tower of London or the House of Commons, but it could be got over in much the same way as to-day, and I think none of us wish really to alter that position.
5.0 P. M.
The troubles, in the first place, are legal ones. When we had this Bill brought before us, we were, asked again and again to help the Government to pass it through because it was necessary and because it was a good chance to overcome many of the great rating difficulties of to-day, and we were told that, we wanted this done quickly. If there is a rating difficulty here—and I am trying to show there is one—surely the Government ought not to shirk" trying to overcome it. At the present time we have got a majority which is fairly good, and we have got plenty of time in the next three or four years. Could not the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the large number of his supporters who voted in favour of the Clause upstairs, have given some hope that he would deal with this in the immediate future or next year?
At the present time we have great difficulty in finding out what a Government Department really costs. Take the case of the Post Office. There is a general feeling throughout the whole country that wherever you get a local post office the Government, as ratepayers for that post office, come out very well as far as local rating is concerned. I wonder whether the Postmaster-General, if he were here, would say that his Department would escape with anything like a million in increased rates if they paid their fair share of the rates at the present time. We do not know what the present cost of any Government Department is. If they get their property rated lower than other people, then it is time they came into line and had the same administration dealt out to them as to ordinary people.
I believe an objection is made that if you did this the local rating authorities would naturally tend to hit the Government every time and place the burden on the Government's shoulders. I think 1878 that in this matter the Government of the day, whoever they may be, are fairly capable of looking after their own interests, just as capable as any small ratepayer. You cannot by means of this Clause get back the representation of the Government, the old revenue officer, on the Committee, for, after all, it is only voters, more or less, that are represented. If it be really a fact, as many people believe throughout the whole country, that the Government, wherever they are running a great system like the Post Office, are getting their buildings rated at too low a value, it ought to be cleared up at the present time, and the Government ought to welcome the chance of clearing it up in order that they may bear their fair share and not place it on the poorer class of local ratepayer as will be done in this Bill if the Clause is taken out of the Bill.
§ Mr. BARKER
I am sorry that the Minister has taken advantage of his position to try to get this Clause out of the Bill. In Committee this Clause was debated at great length and it was carried largely by his own supporters. He has taken advantage of his position to make this a Government question on the Floor of the House. It is another attempt made by the Government to evade their obligations as a central Government. These Government officers are in almost every constituency, although they are not equally distributed. There is much more Government property in some areas than in others, and it is only a matter of equity that the Government should pay rates for Government property. The Government come to a town, like Abertillery for instance, and put up a post office there in the main street. In Abertillery there was formerly a very large business where the post office is now and the people who used to occupy that site contributed very largely to the rates. The Government occupy the site with the post office and refuse to pay any rates except what they consider proper to contribute. No wonder that the post office have a big balance, amounting I think to some millions, in hand at the end of the year. It is because they will not discharge their financial obligations.
In the necessitous areas the people have all their work cut out to meet their rating obligations. The very poorest of the 1879 people have to pay rates but a rich Government comes down there, puts up Crown property where they like in those areas, and then refuse to pay their quota to the rates. In the necessitous area in which I live there are post offices, drill halls and Employment Exchanges, none of which pay rates except what the Crown feels disposed to pay in the way of a contribution. It is most unfair to rating authorities. There can be no excuse whatever for the attitude taken up by the Minister on this question. As a matter of equity the central Government should discharge its own obligations and not add them to the burden of the local authorities. This is becoming a practice that is extending. Since the Government introduced the Unemployment Insurance Act and various other Measures, they have wanted more property in the various constituencies of the country and the obligations of the Government have become more onerous every year. It is only a matter of justice then that the Government should discharge its own obligations and not put them upon the ratepayers.
In necessitous areas there are huge arrears of rates and it is monstrous that the Government should come and buy up property in these areas and then refuse to pay their quota. I hope the House will assert itself on this matter and not allow itself to be dictated to by the Minister. We have had this question thoroughly discussed upstairs, the opinions of the various sections of the House were given there, and, in spite of the efforts of the Minister to burke discussion of the question upstairs on a technicality, we got, it discussed, and eventually the Clause was carried by a very substantial majority. I hope the House will stand up for its decision, its own dignity and its own position and will vote for the Clause and will retain it in the Bill.
Mr. SANDEMAN ALLEN
As one of those who voted in Committee for the Clause I would like to say that the matter was not thoroughly debated upstairs. Some of us had an opportunity at the last moment of expressing our opinion. I have listened with interest to what the Minister has said this afternoon. I am one of those who have a strong 1880 feeling about this matter, and I am there-fore particularly anxious to hear all that can be said about it, but one must frankly admit that the Minister in his statement has shown pretty clearly that to deal with Crown property as a whole—I am not dealing now with the details of the Clause, but with the principles underlying it—it must be handled in a different way to other property.
The real grievance is not whether Crown property comes under this Rating Bill or under a rating authority; the real grievance is the idea in people's minds that Crown property does not pay its fair share of local rates. Take the case of the Liverpool Customs House. where the revenue for the North of England is collected. You cannot expect that Liverpool should bear the burden of that. I hope, however, that what the Minister has said will sink home to the various Government Departments concerned. The question is. when they go to the local authority and agree between themselves and the local authority the value on which they are to pay, whether it is an agreement of minds meeting or the agreement of a man who says, "I will undertake to pay what I like." If the Government Departments realise that responsibility and know that there is a desire that they should pay their proper share, it will do very much good. I shall certainly support the Minister after the explanation we have had.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
The Minister really put up two points against this Clause. The first is that the Clause is badly drafted. We all agree that that can be set right in another place. The main point put forward was that Crown property was of such a different character from other property that it could not be valued. To anyone who has had experience of rating, it is well known that every rating authority is met by the difficulty of rating ail kinds of property under the. formula of what a tenant would give. Take the University of Oxford. An Oxford College is rated. Who is going to say how much a tenant will give for Magdalen? Take the case of a local authority or, in the County of London, a metropolitan borough. Who can say what a town hall or a dust destructor is worth to a tenant? In all these cases one has to go roughly on the general basis under 1881 the Act, but in fact it has to be ignored. In my own constituency the London Hospital has to pay rates, but you cannot assess that on any ordinary basis. There is also the Tower of London, where we get an ex gratia payment for rates. There is no greater difficulty in valuing one than the other.
What we want to see is that Government property shall be rated and is not to stand in some different category altogether in which we only get an ex gratia payment. As to military and naval property, I do not see any insuperable difficulty there. You will see that in the Army and Navy Estimates we put a hypothetical rent on all Government buildings, and I do not see why the Minister should shirk anything in the way of a hypothesis. When the Bill was originally drafted, it was proposed in a wonderful way to value railways between a hypothetical tenant and a hypothetical landlord with a hypothetical equity between the two, and when you have got that it does not seem difficult to swallow a willing tenant taking the Tower of London or even Devonport Dockyard. My point is that it is unfair that a certain area where there is a great deal of Government property should be deprived of a certain amount of rates from that property. It is not fair, because you may have a sudden acquisition by the Government of a large part of an area, and that area may be one which the local authority were expecting to produce a certain rateable value, and, suddenly, they find themselves deprived of a large amount in rates.
I do not think there is very much in the case put forward by the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik) about there being some deep constitutional and antiquarian point in this matter. That view was disposed of by one hon. Member, who showed how the Committee dealt with the matter upstairs, and that the simple thing that will happen if we carry out this Clause is that it will have to be amended in another place, and we shall then get a declaration in the Act of Parliament that Government property is rateable. Where it can be rated in the ordinary way within the meaning of the provisions of this Clause, it will be rated as such, and in a case where there is exceptional property, then, as is done in every case of 1882 exceptional property, expert valuers will be called in. That will mean that there will be a stabilisation of the principle which is at present at work in regard to other property. I hope the House will stand by the decision of the Committee which was made against the Government, because that decision was a wise one, and was supported by all parties.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
Every Member of the Committee will agree with me when I say that the discussion of this Clause in Committee was very meagre. I think the discussion in Committee did not take more than six or seven minutes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"!] I have just looked at the Official Report of the Committee, and I see that the discussion occupies three pages, so that it could not have been debated very long. Most of the time was occupied on the question as to whether or not the Clause was in order. Therefore, I do not want the House to pay too much attention to the fact that this Clause was carried against the Government. It was dealt with very hastily.
The question to which the House might address itself is, whether a better system can be devised than the present one appertaining to the rating of Crown property. I have not heard this afternoon any criticism giving definite chapter and verse which proved to me that the present system is acting unfairly or that it calls for drastic alteration. This question of Crown property has been a long time before the House, and has created a great deal of discussion. It is very remarkable that, after all the discussion that we have had, there has not been any definite case, except the generalisation that came from the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha), giving chapter and verse showing that the present system acts unfairly.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
We have asked whether the Government will give us a special return showing the rating of Crown property in the country, so that we may have a chance of knowing whether it is rated unfairly or not.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
The Parliamentary Secretary says that no definite case has been given against the present system. I will endeavour to give one 1883 specific case. The dockyard at Devon-port cost £10,000,000 to build in 1910, and the whole of the dockyard is to-day only rated at £70,000.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I cannot quite follow the figures; hut I know that what is usually done in regard to dockyards is that the matter is discussed between the representatives of the Treasury and the local assessment authority, and I am informed that agreement is arrived at in practically every case. The hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones) invites me to prove the case for him. He wants me to got particulars which will help him to prove his case. I think he ought to be prepared, if there is anything in his case, to come forward with some prima facie evidence this afternoon against the present system. There is a feeling amongst certain hon. Members that they must do all they can to get something out of the Government, and that is the feeling which actuated a good many Members in Committee upstairs in debating this Clause. After hearing the discussion to-day, I am convinced that there has been no criticism which has in any way shown that the present system is unfair. Taking everything into account, the present system is the best.
We have heard to-day that the Clause will not work. One hon. Member suggested that the Government should redraft the Clause. If we were to redraft the Clause in the way he suggested we should have to make two Sub-sections, one of which would be to preserve the right of entry of representatives of an assessment committee to view Government properly and to value it. When one begins to work out a practical scheme so that a Clause of this sort will work, one is met by the same fate which has overtaken hon. Members who put down this Clause; you find that it is practically impossible. The hon. Member for West Ham who, I think, has been convinced by my right hon. Friend's speech, said that he understood the difficulties of the situation and he hoped there would be no difference in the present practice. He was rather afraid that the speech of the Minister of Health might in some way be interpreted in the Courts or elsewhere in an opposite direction. In the first place, this will not come before the Court. My right hon. Friend's remarks meant that he was supporting the 1884 present system and upholding it, and that is the intention of the Government, because it has been operated fairly and honestly, and by arrangement and in co-operation with the assessment authorities.
The only other point is the question of entry in the valuation list of certain particulars in regard to Crown property. If hon. Members will look at Clause 66 they will see that something has been done in that direction. In Sub-section 3 (b) it is provided that:if any contribution is made by the Crown in aid of rates in respect of that hereditament, there shall be entered in the valuation list as representing the rateable value thereof the value upon which that contribution in computed, and the value so entered, or the amount of the contribution, as the case may be. shall be taken into account for the purpose of ascertaining totals or the proceeds of any rate, but the entry shall not affect any question as to contributions to be made by the Crown in respect of rates.That means that the entry that is to be made is specified. It is made compulsory by the word "shall." I want the House to understand—if they desire to go to a Division in regard to this matter, which I hope they will not—that it has been demonstrated this afternoon that Crown property is rateable in this sense, that appropriate contributions are paid, and they are paid after consultation with the appropriate authorities concerned. The only difference which I see at the present time between Crown property and the property of a private individual is the system by which the rating is arrived at. When you have regard to all the difficulties of dealing with Crown properties, such as the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, prisons and places of that sort, I venture to say that the present system is such that no case of abuse has been made out, and I think the House might well be content with the discussion we have had. and leave the present arrangements in being. If the House adopts that course, I feel confident that in that way a fair arrangement will be made to the satisfaction of all persons who have had practical experience of the system.
Mr. W. ADAMSON
I would not have intervened had it not been for the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary that no specific instance of unfairness has been given, and that in every instance agreement had been come to. I will give an instance in regard to Rosyth. I am not 1885 now speaking from the point of view of the Government decision to reduce Rosyth to a care and maintenance basis, but I am speaking of the question of rating, and the dispute which has been in existence between the Burgh of Dunfermline and the Admiralty for the last 14 or 15 years. When it was proposed to build Rosyth, the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty of that day asked Dunfermline to take over the development of Rosyth, and to make the necessary arrangements for the housing and health of the people. He gave a distinct promise, not in writing, that the burgh would be fairly treated. The town council of that day wanted the promise put into writing, but they could not get it in writing. The Financial Secretary to the Admiralty refused to put it in writing, but gave them his pledge, as an individual, that the treatment which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health now states is always meted out to municipalities, would be meted out to the Burgh of Dunfermline.
They went on and developed Rosyth at the invitation of the Government, with the result that to-day there is a claim for no less than £80,000 against the Admiralty, a claim which they cannot get the Admiralty to face. I have gone again and again with deputations to the Admiralty, with a view of getting the matter discussed and settled equitably, but on every occasion we have been turned down. That is one specific instance of unfair treatment in the present rating system. I advise Members in all parts of the House to be very chary in accepting the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary that in all cases matters will be settled by agreement satisfactorily. Dunfermline cannot get the Government to face its responsibility at Rosyth. I advise the House strongly to see that this matter is put right in the Bill.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
We have not very much Crown property at Poplar, though there is just a little. Yet we are affected by this proposal, because much of the expenditure of London is levied over the whole of London, and if the Government go scot-free in any part of London it means that the ratepayers in the whole of London have to pay more. I do not understand why there should be any exception in the case of Government property as against county council property. The borough councils suffer 1886 from the deductions that are made. If Government property is to be dealt with in a different way from other property, especially in London, the poorer boroughs will feel it indirectly, even if they have not a scrap of Crown property within their own areas. For that reason I shall support the proposal of the Bill.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 66.—(Savings.)
§ Brigadier-General BROOKE
I beg to move, in page 55, line 16, at the end, to insert the wordsProvided that for the purpose of any provision in any local Act conferring any exemption or privilege in respect of any rates which, at the commencement of that Act were or, might thereafter become, leviable by an authority being an authority empowered to levy a general rate under this Act, such part of the general rate levied by the authority as represents rates which immediately before the appointed day were not levied by the authority shall not be deemed to be a rate levied by that authority.I feel it very unfortunate that, on the first occasion on which I have the honour of addressing the House, I should find myself in charge of such a very complicated Amendment. I should much prefer to move this addition to the Clause without making any speech whatever, but as the Amendment is such an involved sentence some explanation is required. There is really nothing sinister in the Amendment. It is moved merely to settle a point which has arisen with regard to a local Act passed some 50 years ago in the interests of the borough of Pontefract. The borough of Pontefract forms a very-important part of the constituency which I have the honour to represent. In 1875 the borough promoted, and succeeded in passing through Parliament, an Act called the Pontefract Borough Extension Act, 1875. As hon. Members are aware, when boroughs, great or small, endeavour to extend their boundaries, there is generally opposition on the part of ratepayers who may find themselves suddenly inside the boundary of any extended borough. In order to smooth the way for the Bill and to get rid of any opposition on the part of those who would become ratepayers within the new boundaries, an arrangement as to rates was made between the parties concerned. Under Section 15 of the Act referred to 1887 the exact position was made clear. The Section provided:Occupiers of any land lying within the townships, districts, or places of Pontefract Park or Pontefract Park district, and used as arable, meadow or pasture land only, and any buildings, not being dwelling-houses, on such land, and used for agricultural purposes only, and occupiers of any land lying within the added part of the borough and used as railways, tramways or railway sidings only, shall be assessed in respect of the same to the rates to be made in the said borough, whether borough rates, highway rates, sanitary rates, cemetery rates or any other rates which are or shall be leviable by the corporation, in the proportion of one-fourth part only of the net value of such land.The point I wish to emphasise is in the words "any other rates which are or shall be leviable." As the Act stands, the corporation of Pontefract will find themselves unable to levy more than one-fourth part of those rates for which they now are not responsible, but for which under this Act they will become responsible. They will be called upon to levy what I will call the County Council Kate and the Poor Law Rate. If the Amendment is not carried the corporation will not be able to levy a full rate or the new rates for which they will be responsible in future. It is to make that point clear, and to allow them to maintain the old arrangement with those people who live in what we call the Pontefract Park District, and at the same time to permit the corporation to have the power of levying a full poor rate in future, that I move the Amendment. I feel certain that hon. Members on all sides will support the Amendment, because it carries out an equitable arrangement made 50 years ago and removes a well-founded doubt—not only a doubt raised by the Corporation itself but supported by counsel's opinion— that unless the Amendment is added the corporation will be in a very difficult position in not being able to raise its rates in future.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Do we understand that these strange words are being accepted by the Government? I would point cut that the Clause is absolutely unintelligible. I defy any hon. Member to read this Pontefract proviso and to 1888 pretend that he understands what it means.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Pontefract, like many other towns which have increased their boundaries, has made concessions to the ratepayers who have been swallowed in an extension. As far as I can make out, the concession in this case was that the agricultural land included in the new boundary was to be rated at only one-fourth of its full value. There have been similar concessions made in nearly every other case of borough extension. I understand that the hon. and gallant Member was arguing that the concession in future should be one-fourth of one-fourth, because under the Bill one-fourth is universal. The argument of the hon. and gallant Member was that agricultural land inside the borough of Pontefract Park should be rated not at one-fourth but at one-sixteenth of its value. That is going a bit too far even in favour of Pontefract Park. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is not so!"] If that is not so, if it means that we are not going to allow this reduction to be added cumulatively to the deductions from gross value under the Bill, then the thing is all right; but if it means that the deductions which are made in this Bill are to be still further extended beyond what Pontefract Park has had already—
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I am very glad to hear that that is the intention. The right hon. Gentleman should read this proviso. Has it been drafted by Pontefract? The right hon. Gentleman should explain it. It seems to me far and away the worst piece of verbiage put into the Bill.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It is always a pleasure to try to clear up any obscurities which may arise in the mind of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. I think if he tries very hard he will find that the words which it is proposed to insert here are quite clear, though it is always possible to read a provision of this kind in such a way as to make it nonsense, if, one wishes to do so. In response to the invitation of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman I may explain what the pro- 1889 posed proviso does, because, although the illustration which has been given to us deals with the one case of Pontefract, similar circumstances may arise elsewhere. In the case of that borough, and possibly of other boroughs, certain differential rating arrangements are made at the time of an extension, and certain ratepayers under those arrangements are given rebates or allowances upon certain rates. Those, however, are only the rates which are levied by the borough itself, that is to say the district rate, the sanitary rate, and other rates of that kind. Of course, there existed at the time of such extension, in the district affected, other rates, such as the poor rate, not levied by the borough, and the differential arrangement did not extend to the poor rate. Here we are amalgamating the two rates, the district rate and the poor rate, and since the differential arrangement to which I have referred relates not merely to rates levied by the borough, but to rates which may be leviable by the borough, the result might be (hat under the operation of this Bill ratepayers beneficially affected by the differential rating would claim that they were entitled to the same differential rating on the whole of the new consolidated rate levied by the borough which is an amalgamation of the old poor rate and the old district rate. Thus they might claim the benefit of this differential arrangement on their poor rate as well as on the district rate to which it applies. That is what we desire to prevent by accepting this proviso, which says that the differential rate shall apply only to such part of the consolidated rate as represents the old district rate, and not to the other part which represents the old poor rate.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 55, line 24, after the word "provision," to insert the words "whether by deductions to be made from the net-annual value or otherwise."
This is merely a drafting or rather a clarifying Amendment. It proposes to make quite clear that the scheme referred to in Sub-section (2) may make provision by way of deductions from the net annual value.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
As I see this Amendment, there are certain rates to be levied 1890 at a lees amount—there is to be some exemption or other—and this provides that it may be done either by making deductions from the net annual value or by a reduction in the percentage of the rate. Does not that mean that there will be more than one net annual value or else that the whole rate, where any exemption is given, will be levied at a less net annual value?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not think the Amendment ties us down at all. It provides that arrangements are to be embodied in a scheme and that scheme may operate in a number of different ways. All we wish to make sure of is that we are not excluding deductions from the net annual value.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Is it desirable that powers should be given to have a fresh net annual value? As I understand it, the object intended can be achieved in either of two ways, either by charging against the owner of the property half the rate, or by reducing the nominal annual value by one-half. If the latter method be adopted you are again putting on a fancy value, and there will be two sorts of annual values. Is it not desirable that schemes which are put forward should be schemes whereby a smaller poundage will be levied on a uniform annual value rather than a larger poundage upon a reduced annual value? Under this Bill we are giving to local government authorities the power of drafting rules and proposing schemes, and I think it undesirable that they should have an entirely free hand on such an important question as this. I would sooner they were tied down so that they could not add to the number of rateable values.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I hope the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will not press that view too far. In this matter we want to consult convenience and economy. I do not say that this is a case which I would always quote, but if you put in a reduced net annual value it means you have the amount printed, and you have not to make alterations in every case. If you have to alter the rate every time it will mean extra trouble, time and expense. If you do it by way of deduction from the gross value or the net annual value it might save a great deal of that extra trouble and time, and 1891 I hope the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will allow us to leave the Amendment as it is so that we may have a choice.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The following Amendment stood on the Order Paper in the name of Major RUGGLES-BRISE: In page 56, line 1, to leave out Sub-section (3).
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
On a point of Order. Do I understand that this Amendment is not being called? I would point out that it is not consequential to Clause 64 which we have excluded, and has nothing to do with that Clause—if that is the ground on which it is being passed over.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 56, line 25, at the end, to insert:(5) Nothing in this Act shall affect the basis on which payments are made to the London County Council by any local or other authority outside. London in respect of London main drainage charges, and accordingly in any Act or document relating to any such payments references to annual value, rateable value, the county rate basis or standard, or any other value or basis shall be construed as references to the corresponding value as determined under this Act, or, if there is no such corresponding value, to the equivalent value, such equivalent value to be determined, in case of difference, by the Minister.(6) Nothing in this Act shall affect the basis on which, or the manner in which, sums required for the purposes of the Metropolitan police are raised.The first part of this Amendment is consequential on the exclusion of the County of London from the operation of the Bill. The second part, which provides that nothing in the Act shall affect the basis of which, or the manner in which, sums required for the Metropolitan Police are raised, is rendered necessary because the Metropolitan Police District is situated partly in the County of London and partly in an area outside that county, but all subject to a common rate for police purposes. This Amendment provides in effect that the basis on which this common rate is levied shall remain unaltered.
§ Mr. SCURR
In regard to the proposed new Sub-section (6), I think this is an 1892 occasion for making a very strong protest against the manner in which the people of London are treated in regard to their police force. The Parliamentary Secretary urges this Amendment on the ground that the Metropolitan Police District contains the administrative County of London, and also districts outside the county. But London is the only place in the country which is not allowed to control its police force. The Central Government simply uses the police force of London as a State force all the way through. The police force in the City of London is under the jurisdiction of the Corporation. They have full control of their own police service, and no one will deny that in every sense of the word it is an efficient force.
I hardly see how the hon. Member can pursue the question of whether the County Council of London or the City of London should or should not have control of their police forces, on an Amendment of this character which simply refers to the manner in which, or the basis on which, the sums required for Metropolitan police purposes are raised.
I do not think the word "basis" as used in the Amendment can be made to include matters of policy. I understand the Amendment as one which solely relates to the basis of the contribution for this purpose.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
If the proposed new Sub-section be not inserted, we may assume that something in the Act will affect the manner in which these sums are raised. That is to say, it might be possible to change that basis and raise these sums from other sources, such for instance as from the taxes instead of from the rates. Therefore the whole question does arise of whether the people who pay should or should not be responsible for the management and expenditure of that money, and I submit that it is possible to raise that broad point.
As I read the proposed Sub-section, it has been put down for greater caution, lest something in the Act should upset the arrangements for raising, by rate, in different areas, the sums required for the purposes of the Metropolitan police force. I do not think the wording of the Amendment can be read as raising any question of policy or of control of the police force.
I have already put the Question that the words on the Paper be there inserted in the Bill.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Surely if we are able to vote "Aye" or "No" on the question of whether the basis on which these funds are raised should be changed or not, we should also be able to argue "Aye" or "No" on that point. I hardly see that any decision is possible
§ on the subject unless arguments can be stated.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
This proposed Sub-section (6) simply states that nothing in the Act is to affect the basis on which these sums are raised. Now these sums are raised on the basis of precepts, and in Clause 9 we have introduced a new method of precepting, but that method is inapplicable to the ease of the Metropolitan Police unless London is brought into the Bill. Therefore, it is necessary to include this Sub-section, but the only question raised here is the effect of this Measure upon the basis of raising these sums, and there is no question as to whether the basis should be something entirely different, which is not suggested in this Measure at all.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 244: Noes. 103.1895
|Division No. 422.]||AYES.||[6.0 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Campbell, E. T.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Albery, Irving James||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Frece, Sir Walter do|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.|
|Apsley, Lord||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gates, Percy.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Christie, J. A.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Astor, Viscountess||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Atkinson, C.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Balniel, Lord||Clarry, Reginald George||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Clayton, G. C.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Barnston. Major Sir Harry||Cooper, A. Duff||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R.(Eastbourne)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Benn, Sir rt. S. (Plymouth. Drake)||Crawfurd. H. E.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Crook, C. W.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Crookshank, Col, C. de W. (Berwick)||Harney, E. A.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cunliffe. Joseph Herbert||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Blundell, F. N.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Brass, Captain W.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxfd, Henley)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Drewe, C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Brocklebank. C. E. R.||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. J.||Elveden, Viscount||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hopkinson. A. (Lancaster, Mostley)|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Fielden, E. B.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Burman, J. B.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Forrest, W.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Butler, sir Geoffrey||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumb'l'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Murchison, C. K.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Neville, R. J.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon F. S.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Jacob, A. E.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Owen, Major G.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Pennefather, Sir John||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Pilcher, G.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Loder, J. de V.||Pliditch, Sir Philip||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Looker, Herbert William||Power, Sir John Cecil||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of.|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Preston, William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lumley, L. R.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ramsden, E.||Ward, Lt.-Col. a. L.(Kingston on-Hull)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|McLean, Major A.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Remer, J. R.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Remnant, Sir James||Wells, S. R.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. V.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Rice, Sir Frederick||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Rye, F. G.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Merriman, F. B.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Samuel, Samuel (Wdsworth, Putney)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com, Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sandon, Lord||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Moore. Sir Newton J.||Savery, S. S.||Captain Hacking and Major Cope.|
|Morris. R. H.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hirst, G. H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smillie, Robert|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Jenkins. W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Baker, Walter||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Snell, Harry|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Kelly, W. T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Barr, J.||Kennedy, T.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Batey, Joseph||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Lansbury, George||Stephen. Campbell|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Lawson, John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromfield. William||Lee. F,||Sutton, J. E.|
|Bromley, J.||Lowth, T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lunn, William||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clowes, S.||Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Thurtie, E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Mackinder, W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||MacLaren, Andrew||Townend, A. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Warne, G. H.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Murnin, H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dannison, R.||Naylor, T. E.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Palin, John Henry||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gosling, Harry||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wright. W.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Hall. G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Hr.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Short. Alfred (Wednesbury)||Charles Edwards.|
§ CLAUSE 67.—(Assistance to new rating and assessment authorities.)
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 56, line 26, to leave out from the word "Act" to the word "and" in line 33, and to insert instead thereof the wordsand without prejudice to the provisions of Section thirty-seven of the Interpretation Act, 1889, it shall be lawful for every rating authority at any time after the commencement of this Act, and for every assessment committee at any time after the appointment of the committee, to exercise any powers or perform any duties vested in or imposed on them by this Act, other than any powers or duties to be transferred under this Act on the appointed day to the authority or committee from some other authority.This Amendment is necessary in order to enable rating authorities to commence certain of their duties before the appointed day. Owing to the delay in the passing of this Bill, it is necessary that they should be enabled to issue to the ratepayers the necessary form of return which will be the basis of the valuation lists, and it is also desired to enable assessment committees to appoint their representatives to the county valuation committee and the central valuation committee before the appointed day. That will enable these committees to come at once to the problems that face them.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I dare say that is the meaning of the Amendment, but what the hon. Gentleman moves is to leave out certain lines and substitute others, the only difference between what is left out and what is substituted being the reference toother than any powers or duties to be transferred under this Act on the appointed day to the authority or committee from some other authority.That is not in the original Clause, but is put in by the Amendment, and it has not been alluded to in the least in the speech of the hon. Gentleman. I cannot help thinking he is moving another Amendment, as the words put in have no connection whatever with the speech we have just heard.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am sorry if I did not make my meaning clear. Under this Bill, or, the appointed day, we are transferring, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, to this particular authority from the authority which is going out of office 1898 certain powers and duties. What we want to do, however, in order to enable them to get on with their work is to enable them to carry out some preliminary work, such as the preparation of the draft lists, and to be able to communicate with the ratepayers for that purpose. We also want them to be able to appoint their representatives to the county and central valuation committees.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 68.—(Power to modify local Acts.)
§ Sir LESLIE SCOTT
I beg to move to leave out the Clause.
I move this Amendment in order that the House may receive from the Minister in charge a statement as to what is the real intention and scope of Sub-section (1), which, the House will observe, provides thatThe Minister may by order make such adaptations in the provisions of any local Act (including any Act confirming a Provisional Order) as may seem to him to be necessary in order to make those provisions conform with the provisions of this Act.As the House knows, a general Act is not interpreted legally as overriding or repealing local Acts, which are special and are left untouched by the provisions of a general Act. In this country there are a good many local Acts dealing with rating in various ways, and in many cases those Acts are a result of what is, in effect, an agreement between different interests in the locality confirmed by Parliament. Under the Bill as it stands, some of the provisions of local Acts are expressly dealt with in Clause 71, which provides that in regard to valuations and assessments, provisions of local Acts shall be treated as overridden by the general Act. On the other hand, in other parts of the Bill, for instance, in Clause 11, Sub-section (9), there are provisions enabling the local or rating authority to preserve the provisions of the local Acts. What is not clear under the Clause we are now discussing is how far it is intended that the Minister shall have power to go, or how far he shall exercise that power in the way of repealing provisions of local Acts without the direct antecedent action of this House. If the Bill had provided that all local Acts should be overruled and repealed, we should have known where we were. It would have been a matter of difficulty to consider 1899 whether or not special provisions in certain localities should or should not be preserved, and it is quite obvious that that would be a very inconvenient course to adopt in a general Bill of this kind.
I recognise, quite frankly, that some sort of provision such as that contained in Clause 68 is almost necessary, or, at any rate, very convenient, in order that minor matters of difference which have not been thought of, because of the variety of provisions of local Acts, might-hereafter be dealt with; but I venture to suggest that the House is entitled to receive from the Government a statement that it is only minor matters by way of repeal of local Acts that are contemplated by this Clause, and that it is not intended, under the guise of a minor power of this kind, to enable the Minister to repeal local Acts, even subject to the precautionary measure which is contained in Sub-section (2), without the express sanction of Parliament. Let me take one example in Liverpool. There is a long-standing arrangement in regard to local rating based upon an agreement made many years ago between the Liverpool Corporation and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, under which the Dock Board receive certain exemptions. It is a matter of commercial arrangement, so to speak, for the general management of the city. It works well, and everybody, I believe, is satisfied with it. The Dock-Board, for instance, want to know where they are, and whether, by an Order made by the Minister under this Clause, they will be affected hereafter. I, therefore, ask if the Parliamentary Secretary, who, I understand, will answer, will deal with that matter, and explain quite clearly two points—what is the object of the provision contained in Clause 68, Sub-section (1)—what is the kind of power the Minister wants; and, secondly, as to the way in which it is proposed by the Minister that the power should be exercised.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I gladly respond to the request of my hon. and learned Friend. If the House will look at Clause 68, it will be seen that power is given to the Minister to modify local Acts and it states:The Minister may by order make such adaptations in the provisions of any local 1900 Act (including any Act confirming a Provisional Order) as may seem to him to be necessary in order to make those provisions conform with the provisions of this Act.Obviously, in connection with a complicated Bill of this kind, there must be some Clause of this character giving the Minister this particular power. I may say there was a similar Clause in the Education Act of 1902. If this Clause were not inserted, it would be necessary to go through every local Act, and endeavour to make some provision for it in this Bill showing the necessary adaptations. Obviously, that is an impossibility. It would make this Bill very much longer oven than it is at present, which I do not think anyone desires. I would like to refer my hon. and learned Friend to Clause 66, Sub-section (1) (b) in which he will see that a definite provision is made to ensure thatany exemption from or privilege in respect of rating conferred by any local Act or Order on the occupiers of hereditaments in any particular part of a rating area or on the occupiers of any particular hereditaments;shall not be affected by this Bill, and that it shall be expressly preserved to them. Therefore, in connection with the Mersey Dock matter, to which my hon. and learned Friend referred, of course, this particular Clause will not in any way disturb the position there. Nothing of the kind is contemplated, and, I think, it is fully preserved in Hub-section (1) (b). and, in order to preserve the rights of this House in connection with any action the Minister may take, about which criticism was raised in Committee, Subsection (2) was inserted to provide that every Order made under this Clause should be laid before both Houses of Parliament, and follow the ordinary procedure. That, I think, preserves the right of both Houses of Parliament, and, at the same time, enables the Minister to take what is, obviously, a necessary power in connection with a Bill of this kind to adapt the provisions to any local Act so far as the machinery of this Bill is concerned, and in order to conform with the provisions of this Bill. That was all the intention and object of the Clause, and I hope my hon. Friend will he satisfied with that explanation.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER rose—1901
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
Yes, Sir. May I ask whether the provisions of this particular Clause have been agreed upon in consultation with the Municipal Corporations' Association?
§ Sir K. WOOD indicated assent.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I am glad to hear that is so. Before this Clause is disposed of, will the hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that the Regulations will lay down carefully the procedure which will be followed. Like many other Members, I represent a city which has a large amount of local legislation, and we want to be perfectly certain that the particular Corporation has sufficient and adequate notice for discussion with the Department before any such change takes place, and I should like myself to have the opportunity of looking at that. Will the hon. Gentleman undertake that that will be made perfectly clear in the Regulations when they are tabled?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I think if the hon. Gentleman will look at this he will see that full provision is made by the method with which hon. Members are familiar, namely, thatEvery order made under this Section shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament forthwith.It means, of course, that due notice will be given under the provisions of that particular procedure, and any local authority in any way interfered with by this Clause will have notice of it, and I hope will then come to the Department. But if they do not come to the Department to discuss it, then they will be able to adopt the procedure set out in the Clause. So far as I am aware, all the Associations are perfectly satisfied with the procedure laid down, and they will have ample opportunity of dealing with the matter to which the hon. Gentleman referred.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ CLAUSE 69.—(Power to remove difficulties.)
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 57, line 39, to leave out the words "the Isles of Scilly and."
I move this Amendment in order that I may later on amend a Clause which will 1902 explain a little more fully the position with regard to this particular part, and enable the Minister, by Order, to put the Act into force in the Scilly Isles with such modifications as may be found necessary.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
May in inquire who has asked to have the Isles of Scilly treated in a different way? Why has this change been made? Has the request come from the people of Scilly or from any other local authority? As I understand, if these two Amendments are carried, there will be quite a different process of valuation and rating in the Isles of Scilly from what there is in the rest of England. I should like to have from the hon. Member an explanation as to what is the reason for making the change, whether it is in the direction of keeping the present position as it is in those islands, or whether it is to substitute something which, in the eyes of the Government, is better calculated to give us an accurate valuation than is proposed in the Bill?
I do not think this ought to be passed over in silence, because if this were a matter of the Scottish Western Isles, we should probably take two and a-half hours to deal with it, and I think the Minister might give us some details as to what is the precise position with regard to these islands, and as to what is the grant got from the Treasury at the present time. I do not pretend to be an expert in the matter, but I think, before we accept this Amendment, with the qualification that by accepting it we may have to deal with the matter later on, we ought to know exactly where we are. May I point out that, so far as these islands are concerned, many of the things for which others get grants as, for instance, the matter of roads, are absolutely of no use to them at all, and, therefore, in dealing with this very small and isolated population, I hope the Minister will assure us he has done absolutely nothing in any way to deprive them of any grants at all, and that their position will be fully safe-guarded in every respect.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The position is this. If hon. Members will look at Clause 69 they will see thatIf any difficulty arises in connection with the application of this Act to any 1903 exceptional area, or the preparation of the first valuation list for any area, or otherwise in bringing into operation any of the provisions of this Act, the Minister may by order remove the difficulty or constitute any assessment committee—and the like. Then in Sub-section (3) it is stated that:In this Section the expression 'exceptional area ' includes the Isles of Scilly.It may well be that the organisation in these islands is such as to make it desirable to raise the question as to whether this Act should be applied to them or not, and whether any adaptation or modification of the Act to these islands would not be of a very considerable character. Therefore, in order to leave the power open, the application Clause merely enables the Minister, by order, to put the Act into force in those islands with such modifications or adaptations as may be desirable.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 70. —(Definitions.)
§ Major CRAWFURD
I beg to move, in page 58, line 29, to leave out paragraph (d).
The Minister of Health, who has just again returned to the House, said a few minutes ago in regard to another Amendment, that it was important that in these matters there should be convenience arm economy. The purpose of this Amendment is convenience and economy. My desire is to avoid having two separate sets of machinery, one for the water rate and another for other rates. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman, when replying, will intimate whether the water rate will or will not be excluded where it is levied by a local authority?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
There are two points in relation to this paragraph. The one is the distinction between, a charge made for water, what is called a water rate, and the charge levied upon consumers generally for water, the rates in respect of which are leviable upon all the ratepayers. As to that I wish to make it quite clear that in this case we have tried to safeguard the matter, and the word "rate" in the Act is not to include the so-called water rate. It is the water supplied to the ordinary consumer. That comes into the next Amend- 1904 ment. The second point is whether the basis of the valuation upon which the water rate is levied by a statutory company should remain as it is now, or whether it should be on the same basis as for other purposes and rates. However, the matter is one, I think, which is not really relevant, because it is now under consideration by a Committee. I think, really, we shall have to wait for their Report to deal with the particular point raised, which I quite realise is one which requires to be dealt with.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment made: In page 58, lines 29 and 30, leave out the words "to a water company (including a local authority)" and insert instead thereof the words "by consumers."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 58, line 31, at the end, to insert the wordsor (e) any rate of the description commonly known as a garden rate or square-rate, if levied by any persons other than a rating authority.I just want to say a word about this Amendment. The rates referred to here mainly have reference to London, and London does not come into the Bill. It might properly be asked whether there are not under the Town Gardens Protection Act of 1863 other rates of this kind in the Provinces. We want to make it quite clear, when we talk about rates in this Act, that we are not including rates of that kind.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 59, lines 19 to 21, to leave out the words'Parish' includes any part of a parish being either a contributory place or an area otherwise subject to separate or differential rating.We propose a little later the substitution of an alternative definition of the word "parish."
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I think we ought to have some reason given as to why the original definition is not adhered to.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
May I explain that what we are taking out is, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman can see, that the word "parish" includes any part of a parish. We want to know 1905 what the parish is, and that is the reason we have put in a definition a little later.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in page 59, line 23, after the word "hereditaments," to insert the word "minerals."
When we were discussing this matter earlier I think we came to the conclusion that hereditaments did include minerals, whether severed or not. I am asking that the word "minerals" should be inserted in the Definition Clause so as to make it quite clear what is included.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Anxious as I am to oblige the right hon. and gallant Gentleman in respect of this Amendment, I really do not see the necessity for it. When the matter was discussed earlier, the Solicitor-General explained the whole subject, and said that hereditaments did include minerals in the ordinary sense of the term. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman knows what is covered by a definition of this kind. There is no reason if we do as he wishes why, if you once begin, you should not include every other kind of subject. It is a very dangerous thing to do, and we are advised that it is quite unnecessary. I therefore ask the House to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If that be so, the Amendment is out of order. Is it not rather a matter of definition that minerals shall be included?
§ Mr. BARKER
The point I would speak to, and so keep myself in order, is in reference to dead rents. I think I shall be in order if I confine my speech to that part. In every mine there are what are known as dead rents, that is, mineral? which lie in perspective, and, although they are held up, there is a royalty levied upon them. That royalty is not rated. It is very difficult to speak within the lines of this Amendment because it is something else I want to get at. This is a very important matter. It was stated the other day by the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones) that there was a case where a dead rent amounting to £500 per annum had been paid for about 60 years. That is a very important item indeed. We should like, if we could 1906 possibly do it within the Rules of the House, to get a rate upon that property. Minerals are most valuable property on any estate, and the mere fact that these go unrated, as the hon. Member has stated, is a very great injustice to the other ratepayers of the community. I, therefore, support the Amendment, and regret that the Rules of the House do not allow me to have full play.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
Some of this matter lies outside the scope of this Bill. Rates are paid on properties on the output and on the minerals got, but the present law does not appear to cover the case of collieries, the minerals of which have been leased by landlords, the colliery company undertake during the period of their lease, which may be 20, 30 or 50 years, to work a given quantity of minerals over the whole of that period. The colliery may have been sunk. The machinery may have been developed underground and on the surface, and for some reason or other the company ceases to work that colliery for some time. It-may be a few years. It may be many years before they find it suitable for their own purposes to work it. They may abandon it altogether. But in such a case there is a property which has an annual value because the landowner receives from the colliery company a given dead rent at so much per annum until they do work the minerals. All that kind of property has value. If for some reason it is not worked, it escapes rate-ability, and does not contribute to the local machinery or the local rates. This is not an isolated case. The case I gave the other day can be multiplied over and over again in every coalfield. I will give one further illustration to see if we cannot get some legal definition of this word "hereditament." It is a case in which a local landlord leased an area of land to a large colliery undertaking in South Wales, which undertook to pay £500 a year dead rent until such time as the property was developed and minerals worked out of it. That property has not yet been worked. For over six years the annual contribution received by the owner of the land has been £500, but out of that income nothing has been contributed to the local rates of the district. We say that is a gross injustice, and that something should be done in this Bill to meet such a case.
§ Question put, "That the word 'minerals' be there inserted in the Bill."1908
§ The House divided: Ayes, 114; Noes, 243.1909
|Division No. 423.]||AYES.||[6.47 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Scurr, John|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardie, George D.||Shiels, Or. Drummond|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillisbro')||Harris, Percy A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hirst, G. H.||Sesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smillie, Robert|
|Baker, Walter||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Ronnie (Penistone)|
|Barnes, A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Kelly, W. T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Briant, Frank||Kennedy, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromfield, William||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Bromley, J.||Lansbury, George||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lawson, John James||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clowes, S.||Livingstone, A. M.||Thurtie, E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lowth, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lunn, William||Townend, A. E.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Connolly, M.||Mackinder, W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||MacLaren, Andrew||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Crawfurd, H. F.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Warne, G. H.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||March, S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Montague, Frederick||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Morris, R. H.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dennison, R.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Whiteley, W.|
|Duncan, C.||Murnin, H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Dunnico, H.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Owen, Major G.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Gillett, George M.||Palin, John Henry||Windsor, Walter|
|Gosling, Harry||Paling, W.||Wright, W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Purcell, A. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. T.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.||Henderson.|
|Hail, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bullock, Captain M.||Drewe, C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Burman, J. B.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Elliott, Captain Walter E.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Elveden, Viscount|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Caine, Gordon Hall||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Atkinson. C.||Campbell, E. T.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Balniel, Lord||Cassels, J. D.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fielden, E. B.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Forrest, W.|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Foster, Sir Harry S,|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Face, Sir Walter de|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Christie, J. A.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M,|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Clarry, Reginald George||Gates, Percy|
|Blades. Sir George Rowland||Clayton, G. C||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Goff, Sir Park|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Cooper, A. Duff||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Brass Captain W.||Cope, Major William||Grant, J. A.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Briggs J. Harold||Crook, C. W.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Briscoe Richard George||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Brown, Brig.- Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hanbury, C.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Harrington, Marquess of||McLean, Major A.||Rye, F. G.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Salmon, Major I.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||McNeill, Rt. Hon, Ronald John||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Macquisten, F. A.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Sandon, Lord|
|Honnessy, Major J. R. G||Malone, Major P. B.||Savery, S. S.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Margesson, Captain D.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Herbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Hilton, Cecil||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Meller, R. J.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Merriman, F. B.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Moyer, Sir Frank||Smith Carington, Neville W.|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden E.)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Hudson, Capt. A.U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hudson, R.S.(Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Murchison, C. K.||Stuart, Crichton., Lord C.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hume-Williams, sir W. Ellis||Neville, R. J.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Jacob, A. E.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Pennefather, Sir John||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Nowington)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wells, S. R.|
|King, Capt. Henry Douglas||Pilcher, G.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Preston, William||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earn|
|Lloyd. Cyril E. (Dudley)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Ramsden, E.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Loder, J. de V.||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyder|
|Looker, Herbert William||Remer, J. R.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Remnant, Sir James||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Lumley, L. R.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES. —|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Lord|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stanley.|
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 59, line 35, at end, to insert the words'Local authority' means any body having power to levy a rate or to issue a precept to a rating authority;'Clerk,' in relation to any authority or body, includes any officer of the authority or body authorised by them to act on behalf of the clerk either generally or in relation to any particular matter.These words defining "local authority" and "clerk" are put in to save repetition in every Clause. In Clause 57, on page 50, we have already, in anticipation of this Amendment being accepted, struck out the wordsor any other officer designated for the purpose.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Are we to understand that this definition of local authority is the first definition of a local authority that has been made in an Act of Parliament?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
There are, of course, definitions of local authorities in other Acts, but they do not apply unless they are specifically mentioned.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Could not we have the same definition? It would be much more convenient for the ordinary person if we had the same definition of the meaning of these simple words in various Acts of Parliament
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
That might be so in many cases; but I venture to think that it is not the ordinary person who wants to know what a local authority is in this connection, but the people concerned in administration, and they will know because they will find the definition laid down here
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
Is there any reason why we should not specify which authorities are rating authorities? Local authorities are to have the power to levy a rate or to increase it. Why does not the right hon. Gentleman specify now who those local authorities are?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The Bill itself states who the authorities are who are to levy rates and who are to issue precepts. All we do here is to say that the words "local authority" includes both rating authority and precepting authority. It is quite obvious that in certain other Acts of Parliament "local authority" would not include both. If we do not give this definition, then every time a local authority is referred to we have to add "or precepting authority," and that simply means a repetition of words over and over again.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 69, line 37, to leave out the word "twenty-six," and to insert instead thereof the word "twenty-seven."
This Bill was prepared in the expectation that it would be passed before Parliament rose in August. That proved impossible owing to the long deliberations in Committee upstairs, and in these circumstances, and in order to give plenty of time for the various bodies and persons who will have to administer it to make the necessary preparations, we propose to make the appointed day the 1st April 1927.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
In a way I am rather glad the Government have made this change, but I fail to see why a four months' delay in passing the Bill should involve a year's delay in its coming into operation—except from one point of view;, and that is that the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues know perfectly well that when it does come into operation it will be exceedingly unpopular. The longer they can postpone the evil day the better it will be for their influence in the countryside. I notice that there are Amendments down to postpone its operation until 1928. One might as well ask them to postpone it to 1930, or even later. I do not think the Government will get much kudos from this Measure when it does come into operation. I think their excuse for 1912 postponing it for one year, although sound from the point of view of their own interests, is thin from the point of view of administration. If the Bill is a good one, it should be put into operation at an early date. I see the one thing they have stuck to is the date—it is not to come into operation till the 1st April. There is a good deal of sound sense in that.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Sir HENRY CAUTLEY
Might I, before we pass from this Amendment, ask the Minister one question? Does this affect the coming into operation of the first valuation lists?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN indicated dissent.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In page 59, line 37, at the end, insert the words
'Local Act' includes a Provisional Order confirmed by Act of Parliament."— [Sir E. Wood.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 60, line 5, at the end, to insert:(4) In this and every other Act, whether passed before or after this Act, the expression 'parish' shall, unless the contrary intention appears and subject to any alteration of area made on or after the appointed day by or in pursuance of any Act, mean a place for which immediately before the appointed day a separate poor rate was or could be made or a separate overseer was or could be appointed, and in this Act also includes, unless the context otherwise requires, any part of a parish being either a contributory place or an area otherwise subject to separate or differential rating.We now come to this definition of "parish." The existing definition of "parish" is to be found in the Interpretation Act of 1889, and it isa place in which a poor rate may be made or a separate overseer appointed.Under the Bill, the making of Poor rates is abolished, and the office of overseer is also abolished. It, therefore, becomes necessary to make a new definition.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 71.—(Repeal, Construction of References, etc.)
§ Amendment made: In page 60, line 6, leave out the word "Ninth" and insert instead thereof the word "Eighth."— [Mr. Chamberlain.]1913
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 60, to leave out lines 15 to 22, inclusive.
This Amendment leaves out the proviso of the first Sub-section of Clause 71. There are really two parts of this proviso. The first deals with the date on which the provisions of certain new enactments are to come into force. That is rendered unnecessary by the Amendment which I shall move at the end of the Clause which provides that the Section shall come into operation at various dates approved by the Minister. The second part of the proviso deals with the case of London, and as London is now out of the Bill that is no longer needed.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I think we ought to protest against leaving everything to the Minister. There is no earthly reason for cutting out the first part of this proviso except that the Minister may fix the different dates for different districts for different Acts to come into force, and it is since the Bill passed the Committee that these changes are being made. The proviso was perfectly simple, and provided that the provisions shouldremain in force until the provisions substituted for them by this Act respectively come into operation.And that is a perfectly clear definition. People reading the Act knew where they were. That comes out for no reason. We have a Section put in which gives absolute power to the Minister to make arrangements for different areas in different ways at different dates, and to change these dates. I think that is asking the House to give too much power to the bureaucracy in this country. We must have some cheek even on the Ministry of Health. I think that the right hon. Gentleman is under the impression that the House does not take much interest in this Bill, and he is trying to put too much of himself into it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In page 60, line 27, after the word "requires," insert the words
and subject as hereinafter provided."— [Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 60, line 28, at the end, to insert the wordsProvided that for the purposes of the Agricultural Rates Acts, 1896 and 1923, and 1914 the Tithe Rentcharge (Rates) Act, 1899, the rates in respect of which relief is given under those Acts shall in a rural district be taken to be the general rate, and in any other district be taken to be such part of the general rate levied for the district as is estimated by the Minister to be levied in substitution for the rates in respect of which such relict was given at the date of the passing of this Act, and for the purpose of the foregoing provision a general rate shall be taken to include any amount required to be levied together with and as an additional item of the general rate.This Amendment has relation to the relief that is given in respect of the poor rate. In the rural districts the now general rate will be the old poor rate and no difficulty arises, but in the urban districts there is consolidation to take place of the old poor rate and the district rate, and so, in order to calculate how much is due from the Exchequer to the areas, we may have to calculate how much the consolidated rate represents the old poor rate, because it is only in respect of that old poor rate that the grants from the Exchequer correspond.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I should like to ask the Minister about the words of the Amendmentin any other district be taken to be such part of the general rate levied for the district as is estimated by the Minister to he-levied in substitution for the rates.When is that "by the Minister" to be? Is it in reference to some general principle laid down by the Minister elsewhere?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am afraid that is separate in each case. It depends upon the relative amounts of the old poor rates and the general district rate.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
in every ease where a rate is being levied, that rate is to be divided and in each case where a rate is being made, there will have to be special application to the Ministry of Health. It seems an extraordinarily clumsy business to leave in the hands of the Minister of Health.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The following Amendment stood on the Order Paper in the name of Colonel WEDGWOOD: In page 61, line 1, leave out paragraph (b).1915
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme is out of place hero. His point will come on the Second Schedule.
Further Amendment made: In page 61, line 2, leave out the second word "to" and insert instead thereof the word "and."— [Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 61, line 35, at the end, to insert(4) This Section shall come into operation on such date as may be fixed by the Minister, and the Minister may fix different dates for different purposes and in relation to different areas.This is the Amendment to which I referred when I was moving the omission of the proviso on the previous page, and the right hon. and gallant Gentleman very uncharitably attributed to me ambitions which certainly I did not possess when I had merely provided for the general convenience. Owing so various alterations in the Bill, different provisions are actually required to come into operation at different times. It is extremely difficult to lay out in the Bill when everything is to take place. For instance, overseers are abolished on the appointed day. Their accounts have to be accounted for after they have gone out of office, and the provisions relating to that, therefore, cannot come into force until the date when these accounts are completed.
Then again the making of rates in rural areas shall take place on the appointed day. In urban areas it comes into force with the new valuation list, which may be in 1928 or 1029. As regard? the guardians, the provisions conic into operation on the appointed day, but in the case of county councils, on the 1st April, 1929. There is variation of the various dates in the Act itself, and I have thought it was the most convenient thing for the Minister to fix different dates until much later on when he has further information, and that would be much better and very convenient for the local authorities who are concerned.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Every one of the arguments that the right hon. Gentleman has used could, I presume, apply to the Bill as originally drafted. What we complain of is that between the Bill as 1916 originally drafted by his Department and its discussion on 23 days in Committee and the date when it was brought before the House on. Report stage, the right hon. Gentleman or his Department take the bit between their teeth and put down Amendments such as these which give them an enormous amount of power, never intended when the Bill passed through Committee. If, as he says, it is necessary that his Department should fix dates for all these particular stages to occur, why was it not necessary under the original Bill? Why was the original proviso good enough which left it to this House to fix the dates of the various stages to come into operation, and why is it necessary now to give him absolute power in the matter? Not so long ago we passed a Bill consolidating the law of real property, a Bill of enormous importance. The date on which that Bill was to operate has been postponed year after year by Parliament, I think three times, and now it is corning into action next year. I do not see why in the case of a Bill of first-class importance no latitude should be given to the bureaucracy, and in the case of a Bill of second-class importance such latitude should be given.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
It seems to me an extraordinarily extended power to give to the Minister. I could understand different dates, but not different areas. The Minister has power to say, with regard to the enactments in the Ninth Schedule, that at this time this Act shall be law but shall be repealed in another area. It seems that it is going to be extraordinarily confusing, at any rate to a lawyer. Up and down the country there will be different parts of different areas under different Acts and no one will ever know which enactment is repealed and which is not, and whether this or that applies under this Act or previous Acts. It seems to me an extraordinarily confusing way of doing things. It seems to me that this ought to have been thoroughly thrashed' out in Committee, and not brought on at a late hour and in this form.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 246: Noes, 113.1919
|Division No. 424.]||AYES.||17.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut. Colonel||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Neville, R. J.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Newman, Sir B. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Albery, Irving James||Gates, Percy||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrst'ld.)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Goff, Sir Park||Nuttall, Edit|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Gower, Sir Robert||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Grant, J. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Atkinson, C.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Owen, Major G.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Barnott, Major Sir Richard||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Hammersley, S. S.||Pitcher, G.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Hanbury, C.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Preston, William|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Haslam, Henry C.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hawke, John Anthony||Raine, W.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Henderson, Capt R. R. (Oxl'd, Henley)||Ramsden, E.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Remer, J. R.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Brass, Captain W.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar, & Wh'by)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hilton, Cecil||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Briscoe Richard George||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Rye, F. G.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Homan, C. W. J.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Burman, J. B.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Sandon, Lord|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Savery, S. S.|
|Butter, Sir Geoffrey||Hume, Sir G. H.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hurd, Percy A.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hutchison. G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Smith, R. w. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Jacob, A. E.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Jephcott, A. R. Smithers, Waldron|
|Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Christie, J. A.||Jones. Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spence||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Clayton, G. C.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Lamb, J. O.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lane-Fox, Colonel George H.||Stott. Lieut. Colonel W. H.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Streatfeild. Captain S. R.|
|Cope, Major William||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Stuart, Crichton., Lord C.|
|Craig. Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Crook C. W.||Loder, J. de V.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Crookshank, Col C. de W. (Berwick)||Looker, Herbert William||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cunliffe Joseph Herbert||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Tryon. Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Wallace. Captain D. E.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||McLean, Major A.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Macquisten, F. A.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Doyle, Sir N Grattan||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Drewe, C.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Malone, Major P. B.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Margesson, Capt. D.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Winby, Colonel L. p.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Mason. Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Moller, R. J.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Merriman, F. B.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Meyer, Sir Frank||Womersley, W. J.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Moore. Lirit. Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Moore. Sir Newton J.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Forrest, W.||Morden, Col. W. Grant|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Murchison, C. K,||Major Hennessy and Mr. F. C,|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Nelson, Sir Frank||Thomson.|
|Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Potts, John S.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hardie, George D.||Riley, Ben|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Harris, Percy A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Baker, Walter||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayday, Arthur||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barnes. A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barr. J.||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snell, Harry|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Briant, Frank||Hudson, Capt. A.U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Bromfield, William||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy. T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clowes, S.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lansbury, George||Thurtle, E.|
|Collins. Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Compton. Joseph||Lee, F.||Townend, A. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Livingstone, A. M.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Viant, S. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lunn, William||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Mackinder, W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. O. (Rhondda)|
|Day. Colonel Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dennison, R.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Whiteley, w.|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Dunnico, H.||Montague. Frederick||Williams. T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morris, R. H.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Windsor, Walter|
|Gillett, George M.||Murnin, H.||Wright, W.|
|Gosling. Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Palin, John Henry|
|Groves, T.||Paling, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Mr. Warne and Mr. Allen.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Parkinson|
§ CLAUSE 72.—(Extent and short title.)
§ Amendments made:
§ In page 61, line 36. leave out the word "or."
§ In line 37, at the end, insert the words "or the administrative county of London."
After the words last inserted, insert:
(2) The Minister may by order direct that this Aft shall, subject to such exceptions, adaptations and modifications, if any, as may he specified in the order, apply to the Isles of Scilly, but except as so applied this Act shall not apply to the said isles.
The Minister may by order from time to time amend any order previously made under this Sub-section and may by any order made under this Sub-section amend or repeal any provisions contained in the order relating to the Isles of Scilly, which was confirmed by the Local Government Boards Provisional Order Confirmation (No. 6) Act. 1890."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ SECOND SCHEDULE.—(Ascertainment of rateable value.)
§ Mr. SPEAKER
There are four Amendments to the Second Schedule dealing with rates on small houses, but I do not think any of them are quite in the correct form to insert in the Bill. I have had 1920 handed in a manuscript Amendment, which I propose to allow the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Basil Peto) to move⤔
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
What can be wrong with the form in which my Amendment is drafted, in page 64, line 9. column 2, to leave out "33⅓" and to insert instead thereof "50"? It is merely the substitution of one percentage for another.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The manuscript Amendment which has been handed in proposes to leave out lines 8 to 11, in column 2, and the hon. and gallant Member's Amendment comes on line 9.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Of course, I have not seen the manuscript Amendment, but presumably the words "houses and buildings without land" would stand, and there would be no alteration in those words. Therefore, my Amendment must come in line 9.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
With regard to column 2, one Amendment proposes 40 per cent, and the right hon. and gallant Gentleman proposes 50 per cent. If I put 1921 the Amendment in that way, I am bound to put it that "33⅓" stand part. In that case, I call upon the right hon. and gallant Gentleman to move this Amendment.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in page 64, line 9, column 2, to leave out "33⅓," and to insert instead thereof "50."
I do this in order to substitute either the 40 per cent. proposed by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Basil Veto) or the 50 per cent. proposed by myself and certain members of the Liberal party. The admirable situation arises that not only Labour Members and Liberals coalesce on this occasion, but they join hands with the hon. Member for Barn-staple, and therefore we find all men of sense in all parties are united in a desire to see the rates on house property of this character as low as possible, and to see given to property of that character a reduction in rates comparable, though not so large, with the reduction in the assessable value given to agricultural land.
We are asking to have the 33⅓ per cent. reduction given by this Bill. That is an advance upon what was previously the law, and we are asking to have that increase on the plain and simple ground that we believe it is undesirable to assess the rates on buildings and improvements. Just in the same way as we voted the other day for taking the rates off machinery, I thought we ought, by a much bigger majority, to vote in favour of taking the rates off houses. I wish that, instead of reducing it to one-half, we could reduce it to the land value alone. We cannot, however, do that; we have been barred from mentioning the land value as an alternative basis for rating under this Bill. If, however, we can reduce the assessment of house property to one-half of its present assessable value, we shall be getting down to something like the land value, and we shall be, by every 1 per cent. that we reduce the burden on house property, making it easier for houses to be built and making those houses cheaper. It is for these reasons that we ask the House to adopt this Amendment, and to do the best stroke of business for housing in this country that has been done yet, namely, to reduce the price of houses and make them cheaper and better. Everyone in 1922 this House knows that the only way in which we got cheap and plentiful food in this country was by taking off the taxes on food, and, in exactly the same way, the only way in which we can get cheap and plentiful houses in this country is by taking off these taxes upon houses, which are really ridiculous in an age when houses are as necessary as they are to-day.
The right hon. Gentleman pointed out the other day the enormous advantage to industry and to our export trade that would follow from taking the taxes off machinery. He said that it would lead to more employment. More employment is a great need in this country, I admit, but, if you take the taxes off houses, you not only lead to more employment in the construction of houses, but you also lead to better housing conditions, which are the principal aim of the Ministry of Health. I am quite certain that if the Minister of Health had had his own way in this Bill he would have reduced the assessable value for rates of the working-class houses in this country before he reduced any other form of rates, but the unfortunate thing is that there is not the public pressure for the reduction of these rates on houses that there is in the case of agricultural land. Here we have a chance of making out, as I think, an absolutely cast iron case in favour of the reduction of rates on houses, and I hope that the unusual unanimity of opinion in all quarters of the House on this question will lead to a satisfactory Division in the Lobby if the right hon. Gentleman cannot see his way to meet us.
Later on this evening we are going to discuss the question of exempting farm buildings from rates, and we on these benches shall heartily support that Amendment. It represents a step in the right direction of reducing the burden upon capital invested and helping to produce more wealth. If we are going to reduce the burden on farm buildings, how much more desirable is it that we should reduce the rates upon the houses of human beings. The rates are going to by taken off cowsheds in order to get better cowsheds and to get more of them put up. Is not that the argument? Why not take the rates off houses in order to get more and better houses? There is no getting away from it that, if you really want to house the people of this country 1923 decently, you have to put an end to this 50 per cent. tax upon houses in this country which is levied in the form of rates.
§ Mr. B. PETO
After the very kind way in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle - under - Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) has told us that he and his party are going to support my Amendment, to be moved presently, dealing with the question of the assessment of farm buildings, I feel a little diffident in saying anything from which I may appear not to be enthusiastic for the Amendment which he has just moved. I am bound to point out, however, that, while the whole of his speech was devoted to reducing the rates upon cottages, Part I of the Second Schedule deals with deductions from gross value, and, therefore, deals really with the question of what is a proper deduction to be allowed for repairs. That is a totally separate question, and, after all, I think that in this House we should at least say openly what we mean, and should not by a side wind try to effect a reduction in rating when we are really considering what is a very simple question, namely, what is a proper deduction to be allowed for repairs on the smallest class of houses. That is the question which is dealt with in the Amendment which I hope to move presently, and I thought it necessary just to say clearly to the right hon. Gentleman (Colonel Wedgwood) and to the House that the two Amendments, although they have some appearance of similarity, are not aiming really at the same thing. I think there is a want of gradation in this Bill, and that we ought to have a special and larger allowance for repairs on the smallest possible type of cottage property—the type of cottage property that is occupied by agricultural labourers. The question of a 50 per cent. allowance in order, as the right hon. Gentleman says, to make the allowance on cottage property comparable at any rate with the allowance on land, is a wholly different question, and a very large one, and, in my submission, it does not come in under Part I of this Schedule at all.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The subject of the deductions from the gross value which should be inserted in this 1924 Schedule was dealt with at some considerable length in the course of our proceedings in Committee, and I made certain concessions which at the time I hoped would have met the views of those who had been pressing for further allowances than are given under this Schedule. I find that, in speaking in Committee, I said:My own feeling is that whatever there-is to be said"—that is, in favour of further deductions—is to be said in favour of the smallest classes of property. It seems to me that in their case the actual cost of repairs is higher in proportion to the value than in the case of the larger ones, and it is, therefore, to these smaller classes of property that my sympathy is inclined to extend itself."— ("OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee A, 4th August, 1925, col. 844.]I endeavoured to show that that was so by making the allowance 33⅓ per cent. where the gross value did not exceed £20, but I was pressed still further in Committee, and I gave an undertaking to this extent, that I said I would be prepared, between the Committee and Report stages, to listen to any further arguments that might be brought forward on this subject, and not entirely to close my mind even to a still further concession. Of course, 50 per cent. is out of the question—
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I have, of course, to take into account what is the effect of giving a concession in one or other class of cases, and the effect, naturally, is that what you take off the smallest class of house you must put upon other owners of rateable property in the same area. In giving relief in one case or another, therefore, one has to try and consider all the bearings of the situation, and, so to speak, to strike a fair balance, and that is the way in which I have to approach this matter. I find that to substitute 50 per cent. for 33⅓ per cent. in this particular case is estimated to mean an addition to the average rate of 5d. in the £. In some cases, in purely rural districts where there is practically no other class of property to bear any extinction of part of the rates, it would be far more; I am told that it may even go up to as much as 1s. in the £. I think there are limits to what you can put on to other classes of 1925 property, and to make it 50 per cent. seems to me to impose a burden which really could not for a moment be justified in the country.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I think the right hon. Gentleman, if he will forgive me for saying so, is mixing up Parts I and II of the Schedule. If he looks at the amount of the deduction which is allowed in the case of agricultural land, he will see from the very last item that it is 5 per cent.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am talking now about Part I, and, therefore, I say that, on these figures which I have had calculated, it seems to me that 50 per cent. is much more than it is possible to contemplate. On the other hand, I understand that one might, perhaps, go a little further than we went in Committee, and, if we are to do that, the proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Mr. B. Peto) seems to me to be the one which commends itself to me most. In the form in which he has now given me his Amendment, I think it is correctly worried and could go into the Bill as it stands. It does give a special favour to the smallest class of house, and I think there is a good deal to be said for these very small houses, where the cost of maintenance is in a very much higher proportion than in the case of larger houses. Therefore, on considering my hon. Friend's proposal, I think that when he comes to move it I shall be prepared to accept it. He is proposing to sub-divide my first class into two classes, and, instead of putting together all houses and and buildings without land other than gardens, where the gross value does not exceed £20, he divides them into houses and buildings without land other than gardens where the gross value does not exceed £10, and desires in those cases to increase the 33⅓ per cent. to 40 per cent., leaving the second part, namely, where the gross value is between £10 and £20, at 33⅓ per cent. as it stands in the Bill. As I have said, I should be content to accept an Amendment to that effect. I understand, Mr. Speaker, that the question you will put 1926 now is that 33⅓ per cent. stand part of the Bill. We shall have to vote that out, so as to allow the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), to make it 50 per cent., to be put. We shall vote that down, I hope, and then we shall deal with the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
May I appeal to my right hon. Friend to withdraw his Amendment? It means, if it means anything at all, that in a very large number of cases of cottage property the deduction will be increased from 33⅓ per cent. to 50 per cent., which will mean putting money into the pockets of the property owners, who, in my opinion, will not spend the 50 per cent. on the property. The Minister says that that will mean increasing the rates to others, and there is no doubt that it will. So far as West Ham is concerned, our rates are high enough already; they are over 24s. in the £. Clause 24 of the Bill is going to put on another 6d. in the £, and, if this Amendment is carried, it will put on another 5d. In the name of common sense, where shall we in West Ham be landed?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I cannot speak again on this Amendment except by the leave of the House, but I should like to point out that my hon. Friend the Member for Plaistow (Mr. W. Thorne) does not understand the Amendment.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The question before the House is whether 33⅓ per cent. shall be left out. It must be left out if the Amendment which the Government are proposing to accept is to be put in. Therefore, the House must unanimously vote the 33⅓ per cent. out. After that, I shall propose that 50 per cent. be substituted for it. My hon. Friend the Member for Plaistow will oppose that. That is perfectly ordinary. I will use arguments which will convince him. But in any case we agree with this Amendment.
§ Mr. B. PETO
On a point of Order. I should like to have it made clear that 1927 if you put the question that "33⅓" stand part it will not prejudice my Amendment, which really commences in the left-hand column. That seems to precede 33⅓ per cent. on the right.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I am keeping my eye on that point. I will give the hon. Member an opportunity, if the House decides against 50 per cent., to propose the subdivision which he has in mind.
§ Question, "That '33⅓' stand part of the Bill," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That '50' be there inserted in the Bill,"
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The figure I want to have in the Bill is 50 per cent. instead of 33⅓ per cent. My hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Mr. Thorne) objects to it going in. I want to put the case to him. We have in this Bill over and over again exempted certain classes of ratepayers from the rates they pay to-day. We have allowed machinery to be exempted; we have allowed agricultural land to pay less, and in every case he and I and the whole of our party say, "It is all very well, but you are shoving it on the working man. If you take rates off machinery or reduce the amount—"
§ Captain BOURNE
On a point of Order. Is the right hon. Gentleman entitled to speak twice on the same Amendment?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
These remissions of rates would involve the working man, who is hard enough up at present, ' in having to pay more rates. Now we are moving an Amendment which will exactly meet that case, and will reduce the amount of rates which have to be paid on the working man's house. It is true it will mean that a higher poundage has to be levied on all the rates of the local authorities, but that will fall upon the owners of machinery, of agricultural land, of factories and of every other sort of property. Every argument my hon. Friend has used in opposition to the exemption of machinery from rates is an argument in favour of the reduction of the rates of the working man's house, so what we are doing is asking the Govern- 1928 ment to reduce the annual value of property for the purposes of rating by 50 per cent. In doing that we are, in effect, valuing the houses much lower than before. The Labour party at its conference at Liverpool unanimously carried a resolution in favour of local authorities being able to exempt houses altogether from rates and to levy the rates upon land values, and here we are going a step in that direction. The share of a working man's house will be a small proportion—nearer 10 per cent. than 50. But we are getting in that direction, and, therefore, from every point of view, from the point of view of lightening the burden on the working man, from the point of view of taking the burden of rates off houses which we want to encourage, and from the point of view of applying to the workers exactly the same principle that the farmers have applied in getting off their rates, I think we are doing the right thing. But observe what the right hon. Gentleman is accepting. He is not accepting the 50 per cent. at all. That would be much too Radical for the Government. What he is exempting is houses under £10 in value. I do not believe in West Ham even you have many houses whose gross value is less than £10.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
But directly you get into the industrial areas the houses run to about £13, and this Amendment applies only to those which do not exceed £10. That will mean an enormous amount of relief in rural areas and very little in urban. That is unfair. We should have exactly the same relief in urban areas as is given in rural. We can make out a stronger claim because it is in the urban areas that machinery is to go unrated. It is in the urban areas that a larger burden is put on the rest of the ratepayers by reason of the fact that machinery goes unrated. Therefore we have the strongest case for making a demand for some relief in urban areas. When we see the Government making this concession, the sequel of a hundred other concessions to the landed interest, I am inclined to wonder whether there is any limit whatever to the appetite of the landlords or to the concessions of the Government. [Interruption.] Very sound arguments have to be put over and over 1929 again in order to convert and convince hon. Members opposite. I beg hon. Members to observe that I am going to support the hon. Member in extorting this concession from the Government even though the benefit will only go into the rural areas, and I can only hope they will likewise support me in securing the same alleviation for urban areas and for all classes of people in this country by exempting from rates improvements which are the result of labour, the things we desire to have in the country, which at present are penalised.
§ Mr. THORNE
I shall have to go into the Lobby against my right hon. Friend because I am certain his economic basis is absolutely wrong. I will give him a simple illustration. He has admitted that if the Amendment is carried it will simply mean that the rates will be increased. There is a great number of the working classes in West Ham who live in these small houses and, if the rates go up by 5s. in the £, if they are assessed at £10, it means that they have to pay 10 times 5d. during the year of their rent.
§ Mr. THORNE
It does not matter. Then they have to pay the difference. If you are going to give this concession to property owners, it is as plain to me as the nose on my face that you will have to get it from somewhere else, and the result will be that the rates will be increased, and as the majority of the working class in West Ham pay rent, it is certain that the rates will be increased, and that will fall on the, shoulders of the working classes.
§ Mr. POTTS
I entirely disagree with my hon. Friend as to the way in which this will affect people. It will not increase the amount. The effect will be quite opposite to what my hon. Friend has in his mind. I am speaking as one who has been an overseer for many years and has done assessment committee work for over 30 years. What my hon. Friend has in mind is that if the amount in the £ happens to increase, it will affect the tenant more so than the reverse way about. It will do nothing of the kind. The owner will get the amount of concession that the House gives him, but what does that mean? If you leave the 1930 figure at 33⅓, he only gets 30⅓ off his rateable value. If you increase that to 40 and he gets the concession, what happens? The more concession the owner gets for his cottage property the less will be the amount of rent he has to charge. That is how it works out. Whatever be the concession made, the tenant will only get the concession by an increase of the amount. I ask the House to increase the amount to the owner, if it can, to 50 in the interest of the tenant, because, whatever the amount in the £, it has to be spread over the remainder of the property in the whole of the union, and the tenant only pays a proportionate share of the increase. If you make it 20 per cent., it means that the rateable value will be £12. Where is the working man who can afford —because it has to go on to his rent— to pay 15s. in the £ on £12 rateable value.? It cannot be done, and the owner cannot make it less because he has to put that on to the rent. I appeal to hon. Members on both sides not to stop at 40 per cent., but to go to 50 per cent. to relieve the owner of cottage property, because it certainly will in due course of time relieve the tenant of rent that he will otherwise have to pay. I appeal to the House to make it 50 if possible and, if not, to get as near that as they can.
Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
I wish to join in the appeal that has been made to the Government on this question of a concession to small property. The Departmental Committee that recommended the exemption of machinery from rating suggested that if that was brought about it would involve a certain hardship on cottage property in large industrial areas, and by making this concession of 50—I would rather see it 75 myself—you relieve in some small measure the added burden that is bound to be thrown on public property when machinery is exempt.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am not quite sure whether the hon. Member was in the House when I explained that I proposed to accept an Amendment which would have the effect he desires.
I was in the House. The right hon. Gentleman said he could not accept 50 per cent. and he also said he was limiting it to houses of £10 rateable value. I suggest that he should 1931 not only accept the 50 but should extend it to houses of a larger rateable value, otherwise the object he has in view will not be extended to more than a very email proportion of the inhabitants of our industrial areas. I hope if he is really going to give relief it will be of a substantial kind, otherwise you will have the rents of these houses of small rateable value put up very considerably as a result of this Measure.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The House having already decided to leave out 33⅓, I will now proceed to put the question that in lieu thereof there be inserted "50." If that does not find acceptance. I shall follow by putting the Amendment of the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Peto) to insert "40" instead of "33⅓."
§ Question put, "That '50' be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 105; Noes, 241.1933
|Division No. 425.]||AYES.||[8.0 p. m|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Grundy, T. W.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Potts, John S.|
|Alexander. A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Richardson, R. (Houghtan-le-Spring)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Riley, Ben|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hardie, George D.||Shiels. Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, Walter||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayday, Arthur||Smillie, Robert|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Snell, Harry|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kelly, W. T.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Thurtle, E.|
|Charleton H. C.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clowes, S.||Kirkwood, D||Townend, A. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lansbury, George||Viant, S. P.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Leo, F.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Compton, Joseph||Livingstone, A. M.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Connolly, M.||Lowth, T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Mackinder, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||MacLaren, Andrew||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Windsor, Walter|
|Dunnico, H.||Morris, R. H.||Wright, W.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Gillett, George M.||Murnin, H.|
|Gosling, Harry||Naylor, T. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Greenall, T.||Palin, John Henry||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Paling, W.||Warne.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brass, Captain W.||Christie J. A.|
|Albery, Irving James||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M.S.||Briggs, J. Harold||Clayton, G. C.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Briscoe, Richard George||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Atkinson, C.||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Cope, Major William|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Buckingham, Sir H.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Beamish, Captain T P. H.||Bullock, Captain M.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Burman, J. B.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry|
|Bethell, A.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Caine, Gordon Hall||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Campbell, E. T.||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Bird, Sir R B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Cassels, J. D.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Drewe, C.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Ramsden, E.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Western-s.-M.)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Remer, J. R.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lamb, J. Q.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Forrest, W.||Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Col. George R.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Loder, J. de V.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Looker, Herbert William||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Gates, Percy||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sandon, Lord|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Savery, S. S.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Goff, Sir Park||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||McLean, Major A.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Grant, J. A.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Skelton, A. N.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Macquisten, F. A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Malone, Major P. B.||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Margesson, Captain D.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Meller, R. J.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Merriman F. B.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hanbury, C.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Storry Deans, R.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Murchison, C. K.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hilton, Cecil||Neville, R. J.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wells, S. R.|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Nuttall, Ellis||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Homan, C. W. J.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Owen, Major G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Pennefather, Sir John||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Pilcher, G.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Pliditch, Sir Philip||Wragg, Herbert|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Preston, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Major Sir Harry Barnston and|
|Jacob, A. E.||Raine, W.||Mr. F. C. Thomson.|
|Jephcott, A. R.|
§ Amendment made: In page 64, line 9, in column 2, instead of "33⅓" left out of the Bill, to insert "40."—[Mr. B. Peto.]
§ Mr. B. PETO
I beg to move, in page 64, line 10, in column 1; to leave out "20" and to insert instead thereof "10."
The object of this Amendment is to divide the class of small dwellings which 1934 is now included up to £20 into two categories, one up to £10 and the other the remainder, and further to move in the second paragraph—
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
On a point of Order. Ought we not to have the first Amendment out of the way before we go on to the second one?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I hope the House will not strike out 20 and insert 10. If you do you will make a change which will really be of value only in the country areas and have very little result at all in the urban areas. I will explain exactly what it means. Where you have house property, if the house is assessed at a gross value of £15, then that property is reduced in order to arrive at its rateable value, under the Bill as it stands by 33⅓ per cent., that is to say, the assessable value is £10 a year. On that assessment, if the rates are levied as is very often the case, at 20s. in the £, it means that the occupier has to pay £10 a year in rates, being the total of 20s. in the £, reduced on an assessable value reduced from £15 to £10.
Now, as the Clause stands, with the Amendment so far carried, that same property, assessed to-day at a gross value of £15 per year, will for its rateable value be reduced from £15 by two-fifths, or, in other words, to £9 instead of £10. The occupier of that house, therefore, if this Amendment is not carried, will be asked to pay rates on an annual value of £9 a year. He will, if the rates are 20s. in the £, be paying £9 a year in rates instead of the £10 that he was paying under the Bill as it was, but as the Member for West Ham (Mr. W. Thorne) quite rightly pointed out, he will be paying more than £9, because the poundage will be higher, that is to say, instead of the rates being 20s. in the £, they will be perhaps 21s. in the £. In that case he will be paying
§ exactly 5 per cent. more on account of the rise in the rate, or in other words he will be paying every year £9 10s. and not £9. Even in that case he is getting the advantage of 10s. a year if this Amendment is not carried, and is it not ridiculous to say that we are hitting the tenants of poor property by reducing the assessment of their houses. Obviously we are doing the best possible thing we can for them. Everybody knows that in many cases house property is compounded, and the owner pays the rates. He pays the rates on the basis on which the property is rated, and if the assessment were reduced or the rates cut down it would be the owner who would get the benefit. Therefore, every reduction of the assessable value of house property, whether the rates are paid by the occupier or by the compounding owner, a reduction of assessable value means an advantage, whether the advantage is to be £l a year or 10s. a year. If we carry the Amendment, the working-class dweller in towns will not benefit by this reduction in assessment, whereas, if we refuse the Amendment and refuse to allow the hon. Member who moved it to cut out £20 in order to substitute £10, we shall be giving a substantial advantage to people in towns who live in houses which are at present assessed between £10 and £20 a year.
§ Question put, "That '20' stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 106; Noes, 236.1939
|Division No. 426.]||AYES.||[8.19 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Day, Colonel Harry||Kennedy, T.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Dennison, R.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Duncan, C.||Lansbury, George|
|Ammon, Charles George||Dunnico, H.||Lee, F.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lowth, T.|
|Baker, Waiter||Gillett, George M.||Lunn, William|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Gosling, Harry||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)|
|Barnes, A.||Greenall, T.||Mackinder, W.|
|Barr, J.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Batey, Joseph||Groves, T.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Grundy, T. W.||March, S.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Montague, Frederick|
|Bromfield, William||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morris, R. H.|
|Bromley, J.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Murnin, H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hardie, George D.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Palin, John Henry|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hayday, Arthur||Paling, W.|
|Clowes, S.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hirst, G. H.||Potts, John S.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Compton, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Connolly, M.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Riley, Ben|
|Cove, W. G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kelly, W. T.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Thurtle, E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Smillie, Robert||Tinker, John Joseph||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Townend, A. E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Snell, Harry||Viant, S. P.||Windsor, Walter|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wallhead, Richard C.||Wright, W.|
|Stamford, T. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Stephen, Campbell||Warne, G. H.|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sutton, J. E.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Mr. Frederick Hall and Mr. Allen|
|Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah||Parkinson.|
|Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Whiteley, W.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Forrest, W.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Albery, Irving James||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Mac Robert Alexander M.|
|Apsley, Lord||Frece, Sir Walter de||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Ganzoni, sir John||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Atkinson, C.||Gates, Percy||Meller, R. J.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Merriman, F. B.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Goff, Sir Park||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Gretton, Colonel John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Moors, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Bethell, A.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Morden, Colonel Walter Grant|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hammersley, S. S.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hanbury, C.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Neville, R. J.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Haslam, Henry C.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hawke, John Anthony||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Owen, Major G.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hilton, Cecil||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Pielou, D. P.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Holland, Sir Arthur||Pilcher, G.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Homan, C. W. J.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Preston, William|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Raine, W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Ramsden, E.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Remer, J. R.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hurd, Percy A.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Cope, Major William||Jacob, A. E.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Jephcott, A. R.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Sandon, Lord|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Savery, S. S.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lamb. J. Q.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l. Exchange)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Col. George R.||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon Sir Philip||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Drewe, C.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw' th)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Loder, J. de V.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Looker, Herbert William||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Smithers, Waldron|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||McLean, Major A.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Storry Deans, R.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Watts, Dr. T.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Wells, S. R.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Winby, Colonel L. P.||Captain Viscount Curzon and|
|Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Major Sir Harry Barnston.|
|Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wise, Sir Fredric|
§ Question proposed, "That '10' be there inserted in the Bill."
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope)
The hon. Member cannot move that as an Amendment. He can argue and vote against the insertion of the figure 10. The question is "that '10' be there inserted." If the hon. Member succeeds in defeating that, he can proceed.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
There is a very strong feeling in a city like Sheffield— a division of which I represent—that the action of the Government will cause, very grave hardship to a class of occupiers of small house property. That apparently is recognised by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. B. Peto) and the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) and others, but only in regard to that class of property which is rural property. I would say to my hon. Friends that their proposal would mean that relief would be given chiefly to that class of property which is tied property. If one examines lists in rural areas of houses below an assessment of £10, one finds that the great mass of them are that class of property which is tied to the farmer or the landlord, as the case may be. We have in areas like Sheffield a very large amount of property with a gross assessment not exceeding £15 a year, not in all cases occupied by tenants, but occupied by ordinary artisans who have saved and saved in order that they might purchase the houses in which they live.
What is inevitable is that they will be charged a considerable additional poundage rate because of the de-rating of machinery, and yet they are to be excluded from the relief given by the previous Amendment to property under £10. That is very unfair. We are get- 1940 ting rather tired, in areas so ground down by the existing depression, to find that the Government will continually give way to pressure from agricultural interests, and yet will not give us similar concessions in necessitous areas. This is just one more case where, it is a rule of the Government that those who are least able to pay shall be called upon to pay. Whilst we have welcomed the decision of the Government to meet the people who are hard hit from the rural point of view —we have no quarrel with that—we have an equally strong case for the tenant of industrial property of from £15 to £20 a year. I would urge the Government to accept a compromise and to insert £15 instead of £10.
§ Mr. RILEY
I think this is a very reasonable request. There is one substantial argument in favour of it which has hitherto not been used. When, as is contemplated, at some future date the Rent Restriction Act is removed, there is no doubt whatever that the assessments of urban houses will be raised considerably. If this Bill passes with a limitation of £10, there will be a grave injustice to a great mass of working-class occupants. The agricultural interests have had sufficient concessions. The Minister might very well meet this reasonable demand and give to urban occupiers at least a limit of £15.
Mr. T. THOMSON
I hope that we shall hear some statement from the Government as to why there should be this differentiation against the urban area. The Parliamentary Secretary knows that for a considerable time he has been pressed from all sides of the House to give more consideration to the industrial areas of our cities, which are very heavily over-rated. He has been unable to meet that demand with anything but sympathy, and now he is going to make their position worse than it was before. The exemption of machinery from rating, whatever its ultimate result may be, will undoubtedly add temporarily, if not per- 1941 manently, to the heavy rates on property. That is not denied. If at the same time no adequate concession is made, it will leave the position of necessitous areas worse instead of better. That is surely a strange result to obtain from a Parliamentary Secretary and a Minister of Health, who are both well acquainted with the conditions in industrial areas. I ask why there should be this differentiation in favour of the agricultural areas. The corresponding value to £10 in an agricultural area would be £15 in an urban district. I hope it is not too late for the Government to have some regard to the struggling ratepayer living in cottage property, and that they will make this concession.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I do not think we can vote against the insertion of the figure "10," because we have not the opportunity, under the Rules of the House, of proposing another figure. Therefore, I propose to vote for the insertion of "10," and then to move a further Amendment containing the words, "in rural areas," and £15 in urban districts and municipalities." That will be fair all round. It will be giving the same concession to the urban area as to the rural area. At present the country landlord and the farmer are going to get an advantage at the expense of the town dweller. To prevent that I shall later move the Amendment I have indicated.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
It is about time that the Government gave something to the working-classes in the towns. Throughout the proceedings on this Bill we have had concession after concession made to rural interests, made to owners of agricultural land, and made to business men with factories and machinery; and the one class of people who have had absolutely nothing done for them in the way of concessions, and who stand to get no benefit whatever, are the town tenants. Here is an opportunity of redressing the balance to some extent. Everybody who knows anything about rates in town and country knows that what we have already done to amend the Schedule can only amend it in regard to rural areas. Everybody knows that the Amendment which we now propose to move will simply redress the balance as between town and country. There is no argument against it, and while we must support the insertion of £10, I 1942 hope we shall find that the Parliamentary Secretary, having communicated with his right hon. Friend, will be able to concede us the Amendment which we propose to move with regard to the town tenants.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The reason I am not replying is because apparently everybody agrees with the particular Amendment which is before us.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
May I point out that the Amendment before the House is for the insertion of.£10? We cannot have two discussions on the further Amendment which has been mentioned.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I do not desire to press any observations so long as we are sure that the hon. Gentleman is going to give some reply on the next Amendment. At all events the House is entitled to some reply on the case which has been submitted.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in page 64, line 10, in column 1, after the figure last inserted, to insert the words "in rural areas, and £15 in urban areas."
The object of this Amendment is to make the concession fair as between town and country; as between the large property-owner in the country and the small house-owner in the town. Everybody knows that the £15 house in the town represents the same class as the £10 house in the country. It is the same house and the same struggling wage earner and any concession made in the one case should be made in the other.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I regret I am unable to advise the House to accept the Amendment. I think my right hon. Friend has gone to the utmost limit of concession with a view to meeting the situation as it has been put forward by several hon. Members. It is not correct to say that no concessions in the course of the proceedings on this Bill have been made to the urban owner of the small class of property. The Bill as originally introduced provided that 25 per cent. should 1943 be allowed for property under £40. In Committee a concession was made fixing 33⅓ per cent. The present proposal is merely splitting up this sum of £20 to meet the cases of the smallest classes of houses. I must tell the House candidly that what we have done is the utmost we feel we can do. We must remember that every further deduction we make in this respect has to be borne by another class of property-owner, and I feel myself that fairness and justice is being done.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
One wishes that something could be done by peaceable reasoning to induce the Government to make this concession. I listened with interest to the Debate on the remission of rating on machinery. That plea was advanced on the ground of the enormous change that would be made in the economic and social life of the district. I beg of the Government on the same ground to meet us on this point. Surely they are not going to remain obdurate to the claim of people who are living under conditions not consistent with common decency. Surely the Government will not say that such people are to have no concession, whereas the manufacturers have got away with a great concession on the other side.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The hon. Member must not repeat the statement that no concessions at all have been made. I have already told him that substantial concessions have been made.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I am rather suggesting that relief should be given to this class because of the health conditions prevalent in these areas. The Minister of Health referred to the effect of the de-rating of machinery in allowing the manufacturers to bring their machines up to date. Any step in the direction of relieving rates on the houses of the people would also have an important effect, and therefore, without any idea of obstruction, but with the best intentions in the world, I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to make this concession. Is it to go to the country that, side by side with the concession made on the rating of improvements and machinery, there is to be a refusal to concede anything at all in this respect, even though we beg it from the Government? I ask the hon. Gentleman to consider the Amendment, but if I read 1944 his face aright he is going to remain obdurate. These are the things which make one throw overboard the disposition to try to reason in this House, and to resort rather to strong language. We represent the people who are distressed, and they will naturally ask us what they have gained in this Bill comparable to the gain of the manufacturers. It is true that the tied cottage in the country is to receive a concession. We have been told in advance about the paternal disposition of the landowners and that they will always look after the cottage-owner in any case of duress. In the town the people for whom we plead have no paternal interest to watch over them. They are left high and dry, and we are asking that they should be considered. I wish that reason would prevail and peaceable agreement weigh, rather than that we should have to press these claims with violent denunciation or that motives should be implied.
§ Mr. PETO
It may simplify matters if, as Mover of the Amendment to which this addition is proposed, I try to explain the position. This is a very simple question out of which hon. Members opposite have made an elaborate case. As a matter of fact this is part of the Schedule which deals with deductions from gross value; therefore, it is a question of what is the proportion between the cost of repairs required in a certain class of property and the cost in the class of property of the next, larger annual value. It is because upstairs in Committee I pressed on the Government that on the smallest class of all, the rural cottages below £10 value, the proportion between the cost of repair and the amount of rent was altogether greater than it was even on the class of property between £10 and £20, that we have asked for the division of the Schedule into two separate parts. It is no question of agricultural or urban interests at all. It is a mere accident that people who are housed in the smallest and cheapest cottages happen to be in rural areas, and there is no question of injustices to this class and concessions to that class or of concessions to the town in return for concessions to the country. It is a perfectly simple question. Is 40 per cent. a proper annual allowance for repairs on a £5 annual house, or is 33⅓ per cent. sufficient? 1945 Hon. Members opposite should not try to raise any question of antagonism between town and country in this connection.
Mr. T. THOMSON
There is no question here of raising any antagonism between one section of the community and another. Whilst the Amendment stands at £10 you are going to bring relief to the majority of workers in the country, but not to the majority of workers in the towns, because, owing to the difference in value of cottage property, which we all of us recognise as being so much higher in the town than in the country, by making the £10 limit you are excluding a great many of the town workers from the advantage which the country workers will get, and I submit that no reason has been given to show why we should make it £10 instead of £15. A concession is necessary in order to meet the extra rate which the de-rating of machinery will place on other classes of property, and I have not heard a single argument from the Government benches as to why that concession is not necessary for the cottages of £15 gross annual value. I submit to the Parliamentary Secretary that, as he is charged primarily with the health of the people, it will be a serious matter for the health of the people if you are going to raise the rates and the rents of those houses, as you will do through the net effect of this Bill. I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary, in view of the claims of these industrial areas, that the net effect of this Bill should not be one which will make the lot of the ratepayer in the houses of the poorer type worse than it is at present. By making this concession of £15 he will do something to equalise the position of the country tenant and the town tenant.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I am not going to appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary, for that appears to be perfectly futile, but I should like to enter my protest against the method of the Government in persistently granting concessions to certain interests, which are bound to have the result of putting a premium upon bad
§ houses and bad health. You are persistently telling us what the size of the house is in the agricultural area, and the cost of repairs, and so on, and if any concession is made at all it is made to these people who build the smallest type of house, many thousands of which are not fit for human habitation. If that is not granting concessions in a wrong direction, I scarcely know what is right and what is wrong. There is another protest that I want to make, and it is this: It is perfectly obvious to anyone who has sat through the days when this Bill has been under review that, in the first place, all the agricultural interests were definitely hostile to the de-rating of machinery, but, because of some unseen compact into which they appear to have entered behind the scenes, they not only did not oppose the de-rating of machinery, but actually supported it, and now, apparently, the city people are paying the agriculturists for withholding their hand on the rating of machinery proposal.
§ It is a further arrangement between vested interests to exploit the man who renders some real service to the community. One could give numerous instances of the injustice of this Clause. There is not a single house that is being built under any housing scheme which will come within the meaning of the Clause as amended. There are certain rural districts where collieries have been sunk just on the fringe of an urban area, but they refuse to build a solitary house in which to house their workpeople; the rural area gets the advantage of the rates that accrue from a very large colliery, but the urban area close by has to make housing and sewerage and education provision, and provision in every other direction, and it is simply granting further concessions to those who are least worthy of any concessions being granted to them.
§ Question put. "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 111; Noes, 248.1949
|Division No. 427.]||AYES.||[8.54 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Buchanan, G.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Batey, Joseph||Charleton, H. C.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Clowes, S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Cluse, W. S.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Bromfield, William||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Bromley, J.||Compton, Joseph|
|Baker, Walter||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Connolly, M.|
|Cove, W. G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smillie, Robert|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kirkwood, D.||Snell, Harry|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Lansbury, George||Stamford, T. W.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lee, F.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dennison, R.||Livingstone, A. M.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Duncan, C.||Lowth, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lunn, William||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mackinder, W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||MacLaren, Andrew||Thurtle, E.|
|Gillett, George M.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gosling, Harry||Malone, Major P. B.||Townend, A. E.|
|Greenall, T.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Montague, Frederick||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Morris, R. H.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Groves, T.||Murnin, H.||Warne, G. H.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Naylor, T. E.||Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Palin, John Henry||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Paling, W.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Whiteley, W.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Mardie, George D.||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Rose, Frank H.||Wright, W.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. A.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Barnes.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Clarry, Reginald George||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Clayton, G. C.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Albery, Irving James||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Apsley, Lord||Cope, Major William||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Atkinson, C.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Crookshank, Col. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Hilton, Cecil|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Bethell, A.||Drewe, C.||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Homan, C. W. J.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Elveden, Viscount||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Fermoy, Lord||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Fielden, E. B.||Hutchison, G.A. Clark (Midl'n& P'bl's)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Forrest, W.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Jephcott, A. R|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Frece Sir Walter de||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Frauds E.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Burman, J. B.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Kidd, J (Linlithgow)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Gates, Percy||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Goff, Sir Park||Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Grant, J. A.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Cassels, J. D.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hammersley, S. S.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hanbury, C.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||McLean, Major A.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Preston, William||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Price, Major C. W. M.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Raine, W.||Stoart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ramsden, E.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Meller, R. J.||Remer, J. R.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Merriman, F. B.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Meyer Sir Frank||Rice, Sir Frederick||Tinne, J. A.|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Rye, F. G.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Morden, Col. W. Grant||Salmon, Major I.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wells, S. R.|
|Neville, R. J.||Sandon, Lord||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Savery, S. S.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westby)||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Shepperson, E. W.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Skelton, A. N.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Owen, Major G.||Smithers, Waldron||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Wragg, Herbert|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden, E.)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Pielou, D. P.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Pilcher, G.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Storry Deans, R.||Viscount Curzon.|
|Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
§ Mr. B. PETO
I beg to move, in page 64, after the words last inserted, to add
This Amendment is really consequential, in order to restore the 331 per cent. to the houses between the values of £10 and £20. The only material alteration in my Amendment, as I move it, from the Amendment as it appears on the Paper is the insertion of the £4. I think it is obvious that it is necessary in order that the cheaper house shall not have a larger concession than a more expensive house.
"(2) Houses and buildings without land other than gradens where the gross value exceeds £10 but does not exceed £20. £4, or an amount equal to 33⅓ per cent. of the gross value, whichever is the greater."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In page 64, line 37, in column 1, leave out from the word "land" to the end of line 43.— [Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. MARCH
I beg to move, in page 64, line 43, at the end, to insert
A great many people have been taking allotments, and they have been paying a 1950 fairly big rent for these allotments. The Government, I think, are prepared to do what they can in this matter, for they have told us that they desire to assist the ex-service man as much as they possibly can. Here is a good opportunity to render that assistance in the direction I indicate. I am sure the Government will much appreciate the opportunity of making it so that the landlord will be able to charge less rent by 20 per cent. Further, not only is there the case of the ex-service men, but that of the labourer and the workman in the urban areas who take every possible chance to get hold of pieces of land for allotments, and cultivate these allotments for the purpose of producing necessary food. In the circumstances, I hope that the House will see their way to accept the Amendment.
"(8) Land used solely for allotments or allotment gardens. An amount equal to 90 per cent. of the gross value."
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I cannot imagine that the hon. Gentleman quite realises the effect of this proposed Amendment. Allotments are agricultural land for the purposes of the Schedule, and they, therefore, come in for the benefit of the relief of 75 per cent. If I take 90 per cent. off under the first part of the Schedule, and take oft further what is suggested by the hon. Gentleman, it 1951 practically means that we get nothing whatever from allotments. I do not think that the hon. Member desires that. Under this Bill, when you take an allotment you get 5 per cent. out of the first part of the Schedule and 75 per cent, out of the second. Supposing the allotment is of a gross value of £5. You take 5 per cent. off first. That brings us to £4 15s. Then you take 75 per cent. off and that leaves a rateable value of £l 13s. 9d. Then under a previous Clause we included small fractions so that as a matter of fact the value of £2 allotments comes down to £l. The effect of what has been done in this direction really means that in the case where the gross value of an allotment is £2 or less, the net value comes to under 10s. and consequently there is little object in making the charge.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 64, line 47, after the word "purposes" to insert the wordsor hereditaments valued as part of any railway, dock, canal, gas, water, electricity, or other public utility undertaking.The addition of these words is merely for the purpose of making clear the intention of the Government. These words follow the footnote at the bottom of page 64, which reads:For the purposes of this Part of this Schedule the expression ' houses and buildings ' does not include mills, manufactories or premises of a similar character used wholly or mainly for industrial purposes.These words might not be held to cover public utility undertakings.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The following Amendment stood on the Order Paper in the name of Mr. MACLAREN: On page 65, to leave out lines 5 and 6.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
This Amendment in the name of the hon. Gentleman and several others raises what seems to me to be a somewhat difficult question. It would appear to me to interfere with a decision taken already by the House under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
When the Amendment was discussed on that point, the Minister for Health advised me that it would be better to discuss the matter on the Schedule, as it did not come under the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I did not want to avoid any discussion on the subject. In Clause 22, Sub-section 1 (2), it is provided thatany deduction made in pursuance of the provisions of Part 2 of the said Schedule from the net annual value of agricultural land shall, so far as it affects the raising of money, which if this Act had not passed would have been raised by rates to which the Agricultural Rates Acts, 1896 and 1923, apply, be treated for the purposes of those Acts as if it were the relief for which provision is made by those Acts.Therefore, if there is no deduction in the second part of the Second Schedule, the Amendment would, assuming the Act is passed, affect agricultural land provided for by the Acts 1923 and 1896.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I quite see that point, but seeing that the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill has been passed, that leaves us without any possible chance of challenging these matters here.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not know that I want to go into the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. I merely wish to point out now the effect of this Amendment.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
If the effect of the Amendment be what the Minister has stated, it appears to override the former decision, and I do not think it can now be put forward.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The Expiring Laws Continuance Bill has been passed. If this particular matter is covered by it, the Amendment will not be in order, otherwise it will be.
§ Sir K. WOOD
It is perfectly true as the hon. Member stated that he did earlier on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill mention this matter, but as a matter of fact this Bill will come into effect after the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill has come into operation. The point I wanted to put earlier was that 1953 this matter ought to have been taken at Clause 22.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
If the extension enacted by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act ceases before this Bill operates, I think the hon. Gentleman may move his Amendment.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I beg to move, in page 65, to leave out lines 5 and 6.
I am glad we have come to a clear understanding, and that at least we are able to discuss this matter. I have never been able to understand why this magnanimous consideration should have been shown to agricultural land. The plea has always been that, in order to give an impetus to agricultural production, it was a good idea to relieve agriculture as much as possible of the rates upon it. On this side of the House we have always contended that the relief was given at the wrong end. Relief might have been given to a farmer in respect of improvements to his buildings and of other improvements, instead of its being relief in respect of the land. Though I talked for an hour or two hours, I could say no more and embody no further arguments than those I advance now. In our opinion this concession does not assist agriculture one whit, but merely makes a surcharge on taxpayers generally in order to subsidise the landowners. After the experience of the Corn Production Act, it surely does not require any argument from us to enforce that point, for the very Government now in power were forced to issue a Report pointing out that the concessions made under that Act had led to an inflation of the values of agricultural land up and down the country. Farmers were coerced, under pressure from the landlords, into buying their farms at enormous prices, owing to the fact that the value of land had become inflated through these concessions. I mention that historical record to show that concessions of this kind do not stand to benefit agriculturists pure and simple, but that they percolate through into the pockets of the landowners by increasing the value of the land.
I see one hon. Member shaking his head, but I would like him to disprove what I am saying. If he can show that this will not give an increased value to the land of the landowner, then I will withdraw 1954 my objection. The basis on which these concessions were given was the basis of the argument of the Minister of Health the other day with respect to the remission of rates on machinery. He said it would assist machinery if we relieved the rates on machinery, and now it is said these concessions to agricultural land will give a distinct impetus to agriculture, although we know from experience that it is not so. If the Government are anxious to assist agriculture, farmers ought to be encouraged by being given relief in respect of improvements—encouraged to develop their farms, to (if I may use the argument of the Minister of Health) bring their equipment up to date, as Danish farmers have done. As this proposal stands, however, we regard it as nothing more not less than one of the most shameless concessions to landlordism, shameless because the cost of the concession falls on the taxpayers of the country generally. Last year more than £4,000,000 was paid over in order to make up the deficit resulting from the relief to agricultural land, which benefited landowners. When the ordinary people begin to understand that they have to pay for these concessions to landowners, there will be a rude awakening in this country. It would not be so bad if these concessions led to anything, if they were effective in the sense in which the supporters of them promised they would be, but they are not and we challenge the House to prove that these concessions have been anything more than I have stated them to be, concessions to landlordism, affording landlords greater powers to demand inflated prices for their land and not assisting agriculturists to develop agriculture and bring their equipment up to date.
Mr. T. THOMSON
I beg to second the Amendment. In the discussion as to whether this Amendment was in Order it was suggested that if it were carried it would, in effect, repeal the Agricultural Rates Acts, 1896 and 1922. That, indeed, is one of the objects of the Amendment. The chaotic state of rating in the country demands that the subject should be dealt with on a wholesale scale and not in this piecemeal fashion. The incidence of rating and the unfairness of the apportionment of the burdens between one district and another and as between the National Exchequer and the local 1955 ratepayers, are questions which have cried aloud for redress for many years. It is interesting to turn up the Debates in. this House when the original concession to agriculture was granted in 1896, because they show that it was granted as temporary relief till the whole question could be gone into. Some 30 years have gone by, and we are still awaiting that final and permanent adjustment of the incidence of rating as between one locality and another and between the State and the ratepayers. If, as this Bill proposes, we make permanent the concessions which have been wrung by the agriculturists from the Government, we shall postpone definitely that larger readjustment which we have been awaiting for so long. If it were possible to prevent these Sections being put in, and if the agriculturists had to wait till the urban areas got their concessions, there would be some chance of a general measure of justice being done. I submit to the House that this question is too large to be dealt with in piecemeal fashion, and that we want the whole question of rating gone into from top to bottom, because until we get the whole question reviewed there is no prospect of justice being done to the urban ratepayers.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I do not think the House will require to hear any long defence of the proposals in this Bill. I need only say that this is a. permanent part of the proposals of the Government, that all the matters have been fully considered, and that we adhere to the proposals in the Bill. I think the hon. Member for Middlesbrough West (Mr. T. Thomson), if he will forgive me for saying so, ought to be the last to complain of this matter being dealt with in piecemeal fashion, in view of the opportunities his own party have had in the past. His own leader, indeed, commended the action of the Government as a very courageous course. As far as this particular matter is concerned, we must adhere to the proposals in the Bill.
I do not wonder that the hon. Gentleman declines to argue this question, because it is rather difficult to argue in favour of a 75 per cent. remission in the case of agricultural land. I congratulate the 1956 hon. Member for West Middlesbrough West (Mr. T. Thomson) on maintaining the attitude which was taken up by his party when this system of granting relief to agricultural land was first introduced into this House. There was in 1896 no more perfervid opponent of the suggestion of the granting of 50 per cent. relief to agriculture than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George). At that time the whole Liberal party opposed vigorously the temporary measure to exempt agricultural land from 50 per cent. of the rates. The arguments then used are as sound to-day as they were then. It is a gift to the landlords of this country. Does anybody deny it? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes!"] I am glad to hear some hon. Members opposite still denying it, because it has become almost a truism. [An HON. MEMBER: "Will the right hon. Gentleman give an example showing that the rents have been raised?"] I can show that it is a gift to the landlords, and I can give in evidence against you the words of Francis Dyke-Acland once a Liberal Member, who, when the Government brought in the Bill to extend the 50 per cent. to 75 per cent., supported it frankly on the ground that it would give an addition to his income. Otherwise, why should this provision for agricultural land have been pressed for by the Land Union and the landed interests of this country? Hon. Members may be able to distinguish between giving the remission of rates on agricultural land which we have here and giving the remission of rates on buildings, which we support. Perhaps it will be as well just for me to mention the decisions of two or three political economists of note on this question. The question of the incidence of rates has been one that has always, ever since I have been in politics, been very much before this country. I will give first of all the definition of Sir Alfred Marshall who was for a long time the leading political economist in this country. He said:The question of where the incidence of rates rests, is one which depended upon the property rated.He said that that portion of the rate which was proportionate to the value of the buildings and improvements, rested utlimately upon the user, upon the con- 1957 sumer; but that portion of the rate which was proportional to the value of the land in the hereditamentrested ultimately upon the landlord, and could rest nowhere else.That is the reason, on account of that economic truism, why we support the remission of rates upon the buildings and improvements—because that remission, if granted, means that the people who use these improvements are able to get them more cheaply. That is also the reason why we support the rating of the land and why we oppose the remission of rates upon land values, because we know that the incidence of that rate is ultimately upon the landlord, and even if the tenant pays it at first hand, sooner or later it must rest upon the landlord. That is the argument we have been using throughout this Bill. I would ask the House to observe how the Government have treated, first of all, the argument itself. They have never in all the Debates we have had, in Committee and downstairs, for one moment defended on economic grounds the position they have taken up. They have always brought forward the argument of pressure, and never come down to economic facts in order to deal with the case put forward by ourselves. Secondly, I would ask the House to observe that this remission on agricultural land was first made in 1897, and House of Commons after House of Commons has continued it. Why? Because directly you made a concession to the vested interests it was impossible to get it back.
Now the Government came along in 1923, and extended it from 50 to 75 per cent., and the inevitable result of that was that other ratepayers had to pay additional burdens. Therefore, you are, by your gift to the landlords, enabling them to get higher rents, and you are making the concession to them at the expense of the ether ratepayers who have to live in the houses or use the machinery or the factories. In that way you are hitting industry both ways. You are making it very difficult for people to make houses and use houses, machinery or factories, and at the same time you are enabling men who own land to charge a higher price for the land when anybody who wants to use it tries to get it. The burden of the rates has been described as 1958 being a hereditary burden, and it is, in this sense, that every time the land changes hand, whether by inheritance or by purchase, the purchaser takes into account the fact that that land is subject to the payment of rates.
No one who has bought land—and I suppose everyone has bought land at some time or other—without working out what the rates will be and taking the rates into account in deciding what the purchase price of land should be. If you give a remission of rates, such as is proposed in this Bill for ever, to agricultural land, people who buy that land in the future are prepared and able to pay higher prices by reason of the fact that the rates to be paid will be less. Higher prices will be paid for the land, and therefore they are saddled with the necessity of the interest on that, having their industries taxed by the higher vent. You have the landlord able to extract a higher amount for the right to use the land of England and a higher tax levied upon the people who actually use the land, whether it be by farm buildings or houses. For all these reasons I put it to the Government that whether we win or lose in the Division it is its duty, if it is anxious to improve the trade of the country and anxious to reduce unemployment, to put up an economic case in support of this Clause, and not to follow the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Health in merely saying, "We are going to have this, and I decline to give a single argument!"
§ Mr. RILEY
I want to support this Amendment for three simple reasons. The first is that we have been assured by the Minister of Health that this Bill was not intended to introduce new principles into rating or taxation. We have been recently repeatedly assured that it was only a matter of improving the machinery of rating, and not of new principles. I am going to submit to the House that, although it may be argued that in view of the fact that a reduction of 75 per cent. in agricultural land in the matter of rating has been in operation, 50 per cent. from 1897 and 75 per cent. from 1923, there is no introduction of a new principle, I beg to remind the House that the principle of differentiating as a permanent method of rating in this 1959 country between agricultural land and other property has never been settled by this House. It has only been settled temporarily from time to time. The point of this provision in the Bill is that it is seeking to make permanent great principles on which this House has never pronounced. For that reason I will support the Amendment.
I support it, in the second place, because, as has already been said—and I think it is well for hon. Members on these benches who are new to this House to have this recalled to their minds—in 1896 this concession was first embodied in the rating of this country. It was done specifically, as embodied in the Bill, only for five years. It was regarded specifically as a temporary Measure to tide over a difficult time. It is true that at the end of five years this Measure was renewed from year to year. In 1893 there was an addition of 25 per cent., but it was not permanent, and later it had to be renewed in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill from year to year. This concession has been given now for over 29 years, and it has not achieved its purpose. It has not been the usual practice of this House for a responsible Government to settle such a vital principle as the differentiation between land and other properties in a general Bill of this kind, and this question should have been dealt with entirely on its own merits.
My third objection is that on economic grounds this remission of rating upon agricultural land does not achieve the object which its supporters have in view. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) argued that as a matter of fact there could be no question on economic ground that in normal circumstances the landowner is bound to reap the benefit from any such proposal as this. If you have a depressed industry it may be that during the depression the occupier will have the advantage, but when normal times are restored and prosperity comes, the advantage obtained by the occupier will undoubtedly be taken by the owner of the land. Those who question the soundness of this argument may ask what does it matter to a man whether he is 1960 in business or in the occupation of a farm if he pays one sum in rent as his total possible payment or whether he divides that payment into two and calls one part rent and the other part rates. It makes no difference. He makes up his mind that he can pay a certain amount, and if some concession of this kind relieves him of those obligations he can still continue to pay and the landlord knows this perfectly well.
The argument has been challenged as to whether rents increase as a result of concessions of this kind. The Corn Production Act had exactly the same effect as a concession made by the Relief of Rates on agricultural land. During the period of 1917–1921 we know that, in consequence of a subsidy to the occupiers of arable land, rents rose from 20 to 30 per cent. and that is admitted. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It is perfectly well known. If that is not true why did the price of agricultural land rise all over the country as a consequence? I submit that in the same way the landowner gets the advantage of this concession just as he did under the Corn Production Act, and that is not a principle which ought to be established in a Measure of this kind.
§ Sir ROBERT SANDERS
If hon. Members use the argument that any remission of rates goes into the landlords' pockets, of course, they must admit that the converse is true. I simply want to point out what that means. It means that as the rates go higher the burden falls upon the landlord and the rates are borne by the landlords. Those rates have been going up steadily year after year, and if we accept the contention of hon. Members opposite as being true when the children of those employed in agriculture go to school they go at the landlords' charge; and when the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for New-castle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) drives his Rolls-Royce he is driving on roads kept up at the landlords' charge; and when he is arrested by the police for driving too fast, he is arrested by men also kept up at the landlords' charge. How much longer do hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to go on sponging on the benevolence of the landlord?
§ Mr. HARDIE
I have watched this Bill with some care in relation to its effect upon 1961 land, and I have noticed the hypocrisy of the present Government when it talks about peace in our time, at the same time trying to hang on to these fine phrases the most vile acts that one human being can perpetrate upon another. The last speaker did not tell us when he spoke about the landlords keeping up the roads where the landlord got the money from. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells opposite (Sir R. Sanders) uses the word "sponge" that is a word that can be used in a great many ways and it has a great many applications, and those landlords who have sponged for centuries on the industry of the common people should be the last to use an argument of that kind. What I want to point out chiefly is that, while land rated as agricultural land within our cities enjoys this exemption, it is at the same time held for the monopolist's opportunity when it is desired to build houses for the people. There you have the real hypocrisy of the present Government. What is more vile than a number of gentlemen posing as friends while they are taking a mean advantage in retaining a monopoly on that land, so that when you come to build upon it it is priced at from £800 to £l,000? It is far more than that in some cases, but that is a level average; I never like to exaggerate, as they do on the other side. You have the Government posing in an economy stunt—that is the only term I know for it—but you never. get that economy applied to the landlords on their side; when they speak about economy, it is either stealing from the ex-service men who defended the land—
§ HON. MEMBERS: Order!
§ Mr. HARDIE
If it is to be a question of economy, how is it that those who speak of economy must always come to that which is looked upon as the real essential in civilisation, namely, education?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Surely, it is in order to show that, if you reduce the 1962 assessment on agricultural land by 75 percent., there is less chance of raising the necessary money for education?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member was talking about the Government's policy with regard to education.
§ Mr. HARDIE
In doing so I was commenting on what was taking place, because the question of economy, which we are discussing in this Bill, is economy from a land point of view, and I was dealing with this land that is inside cities. Suppose that we want a piece of that land in a city to build a school, what takes place? The education authority has to submit to being bled by the landlord, although he has been enjoying this remission, and that amounts to taking from the child in order to give to the landlord. It seems to be that the only essential, from the Tory point of view is to protect the landlord, and not the land or those who are living on it. We are passing through this House a means whereby the landlord can inflate his banking account, while depleting the city's funds which ought to go for social purposes. It is taking from the poor and giving to the rich all the time; and let me repeat, that it is not only taking from the ex-service man but taking from the unemployed man. The three-fourths that should be paid by the landlords would meet our supposed financial deficiency in dealing with unemployment. But for the system of landowning and the system of rating to-day, the whole of our unemployment problem would have a very different aspect. The whole of the arguments that have been used show that there is not a social outlook in the minds of hon. Gentlemen on the other side, but that, when it is a question of land, the whole of the social outlook disappears, and it comes to exactly what the last speaker said. They look upon themselves, as landlords, as something superior to other people who have come by the same forces on to this earth, and they desire to use every power, while posing hypocritically as friends, to pass in their own interests everything for the benefit of landowners.
§ Question put, "That the words 'agricultural land' stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 272; Noes, 113.1965
|Division No. 428.]||AYES.||[9.50 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Albery, Irving James||Fraser, Captain Ian||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Frece, Sir Walter de||Meller R. J.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Apsley, Lord||Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gates, Percy||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Atkinson, C.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Goff, Sir Park||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Barnett, Major Richard||Gower, Sir Robert||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Grant, J. A.||Morden, Col. W. Grant|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Gretton, Colonel John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Murchison, C. K.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bethell, A.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Neville, R. J.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hammersley, S. S.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hanbury, C.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Brass, Captain W.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Owen, Major G.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Haslam, Henry C.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hawke, John Anthony||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Pielou, D. P.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Pilcher, G.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hebert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Brown, Brig-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hilton, Cecil||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Preston, William|
|Bruman, J. B.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D,||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Raine, W.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Holland, Sir Arthur||Ramsden, E.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Holt, Captain H. P.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Remer, J. R.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Laywood)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Rye, F. G.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Salmon, Major I|
|Chilcott, Sir warden||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Christie, J. A.||Huntingfield, Lord||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hurd, Percy A.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Sandon, Lord|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Savery, S. S.|
|Conway Sir W. Martin||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westby)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Jacob, A. E.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Jephcott, A. R.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Crookshank, Col. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lamb, J. Q.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Drewe, C.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Storry Deans, R.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Loder, J. de V.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Looker, Herbert William||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Elveden, Viscount.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Lumley, L. R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McLean, Major A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Fermoy, Lord||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Tinne, J. A.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Macquisten, F. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Forrest, W.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Wallace, Captain D. E.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kington-on-Hull)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Warrender, Sir Victor||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Winby, Colonel L. P.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Watts, Dr. T.||Wise, Sir Fredric||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wells, S. R.||Wolmer, Viscount||Major Cope and Lord Stanley.|
|Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardie, George D.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harris, Percy A.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayday, Arthur||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snell, Harry|
|Batey, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. Huddersfield||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kennedy, T.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lansbury, George||Thurtle, E.|
|Clowes, S.||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lee, F.||Townend, A. E.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lowth, T.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lunn, William||Viant, S. P.|
|Connolly, M.||Mackinder, W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cove, W. G.||MacLaren, Andrew||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Warne, G. H.|
|Dalton, Hugh||March, S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Montague, Frederick||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Morris, R. H.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dennison, R.||Murnin, H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Duncan, C.||Naylor, T. E.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Palin, John Henry||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Paling, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Gillett, George M.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Windsor, Walter|
|Gosling, Harry||Potts, John S.||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Purcell, A. A.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Groves, T.||Riley, Ben||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Rose, Frank H.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Barnes.|
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The next two Amendments on the Paper are not quite in correct form. The hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. B. Peto) has handed one in which is correct, forming paragraph (2).
§ Mr. B. PETO
I beg to move, in page 65, after line 6, to insert the words
You, Sir, have slightly altered the form of the Amendment, leaving the first paragraph intact and adding my words to it. The reason for these slightly altered words had perhaps better be put before 1966 the House first. It is desirable to leave agricultural land, as provided by the Schedule, in an item by itself and to ask for an extension to certain specified buildings, which really are farm buildings used solely in connection with agricultural operations, which include buildings necessary for market gardening operations and to extend to these buildings the same concessions as are now made to agricultural land. When this question was discussed in Committee, an Amendment in similar terms to mine was moved by the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Rhys), and there was upstairs some doubt as to whether that carried necessarily a request for an Exchequer grant to meet the deficiency in the rates. The hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Lamb) and the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) assumed that that must be so. The Minister told us clearly that in his view it had no 1967 such implication and that it meant a spreading of the deficiency of rates which would have existed upon other hereditaments within the assessment area. He said that might amount to 2d. in the pound or even, in some rural areas, to 6d. in the pound. He also said he had always regarded this question as bound up with the Exchequer Grant. After Debate the Amendment was withdrawn, and it was decided to leave the matter to be further raised down here, and he promised that it should receive the consideration of the Cabinet in the interval. He was also pressed to give a free vote of the House, as had already been arranged for the greater question of the rating of machinery in factories. He did not bind himself to that, and I should like to know whether he has decided to give that free vote, should a vote be taken at all on the question.
"(2) Buildings other than dwelling houses occupied together with agricultural land or being or forming part of a market garden, and in either case used solely in connection with agricultural operations thereon. Seventy five per cent. of the net annual value."
There are other Amendments on the Paper dealing with this question. I will only refer briefly to that of the hon. Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley), which I think leaves the question of what should be relieved from rating in some doubt. Apparently his intention was to include in the hereditaments to be granted this partial relief from rating, agricultural cottages, but I do not like that proposal, and I would like to give the House my reason why. First of all, I will deal with—
§ Mr. PETO
I apologise, but I will deal with the point all the same for there was argument at considerable length upstairs in Committee, as to whether or not the granting of relief to farm buildings would impose burdens upon small cottage property occupied by agricultural labourers. Taking the figures given upstairs, it was said that a possible maximum of 6d. would be put on the rates in some of the rural areas, but what does that mean on cottage property of an annual gross value of £7 10s., which, roughly, represents 3s. per week. The House has just passed relief in respect of gross value for repairs of 40 per cent. instead of the 33⅓ per cent. contemplated in the Bill, but even taking the one-third off, that cottage would be rated only at 1968 £5 a year, and that would mean a maximum increased charge of half-a-crown a year. It is inconceivable that any such charge as that could possibly be handed on in the form of increased rent, even if any landlord so desired. Administratively, it appears to be quite impossible to exclude dwellings of any sort, because a cottage occupied one day by an agricultural labourer and used only in connection with a farm, might, owing to a small alteration in the method of cultivation or the farmer having perhaps sons of his own working, and requiring one or more labourers less, be occupied immediately afterwards by some other person who was not connected with farming. I do not think the assessing and rating authorities would know where they were, unless we drew the definition as it is drawn in the Amendment which I am moving.
I shall argue this question,—and I will only very briefly detain the House—on the supposition that no Exchequer grant is in contemplation at the present time, and, indeed, it was made clear upstairs in Committee that such a grant was quite impossible. Against the proposal I am making there are three main arguments used, which are all really variations of the same argument. The first is that this addition upon the rates when distributed would fall upon cottages—and as far as the cottages are concerned I have dealt with that point—and upon small householders in the same parish. That is not so. The assessing areas are now very wide, much wider than the parish, and I would like to quote to the House what the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill told us in Committee he thought was going to be the incidence of this charge. He said:It means the deficiency which would arise would have to fall upon other ratepayers in the district. It is going to fall upon house property. It is going to fall upon owners of the land. It is going to fall upon industrial establishments if there are any.As far as industrial establishments are concerned, I only need to remind the House that last Wednesday we gave a very material relief to these industrial establishments and factories in the un-rating of machinery, and it is therefore rightly felt by the agricultural community that where these factories are pushed out 1969 into rural areas, and they are likely to extend—and I hope they will in that direction, leaving more room for people who are working in the factories to be housed under better conditions than in the crowded districts of the cities—that if that occurs, it means that the relief from the machinery rating is bound to be distributed to some extent over the agricultural community, and therefore I think it is a very proper balance, if you like a balance in these matters, that there should be some distribution of the rates which now fall upon farm buildings, upon such industrial establishments.
There are, however, practically no rural areas which do not include towns of one size or another. It is true that under this Bill great cities come under separate assessing areas, but the smaller towns do not, and there is undoubtedly an immense body of hereditaments of one kind and another, including shops and buildings of all kinds in towns which would be able to bear to some extent this very small burden which would be cast upon them.
Then we are told that this would be to benefit farmers at the expense of the smallholders. I hold that that is not so. On the contrary, it is one of the arguments for this proposal, for one of the greatest difficulties in establishing smallholdings is that, unless there are small farm buildings, it means the erection of new buildings to work these small holdings, and I think it is one of the things which will most contribute to enabling the necessary buildings to be erected for small holdings that these buildings should be rated only at the quarter rate and should not be penalised and their cost be put up by having the full rates placed upon them. Then I would very much like the right hon. Gentleman to tell us whether he has any estimate of the amount of money that this would mean in rates. I have been told it is about £600,000 a year. That may perhaps be an excessive figure, but perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would tell us what proportion that bears to the total rates that are to be levied and collected in the rural areas. I think it would be a very minute percentage of the total.
On the other side, the arguments for this Amendment are very strong indeed. It appears to me that there is need for improved buildings on farms, and I 1970 instance only three which are much needed and which are not any of them either fully, or in some cases at all provided on the farms to-day. The provision of such buildings for the economical working of farms is one of the great needs of agriculture at the present time. The three things I want to mention are Dutch barns, silos, and improved sanitary cow sheds, and I am quite certain that every one will want to encourage these things to be put up on our farms so as to get cheaper production of agricultural produce. The surest way of doing this is by relieving those buildings as they are put up from as large a share of the rates as we possibly can. All parties are agreed in regarding increased agricultural production as essential from the national point of view. That is the whole basis of the new land proposals associated with the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), and, although we do not agree with the methods he proposes, and I notice the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) is as emphatic as anyone on these benches can be —
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Has the hon. Member taken notice of what you, Mr. Speaker, said in the early part of the proceedings?
§ Mr. PETO
Everyone, whatever his views on this question, is agreed on the main question that we wish to increase agricultural production and to ensure cheaper production of food commodities. The surest way to increase production is to diminish the burdens imposed upon the equipment of farms. I have referred to buildings for smallholders, which is also a strong argument for this Amendment. Although we do not ask for any Exchequer grant, I feel that one would be well justified if the finances of the country permitted it, and I hope that some day that may be a concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer may be able to make. Without it, I would call the attention of the House to the fact that the full burden of the Pensions Act lately passed through this House 1971 falls upon farmers and farm labourers. On that account, they are entitled to some concession. A share of the machinery remission which was given in Clause 24 will undoubtedly fall on the rural taxpayers. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment, and that hon. and right hon. Members opposite will agree to the principle. The right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) indicated that he was in favour of it. In any event, I would ask the Minister to give us a free Division.
§ Major RUGGLES-BRISE
I beg to second the Amendment.
Farm buildings are not capable of being beneficially occupied apart from the land. That is a very important point. In this Amendment we do not ask that farmhouses or farm cottages should be included at the same rate as agricultural land, for the reason that they are capable of being occupied beneficially apart from the land, whereas farm buildings are not so capable. For a long time past in Scotland farm buildings, farm-houses and farm cottages have been rated at the same rate as agricultural land; but we do not ask for so much as that. In proposing, as the Mover of this Amendment has done, to put farm buildings on the same basis as agricultural land, and linking that up with the de-rating of machinery, there is a very close analogy between the two things, apart from any question of mere justice.
It has been often argued that the land is the raw material of the agricultural industry. It would be far more accurate to describe land as the machinery of the agricultural industry. The raw material of the farmer is the seed. The land is the machine into which he puts the seed. He ploughs, cultivates and harrows the land and then drills it with the seed. Ultimately, the machine gives him back the product. When the farmer receives that product from the land, he has to have some building in which he can condition the product and finish it off before it is capable of being placed on the market. Therefore, I submit that there is a very close analogy between machinery used in a factory and agricultural land used on a farm.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
The Mover and Seconder of the Amendment seemed both to be astounded at their own moderation. They have managed to get only 75 per cent. of the net value off the land, and now they propose 75 per cent. off the buildings; and I understand that the Amendment will probably be accepted by the Government. Surely it would save a great deal of trouble if the Government had decided, first of all, to introduce some short Clause which said that no one engaged in agriculture should pay anything at all. I have never seen such an extraordinary succession of surrenders to vested interests. When the Minister started he was quite firm and strong on these points. Then gradually he gave way, and towards the end, especially during this stage, he and the Parliamentary Secretary have been mere toads under the harrow. The whole story seems to have been this: The Minister undertook to get this Bill passed. He has found that there was great opposition from the agriculturists. He has had to throw sop after sop to the agriculturists, and he has managed by those sops to get their support for the Bill, and they in turn have agreed to support the de-rating of machinery. i never saw such an extraordinary performance. It is a record example of logrolling.
Let us look at the arguments. We had an extremely interesting one from the hon. and gallant Member for Maldon (Major Ruggles-Brise). Analogies are always dangerous. He gave us an interesting analogy between machinery and agriculture. Let me take one of the instances given by the Mover of the Amendment—the case of cowsheds. Surely in the cowshed the cow is the machinery. Therefore, you might de-rate the cow, but you would not de-rate the cowshed. In the same way you do not de-rate the framework of the factory in which is the machinery. One can argue anything of that sort from analogy. What we have to look at in this House is some sort of equity in the matter. The Government might say: "This is an important industry, and we have to help it." I have never yet heard of an industry that, during the last five or six years, has not been crying out for help, and always at someone else's expense. The agriculturist might have come forward and said: "We want help for agri- 1973 culture. We will give up the 75 per cent. off the land if you will give us 75 per cent. off our buildings, and then we will go ahead and improve our buildings and agriculture." But they want the lot; everything has to come off for agriculture. On whom is the burden to go?
In all debates on this subject the Mover of the Amendment has been extremely frank. When he was talking about assessment Committees ho made it clear that the person he wanted on the committees was the person connected with the landed class. He said, in effect, "Oh, yes; we will free the agricultural land. There are plenty of nice little towns, and they can pay." What about the shopkeepers and the others? They will not escape under the de-rating of machinery or any of the other reliefs given. The shopkeepers I dare say deserve all they get, because they support the party opposite, but there is an election at Bury St. Edmunds, and the farmers are not even yet satisfied and before this Bill goes out from this House I suppose we shall have another concession.
We are told this is only a mere £600,000 a year. They hardly say "Thank you" for that. But I can scarcely imagine that the artisans of the towns and all the people who live in the country and who are not actually engaged in agriculture, are going to be very pleased to have this burden put upon them. What about the movement to do something for the people in the villages, such as the blacksmiths? Apparently all are to be overlooked except the great agricultural interest. We have seen in this matter a pitiable surrender all the way through. No one has attempted to put this case on any basis of equity, or on any basis of proper rating whatever. Anyone who looks back to what was said previously by hon. Members who have been moving this and similar Amendments on the Report stage—and getting them accepted—and contrasts their present attitude with their attitude when the Bill was first in Committee, will find that it is the contrast between the tiger when he first went for the walk with the lady and the tiger when he returned. He has now returned; there is a smile on the face of the tiger and the right hon. Gentleman is inside.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
No doubt the sallies of the hon. Member are thrown out in order to cover the extraordinary division which appears to exist in his own party. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is it?"] Where is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for New-castle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood). He has told us repeatedly how much he is in favour of this particular Amendment. Why is he not here now to listen to the denunciations of it by his colleague on the Front Opposition Bench. The hon. Member who has just sat down seeks to represent my attitude as having been firmly opposed to this Amendment in Committee, and gradually weakening until at the present moment he assumes I am going to accept it, and he seeks to connect that attitude with the Bury St. Edmunds Election. I think it is necessary that I should read to the House the first few words of my opening remarks upon this Amendment in Committee. The Amendment had just been attacked in no uncertain terms by the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Riley) and this is what I said:This proposal has been stigmatised by the hon. Member for Dewsbury as a perfectly indefensible proposition. I am bound to say I do not regard it in that light. I think it is a proposition that may be defended and for which indeed there is a great deal to be said, and I have personally a great deal of sympathy with it."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee A; 4th August, 1925, col. 883.]That makes quite clear what my own personal position was from the first. I stated to the Committee that I had always regarded the question of the relief of farm buildings as bound up with an Exchequer contribution to make up the deficiency which would thereby be caused, and I felt if the proposition were to be put, apart from that Exchequer subsidy, I should have to look at it from another point of view. I told the Committee frankly I could not take upon myself the responsibility of accepting a change of so important a character without consultation with my colleagues in the Cabinet. My hon. Friend the Mover, in putting forward the new form of his Amendment, which I must say I like better than the form on the Paper, said he quite understood, and that I had made it clear in Committee that no Exchequer subsidy would be forthcoming at present. 1975 I think he repeated those words twice. Of course, no one standing at this Box can bind Governments which come after him, but I do not think I should be fair to Members of this House if I did not say here most emphatically that, so far as this Government is concerned, it is not merely a question of not giving a subsidy at present, but that no subsidy at all must be expected if an Amendment of this kind is made in the Bill. Hon. Members must regard it as quite apart from a subsidy. If they want to vote for a proposition of this kind, they must understand that the burden is going to fall on other ratepayers, and it is not going to be made up by any subsidy from the Exchequer, any more than the rating of machinery was. Therefore, they would do well to consider the matter from that point of view, and to weigh up the advantages and the disadvantages that there may be.
What is going to be the effect of the Amendment? My hon. Friend has quoted what I said in Committee, that I was informed that it might mean an average rise of something like 2d. in the £ and that in some eases in rural areas it might even rise as high as 6d. in the £. I, perhaps, ought to add to that that in that conclusion there was some allowance made for increased assessments on a new valuation. Whether that allowance is sufficient or not, I am not prepared to say. It is possible that the alteration in the assessments might bring down the aggregate to 2d. from that excessive amount of 6d. in some cases, but, at any rate, I think hon. Members will see that some considerable additional burden would be caused by a relief of this kind to farm buildings. My hon. Friend asked me if I could give him certain figures, and I may tell him that I think he is not far wrong in the estimate that he gave to the House of the amount of money which would be involved. It would be probably between £600,000 and £700,000. He asked me how much is collected in rates from all rural areas put together. Well, about £21,000,000.
I undertook in Committee that I would consult my colleagues upon this matter, and I have done so, and we feel that, although it is a mistake to pursue analogies too far between the various factors of agriculture and machinery, or 1976 even between machinery and other factors in industry, yet there is a certain resemblance between the two cases, that both, in fact, are in the nature of excrescences on the Bill, and on the whole the Cabinet came to the conclusion that they cannot refuse to do for this Amendment what they did for the Clause on the rating of machinery, and that is, to submit it to a free vote of the House. I want the House not to think that I am going to make free votes a habit. Personally, I do not like free votes, and I must say that I think that if it became a practice, the Government would be abrogating its proper responsibility, but the circumstances were rather exceptional in the case of the Clause dealing with the rating of machinery, and we have felt that there is sufficient that is similar in this case to make it only logical that we should give the same choice to the House as we did in that case. I hope this will be the last occasion for a long time when we shall feel ourselves called upon to offer a free vote.
One or two words more, because I feel that, as I gave my own personal view in regard to the rating of machinery, so I ought to give them in this case also. I remember that this was recommended by the Agricultural Tribunal set up in 1923, at the instance, I think, of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George). I remember that in Scotland farm buildings and land are taken together. It is quite true, I think, that buildings are useless without the land, and, to a great extent, land is useless without the buildings. Therefore, there is a good deal to be said for giving to the one the same relief that is given to the other. But, above all—and this is only my personal feeling—I do feel that the revival of agriculture in the national interest should be considered first and foremost. I am not going to develop that subject now. A great deal has been said about it, and a great deal may be said. While I have been a town dweller most of my life, I recognise that the town depends on the country. I think, therefore, that the interest of the town is bound up in that of the country, and I am personally very anxious to see agriculture improve, and employment on the land increase. If by this means we can do anything for agriculture, and make it more attractive, 1977 I believe it is in the national interests. That is my principal reason for feeling that if this Amendment goes to a Division, I myself shall go into the Lobby in support of it.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I should like to compliment the right hon. Gentleman on the very courteous and fair way in which he has submitted his case. It is quite true he has given the House an opportunity of a free vote, but it is also right to say that the full weight of his ministerial influence has been brought down heavily on the side of this con-cession, to agriculture. I am beginning to wonder exactly what number of petitions has been sent in from rural areas, and what weight they had with the right hon. Gentleman in his present decision. There would appear to have been some arrangement between the industrial and agricultural sections on the Government Benches. All the agriculturists were opposing the derating of machinery, but, finally, they not only supported, but actually went into the Lobby in favour of it. Now we have got the reason. There has been a distinct agreement between the two sections, so that the victors at the last Election are going to retain the spoil for themselves. The right hon. Gentleman said it is only a matter of from £600,000 to £700,000. They told us, on the rating of machinery, it was only going to be a comparatively small sum; it would only increase the rent of working-class dwellings by a few coppers a week. This is only going to increase rates by from 2d. to 6d., according to the district, and to increase the rent by a comparatively small sum. But all this £600,000 to £700,000 per annum will have to be drawn from another source than that from which it is drawn at the present moment.
Whatever may be the views of the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters, you cannot exclude any section of the community in relation to half or three-quarters of a million pounds without planting the responsibility upon the shoulders of another section of the community. Let the right hon. Gentleman be honest and tell the House that the Government has no agricultural policy, that they do not know what to do to feed the hungry appetites of the farmers, and that the Government have to put their 1978 hands into the pockets of the working classes to feed the farmers. Then not only the House but the whole of the country would understand what is the position. The Government have been in office for 13 months. They have been a miserable failure from every point of view. This seems to be the only means at their disposal—that of robbing the poor. But, as the hon. Baronet who spoke earlier in the Debate—the previous Minister of Agriculture—said, however much you relieve agriculture by rates or by any other means, sooner or later the benefits will filter through to the landlord. So they will in this case. It seems to me, therefore, there is more bribery and corruption embodied in this Bill than there has been in any Bill which has been passed for a very long time. I hope the Opposition will not be evident only in this particular case, but all through.
§ Mr. BARNES
The Minister in the course of his observations put forward the argument that this Amendment was analagous to the rating of machinery. I am convinced that the Minister knows that that is incorrect. I oppose the derating of machinery, not because I do not realise its incidence is unfair, but we on this side oppose it because at present it is simply placing the burden upon the small householder, shop property, and property of that character. The argument for the de-rating of machinery is because the different trades use different types of machine. According to the output of the trade and the amount of the capital invested, machinery varies from industry to industry. But this class of argument does not apply to the farming industry. [HON. MEMBERS: "It does."] I say it does not. The quality and type of the buildings, more or less, are universal throughout the farming industry. And particularly this section of the farming industry that this Amendment aims to relieve. This aims at relieving the dairying section of the agriculture of this country. The Amendment mentions dairy sheds, silos, etc. That type of industry is not in a bad way. It is the one section of agriculture that is paying its way. It is the cereal side of farming that is in difficulties. This Bill started out only to be an Act dealing with rating. It is becoming an act of plunder. If you relieve machinery, you place the 1979 burden upon house property, shops, etc., and that reduces again the general relief. Now it is proposed—
§ Mr. BARNES
We are going to vote against it. I hope hon. Members on this side will prevent you from getting your Bill if you are going to adopt tactics of this sort. It is a dishonest practice on the part of the Government. They know very well that by this process they are simply giving secret subsidies to agriculture. If they want to subsidise agriculture, why do not they come out in a straightforward, honest way and give £l or £2 an acre, so that the electorate and the country should know what they are doing? But this method of using political power through a Bill of this sort, which attracts very little public attention— [Laughter.] Yes, very little attention, except from the vested interests. The mass of the people do not know what is taking place on this rating Bill. It is only employers' federations, chambers of trade, farmers' unions, and bodies of that sort who know what is being done in this direction. The Government, with their responsibility, knowing what is happening, have done a wrong thing in refusing to accept their obligations. They know that the Exchequer will not shoulder the burden, and they should not push the burdens they will not themselves shoulder on to individual citizens. The Government will not accept the odium of raising additional taxes for the relief they are giving. What they propose is the dishonest method of relieving a section of the taxpayers at the cost of others who are less alert. My contention is that this is a wrong way of building up agriculture. Instead of harmonising the interests of the urban areas and the agricultural districts, which is the only possible solution, instead of Parliament compelling the agricultural interest to put their house in order, to adopt up-to-date methods, to improve their plant, to get their market by economical marketing, their policy is subsidising inefficiency. Inefficiency in agriculture means, ultimately, the decline of our national life. For these general reasons I oppose this Clause; it is vicious, it is unfair, and it is uneconomical.
§ Mr. HARRISON
It is not very easy for me to strike a discordant note on the proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Mr. B. Peto), who moved this Amendment. Frankly, I am in favour of these farm buildings being given exemption, but where I fail to see eye to eye with him is that I feel that the charge ought to be met by the State and should not be borne by the rating areas. The Minister has kindly given us a very frank statement, and has told us that we cannot expect to get a subsidy during the lifetime of this Parliament, and so it remains that the people in the rating areas will have to pay for this, and in some cases they may be the workpeople on the very farms. I know that farmers in many cases pay the rates of their workmen, but there are also innumerable cases where the farm workers pay their own rates. It may also be distasteful to some farmers to get relief by this method, and there may be a certain amount of feeling among their friends and neighbours in the rating area who will have to bear the burden. It is the method by which the rating of these buildings is going to be relieved that is objectionable, not the principle of disrating, and my feeling is that until such time as the Government can afford to meet this burden from the Exchequer, legislation should be maintained on existing lines.
§ Mr. R1LEY
A moment or two ago I was quoted as having said in Committee that this proposal is indefensible. I am still of that opinion, and I venture to say further that the Minister himself 10 years ago—or less than 10 years ago, if he was not in Parliament then—held the same opinion, and would have regarded a proposition of this kind as entirely indefensible. But he has been contaminated by association with vested interests in this House, and he has swallowed what he would not have swallowed 10 or 15 years ago. He has already said in the course of the Debate, quite frankly and openly, that there is no question that this proposal is going to mean an additional burden of £700,000 upon the ratepayer other than on farm buildings. He admits that, and also that the money has to be found; and therefore it is quite clear that small cottage-holders, villagers, shopkeepers, and other small people have got to find the money that he is giving as a 1981 free gift to the landowners of this country.
The hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. B. Peto), who moved the Amendment, argued that the incidence of this additional burden upon the small occupier is so small that it would never be passed on to him by the owner at all. May I remind him as a matter of fact that in a recent Act every owner is entitled, although he pays the rates, to insist upon the occupier paying any increase of rates
§ accruing, and that therefore it is quite obvious he would be entitled to pass the burden on to the small occupier, and there would be no mistake, where an occupier is occupying a house of £15 to £20, that in that case he has to pay it. On this ground we say that the present proposal ought to be rejected.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Schedule."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 261; Noes, 119.1983
|Division No. 429.]||AYES.||[10.55 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Albery, Irving James||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Drawe, C.||Huntingfield, Lord|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Apsley, Lord||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Elliot, Captain Waller E.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Elveden, Viscount||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Atkinson, C.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Jacob, A. E.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Fermey, Lord||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Fleming, D. P.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Forrest, W.||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Frece, Sir Walter de||Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Ganzoni, Sir John||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'lh)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Gates, Percy||Loder, J. de V.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Looker, Herbert William|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harmon|
|Briggs, J, Harold||Goff, Sir Park||Lumley, L. R.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gower, Sir Robert||MacAndrew, Charles Glen|
|Brocklebank, C. E. B.||Grant, J. A.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Gretton, Colonel John||McLean, Major A.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Grotrian, H. Brent||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Surney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Marriott, Sir J. A. H.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Meller, R. J.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hammersley, S. S.||Meriman, F. B.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hanbury, C.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hartington, Marquess of||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Haslam, Henry C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hawke, John Anthony||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Morden, Col. W. Grant|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Morris, R. H.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Cope, Major William||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Murchison, C. K.|
|Couper, J. B.||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Neville, R. J.|
|Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Holland, Sir Arthur||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Owen, Major G.|
|Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Pielou, D. P.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Pilcher, G.||Shepperson, E. W.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Skelton, A. N.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dinc, C.)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Raine, W.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Ramsden, E.||Smithers, Waldron||Wells, S. R.|
|Rees, Sir Beddoe||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wholer, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Spender Clay, Colonel H.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Remer, J. R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden, E.)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wilton, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Storry Deans, R.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Rye, F. G.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Salmon, Major I.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Sandeman, A. Stewart||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sandon, Lord||Tinne, J. A.||Mr. Basil Peto and Major|
|Savery, S. S.||Tichfield, Major the Marquess of||Ruggles-Brise.|
|Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardie, George D.||Scurr, John|
|Ammon Charles George||Harris, Percy A.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harrison, G J. C.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, Walter||Hayday, Arthur||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hilton, Cecil||Smillie, Robert|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kirkwood, D.||Thurtle, E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lansbury, George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lawson, John James||Townend, A. E.|
|Christie, J. A,||Lee, F.||Viant, S. P.|
|Clowes, S.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lowth, T.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Compton, Joseph||Lunn, William||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Connolly, M.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Warne, G. H.|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||MacLaren, Andrew||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Malone, Major P. B.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Whiteley, W.|
|Duncan, C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Palin, John Henry||Windsor, Walter|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Gosling, Harry||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Rose, Frank H.||Charles Edwards.|
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 65, line 7, column 2, after "(2a)," to insert the words "Subject to the provisions of Part III of this Schedule?"
1984 This is merely preparatory to another Amendment on page 66.
§ Amendment agreed to.1985
§ Mr. CLARRY
I beg to move, in page 65, line 33, at the end, to insert
The object of this Amendment is to place public utility undertakings on the same basis as railways and light railways. Briefly, the justification for this, with respect to tramways, as one of the public utility undertakings, is that light railways and tramways are practically indistinguishable when they are run on public loads, both in construction and in other respects; and, in addition, tramways have to bear some part of the cost of the permanent way when they are run on public roads. With regard to water, there is in the Bill a partial exemption for reservoirs, but not for mains under the public roads. T believe that in Scotland this position is reversed, and that for mains under the public roads there is a partial exemption, but no exemption for reservoirs or for mains under land. If water mains under public roads are justifiably exempted, or partially exempted, there seems no reason why gas or electric mains, which are also the property of public utility undertakings, should not receive the same consideration. I am aware that this Amendment is a very ambitious one, and, although my friends and I feel that we are quite justi- 1986 fied in moving it, we recognise that it means an alteration in the incidence of rating, and we do not purpose pressing it, but I should be glad to receive from the Minister some sympathetic consideration on the view that when the incidence of rating is altered at some future time public undertakers will receive that consideration.
Class of Hereditaments. Amount of Deduction. (3) Underground mains, pipes, and electric lines laid in connection with or for the purposes of any gas, water, or electricity undertaking carried on in pursuance of powers conferred by parliament, and the rails and track of any tramway laid down or used in pursuance of such powers and posts, poles, cables, ducts, wires and apparatus (whether laid or placed above ground) erected, laid, or placed for the working of any such tram way. (4) Such percentage of the net annual value as corresponds with the average relief from rating to which, in the part of the rating area in which the apparatus is situate, occupiers of such apparatus would have been entitled otherwise than under any temporary Act between the first day of April, nineteen hundred and fourteen, and the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-four, if such occupiers had during that period been entitled to be assessed to the general district rate in respect of such apparatus in the proportion of one-fourth part only of the net annual value thereof.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am sure my hon. Friend has stated the case with clearness and force, but I am unable, as he anticipates, on this occasion to advise the House to accept the Amendment. Perhaps at some other opportunity I shall be very glad to give the matter consideration.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 65, line 37, leave out the words "or class (3 b)."
In page 66, line 7, at the end, insert the words,
§ 2. A special scheme submitted as aforesaid may be approved by the Minister, either with or without modification, and the Minister shall, before approving such a scheme, publish, in such manner as he thinks 1987 proper, notice of his intention to approve the scheme and of his proposed modifications, if any, and if any person, being a person who will in the opinion of the Minister be affected by the special scheme, gives notice in writing to the Minister that he objects to it, the Minister before approving it shall, unless the objection is withdrawn, direct a local inquiry to be held for the purpose of determining whether the scheme ought or ought not to be approved, and if the Minister after receiving the report of the inquiry is of opinion that the scheme ought to be approved, either as originally submitted to him or with any modifications, he may approve the scheme accordingly, and any scheme so approved shall, unless the objection is withdrawn, be a provisional scheme only and shall have no effect unless and until it is confirmed by Act of Parliament.
§ 3. Where by any order a county borough or urban district is created or extended on or after the appointed day, there shall be included in the order such provisions as may be necessary for determining the amount of the deduction which is to be made from net annual value in respect of hereditaments included in Class (2) of the hereditaments specified in the first column of Part II of this Schedule, and any authority making or confirming such an order shall, before so doing, consider any representations which may be made to them by persons interested with respect to the provisions for determining the amount of the deduction."
§ In page 66, leave out lines 8 and 9.— [Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ THIRD SCHEDULE.—(General provisions as to Schemes and Deductions.)
§ Mr. LLOYD
I beg to move, in page 67, line 24, at the end, to insert the words "mainly or usually used for passengers."
This Schedule would cover a very wide range of elevators of every conceivable kind used in the heavy industries of the country. My Amendment is designed to confine the definition to lifts and elevators used mainly for passengers.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I shall be pleased to accept this Amendment, which really only makes clear what was the actual intention of the Bill as drawn and, I may add, was the intention also of the Committee in making the recommendations that they did.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
The Minister is now going to cut out all lifts and elevators, except those used for passengers. It seems to me a departure from the line he took as regards machinery of a structural nature.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
That is not quite so. It only cuts out that particular category. If the hon. Member will look at paragraph (4) of the Schedule, he will see that it is still possible to bring in lifts and elevators if they are in the nature of a structure.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. LLOYD
I beg to move, in page 67, line 29, at the end, to insert the wordsother than the linings of furnaces which are renewable apart from the rest of the structure.A part of this Schedule is one that the House might consider rather hard on the heavy industries of this country. In other industries the process machinery has now, by a decision arrived at last week, been exempted from rating. Before that took place, machinery throughout the country was rateable, and there was no distinction between the heavy and the light industries. That position no longer obtains. The light industries, which have definite process machinery which cannot be considered structural machinery, are exempted, but the heavy industries, whose machinery is of necessity very often of the nature of a structural kind, are not only not exempted, but specifically included as rateable. That is extremely unfortunate from the point of view of the heavy industries If you take such things as a blast furnace or a coke oven, from their very nature they must be considered structural. They are very largely composed of brick, but that brick is not of a permanent nature. In many cases these structures— if they are structures—require renewal at very short intervals, sometimes every few weeks. They are undoubtedly process plant of these particular industries, and precisely analogous to the machinery of the lighter industries. For that reason I had very much hoped that the Government would have seen fit not to move this portion of the Schedule at all. It is very unfair on the heavy industries that they should be so specifically excluded. But in any case I feel that the linings of furnaces, which are of necessity brick but are highly destructible and obviously process plant, should be excluded from the operation of this Bill. I cannot say that I am satisfied with the extent of this Amendment, but it does go some way towards righting a great injustice.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member has advanced various arguments in favour of the Amendment, but he has left out of mind a consideration which we adduced on behalf of the Government when we were supporting the rating of machinery Clause. There we pointed out that certain classes of machinery were in some cases rated and in other cases not rated. We called attention to what we thought was an undesirable thing as between one manufacturer and another, that where something has always been regarded as a permanent part of the hereditament it ought to come in for rating. Now my hon. Friend submits that in cases of certain furnaces which are not really part of the structure, namely, the temporary lining which has to be renewed from time to time as it is burnt out, should be exempt. The argument is specious. If I could have been certain that this is the only class of case that is going to come in under this sort of representation, I might possibly be tempted to follow my natural inclination and meet the wishes of my hon. Friend. But can I have that assurance? On the contrary, ever since I saw this Amendment on the Paper and since other people have seen it, other people have been putting forward other wearable or perishable parts of a structure which they say should be treated in the same sort of way. I can see that it might go a very long way. We might go on and exempt not merely the linings of furnaces, but other things which are perishable. For instance, rails are perishable. That does not come within a category of this kind; but there are all sorts of intermediate stages between what is undoubtedly a permanent part of the structure and what is undoubtedly a perishable and temporary part. On the whole, after thinking over the matter, I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to accept the Amendment, because it would open the door, which might go very much wider than I could possibly accept, and I might not be able to close it again.
§ Amendment negatived.1990
§ FOURTH SCHEDULE. — (Provisions with respect to preparation of Valuation lists.)
§ Amendment made: In page 67, leave out lines 36 and 37, and insert instead thereof the words "offices of the authority."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Sir DOUGLAS NEWTON
I beg to move, in page 68, line 2, after the word "list", to insert the words "give to the County Valuation Committee and".
The object of this Amendment is to ensure that notice shall be given to the County Valuation Committee of the proposals of the rating authority as soon as those proposals have been formulated. The Amendment is moved at the request of the Town Councils' Association. When this matter was being discussed in Committee, an undertaking was, I think, given by the Minister that the County Valuation Committee should receive this notice at the earliest possible date. The Amendment is moved in order that the Minister may have an opportunity of implementing that undertaking given in Committee.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 68, line 2, leave out the words "so published."—[Sir D. Newton.]
§ In page 68, line 12, leave out the words "owner and."—[Mr. T. Thomson.]
§ Sir D. NEWTON
I beg to move, in page 68, line 30, to leave out paragraph (b).
This relates to the information to be supplied by the rating authorities and the assessment committees to the county valuation committee. Under the earlier provision in Clause 4, Sub-section (6), ample powers are given to local authorities to obtain all the information that they require. Therefore, it would seem that this paragraph is redundant.
§ Amendment agreed to.1991
§ Further Amendments made: In page 68, line 32, leave out the words "owner and".—[Mr. T. Thomson.]
§ In page 69, line 4, leave out the words "the county valuation committee and." — [Sir D. Newton.]
§ In page 69, line 9, leave out the words "owner and."
§ In line 10, leave out the words "owner or."
§ In line 21, leave out the words "owner and."
§ In line 22, leave out the words "owner of."—[Mr. T. Thomson.]
§ In page 69, line 23, leave out the words "the county valuation committee and." —[Sir D. Newton.]
§ In page 69, line 35, leave nut the words "and on the owner."—[Mr. T. Thomson.]
§ FIFTH SCHEDULE.—(Appeals to Quarter Sessions).
§ Mr. J. S. ALLEN
I beg to move, in page 71, line 5, at the end. to insert the wordsbut the court may, on an application made by any party to the appeal, direct that the hearing shall be postponed and entered for some subsequent sitting of the court.The Schedule as drafted may tic the parties down to appearing at the next sitting, even though they are not ready and the Amendment merely provides that on application the hearing may be postponed.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir P. PILDITCH
I beg to move in page. 71, line 8, to leave out paragraph (1) and to insert instead thereof the words1. Where any matter is referred to arbitration under the provisions of this Act relating to appeals to quarter sessions the arbitrator to act shall he such person as may be agreed on by the parties or, in default of agreement, appointed by the President of the Surveyors' Institution.Consequential to this Amendment are three further Amendments standing in my name on the next Page and I understand the hon. and gallant Member for Maldon (Major Ruggles-Brise) is prepared to withdraw the intervening Amendments 1992 which represent an alternative to my proposal. The object of my Amendment is to give greater facility for hearing, by way of arbitration, of differences which may arise about valuation, particularly of small properties. In the Bill provision is made for a panel of arbitrates to which access can be had if the parties desire, but it is felt by many that this is a rather cumbersome way of proceeding and that it would be better to leave the parties to select their own arbitrator or to have one appointed by the President of the Institution which has most to do with this kind of thing and provides all the arbitrators to settle disputed questions of rating, namely the President of the Surveyors' Institution. There is no intention or desire to alter the main purport of the Bill, that cases of this kind should go to arbitration but there are reasons why it is considered desirable that the provision should be left in a more fluid condition than would be arrived at by the fixing of a definite panel. If the arbitrators were provided by a panel set up by the Reference Committee it is thought there would be difficulty in securing the most qualified persons to act. They would necessarily have to be persons of experience in this class of work, mostly surveyors, accustomed to deal with the valuation of this kind of property. If they were put on the panel they could feel debarred thereafter from engaging in rating appeals or acting as permanent advisers to rating authorities. In fact, it might be found that all the members of a local panel were engaged in one side or the other in an appeal leaving none available to arbitrate. I think in practice this Amendment will be found a great boon to the persons whose interests are not large in point of value, and who, if they had to go to Quarter Sessions, would find that course, owing to the great, expense, a very illusory remedy.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
I think we ought to have some indication from the Minister as to the way ho thinks the House ought to deal with this matter. I am interested to find out why it is proposed that, in the event of a disagreement among the parties concerned, there should be any departure from what the Government have laid down in the Schedule, in which they vest the power 1993 of appointment in the Court of Quarter Sessions. I begin to see daylight. I think we use this House far too much for safeguarding the interests of professional institutions. I think this is really a question of trying to arrange eventually that some appointments as arbitrators will be secured to members of certain professions, in this case members of the Surveyors' Institution. We had a dispute the other night in the House between two sections of another profession, the solicitors and the barristers, and the only thing I am surprised at is that the Amendment did not include also members of the Institute of Architects. After all that has been said in this House on this Bill and other Bills in the last two or three weeks, we ought to have rather more faith in the Court of Quarter Sessions, which is charged with so many other important functions, including the administration of justice, and if we trust them with that, it seems that the Government were not unreasonable in putting them in here. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will see that it would be inadvisable to go back on the previous intention of the Government, and we hope he will retain in the Bill the original form of words.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It was not my intention to let this Amendment go by without saying a word, but Mr. Speaker was a little quicker than I anticipated. I am glad he was, because it gave me the opportunity of hearing the point raised by the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander). Originally, this Amendment was to have been moved in Committee, and the Government intended to accept it if it had been so moved, but on the last day of the Committee, I think it was, the proceedings wore rather hurried, and a number of Amendments were never moved at all. That is the reason why it has been moved now. The arrangement which was laid down in the first paragraph of Part 2 of this Schedule was the one that originally occurred to us, but what weighed with us most in proposing to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend was the fact that we found in many cases that it would not be possible to create the panel, for the simple and obvious reason that all the competent men would probably want to be in a 1994 position to accept retainers from their clients. That is the first point.
Now, the hon. Member opposite says: "Why have the persons to be appointed by the President of the Surveyors' Institution instead of by the Court of Quarter Sessions?" In the first case, the Court was to appoint a panel, and all that they had to do then was to pick out which member of the panel should serve in a particular case. Now, there is to be no panel, and they have the whole world to choose from, but they have no knowledge as to who is the right man to choose for this particular purpose. Therefore, it seems to me that it is not any want of faith in the Quarter Sessions, but a very obvious and common-sense arrangement that when you want to find the most suitable person to act in case the parties do not agree, you should go to the man of all others fitted to judge the qualifications and to appoint the right man.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
Does that mean it is assumed that in every arbitration of this kind the man qualified to act is bound to be a member of the surveyors' profession? Surely there are many important arbitrations carried through not only of this kind, but of every kind with members of other professions besides those of the Surveyors' Institution, with very great success. One can only expect that if this Amendment be accepted in this form, the appointments will almost certainly be confined to one particular professional body, and that does not seem to be a matter of equity, having regard to numbers of arbitrations frequently carried through by members of other professions.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
May I point out that this only occurs where parties do not agree? I should think that in nine cases out of ten the parties agree, and there is nothing in the Clause to say that if they do agree they need have a member of the Surveyors Institution. It is only when they do not agree that a member of the Surveyors' Institution comes in.
§ Mr. SCURR
Throughout the whole of the discussion there has been growing a surrender on the part of the Minister to the back benches on his side. When we remember that this Government is supposed to be a strong Government, the weakness and pusillanimity of the 1995 Minister are absolutely sickening. What is the issue at stake here? Supposing in the East End of London a number of labourers were to put forward some claim that they were entitled to certain wages and threatened to withdraw their labour; immediately Members on the other side of the House would get up and ask the Minister whether he was not going to put the whole forces of the State in operation. Now that we have members of the professional class who have actually threatened to strike, the Minister surrenders entirely to them, and condemns the Quarter Sessions, who are quite good enough to hear appeals but are not competent to be able to select these arbitrators. It is a pitiful surrender to the professional interest! This marks the idea of class Government. which is prevailing in this country at the present time.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I do not think the House appreciates exactly what the point is. I listened to the hon. Gentleman opposite and the right hon. Gentle man, but the Clause as it stands is:Every court of quarter session shall nominate a panel of persons to act as arbitrators for the purpose of arbitrations under the provisions of this Act, and where any matter is referred to arbitration the arbitrator to act shall be such one of those persons as may be agreed on by the parties, or, in default of agreement, appointed by the court.The part of the Amendment that is operative is "or, in default of agreement, appointed by the court." How can the President of the Surveyors' Institution have a bigger field to select from than the court of Quarter Sessions. The idea that they could not get a panel, and that there are not enough of these professional people, may be perfectly true as regards the City of London, but not of the East End. If we wanted a dozen of these men for assessment business we could get them. I was almost going to say at four a penny, but to say that there is a scarcity is sheer nonsense. Everyone of us who sits on an assessment committee knows the difficulty is to choose from the great number of professional gentlemen who want to assist us in doing the job. I say that as one who has served on assessment committees. Professional men are just as eager to earn an honest penny as anyone else. It is sheer nonsense to say that we cannot get anyone.
1996 The other point is: Why should this be confined to one specific profession? These are not the only people capable of valuing property. I am not at all certain that they can value it as well as a couple of ordinary dock labourers, or other ordinary people. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, ordinary people, because, after all. these people do bring fresh minds and unprejudiced to bear upon the subject.
Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway smile. But these ordinary people would not attempt to make figures prove other than they could prove. I have seen men sitting on Assessment Committees twisting valuers inside out. The matter should be left to Quarter Sessions. [An HON. MEMBER: "We do not quite follow your argument."] I am very sorry; I can give arguments, but I cannot give intelligence to understand them. These are two arguments: one is that you cannot get enough men to form the panel. I am quite certain that you can, and my opinion is as good as that of anybody else. Neither the right hon. Gentlemen opposite nor myself are giving evidence here except from our own experience. Secondly, I object altogether to handing this business over to the president of any institution, especially a professional institution.
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
In paragraph 1 as it stands it says thatwhere any matter is referred to arbitration the arbitrator to act shall be such one of those persons as may be agreed on by the parties, or, in default of agreement, appointed by the court.The proposed Amendment reads:the arbitrator to act shall be such person as may be agreed on by the parties or, in default of agreement, appointed by the President of the Surveyors' Institution.You thus have an unqualified person in the Clause and a qualified one in the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman, I think, appreciates my point? The position is unsatisfactory. Surely the person who is to be agreed upon should be one, in the interests of the public, having some qualification? The mere fact of him being unqualified, and possibly incompetent, is not only a matter of private, but of public, interest, for you are dealing with public rights. I suggest to the Government that they should not 1997 accept the Amendment as it stands, and without further consideration as to safeguards. If the right hon. Gentleman appreciates my point, the matter is one for further consideration here or in another place. Whatever is done in the case of agreement, the person agreed upon should have some qualification.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It is very difficult to answer hon. Members opposite because they put exactly contrary propositions and decline to accept any qualifications.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
What has been suggested by hon. Members is not common sense. There is nothing in the Government Clause which lays down that there should be any qualification whatsoever. With reference to the point raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Sir H. Slesser) I will certainly look into that matter and, if necessary, I will have an Amendment made in another place.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 74; Noes, 196.1999
|Division No. 430.]||AYES.||[11.48 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Graves, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Adamson, w. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Barnes, A.||Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Barr, J.||Hartington, Marquess of||Scurr, John|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hirst, G. H.||Smith Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Briant, Frank||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sutton, J. E.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Bromley, J.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Townend, A. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Warne, G. H.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kelly, W. T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Kirk wood, D.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lansbury, George||Whiteley, W.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawson, John James||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lunn, William||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Duncan, C.||MacLaren, Andrew||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Dunnico, H.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Windsor, Walter|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morris, R. H.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Charles Edwards.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Campbell, E. T.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Albery, Irving James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Christie, J. A.||Gazoni, Sir John|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gates, Percy|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Clarry, Reginald George||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Clayton, G. C.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Cope, Major William||Grant, J. A.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Couper, J. B.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Drewe, C.||Hanbury, C.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fermoy, Lord||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley).|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Fielden, E. B.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Fleming, D. P.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Burman, J. B.||Forrest, W.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Nelson, Sir Frank||Smithers, Waldron|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Nuttall, Ellis||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Storry Deans, R.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Owen, Major G.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Pennefather, Sir John||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Jacob, A. E.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Pielou, D. P.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdetn, South)|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Pilcher, G.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Preston, William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Price, Major C. W. M.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Radford, E. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.||Raine, W.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ramsden, E.||Warrendcr, Sir Victor|
|Loder, J. de V.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Remer, J. R.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rentoul, G. S.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wells, S. R.|
|MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Rice, Sir Frederick||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|McLean, Major A.||Rye, F. G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Macmillan Captain H.||Salmon, Major I.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Womersley, W. J.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Merriman, F. B.||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Sandon, Lord||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Savery, S. S.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Morden, Col. W. Grant||Skelton, A. N.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Morrison H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyan||Major Sir Harry Barnston and|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Captain Margesson.|
|Murchison, C. K.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."2000
§ The House divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 68.2001
|Division No. 431.]||AYES.||[11.55 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Albery, Irving James||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool. W. Derby)||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Drewe, C.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Fermoy, Lord||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fielden, E. B.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Fleming, D. P.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Forrest, W.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Fraser, Captain Ian||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Gates, Percy||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Goff, Sir Park||Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Grant, J. A.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Burman, J. B.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Campbell, E. T.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||MacAndrew, Charles Glen|
|Christie, J. A.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||McLean, Major A.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hanbury, C.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Cope, Major William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Couper, J. B.||Harrison, G. J. C.||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Rentoul, G. S.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Merriman, F. B.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Rice, Sir Frederick||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Rye, F. G.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Morden, Col. W. Grant||Salmon, Major I.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Murchison, C. K.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sandon, Lord||Wells, S. R.|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Savery, S. S.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Shepperson, E. W.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Owen, Major G.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Skelton, A. N.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Pielou, D. P.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Pilcher, G.||Smithers, Waldron||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Preston, William||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Radford, E. A.||Storry Deans, R.|
|Raine, W.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ramsden, E.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Lord Stanley and Major Sir Harry|
|Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Barnston.|
|Remer, J. R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Riley, Ben|
|Barr, J.||Hardie, George D.||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hirst, G. H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bromfield, William||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Townend, A. E.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kelly, W. T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kirkwood, D.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Whiteley, W.|
|Duncan, C.||Lawson, John James||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lunn, William||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morris, R. H.||Windsor, Walter|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Mr. Warne and Mr. A. Barnes.|
|Groves, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Sir P. PILDITCH
I beg to move, in page 71, line 14, to leave out paragraphs.
This paragraph would place it in the power of Quarter Sessions to make special rules for procedure on arbitrations and to incorporate such portions of the Act of 1889 as cover arbitration. It would be much simpler if these operations were left to the 1889 Act, which everyone who has to do with arbitrations of this kind knows perfectly well. It is a question of simplification of procedure.
§ Amendment agreed to.2002
§ Sir P. PILDITCH
I beg to move, in page 71, line 22, to leave out from the word "law" to the end of the paragraph, and to insert instead thereof the wordsand where any such agreement is made, the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1889, as to the power of an arbitrator to state in the form of a special case an award or any question of law arising in the course of a reference shall not apply.This is meant to simplify the proceedings that may be taken in arbitration with regard to questions of this kind. If it is decided by the parties that they should let the matter go to an arbitrator who should settle the whole case finally it would be very desirable that they 2003 should be allowed to do so. It simply gives the parties power to agree that the reference they make to an arbitrator shall be final.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir P. PILDITCH
I beg to move, in page 71, line 28, to leave out the word "but," and to insert instead thereof the words "if not agreed by the parties."
This is the last of a series of Amendments intended to simplify the question of arbitration. It is merely intended to effect this, that if the parties desire and have agreed on the amount of costs, they need not go to Quarter Sessions. It is a question of saving expense.
§ Question, "That the word 'but' stand part of the Bill," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That the proposed words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ Mr. LANSBURY
We do not understand how you are putting the Question. We cannot hear what is being said.
§ SIXTH SCHEDULE.
§ Amendment made: Leave out the Schedule.—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ SEVENTH SCHEDULE.
§ Amendment made: In page 73, line 1, leave out the word "Seventh," and insert instead thereof the word "Sixth.''— [Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ EIGHTH SCHEDULE.
§ Amendments made: In page 75, line 10, leave out the word "Eighth," and insert instead thereof the word "Seventh."
§ In line 15, after the word "shall," insert the words "on the appointed day."
§ In line 16, leave out from the word "directed," to the word "in" in line 17.
In page 76, line 18, after the word "council," insert the words
or, if the parish is not under a parish council, by the parish meeting, and in the ease of any other parish by the rating authority.
§ In page 77, line 30, after the word "day," insert the words "or for such further period as the Minister may by order direct."
§ In line 31, leave out the word "general."
§ In line 40, leave out the word "general."
§ In line 41, leave out the word "of."
§ In page 78, line 4, after the word "shall," insert the words "subject as hereinafter provided."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 78, line 4, at the end, to insert the wordsProvided that any such auditor may, if he thinks fit, give an interim or provisional certificate, and may amend any final certificate given by him so far as appears to him necessary for the purpose of correcting any errors.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
We would like an assurance that this is not going to be used in any undue way against a local authority.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
No, the certificate can only be amended in order to amend any errors in the certificate. The object of an interim certificate is that in case there should be an adjustment which would mean a rebate in the rate a rate may be levied before a final rate is levied and before the issue of a certificate.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 78, line 6, after the word "of," to insert the wordsthe respective rights of all the authorities concerned, and in particular of.This is in case there should be any consideration than I have enumerated in paragraph (a) to (e) inclusive.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 78, line 29, leave out the words "by the."
§ In line 33, leave out the words "this Act" and insert instead thereof the words "paragraph (1) of this Schedule."
§ In line 34, leave out the word "valuation" and insert instead thereof the word "assessment."
§ In line 36, after the word "due," insert the words "on the appointed day."2005
§ In page 79, line 12, leave out the words "immediately before the appointed day."
§ In line 32, leave out the words "hereinafter mentioned."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ PROVISIONS AS TO POOR RATES AND COUNTY CONTRIBUTIONS.
§ 9. Where the rating authority of a rating area, not being a rural district and comprising two or more parishes, at any time between the appointed day and the date on which the power to make a general rate for the area comes into operation make and levy a poor rate they shall make a poor rate for the area instead of making separate poor rates for the parishes comprised in it.
§ Provided that where by virtue of any precept or otherwise any amount is chargeable separately on any parish or part of the area, the rating authority shall levy that amount on that parish or part together with and as an additional item of the poor rate.
§ 10. All enactments in force immediately before the appointed day with respect to the preparation, confirmation, revision, and effect of the basis or standard for a county rate shall continue in force during the period beginning on the appointed day and ending on the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-nine, and subject as hereinafter provided a county council shall in respect of that period apportion any contributions required by them and issue precepts on the same basis and in like manner as if this Act had not been passed.
§ Provided that—
- (a) precepts required to be sent to boards of guardians shall, in lieu of being so sent, be sent to rating authorities; and
- (b) contributions for general county expenses, and for special county expenses, so far as such last-mentioned expenses are chargeable on all the parishes in a rating area (whether in common with other parishes in the county or not) in proportion to the yearly value of property in the parishes, shall be apportioned to and charged on the rating area as a whole instead of being charged separately on each parish therein, and shall be paid out of the general rate levied for the rating area or, if the contributions are required in respect of a period before the date when the power to make a general rate for the area comes into operation out of the poor rate levied for the area.
§ This Amendment for the inclusion of a transitory provision as to poor rates and county contributions is necessitated by the fact that we postpone the operation of the new precepting system as far as counties are concerned. In paragraph 10, the county rate basis is kept alive 2006 from the appointed day until 31st March. 1929, and contributions for general and special county expenses will be apportioned to and charged on the rating area as a whole instead of being charged separately on the different parishes.
§ Amendment argeed to.
§ NINTH SCHEDULE.—(Enactments Repealed.)
§ Amendments made: In page 80, line 13, column 3, leave out the words "Sections two and three," and insert instead thereof the words, "The whole Act."
§ Leave out lines 23 to 29, inclusive.
§ In page 81, line 22, column 3, leave out from the word "seventy-seven," to end of line 30.
§ In page 82, leave out lines 35 to 38, inclusive.
§ In page 83, line 9, at the end, insert the words:
|28 & 29 Viet., c. 79||The Union Charge-ability Act, 1865||Section twelve|
§ Leave out lines 31 and 32.
§ In line 33, column 3, at the beginning, insert the words "Section twelve, and."
§ In page 84, line 6, column 3, leave out from the word "section," to end of line 10, and insert instead thereof the words: "section two hundred and eleven, except sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (1) and (4) thereof."
§ In page 85, leave out lines 25 and 26.
§ In line 28, column 3, leave out from the word "three" to the end of line 30.
§ In line 31, column 3, leave out from the beginning to the end of line 34, and insert instead thereof the words "The whole Act."
§ Leave out lines 35 and 36.
§ In line 37, column 3, leave out from the beginning to the end of line 40, and insert instead thereof the words "The whole Act."
§ In page 86, leave out lines 31 to 35 inclusive.—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Amendment made: In line 5, leave out the words "and taxes."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Bill to be read the Third time to-morrow, and to be printed. [Bill 262.]