HC Deb 25 November 1926 vol 200 cc569-73

Without prejudice to the provisions of the House Letting and Rating (Scotland) Acts, 1911 and 1920, when any lands and heritages in respect of which a rate might be imposed upon the occupier, not being lands and heritages usually let for any period shorter than one year, shall not be occupied by the same occupier for the whole year from the term of Whitsunday in any year till the term of Whitsunday in the year following, but shall be occupied for part of such year by a new occupier, the rating authority, or any other authority having statutory power to levy a rate, may, if they think fit, impose and levy on and from such new occupier who occupies the same for any part of such year, whether his name appears in the valuation rofl or not, a proportion of such rate for that year corresponding to the period of his occupancy, and in the case of a burgh the rating or other authority may, if they think fit, impose and levy on and from the owner of such lands and heritages the proportion of such rate, if any, corresponding to the period during which such lands and heritages were occupied during the said year by any other occupier, and every such owner charged with and paying such occupiers' rates shall have relief against such other occupier corresponding to the period of occupancy, and so far as he fails to recover the amount payable by such other occupier he shall he entitled to repayment from the rating or other authority upon lodging a claim on on before such date as may he fixed by the rating or other authority, without prejudice to the right of the rating or other authority to make adjustments with such owner in respect of any sum subsequently recovered by him in respect of such occupiers' rates.—[The Lord Advocate.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. William Watson)

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This Clause is the result of an undertaking which I gave in Committee in reference to an Amendment moved by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten). I did not like the drafting of the hon. and learned Member's Amendment in Committee, and I undertook to re-draft it before the Report stage. The result is embodied in the Clause which I now submit to the House. It proposes that in the case of land and houses in country districts, usually let for more than a year, power shall be given, where there is a break in the tenancy in the middle of the year, for the rating authority at their option to charge the new occupier with his proportion of the rate, although his name is not on the valuation rofl. In the, case of burghs the existing power is preserved to the authority to recover the rate for the earlier part of the year in which there is a break from the owner as at present. That is a continuance of the power already existing under the Burgh Police Act. There is also a provision giving the owner who fails to recover from the occupier what he has had to pay to the local authority in respect of an occupier's rates the power to get back from the local authority what he has paid on account. This power is already given under the House Letting Acts, and we thought it only fair that the owner who fails to recover in these cases should have a similar power.


I cannot say that I followed the Lord Advocate in his explanation, which might have conveyed much more. It is true that in Committee we were promised a Clause of this character, but I do not think the Lord Advocate's explanation quite conveys all that was origiNally intended. Perhaps it is because I am unable to grasp his explanation and the meaning of this Clause, but he might have been a little more explicit and he might have gone a little more fully into certain aspects of this proposal.


I am not quite clear as to why it is proposed to give these new facilities to owners of land. If land changes tenants in the course of the year, are we to understand that the owner can recover from the incoming tenant? I take that to be the meaning of the Clause.


The occupier.


Well, of the occupier. You recover from the first occupier. Will the first occupier have the right to recover from the second occupier? I want to be clear on that point.

4.0 P.M.


I would also like a little more information in connection with this new Clause. If the owner fails to recover the rates from the occupier, and if the owner himself is responsible in large measure for not receiving the rates from the occupier, if it is due to his own negligence or carelessness, does it mean that under this Clause the owner is going to be able to claim from the rating authority that which has been lost because of his own lack of care, or because he has dealt in an improper way, as some owners and factors do, with the people who are in the tenancy of his houses, and whose rates have not been paid because of the way in which they have been treated? I want to know if they are going to be secured by means of this new Clause. I want some safeguard with regard to the negligence or carelessness of the owner in this connection. Possibly the

Lord Advocate may be able to tell me that my fears regarding the treatment of the tenants in this particular instance are not well founded, but I certainly want to know what is going to he the position and how we are going to judge whether there has been negligence or carelessness on the part of the owners by reason of which the rat-s have not been paid.


If you do not try to recover, you do not fail to recover. The power which we are giving here to the landlord to get back out of the rating authority what he has failed to recover is similar to that which is already in the House Letting Act. We thought that if it was fair in the one, case it was equally fair in the other.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The House divided: Ayes, 161; Noes, 69.

Division No. 499.] AYES. [4 5 p.m
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Everard, W. Lindsay Luce,Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Fairfax, Captain J. G. Lynn, Sir R. J.
Apsley. Lord Falle, Sir Bertram G. Macintyre, Ian
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Fielden, E. B. McLean, Major A.
Atholl, Duchess of Finburgh, S. Macnaghten. Hon. sir Malcolm
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Ford, Sir P. J. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Balniel, Lord Foster, Sir Harry S. Macquisten. F. A.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Fraser, Captain Ian Marriott. Sir J. A. R.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Ganzoni, Sir John Meller, R. J.
Berry. Sir George Gates, Percy Merriman. F. B.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Boothby, R. J. G. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Goff, Sir Park Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Gower, Sir Robert Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Brass, Captain W. Graham, Frederick F. (Cumb'ld., N.) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Briscoe, Richard George Grant, Sir J. A. Moore-Brabazon. Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Brittain, Sir Harry Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Morrison. H. (Wilts, Salisbury)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cllve
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Neville. R J.
Brown,Brlg.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, N wb'y) Gunston, Captain D. W. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Buckingham, Sir H. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Nicholson. Col. Rt. Hn.W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Burman, J. B Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne) Penny, Frederick George
Burton, Colonel H. w Hammersley, S. S. Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Hanbury, C. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Pownall. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton
Chapman, Sir S. Haslam, Henry C. Raine. W.
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Hawke, John Anthony Ramsden, E.
Christie, J. A. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Rawson, Sir Cooper
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd,Henley) Remnant. Sir James
Clayton, G. C. Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootie) Rentoul, G. S.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Ropner, Major L.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. O. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Ruggles-Brise. Major E. A.
Cockerill, Brig.-Genera! Sir G. K. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Sandeman, A. Stewart
Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Hurd, Percy A. Sandon, Lord
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.. Hutchison, G. A.Clark (Midin & p'bl's) Savery, S. S.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Shepperson, E. W.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Davies, Dr. Vernon James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthoert Skelton, A. N.
Dean, Arthur Wellesley Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William Smithers, Waldron
Dixey. A. C. Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Somerville. A. A. (Windsor)
Eden, Captain Anthony Kindersley, Major Guy M. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Edmondson, Major A. J, King, Captain Henry Douglas Sprot, Sir Alexander
Elveden, Viscount Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Stanley,Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)
Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Stanley. Lord (Fylde)
Steel, Major Samuel Strang Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle) Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H. Wells, S. R. Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)
Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C. White, Lieut.-Cot. Sir G. Dairymple- Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Major Cope and Mr. F. C.
Wallace, Captain D. E. Wise, Sir Fredric Thomson.
Waterhouse, Captain Charles Womersley, W. I.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Ammon, Charles George Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Sltch, Charles H.
Baker, Walter Kelly, W. T. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Lansbury, George Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Barr, J. Lawrence, Susan Stamford, T. W.
Batey, Joseph Lawson, John James Stephen, Campbell
Bromfield, William Lowth, T. Sullivan, Joseph
Buchanan, G. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Cluse, W. S. MacNeill-Welr, L. Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plaistow)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. March, S. Thurtle, Ernest
Connolly, M. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Day, Colonel Harry Naylor, T. E. Viant, S. P.
Dennison, R. Oliver, George Harold Wallhead, Richard C
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Palin, John Henry Watson, W. M. (Dunlermllne)
Fenby, T. D. Paling, W. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Greenall, D, R. (Glamorgan) Ponsonby, Arthur Westwood, J.
Grundy, T. W. Potts, John S. Whiteley, W.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Purcell, A. A. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Sprlny) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Mayday, Arthur Rltton, J. Windsor, Walter
Hayes, John Henry Robinson, W.C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland) Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hirst, G. H, Saklatvala, ShapurJI
Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Scrymgeour, E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
John, William (Rhondda, West) Sexton, James Mr. Hardie and Mr. Maxton.

Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

The following stood on the Order Paper in the name of SIR JOHN GILMOUR.