HC Deb 05 March 1929 vol 226 cc187-8

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury why the Treasury has refused to make a contribution in lieu of local rates to the corporation of Glasgow and other local authorities in respect of premises occupied by sub-postmasters, which premises have been held by the Courts to be occupied solely by such sub-postmasters as servants of the Postmaster-General and for the use and service of the Crown?


The remuneration paid to sub-postmasters is intended to cover the payment of rates by them. It has not been the practice to make a Government contribution in lieu of rates in the case of the premises which they occupy. The Government have not felt able to alter established practice on the strength of certain decisions which are of local application only and may not be universally accepted as binding in other areas.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is the decision of the Courts of Scotland that these sub-postmasters are not liable for rates, and that the Corporation of Glasgow are, in consequence, losing a large sum? Will he take steps to see that this loss is met?


I did not know of these cases in the Scottish Courts. As the rule is not of universal application, I think it might be helpful if the Corporation of Glasgow or some other authority took steps to secure a decision in the Higher Courts of Justice, and then we might perhaps have a basis for a reconsideration of the arrangements.