HC Deb 22 March 1929 vol 226 cc1985-6

Lords Amendment: In page 1, line 4, after the word "government," insert: to extend the application of the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928, to hereditaments in which no persons are employed.

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)

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

Perhaps it might be for the convenience of the House if I were to say a word about the very large number of Amendments which come down to us from another place. The House will not be surprised to know that in a Bill of this length and complexity a very great number of drafting and consequential Amendments have been discovered to be required by various changes which have taken place in the Bill in going through this House and another place. Indeed, the great bulk of the Amendments which we have to consider to-day are purely of a drafting or consequential character. I am sure that the House does not wish to spend time unnecessarily upon trivial points, and I will undertake to call the attention of the House to any Amendment upon which any point of substance is raised. Perhaps by that means we may be able somewhat to shorten the proceedings. There is only one Amendment on which I propose to ask the House to disagree with the Lords. That is the Amendment, in Clause 65, page 57, line 26, to leave out from the word operations" to end of paragraph (b), and insert "and whose wages are subject to the provisions of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1924. I will say a word about that when we come to it.

The Amendment to the Title which is now before us must be read in conjunct- tion with the insertion of the proposed new Clause "F": Amendment of 18 & 19 Geo. 5. c. 44 (s. 3 (2)). The purpose of this is to deal with certain doubts which have arisen as to—


I would point out to the House that this Amendment, in conjunction with the new Clause "F," which comes later on the Paper, raises the question of Privilege, which, of course, the House can waive if it thinks fit.


I shall move that the House agree with the Lords in this Amendment, and I hope that the House will consent to waive its Privilege. The object of this Amendment is to deal with certain doubts which have arisen as to the interpretation of the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act. Certain hereditaments are de-rated or are selected and classified for de-rating. These hereditaments are factories and workshops, and are defined under existing Statutes. The question which has arisen is whether, where one of these places is occupied by some person who does not employ any other person, but runs the works by himself or in partnership, such a place comes under the definition of a factory or workshop; in other words, whether the words "factory or workshop" connote the necessity for employment in that place. The intention of the Act is perfectly clear. There was no intention to distinguish between two hereditaments used for the same purpose and in all respects alike, save that in one a man works by himself and in another employs a second man. It would obviously be a grave injustice if there were any distinction of rating between two such places. We became aware that there were doubts as to interpretation, and it was felt that local authorities might interpret this Clause in different ways, and we felt that it was necessary to remove these doubts by putting in this new Clause. That requires consequentially alteration in the Title.

Question put, and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.