§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Ernest Brown)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
I do not think that the House will wish to be detained for long upon this Bill. It makes temporary provisions with regard to making revision and amendment apply to the quinquennial valuations, due under the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925. It will be remembered by those who took part in the debates, and by those who have been working the Act in connection with local authorities, that we intended a uniform method of deduction from gross value. That was not found possible in the early stages, because it would have meant a disproportionate increase in the rates of the occupiers of smaller houses. In 1928 the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought in a Bill which temporarily amended the words of the 1925 Act, and all that this Bill does is to make a change of form. The Bill is a simple one. It adds 1936 to 1931; it adds to the first valuation the second valuation, and it means that, in London and in the provinces for the quinquennial valuation for the 6th April, 1936, in London and the second valuation in the provinces, the present arrangement will continue. I hope the House will agree to the Bill, as it makes no change, and there is no need for me to make a long or detailed explanation at the moment.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I understand that the Bill is for the purpose of carrying on the present arrangement, because we have not time to do anything better, and in those circumstances we agree to it.
§ Mr. RHYS
As one of the cardinal points of my existence in this House is 747 to examine Measures which emanate from the Ministry of Health, I should like to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary upon this magnificent piece of legislation by reference in relation to this subject. I have been into the matter, and there is nothing in the Bill which I can really oppose. I wish to remind the Parliamentary Secretary that during the Debates in 1925, particularly in Standing Committee, when I played some part in those Debates, we ventured to make some observations particularly as regards the length of time we required to spread out the provisions of the Act. I think that the point we raised has proved to be the case, and I would, therefore, ask the Parliamentary Secretary to realise, that, though we sometimes criticise Measures from his Ministry, it is not with a desire 748 unnecessarily to obstruct, but to put them into a better position, and that we are not always wrong.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next.—[Sir V. Warrender.]
§ The remaining Order was read, and postponed.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.
§ Adjourned at Twenty-nine Minutes before One o'Clock until Monday next, 29th February.