HC Deb 08 February 1934 vol 285 cc1294-5
52. Major PROCTER

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that certain Lancashire municipalities are considering the advisability of removing idle cotton mills from the benefits of the De-rating Act on the ground that such empty mills are warehouses for the machinery contained therein; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?


I have not received any representations on the subject to which my hon. Friend refers. The assessment of hereditaments for rating purposes is a matter for the local Rating and Assessment Authorities in the first instance, with the right of appeal to the Courts by any person aggrieved at their decision. I have no jurisdiction in the matter.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that until the Government take their tardy but inevitable action against the Japanese competition which has closed up these mills, he will make some representations or give some sort of advice to the municipalities, that on no account is machinery to be removed from these mills, simply because they are going to have to pay rates?


I shall certainly give full consideration to the hon. Member's question.


With samples in front of us of the kind I have here, is there any need to worry as to what is going to happen? Does not this show what the Japanese are doing? The cotton mills of Lancashire will be closed down all right unless something is done.