HC Deb 26 June 1936 vol 313 cc2167-8

1.45 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 24, line 16, to leave out from "Act," to "be," in line 18, and to insert: shall, if the person from whom it is demanded claims, or in the event of dispute proves, that any of the land out of which the rentcharge issued was on the first day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-six, agricultural land. This Amendment is to deal with the question of the procedure for the first interim collecting period, that is to say, the collecting period when the Act has only just become law. I think it was understood by the Committee, although I am not sure that it is understood by the House, that the reductions will begin to operate on 1st October. This will clearly present a difficult administrative problem which will be treated as a technical matter. We have been in long and careful consultation on this point with the professional gentlemen to whom my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary referred, and they pointed out that it would be quite impossible to draw up the demand notes on the basis of urban rates or rural rates, because in fact nobody but the landowner himself could truly say whether the land was urban or not. Therefore, in the first instance the demand will go out at the rate of £105, and it will be clearly stated that it will be possible to reclaim under this Order if the land is agricultural land. We are at present arranging with the professional gentlemen to whom I have referred the proper terms of the demand note and we shall do our utmost to see that on the demand note the necessary calculations for claims at the lower rate are put forward. Therefore, I think this will be to the convenience of the tithepayers as a whole.

Amendment agreed to.