HC Deb 03 March 1936 vol 309 cc1195-6
74. Mr. OLIVER

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the large increase in the rates of the county of Derby as a result of the recent decision in the House of Lords respecting the rating of railways; and, in view of the abnormal situation created by this decision, whether the Government intend to introduce legislation to meet this new situation?


I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) on 5th February, to which my right hon. Friend cannot at present add anything.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that since that date there has been a levy of 5d. in the pound on the rates of the county; and, in view of the fact that this is a very unusual decision, do the Government intend to take any legislative action to meet the abnormal situation?


As was explained by my right hon. Friend, the first thing that has to happen must be an application by the assessment committee to the appropriate tribunal. Nothing can be done until that action has been taken.


Is the lion. Gentleman aware that, if the railway companies in question demand their full pound of flesh, it will mean a shilling in the pound on the rates of some of the local authorities?


And 15d. in others.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the meantime, and particularly in the special areas, the local authorities in fighting this decision are very greatly handicapped?


If I put clown a question next week, will the hon. Gentleman give an answer to show clearly that he is better informed as to the position, and that the answer to which he has referred me does not apply to the question which I put upon the Paper.