§ Mr. Purbrick
I beg leave to present a Petition signed by 51 of the responsible ratepayers of the City of Liverpool, including the leaders of all the political parties. A similar one, signed by over 27,000, is being presented to the right hon. the Minister of Health.
The material allegations contained in the Petition are to the effect that there is a grave feeling of unrest as to whether the very high rates in Liverpool are due to the policy of the Government in submitting many responsibilities and charges to the local authority, which in its opinion are national rather than local liabilities. The Petition alleges that this applies not only to the rates but also the valuations present and future. No charge of mal-administration is made against the Liverpool local authority, but, as the great majority of the ratepayers are unable to investigate these matters for themselves, they ask for an inquiry, the result of which will be either to justify the rating authority and thereby allay the spirit of disquietude which exists, or to show that Liverpool is unduly burdened and that the situation should and can be remedied.
Wherefore the Petitioners humbly pray that consideration shall be given to the hardships, pains and penalties before-mentioned; and further humbly pray that His Majesty's Ministers of State shall institute, without delay, an inquiry into the causes of and the necessity for the prevailing high rates and assessment values now levied upon the Petitioners in respect of their hereditaments, messuages or tenements which they hold or occupy within the said City of Liverpool in the County Palatine of Lancaster; and to determine the means whereby such rates and assessment values may be speedily reduced, to the relief of the Petitioners.