HC Deb 18 February 1948 vol 447 cc1215-6

Amendment made: In page 48, line 47, after "section," insert: or if the dwelling-house is one to which Section seventy-two of the Local Government Act, 1929 (which relates to agricultural dwelling-houses), applies."—[Mr. J. Edwards.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

6.0 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

This Clause shows the extent to which one can go with the hypothetical house and the hypothetical site when the hypothesis goes so far on one occasion as to suggest that we must say: The gross value thereof shall be estimated as if this Part of this Act had not been passed, That is to say, we are hypothecating ourselves out of existence. I think that shows the length to which we have to go in our quest of the hypothetical house, and, still more, when we have to assume that this Act has not been passed and we are back to the halcyon years of 1938, instead of the level of values on which we are at present. I think that applying these hypotheses one upon another, as the Minister admitted during the Committee stage, shows the length to which we have to go.

We welcome this Amendment, but it does not remove in our view the fundamental unreality on which so much of this Part of the Bill is based, and which we fear will finally drive the Minister back to the old basis of the tenant which, after all, served in this country for a very long time and which he himself admitted, as a member of a committee, he had been able to operate in a rule of thumb manner by making a set of assessments no greater than those set down here—and able to operate them with singular satisfaction to all concerned. I think that he, having been able to work the old mechanism in that way, is leaving for his successors on local authorities a series of problems no less difficult than those with which he was faced when operating local government.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.