HC Deb 11 December 1956 vol 562 cc220-1
41. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will introduce legislation to amend Section 8 (1) of the Rating and Valuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955, so as to permit exemption from rates of men's institutes, many of which are now in danger of closing down because of heavy increased rate burden.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. J. Enoch Powell)

My right hon. Friend has no legislation in mind on this point at present.

Mr. Hayman

Will the Parliamentary Secretary bear in mind that, whilst the great public schools can be granted this concession of local authorities waiving rates, since I tabled this Question a men's institute in a small village not far from my home has had to close; and will he ask his right hon. Friend to reconsider this decision?

Mr. Powell

Section 8 of the 1955 Act does provide that non-profit-making organisations which are concerned with the advancement of religion, education or social welfare may qualify for relief. It is not for my right hon. Friend to decide whether any particular men's institute is covered by that Section or not.