HC Deb 11 April 1963 vol 675 cc1468-9
24. Mr. Lubbock

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will publish details of the new rates for each local authority in Kent in the year 1963–64.

Mr. Corfield

Yes, Sir. Rate pound-ages for all rating authorities are published each year for the Department by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in "Rates and Rateable Values".

Mr. Lubbock

As these figures are apparently so readily available, will the hon. Gentleman make sure that they are drawn to the attention of his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, who has been inventing stories about rates in Kent to suit his own political purposes?

Mr. Corfield

When the hon. Gentleman says that these figures are readily available, I remind him that they are only readily available when we have all the returns from the local authorities, and these are not yet complete.

Mr. Walker

Can my hon. Friend say whether these figures show the previous year's rates, so that the electors of orpington can calculate the increase that takes place when the Liberals take over?

Mr. Corfield

I am not sure that the figures are shown in the same publication, but, it not, they will be available from the publication for the previous year.

Mr. M. Stewart

Is the Joint Parliamentary Secretary aware that if he goes on giving the kind of answer that he gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) about housing, the rates will continue to rise and he will be responsible?

Mr. Lubbock

Will the Joint Parliamentary Secretary draw the attention of his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to the fact that, in the rates which have been published, those in the local authorities represented by the Tories in the immediate vicinity of Orpington are all higher than those which obtain—

Mr. Speaker

Order. There must be some limit to this exercise. It is not the duty of the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to give instructions or information to the Leader of the House.