HC Deb 16 July 1969 vol 787 cc583-4
5. Mr. Stodart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland for how long he has been considering the issues raised by the rating of certain agricultural buildings and the anomalies which this has created; and when he now expects to make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Norman Buchan)

Since these issues were clarified some two years ago following a series of court decisions, the case for a change in the law has been discussed on a number of occasions with the National Farmers Union of Scotland. I have considered their views with great care, and I shall announce a decision as soon as possible.

Mr. Stodart

If it is by any chance a lack of enthusiasm on the part of his English colleagues for a change about which he himself expressed the need for considerable urgency, will the hon. Gentleman recollect that prior to 1956 there was a different form of rating legislation for Scotland? If the worst came to the worst, would he consider separate legislation to clear up this matter?

Mr. Buchan

We are considering every aspect of the problem. It is a very complex one, as the hon. Member knows. As soon as we are ready to announce a decision we will let the House know.

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