HL Deb 06 June 1839 vol 48 cc4-5
Lord Ashburton

asked whether it were the intention of Government to bring forward, shortly, any measure for the explanation or amendment of the Tithe Commutation Act. There were various parts of the act which required one or other of these, and at this advanced period of the Session, he thought no further delay ought to take place.

The Marquess of Lansdowne

said, that a measure of the sort was under the con- sideration of the Government; but, in the course of their communications with the commissioners on the subject, so many new points, for the most part of minor importance, had arisen, that the production of the measure had been inevitably delayed. This was the sole cause, as the Government were anxious that something should be done.

Lord Portman

was anxious that something should be done with regard to the mode of rating, not only tithe, but other properly. In consequence of a late judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench, there was no one rate in the kingdom which could be maintained, if it were to be contested. That judgment had the effect of reviving a principle which had never been acted upon since the time of Elizabeth. It affected not only the poor-rate, but the way-rate, which is founded on the poor-rate. The judgment, in fact, imposed an income tax. Something should be done, and he thought a separate legislative measure would be necessary.

Lord Wrottesley

said, that the practice of taxing profits to the poor-rate was unsatisfactory, and always had been unsatisfactory. The best mode of settling these cases was by private compromise.

Lord Ashburton

agreed, that the judgment spoken of by the noble Lord went to effect a complete revolution in the mode of rating. By the law, as it now stood, the profits of the farmer were liable to be rated.

Subject dropped.