HL Deb 21 June 1872 vol 212 cc18-9

, in moving for a Return of sums expended in the various counties in England and Wales levied on the county rate during the year 1871, said, that the Return for which he now moved was similar to one he had moved for in the House of Commons in 1869 for that year. The Return was intended to show what proportion of the total expenditure in counties, in each county in England and Wales, was administered by the local authority under statute, and what proportion was expended over which they had entire control. This information had been found to be most useful on more than one occasion, in discussing schemes for the establishment of county financial boards, local taxation, and many other matters affecting management. A Bill would probably be introduced into the other House of Parliament to provide that certain Returns, including that which he desired, should be made annually; but as it was extremely unlikely that a measure of that kind could be passed that Session, and a large number of persons interested in county management were anxious to obtain the information in question, he hoped their Lordships would ask that it should be produced. In connection with this subject, he might be pardoned for adverting to the difficulty which was experienced in obtaining correct and accurate Returns. The Return for 1869 was not complete, and he was told, and he believed with truth, that there were no means of compelling those who prepared Returns to take any trouble about them, and—what was still more to the point, perhaps—no means of remunerating them for their trouble. This state of things required a remedy, for Returns were only misleading if they were not accurate and correct in every respect.

Motion agreed to.

Address for, Return of the sums expended in the various counties in England and Wales levied on the county rate during the year 1871, showing separately the total expenditure in each county and the portion of the above so spent under statute over which the local authority have no control and that over which they have an independent control; also the items of expenditure in each county under the last column: [Tabular Form].—(The Lord Henniker.)