HL Deb 16 May 1889 vol 336 cc189-90

My Lords, I move that this Bill be read a second time. The measure is a small one, and not of a. controversial character. Clause 1 remedies an obvious defect in the law, a defect which considerably increases the cost of raising the library rate. The law now is that when the Library Acts are put in force in an area composed of a single parish, the library rate must be levied as a separate rate, but in every other area—e.g., an area composed of two or more parishes, or of a District Board, the rate may be levied as part of some other rate, thereby saving expense in the collection. My Lords, in the parish in which I live, Chelsea, the clerical expense of levying the library rate separately is £50 a year, and in addition about £100 a year is paid to the poor-rate collectors for collecting the library rate, making a total of about £150 a year for collecting £2,500. The whole of this expense would be avoided if, as this Bill proposes, the library rate were levied as part of the poor rate, as is now the case where two or more parishes club together to put the Acts into operation. Originally a Bill to the effect of Clause 1 of this Bill was brought in by me in this House, but it was taken off the Order Book and relegated to the Commons as a money Bill. I do not know whether your Lordships will consider it advisable under those circumstances to move any Amendments to the Clause. Clause 2 is merely supplemental to Clause 1. Clause 3, which has been inserted in the Bill in the House of Commons, is new and useful. It enables parishes having public libraries to make mutually advantageous arrangements for the joint use of those libraries.

Read 2a (according to order), and committed to the Standing Committee for General Bills.