HL Deb 31 July 1930 vol 78 cc1159-60

Clause 19, page 16, line 30, leave out from the beginning to ("the") in line 31.

LORD BAYFORD had given Notice that he would move to disagree to this Amendment and propose in lieu thereof the following Amendment—namely, page 16, lines 30 and 31, to leave out "limitations prescribed by Section twenty-one" and to insert "provisions of this Part." The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move this Amendment, which is one of a series standing in my name. As they all hang together, I had better explain their object to the House although the Government have agreed to accept them. The proposal, as it left the House, was that a catchment board might not issue a precept upon counties and county boroughs involving more than a halfpenny rate without the consent of these authorities. The House of Commons cut that out and put in a make-believe right of appeal on which I will say a word later. This Amendment says that, unless the majority of the representatives of the counties and county boroughs on the catchment board consent, no rate of more than twopence may be levied by the catchment board on those counties and county boroughs. I am not prepared to say that this gives absolute security, but it is some safeguard. The new clause on page 19 of the Amendments by which the Government propose to meet the case is really no safeguard at all. It merely says that before approving a scheme the Minister shall cause a public inquiry to be held. The Minister is not even bound by the findings of the body he has appointed to enquire. That is a form of appeal which really is not worth preserving. I am not prepared to say that these Amendments give us all that we could wish, but some of us have been in consultation with the Government for some time upon this subject and I can assure my friends, though we did not get all that we hoped to get, the Government did make some attempt to meet us and I understand that they are prepared to accept the Amendment which I now move.

Moved, That this House doth disagree with the Commons in the said Amendment and propose in lieu thereof the following Amendment: Page 16, lines 30 and 31, leave out ("limitations prescribed by Section twenty-one") and insert ("provisions of this Part").—(Lord Bayford.)


My Lords, in accepting the proposals of the noble Lord, Lord Bayford, I need only detain your Lordships for a moment in order to state the position of His Majesty s Government. Like the noble Lord, we are not entirely happy upon this final Amendment, but it is a compromise and we think really a very fair one because, although we are not entirely happy about the matter, we do recognise that the position of the county councils at the moment is a difficult one and they have naturally to safeguard the ratepayers whom they represent. I accept the Amendment.

On Question, Motion agreed to.