§ 6.53 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Mancroft.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL OF DROGHEDA in the Chair]
§ Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3:
§ Definitions of "dwelling-house," "private garage" and" private storage premises"
§ 3.—(l) Subject to the provisions of this section, in this Act—
§ the expression "dwelling-house" means a hereditament used wholly for the purposes of a private dwelling or private dwellings;
§ the expression "private garage" means a hereditament having a floor space not exceeding two hundred and forty square feet and used as a lock-up garage, other than a hereditament which—
§ (a) forms part of the premises in which a business of providing services for motor vehicles is carried on, or
VISCOUNT LONG moved in the definition of "private garage," after the words "lock-up garage" to insert:
other than a garage attached to a dwelling house or within the curtilage of a dwelling house and used wholly by the occupier thereof or by persons residing with him for the accommodation of motor cars belonging to them and
§ The noble Viscount said: I do not intend to keep your Lordships for more than just a few moments. There are two questions, and two only, that I should like to ask my noble friend Lord Mancroft. The first one refers to the owner of a garage that is more than 240 square feet. Is he to be charged or rated at the old rate or at the new rate? It is not quite clear. The second question I should like to ask the noble Lord, in moving this Amendment, is: Is a man who builds a new garage within his own purview, within his own 740 curtilage, to be rated at the old rate or at a higher rate? In conclusion, I would ask the noble Lord whether, between now and Report stage, he will make quite certain that in the Bill those two questions, which at the present moment are causing some anxiety, are answered satisfactorily. I beg to move.
Page 3, line 24, after ("garage") insert the said words.—(Viscount Long.)
§ LORD WOLVERTON
I should like to support this Amendment. The position does not seem to be quite clear in the Bill. The noble Lord, Lord Mancroft, I think made the position quite clear in the House on Second Reading. His words are set out in the OFFICIAL REPORT, Volume 183 (No. 90), Column 606. Reading Clause 3, I think you can take it either way. What we are worried about is a garage which is part of a hereditament, a house, added on as an annex to the house. Then, I think, it would be within the curtilage to be rated as one. But if the garage were built, say, fifty yards away, though still within the curtilage, it might he rated quite separately if it was over 240 square feet. Some noble Lords and myself in reading the Bill think it can be construed either way. I thought it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government, as they said on Second Reading, that, if the garage was within the cartilage, it should be part of the hereditament. I should like that point cleared up. I cannot clear it up for myself by reading the Bill. Perhaps it can be cleared up at the next stage of the Bill by the insertion of suitable words.
§ LORD MANCROFT
I am grateful to my two noble friends, Lord Long and Lord Wolverton, for raising this matter, because, if it is causing them any uneasiness, and if they feel there is ambiguity, it is right that the matter should be cleared up. As I understand it, the point of the noble Viscount's Amendment is to exempt from the restrictions involved in the definition of "private garage" garages which are occupied together with a house. This, I think, is already achieved by the Bill as it stands, for the definition of "private garage" applies only to a hereditament—that is, a separately rateable property. Garages form separately rateable properties only if they are not within the curtilage of a house, or if 741 they are let out so as not to be in the same occupation as the house. Garages occupied together with a house are not separately rateable and are assessed together with it, so that they are only part of the hereditament. Hence, such garages, whatever their size, would be assessed, together with the house, on 1939 values, assuming that the 1939 values are lower than the current values. That is the position, as I understand it, and as I hoped I had made it clear on Second Reading. Perhaps the noble Viscount, Lord Long, would like to consider that explanation once again, and if he is still not satisfied that I have resolved his ambiguity, I shall be only too pleased to try to help him furrier at a later stage in the Bill.
§ VISCOUNT LONG
In view of the noble Lord's statement, I, of course, withdraw my Amendment. But I hope that, if it is possible, he will ensure, between now and Report stage, that what lie has said to-day is in the Bill in the language in which he has expressed it this afternoon. I thank him for his explanation. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 3 agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to: Bill reported, without amendment.