HL Deb 15 February 1962 vol 237 cc587-8

3.15 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Lord Craigton.)


My Lords, I do not propose to say other than a few words in connection with this Bill. I did not put forward any Amendment because, as I said on Second Reading, I proposed to make inquiries as to the attitude of local authorities to the aspects of the Bill which are mainly concerned with local authorities. I found that, while there was opposition to the Bill, it was not to the main purposes, the valuation effects, but there was opposition to a compulsory relief for charitable organisations. I could not bring myself to support that opposition, because I thought that what the Bill proposed to do was reasonable.

There was also a certain amount of opposition to the bodies which would qualify for assistance in the terms of the Bill, and that opposition was particularly directed against giving compulsory relief to fee-paying schools, some of which have been world famous for a long time, and one of which has had a great deal of additional publicity very recently. I did not think it was desirable to move against that either, because I cannot believe that the assistance which is being given to these fee-paying schools is as one-sided as some people think. For instance, I should imagine that other less well known (in the general sense) fee-paying organisations, such as the Workers' Educational Association and the National Council of Labour Colleges, will similarly qualify for assistance under this Bill. It is in that expectation that I did not feel it necessary to challenge this provision. I may be wrong and, if I am, I hope that the noble Lord will reply to that effect before the Bill is passed.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord. I agree with him, and I think he agrees with me, that the only proper yardstick is whether or not the institution, whatever it may be, is liable to pay income tax or not. If it can satisfy the income tax authorities that it should not pay income tax, then it should not pay full rates. With regard to the two organisations mentioned by the noble Lord, I should like to look into the position and write to him.

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.