asked the right hon. and gallant Member for Rye, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether he is aware that, in the case of the Bellingham Rural District Council, Northumberland, where the Forestry Commissioners' property is extensive, the loss of rateable value, due to the fact that the Forestry Commission is not liable for rates on sporting rights which are let, is considerable; under what authority this property is exempted from rates; and if he will make inquiries into the matter, with a view to reducing the loss to the district council affected?
§ Sir G. Courthope:
The Forestry Commissioners have recently agreed with the County Valuation Officer for Northumberland assessments on sporting rights over their property in the Parish of Bellingham. In common with other Government Departments they make donations in lieu of rates in all circumstances in which a private owner would be assessable.