Clause 20 — (Contributions by burghs to county council.)

Orders of the Day — Local Government (Scotland) Bill. – in the House of Commons at on 8 February 1929.

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The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. HARDIE:

In page 25, line 21, after the first word "the," to insert the word "unreduced."

Photo of Mr Dennis Herbert Mr Dennis Herbert , Watford

I have some doubt as to whether this Amendment is in order. I am not sure what the effect of it would be, and I will give the hon. Member for Springburn (Mr. Hardie) the opportunity of making a short explanation.

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

My point is to secure that the apportionment of the money shall be made on the present rateable valuation and not on the rateable valuation minus the deduction which is caused by de-rating. That is the only explanation I can give. When we introduce the word "unreduced" it makes it clear that the apportionment shall not be based upon the valuation after de-rating has taken place.

Photo of Mr Dennis Herbert Mr Dennis Herbert , Watford

I am afraid that I must rule the Amendment out of order. In the first place, no unreduced valuation is recognised or defined in the Bill, and in the second place, the Clause provides only for an allocation between certain districts of the rates which are raised over the whole area of which they form part. Therefore, it would be impossible to try to apportion those rates between the two on any other basis than that on which they are paid.

Photo of Mr William Watson Mr William Watson , Carlisle

I beg to move, in page 25, to leave out from the Word "of," in line 32, to the second word "expenditure," in line 35, and to insert instead thereof the words: a large burgh, expenditure which falls to be met out of rates and grants under Part III of this Act, and in the case of a small burgh. The point of this Amendment is, briefly, this: The large burghs meet their expenditure not only out of rates but out of grants which they get direct. The small burghs do not get direct grants; the county gets the grant and then allocates it among the different areas. It is a drafting Amendment to make clear the distinction between the large burghs and the small burghs.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

I am not clear about what the Lord Advocate said regarding this expenditure in the case of the large burghs. The large burghs have rates and grants, and the small burghs have no grants, because the grant goes to the county. In the allocation of this grant among the burghs there are various services other than that of education to be taken into account, and I wish to know from the Lord Advocate if this will not have an effect upon the portion of the rate involved in the case of education. The county council will have: so much money coming in and will have to allocate so much to education. The education grant is outside the ordinary grant, but, if the amount that is needed for other services will involve increasing the rates, will that not produce a tendency to reduce expenditure upon education, because of the fact that they have tried to put down the education rate in order to balance the other services. With regard to small burghs and their general expenditure, I submit that there will be this tendency in connection with the education rate.

Photo of Mr William Watson Mr William Watson , Carlisle

This proposal concerns the education rate. In the case of a large burgh, the education rate goes direct to that burgh, and in the case of a small burgh the grants are deducted from the expenditure. Therefore, we exclude any question of grants in the allocation of the small burgh.

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Peebles and Southern

I want to ask a question in connection with the allocation of the Education (Scotland) Grant.

Photo of Mr William Watson Mr William Watson , Carlisle

That does not arise on this Clause.

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Peebles and Southern

I think it does arise, because, under the allocation of the education grant there is a deduction from the sum that is arrived at which is calculated at so much per head for pupils, so much for teachers, and so much for small schools, and from that total a deduction is made.

Photo of Mr William Watson Mr William Watson , Carlisle

This Clause does not fix what the grants and the expenditure are to be. We are now dealing with the machinery for allocation.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Peebles and Southern

I beg to move, in page 25, line 36, at the end, to insert the words: The county council annually, and not later than the fifteenth day of July in each year, shall cause a requisition to be sent to the town council of any burgh requiring them to pay the sum or sums which under the provisions of this Act they are liable to contribute to the county fund in aid of the expenditure thereout for the purposes set forth in the requisition, and the town council shall pay to the county council at such intervals as the town council and county Council may agree and, failing agreement, as the Secretary of State may determine, and so far as the amount specified on the certificate has not been paid over by that time shall annually on the first day of May pay over the balance to the county council.The statutory powers of a town council to borrow temporarily in connection with current annual expenditure in anticipation of the rates applicable to such expenditure shall be deemed to include power to borrow for the purposes of meeting any sum, so far as uncollected, payable, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, to a county council and upon the security of the rates leviable by the rating authority for the purposes of Acts of Parliament administered by them, and any sums borrowed under the provisions of this Sub-section shall not be reckoned in any calculation as to the limit of the amount that may be borrowed under the aforesaid statutory powers. This is practically the same Amendment as the proposal of the Government, but there is a slight difference between the two Amendments. I would like to hear the view of the Lord Advocate in regard to the difference between the two Amendments which were placed on the Paper after consultation with the Convention of Royal Burghs who desire the insertion of these provisions.

Photo of Mr William Watson Mr William Watson , Carlisle

The difference between the two Amendments is that the hon. Member's proposal includes the words and any sums borrowed under the provisions of this Sub-section shall not be reckoned in any calculation as to the limit of the amount that may be borrowed under the aforesaid statutory powers. There is no such limit, and therefore those words are unnecessary.

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Peebles and Southern

I accept that explanation, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Further Amendment made:

In page 25, line 37, leave out Subsection (2), and insert instead thereof the words: (2) The county council annually, and not later than the fifteenth day of July in each year, shall cause a requisition to be sent to the town council of each burgh included within the county for any purpose requiring them to pay the sum apportioned and allocated as aforesaid to the burgh, and the town council shall at such intervals and by such instalments as they and the county council may agree and, failing agreement, as the Secretary of State may determine, pay over to the county council the sum so requisitioned without any reduction whatever, so however that the last instalment shall be payable not later than the first day of May.(3) The statutory powers of a town council to borrow temporarily for their current annual expenses shall be deemed to include power to borrow for the purpose of paying any such instalments as aforesaid."—[Sir J. Gilmour.] Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.