Rating (Amendment).

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 15th February 1933.

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The right hon. and gallant Gentleman rightly referred to the need of houses, and I agree with him that that is what we require. But the facts are against him. I will trouble the House with only one figure. In 1909–10, the year before the Land Valuation proposals were introduced, the number of small dwelling-houses erected in that one year was 102,464. In the following year, when the Land Valuation proposals were law, the number was only 36,000, and we know, on the authority of no less a person that Dr. Addison, who presided over a Commission on this matter in 1919, that the result thus obtained was entirely due to the Land Valuation proposals which were then law. Last year this House decided that the law on the Statute Book relating to this matter should stand suspended. We on this side of the House hope that in the next Budget we shall see it entirely removed from the Statute Book. It will therefore be a retrograde step, in my view, if the House allows, by a back-door method, the local authorities to introduce proposals which are entirely against its sense and its feeling at the present time. I, therefore, invite the House to reject the Motion proposed by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman.