Ports (Rates)

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich 12:00 am, 29th June 1965

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why ports such as Parkeston Quay, Harwich, are excluded from the assessment for payment of rates.

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

Because, on the basis of assessment upheld by the courts, they do not show a profit.

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich

Is that not grossly unfair on a private enterprise port making a profit, next door to a British Rail port that does not? Can the Minister say what are the limited charges and facilities specially provided at Parkeston, and what figures have been allowed for renewals in the rating hypothesis?

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

These matters of valuation are for the Inland Revenue. I understand that there is an appeal pending, so that this matter is sub judice.

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter

Is it not extraordinary that the reason that this quay does not pay rates is that it is not making a profit? If, in future a private business does not make a profit, will it be relieved of rates?

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

The position with regard to docks is different from that of other railway undertakings. Docks are treated especially under the Act of Parliament, and that is not a matter for my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment.