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19° Julii, 1927.]
nate these in order that attention might be concentrated upon the large matters to which my Lord has this morning alluded. These are the important questions of principle, and it would be unfortunate if attention was diverted to what after all are merely matters of detail, but, as matters of detail, are often exceedingly troublesome and technical. I have consulted the Ministry with a view to seeing if it would be possible to eliminate one or two of these points. First of all, your Lordship will recall a difficulty of the nature of a Standing Order difficulty which arose with regard to East Suffolk, that while the map as deposited included an of East Suffolk, on the other hand, East Suffolk did not receive the appropriate notification. We have been in communication with the County Clerk of East Suffolk upon this matter, and I should like to say that the County attitude has been most considerate in the matter to what after all was merely a slip. Following on the lines of a suggestion of theirs after consultation with the Parliamentary draftsman, we think the difficulty might be eliminated by adding a proviso to Clause 4 of the Bill. Clause 4 of the Bill is the one which inter alia authorises, the contribution of 2d. per acre from the Upland Counties. East Suffolk is an Upland County, and the measure of the liability of those omitted acres, that is to say, the acres not omitted from the map but with regard to which no notice was given, is a liability to contribute 2d. per acre. It would be about £50 a year, and therefore we are dealing with a very small matter indeed, of course, but it is one of those technical and rather troublesome things I am anxious to eliminate, and the method we propose to get over that difficulty would be to add to Clause 4, line 32, at the end, these words: "This subsection shall not, unless and until the Minister by order otherwise directs, apply as respects those parts of the Uplands which are within the area of the County of East Suffolk. Before the Minister makes an order under the foregoing provision he shall send a copy of the draft of the order to the Council of the said County and shall take into consideration any objections which may within thirty days after the copy of the draft is received by the Council be made to him with respect thereto by the said Council."
The operative effect of that would be that this small section of East Suffolk would be included in the district, but would not be subjected to the rate unless and until the Minister made an
order doing so. The purpose of that
would be to enable East Suffolk to make a representation on the subject if they desire, and, therefore, not become subject to assessment without an opportunity of being heard. That is the principle we are anxious to protect, and that, of course, is what Standing Orders are designed to protect, and the consequence would be that we would get over the difficulty by including them within the area, but that the taxing provision should not operate until they had an opportunity of being heard, and until the Minister made an order applying the taxing provision to that area to be brought in. We think that expedient would get over that trouble, and, if it has the approval of the Committee, we propose to lay it before the County Council, and I do not think we shall have much difficulty in adjusting it either on these terms or terms closely approximating to them.
Chairman.] Have the County Council of East Suffolk intimated they agree to chis
Mr. Macmillan.] Yes, I have a letter from them which, if you like, I will read. I said the East Suffolk County
Council had been, if I may say so, most reasonable in the matter, and I shall read a paragraph from their letter of the 14th July to the Secretary of the Ministry: "In the circumstances I suggest it would be equitable to the East Suffolk County Council for the Ministry tc suggest to the Committee the propriety of omitting the land in East Suffolk from the maps, e.g., by cross hatching. On the other hand, I regard it as air that the Ministry should be empowered to include the cross-hatched lands if, after considering any representations of the East Suffolk County Council, they regarded it as proper to do so. It is suggested that the Committee should be asked to agree that the rights of the Promoters and of opponents should not be prejudiced by the adoption of this way out of what is a technical impasse, if this proposal commends itself to the Committee." What we propose is in effect to allow them an opportunity of being heard before they are subjected to the contribution.
19° Julii, 1927.]
Chairman.] Is there not a further difficulty about that, that there are certain individuals in this area.
Mr. Macmillan.] There is no individual rating in this area. Contradistinguished from the area within the 20-feet datum line where there is taxing of individuals, there is none here at all. This is a 2d. contribution per acre which the County levies and contributes.
Chairman.] Perhaps on the individuals directly in this area?
Mr. Macmillan.] No doubt. Chairman.] They are liable to be directly rated at 2d. per acre?
Mr. Macmillan.] The County has the power to confine the levying of the sum necessary to produce the 2d contribution within the catchment area, or to impose it upon the whole County. But it is distinguished from rating individual people for an individual rate. It is the County who is the sponsor in this matter. The County is responsible and the County would be the person to find the contribution. I think it would get over the difficulty.
Chairman.] You have an individual already petitioning from the Middle Level area?
Mr. Macmillan.] He is in the direct drainage area; he will be directly rated. Chairman.] But these people may be directly rated.
Mr. Macmillan.] No, they will only be rated in the county general rate.
Chairman.] No, it may be levied directly on them, surely?
Mr. Macmillan.] That is quite true, in a special rate to make up the 2d. contribution.
Mr. Riley.] The point I was going to put is, that surely the assessment in that area will be on all the hereditaments for the amount of the 2d. rate.
Mr. Macmillan.] For such sum as will produce the equivalent of 2d. per acre. Mr. Riley.] On all the hereditaments, both land and buildings, urban and rural.
Mr. Macmillan.] That is true, but in a matter of this sort the County Council is really the representative of the ratepayers.
Would the individuals have a locus if the County Council assented, or did not object?
Mr. Macmillan.] In the ordinary case they would not. I do not know whether they might not be allowed a locus where there is proposed a special rate upon a portion of the County; certainly so far
as the general rate is concerned they would not have a locus, and as this is of the nature of a general rate, although I agree localised over a portion of the County
Mr. Charteris.] I venture to say in the case of a new area, not subject to taxation on the deposited Bill, but now, since the proceedings have begun, subject to taxation, they would have a right of individual representation. They have received no notice and, as my friend reminds me, individuals as well would have a locus before a Private Bill Committee, but certainly a large area affected by a change of policy, such as is the case of Stoke Ferry, would certainly be entitled to a locus. If you take the case of Stoke Ferry, the omission to give notice to the area of Stoke Ferry would be fatal to a Private Bill.
Chairman.] This is not Stoke Ferry. Mr. Macmillan.] This is East Suffolk. Mr. Charteris.] I thought his Lordship asked would individuals have a right to appear had they been subject to changes in the Bill which had taken place since the Bill was deposited?
Chairman.] With regard to the little piece of East Suffolk.
Mr. Charteris.] I beg your pardon. I thought his Lordship asked a general question.
Mr. Macmillan.] May I resume the general position as it stands? There was undoubtedly a discrepancy in this sense, that while the map deposited showed the area of East Suffolk included within the proposed drainage district, on the other hand the newspaper notice and the "Gazette " notice did not indicate that any part of East Suffolk was to be affected, because the letter "W" was put before "Suffolk " and it read "West Suffolk." That was a pure slip. The attention of the Examiner was drawn to this matter when it came up for consideration on Standing Orders, and upon the Examiner having been advised of that matter he did not think it necessary to report non-compliance. If he had reported non-compliance, then, of course, there would be a case for asking for dispensation. He did not report non-compliance. No objections were taken, and immediately after the matter came to my cognizance I laid it before my Lord, you may remember, at the earliest possible moment, and the County Council have been apprised of the matter. The County Council, as I say, have indicated a desire not to embarrass this Bill
19° Julii, 1927.]
by what is, after all, a technicality involving £50 for the whole of this area, and have been good enough to suggest we might get out of the difficulty by postponing any levying upon that area until the Minister so orders. It seems to me that is a sensible way of getting out of what, after all, is a highly technical point.
Chairman.] Of course, we shall come to the point on the clause?
Mr. Macmillan.] No doubt. The other matter I wanted to speak about is more important but is also one of those embarrassments which encumber us. When we had to deposit our map in this promotion, we did not, as you have learned, have the full information from the Ordnance Survey Department necessary to enable us to delimit the catchment area and the 20 feet datum line with that precision which would have been desirable.
The information was not forthcoming, and the delimitation shown upon the deposited map was accordingly not quite accurate at certain points. In the course of opening this Bill, I placed before the Committee an amended map which gave effect to the subsequent information obtained from Southampton from the Ordnance Survey Officials, more precisely delimiting both the catchment area and the 20 feet datum line. The circumstance of a discrepancy in frontier between the map as deposited and the map as introduced to your notice by myself, has this awkward circumstance emphasised at once by my learned friend for Cambridge, that it would have the effect of subjecting to the provisions of this Bill areas which were not shown as subjected to it in the deposited map. Now that involves, my Lord, a Standing Order point but, you observe, a Standing Order point of a different character from the one which I have been dealing with in East Suffolk. The East Suffolk point was a point appropriate for consideration at the initiation of the Bill when first presented. There is no non-compliance with Standing Orders as regards the map and the Bill, but the alteration of the map areas in the course of the proceedings would involve a Standing Order point, because on the Bill coming before the Standing Orders Committee of your Lordship's House, before which it has not yet been, a point might be raised as to whether the second edition of the map did not subject persons to the Board who had not notification of the proposals of
That is In these
the Bill on the deposited map. where the discrepancy arises. circumstances I have also taken the instruction of the Ministry, and rather than involve the Bill, which is an important Bill from the point of view of principle as we have all recognised, in technical difficulties of that sort, I should propose, if your Lordship and your colleagues will agree, that we should promote this Bill on the deposited map and in that way eliminate this question of Standing Orders altogether. It will be possible at another time to amend the map by other proceedings, but so far as this Bill is concerned, I am very anxious that it should not be encumbered with any questions of Standing Orders which might possibly have the effect, improbably, but possibly, of wrecking the whole of the labour which is now being spent upon this Bill. Lord has indicated this morning that there are really two large questions of principle involved; there is the engineering programme and there is the financial scheme. These are the large matters which the Committee will consider, and I have thought it will commend itself to the Committee if I obtain leave to disencumber the Bill of what, after all, are technical points, really irrelevant to the consideration of the main issues submitted to the Committee. If that course commends itself to my Lord I should prefer, therefore, to go ahead with the Bill as deposited and so to obviate any such difficulties, leaving any corrections that may have to be made in order to bring the Bill into conformity with the revised information from the Survey Department to be made by appropriate procedure at another time. I would like to exoner the Ministry of any suggestion of carelessness in this matter, because your Lordship will appreciate that there are in existence no catchment area delimitations for the Rivers of this country and, therefore, the frontier or boundary had to be laid down ad hoc for this purpose. Similarly also, there is no 20 feet contour line in the archives of the Department, and that line also had to be laid down ad hoc. It was laid down to the best of the information before us at the time the Bill was deposited. The Survey Department has since indicated that at certain points it will be necessary to rectify the frontier, to be precisely accurate, but that involves a Standing Order difficulty which I am anxious to obviate. If, therefore, it commended it
19° Julii, 1927.]
self to the Committee, I would propose we promote the Bill on the deposited map, thus eliminating these technical difficulties, leaving any trimmings to be effected by the medium of appropriate proceedings at another time in another place.
Chairman.] That means map A instead of map B?
Mr. Macmillan.] Yes, my Lord. Chairman.] Mr. Macmillan, we should like to be clear on this point. You say you go back to the first map?
Mr. Macmillan.] Yes, my Lord. Chairman.] Then what happens to the piece on the north here, Stoke Ferry?
Mr. Macmillan.] These portions would be excluded from the South Level Board and would be in the pink area as they are shown.
Chairman.] They will; and the piece below?
Mr. Macmillan.] Yes, in the same way. Of course, it would be open to any person who represents these areas to move that they should be included in the yellow area if they so desire. If anybody desired
that, of course, that is all within the coloured area and, therefore, that is at our disposal. If the Committee prefer to alter that they can do so at their own hand, without any infringement, providing any person representing those areas desires they should go in, but I propose to promote it in the form in which the Commission recommended it, and they recommended it in that shape. Consequently Clause 7 would stand in the Bill. I do not know if your Lordship would indicate whether the proposal commends itself to your Lordship as a method of getting out of the difficulty. Of course, I only make it as a proposal.
Chairman.] I do not think we make any objection to the alteration so far as the Bill is presented.
Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] I suppose we may have some revised figures at some time, because all the figures which have been put in about areas are wrong and the Counties shrink to their original proportions. We should like to know how big or small we are.
Captain ROSEVEARE is again called in, and further examined by Mr. BIDDER as follows:
1783. Captain Roseveare, you will prepare a fresh sheet showing the figures for the map as deposited?-Yes, that will take considerable time.
1784. It does not, of course, in any way, affect the principle of the Bill?No. I could give an approximation as to what it would mean.
1785. Would you give the Committee an approximation as to what the effect would be in the final incidence of the Ouse Rate on the directly rated area?I have looked at the matter in the last half-hour and I should imagine it would mean something like a loss of 1d. rate on the area.
1786. Making a difference of somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1d. ?Yes.
1787. On Column 24?-Lowlands.
1788. Lowland Rate leviable for works proposed in the Ouse Bill. It now stands at 23.55d. on agricultural land. Without giving any exact figure you have made rough calculations, and find the difference will be in the neighbourhood of 1d. ?-Yes.
Mr. St. John Raikes.] I have treated that Rate as being 2s. throughout.
Mr. Macmillan.] The alteration will not affect the principle in any way.
1789. (To the Witness.) Now I think you were asked yesterday by a member of the Committee for a statement as to the levels of the Fen districts?-Yes, I have a Table to hand in showing that.
1790. This Table shows the levels on four cross sections across the Fens and the Washes?—Yes.
1791. The first cross section is taken 3 miles north of Earith and you show that the Sutton West Fen is plus 4 above ordnance datum ?—Yes.
1792. The Washes on that line are plus 5.4 the lowest, and plus 6.5 the highest, and the Fens beyond the Washes to the East, Haddenham Fen, namely, is plus 7.5?-Yes.
1793. Then you take a line 7 miles north of Earith and you find that the Sutton West Fen-?-No, the name is not stated in that case.
1794. The level of the Fen is 5 feet above ordnance datum; the Washes are 5 to 5.5, and on the east the Witcham Gravel is 2.5 above ordnance datum; is that right? Yes.
19° Julii, 1927.] Captain JOHN COUCH ADAMS ROSEVEARE.
1795. Then you taken another line 11 miles north of Earith. There you find the Manea Fen is 3.0 above ordnance datum, the Washes 4.4 to 6.5, and on the other side Pymore 2.5 above ordnance datum ?--Yes.
1796. Finally you take a line 18 miles north of Earith, and you find Upwell Fen is plus 1 above ordnance datum, the Washes 5 to 9.5, and on the east, Hilgay Fen, plus 2?—Yes.
Lord Monk Bretton.] Could we have those pointed out?-(The same are indicated on the cartoon.)
Witness.] The whole distance is 21 miles, and therefore if you take about half-way it will be there. That is the place.
1798. You have taken your line at right angles to the Bedford Level?—Yes.
1799. I think on Map A. Manea is shown?-Yes, that is quite near Manea Village; just to the south of the river.
1800. On the word "Wash" practically? Therefore that would be in the Manea and Welney drainage district.
1801. Upwell and Hilgay are also marked on that map?-The average of that I have taken also.
1802. The averages come out to plus 3, plus 4.95 to plus 7 and plus 3.62. You find the average difference in level on the west of the Fens, 1.95, just under 2 feet, and on the east 3.38?-Yes, so that it is not so much as was thought possible in evidence yesterday.
1803. You have produced an Admiralty chart that you were asked for, but before you deal with that just take your blue plan, will you?-Yes.
1804. In order to correlate that with ordnance datum, have you just assigned the figures between which the various colours would lie referred to ordnance datum? There are three grades of blue colour on that chart. If we consider the lightest colour, that is the one between low water spring tides and high water. Relative to ordnance datum those figures might be considered as about 8.7 below ordnance datum to, say, 14 feet above.
1805. Roughly, 8 below to 14 above for the light blue Wash; is that right?Yes.
1806. Then the next deeper colour of Wash is, of course, between that limit and the addition of 30 feet?-Yes, that is between low water again 8.7, and 5 fathoms below, that is, 30 feet below that, that would be minus 38 ordnance datum, roughly. The next between would be from that level to a deeper depth, which is not material.
1807. That is just to tie up those colours to ordnance datum ?—Yes.
1808. You have an Admiralty chart?Yes, I have obtained that to hand to Sir Murdoch Macdonald as requested. (Same is handed to the Committee and explained.) That is on the large scale, the approaches to King's Lynn.
Cross-examined by Mr. JEeves.
1809. Captain Roseveare, I just want to get, if I may, a few figures from you in relation to this table so that we can realise what the proposed burden will be on behalf of King's Lynn. With regard to the figures which have been taken in columns 6 and 7 you told us there you had reduced the rateable value to one-third for the purpose of the calculation in the next column ?-That is so, as stated in the table.
1810. It follows from that, that that payment of 7.76d. to be made on other hereditaments is not on the £109,835, but on three times that amount?-You are taking the totals?
1811. Yes? Yes, the 7.76d. would be naturally on the full value.
1812. That in the case of King's Lynn would be £85,830 on the figure that you gave yesterday ?—Yes.
1813. In order to get at that amount of pence in the £ you have assumed, have you not, that every pound of rateable value in relation to 1d. rate will produce 1d.?—Yes.
1814. And you have made no allowance for such things as empties, compounding, and so on?-Certainly not.
1815. So the actual rate in the £ will be considerably higher than is shown here in any area where there is compounding or empty property?-It might be.
1816. You say it might be; we will just see. You have not made any calculation to find out what that is?-None at all.
1817. I am just going to put these figures to you, if I may. Taking the assessment you gave me for King's Lynn of £7,111 for agricultural land and G 2