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13° Julii, 1927.]

so you then get the total County area, and the total catchment area of each County, and then again a discrimination in the catchment area between the Upland and Lowland areas. You will notice at once in column 4 that as respects seven of the administrative Counties they contain no Lowland area. There is a blank there. The result is that of the Counties concerned, five have both Lowland and Upland territory, seven have Upland only. Seven are in the blue. Then the next compartment of the Table gives rateable value as on the 1st April, 1924, of the Lowlands for the purposes of Drainage Rates leviable by the Ouse Drainage Board. In that compartment we discriminate between agricultural land and other hereditaments, for this reason, that you will recall that under the Bill agricultural lands are to be rated in full because they are supposed to benefit specially, while other hereditaments are to be rated upon one-third. Accordingly, we show in column 6 the rateable value of agricultural lands, and in column 7 all other hereditaments after allowing the rebate of two-thirds, and in the eighth column you get the rateable value of the Lowland area in each County. Of course, that applies only to the first five Counties, there being no Lowland area in the remaining seven. You get there the rateable value which is available for taxation. Then you come to the rates leviable by the Ouse Drainage Board on the Lowlands. The figure estimated to be raised anually will be found at the foot of column 9, £52,784, being the same figure as I brought out in the calculation; and as is shown on the paper apart-the amount to be raised by the rates levied by the Ouse Drainage Board. That, again, of course, has to be parcelled out among the five County areas, and you find that in column 9.

Then you make a rate in the pound on agricultural land and other hereditaments necessary to raise the money, and you find that it would involve in the case of each of these five counties a rate on agricultural land of 23-29d., as near as may be a 2s. rate; on other hereditaments as near as may be 73d. Then column 12 gives the rate per acre based on foregoing, assessed on gross acreage. If you wish to take it on the basis of acreage instead of rate in the pound it works out at 2s. 97d. per acre for Norfolk, and of course in the other four counties it differs. Then you take the

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thirteenth column, "Estimated area of agricultural land based upon known figures for present Ouse Drainage Board area, acres, 136,289; that is, of course, the figure necessary to give you the result in Column 12. Then you come to Column 14, "Net rate per acre on agricultural land," 2s. 1098d.

The distinction between 12 and 14 is this: 12 is based upon the gross acreage if you take the whole of the acreage, but as some of the acreage is not rateable then you have to get the net acreage which is rateable, and you get in Column 14 the net rate which would, of course, be the actual rate, because the other rate of 2s. 97d. does not take account of the subjects which are exempt from rating, roads, and so on. The result is the net rate per acre on agricultural land would be 2s. 1098d. in Norfolk, and the other figures shown in the other four counties in the Lowland area.

Column 15, my Lord, gives you in respect of uplands at 2d. per acre, and Column 16 in respect of lowlands at 6d. per acre, the contribution to be made, and in Column 17 you get the total of £6,168, and a decimal, and at the foot of Column 17 you get the figure again which you will recognise of £24,215, being the amount to be derived by contributions from the county councils. The next compartment gives the contributions payable by county councils in respect of Uplands and Lowlands and rates in the pound leviable for that purpose if spread over the whole of each county. That is to say, if the contributions which the county councils have to make are raised by the county council distributing the liability over the whole of each county, then you get the figures which are in these columns, the first two dealing with the 2d. per acre for Uplands and the second pair of columns dealing with the figure per acre over the Lowlands. It is upon that hypothesis.

Then you get in Columns 22 and 23 the total rate leviable in order to yield the contributions from the county councils. The result would be in Norfolk on agricultural land a rate of d. in the £ and on other hereditaments 1d. You find the various other different fractions for the other counties.

The next thing that has to be done is to ascertain the total lowland rates in the £ leviable for works proposed in the Ouse Bill. For agricultural land-I am

13° Julii, 1927.]


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taking Norfolk again as the example23 56d. on agricultural land; other hereditaments 8:85d. Then comes the other compartment: Approximate Rates leviable in respect of county council Upland' contributions if collected from catchment basin only, Uplands 2d. per acre and lowlands 6d. per acre." That is assuming a different basis, that the county councils do not spread the contribution over the whole of their areas, but limit it to the areas in the catchment basin. That is merely put in for comparative purposes in case anybody wanted information worked out on that alternative. Then you come to: Approximate rates leviable in respect of County Council Upland' contribution if collected from catchment basın only." I need not go into that. Then the next compartment: "Total Lowland' rates if County Council contributions in respect of 'Upland and Lowlands' are recovered from catchment basin only," another alternative method, and then we get in the last compartment, "Rates leviable by Ouse Drainage Board if no contribution is paid by the County Councils." That is to say, suppose both the 2d. and 6d. contributions are knocked out of the scheme, this Column will give you what rate would be necessary upon the Lowlands or by way of drainage rate in order to defray the expense.

This Table will no doubt be examined more closely later on, but I wanted at the outset to explain to you its construction, and I think I may say it contains in its various compartments practically all the material necessary not only to explain our proposal but to make available to our critics various alternative methods. It shows thus in a convenient form, the statistical and financial position. It is a little too long in length, but it is very convenient to have them all in one paper. It only remains to draw attention to certain other provisions of the Bill, and I go to them with this general observation. Down to this point, as the Committee will have appreciated, I have been dealing with the real, large issues which have been involved.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] Before you leave that I do not know if we could have an explanation of the remarkable differences in areas in this new table which has been handed in and the table which appears in the Report. The counties


appear to have expanded considerably between the date of the Report and the date of the preparation of this table. Is one or other of the documents inaccurate, or is it a physical fact that the expansion has taken place? What I mean is that the Column headed "Total Area" appears to be the same. I have checked that so far as my counties are concerned. In Column 3, which purports to give on my learned friend's long table the upland areas, I find that every one of the counties which have only upland areas have been largely expanded since they were measured in 1925, and I should like to know what the explanation is, because it makes a remarkable addition to the burdens which my learned friend is seeking to impose upon my county. Is it only a mistake, or is it some alteration?

Mr. Macmillan.] If my learned friend had had the disadvantage of hearing me yesterday he would have learned that the area is altered, because we have now been able to get from the Ordnance Survey a precise delimitation of the line between the uplands and lowlands based upon the 20 feet datum, and that has the result of altering the figures substantially.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] That cannot affect my counties which were always only uplands. That cannot be the explanation. It may be that one or other of these is wrong.

Mr. Macmillan.] How can it not affect your counties?

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] Obviously not, because all my counties were always upland, and it is not a taking out of upland and putting into lowland, or the other way round; the counties for whom I am speaking have always been upland.

Mr. Macmillan.] But the area of upland territory now differs from the area in the deposited plan.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] It cannot be by transfer from lowland to upland; it may be because somebody has made a mistake.

Chairman.] I understand there has been a revision by the Ordnance, we were told yesterday, of the whole catchment area with the result of this increase. That is what we were told.

Mr. Macmillan.] Two things have been done. The catchment area is now defined with more precision than it was before, and, secondly, the line of de

13° Julii, 1927.]

marcation within the catchment area has now been altered.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] That would not affect my counties.

Mr. Charteris.] That would hardly affect them. If I take the case of Norfolk, I find in the case of Norfolk the increase in the uplands is 17,690 and in the lowlands 16,174; they have both increased. The explanation surely of altering the datum line would not account for the expansion in both cases.

Mr. Macmillan.] It is just as I thought. The two alterations that have been made in the direction of greater precision compared with the figures which are set out in the Commission's Report relate to, first, the precise ascertainment of the catchment area, and, secondly, the precise delimitation between uplands and lowlands, that is to say, the 20 feet line. I am not responsible for the results which the precise demarcation may lead to, but these are I am informed the results in figures taken out, which will be proved before you, and an opportunity will be afforded to my learned friends for arithmetical exercises with the witnesses who come, but I am instructed these are the precise figures which we have worked out upon the basis of the information from the Ordnance Survey Department.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] 50,000 acres has been added to Bedford.

Mr. Macmillan.] You should be very gratified; your jurisdiction has been extended obviously.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] Only for purposes of taxation.

Mr. Riley.] I should like to ask with regard to the change in the basis of raising the respective charges in the respective columns.

Mr. Macmillan.] Would you be good enough to give me the number of the columns?

Mr. Riley.] With regard to the £24,000 to meet the annual charge?

Mr. Macmillan.] Column 17.

Mr. Riley.] It can be raised upon acreage. I notice in that part of the liability the agricultural land would be liable on its full rateable value?

Mr. Macmillan.] Yes.

Mr. Riley.] Other hereditaments at one-third. That is so, is it not?

Mr. Macmillan.] No, Mr. Riley. I think the Honourable Member is in error there. For the purpose of raising the


contribution by the County Council this one-third

Mr. Riley.] Columns 22 and 23.

Mr. Macmillan.] For the purpose of raising the contribution by the County Councils if that is put upon the whole county and thus becomes a charge to the general purposes rate, the other hereditaments do not get the benefit of the twothirds deduction from their annual value.

Mr. Riley.] It is the other way round.

Mr. Macmillan.] The agricultural land gets relief from the county rate by the general law, and the other hereditaments have to pay in full. It is exactly the opposite way round.

Mr. Riley.] The point I want to bring. out is that in the case of this table the difference between raising the rate of 2d. and 6d. is that agricultural land will be assessed at its full value and the other at one-third. When it comes to the balance of £52,000 the agricultural land will be rated at one-quarter.

Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] It is the other way round, I think.

Mr. Macmillan.] The methods are exactly in contrast in the two areas concerned. For the purposes of the drainage rate to be levied under the Bill we propose to deal with agricultural land on the basis of its full valuation, because of the assumption that it is agricultural land that benefits by the protection. On the other hand the other hereditaments assumed to be less benefited are assessed at one-third. Then, on the other hand, with regard to the contributions which are paid en bloc from the County Councils, they have to raise the necessary total contributions, and they raise them through their ordinary general rate, and under the general law. The general law, as you know, gives abatement in respect of agricultural land, and therefore the system is really reversed.

Mr. Riley.] That is the point I am putting, that it was the £52,000 which will be raised upon that basis.

Mr. Macmillan.] It is the £52,000 which is raised on the basis of the agricultural land paying at the full value. It is a very important distinction, and I am obliged to the Honourable Member for bringing it out.

I have no doubt the Committee will become painfully familiar with these figures before we have finished. But it is a convenient compilation, in spite of what my learned friends say, for the purpose of giving these figures.

13 Julii, 1927.]

Your Lordship and your colleagues are now really in possession of the outline of this scheme. The three main features are: first of all, What is to be the drainage district?-That is to be the catchment area. Secondly, Is there to be discrimination inside the catchment area? -There is. There is to be an upland and a lowland area. Then next you are in possession of the provisions with regard to the administration of that area by the proposed Board, which is to be constituted as indicated in the Schedule. You are further apprised of the general nature of the works which we are advised have to be carried out, and, lastly, I have endeavoured to place before you with as little complication as possible the method which the Bill proposes for financing the scheme.

That is really the broad outline of the whole case, and if the Committee is pleased to approve of that scheme the remaining matters of the Bill, while some of them may be of importance and may be of particular importance to individual petitioners, are all relatively unimportant, and therefore are matters of detail, matters quite proper to be discussed at the appropriate stage, and I shall, of course, before I leave the Bill explain those other matters. They come up, indeed, on the petitions, but I am concerned that the Committee apprehend at this stage the real policy. and principle of the Bill as a whole, subject to any consideration of the more detailed matters, which will have to be some of adjusted ultimately, and on which I shall hope to be able to meet the views of some of the petitioners. But the broad scheme is now before you.


Before leaving the Bill may I somewhat rapidly run through the remaining proVisions? I think I may go to Clause 6 now. Clause 6 deals with a quite special matter. The assumption is that if the works proposed are carried out certain of them will have a very beneficial result upon the port or trade of King's Lynn. As those works will be carried out in part at the public expense it is thought right that provision should be made for a contribution from King's Lynn in respect of the benefit which they will derive from those works, if they derive benefit, and accordingly it is proposed that


Ouse Board may at any time after the completion of any of the works specified in Part I of the Third Schedule to this


Act, or of any part of such work," require the Corporation of King's Lynn, the King's Lynn Conservancy Board and the King's Lynn Docks and Railway Company, or any of them," to pay to the Board by way of contribution towards the amount falling to be defrayed by the Board in connection with the execution of the said works, an amount representing the value of the improvement which has resulted, or which it is calculated will result, to the port or to the trade of King's Lynn by reason of the execution of the said works or part of a work." That is really a betterment provision. It it can be shown that in consequence of the expenditure of this money upon works in the channel and sea ex adverso King's Lynn, benefit results to those three parties, the Corporation, the Conservancy Board, and the Docks and Railway Company, then provision is made for their making a contribution to be measured by the value of the improvement which has resulted to the port or to the trade of King's Lynn. Provision is made for the settlement of the amount of the contribution by arbitration in the the event of a difference arising on amount. It seems only fair that if these works and this expenditure result in an adventitious benefit to the port and trade, some contribution might fairly be made to the cost of the works. Exception is taken to this by the Corporation of King's Lynn, and also by the Conservancy Board, and the Docks and Railway Company, and no doubt they will place their views upon it before you, but the whole matter is conditional upon there being a resulting improvement to the port or trade of King's Lynn.

Mr. Abady.] And is additional to other burdens which they have to bear.

Mr. Macmillan.] They will have to bear their ordinary burden like everybody else, but if they get a special benefit which others do not get, then they are asked to make a contribution.

Clause 7 may be disregarded now, because it only arose on our original proposal with regard to certain areas now put into the yellow territory which were shown in pink on the original deposited plan, and no point arises upon that, except that we shall desire to satisfy you that that transference to the yellow area is a reasonable one and not prejudicial to the areas concerned. In the meantime it may be disregarded.

13° Julii, 1927.]

Clause 8 deals with powers of borrowing and provides a period of 50 years' currency. That is the important thing in that Part the 50 years' currency.

Then, not unimportant, is Clause 9, the effect of which is to confer upon all the Drainage authorities within the Ouse District, of which there are a great number, the option of recovering their rates or charges, either on annual value or on the acreage basis. At the present moment I understand it is entirely acreage. At any rate, in almost every case, if not in every case, their method of computation of the contributions or rates is on the acreage basis. This is to empower all those Drainage authorities to avail themselves of the option which is given under the general legislation in Section 4 of the Land Drainage Act, 1918.

Then a small matter in Clause 10. The Middle Level Drainage and Navigation Commissioners are relieved of an obligation to pay £250 for the maintenance of certain works specified in a section of their Act of 1862. These works in question will be really merged in the larger work, and it is proper that they should no longer be under that liability.

Then Part III of the Bill contains a series of miscellaneous provisions. I do not think, as far as I know, anybody raises any question with regard to the "Provision for transfer to Ouse Board or South Level Board of powers and duties of navigation authorities." We are really continuing there the provisions of our Order of 1920, and I really think there is no controversy about that.

Then comes in Clause 12 a series of provisions relating to the works in Schedule III. The works in Schedule III, at page 37, are the "works and matters in respect of the expenses of which a Government contribution is payable." This deals with the question of compulsory purchase: "The provisions contained in the Land Drainage Act, 1861, with respect to the compulsory acquisition of land shall not apply in relation to the acquisition by the Ouse Board of land compulsorily for the purpose of any of the works specified in Part I of the Third Schedule to this Act, and in lieu thereof the Ouse Board may be authorised to purchase land compulsorily for that purpose by means of an Order submitted to the Minister and confirmed by him in accordance with the Fourth Schedule to this Act."


In short, this Act has a special short code for the compulsory acquisition of lands. It only really relates to the necessity for acquiring some land in connection with certain of the works, and in particular with the short-circuiting of the Magdalen Bend. It is necessary there to acquire some land to make the direct cut, and we propose this code for its compulsory acquisition. Under the Land Drainage Act, of 1861, you may remember that half the proprietors can block a scheme, if they do not consent, if it is over £1,000 in cost, and it is desirable to get that out of the way. That is in sub-clause (2) which relates to that. That is excluded. Then it is proposed: "On completion of the work. of diversion "-that is the Magdalen Cut-" the bed of so much of the present channel of the River as becomes disused by reason of the diversion shall by virtue of this Act vest in the Ouse Board, and the Board shall have sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of or deal with the said bed of the channel." Sub-clause (4) of Clause 12: "Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any Act (including any local Act), the Ouse Board shall have power to execute the works specified in Part I of the Third Schedule to this Act in such manner in all respects as they think fit."



Then Clause 13 is taken exception to. Clause 13: "The Board may, on an application made at any time within six months after the appointed day, repay to the owner or occupier of any land within their district, or to any drainage authority whose area, or any part of whose area, is within their district, or to the Minister, the amount of any expenditure incurred by him or them respectively before the appointed day (including in the case of the Minister expenditure incurred by him on behalf of the Treasury), in respect of the execution of any drainage works to which this section applies, or so much of any such expenditure as the Board considers to have been reasonably incurred." This deals with expenditure incurred before the appointed day. I may refer to comparable provisions of the 1920 Order. Then it goes on: "Provided that the foregoing provision shall not apply to any expenditure incurred by a drainage authority for defraying which a rate was levied by the authority before the appointed day." Then sub-clause (2)

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