10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 3

There had been rumours in advance that the Speaker was

likely to rule against the L.C.C. Rating Bill, which would give power to rate site values and empty property. Mr. Herbert Morrison put his points to their best advantage, but the decision went against him ; Mr. Speaker relied chiefly on the 1895 precedent created by Mr. Speaker Peel. The House knows what to expect from Mr. Morrison's suggestion that he would now introduce a Public Bill. The interests, as they are loosely called, are all up in arms. Members have been deluged with letters and pamphlets of protest. Yet, as Mr. Morrison pointed out, Parliament has changed its views on property a good deal in recent years. It may do so again. The agitation in the provinces against the de-rating scheme will sooner rather than later have to be considered. No one is entirely satisfied with the present position in London or elsewhere.