, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, that its object was to remedy certain defects of detail in a measure passed in the year 1862 for the purpose of insuring a more accurate assessment to local rates. That measure had in general worked satisfactorily, but it appeared that alterations were required in some of its provisions. It did not give the Assessment Committees the power of appearing in appeals against their own decisions, and magistrates were thus compelled to decide upon these appeals without hearing the arguments upon both sides.
1339 The present Bill would remedy that defect by providing that the Assessment Committees should have an opportunity of defending, with the consent of the Board of Guardians, decisions at which they had previously arrived. It would also provide that justices should not be disqualified from sitting in quarter sessions on any appeal, by reason of their being rated in some other parish of the union than that by which the appeal was brought. These were the principal provisions of the measure, the details of which could be best considered in Committee.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.— (Lord Wodehouse.)
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
said, that he did not object to some provision being made for supporting assessments on appeal, but no court in England had the power of appearing in defence of its own decisions as was now proposed, and he thought, therefore, that some other means should be adopted of enabling the magistrates to hear both sides in these cases.
§ Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday next.