Wales and the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925. By Rusticus. A PIECE of legislation that is before long going to affect every ratepayer in England and Wales-" The Rating and Valuation Act," passed in 1925,-is quietly being brought into effect throughout the country. Two main local bodies for the administration of the Act have been established-the Rating Autho- rity (otherwise the local Council-City, Town, Urban or Rural, as the case may be) and the Assessment Committee. The former will attend to the collection of all the rates and the preli- minary work of assessing the rateable value upon which these rates are to be charged; the latter finally settles the assessments and deals with objections by ratepayers. In addition there is a County Valuation Committee, to co-ordinate the work of the various local units in its area, and finally, up at Whitehall, there has been estab- lished a Central Valuation Committee for the purpose of promoting uniformity in valuations." It is with the representation of Wales upon this Central Valuation Committee that the writer proposes to deal. The Committee consists of thirty-two members, appointed by the Minister of Health. Twenty- four of them were nominated by various Asso- ciations representative of the County Councils, Municipal Corporations, etc., of England and Wales. Of these Associations only the County Councils, the Municipal Corporations and the Poor Law Unions remembered Wales at all. The Countv organisations selected Lt. Col. D. Watts Morgan, M.P., Chairman of the Glamor- gan County Council; the Town Councils named Councillor W. H. Miles, J.P., of the Swansea Corporation; and the Poor Law Unions' choice was Alderman C. W. Melhuish, of Cardiff. The Minister himself had eight places to fill, but we look in vain for a name from Wales amongst the gentlemen he has chosen. They are from Sutton (Surrey), Manchester, Birmingham, Westminster, Derby, Whitehall, Hackney, and Durham. None, by the way, is from a rural community, but Manchester, Birmingham, Lon- don, Durham, and even Sutton, which already had places on the Committee amongst the original twenty-four members, are given addi- tional places in the final eight. A contributor to the Poor Law Officers' Journal," in a recent issue, thus describes the position :­. We agree that 32 people could not repre- sent every County, but it is very striking that the Minister has appointed no representative from a rural county, and that the great agri- cultural counties 6f Bedfordshire, Buckingham- shire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, Dorset, Gloucester, Hereford, Hertford, Huntingdon, Leicester, Lincoln, Norfolk, Northampton, Oxford, Suffolk, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcester, The East and North Ridings of Yorkshire, and the agricultural parts of Lancashire are completely ignored. As for Wales and Monmouth, there are three mem- bers, but all from one part of Glamorgan-- namely, Swansea, Cardiff, and Rhondda- almost entirely industrial; and no represen- tative from the other twelve counties, who might have understood something of agriculture in Wales." An ironical position is now set up by the issue from Whitehall to the County Valuation Com- mittees and County Borough Councils in Wales and elsewhere of an invitation to contribute to- wards the expenses of this Central Valuation Committee at the rate of 4/- for every £ 10,000 of total assessable value. As there are in Wales 13 Counties and 4 County Boroughs, while the representation of the Principality is confined to one County and two County Boroughs within the same County-G;amorgan,-it will be inter- esting to see what voluntary contributions are obtained from the other areas. When Wales, as a unit of the United Kingdom is considered for the purpose of representation on central administrative bodies, the vast differ- ence between industrial South Wales and the rural and agricultural parts of North and Mid- Wales is sometimes borne in mind, but in the appointment of this Committee, created in White- hall, the home of statistics, all questions of pro- portional, territorial, or equitable national representation have been ignored. Let Col. Watts Morgan, Mr. Miles, and Mr. Melhuish be the ablest of representatives of Pontypridd or the Rhondda, Swansea and Cardiff, neither of them could or would claim to be conversant with all the rating and assess- ment problems of-for example-the far-away Counties of Carnarvon, Montgomery, or Cardi- gan. The Rating Authorities in Wales who are setting about this complicated new task number over one hundred and eighty. Of these there are as many in Monmouth as in Glamorgan, and more in North Wales than in both those Counties added together. Glamorgan contains nearly half the population of the thirteen Counties, but that surely does not entitle it to the whole of the representation; matters of rating affect areas, rather than individuals, far more than most matters of local administration, and mining dis- tricts, railway and dock centres, agricultural and industrial areas, all have their own specific assessment problems. Why, therefore, should two of the County Boroughs and an Urban District in Glamorgan monopolise the represen- tation of Wales on a bodv established to promote general uniformity? Can thirteen Counties, covering over eight thousand square miles,