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the difficulty where both were bad. A good tenant would be compensated, and a bad one would have to pay his landlord for his neglect, and surely that met the difficulty. A tenant required a longer notice to quit under the new system of farming now in use than formerly. He considered a year's notice a fair and reasonable proposition, and believed that it would cripple the farmers if the term of notice was reduced to six months.
SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT observed, that the noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho), who had, among other hon. Members, given the Committee the benefit of their views on this question, represented a county which was distinguished by having perhaps the greatest agriculturist in the United Kingdom. He referred to Mr. Hope, of Fenton Barns, and his tenancy had been terminated. It would be of great advantage to the Committee if the hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read), whom he saw sitting on the Treasury Bench, would inform them of the opinion of the tenant farmers upon this subject. He understood the hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire to say that the tenant farmers did not desire the substitution of 12 months for six months; but he (Sir William Harcourt) had observed in the papers in the agricultural interest that the one thing which the farmers valued in this Bill more than anything else was the 12 months' notice to quit. If a man was turned out of his employment it was a great hardship not to allow him adequate time to find fresh employment for his capital. Most of the Amendments made in the Bill had been made in the interests of the landlords and not of the tenant farmers. He should have thought a proposal which had come down from the House of Lords would not have been objected to by the supporters of the Bill.
VISCOUNT GALWAY was of opinion that the notice should be "six months" to all intents and purposes.
MR. KNIGHT said, that the tenant farmers would be disappointed if in any cases they were deprived of the protection of the 12 months' notice, and hoped that the Government would retain the clause.
MR. RODWELL expressed a hope that the Government would not accede to the proposal to alter the clause. He denied that the Amendments made in the Bill were unfair to tenants; but admitted this would be so, as it would expose them to the caprice of a landlord. He did not need the six months' notice for his own protection, because he could claim compensation for waste or neglect.
MR. NEWDEGATE said, that the Bill, as it came from the other House, was a Bill which a landlord was very likely to contract himself out of, and the invidious duty was cast upon the House of Commons of protecting those who would not protect themselves. Hon. Members, however, had also to consider what the farmers would say, and were likely to be called to account by them for neglecting their interests. He should support the Amendment.
MR. KNATCHBULL - HUGESSEN said, that if this Amendment passed there would be two great classes of tenancies-one with six and another with 12 months' notice. Upon matters of this kind the Government might always rely upon his vote, and he should therefore oppose the Amendment.
MR. DISRAELI said, it was quite true, as the House had been once reminded by the right hon. Member for Sandwich (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen), that he was at one time in favour of a two years' notice to quit; but it would have been more ingenuous to have added that this notice was offered as an alternative for compensation for unexhausted improvements. Therefore, when the Government brought forward a measure which secured compensation for unexhausted improvements, he was perfectly free, on the subject of notice to quit, to take any course that he thought fit and best for the country. As far as regarded his original proposition of two years, his mind was a complete tabula rasa when, with much larger information derived from all parts of the country, and after ascertaining what was the predominant feeling of the country, he was called upon to consider the opinion of the other House as expressed in this Bill. In revising the relations of landlord and tenant, the other House had adopted 12 months' notice as a period more adapted to the circumstances of the present day than the period of six months; they had, after much reflection, and with a due sense of their responsibility, fixed upon
this term, and he was not disposed to alter it now.
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON thought there had been on both sides a disposition to exaggerate the importance of the question. It would be quite a mistake to decide this question as if it were one between landlord and tenant; it was as much the interest of tenants to enter upon farms in a good state of cultivation as it was the interest of landlords they should do so. The only question was, which was the most convenient term? No doubt, the two years proposition was made with the object of securing the return of invested capital; that could not be secured by one year's notice, which, on the other hand, was too long to enable a bad tenant to take all he could and more than he ought. He could not see the advantage of the proposed Amendment, and thought, on the whole, that it would be better to adopt the clause as it stood in the Bill.
MR. ASSHETON moved to amend the Amendment, by inserting the word February before April.
MR. CHAPLIN, with reference to the remarks of the Prime Minister, said, that if there was a predominant feeling in the country in favour of 12 months' notice, it was an uneducated feeling. He should take the sense of the Committee upon his Amendment.
MR. GREENE said, the object of the Bill was to protect the incoming and the outgoing tenant, and he hoped Her Majesty's Government would adhere to the clause.
Amendment (Mr. Assheton) negatived.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, by inserting in line 2, after the word "of," the word "March." (Mr. Chaplin.)
Question, "That the word 'March' be inserted in the proposed Amendment," put, and agreed to.
"That the words 'unless the year of tenancy shall have commenced in the months of March, April, or May' be inserted after the word 'same,' in line 12."
The Committee divided:-Ayes 21; Noes 200 Majority 179.
MR. WHITWELL moved that the Chairman report Progress.
MR. DILLWYN asked what would be the Business taken to-morrow?
MR. DISRAELI said, he had proposed that, if the Committee on the Agricultural Holdings (England) Bill had not concluded its labours to-night, the Bill should be resumed to-morrow, at half-past 4. Progress would be reported, in order that the Merchant Shipping Bill might be brought in.
Motion agreed to.
Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
EAST INDIA HOME GOVERNMENT (APPOINTMENTS) BILL.
Resolution [July 26] reported, and agreed to:Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. RAIKES, Lord GEORGE HAMILTON, and Mr. WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 272.] SHERIFFS SUBSTITUTE (SCOTLAND) BILL.
Further proceeding on Report resumed. Resolution [July 26] reported, and agreed to: -Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. RAIKES, The LORD ADVOCATE, and Mr. Secretary CROSS. Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 273.]
House adjourned at Two o'clock.
his attention has been called to the Reverend Canon Moore's speech as reported in the "Spalding Free Press," in which paper he is reported to have stated
"That he had to defend himself against the House of Commons, who were misled by the representation from the Home Secretary that he had denounced us; that he had in some measure or other conveyed to the magistrates of this bench his disapproval of their sentence. The only communication we have had from the Home Secretary was rather complimentary than otherwise, and was simply in effect that he felt bound to reverse the sentence."
And, if there is any objection to lay upon the Table the Correspondence between the Home Secretary and the Reverend Canon Moore ?
POLLUTION OF RIVERS-LEGISLA
MR. ASSHETON CROSS: Sir, as a magistrate of long standing, if I had sentenced a person to four years' imprisonment and received a communica-ject, he would conclude by moving the tion from the Secretary of State for the adjournment of the House. His hon. Home Department stating that he felt and learned Friend the Member for bound to peremptorily reverse the de- Limerick (Mr. Butt) had for some time cision, I should have accepted such a an important Motion on the Paper for communication as being a severe rebuke the 3rd of August, calling attention to rather than as—"rather complimentary the unsatisfactory mode in which Irish than otherwise;" and I cannot but think Business had been dealt with this Sesthat the rev. gentleman showed by the sion, and which, doubtless, would have letter which he wrote to the Home Office led to an important as well as interestthat he felt it as a rebuke in the sense ing debate. The Prime Minister some that the same thing should not occur time ago, however, announced his inagain. I have no objection to lay the tention to propose that Tuesdays and Correspondence on the Table. Wednesdays, including Tuesday, the 3rd August, be devoted to Government Business in the first place. On becoming acquainted with it, the hon. and learned Member for Limerick announced that he would give a decided opposition to the proposal, but he was obliged to leave London for a day or two on business. Yesterday the Secretary to the Treasury moved the Resolution at the Morning Sitting, in the absence of several hon. Members, who had no Notice that it would then be brought on, but, on the contrary, were left under the impression by a Notice on the Paper that it would be made at the Evening Sitting. Now, the Question he wished to ask was, Whether it was for the future to be understood that Motions or Orders put down for an Evening Sitting could be taken at a Morning Sitting, or interchangeably, and without previous Notice-whether the privilege claimed by Government was open to private Members? He begged to move the adjournment of the House.
MR. TENNANT asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether, having regard to the pressing necessity of some measure for prevention of the pollution of rivers, Her Majesty's Government will give an assurrance that they will early in the next Session introduce a Bill for that object, and will in the meantime make such inquiries and investigations as will enable them to deal effectively with the whole question?
serious attention during the Recess. For myself, I can readily promise him that no pains will be wanting on my part to collect any further information which may be required for dealing with the subject effectively.
MR. SCLATER-BOOTH: Sir, it is rather early days for the Government to . pledge themselves as to what specific measures may form part of their programme for next Session; but my hon. Friend may rest assured that the pollution of rivers is a subject of so much importance, and of such growing interest, that it cannot fail to occupy their
PARLIAMENT-ORDER OF BUSINESS.
MR. MITCHELL HENRY said, he desired to ask a Question of the Speaker with reference to certain proceedings in that House when an important Motion which was put down on the Paper for the Evening Sitting, in reference to the Government taking Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the remainder of the Session, was allowed to be put and carried at the Morning Sitting. As he desired to made a short statement on the sub
Motion made, and Question proposed, I were many Members like himself who "That this House do now adjourn."- considered it their duty to remain night (Mr. Mitchell Henry.) after night until the rising of the House, in order to keep a check on this tendency to irregularity on the part of the Government. He believed that in the present case a hundred Members had stayed away in the morning under the impression that the Motion of the Secretary to the Treasury would be preferred at the Evening Sitting.
MR. MITCHELL HENRY said, that after eliciting such a satisfactory answer from the Speaker, he would be happy to withdraw his Motion. Though hon. Members who were present did not ob
MR. SPEAKER: With reference to the Question which the hon. Member for Galway has put to me on the subject of the Motion made yesterday with regard to the conduct of Business, I have to state that when that Motion was made I said, as will be in the recollection of the House, that to take the Motion in that manner, out of its turn, was most unusual; but that, as it related to the Business of the House, it could, with the general assent of the House, be taken out of its turn, at the Morning Sitting. Hav-ject, it was absent Members who were ing stated that that could not be done without the general assent of the House, I then put the Question "Is it the pleasure of the House that the Question be now put ?" There was no dissentient voice to that appeal, and the Question was therefore put from the Chair; but if there had been a single dissentient voice, I should have submitted to the House that such a Question could not be put. In answer to the hon. Member, I have to say that it would be quite irregular to take a Motion out of its turn, except with the general assent of the House, and on a question relating solely to the conduct of the Business of the House.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
MR. ROEBUCK: Do I understand you to mean, Sir, by "general assent" universal assent ?
MR. SPEAKER: Yes, the universal assent of the House; if there had been a single "No" in answer to my appeal as to the pleasure of the House, it would have been my duty to decline to put the Question.
MR. DODSON considered it was clear that a Motion should not be taken out of its turn. He hoped the hon. Member would withdraw his Motion, and that Tuesday's proceeding would not be taken as a precedent.
MR. MELDON said, that the rule just laid down by the Speaker was the same as he understood was stated yesterday. He thought that hon. Members had yesterday agreed to waive their right, for though the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Sullivan) spoke against it, when the Question was put there was no negative. He trusted what had occurred would induce the Government to be more regular in their proceedings. There
AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS (ENGLAND)
Clause 43 (Time of notice to quit).
SIR GEORGE JENKINSON said, the effect of the Amendment would be nothing more or less than to abrogate virtually, if not actually, the law of distraint." No, no!"]
MR. MELDON denied that it would have that effect, as landlords would be entitled to be paid in priority in cases of bankruptcy. Such an interpretation was to him quite a new reading of the law of distress.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL opposed the Amendment, on the ground that as the Bill was, as a general rule, making provision for extending the time during which notice to quit was to be given, it was desirable to retain the exception in question. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kildare was quite correct in stating that the landlord had a preferential claim in cases of bankruptcy to that of the trade
creditor; but the clause, which was not | the Census Report of 1871, that the sysin the Bill as originally introduced, had tem of leases and large farms tended to been adopted by the House of Lords the diminution of the agricultural popuafter full and careful consideration. lation
MR. NEWDEGATE said, that the question of the length of notice to quit, which he thought had been very hastily treated on the previous night, or rather early that morning, involved the interests of the English tenants of the middlesized and far smaller farms in a tion and to an extent that the Committee had scarcely appreciated. The whole tenour of the Bill was to create a new right in the tenant-a right to recover compensation for outlay in the improvement of the farm, which had not been recouped by increased produce. That tended to increase the liability of the landlord; the presumption upon which the right was to be founded was, that the capital of the landlord was to be used hereafter as the security for the improvements made by the tenant. To invalidate or to impair the power of recovery of rent in arrear by the landlord would be manifestly inconsistent with the expectation that he would consent to furnish, by becoming security for the tenant, capital that he had not hitherto provided for the cultivation of the farm. If the period of notice to quit were extended from six months to a year, which in many cases would be practically to nearly two years, it was manifest that unless additional provisions of law were adopted, the extension of the period of notice must invalidate, to a great extent, the power of the landlord promptly to recover rent in arrear; in fact, whether as to rent or as to compensation for improvements, it must disincline the landlord to give credit to his tenant. Now, it was in the case of the middlesized and smaller holdings that the capital of the landlord was most largely employed in the cultivation of the farm, when held from year to year; it was in these cases that the partnership of the landlord with the tenant was the most direct. Long leases, such as prevailed in Scotland, interrupted this partnership. Tenure by lease required a tenant of larger capital, and the tendency of leases was to enlarge the farms, and thus to absorb the smaller tenantry. He (Mr. Newdegate) held that that process of absorption was, in a national sense, highly deleterious. Scotland was land of leases, and he would show from
VOL. CCXXVI. [THIRD SERIES.]
"The agricultural class alone exhibited the most marked decline. In 1861 that class numbered 372,247 workers, and thus constituted 25-45 per cent of the total persons engaged in occupations. In 1871 only 270,008 persons were engaged in agricultural pursuits, constituting only 18.39 per cent of the total persons engaged direc-in occupations. The agricultural class had thus within 10 years experienced a decrease to the enormous extent of 102,239 persons, being 37·8 per cent of decrease. A decrease has been exhibited at all the decennial Censuses since 1821, but in none so markedly as between 1861 and 1871."
They found that the same process was now going on in England, and the disturbance which had been fomented between the farmers and the labourers would tend to accelerate what he believed to be a great national evil. The Census for England and Wales showed that in the year 1851 the holdings ranging from 50 to 250 acres numbered 60,864; in 1871 they had fallen to 51,460. In 1851 the holdings from 300 acres to 700 acres numbered 6,908; in 1871 they had increased to 7,370. He might be asked why he alluded to that matter on the question of the notice to quit. In the case of the smaller holdings landlords were essentially partners with their tenants in carrying out improvements, and if the landlord were impeded in giving effect to notice to quit, which was his remedy against rent falling into arrear and against waste, the process of leasing land for considerable periods, of enlarging farms and of suppressing the smaller holdings would be still further accelerated. The fact was, that unless further provisions were inserted, the tendency of simply extending the period of notice to quit must tend to deprive the smaller tenantry of the credit the landlords habitually extended to them. It was most inexpedient to disturb the yearly tenure of land in England; it represented a partnership between the landlord and tenant which had been most beneficial to the community in England; he had always adhered to the opinion that there ought to be on every estate a certain number of small holdings, of such a size that the most industrious of the labourers might aspire to become tenants of them. He had illustrated is in practice on his own estates. One of his best farms was held