§ COLONEL SIBTHORP
said, he should give the Bill his most strenuous opposition. It would interfere unnecessarily between landlord and tenant, and disturb the mu- 384 tual good feeling that at present existed between them. He should never sanction the introduction of such rigmarole Bills.
§ MR. S. HERBERT
said, he had come down to the House with a very different feeling towards this Bill from that expressed by the hon. and gallant Member who had just sat down. He believed that any Bill on agricultural matters, emanating from a Gentleman of such talent and experience as the hon. Member who introduced this measure, was deserving of respectful attention and consideration. At the same time he must say that he could not vote for the Bill as it now stood. The gallant Officer said, no such enactment was necessary; but the gallant Officer must recollect that he had the good fortune to live in a part of the country where the custom of the country was so well ascertained that the tenant could suffer no wrong owing to the want of such a law. Indeed it was upon the model of that custom that the hon. Gentleman's Bill was framed. He did not think that any legislative enactment was so effective as a custom, for you could not apply to every description of landlords and tenants, one uniform rule. There must be a great variety of tenures, of arrangements, and peculiar habits, to which it would be impossible to adapt any particular enactment. His opinion was, that a Bill securing tenant-right would be valuable; and he was glad to hear that it was the intention of his hon. Friend to send the Bill to a Committee up stairs, where it would be discussed, and any objectionable provisions it might contain be removed.
approved of the suggestion to send the Bill to a Committee up stairs, and expressed his conviction that some Bill of the kind was absolutely necessary, so far as tenants were concerned.
§ MR. FINCH
thought it right that the tenant should be compensated for any improvements he might make; but in most cases notice of intended improvements should be given to the landlord, and he should be satisfied that they were bonâ fide improvements. With some alteration to that effect, he thought the Bill might be made a very good one.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
was inclined to think that the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln (Colonel Sibthorp) had arrived at a very hasty opinion on the Bill. He trusted, however, that great care would be used in further proceeding with it, for if any absolute bar were placed in the way of mutual agreements between tenant and 385 landlord, upon such terms as they themselves might select, he feared that a disruption of those relations would be effected, which he was sure was the last object the honourable promoter of the Bill had in view.
§ MR. ESCOTT
thought there was so much good in parts of the Bill that he was almost afraid that the result of sending it up stairs to a Select Committee would be to send it to a place whence it would never return. At the same time he had great doubts if the measure, as it now stood, would effect the great and important objects which the farmers had in view, and which it could not be disputed they were determined to accomplish if possible. The question then was, if this were the right measure. He hoped the result of sending it up stairs would not be to shelve it for another Session, which he apprehended that it would.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, that in giving his assent to the second reading, in order that the Bill might be sent up stairs, he wished it to be understood that he did not approve of many of the provisions contained in the Bill. It was certainly desirable to place this difficult subject upon a satisfactory footing, but he was quite convinced that in its present shape the Bill would not have that effect.
§ SIR W. JOLLIFFE
considered the Bill would be detrimental to the tenants' rights in some districts, and therefore wanted to know if it was intended that the Bill was to extend to every part of the country.
§ MR. PUSEY
begged to say that the tenants' rights referred to by the hon. Baronet were those respecting husbandry, and quite distinct from those contemplated by the Bill. As to what fell from the hon. Member for Oxfordshire, as to the drawing up of the Bill, he must say that the hon. Gentleman had taken hold of a mere verbal error, for the Bill had been drawn by one of the ablest conveyancers in London; and with regard to its principle and working, he would be quite prepared on a fitting occasion to argue the same against the hon. Member. This Bill was the result of many years' labour; and he trusted something effectual would be done this Session, as he considered it was the only means of averting that distress which must inevitably follow unless some such Acts were passed.
§ Bill read a second time.