HC Deb 17 May 1867 vol 187 cc756-8

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee).

Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 (Hypothec not to be available beyond Three Months after Rent is payable.)


moved the insertion of an Amendment providing that in no case should a landlord's preferable right under this Bill exceed a sum equal to one year's rent of the farms or lands let. The object of this Amendment was to assimilate the law of Scotland in this respect as nearly as possible to the law of England. He had always been of opinion that preferential claims were bad in themselves, and ought to be abolished; but the House decided by a considerable majority against the total abolition of the law of hypothec, and he therefore moved this Amendment, which offered to the landlords of Scotland a fair opportunity for compromise. He hoped the Government would therefore accept it, as it would have the effect of stopping an agitation which was disagreeable both to the landlord and the tenant.

Amendment proposed, In line 35, after the word "determine," to insert the words "nor in any case shall the landlord's preferable right exceed a sum equal to one year's rent of the said farm or lands."—(Mr. Carnegie.)


said, he hoped the hon. Baronet opposite would accept the Amendment, which would go far to allay the agitation in Scotland on this subject.


said, he was willing to accept the Amendment if a year and a half were substituted for one year. Hon. Members should consider the case of poor farmers whose crops might fail for three or four years together, and if the Amendment proposed were incorporated in the Bill, landlords would be tempted to resort to extreme measures more often than they did at present for fear their claims should lapse by time.


said, he hoped the Government were not going to give way. If the personal rights of the landlord were encroached upon in Scotland, the next thing would be a proposal to extend the principle to England, where the right of the landlord had always been recognised as firmly established by law.


said, he had gone farther on the way of compromise than he could have wished and his friends advised. He could not accept any alteration of his Amendment.


said, if the Amendment were adopted the landlord would not be able to allow so much credit as he now did on a succession of bad crops, and that would operate injuriously to the tenants of small holdings.


said, the hon. Baronet who had charge of the Bill, in proposing that the power of distraint should extend over one year and a half, made two bites at a cherry.


said, he hoped the Government would accept the Amendment, which he thought was a perfectly fair compromise. It was not worth the while of the landlords of Scotland to keep up a feeling of discontent merely for the sake of the trifling difference of opinion which now divided the two sides of the House.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 86; Noes 102: Majority 16.

Clause agreed to.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Monday next.