§ (Mr. M' Lagan, Sir William Stirling Maxwell, Sir Edward Colebrooke, Mr. John Maitland.)
§ THIRD READING.
§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."—(Mr. M'Lagan.)
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON
called attention to the difficulty which would arise in taking out licences, as the revenue officers, not seeing the leases, would have no means of knowing whether the person who granted the certificate was entitled to do so.
§ LORD ELCHO
referred to the important question, whether this Bill interfered with the freedom of contract. The Lord Advocate had assured them that it did not so interfere; but as some people had doubts on that subject, he thought it was desirable that a clause should be introduced into the Bill similar to that which was in the Agricultural Holdings Bill of 1875, and that would put the matter beyond doubt. The proposed clause would run as follows:—Nothing in this Act shall prevent a landlord and tenant, or intending landlord or tenant, from entering into and carrying into effect any such agreement as they think fit, or shall interfere with the operation thereof.He would have proposed this clause in Committee if he had had the opportunity, but the Bill went through so unexpectedly that he had no opportunity of doing so. He had no wish to delay the progress of the Bill; but he hoped some such clause would be introduced in the House of Lords.
§ MR. GREENE
endorsed the opinion that the Bill as it at present stood was a manifest interference with the freedom of contract.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read the third time, and passed.