§ Lords Amendments considered.
§ First Amendment.
Page 1, line 17, after "writing," insert as a new sub-section—
(a.) The occupier himself (or in lieu of the occupier), one other person authorized in writing by such occupier shall be the only person on the part of the occupier entitled under this Act to kill ground game with firearms,
read a second time.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, the House would observe that with the exception of the two first Amendments there was nothing very material on the Paper; but the 1st and 2nd Amendments were material alterations in the Bill. He approved as little of the 1st as of the 2nd Amendment. It was a most objectionable Amendment, because it was grudging and ungenerous in its spirit towards the tenant farmers, to whom an act of justice was to be granted by the Bill. The Gentlemen who professed to be the particular friends of the tenant farmers, and who had asserted that such friendly and amicable relations existed between them, when they found that this matter was being practically dealt with, treated them as if they were objects of suspicion. The Earl of Beacons-field had once spoken of the landed interest as a great hierarchy, consisting of different classes. It appeared to him (Sir William Harcourt) that there were priests and Levites who treated, at all events, a part of that hierarchy in no very liberal manner in respect to the thieves among whom they had fallen. The Bill proposed to give a limited right to the tenant farmers to kill ground game, restricting that right to the farmers, their families, and one other person. They were told that this Bill, as it went from the House of Commons, was a Bill to levy war on the landed proprietors of this country; they were told that it called on the tenant to arm himself, and on his sons and servants to arm themselves. [Mr. NEWDEGATE: Who is the right hon. Gentleman quoting from?] He was not bound to tell the hon. Member from whom he was quoting. He said—"We 1193 have been told;" and if the hon. Member did not know, he had the means of informing himself. They were told that the poacher, instead of walking abroad by the light of the moon, would stand in the sunlight of the Constitution and would flourish his weapon in the face of the lord of the manor. All this, as the gentleman in "Shakspeare" said, was admirable fooling; but he wanted to know whether the tenant farmers of England and their families and servants were to be described in that way? The conduct of the Lords had been admirable; but it was a great mistake to grant a concession as though it were necessary to have a Peace Preservation Act to prevent the farmer from exceeding it. If Parliament were going to give the farmers of England ground game, let them give it handsomely and trustfully, and not grudgingly. If they had made up their minds not to do the thing, let them refuse it altogether. What would the result of this spirit of distrust be? Would it be favourable to that sport which the landlords desired to protect? On the contrary, the more they restricted the farmer in respect of the incidental sporting right which was given him under the Bill, the more would they induce him to exterminate that game which they wanted him to preserve. He had been told that 40,000 tons of hares and rabbits were grown every year, and that they were excellent food for the people. That might be true; but the fact still remained that that meat was grown at the expense of the tenant, and was bred for the sport and profit of somebody else. That was not the case with the 40,000 tons or more of beef or mutton which were grown in this country. There the farmer, at all events, got his marketing; but he had to breed the 40,000 tons of hares and rabbits in order that somebody else might shoot and sell them. It was his business, if he could, to pass a Bill which would substantially protect the interests of the farmers, and the question he had to ask himself was, whether this Amendment would not destroy the objects of the Bill? It had been suggested that the race of poachers would be increased by the operations of the Bill. Formerly, the poacher was often the farmer's best friend; but, under the Bill, he would be so no longer, and, in future, he would be interfering with a right which belonged to the farmer. The fears which had 1194 been expressed in "another place" were not only unfounded, but unwise and ungenerous, and the Amendment was a a mistake. Farmers themselves were fond of shooting, and they also liked to see their sons shooting, and why the Lords should be so dreadfully afraid of letting farmer's sons have guns was what he could not understand. The extraordinary thing was that the Amendment would not keep out the poacher, who would still be able to "flourish his weapon in the face of the lord of the manor." The Amendment could not have been proposed by a man who knew anything about country life or sporting, unless his aim was to frustrate the object of the Bill. Shooting was only one method of destroying game, and if shooting was to be allowed at all, it would be perfectly absurd to confine a farmer to one gun. The Amendment limited the right of carrying a gun to the occupier, or, in lieu of the occupier, to another person authorized by him. He could not advise the House to risk the loss of the Bill upon this question of guns, and would, therefore, propose that the 1st Amendment should be accepted, with the modification, that instead of the occupier, or, in his stead, one other person authorized by him, the occupier and one other person should be allowed to shoot ground game. He begged to move an Amendment to that effect.
Motion made and Question proposed,
That the said Amendment be amended, in page 1, line 1, by leaving out the words 'or in lieu of the occupier,' and inserting the word 'an;' and in line 3, by leaving out the words 'person on the part of the occupier,' and inserting the word' persons' instead thereof."—(Secretary Sir William Harcourt.)
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
thought no hon. Member would disagree to the right hon. Gentleman's proposal. He was, however, surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have thought it necessary to introduce so much heat into the discussion. If there was anyone who ought to have had no fault to find with the way in which the Bill had been treated by both sides of the House it was the right hon. Gentleman. The Opposition were perfectly prepared to give every consideration to anything he might say upon this question, and they were not giving anything in a grudging and half-hearted way.
§ MR. P. A. TAYLOR
could not understand why his right hon. Friend should give way upon the point, as his reasons against the proposed Amendment were conclusive and unanswerable, and which was, indeed, as he had shown, distinctly contrary to the spirit and principle of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman's tactics reminded him of the old story of a great tragedian—Keen, he believed. He had, on some occasion, to fight a duel upon the stage, in which he was to be defeated and killed. But he was a splendid fencer, his blood was roused in the encounter, and instead of submitting to defeat, he parried every thrust, beat down every guard, drove his adversary up into a corner, and then complying with the exigencies of the drama, fell down and expired. He (Mr. P. A. Taylor) objected to making this concession to the Lords, and the rather as it was understood that their Lordships were prepared to swallow a more important Amendment which was to follow.
§ MR. ONSLOW
could assure the House that, so far as his communications with the farmers went, they had no wish to see their farms shot over by a number of guns; and, in his opinion, the Lords Amendment, as proposed to be amended by the Home Secretary, would meet all the wishes of the tenant farmers.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
had not hitherto said a word respecting the Bill, for which he had not cared much; but as it had now undergone the examination of both Houses of Parliament, he was opposed to its being made ridiculous. He thought, with the Home Secretary, that the Lords Amendment was a ridiculous and ignorant Amendment, and that it had been moved by one who either did not understand the Bill, or wished to make it ridiculous. If the use of the gun had been altogether excluded, an Amendment of that kind would be intelligible; but an Amendment limiting the number of guns without the smallest regard to the size of the farm, was preposterous. He should, therefore, vote against the Lords Amendment and the proposed alteration.
§ MR. RODWELL
was of opinion that the Amendment made in the House of Lords was by no means a ridiculous Amendment, and the farmers were, he believed, perfectly satisfied with having obtained by the Bill more than they expected or asked for—the right to destroy 1196 ground game in a way which was much more effectual than the use of the gun for the purpose. The worst way of getting rid of rabbits was by the gun, and he would undertake to destroy more rabbits by snares and traps in one week than by a gun in a whole year.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
complained that the Home Secretary had quoted passages in support of his arguments, with the consciousness that to reveal the authorship would put him out of Order. One would suppose from the tone of the Home Secretary, that he hoped the Bill would produce those differences between landlord and tenants with almost every Member of the House would, he was sure, regret to see arise.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment as amended."—[Secretary Sir William Harcourt.)
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
remarked, that he regretted the position taken up by the Home Secretary on the part of the Government. To a certain extent he had incurred considerable responsibility in regard to agreeing to accept the Bill containing the limitations it did; but having accepted those limitations, it would be weakness to him to agree to the Amendment, oven as modified by the right hon. Gentleman. It was not so much on account of the limitations themselves that he objected, but on account of the direct consequences that would flow from them. Those who had studied the Bill would have observed that no penalties were imposed for exceeding the limitations; but if the tenant exceeded the powers which were given to him under this measure, he brought himself immediately under the penalties of the Game Act. If the tenant by some inadvertence did not confine himself to the limitations of this Bill he would be exposed to the Game Laws as heretofore. He did not altogether understand what the Amendment meant. Could an authority be given one day to an individual and withdrawn the next, and another authority given to another individual? If so, it could be clearly understood, but he found that the Judges did not exactly interpret Acts of Parliament as they understood them in that House, and he 1197 thought it should be made clear and distinct that a tenant should have power to give authority to as many persons as he thought proper, so long as the authority was only used by one person on one day. But supposing that to be so, and the farmer having given authority to his servant, and the servant refused to give up that authority, and the master gave another person an authority, was the farmer to be liable because two persons had his authority, although one was contrary to his wishes? Those were some of the difficulties that would arise under limitations, and which would cause difficulty, trouble, and annoyance. Besides that, there was the risk he ran of exceeding the limitations, and bringing himself within the provisions of the Game Laws. It had been said by hon. Members opposite that the right was going to be conceded to the farmers in a half-hearted and half-grudging manner; but he thought the farmers would be able to see for themselves whether the Government had granted the privilege in a half-hearted, half-grudging manner. There had been a Division taken in the House to the effect that the farmers should not be allowed the use of the gun at all; but as far as his experience had been he thought the farmers would like to get rid of that badge of degradation, because the proposal to deprive them of the gun was a token of their degradation and dependence to the landlords. He must admit he thought the House of Lords had acted very injudiciously and unwisely in introducing further limitations into the Bill, and for this reason. He, for one, had always taken up this ground, that if there was confidence placed in the farmers, and if they were placed in a fair and reasonable position in regard to the ground game, the farmers would keep a moderate head of game on their farms so long as it did not absolutely interfere with their carrying on the business of farming; but when it was proposed to give the landlords a privilege which he was not going to enjoy, he felt himself to be placed by the Bill in a different position from the landlord, and that every restriction would be a means of creating differences between the landlord and the tenant, as there would be still opportunities for the gamekeeper coming in between them as heretofore. Therefore, those restrictions would create much 1198 greater difference of opinion between the landlord and the tenant. It seemed to be the opinion of the landlords, as represented in the other House, that landlords and tenants could not get on together on independent terms—that the tenant must stand on a distinctly lower level than his landlord. The tenant must, in fact, go to his landlord, and if, according to the landlord's opinion, he behaved himself, the latter might graciously grant him the privilege asked for. He maintained, however, that farmers in Scotland and England wanted to stand on an independent position in regard to the gamekeepers and landlord. The farmers felt they would keep on better terms, that their relations together would be more cordial, if they were on independent terms instead of one having to go to the other and ask a favour. He was sorry he had to differ with Her Majesty's Government; but he must ask the House to divide upon the question.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
could tell his hon. Friend and other hon. Gentlemen on the Liberal side of the House, that it was not with goodwill that he asked them to take the course he had proposed. He hoped, however, the farmers would believe that the Government had done its best for them. It had been his desire not to sacrifice the Bill for matters of comparative indifference; and his belief was, that if the measure were sacrificed upon a point such as this, the first people who would have a right to complain would be the tenant farmers themselves. He confessed that if there was one man in the House who ought not to be affected by the Amendment, it was his hon. Friend the Member for Forfarshire (Mr. J. W. Barclay). For a long time the hon. Gentleman had an Amendment down by which he refused to tenant farmers in Scotland the use of the gun at all. He (Sir William Harcourt) declined to accept it, and the hon. Member consented not to press it. He was sorry they had changed parts now. The course he now proposed was that which, on the whole, he thought it proper to take.
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
said, he wanted to make an explanation. The Amendment to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman alluded had been placed on the Paper for a few days in deference to the wishes of a large meeting representing 1199 the sheep farmers of Inverness-shire. He did not approve of it himself.
§ GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR
hoped the hon. Member for Forfarshire would not divide the House on the question. There was no one who had fought more for the interests of the tenant farmer than the hon. Member, and having done so, he might justly avoid a Division. He confessed that the Bill did not contain all that the Scotch farmers desired; but next Session they might get more. At the same time, they were much indebted to Her Majesty's Government for what they had done.
§ MR. DUCKHAM
expressed his regret that any alteration should have been made in the Bill after it left the House of Commons, as it was one that had been considered most fully by the House; but, under the circumstances, he appealed to the hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. J. W. Barclay) not to divide the House, which might result in sacrificing the Bill.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
hoped the House would decide to disagree with the Lords' Amendment, and he relied on the votes of hon. Gentlemen opposite, because it had a tendency to limit the freedom of contract to which they were so much devoted, and he wished to get support on that side because the Amendment was irritating, ungenerous, and unnecessary.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 81; Noes 40: Majority 41.—(Div. List, No. 166.)
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, the next Amendment they had to consider was one with which he would have no hesitation in telling the House what to do. This Amendment proposed, as against the tenant farmers, to introduce a close time both for hares and rabbits. At the last stage of the Bill, in the other House, an attempt was made to alter the close time so as to confine it to hares; but those who made the proposal negatived their own Amendment. It differed altogether from the Amendment moved by the right hon. Member (Mr. SclaterBooth), for that was for an agreement between the parties to determine a close time of four months, whereas this was a statutory time both for hares and 1200 rabbits. He did not suppose that the House of Commons was going to entertain any proposal for a close time for rabbits; and as to hares, that question was not before them. In the House of Commons that proposition had been defeated by a larger majority than that obtained in any other Division on the Bill. Many Conservatives opposed the close time, among them the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin), the hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr. S. Leighton), the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope), and others. The defence for this proposal was a most curious one—it was, not that it was desirable to preserve hares and rabbits, but it was that winged game should not be disturbed during breeding time. That was, the winged game was of more consequence than the tenant's crops. Another argument given in support of this Amendment was that foxes should be fed, and that as it was not convenient that they should be fed on pheasants, it was desirable that they should be fed on rabbits at the expense of the tenants. How such an argument could be gravely maintained, he could not for the life of him see. An illustration of the necessity of this Bill was furnished the other day in the Eastern Counties—on the very day the House of Lords was engaged in passing this Amendment—and, as this was the last time the Bill would occupy the attention of the House, he should like to say a word or two about it. On Tuesday last, at Romford Petty Sessions, summonses were issued against four men, including one who was aged 63, and a boy of 12, who were charged with pursuing game on a farm occupied by a lady, the farmer, named Giles, being one of the defendants. There appeared to be a misunderstanding between the manager, General Claremont, and farmer Giles with reference to game. A correspondence took place on the subject, Giles stating that he could not afford to raise any rent under existing circumstances, principally owing to the amount of damage done to his crops by hares which were preserved to a large amount on his farm. The question, therefore, was "hares or rent," and it was left in the hands of General Claremont. Giles's account was that if he had any complaint at any time he was told by General Claremont to write to 1201 him, and he would see it was attended to. It was on the faith of that statement that Giles said he signed the lease; but General Claremont's recollection of the conversation was imperfect. Giles stated that when he sowed 148 acres of barley the crop was found smothered with hares, as if the barley had been fed off by sheep, and that on 96 acres—in the close time recommended by the House of Lords—he counted as many as 287 hares. He, therefore, expressed to the owner a hope that she would not put him to any further loss. A warrener was appointed by Giles to walk up and down the farm with dogs to drive off the hares from the barley, and for that he was prosecuted, as the dogs, not unnaturally, got rid of one or two hares. One field suffered damage to the extent of £35 9s. The decision of the magistrate was that, technically, the defendants broke the law, because they could not disturb the ground game without pursuing it; they not unnaturally killed some of the game. Accordingly, they fined each defendant in the case 1d., and costs, and practically did that which hereafter would be done under the 3rd clause—treated the contract as one void in law. When such a transaction as that could be made the basis of a prosecution at the time this Bill was under the consideration of Parliament, it afforded an example of what freedom of contract meant when applied to game. If the House passed this Amendment, farmer Giles—and other persons in his position—would be as badly off as ever, and the state of things that appeared in this prosecution would be kept up. He was glad to see the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition present, as he very much wished to have his views on the question. He was glad to see that the right hon. Gentleman had, after a brief absence in the country, returned in ruddy health. The right hon. Gentleman had diversified bucolic delights with occasional speeches, in one of which he was reported to have denounced this Bill and its authors, and to have said that it was intended to sow distrust between landlord and tenant. On the contrary, what had sown such distrust between landlord and tenant were such transactions as those signified in the prosecution to which he had referred. The object of the Bill was to make it impossible that such cases of distrust 1202 should arise, and they had a right to know what the Leader of the Conservative Party in that House thought of the Amendment sent to them from the House of Lords. He regretted he did not see more Conservative county Members present. He supposed the 1st of September had had greater attractions for them than that Bill could present. Still, their constituents must have some interest in the Bill, and he saw present some Conservative county Members who, he did not think, would approve of the Amendment they were discussing. That Amendment was not passed with the unanimous consent of the Conservative Party in the Upper House. Some very distinguished names were found in the Division List as voting against it. One of the first names was that of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, lately Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords, and who was now Chairman of the Agricultural Commission. If, holding that position, his Grace was found voting for a close time of four months for rabbits, it might be said that the ridiculous had almost touched the sublime. He also found the names of Lord Bradford, Cadogan, Egmont, and Tollemache among those who voted against the Amendment. The Government could not agree to this Amendment. He ventured to say that the case of Farmer Giles would be canvassed to-morrow by the farmers in every market-place ordinary and homestead in the country; and it would be known that the House of Peers had proposed an Amendment destroying the principle of a Bill which had for its object to protect the crops of the farmer in the interests of good husbandry. He hoped, therefore, the House would unanimously disagree with the Lords' Amendment. What the consequence of that course might be he did not know, but they had a plain duty before them. It was their duty to assist all classes of the community, and especially those suffering from distress, of whom none were more deserving of sympathy than the tenant farmers. The Amendment would destroy the whole of the remedy offered to the tenant farmers by this Bill; and if, by rejecting the Amendment, the Bill was lost, at all events, the farmers of England—to use the phrase of Sir James Graham—"would know the reason why." It had been said in "another place" that the tenant 1203 farmers had drunk the Bill in like mother's milk. That mother's milk might be dashed from their lips; but, whatever might be the ultimate fate of the Bill, its principle could not be destroyed, for it was a principle of justice, and if the Bill was lost now, it would re-appear in another shape. If it disappeared now; it would rise, phoenix-like, from its ashes; and, at all events, the tenant farmers would not say this of the Government, that, having asked them for bread, they had given them a stone, and that, having intended to give a substantial remedy for a real grievance, they had mocked their grievance with sham legislation and delusive remedies. That, he was well assured, would be the feeling of the House, and he now, therefore, moved that the House do disagree with the Lords Amendment.
Page 2, line 5, the next Amendment, after "months," insert as a new subsection—
(3.) The occupier and the persons authorised by him shall exercise the right of killing ground game conferred by this section only from the first day of August in any year until the last day of March in the succeeding year, both inclusive.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."—(Secretary Sir William Harcourt.)
objected to a close time for hares and rabbits, but thought the object intended by the Lords Amendment—namely, that the birds should not be disturbed at nesting time—would be met by allowing hares and rabbits to be killed, during the four months in question, with dogs and traps, but not by firearms.
§ MR. ONSLOW
said, he did not wish that there should be a close time for rabbits. It was the wish of many tenant farmers that rabbits might be exterminated in this country. But there was a strong feeling about hares. Many friends had expressed to him that they hoped the Bill would not pass unless there was a close time for hares. He thought it would be difficult to maintain the assertion of the Government that the Bill was not a sporting Bill. If the Bill passed as it stood they would have people going about the roads and hedges with dogs, and disturbing the pheasants and partridges during the breeding sea- 1204 son. The interests of sport were identical with those of good husbandry. It was said that hares did great mischief, and, no doubt, this was the case if they were permitted to increase indiscriminately; but if they were kept down to a minimum they would do very little harm. But, considering how much real sport could be got out of a hare, he proposed to insert the word "hares," instead of the words "ground game," thus making a close time.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, that after the personal allusion which had been made to him, he desired to say a very few words with regard to the Amendment. With reference to his recent speech at Torquay, he maintained the view which he there expressed, and which was substantially the same as he had stated to that House. The difficulty which he had always felt with regard to this Bill was, that it seemed to be a Bill with two faces, and that when attacking it on one side they wore always liable to have the other side turned round to them. He had never been able clearly to ascertain whether the object of the measure was to bring about a reduction in the quantity of ground game for the benefit of agriculturists, or whether the object was to give to tenant farmers a right of sporting which they did not now possess. He had always advocated proceeding with the Bill on the lines of the Preamble, which declared that it was desirable in the interests of agriculture, to make better provision for preserving crops from ground game. He advised his Friends not to divide against the second reading of the Bill, or against the Motion for going into Committee, in the hope that they would be able in Committee to put the measure into a shape which would enable it to fulfil the object of the Preamble. But whenever they asked for clauses which would enable this to be done, and which would not give new rights of sporting to the tenant farmers, they had always been met with the objection that that was showing a grudging and unhandsome spirit. He could not approve the limitations in the Bill. It would be far better to give freedom to both parties to make arrangements by which the objects of the Bill 1205 might be obtained. Nevertheless, as they had been assured that it was necessary to give greater protection to the crops, he had been willing to agree to to some limitation of freedom of contract for the purpose of securing what professed to be the bonâ fide and principal object of the Bill. He had been ready to agree to any provisions that might be made in the direction of giving a certain period of the year during which the destruction of these animals should be allowed to the person interested in the crops, or other limitations of that sort, provided that there should be an agreement between the parties as to the terms and manner in which the right should be exercised. They had, however, always been told—and this was his reason for speaking as he had done the other day at Torquay—that to introduce the principle of agreement between landlord and tenant would be to go against the principle of the Bill. He thought, then, he was justified in saying that the principle was to prevent an agreement between a landlord and his tenant and to provide for disagreement—for that was the effect which the Bill was likely to have—though he hoped that the common sense of landlords and tenants would prevent disagreements from arising. He admitted that the case of farmer Giles, to which reference had been made, was one that required further protection; but, in future, all tenants in his position would have a protection from the ground game whether this Amendment of the Lords was agreed to or not, because they would have the absolute right to kill the game during eight months in the year. If they were to take the Bill according to its avowed object he would not be able to defend and uphold the principle of a close time; but if they were to look upon the Bill as being one which was to provide greater sport for the tenants he was not at all sure that a close time would not be very reasonable, at any rate with regard to hares. In many places there would be no indisposition to the establishment of a close time for hares, for a close time would be advantageous in some respects—for instance, with regard to the preservation of winged game from disturbance. But, notwithstanding what he had said, he was not prepared to support the limitation of a close time, or to offer any resistance to the decision of the Govern- 1206 ment to reject the Lords Amendment. He agreed with the Duke of Richmond and Gordon and others, that this was not a point on which they ought to make a stand.
§ MR. DUCKHAM
hoped the clause would be retained in the shape in which it had been sent to the House of Lords. He had received a letter from a tenant farmer in the county which he represented strongly protesting against a close time for the rabbits, and stating that if the Amendment stood in the Bill, it would not be worth the paper on which it was printed. He considered the capital of the tenant farmer would be jeopardized if there was a close time allowed.
§ SIR HENRY TYLER
said, there was a little Amendment, only the alteration of a word, which would be satisfactory to all parties. There could be no doubt that the hares and rabbits did great damage; but they might easily be kept under if the farmers were allowed to snare and trap them all the year round, and shoot in every month except between March and August. If the House agreed to the word "shooting" game in the close time instead of "killing," it ought to satisfy all parties, as it would answer all purposes.
§ MR. RODWELL
said, Mr. Giles told him, about a month ago, that if all landlords would deal with their tenants on this subject as a large landed proprietor did, whom he named, and whose estate was a game preserving one, tenants would never want a Bill of this sort. He hoped, however, he might be allowed to say a few words of comfort to his friends both in and out of the House who looked with gloomy forebodings on the operations of this Bill. He believed that the true interpretation of the Bill was that where the landlords lived on amicable terms with their tenants there would be no difficulty whatsoever created by it, and where differences existed they would be put an end to. The measure, instead of leading to differences, would sweep them away, and he believed that 19 out of every 20 cases of difference between landlord and tenant arose from this unfortunate question of game. It would check the evil of over preservation and protect the crops. He was very glad indeed the matter had terminated so satisfactorily; and he thought those who looked forward to it 1207 as likely to interfere with reasonable sport would be surprised at its results.
§ SIR ROBERT BUXTON
looked on the Bill as a thorough settlement of the question. He wished to bear his testimony to the fact that if a close time was established for rabbits, the Bill might be torn up as waste paper.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Next Amendment.
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
moved that the Lords' Amendment be not agreed to, as, if he had read it rightly, its effect would be to make a new game law for people who would derive no benefit under the Bill—namely, those people who had a right to ground and other game altogether apart from this Bill.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
assured his hon. Friend that he had not read the Amendment correctly. The Amendment would not have the effect that was imagined.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Subsequent Amendment agreed to.
§ Committee appointed, "To draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to one of the Amendments made by the Lords to the Ground Game Bill, to which this House hath disagreed:—Secretary Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT, the Marquess of HARTINGTON, Mr. Secretary CHILDERS, Mr. BRIGHT, Mr. DODSON, Mr. ARTHUR PEEL, Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Mr. SOLICITOR GENERAL, and Lord FREDERICK CAVENDISH. TO withdraw immediately. Three to be the quorum.