§ SIR H. DRUMMOND WOLFF
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether Her Majesty's Government will be prepared in Committee to introduce into the Agricultural Holdings Bill provisions to secure to the leaseholders of houses in urban districts the right, at the expiration of their leases, to claim from the ground landlord compensation for improvements effected in their tenements at their own expense?
§ MR. BROADHURST
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether, in the event of his not being able to give a favourable reply to the Question of the hon. Gentleman, the Government would endeavour to give him an opportunity for proceeding with his (Mr. Broadhurst's) Bill dealing with these leases, the second reading of which had been put down for Monday next? He believed that his Bill 1924 dealt with the subject in a thoroughly effective manner.
My hon. Friend has panegyrized his own Bill, and characterized it as thoroughly effective, and so far as I can understand, although I have not examined it minutely, I believe it fully deserves the description given. I am afraid I cannot make any pledge to sacrifice the time of the Government by considering the Bill at this period of the year. With regard to the Question put by the hon. Member for Portsmouth (Sir H. Drummond Wolff), in general I should answer a Question of this kind in regard to a pending Bill by saying it would be better to wait till we get into Committee on the Bill; but I do not think this will apply to the present Question, because the proposal of the hon. Member is really a proposal not to make amendment in the Bill, but to make a large extension of the scope of the Bill, so as to include another subject altogether. Without disparaging the importance of the subject raised by the Question, and without prejudging its merits, I must say I do not think, under any circumstances, it could be dealt with in a satisfactory manner in conjunction with the Agricultural Holdings Bill. The two subjects turn upon different considerations, if not upon different principles; and I do not think the question of the interest of leaseholders of houses in towns has ever been investigated, and brought into light and matured, in the same manner as the question of agricultural leases.
§ SIR H. DRUMMOND WOLFF
asked if the right hon. Gentleman would have any objection to an inquiry, either by a Committee of the House or by Royal Commission, into the present system of ground leases in towns?
I would ask the hon. Member for Portsmouth to be kind enough to put that Question on the Notice Paper.