§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS (Birmingham, Bordesley)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the Depwade Rural Sanitary 1443 Authority, having let land under "The Allotments Act, 1887," have demanded three quarters' rent in advance, and another quarter's rent to be paid on the 6th of July; and, whether, in the agreement entered into with the labourers, only one quarter's rent was to be paid in advance?
§ * MR. RITCHIE
I have communicated with the Depwade Rural Sanitary Authority on the subject of this question. I find that under the agreements for letting, which were dated the 17th of May last, the hiring was as from the 11th of October, 1888. A quarter's rent is payable in advance, and it was considered that the rent for one quarter became due on the 11th of October, for the second quarter on the 6th of January, and for the third quarter on the 6th of April; and the tenants have been asked to pay the rent for these three quarters as arrears. Another quarter's rent becomes payable in advance on the 6th inst. I am informed that in many, if not most, of the cases the tenants had been in actual possession of the allotments for many weeks previous to the date of the agreements. The agreements, it is stated, were made to commence as from the 11th of October last, as the tenancies in the district usually run from that date, and it is said that under this arrangement the tenant gets his year's crop and pays a year's rent, whereas if a tenancy commenced at Lady Day and the tenant left at Michaelmas he would get a year's crop for half a year's rent only. This is the explanation given to me, but I cannot say that I consider it a satisfactory one, and I venture to express a hope that the matter will be reconsidered by the Sanitary Authority. The Local Government Board have not, however, any jurisdiction.