HC Deb 07 March 1889 vol 333 cc1153-5
MR. WALTER M'LAREN (Cheshire, Crewe)

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General whether his attention has been called to the Lambcote Grange Tenant Right Case, recently decided by Judge Bristowe in the Doncaster County Court, under the Agricultural Holdings Act; whether the tenant, Mr. Fawcett, entered into possession in 1880, and paid the outgoing tenant £1,500 for the tenant right, in the usual way, according to the custom; whether he received an assurance from the landlord that there was no mortgage on the farm; whether, in 1887, he gave notice to leave the farm, and, on a valuation being made under the Agricultural Holdings Act, the sum assessed as due to Mr. Fawcett was £1,018; whether the farm proved to have been mortgaged in 1874, and the mortgagees stepped in, took possession of the farm, growing crops, manure, corn stacks, and everything belonging to the tenant, and turned him out without any compensation at all, either under the Agricultural Holdings Act or of any kind whatever; whether Judge Bristowe ultimately ruled that the mortgagees were acting within their rights, and that Mr. Fawcett had no claim to the tenant right he had bought owing to the mortgage being in existence before his tenancy began; whether both parties now admit that this ruling is quite in accordance with the law; and, whether, inasmuch as under these circumstances the security of a vast number of tenants under the Agricultural Holdings Act is practically destroyed, he will bring in a Bill to remedy this injustice, and render the tenants' just claims secure by making them a first charge on the land he occupies?


I have communicated with the learned County Court Judge. I believe that the facts are correctly stated in the hon. Member's Question, except as to the third paragraph, as to which I have no information. The fact therein referred to was not material to the case raised before the learned County Court Judge, as the sole question was whether a relation of landlord and tenant had been created between the tenant and the mortgagees, and the learned Judge, upon the evidence, held that it had not. I am informed that the petitioner, Mr. Fawcett, has been advised by eminent counsel that the decision of the learned Judge is right. I cannot undertake to bring in a Bill upon the matter, as the case depended upon its special facts, and the hardship upon the tenant was due to the circumstances under which he had entered upon the tenancy.