§ "When upon the hearing of an application to fix a fair rent, the court is of opinion that the tenant of a holding has wilfully or through neglect caused the said holding to become deteriorated, the court shall thereupon dismiss the said application."
§ He said it was known that when an Irish tenant was thinking of applying for a fair rent, he was apt to allow his holding to go into a bad condition to induce the valuer to value low. That was anticipated by Mr. Lalor at the time of the passing of the Act of 1881, who, in proposing a different method to that proposed under that Bill, said that one effect of the Bill as it stood would be that if the tenant did make improvements, he would allow the improvements to run out in order that the land should be in as bad a state as possible when a valuation came to be made. He proposed that where the Land Court was satisfied that there had been wilful deterioration and waste on the part of the tenant, he should be excluded from the right to apply for a reduction of his rent.
§ COLONEL WARING
called attention to the constant interruption proceeding from the Benches opposite.
* THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
Order, order! I request the hon. Member for Mid Cork to keep order.
§ * MR. MORRISON
said he would not detain the Committee, but would move the clause standing in his name.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said it appeared to him that this matter was already sufficiently dealt with under the existing law. He had no doubt whatever that, if the Committee arrived at the decision that the tenant had wilfully caused the holding to be deteriorated with the view of having the rent fixed at a lower figure than it would otherwise have been fixed, it would come under Section 9 of the Act of 1881, as being unreasonable conduct, and the Court would do exactly what his hon. Friend wished. If, on the other hand, it merely arrose from neglect or bad farming, without any wilfully bad intention, he thought it would be too severe a penalty to deprive him of his rent.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said the clause was really unnecessary, and he hoped, under the circumstances, the hon. Member would withdraw it. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ Clause negatived.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY moved the following new clause, [which in the Bill, as reprinted is Clause 39]:—