HC Deb 09 March 1906 vol 153 cc776-847

Order for Second Reading read.

MR. AGAR-ROBARTES (Cornwall, Bodmin)

said that this Bill required no apology, for it was a step forward, and its promoters desired to solve one of the greatest and most complex questions concerning agriculture. He was not one of those who believed that there were no remedies for agricultural depression and that year by year rural depopulation must go on unchecked and land go out of cultivation. On the contrary, he believed there were many ways and means by which the condition of rural life and the fostering of the great industry of agriculture could be influenced, not by the quack remedies prevalent of late, but remedies such as were in the Bill he had the honour to introduce. The measure was modest and moderate. It brought forward no new principle, and made no attack on the rights of property. It was not directed against the landlords as a class or against the good landlord; it was directed against the bad landlord. The promoters of the Bill asked for no privilege for one class against another; all they asked for was fair play and justice—that the tenant farmer should reap the full profit accruing for the capital he put into the soil. He was convinced that unless they encouraged the tenant to do his best and put his back into his work, compensating him fully and fairly for improvements and giving him a free hand, they crippled his enterprise and spirits to improve the land, not for himself alone, but for the welfare and benefit of the nation at large. Until our system of land tenure was radically altered, agriculture could not prosper as it might. It had been the tendency in the past to stand still and let agriculture look after itself. Both Parties had been oblivious of many grievances crying aloud for redress. He held no brief for that much-abused class the landlords, who in many cases were wrongly and unjustly abused; but he fully recognised that there were some landlords who required a law to remind them that the ownership of land had its duties as well as its privileges. He ventured to say that every clause of this Act was now enjoyed by the tenantry on his father's estate. If every landowner managed his property on the same lines and with the same justice as the President of the Board of Agriculture he would tear up this Bill and would consider it a waste of time to proceed with it. He regretted, however, to say that this was far from the case. He considered that this Bill was of vital importance in many districts. He did not claim that it would usher in the millennium of agricultural prosperity, or that by the shake of a magic wand they could turn England from the pleasure-house of the few into the treasure-house of the many; but he believed the Liberal Party were agreed on the principle that they should treat agricultural land as a raw material and he expected little or no opposition unless it came from the remnant of the wreck of that moribund Party which used to occupy the benches which the Ministerialists now adorned. He felt sure he should receive a certain amount of support from hon. Members sitting on the Opposition side, because they must recognise that the principle of the Bill Was just, and points of detail upon which they might differ could be settled in Committee. The principle of the Bill was that the capital of the tenant farmer should be secured against confiscation. No man ought to object to such a principle, and no good landlord would object to it. The first clause proposed that such sums as fairly represented the value of the improvements to the incoming tenant should be paid to the man who made them. The landlord was thus safeguarded, because if the alteration was worth nothing he paid nothing. On the other hand, if the alteration was worth something the tenant would get something. He would demand and justly obtain compensation for improving the holding by his own enterprise, capital, and industry. The next clause recognised the undoubted right of the tenant to obtain compensation for damage done by game which he had not the lawful right to kill. He could see no objection to that. If a man's crops were injured and he was unable to defend himself, it was only fair, right, and just that he should receive compensation for that injury. By the present law the tenant's cropsmight be ravaged, but he was allowed mo redress. That was absolutely indefensible. It might be argued that it was possible that the game which did the damage did not belong to the landlord, but he had it in his power to give the tenant the opportunity of taking his revenge by killing those alien birds. The next clause proposed to extend the operation of the Ground Game Act, and he fancied it would appeal to the sporting instincts of hon. Members. Personally he would rather see several guns used on a farm than that the place should be flooded with traps and wires; and he failed to see why the farmer should be debarred from killing the game in company with his friends. Then the Bill would permit the farmer to farm his land under different methods, instead of sticking to hard-and-fast rules, provided only the fertility of the soil was maintained. The next proposal was that the farmer should have a reasonable amount of security of tenure. It was impossible for any man to feel secure if he knew that if on some occasion some of his opinions, political or religious, differed from those of his landlord he might be forced, to leave his farm; and he would remind the House that that was more serious to the farmer than to the landlord. It cost little to obtain another tenant, but it cost the tenant considerable sums in moving, and caused him considerable worry and trouble in obtaining experience of a new farm. Therefore he considered this perhaps the most important clause in the Bill. The word "unreasonable" might be open to a certain amount of criticism, but he did not hesitate to say that the raising of rent on a tenant's improvements, so as to cause him to quit his farm, was unreasonable. He should also say without hesitation that to compel a tenant to leave because he differed in religious or political views, came under the same heading. The following clause dealt with the Law of Distraint, and the remaining one with the laying down of permanent pasture. If permanent pasture was of no value it could easily be ploughed up, but if, on the other hand, it increased the value of the holding, it was only fair and just that the landlord should pay for it. The same argument would apply to fruit trees and orchards. There was a great prospect of success before fruit growers. He admitted that many of them had been hit lately by the increase in the price of sugar by the iniquitous Sugar Convention; but when this costly legacy from the late Government had been dealt with he ventured to say that there would be greater prospects for the fruit farmer, and it was with that object the clause had been inserted. The last clause cheapened and simplified the process of arbitration, and that also was one of the most important clauses. A single arbitrator, who should of course know something of the agricultural district and be acquainted with the various methods of farming in that district, would, to his mind, be a benefit to all the parties concerned, and save endless disputes and disagreements. That was, in brief, the Bill which he had the honour to submit to the House. He had only touched each clause briefly, for it would be presumption on his part to detain the House at any length. In conclusion he appealed to hon. Members to support this Bill on account of its moderation, for this was only an instalment of a larger policy and one which by no means went the whole hog. He felt that he was assured of support from the Ministerial Benches and from the Labour Members, for they would recognise that the farmer and the agricultural labourer, through their own shortsightedness, had no organisation; they were unorganised and defenceless, and unprotected against the aggressions of any bad landowner, and this Bill would not affect the good landowner. He also appealed to the Opposition Benches for a certain amount of support, for just as they had claimed in the past to have a monopoly of Imperialism, so he would not mind betting—or, he ought to say, he would not mind hazarding a guess—that every one of them who represented an agricultural constituency had had his constituency placarded far and wide with "Vote for So-and-so, the farmer's friend." If that was the case he felt that they owed to him a debt of gratitude for introducing this Bill, thus enabling them so early in the session to prove their friendship for the farmer, to show that their affection was real and genuine, and to demonstrate that these self-styled friends of the farmer were their friends indeed. He begged to move.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

said he rose to second this Bill. He thought he should be expressing the wishes of the whole House if he congratulated the Mover of this Bill upon his extremely able maiden speech. He should also like to thank him on behalf of the farmers of his own constituency for introducing this measure, and he was sure that all the farmers in the West of England owed to him a debt of gratitude for so doing. This was by no means an ordinary Bill, for in the west of England it was known as "Lambert's Land Tenure Bill" or "the Farmers' Charter," and he did not know a single farmer, either Liberal or Tory, who was not in favour of this measure. He did not wonder that this was the case because, as the hon. Member had already pointed out, one of the main principles of the Bill was to protect the capital of the tenant from confiscation. In the last Parliament he had the honour of seconding this Bill when it was introduced by the hon. Member for South Molton, and he felt sure that although the hon. Member he alluded to was now in an official position he still took the same interest in this measure as he did when he was in a position of greater freedom and less responsibility. On the occasion to which he alluded the measure was defeated by a majority of sixty-one, but this was a new Parliament and a very different one from the last, and represented very different interests. He was in great hopes that to-day they would succeed in carrying the measure by a large majority. The Bill dealt with the rights and duties of two classes of people who were directly interested in agriculture, namely, the landlord and the tenant. There was of course another large and important class concerned—he referred to the agricultural labourers, but they were not dealt with by this Bill, and therefore their interests would have to be safeguarded by another measure. He thought it was extremely important that the State should recognise the rights and duties of the three classes of men who were directly interested in agriculture, who directly got their livelihood from the soil, namely, the landlords, the tenants and the agricultural labourers. That the State was supremely interested in this question nobody could deny, because agriculture was still the largest industry in the State, and it still employed more men than any other industry. Therefore it was necessary that the State should, as far as possible, see that the utmost amount which the land was capable of producing was got out of the land, and that the Tights and duties of the people interested were equitably adjusted so far as that end could be accomplished by legislation. What were the rights and duties of these three classes of people who were so deeply interested in the land? He thought in the first place that the agricultural labourer was entitled to be well housed and to receive such wages as would enable him to bring up his family as useful citizens. The tenant farmer was entitled to a fair interest on his capital, and to receive such a share of the profits as would enable him to bring up his family in a suitable position. What remained of the profits went to the landlord as rent. That, he thought, was the true economic position of the case, and those conditions should be brought about by the Legislature, so far as it could do so. He did not wish to be misunderstood on the point. He did not think that any of them had any sympathy for idlers, for the dissolute, or for incompetent tenant farmers, but they were all in favour of doing something for the good labourers and tenant farmers, and it was because this Bill protected the interests of good tenants that he was here to support it. It must be clearly understood that this Bill would not help bad tenant farmers in any way, and that it would not injure good landlords. The only thing it would do was bring up bad landlords to the level of good landlords, and enable the utmost possible amount to be got out of the land. It would secure to the tenant farmers the benefit of his own brains and his own improvements. They had been told for the last ten years that the interests of landlord, tenant farmer, and agricultural labourer were identical, and that if they did anything for one it would trickle through to the others, but somehow or other, during the last ten years, it had always been the landlord to whom the benefit had gone. Looking at the matter from one point of view their interests were identical. It was perfectly true that they were all interested in agriculture, but looked at from another point of view, namely, as between each other, it could be seen at once that their interests were very diverse. It was the interest of the agricultural labourer to get as high wages as he could; and it was the interest of the tenant farmer that the wages should be as low as possible, consistent with the good cultivation of his land. It was to the interest of the tenant farmer that his rent should be low and it was to the interest of the landlord that he should get as much rent as possible for the use of his land. He should like to remind the House of the position of the tenant farmers. They had no great organisation behind them, and they had no great trade unions at their back. They came to the House asking a measure of justice and equity, and, for his part, he thought their claim should be treated with the greatest consideration. The great principle of this Bill was contained in Clause 5 which gave the tenant farmer security of tenure. This was a boon for which the tenant farmer had been craving for many years past, and for his part he thought they were entitled to it. Supposing a tenant farmer was turned out of his farm owing to some caprice of the landlord, or owing to his rent being unreasonably raised, what was the position of that man? He had to break up his home, leave his friends, and give up any public position, such as membership of a board of guardians, to which he had been elected. He had also to lose the results of the scientific knowledge which he had gained as to the capacity of his farm. That was a very important point indeed, because that scientific knowledge was only gained by great expenditure of money and skill. He himself knew fields on which there were two or three different kinds of soil, and on which the tenant farmer had to experiment with various kinds of manure in order to get the greatest possible amount out of the land. All that meant skill, energy, and expenditure of money, and it was in order to compensate the tenant farmer, so far as monetary compensation could do it—and monetary compensation could not do everything— that this Bill was introduced. Of course, there were many other points contained in the Bill besides security of tenure. He wished to impress on the House the fact that this Bill only gave the good tenant compensation. For instance, Clause 1, which gave compensation for improvements, only gave compensation for those improvements which had benefited the soil. If the work done by the farmer was worth nothing, then he would get nothing. The good tenant would get protection, and the bad tenant would be left where he ought to be left. Then there was a clause in the Bill which provided that the landlord's consent should not be necessary to the laying out of land in permanent pasture and other purposes. To his mind that was a most important clause. It was unfortunately the case that many landlords were not in a good pecuniary position, and what happened was that when a tenant asked a landlord in that position for consent to lay out permanent pasture, he would probably be refused, because the landlord knew that he could only recover his outlay from the land after a long period of years. If permanent pasture was a good improvement for the farmer, then surely it was right that the land should be used in that way to its utmost capacity. Surely it was in the interest of the State that it should be used to its utmost capacity, and this clause in the Bill would enable that to be done. With regard to the abolition of the limitation to the use of one gun in killing ground game which the tenant was entitled to kill, he was quite sure that where they got a tenant farmer to take an interest in sport they were doing a considerable amount of good to the shooting tenant. He was glad to think also that, under this Bill, the tenant farmer would get compensation for damage done by game he was not entitled to kill. He remembered that when the Bill was before the House on the last occasion they were told that that was all very well, but that the landlord would have to compensate the tenant for game he was not entitled to kill. But it was forgotten that game belonged to the man on whose land it was for the time being, and that that man had a right to kill the game. There- fore either the landlord or the tenant had a right to kill the game. If the tenant had the right he would get no compensation under the Bill. If the landlord had the right to kill the gamer and it was not killed, the landlord would have to pay compensation He was aware that it was not in accordance with shooting etiquette to kill game which came from other people's covers. But he did not really think they could ask a tenant farmer to be put to a loss of money because of such matters of courtesy. He wished to say a word with regard to the position of the Liberal Party in respect to this Bill. He was glad to say that when the Bill was before the House on the last occasion the Prime Minister voted for it, and they all knew that the right hon. Gentleman was a man who meant what he said and said what he meant. The Prime Minister was not the kind of man to vote for a Bill in opposition, and then not support it when he had the power to help it. In the great speech which the Prime Minister delivered in the Albert Hall he promised the tenant farmer security of tenure. This Bill provided security of tenure, so that he thought they might ask the Government to help them with it. Then they must remember that a leaflet was issued by the Liberal Publication Department with regard to this Bill. The Liberal Publication Department had received a good deal of abuse from hon. Gentlemen opposite lately, but he was quite sure that those on the Ministerial side of the House were proud of that Department. They were prepared to stick to the leaflet which was scattered broadcast in the agricultural constituencies. It gained him votes, and he was sure that other Members would say that it gained them votes. He was sure that so far as the agricultural constituencies were concerned they had a mandate for this Bill. That might be of importance with regard to the future of the Bill because they knew that Lord St. Aldwyn, better known in this House as Sir Michael Hicks Beach, had said that the House of Lords would not oppose any Bill for which the country had given a mandate. He sincerely hoped that not only would this Bill pass successfully through all its stages in the House of Commons, but that when it went up to the House of Lords it would be treated as a Bill for which the people had given a mandate, so that it might be placed on the Statute-book during the present session.

Question proposed, "That this Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Agar-Robartes.)

LORD HELMSLEY (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk)

moved the rejection of the Bill on the ground that it would be injurious to the real interests of all classes connected with agriculture. He said that according to hon. Gentlemen opposite the country gave them a considerable number of mandates at the last election. Those hon. Gentlemen appeared to think that because they got in with a large majority therefore each individual who voted for them must necessarily have approved each and all of those several things for which hon. Gentlemen opposite had at various times during the session claimed a mandate. The Bill had been described by its authors as a Bill to amend the tenure under which agricultural land was held. He wished the hon. Member for Bodmin had brought in one of those other measures of agricultural interest which had been asked for by all the representative bodies of agriculturists rather than this measure, which, he ventured to say, was not asked for and would not be supported by any representative body of agriculturists in this country. The assumption upon which this Bill was based was that all the evils under which agriculture unfortunately groaned at present were due to the system of land tenure. He did not believe that assumption was true, because freeholders in this country who farmed their own land were not, he thought, in a better position than agricultural tenants. Did they make large profits; were they less subject to bad seasons; were they able to conduct their business in a more satisfactory manner than other agricuturists? [MINISTERIAL cries of "Yes."] Hon. Gentlemen opposite said "yes;" then perhaps some other speaker would be able to explain to him why it was that the yeomen farmers who used to be the backbone of the agricultural community were now almost extinct, and in the majority of cases had had to give up their free- holds and take farms under landlords, at least if they had been fortunate enough to rescue from the wreck of their fortunes sufficient capital to enable them to take a farm as a tenant under a landlord. If the House would allow him, he would quote the words of one of the witnesses who gave evidence before the Royal Commission on Agriculture in 1897. That witness said— We have had a good many yeomen in the county of Norfolk, and I say they are much the hardest hit of all. They have got to bear both the losses of the landlord and the losses of the tenant, and there have been the most disastrous failures. Another witness said— The position of these men is not only worse than tenants, because they have a higher rent in the shape of interest, but because to the land they have bought they are irrevocably bound, for they cannot sell it without going out as ruined men, and they cannot let it for a sufficient rent to pay the interest on their mortgages. Then in the general Report of the Royal Commission it was stated— It would seem that very generally occupying owners, whether yeomen or small freeholders are weighted with a burden of debt which places them in such times as have been recently experienced in a worse position than the tenant farmer, and that they have suffered from the depression as much as any class. He contended, therefore, that he had justified his statement that the assumption upon which the Bill was founded was not based upon fact. The Bill altered very considerably the relations at present existing between landlord and tenant. The question was to whose advantage was it to be? Standing there as he did, and as the hon. Member for Bodmin did, as a member by fortune and not by fault of the landlord class, he did not propose to argue the question whether this Bill would be an advantage or a disadvantage to the landlords, but he wanted to point out that no matter what the intentions of hon. Members in bringing in this Bill might be—because he knew that their intentions were good—he ventured to say that the measure would be disadvantageous to the tenant and would not conduce to his benefit in any way whatever. If this measure were passed the interest of the landlord in his property would be considerably diminished. He did not mean necessarily the landlord's financial interest, but his interest in seeing that his own property was conducted for the benefit, not only of himself but of the tenants. The landlord's interest would be diminished in a number of ways. If Clause 7 of the Bill were compared with Clause 3 of the Schedule of the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1900 it would be seen that it was not a mere extension of the Agricultural Holdings Act, but involved a change of principle. That change of principle was that improvements, or alleged improvements, not only of a temporary but of a permanent character, could be made without the consent of the landlord. Clause 4 said that the landlord was not to make contracts or agreements as to the methods of farming which were to be carried on. Again, under that clause, the landlord's interest in his property would be lessened. And under Clause 5 the landlord would have practically no discretion whatever as to whether, at the determination of the tenancy, he would renew the lease or not. The tenant had only to sue the landlord for unreasonable and capricious eviction and the latter would know how difficult it was to prove bad farming, and would avoid litigation by renewing the tenancy as a matter of course, whether the land was farmed well or badly. All these things would diminish the landlord's interest in his land. He did not wish to be misunderstood on this question. It must not be supposed for one moment that he was out of sympathy with tenants who were capriciously evicted out of their holdings, although, as had been admitted by the hon. Gentleman opposite, such was rarely the case. In such an event he would like to see the tenant compensated; but he suggested that the clause of the Bill dealing with that subject could not by any possibility be successfully worked, and that it would not conduce to good farming or to any advantage to the tenant himself. Now it being admitted that these proposals would diminish the interest of the landlord in his own property, he should like to point out the effect on the tenant himself. The first result would be the shutting up of the landlord's purse. He knew that people who were intimately acquainted with tenant farmers—and he claimed to be the friend of a great many—were aware that tenant farmers looked to their landlords to help them in a great many ways—in permanent improvements in keeping buildings in repair, in putting up barns and cover, fold yards, etc. If tenants were allowed to make these improvements without the landlord's consent the landlord would not be prepared to put his hand in his pocket to the same extent as at present. Some fortunate tenants might be able to make these improvements for themselves; but many others would find that it was not convenient for them to put money out in making these improvements, and the ultimate result would be that they would remain unmade. The next result would be a tendency on the part of landlords to absent themselves from their estates. He did not think that, their interest being diminished, they were likely to remain on their estates where the chief interest was in seeing that their estates were well and properly conducted. He was not going into any argument against absentee landlordism, especially in the presence of hon. Members on the Irish Benches, but no one would deny that absenteeism was a very real and grave disadvantage to all engaged in agriculture. It seemed to him that the diminution of the interest of the landlord would lead to the discouragement of the investment of capital in land. Agriculture suffered a good deal at the present time from the fact that there was not enough capital on the land, and if this House were going to make a landlord merely a rent collecting machine it would not attract people to that position. Another objection which the Opposition took to the Bill was that it tended to set up a system of dual ownership. By Clause 7, Sub-section 2, hon. Members would see that the repair of the buildings was one of the things allowed to be done without the consent of the landlord. The word "repair" was a somewhat elastic phrase, and he found it difficult to draw a distinction between "repairing," "renovating," "altering," or even "rebuilding," the premises on the holding. If they once brought that principle into the tenure of land in this country, they would be setting out upon the system which did incalculable harm in Ireland, and it was, he thought, chiefly owing to the fact that in Ireland the buildings were the property of the tenant and the holdings themselves belonged to the landlord that all those disasters which were not yet finished to agricultural industry in Ireland had arisen. Another aspect of this question which hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to forget entirely, was the position of the incoming tenant. It must be remembered that when extensive alterations were made by an occupying tenant it was the incoming tenant who had to pay for those improvements, or otherwise. Ministerialists were in favour of small holdings, as were a good many of those on the Opposition side of the House. His view was, that if they made it more difficult for the incoming tenant to take a holding they would make it more difficult for the small man, or for the labourer who had saved money, to take a farm, and the result of their legislation would be that the incoming tenant would require more capital than was needed at present. Therefore the smaller man would be shut out altogether from the possibility of taking a farm. Mr. Shaw Lefevre, in his book upon agrarian tenure, said that;— The question of compensation was rather one between the outgoing and incoming tenants than between the landlord and the tenant, and while it was proper that the outgoing tenant should be properly compensated for any outlay on the land, it was also desirable that the incoming tenant should not be hampered by large payments for which he had had no real benefit. In the case of permanent pasture, the incoming tenant came in and found it had just been laid down, against the view of the landlord and his agent. In a few years it became apparent that the view of the landlord and his agent was the true one, and that the soil was not suitable for permanent pasture, and the fields had to be ploughed up. What became of the money which had been paid for the alleged improvements? They did not want to force the incoming tenant to pay for improvements of that kind, which might be of no real benefit whatever to him. There were other objections to the Bill. There was the proposal with regard to the breach of contract in existing tenancies under Clause 4, which he thought was a most undesirable feature. He did not think hon. Members would take any great exception to the clauses referring to game, but he hoped hon. Members opposite would realise that Clause 2, as proposed was exactly contrary to the intentions of the Ground Game Act, which was passed by an illustrious leader of their Party. So far from providing for the destruction of ground game, which did them injury, this Bill would have a tendency to induce tenants to preserve hares and rabbits for sporting purposes.


said the Bill only gave power to a tenant to give rights of sporting which he himself had a right to exercise.


said he intended to refer to Clause 3 which dealt with hares and rabbits, which were very marketable articles, and for the purposes of sport he was not the one to quarrel with them. He could only express the hope that if the Bill were passed into law his friends the tenant farmers would do him the honour to ask him to join in the sport. Clause 2 was open to the objection which had been raised by an hon. Member, but which had not been answered. It was absurd, the principle being that if A rented a farm from B, the landlord, and C, the adjoining owner, did damage, B, the landlord of A, was to pay for it. That was a most peculiar principle of legislation, and as the clause stood he ventured to think it could not be said to cover only the case of where game owned by the landlord did damage to the property of the tenant, to which he should not object. He should like to quote a passage from the speech by Mr. Gladstone in 1890, which showed that hon. Members had departed very far from the principles advocated by that statesman. The right hon. Gentleman then declared that—"The most wholesome principle was that which now prevailed, the well working of which depended upon the wisdom and good conduct of the people concerned, and that was where the soil was owned by one set of men and dultivated by another set of men. "The right hon. Gentleman on that occasion said—" He trusted that both here and elsewhere this system might be protected by the intelligent growth of good feeling on one side and on the other." He begged to move.

MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury),

in seconding the Amendment, said he must first of all apologise to the House for inflicting upon them yet another maiden speech, by a new Member, but he was sure the House would be good enough to extend to him the same consideration that had been shown to other hon. Members in similar circumstances. He supported the Amendment to the Bill because he did not believe that the measure was one which was asked for by the agricultural community at large. It was the same Bill as was introduced by the present Civil Lord of the Admiralty in 1901; the arguments for and against it were then thrashed out on the Second Reading, which was rejected by a majority of sixty-one. A good deal of time had elapsed since then, but had the Chambers of Agriculture throughout the country shown any real desire to have a Bill of that sort brought into law? The only change of this nature, he ventured to say, which the Chambers of Agriculture asked for now was that the Agricultural Holdings Acts should be consolidated. He supposed that every Member on the Opposition as well as on the Ministerialist side of the House agreed that the tenant should have the right to receive compensation for the money he had spent on the improved cultivation of his farm, and he believed that under the Agricultural Holdings Acts of 1883 and 1900 the tenant was entitled to receive that compensation. Under the Agricultural Holdings Acts the tenant was entitled to compensation for improvements of three kinds—in the first place, for improvements in respect to which notice to the landlord was not required; secondly, for those of which notice was required; and, thirdly, those for which the consent of the landlord was required. This Bill would do away with the necessity of getting the consent of the landlord and of giving notice to the landlord in the case of improvements of an important character. He ventured to think this introduced a very dangerous principle. The landlord or his agent knew as much as, or more than, the tenant who had not been there long, about the natural capacity of the land, and their advice ought to be obtained as to improvements. Nothing had done more to depopulate the rural districts than the extensive laying down of land to permanent pasture, and if tenants were encouraged in future to lay it down ad libitum the Ministerialists would be encouraging rather than preventing the depopulation of the rural districts. Tenants nowadays were entitled to receive compensation for the money they laid out on their holdings, provided they had previously obtained the consent of the landlord to the expenditure, and he thought that to withdraw the right of the landlord to withold his consent, or to give the tenant the right to carry out the improvements without this consent, would be to take away from the landlords the interest they now had in their estates, and which had always led them to seek the improvement and prosperity of the property. A tenant might think that because he was able to grow fruit in the vale of Evesham he could also do so on the Cotswold hills, whereas anybody who had had experience of that part of the country would at once tell him that it would be a pure waste of money to plant orchards there. What would be the position? He might persist in planting the trees, and then the landlord would have to pay for them when the tenant went out of possession of the holding. [An HON. MEMBER: No, no.] Why, he would like to ask, did hon. Members cry "No, no." [An HON. MEMBER: Because it would not be an improvement.] The tenant, however, might think it was an improvement, and he doubted very much whether the hon. Members who had made the interruption would earn the gratitude of the farmers by thus defining the clause. Farmers would not thank them for the supposed privilege if the hon. Member's view of it was the right one. Further than that, a tenant who did such a thing would not appreciate any increase in the rent which he might be called upon to pay on renewing his tenancy, neither would the incoming tenant care for the increased valuation which might be demanded from him for the so-called improvement. As regarded the question of repairing buildings, and works for the provision of a water supply, that was also a very serious matter. He did not think that agricultural tenants would thank the promoters of this measure for giving them an opportunity of doing their own repairs, which were now carried out by the landlords, who found the tenants none too keen to do any work of that kind themselves. To give them the right to carry out repairs and structural alterations without obtaining the consent of the landlord was, to his mind, to introduce a very dangerous principle, and one that would not eventually turn out a very real advantage. Who knew more about the buildings of an estate and what was required than the landlord? He was able to carry out the repairs more cheaply than anybody else, because he kept a staff of estate workmen employed solely on that duty. A tenant in attempting to repair the buildings might make serious mistakes, and might seek to renovate them in such a way that the incoming tenant would find that they were perfectly unsuited to the farm, and yet either the landlord or the incoming tenant would have to pay compensation for them. Then, again, there was the question of planting strawberries, asparagus, and rhubarb. A tenant was now able to obtain compensation for such improvements without giving notice to the landlord, provided that he had already entered into an agreement to the effect that his holding might be used as a market garden. What could a tenant want more than that? He did not think that this particular provision of the Bill would tend to increase the interest which the landlord now took in his estate. If a tenant could at any time he chose put In a lot of strawberry plants, and at the end of two years, on giving up his holding, claim compensation, he was sure it would not be to the advantage of any one concerned. In conjunction with that clause, he would like to refer to Clause 5, which to his mind embodied a still more dangerous principle—the principle of the fixity of tenure—and fixity of rent. Hon. Members opposite had said that it was the main object of the Bill to give fixity of tenure. Was there, he would like to ask, any real case, or any real demand for a clause of that kind? [Cries of "Yes."] Well, hon. Members said there was, but he would like to ask what were the facts? There were, and undoubtedly had been, very few cases of capricious disturbance. Everybody regretted such cases when they did occur, and he would remind hon. Members of the Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, 1897, for in it the Commissioners declared their belief that landlords were most anxious to keep their tenants, that, indeed they often made great sacrifices to do so, and that instances of unfair or capricious disturbance were exceedingly rare. This clause of the Bill went directly against the view expressed by the Royal Commissioners, and it seemed to him that Clause 5, in conjunction with Clause 7, would tend to bring into this country a system of dual ownership of land, which in other parts of the world had been proved to be fraught with disastrous disadvantages, not only to landlords and tenants, but to agriculture generally. He would like to ask hon. Members had landlords in any other part of the world done more for their estates, or spent more money on the improvement of their estates, and on the improvement of the breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses, than the landlords of this country had done? Why had British landlords so acted? Simply because they were now able, as they had hitherto been, to manage their own estates as they liked. They were able to spend the money as they chose, and they had consequently spent large sums on improvements. Who, he would ask, had spent more money on improving the houses of the working classes in the country than the rich landlords of the present day? No doubt, hon. Members opposite during the recent general election loudly acclaimed that they wished to see the working classes in the country better housed, but they forgot to say who was to provide the money. Who were the people who had built the cottages in the villages and on their estates? Were they not the rich landlords? It was notorious that the mere building of a cottage was not a speculation which brought in a very large return, because the cost of the upkeep and the interest on the money invested was considerably in excess of the amount obtained for rent. But undoubtedly rich landlords had spent, and were still spending, large sums of money on the improvement of their cottages. They did not like to see their tenants badly housed, and if it was intended to deprive landlords of the right of managing their property in their own way, the effect would be to put a stop to this class of expenditure, and the condition of agricultural tenants and the labouring classes would become worse than it now was. There were one or two other points he would like to mention. Why did Clause 1 omit the words "On quitting his holding "? Under this Bill, apparently, a tenant who held a farm on a yearly tenancy would be able to go to the landlord after a year and claim compensation for the improvements he had made on the farm during that year. Again, apparently under the Bill a tenant would be entitled to receive such compensation, and therefore he would be at one and the same time receiving money for an improvement he had carried out, and also for the privilege of enjoying that improvement. With regard to Sub-section 2, which inserted the words— Or any claim for indemnification by the landlord under any custom or contract with the tenant, it was obvious to any fair-minded man that landlords and tenants should have equal opportunity of putting in their claims, and they should put in their claims at the same time. Under this clause the tenant could bring in his claim under statute before the termination of his tenancy; and besides that, he could bring in a claim under custom or contract, not before the termination of the tenancy; whereas the landlord was bound to bring in his claim before the termination of the tenancy. That, he maintained, would be unjust to the landlord. Again, with regard to the question of arbitration, why should agriculturists be compelled to submit to the ruling of one arbitrator, whereas in other disputes the parties had a right to submit the question to two arbitrators and one umpire? He failed to see why agriculturists should not have the same privileges in this respect. Then as regarded game, he was sure that nobody on the Opposition side of the House would object to giving compensation to the tenant for damage done to his crops by game belonging to the landlord. But he thought that even the hon. Member for Bodmin would strongly object to paying the tenant compensation for damage done by game which did not belong to him. Supposing for instance that the hon. Member for Bodmin owned a bit of land on which certain damage had been done by game, and that that game came from an adjoining estate over which the hon. Member for Barnstaple had shooting rights. The hon. Member for Bodmin would be called upon to pay compensation; but if instead he preferred to shoot the pheasants belonging to the hon. Member for Barnstaple, as that hon. Member had suggested, he did not think that the latter would appreciate the kindness. So far as Clause 4 was concerned, it seemed to him that it would entail a practical breach of contract. It would introduce another very dangerous principle into the Bill, inasmuch as in fact it did away with any contract or agreement made between landlord and tenant. In conclusion he would ask the House not to waste its time "in discussing this measure, which in the interest of the agricultural tenants was not required. He thought that if the promoters of the Bill, instead of passing a Motion calling; upon the State to pay salaries to themselves, had devoted their attention to pressing upon the Government the necessity of giving a larger grant from the Imperial Exchequer for the relief of agricultural rates it would have been of much more advantage to the agricultural classes.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'while admitting the desirability of remedying any legitimate grievance which may be proved to exist in regard to the occupation of their holdings by agricultural tenants, this House declines to assent to a Bill which conduces to dual ownership, which involves breach of contract, and which would seriously prejudice the position of the incoming tenant, as it considers that such changes would be injurious to the real interests of all classes connected with agriculture."—(Viscount Helinsley.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said although he had had no intention of intervening in this debate when he entered the House, he would like to say a few words, because he thought the hostility shown to the Bill was excessive. He did not agree with the hon. Member that the House was wasting its time in discussing it. On the contrary he thought that of all the Land Tenure Bills that had been introduced this was the most practical. It was not meant to deal with all the problems of the land question "but only a small part. If the Bill had created dual ownership it certainly would not have received his support, but he frankly admitted that unless the law of landlord and tenant was made to work in a practical and satisfactory way to the persons concerned the only alternative would be occupying ownership, which was a thing he did not look forward to with any degree of pleasure, although perhaps it would be the best method under which to conduct agriculture. But this Bill did not create dual ownership. If a tenant were allowed to erect new buildings, no doubt that would be a long step towards dual ownership, but this Bill allowed nothing of the kind; it merely provided for the repair of existing buildings, and gave the owner a free hand in saying to what use the buildings should be put. The question of the construction of buildings was a most important one. It was said that the interest of the owner of a holding was diminished, but it could not be said that it was diminished by this Bill in any greater degree than it had been by the Agricultural Holdings Act. He quite admitted that a consideration of the Agricultural Holdings Acts was much wanted, and the same remark applied to a good many Acts. He did not think the interest of the owner was diminished, but he did think that the proposals contained in some of the clauses in the Bill constituted a distinct advance on the present footing of the relations between landlord and tenant. The clauses requiring that there should be a record of the condition of the holding when it was first taken, so that the rights of a subsequent tenant might be safeguarded, went a long way towards putting the relations between landlord and tenant on a satisfactory basis, and he thought the clause providing that disputes between landlord and tenant should, in default of an agreement being arrived at, be settled by an arbitrator appointed by the Board of Agriculture was one that should receive the assent of this House If hon. Members were successful in proving their contention that this Bill set up anything in the nature of dual ownership, let them give specific cases where the state of things had occurred and then let them determine whether that matter should be settled by the arbitrator. Such a thing should be possible under this system of arbitration. These were, however, questions to be raised on the Committee stage of the Bill and were not points to invite the House to consider when they were discussing the main principles of the measure. To his mind the fact that the dealing with the question of the buildings was restricted to their repair left the control of the purpose for which the land was to be used very much in the hands of the landlords, and if the objections now brought forward with regard to the clause were upheld in Committee there could be no reason why an abitrator should not be called in to deal with that question. He did not admit that there were no complaints against the present system of land tenure. Those were complaints which were very far reaching. Many landlords thought they were very virtuous, and no doubt some were, but others were not. The landlords had no monopoly of virtue. In his opinion the extension of the system of arbitration proposed under this Bill was an admirable proposal. Then with regard to the proposals as to game. He had heard before that proposals of this kind would drive the landlords away from their estates, but he did not believe anything of the kind. It was surely only just, when they considered the amount of feathered game artificially reared on some estates every year, to make some provision for those exceptional conditions. In conclusion he would remind the House that the Agricultural Holdings Act had been in operation some time and in its operation had disclosed some weak points, and that if this Bill went too far in some respects it at any rate strengthened some of the weaknesses which, in the light of experience, had been found to exist in the Agricultural Holdings Act. That was, in his opinion, one of the many advantages of this Bill, and he sincerely hoped hon. Members opposite would not give an indiscriminate opposition to it, as more moderate proposals he could not conceive.

MR. LAURBNCE HARDY (Kent, Ash-ford)

said the proposals in this Bill had been brought before the House on many occasions. If it was not identical with the Bill which was introduced by the hon. Member for South Molton it at any rate embraced the same principles. Those principles had already been considered in the Bills from time to time brought before the House, and they were not now recommended by any of the large agricultural societies in the country. It seemed to him rather remarkable that while this House declined to interfere in any sense with the various industries for which they legislated they had always insisted in interfering where the agricultural interest was concerned. It was said that this was a mild Bill, but he well remembered the remark of Lord Burghclere in this House, when President of the Board of Agriculture, that although this Bill did not include land courts, tenant right, and fixity of tenure, it contained a mild flirtation with them. Apparently in 1885 the Liberal Party was rather fond of using these terminological exactitudes—not inexactitudes—in this case. He believed Conservatives applied a stronger term, but there was no doubt whatever that within this Bill were contained all those principles which were inherently connected with the Irish land system; and surely if they were asked to-day to embark upon an imitation of the land system in Ireland it was well for them to consider whether they should not take a short cut in connection with this matter rather than follow the dreary round which had been connected with the agrarian system in Ireland. It would inevitably lead to that dual ownership which they had first established and then endeavoured to get rid of in Ireland. Surely it was not necessary with that example before them to take that line. It would be more advisable if they desired that there should be this security of tenure to the agricultural cultivator to take some measure for land purchase at once rather than go through the rounds of dual ownership. So far as the wider question in connection with the Bill was concerned, they ought to hesitate before embarking upon an imitation of the Irish land system, and they ought to hesitate for another reason. At this moment when they were seeking how to make the small holding system a more permanent part of our agricultural system it was extremely unwise for them to introduce another owner of land—another person who would be really an impediment in the direction they desired, because the moment they encouraged and gave power to the tenant to take upon himself improvements which had been considered up to now to be the province of the landlord, they made it more difficult to disestablish the tenant, more expensive to establish the small holder, and in every way they would encumber the incoming tenant, whether large or small, and make it more difficult to establish the very system which all were united in saying was desirable in connection with the reformation of the land system. Referring to the provisions of the Bill itself, he noticed that the clause in the original Bill of the hon. Member for the South Molton division of Devonshire in connection with the deterioration of the holding, as well as the improvement of the holding, seemed to have disappeared altogether. He admitted it was never a sufficient clause, but it showed on the face of the Bill that there should be fair play on both sides. He also noticed that although the mover and seconder said they desired to give to the tenant only that which was his property, there was an absence of words which used to refer to the inherent capabilities of the soil. There had been many discussions on that point, but he had never been able to understand how hon. Members could say that the inherent capabilities of the soil could belong to the tenant. At all events the clause was omitted from this particular Bill, and by the omission it was intended to imply, he presumed, that the inherent capabilities of the soil belonged to the tenant. With reference to the question of arbitration, there had never been, he believed, the slightest hostility on either side of the House to the principle under certain circumstances, but in this Bill there was a proposal to set up an entirely new form of arbitration, and one which went a great deal further than the form of arbitration which existed in Ireland. Clause 5 placed an entirely new duty upon the arbitrator. He was to be made not only a judge of fact but a judge of opinion as well, because he was to decide whether a thing was reasonable or unreasonable. An ordinary valuer who was a great expert on agriculture might be a very unsuitable person to decide a difficult legal question as to what was reasonable or unreasonable. Neither the mover nor the seconder of the Bill had given a satisfactory definition of what reasonable or unreasonable might be. He would give a concrete case. He bought a property in the south of England, and when he entered upon it he found the land which was naturally the park round the house let to five or six different occupiers. It was necessary that any person occupying the house should resume possession of the field within the, precincts of the house. Was it reasonable or unreasonable that a person entering upon his purchase should occupy the park round his house? This and other similar questions would arise, and an arbitrator who had been appointed because of his knowledge of facts might have no legal training whatever to enable him to decide questions of opinion. With reference to the clause as to game, whereas he fully admitted that owing to the great increase of winged game I a new condition of things might come before them which was not contemplated a few years ago, he desired to point out the extreme difficulty of laying down a principle as to compensation for injury by winged game. Two cases had bean recently brought to his notice in which complaints were made of damage done by pheasants coming out of a wood upon tenants' green crops adjoining the cover. Inquiry showed the real fact to be that great flocks of pigeons, which were extremely changeable in their habits, had demolished certain fields of green and then gone their way, and the only culprits that could be found to lay the blame upon were a very few pheasants in the neighbouring cover which had probably done no harm whatever. By the time a compensation claim could be brought under review in case of that sort it would be impossible far the landlord to produce any evidence, and he might therefore be unjustly treated. In regard to the law of distress, he was really astonished that hon. Members should bring up this old question again, because he should have thought that if anything had been proved by evidence it was that the law of distress as it stood was an actual protection to the tenant farmer, and especially to the small holder, and that there was practically no demand whatever for protection on the part of tenant occupiers of this country for the revision of the law. They knew the law as it stood gave them considerable protection, and it was an advantage to the tenants which they did not desire to get rid of. With reference to Clause 7, he was quite sure that so far as permanent pasture was concerned, the division proposed in the Act was the right one. It might be different in the West of England—and he might add that the pressure upon this Bill had come from that particular district—but if they looked at other parts of the country they would find that where permanent pasture had proved successful it was because it had been done with the sanction of the landlord who himself gave the seeds. In places where they found that permanent pasture had been undertaken by the tenant it was generally owing to the fact that the tenant for lack of capital had been unable to carry his farm on in other ways or else in a manner which was not at all satisfactory to the community or to the incoming tenant. With reference to Section 2, it seemed to imply that repairing was one of the things to be transferred. He wished to point out that the word "repair" did not occur in the Agricultural Holdings Act, and he should very much like to know what this proposal really meant. The erection or alteration of these matters was a landlord's improvement, but the ordinary repairs were what the tenant always undertook to do, and therefore it was not a question which need give them any great amount of anxiety. He thought it was desirable that they should be exact in their definition. With reference to the further clauses in the Bill he was rather surprised that the promoters had lightly brought before the House, almost without a word of explanation, a very large alteration in the law in reference to orchards and vegetables, while there was not a single reference to these questions made by the Committee on the fruit industry last autumn. That Committee reported at length and dealt especially with the matters included in this Bill. In merely proposing to transfer these things the promoters could not have considered the very careful Report to which he alluded. That Committee saw the difficulties, and he would advise the supporters of this Bill to study the evidence given before that Committee, and adapt their proposals upon the lines suggested in their Report, which, he might add, found favour from those connected with the fruit and vegetable industries because it was founded upon facts brought before them. Then there was the clause providing for a record. He had never objected to this record, but if they were bringing this proposal forward with the idea of cheapening procedure in connection with agricultural holdings no greater mistake could possibly be made. A record of this kind had been one of the most difficult and expensive things, and until they knew a little more clearly how it could be carried out, and on what occasions it was to be used, he confessed that to ask for such a thing, and then put in that the cost was to be borne by the landlord, was entering upon an expensive proceeding and a course which would be quite unjustifiable. He did not think that this Bill had behind it the authority of those engaged in agriculture. If he thought it would in any way improve the position of the agricultural classes he would be the last to oppose it. He desired that every means in their power should be taken to encourage agriculture, and that every person connected with the land should have the full advantage of that which he put into it. But like other industries all who entered upon it should be prepared to lose something of that which they put into it. He did not agree with the seconder of this Bill that they should start in the reverse way to that which was usually done. If an industry was to be carried on successfully it generally meant that the starter of the industry must have the profit to encourage him to continue it. The hon. Member placed the labourer first, the tenant second, and the landlord third. He wished to point out that unless the landlord could carry on neither of the other two could carry on at all. Unless it could be carried on profitably the farms would not be so well farmed and would not provide an abundance of labour for the labourers. The result of interfering in this matter would be to discourage the present system of agriculture, to encourage landlords to take their farms in hand themselves, and by that means put out the tenant farmer altogether. He did not think that was a policy which they would find popular. If they said that agricultural land was to be laid down in permanent pasture he was sure such a proposal would not be popular with the agricultural labourer. Whilst willing to accord the agricultural tenant every advantage which he could rightly claim, and believing that this matter was thoroughly discussed and these very remedies rejected when the matter was considered on the last occasion upon the Agricultural Holdings Bill; believing also that they had arrived at the proper principle, namely, that temporary improvements should be for the tenant to decide, and permanent improvements for the landlord to decide, he could not welcome a measure which interfered with the present method, and which proposed by a side wind a system which had not been successful in the sister island, and which inevitably, in his opinion, would take away the interest of those now mainly connected with the cultivation of the soil and the encouragement of capital in it. Therefore, he was very glad to support the Amendment which had been so ably moved and seconded from the Opposition Benches.

MR. BENNETT (Oxfordshire, Woodstock)

said that he felt some regret that the first Bill introduced for the benefit of agriculture by a Liberal Member in the new House of Commons should not have been cast in in a somewhat stronger and more vigorous mould than the measure before them—a measure which in some respects was actually of a less progressive and democratic character than a former Land Tenure Bill, introduced by the hon. Member for South Molton, and passed through the House under the late Conservative Government. Of course, it might be said that they must take what they could get and be content with comparatively small mercies. Still, if this sort of luke-warm reform was a sample of what they intended to give the farmers of the country, the sooner land reformers realised this the better. But he hoped that brighter prospects were in store for them, and that disillusionment would not figure too prominently in the experience of Radical enthusiasts in this House. For the three last years Liberals had been telling the farmers of England that while they admitted the existence of agricultural depression in England they refused to admit that protection would provide any cure for it, and they were right in this contention. The Liberals, by their policy and their success at the polls, had saved agriculturists from the specious remedies prescribed by the tariff reformers. But as Liberals, and Labour Members also, quite as forcibly, realised, much more was needed for the cure of social evils than a merely negative and quiescent policy of abstention from protection and retention of free trade. This was emphatically true also in the case of agriculture. What needed there, as elsewhere, was courageous reform. The real cause of agricultural depression was not free imports but our atrocious land system. As long as our land laws continued, as long as they demanded from the soil three profits, for the landlord, the farmer, and the labourer, so long he was convinced would our agriculturists always be handicapped in their endeavour to compete successfully with the farmers of other countries, who not only tilled the soil but owned it also. Upon all those who knew the conditions under which farming was carried on in a country like Denmark the conviction was forced more strongly every day that ownership was the golden secret of agricultural success. Meanwhile, however, until some system of land purchase, or—a more distant dream, he feared—land nationalisation became fait accompli in England they must do the best they could for the farmer under present conditions. In his opinion farmers ought to have fair rents, fixed judicially by a rent court, absolutely free sale and freedom of cultivation, adequate compensation for improvements and for damage inflicted by game, and complete security of tenure. He ventured to think that these and similar demands, equally justifiable, were not satisfactorily met by the provisions of the Bill before them. At the very basis of all agricultural reform stood the necessity of securing an official record of all holdings giving the state of cultivation, the fertility, the number and character of the buildings and other permanent works upon the farm, and so on. A stipulation with respect to such a record was made in the present Bill, and a right welcome provision it was, for he took for granted that it was compulsory upon the landlord to procure such a record and that the record would be made by a Government official. Such a measure would prevent the oppressive claims for dilapidation which were now sometimes made upon farmers by landlords. On the other hand, he ventured to point out one or two obvious defects in the Bill. Land reformers had persistently urged that adequate compensation for continuous good farming should be assigned to the farmer. Well, it was true, that, in the first section of the Bill, compensation for improvements was so assigned. But on what terms? The compensation was determined by the letting value to the incoming tenant. He maintained that this ought not to form the criterion with respect to such compensation. The letting value of a farm depended on all sorts of contingencies—on the popularity of farming, or of a particular neighbourhood at the moment, the law of supply and demand and so forth. Moreover, as the stress of in creased foreign competition might quite possibly lower still further the prices of agricultural produce, and rent tended to rise or fall pari passu with prices; it was clear that this shifting factor—the letting value of a farm—ought pot to determine the amount of compensation. If a farmer had actually improved the fertility of a holding by his outlay, then, quite independently of the letting value to a succeeding tenant, he was entitled to adequate compensation. In Section 2 of the Bill, while compensation was assigned for damage inflicted upon crops by pheasants, partridges, grouse and black game—a long needed and most welcome reform—no notice was taken of the frightful losses often incurred by farmers through the depredations of rabbits. It was childish to say that the tenant farmer had the remedy in his own hands, as he was entitled to shoot them; it was not everybody who could shoot rabbits with accuracy and dispatch, or secure others to do the job for him. And, as a matter of fact, in many cases fields were devastated by hundreds of rabbits which sallied forth on their mischievous raids from coverts, over which the unfortunate farmer had no control. He had seen a field of young corn completely ruined in this way—a sight to make angels—agricultural angels, if such existed—weep tears of pity. Evidence on this point was supplied ad nauseam in the report of the Welsh Land Commission. I have made application," said one tenant farmer, "and I am told that the landlord could do nothing, as I was allowed to kill the rabbits. We kill all we can on the farm; but, we are so close to the preserves that if we clear them this week, next week they would be as numerous as ever. The fact was that the time had almost come when the Ground Game Act should be extended to winged game. The tendency of landowners nowadays in many parts of England was to preserve more and more game, and in many cases the preservation of game was really fatal to high-class farming, and was sometimes—more especially in Wales and East Anglia—a potent factor in agricultural depression. If evidence was needed he could take the inquirer to some allotment holders on a Midland estate which he knew, and the poor villagers would tell them why they found their allotments practically useless to them. Or on a bigger scale one might peruse the evidence of the Welsh Land Commission Report—evidence cumulative and irresistible, which proved his contention up to the hilt. Here was one case taken at random— We suffer terribly from game in our part, and destruction from rabbits, for which we get no compensation whatever. I have had over three acres of my corn completely destroyed this year.… In one field we sowed thirty-three bushels of barley and cut nine. We always have to sow an extra quantity of seed to make allowance for the pheasants. Finally, he would like to say a word as to Section 5. He should have preferred to see the vague term "unreasonably" more exactly defined, and to know for certain who was to judge of the "sweet reason- ableness" of a landlord's pretext for eviction. The words "for no other reason than bad farming," would perhaps cover the necessary ground, but in any case he should like to feel sure that no British farmer should henceforth be liable to eviction from his farm on the ground of his political or religious beliefs. They must protect their farmers against petty, feudal tyrants in the rural districts. To omit the famous case of a well-known Shropshire farmer, he would just recall to the memory of hon. Members the more recent case of a farmer called Perrin in Wiltshire who was evicted from his farm for no other reason than that he had seen fit to leave the Anglican Church and become a Baptist. The present Bill—rather a ridiculus mus of a Bill, as the outcome of so much land reforming effort and enthusiasm—was of some value as a peg upon which to hang discussion, and so he should give it his support; but unless it were radically amended in Committee it would be of comparatively slight utility as a contribution to the land question. He looked forward, however, with confidence to a. much more progressive and democratic Bill from the Government. The Prime-Minister had raised the hopes of all true land reformers by his splendid phrase "less of a pleasure ground for the wealthy, more of a treasure house for the nation," and he trusted that when the time came the Government would justify their earnest expectations.

MR. NICHOLLS (Northamptonshire, N.)

said that he felt naturally moved to say a few words on this most interesting topic, coming as he did from the ranks of the agricultural labourers. This was a question which most surely affected the agricultural labourers. It had been said by an hon. Gentleman that one reason why labourers left the land and went into the towns was that much of the land had been put down in permanent pasture; but the migration from the villages to the towns was not new. For 200 years the thing had been going on. Sixty years ago and more, the demand for workmen for the construction of railways, particularly at the time when agricultural wages were low, was a strong inducement to bring the labourers from the country into the cities. These men afterwards engaged in other employments, and no doubt added to the over-crowding in the towns which had led to the cry of "back to the land." He himself came from a village, then drifted into the ranks as a navvy, and afterwards tramped the country. What he wanted to say was that they would never get the best type of men back to the land until some inducement was offered them. They never would get those back to the land who had once got their foot free and tasted the free atmosphere of the towns; that was to say, if only the offer of employment as labourers for another man was made to them. From a workman's point of view tenure was everything. Until they could make a man feel, when he went from the town back to the land, that he could rent a holding of his own, with security of tenure, they would never get the best out of the land or the best men back to the land. He could give case after case where the tenure of a cottage or a small holding depended on a man's religion or politics, or on being tied to the tail of the landlord's agent. Until they could give a man a footing on his holding, absolutely free of any question of politics or religion, they could never induce any man to go back to his village, which, after all, he loved. Men who had been brought up in their early days on the land and in rural villages loved them still, but they would not return as day labourers merely. They would use the money which they had saved to take up a small holding, if they were secure from disturbance and were free to go to chapel or political meeting without being run down by the landlord's agent. That was the solution of the problem for the best men; the "undesirables" could be dealt with afterwards. There ought surely to be no doubt whatever in the minds of hon. Members on either side of the House in regard to the questions of game and freedom of cropping. From a labourer's and small tenant farmer's point of view these questions ought to be dealt with at once. This Bill did not go far enough; but it was a step in the right direction, and he would give it his warmest support.

SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

said that in the two previous interesting speeches it had been said that the Bill did not go far enough; but the point to be considered now was what were the merits of this particular Bill. The noble Lord who moved the Amendment based his objection not so much to the principle of the Bill—for he, like the majority of the Members of the House, was willing to admit that ample compensation should be given for improvements which made for good husbandry—but because he believed the Bill would give certain rights to tenant farmers which would lead to what is known in Ireland as dual ownership. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Agriculture, he could say that they did not regard the Bill in that light. He did not consider that there was a new and dangerous innovation in the principle of the Bill; on the contrary, they thought the principle was right, and had every sympathy with it. Of course, as regarded the details of the Bill the Government desired to keep a free hand. Speaking for himself, he had examined the Bill in regard to its details in the interests of both the tenant and the landlord, and what was of much greater importance, in the interests of good agriculture and of the country as a whole. The noble Lord had objected to Clause 4, which abolished the right of the landlord to penalise the tenant for departing from the provisions of his contract of tenancy as regarded cropping and selling the produce of the farm. But he would remind the House that the late Government had passed the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1900, which contained a special provision that made it impossible for a landlord in the future, except for breaking up permanent pasture, to penalise the tenant for breaking any agreement as to cropping or selling produce unless the landlord could show that the farm had been deteriorated. The late Government had, therefore, accepted the principle that so long as a tenant did nothing opposed to good husbandry, or did not reduce the fertility of the soil, the landlord should not have any right to exact a penal rent for a breach of the provisions of the contract of tenancy. This Bill only went a little farther in that direction, and said that the tenant should have full power to crop, to sell produce, and, in fact, to make the best of the land. At the same time, it was necessary to regard this clause very carefully, because he thought the tenant should not be allowed to remove the manure made on the farm from the holding, or to sell off the holding the whole of the hay crop during the last year of the tenancy. Such restrictions were necessary in the interest not so much of the landlord as of the incoming tenant. He had heard, at the Central Chamber of Agriculture, farmer after farmer, in discussing the Agricultural Holdings Act, say that the incoming tenant's interest should be considered as well as that of the out-going tenant. Then, there was the question referred to by the noble Lord of dual ownership of the land—an anticipation which seemed to have frightened him more than any other clause in the Bill. The noble Lord said that if Clause 7 were passed it would take away from the landlord any interest he had in his land and would create a class of absentee landlords. The noble Lord thought it was a clause which would result in making many owners absentee landlords. Farms that were most out of condition and where the buildings were most out of repair were found on those estates on which the landlords did not reside or which they very rarely saw. He himself thought, as a matter of fact, that this clause was likely to induce landlords to reside on these? estates and to look after the roads, bridges, water courses, and buildings on their property as a good landlord should. The hon. Member for the Ashford Division of Kent referred to the question of repairing buildings, and he seemed to think that the landlord did not do the repairs of roofs, walls, and floors. He could say that in the West of England the landlord did all these repairs, and it would only be right to allow the tenant to do them if a landlord refused or neglected to do them. In regard to permanent pasture, that was a difficult question, and when Clause 7 came to be considered in Committee it would require to be carefully dealt with. There were many cases where it would be wrong for the landlord to refuse to allow the tenant to lay down permanent pasture. On the other hand, there were cases where tenants might lay down permanent pasture against the landlord's wish, with the result that in five, six or seven years the holding might be far from benefited, though the tenant had received compensation at the end of the first three years for what then seemed an improvement. But that was no hindrance to the acceptance of the general principle that where land was suitable for the laying down of permanent pasture, thereby improving the holding and enabling the tenant to get a larger return for his capital, it should be admitted. There was another point in regard to orchards. Personally he was ready to encourage the planting of orchards. His experience had been, however, that it was not always easy to find out without experiment what was the most suitable soil, the most suitable aspect, and the most suitable trees to plant. When experiments were made in planting apple trees it was impossible to tell for ten or fifteen years how they were going to succeed. Therefore, some provisions should be inserted in this clause not only to protect the interests of the landlord but those of the incoming tenant. As to deterioration by the tenant, he held that in the interests of the country they ought to make it equally difficult for the tenant to escape from the consequences of his neglect; and if the holding was deteriorated he ought to be made to pay for the damage. His own experience was that no one was more anxious than the tenant farmer that there should be good farming, and that if a tenant farmed badly he should be made to pay for it. And for this very good reason: it was the interest of the tenant farmer to go into a well cultivated farm, because the compensation paid to the incoming tenant never paid him for the worry and loss he had to undergo for the bad farming of his predecessor. Then the hon. Member for the Ashford Division of Kent said that they were all in favour of small holdings but that this measure was an impediment to the creation of small holders because it gave compensation for disturbance. He himself was very anxious to see small holdings, but, at the same time, he was not anxious to see them created to the detriment of the present tenant farmers. He would not be a party to a scheme for the creation of small holdings which did not give fair compensation to the existing tenants of large farms when they were deprived, for that purpose, of their holdings. He had been rather surprised that the hon Member for the Ashford Division of Kent seemed to imply that the tenants in such a case ought not to be paid compensation if they gave up their large farms.


said that what he had stated was that if dual ownership was established in this country, and if tenant right existed, there would be undoubtedly an impediment to starting the system of small holdings, because two owners would have to be treated with instead of one.


said the hon. Member's objection against compensation for disturbance because it might hinder small holdings was not a sufficient one. So far as he read this Bill he could not see how it was possible to introduce dual ownership into it. There was no provision in the Bill to prevent the landlord at any time resuming the occupation of his land. He was glad to notice that there was a general approval of the suggestion that there should be a record of the holding, not only in the interest of the landlord and of the tenant, but of good husbandry. The only question was who was to bear the cost of it. That must be considered in Committee. Having dealt with the principle involved and the details of the Bill and the objections offered to them, he would conclude by saying that the Board of Agriculture assented to the Second Reading of the Bill, reserving to the Department the right to move Amendments of their own at a later stage, not so much in the interests of either the landlords or the tenants, but in the interests of good husbandry and of the country as a whole.

MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor)

said that without dealing with the question of principle involved in the Bill, such as dual ownership of land and the interference with the right of contract, and without going into many of the objections with which it seemed to him the Bill bristled, such as those contained in Sections 4 and 5, he should like to con- centrate his remarks upon one point which appeared to threaten the interests not only of landlords or tenants but of the community at large. The hon. Member for the Tewkesbury Division of Gloucestershire referred to the fact that the words "On quitting his holding," which were in the Bill of 1900, were omitted from this Bill. He would like to suggest that in the case of yearly tenancies the result would be that the compensation for alterations which had been hitherto landlord's alterations, but which would now be done by the tenant, would become due at the end of the year—that was to say, almost immediately after the expenditure had been incurred. It meant that the tenant would be empowered to carry out landlord's alterations at the landlord's expense, but without consulting the landlord or allowing the landlord in any way to control the amount of money expended. The scope of these alterations was set forth in Section 7, and included repairs, the laying down of land to permanent pasture, which meant reducing the amount of labour necessary on the farm the planting of orchards, fruit trees, and strawberry beds. All these alterations involved very large sums of money, and would amount in many cases to the equivalent of several pounds sterling per acre. Allowing that the tenant was actuated by perfectly good faith, they had to allow for the possibility that he might commit an error of judgment. If the landlord had to re-let the farm he would not be able to recoup himself for the amount of money he had had to pay the previous tenant for the so-called improvements. The point of his argument was that the liabitity which the landlord was called upon to incur in such a case amounted to several pounds per acre. Where the land was poor land and let at a low rental, would there be enough income to the landlord in the form of rent to provide an insurance fund against the liability he was called upon to incur? In many cases it would be better for the landlord in order to escape this liability to allow the land to go out of cultivation altogether, which would be against the interests of the whole community. In his opinion, the passing of this Bill would inevitably result in a gradual concentration of the good land into the hands of the wealthy landowners and the gradual diminution of the number of tenant farmers who would remain upon the land. It would bring about a gradual throwing out of cultivation of poor land, which was now let at a low rental, but was still able to provide a living to the tenant farmer, but which land did not produce enough rent to make it profitable to let, subject to the liabilities which would be created by this Bill.

MR. WINFREY (Norfolk, S.W.)

said the desire for this Bill was not confined to the west country, for he could say with some knowledge of the eastern counties that they would certainly like such a Bill. Those who knew anything about agricultural districts would recognise that tenants must have further security if they were to cultivate the soil to greater advantage. This Bill was distinctly good so far as it went, and if he had any criticism to offer at all it was that it did not go far enough. He very much welcomed the clause dealing with game preserving, and here the Bill certainly did not go far enough. It had been suggested that the Ground Game Act should be extended to winged game, and he would ask, Why not? If the House would recognise that the land should be made to produce the most quantity of food for the people, then he thought the House would have to abolish the game laws altogether. Thousands of acres in the Eastern counties had gone out of cultivation altogether, because sport had been put first, and, as wealth accumulated, this was increasingly the case. He was not against sport in its proper place, but he said it ought not to be put first. There was excessive game preserving in the Eastern counties, and especially in the constituency he represented, which was probably the largest game preserving area in the country. In his constituency huge game preserves were let to wealthy strangers—City men and others—who had no interest whatever in the tenant farmers of the district. They took shooting rights for a period of years, and the game was artificially increased, and it was a heart-breaking job for the farmers who farmed those estates. He ventured, the other day, to ask two tenants on Lord Walsingham's estate in Norfolk as to their opinion of this Bill, and one said I that he had this year sowed twenty acres of sainfoin, and now when it should be beginning to show up green, it was like a desert. The crowns were all picked out. It was the cock pheasants that did most of the damage— When I say anything," the farmer added, "they say 'Oh, it's the pigeons.' I know there are some pigeons about, but they don't do much damage because I won't let them. I soon shoot them, but the pheasants I mustn't shoot. I hope Parliament will do something for us, but generally Parliament gives us the power, and then puts in something which takes it away again. The remedy must be simple and one that will work. The other farmer said— I have one field of twelve acres sowed with wheat and the pheasants have taken all the seed. I have sent in a claim for seed and labour, but that will not recompense me, because my whole farming arrangements are upset. He was over this particular district a good deal in January and saw pheasants as tame as barn-door fowls. He came across another farmer who had since written to him. He said— If I may be allowed to approach you upon one question which greatly affects us as farmers in this district, I shall deem it a favour—I mean the cursed game question. Undoubtedly you are aware of the craze in this neighbourhood for rearing game, the result of which has been the disappearance of shepherds who contributed largely to the wealth of this country. At present, gentlemen in velvet coats carrying double-barrelled guns are driving the farmers and labourers off the land. I will give you a few facts. My father rented a farm in this parish. We found it impossible to farm against the game. Our landlord was approached some eight years ago, and decided to give us our shooting, which we were allowed to retain until this last year. Sir John Kelk rents the shooting on an adjoining estate, and although having some 17,000 or 18,000 acres to shoot over, was not satisfied until he obtained possession of our little ewe lamb, from the loss of which, I, as manager for my mother, have been obliged to dismiss two labourers. If you can in any way break the neck of this kind of thing the agriculturists will have much to thank you for. Hon. Gentleman on the Opposition side said that Liberals in this matter did not represent the agricultural interest, but there were only two agricultural Members representing the Eastern counties on the Opposition side, and what the farmers had said to Liberals was, "Well, the Tory Party have been in office for ten years, and all I can say is you can't do much worse." One hon. Gentleman on the Opposition side asked what had become of the yeomen farmers. They had been turned out in scores of instances to make room for game estates, bailiffs being put on to the farms. He would give a case in point of where what ought to be the treasure house of the nation had been turned into the pleasure ground of the rich. He would mention the parish of Foulden, on the estate of Lord Amherst of Hackney. An old man there, ninety-one years of age, could remember when there were twenty small owners—yeomen farmers. To-day there was not one yeoman farmer left.


What about the price of corn?


said it was not a question of the price of corn, but of game preserving. These little owners had been bought up at a price, but it was to the disadvantage of the country. Another reason why they were bought out was because there were 102 acres of common land, and these twenty small owners had common rights, and could turn out two heads of stock for each right, and had the power of cutting turf for fuel in May, and litter in October. The object of buying up these small owners was to have a huge game preserving and sporting estate, and the little parish and its twenty owners interfered with the better pleasure of a few rich men. The question must be faced that they could not permit the rural districts to be devastated in the way they were being devastated. He hoped when the Bill got into Committee some of its provisions would be considerably strengthened. With regard to Clause 7, he did not think it was advisable to give the tenant the power to plant top fruit without the sanction of the landowner, because a tenant might in that way double the capital value of the land, and he did not think that would be reasonable. Those who wanted to go in for orchard planting or top fruit should do it upon freeholds or upon long leaseholds, or better still, upon the land of the nation. How were they going to get over the difficulty, which did not appear to be provided for in this Bill, of improving the letting value of copyhold land, which was a distinct grievance in the Eastern counties, where there was a great deal of such land? If a tenant materially increased the letting value of, copyhold land, when the property changed hands the lord of the manor got a great deal more than he otherwise would. Then he would tike to deal with the landlord who sold privately over the heads of his tenants. This was especially a grievance where land was good and agriculture was a success, and tenants ought certainly to have some greater protection in this respect than they had at present.

LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

said that Members on the Opposition side of the House had listened with very great pleasure to the speech of the representative of the Board of Agriculture. All of them congratulated him on the grasp of the subject he had shown, and, if he might be permitted to say so, the hon. Gentleman differed from him as regarded this Bill to a very small extent. The hon. Gentleman seemed to think that the Bill would be better given a Second Reading and then sent to Committee, where it should receive considerable amendment. The hon. Gentleman then proceeded to go through almost every clause of the Bill to show how it would, in his opinion, require amending. He entirely agreed on that matter, but differed in the sense that he did not think the Bill was worth giving a Second Reading. As he thought, the hon. Gentleman had shown that there were several provisions which no doubt did not do much one way or the other, but that there were several provisions which were distinctly mischievous, and would require considerable alteration in Committee. In order to make his position on this Bill absolutely clear he might say that he had repeated time after time that there was nobody more anxious than himself that any tenant who had improved his farm should receive ample compensation for what he had put in the land. He considered that that was a doctrine which had always been accepted by anybody who knew anything about the agricultural situation. But what he did hold was that at the present moment, under the existing laws, with perhaps very few exceptions, the tenant farmer received all the compensation he was entitled to. When any one could show him on good evidence that there were a large number of tenants in this country who could be turned out of their farms or quit them without receiving ample compensation, he would be the very first to vote that these people should receive compensation. At the present time, when the price of corn was low and the price of feeding-stuff high, there had no doubt sprung up a custom among tenant farmers to consume their corn on their holdings, and they were quite right in doing so; but before the passing of the Agricultural Holdings Act there was no claim for compensation, and they extended the provisions of the Bill, and now the farmer could get compensation for the corn consumed on the holding. In respect of this he wished that the outgoing tenant should receive compensation for his improvements. A large number of tenants every year in this country left their farms and got ample compensation for money they had spent on those farms. He had considerable experience in agriculture, not only as a landlord but also as a tenant. He had taken over a good many farms, and his experience was that the compensation he had had to pay in taking those farms had always been in his opinion considerably more than he ought to have paid. Personally he believed that under the existing law in a large number of cases it was the incoming tenant who had to pay more than he ought to the outgoing tenant for improvements. The proposals that the tenant might on determination of the tenancy claim compensation for the agricultural value of the holding opened up a very large question. He was perfectly prepared to admit, in spite of what he had already said, that there might be cases where a tenant by continuous good farming improved the condition of his holding, and on leaving the holding was entitled to more compensation than he received. It had been urged that there should be compensation for a farmer for continuous good farming. Whenever a landlord tried to let his land he tried to get a tenant who would put in continuous good farming. A great many cases had been quoted in which tenants had come into farms, improved the land considerably, and then the landlords had given them notice to quit unless they consented to pay higher rents. It they went closer into such cases they would often find that the landlord had agreed with the incoming tenant to let the farm at practically a nominal rent because the outgoing tenant had left it in a disgraceful state, and it would take time, money, and labour to bring it round. Where such a bargain was come to between landlord and tenant under present conditions the tenant could easily protect himself In the first place he could say, "I consider this farm would take three or four years to pull it round, and if I take it I should require a lease for fourteen years, so that I should be able in the last five or six years of my tenancy to reap some of the fruits of the capital and labour I have put into it." In a great number of cases which were quoted as showing hardship it would be found that the landlord had let the land at an exceptionally low rent, taking the fact into consideration that it was not in a good state of cultivation. With regard to the question of whether the landlord's consent should be required for certain improvements, the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk had found fault with that provision which allowed the planting of fruit trees. It would be perfectly intolerable to allow tenants without any consent of the landlord to plant whatever fruit trees they liked on their land; He believed that if they wanted to get the people back to the land it would be better to keep the land under the plough than to put it under permanent pasture. He did not see the point in the clause dealing with repairs to holdings, because, at the present moment, when a landlord let a farm one of the conditions was that the tenant should keep the place in repair, which he frequently did not. Speaking for himself, he would not make any fuss when a tenant came to him and asked permission to do the repairs; he would be only too delighted to allow him to do them. With regard to the question of game, he did not see the justice of the claim for compensation for damage done by winged game. There were hundreds of estates where the landlord did not preserve a single pheasant or any other of the winged creatures that might be considered pests on the land. In a case like that a tenant whose crops were damaged by game would claim the value of such damage, although the landlord preserved no game himself. In his opinion that was a point which would not stand debating for one moment. With regard to the farmer having the right to have shooting parties, he thought this was a dangerous provision, because it gave the farmer an inducement to keep rabbits upon his farm. One of the great grievances the landlord had to endeavour to remedy was where a farmer insisted upon keeping his farm full of rabbits, which, having eaten up the whole of one farmer's land, went upon the farm of his neighbour and ate up that. If this clause were allowed to pass it would result in a farmer keeping his farm full of rabbits, and so making himself a nuisance to his neighbours. He was perfectly willing that the outgoing tenant should receive full compensation for everything he put into the land, but he would like to ask whether they were not by this Bill taking away the property of one man and giving it to another. He considered that some of the provisions of the Bill took away the rights of the landlord and gave them to the tenant. There were a large number of cases where the tenant was far richer than his landlord, and it would be manifestly unjust to give away the property of the landlord to the tenant. They should not legislate always to benefit one class, and if there was anything to be done in the way of altering our system of land tenure it was not to be done by impoverishing one class and benefiting another. If it was to be done at all it should be done by a system of land purchase, as in Ireland. He knew that some hon. Members went further and argued that the land belonged to neither the landlord nor the tenant, but to the State, and advocated confiscation. He did not agree, but he admitted that there was some soundness and common-sense even in that view, and that there might be something to be said for it; but there was neither common-sense nor anything else in this House saying to one class of people, We are going to take something away from you and give it to some one else. He implored the House not to make the question of land purchase more difficult by anything they now did. If they proceeded to put the tenant farmer into a stronger position by strengthening his fixity of tenure, if he was to have large compensation the moment he gave up tan acres of land for the purposes of allotments, then there would be great difficulty in acquiring land for that purpose. What they really desired to see was the people back upon the land and the land bearing good fruit and being of good use to the country, but he warned the House that that would not be accomplished by permitting them to engage in any wild scheme of cultivation which they chose. Of course he knew that there were many clever men in this country who cultivated the land well although they did "cross crops," but those men were well known and could always obtain permission to farm in any way they chose; but it would never do to allow everyone to farm as they chose, because then they would have no control over those people who were known as wreckers, people who took a farm for three or four years and took everything out of the land and then left it derelict and useless.

MR. J. EMMOTI BARLOW (Somersetshire, Frome)

said that the measure was a moderate one, and he hoped the House would pass the Second Reading by a large majority. He did not pretend to say that it would cure all the ills agriculture was suffering from at present. There were many things needed to put agriculture in a sound condition. The most important of these was to see that the tenants had adequate security for any capital they put into the land. The tenants did not think they had that security at the present time. There was no trace whatever of dual ownership in this Bill. The landlord could get possession of his land again under reasonable terms—that he had to pay full compensation for the improvements that had been effected by the tenant. If the tenant made alterations which did not subsequently turn out to be improvements the landlord, in resuming possession, would not have to pay for such alterations. In this Bill they would not disturb or lessen the interest of the landlord in his holding, and if they did not do that their action would not tend to diminish the disposition of the landlord to put money in his holding, but they would increase the disposition of the tenant to put his money into it. Another point was that these improvements would provide work and wages in the country for the labouring classes. It was only by having the utmost disposition on the part of all those connected with the land to put money into its cultivation that they would be able to provide employment upon the land for a vast mass of the people of this country. He should be very sorry if he though this Bill would do anything which would render more difficult the acquisition of small holdings, and he could not see it would do anything of the kind. There should be every inducement held out, not only to the landlord, but to the occupying tenant, to spend as much money as possible in the improvement of the land they occupied. On the ground that more labour would be employed on the soil, on the ground that landlords as a result of the tenant having greater security would get a better class of tenant, and on the ground that the land would yield more if justice was done to it, he thought it was the duty of the House to give the Bill a Second Reading. There might be some amendments or alterations to be made in Committee because there were undoubtedly some points which would require careful looking into. If, however, they passed the Bill they would have done a good day's work for the country as a whole, and for the agricultural community in particular.

LORD TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)

desired to refer to two points only with regard to the clause dealing with the ground game. It had been said that unless a tenant was able to shoot he had no means of keeping down the: hares and rabbits upon the farm. Had hon. Members never heard of snares and traps? [An HON. MEMBER: Yes, they are illegal] He ventured to point out it was perfectly possible for the farmers to keep down ground game under the present laws, and that there was no necessity for legislation in that regard. He was not a shooting man, but a hunting man, therefore he was no particular friend of either the pheasant or its rearer; but he nevertheless thought it would be very difficult to discriminate between the damage caused by crows and pigeons, who, so far as he knew, the farmers had never succeeded in keeping down, and that done by feathered game. Then there was a word or two to be said upon the clause dealing with improvements, in which there was a reference to the cultivation of asparagus and strawberries. In some portions of the country to endeavour to do that as a commercial speculation on an agricultural holding would end in ruin and disaster. Everybody knew that at the present time many Members of this House and others who had been badly bitten by the "back to the land" craze thought that it was only necessary to get a few acres of land and grow everything between kohlrabi and cauliflowers to make a fortune, but that was not the case. The clause also referred to the laying down of permanent pasture. He ventured to submit that if they allowed the tenants to lay down permanent pasture without the consent of the landlords, though that might possibly encourage the pheasant, it was very likely on the other hand to discourage the peasant, whose desire was not for permanent pasture, but for land that was under the plough. He did not believe this Bill would do anything to make easier the acquisition of small holdings to which he thought the speeches of hon. Members opposite would have been more properly addressed and would have been more relevant to this Bill. In his opinion the Amendment should be supported.


said that the Government supported the Second Reading, reserving their right to amend certain provisions in Committee, and they did so because a large majority of the Members of this House were in favour of making a distinct advance upon existing agricultural holdings legislation. This was a Bill which was justified, not only by the passing of the smaller measure five years ago, but also by the Resolution passed in 1893 which contained the principles to be found in this measure. Some amendments might be necessary in Committee; for instance, contracting out of the provisions of the Bill should be prohibited. A gratifying feature in the constitution of the new House was the evident intention among the agricultural community to look for relief and assistance for their industry in directions other than protection. The Party opposite had not distinguished themselves by agricultural legislation, and there was hope that under the changed conditions advance would be made in consonance with modern science and modern developments in security of tenure as practised in other countries, notably France, Germany, and Denmark. The main feature of the agricultural laws of those countries was that of security of tenure in their agricultural holdings. Without saying more he repeated his assurance that the Government assented to the Second Reading of this Bill and hoped the House would vote in its favour.

MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)

was at a loss to understand what protection had to do with the Bill. He reminded the right hon. Gentleman that this Bill came from a private Member, and that the late Government carried a Bill for the amendment of the law as to tenants' improvements, and their claim to be friends to the farmerrested on a sounder foundation than that of the Party now in power. In this new Parliament they were told that many great changes were to be made and many ancient institutions were to be abandoned; there was certainly one which would soon fall into disuse and that was the practice of new Members claiming the indulgence of the House when addressing it for the first time. He ventured to say from what they had seen this afternoon and from the evidence they had given of their powers this session, new Members like those who had addressed them would require no assistance of that kind. He agreed with what had been said on the Ministerial side of the House, namely, that the Bill was a moderate one, but he had yet to learn that that in itself was to be regarded as a justification for its acceptance by the House, seeing that in view of some of them it was not calculated to effect the object which its promoters had in view. He acknowledged at once that the promoters—that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bodmin and the other hon. Members whose names appeared on the back of the Bill—desired to aid agriculture, but he altogether joined issue with them, because he contended that they were not in reality aiding agriculture by the policy which the Bill advocated. He unfortunately did not hear the speech of the hon. Baronet who represented the Department of Agriculture in this House and to whom he offered his most sincere congratulations on the position in which he now found himself, neither did he hear some of the other speeches which had been made; but he did hear the speeches of the proposer and seconder and of some others, and he was bound to say that in the course of the debate he had not been able to gather one atom of evidence to show that the position of the tenant at the present time was so insecure as to need legislation of this kind. There was this remarkable fact to be borne in mind. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland had told them that in Denmark the main cause of the prosperity of the agriculturist was to be found in a security of tenure which was greater than the security which obtained in this country. But the remarkable fact connected with agriculture in England and Wales—it did not apply so much to Scotland he believed—was that the great mass of the tenant farmers in the course of the last thirty years had come to prefer infinitely a system of yearly tenancies to one of leases. If, therefore, the real difficulty in their way had been insecurity of tenure surely they would long ago have adopted a system of leases in preference to one of yearly tenancies, because it must be obvious there was greater security under leases than under yearly tenancies. He had known agriculturists from all parts of England and Wales, among them some of the largest and best farmers of the country, and he had often asked them whether they believed, at all events since the last amendment of the Agricultural Holdings Act, giving compensation for unexhausted improvements, that any need for a further strengthening of their position existed. They all knew perfectly well that agriculture had, during the last twenty-five years, been through a very severe period of depression imposing the greatest possible strain on both owner and occupier, and yet it was the fact, for which the country could not be too thankful, that on the great majority of the larger estates there were to be found to this day the same tenants, or their sons. A greater tribute to the existing system could not be found. He declared in the interests of the tenant farmers themselves that this Bill was not a desirable one. He would not go into the details, for they had been admirably discussed by hon. friends behind him, but he was going to ask the House to realise this fact: that hitherto there had been—wisely as he thought—a broad distinction drawn between those so-called improvements on farms which were of a temporary character, to the benefit of which the tenant ought to be entitled, and those improvements which were of a permanent character and which were the business and the property of the landlord. They were now proposing to give the tenant farmer permission to do that which he had not hitherto been allowed—to embark upon a particular kind of so-called improvement, and they were telling him he would be compensated for that. One of his hon. friends, in the course of the debate, suggested that that would probably lead a tenant farmer, not from any desire to defraud the landlord or to do anything improper, but through a desire to find some new method of cultivating his farm, to embark upon improvements involving great expense, entailing a great burden on the landlord, and yet producing bad results. Hon. Members interrupted his hon. friend with cries of "No, no," and when asked for the reason of their disclaimer pointed out that to get compensation the tenant must prove that he had made a real improvement. Such an interruption could not have come from men who had had practical experience of the working of this Act of Parliament, or who possessed practical knowledge of the business of agriculture, because it was exactly in the class of improvement contemplated by the Bill that the value could not be ascertained for several years. There were many agriculturists indeed who thought that the use of the word "improvements" was in itself dangerous and misleading, because when hon. Gentleman talked about these improvements for which there was to be compensation they had in reality in their minds a different word altogether. What they were going to do by this legislation was not to say to the tenant farmer, "If you carry out improvements on your farm, and if your expenditure and your industry leave your land better and more productive than you found it, then you shall be compensated." That was a just principle already recognised by law. But they were going to say to the tenant, "Here is power given you to make what you believe to be an improvement." In other words they were going to encourage him not necessarily to make improvements but to make experiments which might turn out to be no improvements at all but disasters instead. [Cries of "No."] Well, he had had practical experience of it. They were, he repeated, saying in this Bill, "You are entitled to make improvements which will be in reality experiments and you are to be compensated for them." Tenant farmers as a rule, were not very careful students of Acts of Parliament. They believed that the planting of fruit trees or the laying down of land for grass were things they could safely dc without the consent of the landlord. Take that simplest question of all, the laying down of permanent pastures. That was an improvement for which the consent of the landlord had always been required, because it was impossible for any man—for even the most intelligent and experienced agriculturist—to say, until the land had thus been laid down for five or even seven years, whether it was going to turn out a worthless experiment or a real improvement. Again, the cultivation of fruit trees was an experiment of which very little was known in this country at the present time. In order to render it successful it was needed that the land should be suitable and that the climatic conditions were such as to make that form of cultivation possible. A great deal of money had been expended in making fruit farms out of agricultural land in the East of England. The money was well spent and the land proved productive, but it was found that the climatic conditions that obtained after the fruit was gathered from the land were unsuitable for the proper marketing of the produce, and as a result the money spent on turning the land into fruit farms was entirely wasted. One of the greatest difficulties they had had for the last fifteen or twenty years had arisen from the fact that in districts where farming had proved most unsuccessful, causing the old tenants to give up their farms, new men had come in from another county, or even another country, had tried new methods, and had spent large sums of money, often with an equal lack of success. Now they were going to give such a tenant the power to carry out certain things for which in the past the consent of the landlord had been essential, and they were going to tell him that if he did them he would get compensation. If the tenant waited until the completion of the period which must elapse before the experiment could be properly tested there would be very little difficulty in deciding whether or not it was a success. But suppose he quitted before that stage was reached the point arose: was he to be compensated by the incoming tenant on the basis of success or of failure, or was he to be held midway between heaven and earth, awaiting the time when the success or otherwise of the experiment had been proved? Surely such an arrangement was calculated to do more harm than good to the tenant farmer. Something had been said about the advantages of a single arbitrator in cases of dispute between landlord and tenant. Did hon. Members who advocated that realise what actually took place? The single arbitrator was provided for already, but if his employment was not usual it was because landlord and tenant preferred, in cases of sharp disagreement, each to have his own valuer, and no Act of Parliament could prevent men in such a case from obtaining the best assistance and advice and to talk about cheapening procedure and simplifying it by providing that there should be but one arbitrator was to propound a theory which, when reduced to practice, it would be found could not be enforced. There was one principle embodied in the Bill to which he took the strongest possible exception' and that was the principle of dual ownership, which was undoubtedly approached in the Bill. His noble friend who spoke earlier in the afternoon was absolutely correct when he suggested that this was one of the greatest difficulties which faced them in dealing with the Irish Land question. It was the fact that the tenants had erected buildings on their holdings and spent their own money on the land that caused an insuperable difficulty and led to the creation of dual ownership. Anything of the kind had always been resisted in this country. It could not be asserted that the buildings on the vast majority of holdings in this country were not in a satisfactory condition, and it was not fair that the lessee, who might be there to-day and gone to-morrow, should have the right to make alterations without even a stipulation that they should be in harmony with the character of the existing structures. Under this Bill the landlord might have to find money for buildings that had been put up by the tenant and had proved useless for the purpose for which they were erected. By giving the tenant that control of the property which now rested in the landlord's hands the House would be taking clear and definite steps in the direction

of creating dual ownership, a principle unsound and injurious, to resist which, even if there were no other argument for opposing the Bill, he would cordially support the Amendment of his noble friend.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 332 Noes, 77. (Division List No. 7.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John
Acland, Francis Dyke Cobbold, Felix Thornley Glendinning, R. G.
Alden, Percy Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Glover, Thomas
Allen, Charles P. (Gloucester) Collins, Sir Wm J (S. Pancras, W Goddard, Daniel Ford
Ambrose, Robert Condon, Thomas Joseph Gooch, George Peabody
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cooper, G. J. Grant, Corrie
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Astbury, John Meir Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Greenwood, Harmar (York)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Cox, Harold Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Crean, Eugene Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Barker, John Cremer, William Randal Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Barlow, John E. (Somerset) Crombie, John William Halpin, J.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Crooks, William Hammond, John
Barnes, G. N. Crosfield, A. H. Harcourt, Rt. Hn. Lewis
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cross, Alexander Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Crossley, William J. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Beale, W. P. Cullinan, J. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Beauchamp, E. Dalmeny, Lord Harmsworth, R. L (Caithn'ss-sh
Beaumont, Hubert (Eastbourne Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Hart-Davies, T.
Beck, A. Cecil Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Harwood, George
Bell, Richard Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Bellairs, Carlyon Delany, William Haworth, Arthur A.
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Devlin, Joseph (Belfast, West) Hazleton, Richard
Billson, Alfred Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Healy, Timothy Michael
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Hedges, A. Paget
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire Dickinson, W H (St. Pancras, N. Helme, Norval Watson
Boland, John Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Brace, William Dobson, Thomas W. Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)
Branch, James Dolan, Charles Joseph Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Bright, J. A. Donelan, Captain A. Higham, John Sharpe
Brocklehurst, W. D. Duckworth, James Hodge, John
Brodie, H. C. Duffy, William J. Hogan, Michael
Brooke, Stopford Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Holland, Sir William Henry
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall) Hope, W Bateman (Somerset, N.
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Elibank, Master of Hudson, Walter
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Burke, E. Haviland Erskine, David C. Idris, T. H. W.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Esmonde, Sir Thomas Illingworth, Percy H.
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Essex, R. W. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Evans, Samuel T. Jackson, R. S.
Byles, William Pollard Eve, Harry Trelawney Jacoby, James Alfred
Cairns, Thomas Everett, R. Lacey Jardine, Sir J.
Caldwell, James Faber, G. H. (Boston) Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Cameron, Robert Fenwick, Charles Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Ferens, T. R. Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.
Causton, Rt Hn Richard Knight Flavin, Michael Joseph Joyce, Michael
Cawley, Frederick Flynn, James Christopher Kekewich, Sir George
Cheetham, John Frederick Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Kelley, George D.
Cherry, R. R. Fuller, J. M. F. Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Furness, Sir Christopher Kilbride, Denis
Cleland, J. W. Gibb, James (Harrow) Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Clough, W. Gilhooly, James King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Clynes, J. R. Ginnell, L. Kitson, Sir James
Laidlaw, Robert Nicholls, George Shipman, Dr. John G.
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Nolan, Joseph Simon, John Allsebrook
Lamb, Earnest H. (Rochester) Nuttall, Harry Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Lambert, George O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid Sloan, Thomas Henry
Lamont, Norman O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Law, Hugh Alexander O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Smyth, Thomas (Leitrim, S.)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Snowden, P.
Layland-Barratt, Francis O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Spicer, Albert
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington O'Doherty, Philip Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh)
Lehmann, R. C. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Steadman, W. C.
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) O'Grady, J. Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Lewis, John Herbert O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Strachey, Sir Edward
Lloyd George, Rt. Hon. David O'Malley, William Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Lough, Thomas O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Lundon, W. Palmer, Sir Charles Mark Sullivan, Donal
Lupton, Arnold Paul, Herbert Summerbell, T.
Luttrell, Hugh Courteney Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Sutherland, J. E.
Lyell, Charles Henry Perks, Robert William Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Lynch, H. B. Philipps, J Wynford (Pembroke Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh Central) Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury)
Macdonald, J. M (Falkirk B'ghs Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Thompson, J. W H. (Somerset, E
Macpherson, J. T. Radford, G. H. Tomkinson, James
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Rainy, A. Rolland Torrance, A. M.
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E Raphael, Herbert H. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
M'Arthur, William Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
M'Kean, John Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
M'Kenna, Reginald Redmond, William (Clare) Wallace, Robert
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Rees, J. D. Walsh, Stephen
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Rickett, J. Compton Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
M'Micking, Major G. Ridsdale, E. A. Ward, W. (Dudley S'thampton
Maddison, Frederick Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wardle, George J.
Mansfield, Harry (Northants) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Waterlow, D. S.
Markham, F. J. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Watt, H. Anderson
Massie, J. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire
Masterman, C. F. G. Robinson, S. Whitehead, Rowland
Meehan, Patrick A. Robson, Sir William Snowdon Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Menzies, Walter Roche, Augustine (Cork) Wiles, Thomas
Micklem, Nathaniel Rogers, F. E. Newman Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Molteno, Percy Alfred Rose, Charles Day Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Mond, A. Rowlands, J. Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)
Montagu, E. S. Runciman, Walter Williamson, A. (Elgin & Nairn
Montgomery, H. H. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Wills, Arthur Walters
Mooney, J. J. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wilson, C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Winfrey, R.
Morrell, Philip Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid
Morse, L. L. Scott, A. H. (Ashtonunder Lyne Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Sears, J. E. Young, Samuel
Murphy, John Seaverns, J. H. Yoxall, James Henry
Murray, James Seddon, J.
Myer, Horatio Seely, Major J. B. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Agar-Robartes and Mr. Soares.
Napier, T. B. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex F Castlereagh, Viscount Faber, George Denison (York)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cave, George Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Fletcher, J. S.
Arnold-Forster, Rt Hn. Hugh O Cecil, Evelyn (Ashton Manor) Forster, Henry William
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Cecil, Lord J. P. J. (Stamford) Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Clarke, Sir Edward (City Lon. Haddock, George R.
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hamilton, Marquess of
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford
Bridgeman, W. Clive Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Craik, Sir Henry Hervey, F W. F. (Bury S. Edm'ds
Burdett-Coutts, W. Dalrymple, Viscount Houston, Robert Paterson
Butcher, Samuel Henry Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hunt, Rowland
Campbell, J. H. M (Dublin Univ. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Duncan, R. (Lanark, Govan) Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W
Kimber, Sir Henry O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ
Lane-Fox, G. R. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n Thotnson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Percy, Earl Thornton, Percy M.
Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt-Col. A.R. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Turnour, Viscount
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Rawlinson, John Frederick P. Walker, Col W. H. (Lancashire)
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin S. Roberts. S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Lowe, Sir Francis William Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Magnus, Sir Philip Scott, Sir S. (Marvlebone, W.)
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Viscount Helmsley and Mr. Hicks Beach.
Morpeth, Viscount Smith. Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Nield, Herbert Starkey, John R.

Main Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 334; Noes, 81. (Division List No. 8.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Clynes, J. R. Gilhooly, James
Acland, Francis Dyke Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Ginnell, L.
Alden, Percy Cobbold, Felix Thornley Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John
Allen, Charles P. (Gloucester) Collins, Steven (Lambeth) Glendinning, R. G.
Ambrose, Robert Collins, Sir Wm J. (S. Pancras, W Glover, Thomas
Ashton, Thomas Gair Condon, Thomas Joseph Goddard, Daniel Ford
Astbury, John Meir Cooper, G. J. Gooch, George Peabody
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Grant, Corrie
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough).
Barker, John Cox, Harold Greenwood, Hamar (York)
Barlow, John E. (Somerset) Crean, Eugene Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cremer, William Randal Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Barnes, G. N. Crombie, John William Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Crooks, William Halpin, J.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Crosfield, A. H. Hammond, John
Beale, W. P. Cross, Alexander Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis
Beauchamp, E. Crossley, William, J. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)
Beaumont, Hubert (Eastbourne Cullinan, J. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Dalmeny, Lord Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Beck, A. Cecil Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh
Bell, Richard Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hart-Davies, T.
Bellairs, Carlyon Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Harwood, George
Benn, W. (T' w'r Hamlets. S. Geo. Delany, William Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Devlin Charles Ramsay (Galway Haworth, Arthur A.
Billson, Alfred Devlin, Joseph (Belfast, West) Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hazleton, Richard
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Healy, Timoohy Michael
Boland, John Dickinson, W. H. (St Pancras. N. Hedges, A. Paget
Bolton, T. D (Derbyshire, N. E.) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Helme, Norval Watson
Brace, William Dobson, Thomas W. Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Branch, James Dolan, Charles Joseph Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)
Bright, J. A. Donelan, Captain A. Herbert. T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Brooklehurst, W. D. Duckworth, James Higham, John Sharp
Brodie, H. C. Duffy, William J. Hobart, Sir Robert
Brooke, Stopford Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Hodge, John
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall) Hogan, Michael
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Holland, Sir William Henry
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Elibank, Master of Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset N.
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Burke, E. Haviland- Erskine, David C. Hudson, Walter
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Esmonde, Sir Thomas Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Essex, R. W. Hyde, Clarendon
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Evans, Samuel T. Idris, T. H. W.
Byles, William Pollard Eve, Harry Trelawney Illingworth, Percy H.
Cairns, Thomas Everett, R. Lacy Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Caldwell, James Faber, G. H. (Boston) Jackson, R. S.
Cameron, Robert Fenwick, Charles Jacoby, James Alfred
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Ferens, T. R. Jardine, Sir J.
Causton, Rt. Hn Richard Knight Ferguson, R. C. Munro Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea
Cawley, Frederick Flavin, Michael Joseph Jones, Lief (Appleby)
Cheetham, John Frederick Flynn, James Christopher Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Cherry, R. R. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Jowett, F. W.
Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Fuller, J. M. F. Joyce, Michael
Cleland, J. W. Furness, Sir Christopher Kekewich, Sir George
Clough, W. Gibb, James (Harrow) Kelley, George D.
Kennedy, Vincent Paul Myer, Horatio Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Kilbride, Denis Napier, T. B. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Kincaid-Smith, Captain Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Shipman, Dr. John G.
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Nicholls, George Simon, John Allsebrook
Kitson, Sir James Nolan, Joseph Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Laidlaw, Robert Norman, Henry Sloan, Thomas Henry
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Nuttall, Harry Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Smyth, Thomas (Leitrim, S.)
Lambert, George O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Snowden, P.
Lamont, Norman O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.) Spicer, Albert
Law, Hugh Alexander O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Lawson, Sir Wilfred O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Steadman, W. C.
Layland-Barratt, Francis O'Doherty, Philip Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Strachey, Sir Edward
Lehmann, R. C. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) O'Malley, William Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Lewis, John Herbert O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Sullivan, Donal
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Palmer, Sir Charles Mark Summerbell, T.
Lundon, W. Paul, Herbert Sutherland, J. E.
Lupton, Arnold Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Luttrell, Hugh Courteney Perks, Robert William Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Lyell, Charles Henry Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury)
Lynch, H. B. Price, C. E. (Edinh'gh, Central) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Macdonald, JM. (Falkirk B'ghs Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset. E
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Radford, G. H. Tomkinson, James
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Rainy, A. Rolland Torrance, A. M.
Macpherson, J. T. Raphael, Herbert H. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
M'Arthur, William Redmond, William (Clare) Wallace, Robert
M'Kean, John Rees, J. D. Walsh, Stephen
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Rickett, J. Compton Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Ridsdale, E. A. Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton
M'Micking, Major G. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wardle, George J.
Maddison, Frederick Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Mansfield, Harry (Northants) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Waterlow, D. S.
Markham, Arthur Basil Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Watts, H. Anderson
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Marnham, F. J. Robinson, S. Whitehead, Rowland
Massie, J. Robson, Sir William Snowdon Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Masterman, C. F. G. Roche, Augustine (Cork) Wiles, Thomas
Meehan, Patrick A. Roche, John (Galway, East) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Menzies, Walter Rogers, F. E. Newman Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Micklem, Nathaniel Rose, Charles Day Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)
Molteno, Percy Alfred Rowlands, J. Wills, Arthur Walters
Mond, A. Runciman, Walter Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Montagu, E. S. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Winfrey, R.
Montgomery, H. H. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid
Mooney, J. J. Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Young, Samuel
Morgan. J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Schwann, Chas, E. (Manchester Yoxall, James Henry
Morrell, Philip Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Morse, L. L. Sears, J. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Agar-Robartes and Mr. Soares.
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Seaverns, J. H.
Murphy, John Seddon, J.
Murray, James Seely, Major J. B.
Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex F. Campbell, J. H. M (Dublin Univ Craik, Sir Henry
Anson, Sir William Reynell Carlile, E. Hildred Dalrymple, Viscount
Anstruther-Gray, Major Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon
Arnold-Forster, Rt Hn. Hugh O. Castlereagh, Viscount Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Cave, George Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan
Balcarres, Lord Cavendish. Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Faber, George Denison (York)
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Cecil, Lord J. P. J. (Stamford) Fletcher, J. S.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone. E.) Forster, Henry William
Bridgeman, W. Clive Clarke Sir Edward (City London Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)
Brotherton, Edward Allen Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Haddock, George R.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Craig, Captain James(Down, E.) Hamilton, Marquess of
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Marks, Harry Hananel (Kent) Talbot, Rt. Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Mason, James F. (Windsor) Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Hervey, F. WF. (Bury S. Edm'ds Morpeth, Viscount Thorton, Percy M.
Houston, Robert Paterson Nield, Herbert Turnour, Viscount
Hunt, Rowland O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Kimber, Sir Henry Rawlinson, John Frederick P. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Lane-Fox, G. R. Remnant, James Farquharson Wortley. Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall Younger, George
Lockwood. Rt Hn. Lt. -Col. A. R. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Long, Col. Charles, W (Evesham Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Viscount Helmsley and Mr. Hicks Beach.
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin S. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Lowe, Sir Francis William Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Magnus, Sir Philip Starkey, John R.

Bill read a second time.


moved that the Bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Trade.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Trade, &c."—(Mr. Agar Robartes.)

SIR EDWARD CARSON (Dublin University)

hoped the House would not refer the Bill to the Standing Committee on Trade. The experience gathered from the practice of recent years of referring to such Committees Bills of a highly contentious character, such as this had been shown to be, ought to deter the House from blocking those Committers with Bills which would be hotly contested. The House might be perfectly sure, however, from what had taken place, that although the Members of the Opposition would be in a very small minority on the Committee on Trade, every line of this Bill would be hotly contested on that Committee. The experience they had had last year and the year before in regard to sending a certain number of contested Bills to Committees of this kind showed that if the system were pursued, the Committees were likely to break down altogether. He himself, as a law officer of the late Government, had sent Bills to the Law Committee, which were of a highly contentious character. In every one of those which he could call to mind there was a consistent and persistent opposition. Weeks and weeks were spent in the Grand Committee in debating those Bills, and measures which were of an uncontentious character were delayed, while not a single one of the contentious Bills was passed into law. Everyone knew that these Committees were originally set up for the consideration of Bills upon which the House was practically agreed in principle and were constituted for examining the measure—legal details in the Committee on Law and commercial details in the Committee on Trade. It was never intended and, as had been said over and over again in this House, they never could get these Committees to do any practical work, if they did refer to them measures upon which the House was not agreed. He therefore hoped the House would pause before they sent this Bill to the Committee on Trade. If they did he thought they would find that other Bills which should legitimately come before that Committee would be delayed and would make no progress.

MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)

also wished to raise his voice against sending a contentious Bill to a Grand Committee, especially when it was a Bill introduced by a private Member. At the end of the last session the panel of Chairman, which consisted of three representatives of the Government, one who represented the Nationalist Party, and two very old and experienced Members of the Liberal Party, unanimously made a report in support of the contention that these Standing Committees were not suited to the particular form of contentious business which had mainly been sent to them. These Bills had not been sent to them because they were considered a fit vehicle for carrying on the business, but because it was hoped that by that means one particular Private Bill could get precedence of another. That practice had to a great extent destroyed the usefulness of the Grand Committees and had prejudiced them in the eyes of the House. At a moment when the House

was about to embark upon the consideration of great questions with regard to the procedure of the House, and when they knew that devolution was one of the great articles of the programme which the Government were to bring forward, he asked the House not to go against the opinion of those who had the greatest experience in this matter. The Bills of private Members which had been sent to these Committees had taken up their time and rendered them unable to enter upon more useful business. It had been, they knew, extremely difficult to get a quorum.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 306; Noes, 72. (Division List No. 9.)

Abraham, William (Cork. N. E. Brocklehurst, W. D. Crean, Eugene
Acland, Francis Dyke Brooke, Stopford Cremer, William Randal
Alden, Percy Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh Crombie, John William
Allen, Charles P. (Gloucester) Bryce, Rt. Hn James (Aberdeen Crooks, William
Ambrose, Robert Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs Crosfield, A. H.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Cross, Alexander
Astbury, John Mier Buckmaster, Stanley O. Crossley, William J.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Burke, E. Haviland Cullinan, J.
Baring, Godfrey(Isle of Wight Burns, Rt. Hon. John Dalmeny, Lord
Barlow, John E. (Somerset) Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Dalziel, James Henry
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Byles, William Pollard Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan
Barnard, E. B. Cairns, Thomas Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Barnes, G. N. Caldwell, James Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cameron, Robert Delany, William
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Carr-Gomm, H. W. Devlin, Chs. Ramsay (Galway
Beale, W. P. Causton, Rt Hn Richard Knight Delvin, Joseph (Belfast, West
Beauchamp, E. Cawley, Frederick Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S
Beaumont, Herbert Eastbourne Cheetham, John Frederick Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.
Bellairs, Carlyon Cherry, R. R. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras N
Benn, W (T'w'rHamlets, S. Geo Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Bertram, Julius Cleland, J. W Dobson, Thomas W.
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon Clynes, J. R. Dolan, Charles Joseph
Billson, Alfred Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W. Donelan, Captain A.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Cobbold, Felix Thornley Duckworth, James
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Duffy William J.
Boland, John Collins, Sir Wm J. (S. Pancras W Duncan, Robert (Lanark Govan
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E. Condon, Thomas Joseph Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)
Brace, William Cooper, G. J. Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall)
Branch, James Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Edwards, Frank (Radnor)
Bright, J. A. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Elibank, Master of
Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Rickett, J. Compton
Erskine, David C. Lehmann, R. C. Ridsdale, E. A.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lever, W, H. (Cheshire, Wirral Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Essex, R. W. Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Evans, Samuel T. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Roberts, John Bryn (Eiflon)
Eve, Harry Trelawney Lupton, Arnold Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Everett, R. Lacey Luttrell, Hugh Courteney Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Fenwick, Charles Lyell, Charles Henry Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd
Ferens, T. R. Lynch, H. B. Robinson, S.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Flavin, Michael Joseph Macdonald, JM. (Falkirk B'ghs Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Flynn, James Christopher Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Roche, John (Galway, East)
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Rogers, F. E. Newman
Fuller, J. M. F. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S Rose, Charles Day
Furness, Sir Christopher MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E Runciman, Walter
Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Arthur, William Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford
Gilhooly, James M'Kean, John Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland
Ginnell, L. M'Killop, W. Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Glendinning, R. G. M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester
Goddard, Daniel Ford M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W. Scott, A. H. (Ashtonunder Lyne
Gooch, George Peabody Maddison, Frederick Sears, J. E.
Grant, Corrie Mansfield, Harry (Northants) Seaverns, J. H.
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln Seddon, J.
Griffith, Ellis, J. Markham, Arthur Basil Seely, Major J. B.
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.
Halpin, J. Marnham, F. J. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Hammond, John Massie, J. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Meehan, Patrick A. Simon, John Allsebrook.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Menzies, Walter Sinclair, Rt. Hn. John
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Micklem, Nathaniel Sloan, Thomas Henry
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wore'r Molteno, Percy Alfred Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh Mond, A. Smith, Thomas (Leitrim, S.)
Hart-Davies, T. Montagu, E. S. Snowden, P.
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Montgomery, H. H. Spicer, Albert
Haworth, Arthur A. Mooney, J. J. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Steadman, W. C.
Hazleton, Richard Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Healy, Timothy Michael Morrell, Philip Strachey, Sir Edward
Helme, Norval Watson Morse, L. L. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon. S. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe Murphy, John Sullivan, Donal
Higham, John Sharp Murray, James Sutherland, J. E.
Hobart, Sir Robert Myer, Horatio Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth
Hogan, Michael Napier, T. B. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Holland, Sir William Henry Newnes, F, (Notts, Bassetlaw Thompson, J. WH (Somerset, E.
Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset N Nicholls, George Tomkinson, James
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nolan, Joseph Torrance, A. M.
Hutton, Alfred Eddison Norman, Henry Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
Hyde, Clarendon Nuttall, Harry Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Idris, T. H. W. O'Brien, Kendal Tipperary Mid Wallace, Robert
Illingworth, Percy H. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S)
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Ward, W. Dudley (S'thampton
Jackson, R. S. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wardle, George J.
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Jardine, Sir J. O'Doherty, Philip Wason, John Catheart (Orkney
Jones, David Brynmor Swansea O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Waterlow, D. S.
Jones, Leif (Appleby) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Watt, H. Anderson
Jones William (Carnarvonshire O'Malley, William Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Jowett, F. W. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Whitehead, Rowland
Joyce, Michael O'Shee, James John Whitley, George (York, W. R.
Kearley, Hudson E. Palmer, Sir Charles Mark Wiles, Thomas
Kekewich, Sir George Paul, Herbert Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Kennedy, Vincent Paul Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)
Kilbride, Dennis Philipps, J Wynford (Pembroke Wills, Arthur Walters
Kincaid-Smith, Captain Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid.
Laidlaw, Robert Radford, G. H. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Lamb, Edumnd G. (Leominster Rainy, A. Rolland Young, Samuel
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Raphael, Herbert H.
Lambert, George Rea, Russell (Gloucester) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Agar-Robartes and Mr. Soares.
Lamont, Norman Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Law, Hugh Alexander Redmond, William (Clare)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Rees, J. D.
Layland-Barratt, Francis Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex F Dixon-Hartland Sir Fred Dixon Pease Herbert Pike (Darlington
Anson, Sir William Reynell Douglas, Rt. Hn. A. Akers- Percy, Earl
Anstruther-Gray, Major Faber, George Denison (York) Rawlinson, John Frederick P.
Arnold-Forster. Rt. Hn. Hugh O Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Remnant, James Farquharson
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Fletcher, J. S. Roberts, S (Sheffield, Ecclesall
Balcarres, Lord Forster, Henry William Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.
Baring, Hn. Guy (Winchester Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Haddock, George R. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hamilton, Marquess of Starkey, John R.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Hardy, Lanrence (Kent Ashford Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Bull, Sir William James Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hay, Hn. Claude George Thornton, Percy M.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hervey. F. W. F. (Bury SEdm'ds Tumour, Viscount
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ Houston, Robert Paterson Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire
Carlile, E. Hildred Hunt, Roland Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H. Kennaway, Rt Hn. Sir John H. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Castlereagh, Viscount Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col W Wilson, A. Stanley (York. E. R
Cave, George Kimber, Sir Henry Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Cavendish. Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Younger, George
Cecil, Lord J. P. J. (Stamford Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E Lowe, Sir Francis William TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Viscount Helmsley and Mr. Hicks Beach.
Clarke, Sir Edward (City L'don MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Craig, Captain James (Down E. Morpeth, Viscount
Craik, Sir Henry Nield, Herbert
Dalrymple, Viscount O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens

Question put accordingly, and agreed to.

Bill committed to the Standing Committee on Trade, etc.