HC Deb 07 November 1906 vol 164 cc573-652

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed [6th November] on Consideration of the Bill, as amended (by the Standing Committee):—

Which Amendment was— In page 2, line 5, after the word ' tenant,' to insert the words ' under any contract of tenancy made after the passing of this Act.' "—(Mr. Mitchell-Thomson.)

Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)

said it had been stated by the mover of the Amendment that leases in Scotland were granted for nineteen or twenty-one years, and that they contained a clause which took into consideration any damage which might be done by game and made a reduction in the rent accordingly. He was anxious to know whether such an agreement would be void under the section, and suggested that some words should be inserted to protect a landlord who had thus already taken into account damage done by game.

MR. WILLIAM RUTHERFORD (Liverpool, West Derby)

said this Amend ment would have the effect of simply applying the section to tenancies which were created after the commencement of the Act, and it would leave existing tenancies to be worked out on the terms which the landlord and tenant had deliberately and solemnly agreed upon. The Amendment would therefore make a very satisfactory, proper, and just provision. The principle of that proposal had been sanctioned over and over again by this House, and it had been introduced into Act after Act. Persons who were compos mentis and free agents, and who entered into contracts without fraud or concealment, had their rights saved when an Act was passed altering the law applicable to the contracts. In support of this contention he instanced what was done recently when the duty was put on sugar. It was expressly provided that all contracts then existing should be construed on the basis of that duty being put on, and that in the case of an existing contract the amount of the duty should be added to the price. He desired to call the attention of the House to the effect which this clause would have on an existing contract between landlord and tenant. Every existing tenancy in this country was a tenancy, and being "part performed," according to the well-known principles of law, it could not be put an end to or rescinded. In every case, whether the contract had been made by written agreement or verbally it was a contract for the occupation of land, and the payment of rent. Both landlord and tenant, when the contract was entered into, were acquainted with all the facts applicable to the pieces of land included in the transaction. They knew how many acres were good soil, how many were indifferent, and how many were poor, and they knew also what quantity of game was ordinarily on the land, and they were both acquainted with the amount of damage that might reasonably be expected to be incurred in consequence of the presence of that game. All these were matters of common knowledge when the parties entered into the contract, and they were taken into account in fixing the terms and arriving at the amount of the rent. The amount of damage that might be done by game was as much present to the minds of the landlord and tenant as the possibility of flooding or anything of that sort which could interfere with the value of the land. There was the further point that an existing contract was part performed. The law had always drawn a distinction between a contract that had been "part performed" and one that had not, and therefore it was impossible to restore the parties to the position of the status quo. Under these circumstances it appeared to him that they were discussing a matter of very grave principle. When a contract had been entered into by two persons without fraud or concealment it was inequitable and unjust that any Act should be passed which altered or affected the basis of that bargain. The Government now stepped in and altered all those bargains which no law or equity would touch. Nobody except a Radical Government giving away other people's money and attempting to curry favour at the expense of a class, and that class largely consisting of their opponents, would make such a proposal. It was a spectacle which was not only dishonest in itself but grossly inequitable. In fact, it might be described as nothing short of robbery, and it was rendered all the worse by the political bias which was evidently behind it.

*MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

pro tested against the view which under lay a number of the speeches on the other side that the question of game preserving was only a question between landlord and tenant. He con tended that it was a question in which the nation as a whole had an interest. If it were only a question between land lord and tenant it would follow that the relatively few persons owning and occupying the agricultural land of the country would be able to reduce the whole of the country to one vast game preserve. That seemed to be the logical conclusion, and against that he believed every man in the House, including the Leader of the Opposition, would protest. With regard to existing contracts, he felt as strongly as any Member of the House that the whole basis of our civilisation rested on the observance of contract. But the particular contracts to which this Bill referred were of an extremely vague character. They were contracts under which, taking them at their best, the tenant accepted the obligation to pay a lower rent because he knew that some game would be preserved. But he did not know how much game would be preserved or how much damage would be done to his property. In view of the absolute vagueness of the bargain, the same sanctity did not attach to it as to a definite contract, and he contended that Parliament had a right to take and was justified in the interest of the nation in taking, measures which would limit what must be regarded as a public nuisance—the over-preservation of game. In the greater part of this island the population was too crowded to allow of private individuals indulging in the luxury of game preserving. It was all very well in the Highlands of Scotland and on the moors of Yorkshire where the land could not be cultivated at a profit, but he held that it was in the public interest that the land should be cultivated where that was possible. His objection to the clause was that it did not go far enough to put a stop to the evil of the over-preserving of game. Everybody had a certain amount of sympathy with legitimate sport, but most Members would agree that there was no real sport in driving a large number of birds which had been reared in captivity before a number of guns. There was considerably more sport to be found in the amusement in which the Leader of the Opposition was said to indulge, of pursuing a ball which he had himself propelled with a somewhat vague forecast of where it would fall. He was quite sure that hon. Members on both sides of the House, when they thought over the matter, would say that there was no real sport, and no real rational object to be gained by segregating from purposes of cultivation large tracts of land in order that birds bred in captivity might be slaughtered by the thousand.


asked whether the Government had contemplated a difficulty that might arise from the operation of this clause in Ireland. The position of tenants in Ireland was different from that of tenants in England. He was entirely in accord with the argument that compensation should be granted for damage done by game; but in Ireland the sale of their holdings had been made to many tenants under the conditions of the Irish Land Act, and the British Government stood for sixty-eight and a half years in the position of landlord. Had the Government faced the problem of the amount to be paid as compensation for damage done by game during that period? Were the Treasury prepared to meet the cost involved Under Clause 2 so that Ireland should not suffer and that the Development Grant which should be devoted to education should not be trenched upon? He hoped that the hon. Gentleman would make this point quite clear.

MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire' E.R., Holderness)

said that the hon Member for Preston had insisted that he only wished to safeguard existing con tracts; but he had contradicted him self in the latter portion of his speech. To do away with existing contracts was not only unjust but un-English. His hon. friend and his supporters did not bring forward this Amendment, only for the benefit of the landlords, but equally for the benefit of the tenants. That was shown by the speech of the hon. Member for Ayrshire the previous evening, and in other speeches made that afternoon; and the case which they had made out had not been answered by the Government. In the case of a landlord who reduced his rent on account of the game which he reared, either by agreement or by lease, was that agreement no longer to stand good? Or was the landlord also, under this clause, to pay compensation for damage done by the game? Of course, if the farm was let under a yearly contract, the land lord would, at the end of the year, largely increase the rent on his tenant. Therefore, that the cordial relations which existed in Yorkshire and elsewhere between landlord and tenant must be inevitably destroyed unless the Government accepted some such Amendment as this. He could not understand the attitude of the Government in regard to the Amendment. It was a most reasonable proposal. From the attitude which the Government had adopted, he supposed their policy was going to be to refuse to accept all Amendments proposed from the Conservative Benches. Perhaps they would refuse also to accept Amendments from their own side. It was well known that there were many hon. Members on the Government side of the House who were very discontented with the Bill as it stood at the present time. It was only a day or two ago that an hon. Member on that side had said to him when he heard the Bill was coming forward, "Thank God there is a House of Lords." [MINISTERIAL cries of "Name."]

MR. J. WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)

He ought to be placed in the British Museum.


said that he trusted the Government would reconsider their determination with regard to the Amendment, with which, he could not help thinking everybody who had gone into the matter would agree.

*MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)

said that as he understood the argument of hon. Members opposite, the liability to damage by name was one of the matters taken into consideration by landlords and tenants in fixing the rent of a holding—whether the rent was fixed by competition or in any other way— and thereafter they went on to say that if damage was caused by game that damage was compensated for by the reduced rent paid. Then they went further and argued that unless this Amendment were accepted the tenant would get compensation twice over. He wanted to show that that was not the right view. He thought it would be admitted that the present method of estimating the amount of damage caused by game was mere rule of thumb, and could not be applied with certainty. It could only apply to the circumstances existing at the time of the agreement. He instanced the case of an ordinary country gentleman who was in the habit of rearing 1,000 pheasants on his estate: if he went abroad and let his estate to a South African millionaire, who at once proceeded to breed 10,000 pheasants, it was perfectly obvious that the compensation in rent could not be equal to the loss that would be sustained by the tenant from 10,000 pheasants as against 1,000; and therefore the tenant under those circumstances would suffer an injustice. The object of this Bill was that instead of that rough-and-ready method of estimating the damage done by game, there should be substituted a system by which the damage done in each case should be paid for.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

asked if the hon. Gentleman contemplated that under this Bill there would be a fresh arrangement as to rent and that then compensation for damage by game should be paid?


Yes, whenever there was a new arrangement. The noble Lord would notice that the amount of compensation to be paid was to be fixed by agreement or by arbitration. In the case he had suggested, where the head of pheasants reared on an estate had been increased from 1,000 to 10,000, the arbitrator would say that the amount of damage which would be done by 1,000 was so much, and that the amount of damage which would be done by 10,000 would be so much, and the compensation he would award would be the difference between the damage done by 1,000 and that done by 10,000.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)

said he was sure that the House must be obliged to the hon. Member for Wycombe for coming to the rescue of the Government. But he thought that this Amendment ought to be looked at on grounds quite irrespective of their views in regard to land tenure or compensation for damage done by game. The question involved was much wider and much more important than anything which; merely affected the interests of land lord and tenant. He thought, with the hon. Member for Preston, that the Bill as it now stood went to the very root of our civilisation. He admired the accuracy and the precision with which the hon. Member for Wycombe had stated the arguments against the clause under discussion. Nothing could have been more fair or accurate. What was the hon. Member's defence? His defence of the Bill was this. He said, and it was quite true, that they could imagine a case in which in the course of a lease a tenant who had contemplated that there would be a certain amount of game on his farm would come to the Courts, if this proposal were carried, to say he wanted compensation, because although when he made his lease he knew perfectly well that there was going to be game there had been a great increase of it during the tenancy and since he made his lease. He might therefore claim that he was entitled to some compensation for what was in substance a violation of the original contract under which he took the lease. The defence of the hon. Member would be plausible if the clause were moulded in an entirely different way. But it said— Where the tenant has sustained any damage from game, and not, as the hon. Gentleman sup posed— Where any tenant has sustained damage that is not arranged for in the terms of the tenancy. The two propositions were quite different, and he hoped the Government would give effect to that put forward by their courageous advocate in his innocence or charity. The view of the hon. Member for Preston was that game preserving was inherently antagonistic to the public interest and ought to be stopped. He believed that view to be erroneous, though it had nothing to do with the question of contract. He had no prejudices in favour of game preserving. It was a quarter of a century since he had handled a gun; and his leisure hours were, in his opinion, better spent in other forms of amusement. But it was not sustainable in argument that the general interests of the food consumer here injured by the practice of game preserving. Putting all questions of class amusements on one side, he believed that an impartial inquiry would show that game preserving, far from rendering the food of the people dearer, rendered it cheaper, because it induced wealthy persons, for their own amusement, to provide a great deal of food at less than cost price. As a matter of economic and social truth, he did not believe that the food consumer did otherwise than benefit by what he should regard as a most foolish and extravagant form of game preserving. But if the House really took the view of the hon. Member, the way to deal with the question was not to break contracts between landlord and tenant, but to forbid game preserving. This Bill did nothing to restrain the man who both owned and occupied his land from carrying game preserving to the most extravagant point, nor would it prevent the occupier who rented both the land and the shooting. What the Bill aimed at was to prevent injustice to the tenant farmer. Let the House do that, but why strike at what the hon. Gentle man admitted to be the very basis and foundation of all civilised society? It could not be beyond the ingenuity of the House of Commons to provide that the tenant farmer should not be injured without breaking every existing contract. He did not know whether the Government had studied this Bill before becoming responsible for it. But this was a monstrous provision, monstrous not because the pecuniary interests involved were great, but because the principle on which it was based was abominable. It was a survival of the careless drafting of the true authors and begetters of the Bill. The landlord was not, after all, a criminal qua, landlord. He owned his land by the same title that anybody else owned anything. He was at liberty to make a contract with anyone who had his eyes open to what he was doing; and in the interests of the community, which depended on the sanctity of contract, let not Parliament in mere folly and careless ness strike a blow at one of the most important principles which should guide legislation. He could not help feeling that this House, a very well-meaning House, very benevolent in intention, was a little apt to deal with each isolated question that came up wholly without regard to the general principles involved. That was not wise, and did not in the long run produce good results to any class of the community. Of this amiable weakness, this clause was a striking example. He hoped the Amendment would be accepted, but if it were not he trusted the Government would mitigate the absurdities of the present clause by amending it somewhat in the direction which had been indicated.

*MB. R. PEARCE (Staffordshire, Leek)

said that by the philosophical utterances of the hon. Member for Preston and the Leader of the Opposition, they had been carried into a higher sphere than mere wrangles between landlord and tenant, but they had come away from the question whether contracts should be broken under this Bill or whether its operation should be postponed. He ventured to think that, in considering the Amendment, the words "any damage" in the clause, when they had to be construed, would have to be construed with reference to the rent which had been reserved and to the damage sustained by the tenant, and the tenant could not obtain any damages in the case where the tenant had allowance for game injury in the reservation of sporting rights under his tenancy. He protested against the postponement of the application of the clause for the reason that if that course was pursued the same thing would happen as happened under the Irish Church Disestablishment Act, and new contracts would he made by the thousand to prevent any compensation being obtained under the Bill In Ireland curates were created by hundreds in order that compensation might be claimed. In looking at the philosophical views of the hon. Member for Preston it seemed that a more practical effect might be given to them. The real remedy was the one indicated by the Leader of the Opposition and by the Member for Oxford University, when he referred to the action of the Colleges, who let their land without reserving any sporting rights, and if they had an Act of Parliament prohibiting landlords from reserving sporting rights at all, they would then do that which ought to be done in the interest of both the tenants and landlords. The most important basis of our civilisation in this regard was that the farmer who was cultivating the land for the benefit of himself and also of the food consumer, should have whole control over the land in his occupation. He should have complete control and should be able to say to the landlord and his sporting tenant, "You shall not come on the land at all except on terms arranged with me." The sporting tenant should be subordinate in every way to the farming tenant, as the production of food was far more important than the production of game. He and his friends supported the Bill and accepted it so far as it went in the direction of bringing about a state of affairs in which the actual occupier engaged in the production of food should have the entire control of the holding he took. If that ideal were attained it would be the death blow of the tenant farmers, proverb in West Derbyshire that Paradise was twenty miles from the agent and forty miles from the landlord. To settle the game question was far more important than to settle the question of compensation; for while the former came up every year the latter came up only once in a tenancy. If under this Bill they could provide that the agricultural tenant should be the sole master of the land he occupied they would have done something towards putting agriculture on a better footing.

*VISCOUNT TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)

thought that most of the speeches to which they had listened had not a very great deal to do with the Amendment under discussion, and, if he were a supporter of the Government instead of a member of the Opposition, he would say that some Members who sat opposite had been doing something to waste time. The hon. Member for Preston, for instance, had entered into a very elaborate discussion as to the game laws of this country. If he wished to convert his own Party to the policy of total abolition of game preservation he would have his hands full. He might make a start with the hon. Members who sat below him and also some other hon. Members who sat on those benches. His speech and the speech of the other Members who had spoken had not much to do with the Amendment, which was to decide whether this clause should apply to existing contracts or only to contracts made in the future. It seemed to him that a great deal of inconvenience would be caused not only to landlords but also to tenant farmers if the Bill was made to apply to existing contracts. He had in mind one particular case which per haps was not very usual in the country as a whole, but which in the county with which he was familiar was usual, a case in which a landlord had let his farm at an enhanced rent to a tenant in consideration of the tenant being permitted to kill partridges on his land. These cases happened in a bad partridge country where the partridge shooting was not worth much, and where the landlords were poor and allowed the tenant farmers to shoot the partridges during the month of September, they themselves keeping the cover shooting. In consideration of this, the tenants gave rather more rent than, they otherwise would. Many of these cases occurred in the South country, and they would be very prejudicially affected by the clause as it stood at present. Similar arrangements were made for the convenience not of the landlord only, but also of the tenant, and it was very hard that both parties to those arrangements should be upset by what he believed was the rather arbitrary provision of the clause. It was a clause on which they should have further advice from the original promoters of the Bill—the only hon. Gentleman who was at present a Member of the House and a promoter of the Bill was not in his place—and in view of the importance of the measure and of the fact that the Government had done a most unusual thing in starring it as a Government measure, it would be well if the Prime Minister, or at all events some Cabinet Minister, were present on the Treasury Bench during: this discussion, more especially as the Leader of the Opposition had taken part in it. It was only another instance of the failure of the present Government and especially of Members of the Cabinet to be present in the House during important debates. He had yet to learn that during important discussions of this kind the Treasury Bench should be denuded of members of the Cabinet. He J hoped that the House would consider this question as the Leader of the Opposition had asked them to do from the general point of view, and that they would consider the inconvenience which would be caused j not to landlords but to tenant farmers, as well by making this clause apply to existing contracts. He had listened with: great care to the speeches of the hon. Gentleman opposite, but he had not heard a single speech in which good reason had been brought forward for making the clause apply to existing contracts. Therefore, he hoped the House would accept the Amendment of his hon. friend and not make the clause apply to them, thus avoiding what would be a great inconvenience to landlords and tenant farmers alike.


rose n his place, and claimed to move "That the Question be now put," but.Mr. Speaker witheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.

MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)

expressed his surprise at the only answer the Government proposed to give to the arguments ad dressed to them with regard to this child which they had picked up some where and now proposed to father. The point under discussion was one of enormous importance and raised a principle far wider than the scope of the Bill. It was a question of what treatment this House was going to afford to con tracts already entered into when they were legislating for the future. He had listened to three speeches from the other side of the House in defence of the clause as it stood, and it was curious to consider what those three defences were. The hon. Member for Preston had defended the clause because he would like to see the preservation of game made illegal on any cultivated or cultivable land. The hon. Gentleman who had spoken from the Front Bench had defended it because it ought in his opinion to be impossible for the landlord or sporting tenant to go on to the landlord's land without the permission of the occupier, and the hon. and learned Gentleman had de fended it on the ground that something, which the clause did not do, would be fair. The hon. and learned Solicitor-General had not answered one point. He had not advised the House as to the ac curacy of the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman behind him. The hon. and learned Gentleman had defended the clause on the ground that it would lead to compensation not being given twice over for any damage that was suffered from game—that if a certain amount of loss was contemplated when a man made his tenancy, when he went into Court with his claim for damage the arbitrator would be bound to de duct from his award the amount of damage which the tenant might reason ably expect and take into consideration in entering on his tenancy. He desired the opinion of the two law officers on the accuracy of that interpretation and whether, if it were not correct, they would assent to the Amendment which would make this Bill what the hon. and learned Gentleman conceived it to be.

MR. GUEST (Cardiff District)

thought there was a general intention to provide reasonable compensation to the tenant who suffered from injury caused by game. As had been pointed out, the preservation of game varied in amount, and the amount largely determined the extent of the injury. One hon. Member had spoken of the possibility of the preservation of game being increased on a particular estate, but he did not mention the possibility of the preservation being diminished. Such diminution did occasionally take place, and surely the arbitrator should give as much consideration to that point as to the other. The whole House would be agreed that injury by game to crops was in fact always and habitually taken into consideration in fixing the rent. If any hon. Member doubted that, he (Mr. Guest) could prove it to him from his own personal experience. Tenant farmers with whom he had had to do, had, when they learnt that they were to have the shooting rights, made higher offers for the farms.. Therefore, it was indisputable that a certain amount of injury was already provided for by the existing law. If they were all agreed upon that, the question resolved itself simply into a matter of drafting. At the present moment they were discussing whether the clause did in fact provide what the Government in tended it to provide. As he read the clause, it seemed to him that the arbitrator would be forced to take into consideration the amount of compensation already before him in fixing the full compensation that should be paid. If they were agreed that there should be fair compensation and that it should take into account the compensation already existing, there should be no difficulty in finding words to meet the case.

*MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)

said that with the exception of the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down the speeches of hon. Members opposite had displayed a certain amount of ingenuity and an extraordinary amount of ignorance on everything connected with sport, agriculture and law. The hon. Member for Preston seemed to think that they ran after birds with butterfly nets or put salt on their tails. The suggestion of the hon. Member for the Leek Division that there should be no rights reserved to the landlords would surely be the very last thing which would conduce to the prosperity of the agricultural industry. It would promote absenteeism, and do away with the large amount of money circulating in the districts owing to sport. The hon. Member for the Wycombe Division of Buckinghamshire had pleaded for the tenant in a case where a largo increase in the stock of game took place after agreements had been made as to compensation, and had given an illustration which was almost identical with the facts in Nelson v. Farrar. That well-known case, which had never been disputed, laid down that any excessive increase in the amount of the game reared should be a cause for compensation. That was the law as it stood. All rural land carried a certain amount of game, and anything in excess of that should be subject to compensation.


That case shows that it will inflict no injustice upon the landlord to make this Bill apply to existing tenancies.


thought it went exactly the other way. The speeches of hon. Members opposite had been based upon two assumptions. The first was that it was the desire of the Party of which he was a member that the whole world should be an immense game pre serve, and secondly, that game was an un mitigated evil. Owing to the preservation and pursuit of game a great deal of employment was given in our rural districts during the winter months, a time when in many cases employment was scarce.


The arguments of the hon. Member do not seem to be relevant to the Amendment.


said he was trying to answer the arguments of the other side, but he would not press the point. He would like to ask the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill whether instructions would be given to the arbitrators, in assessing compensation due for damage done by game, to assess also as a counter claim the benefit accruing to the farmer owing to the destruction of wire worm by game. He would ask either the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill or the Solicitor-General to make some answer to the questions which were being put to them. Were the arbitrators to assume there was no natural right for any game to be upon the land and to ignore all initial understandings which had been based upon former agreements? Were they to take into any account the reduction of rent which very often, though not put into so many words, was well known to take place owing to the presence of game? He thought common courtesy required that some answer should be made to the speeches of the Leader of the Opposition and the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. As, however, the hon. Gentlemen opposite showed no intention of making any answer he begged to move that the debate be now adjourned.


declined to propose the Question to the House.


asked the Government, as a matter of common courtesy, to make some reply to the speeches of the hon. Members of the Opposition. The taciturnity of the Government was simply a repetition of what happened time after time when the Bill was before the Committee. Then the representatives of the Government would take no part in the discussion, and consequently he and his friends had no means of knowing what their views were upon the arguments put forward concerning matters of great importance. This afternoon speeches had been made from the Opposition Benches and they had a right to expect some indication from the Government as to whether the views contained in those speeches met with favour or not. The taciturnity was apparent during the whole of the debate on the previous day. They had been told that the Bill was of great importance and that it was absolutely necessary to bring it forward with the utmost despatch. He doubted whether the appearance of the Front Opposition Bench warranted that contention.


said he only spoke again by the indulgence of the House, and he would not have intervened had not the hon. Member who had just sat down assumed that the Government were wanting in courtesy in not replying. That was a charge of a serious character. He did not think there had been any point which he did not answer in the course of the remarks he made last night. With regard to the application to existing tenancies the Bill would apply without any qualification or limitation at all, It applied to existing tenancies in precisely the same way as the Bill of 1900 applied to existing tenancies. He wondered why the high philosophic ground taken up in regard to the principle affecting contracts was not considered by the late Government in 1900. There was no pretence of limiting the legislation of that day to future contracts, and there was no pretence now of limiting it to future con tracts. They were following, as he understood, the recommendations of the Royal Commission, which included among its members the right hon. Member for South Dublin. They might therefore be saved from accusations of revolution any legislation. They were doing what their predecessors did. They were following advice which right hon. Gentlemen opposite had given in their Royal Com mission, and under those circumstances he did not see any necessity for speech after speech.


May I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to answer the specific question I put to him?


said he had answered it. He did not propose to enter into controversy with particular individuals. He thought he had adequately met the question of the right hon. Gentleman when he gave him an answer in substance.


said he merely desired to say that nothing was further from his thoughts than to invite the right hon. Gentleman into a personal altercation with any Member of this House. All he wanted was an answer to his question and he had not got it.

MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)

said the Solicitor-General had stated that no provision was made in the Act of 1900 in reference to current tenancies.


I said that the Act them of 1900 applied to them.


said the Solicitor-General had stated that it applied to existing tenancies in the same way as to future tenancies, but in that he was entirely mistaken. The Act of 1900 gave compensation for certain improvements, and Section 7 of that Act provided that— Compensation in respect of improvements made before this Act came into operation shall be such as could have been claimed if this Act had not been passed and shall be ascertained in the manner provided by this Act. Then in a well-known edition of the Act there was a footnote which stated— The Act is retrospective as to procedure but not as to rights. That disposed for the moment of any personal questions, but he wished to say a few words about the real point, namely, whether the Act should apply to current tenancies. Supposing there was a case in which negotiations went on for a tenancy or lease, and the question of game was mentioned, and the tenant was permitted to give a lower rent because there was a reservation of shooting rights. In such a case the tenant would have already had his compensation for damage by game in the shape of a reduction of rent, but nevertheless that tenant would come in for compensation under this Act. It had been stated by a previous speaker that under this Bill damages could only be claimed to the extent of the damage done and not already arranged for, but he entirely dissented from that view. Under the Bill as it now stood such a tenant, if his crops were damaged by game, would have the full right of compensation under this Bill, and the arbitrator would not be able to take into consideration the agreement as to shooting rights, and therefore the tenant would get his compensation twice over. No body could say that that was a fair pro vision. Again, suppose that in a current tenancy agreement there was an express provision that a tenant should be entitled to certain compensation in the form of an abatement of rent or otherwise in satisfaction of any claim for damage that might be done by game. In such a case the covenant to pay so much compensation would not be void under the Bill, but the provision that the tenant should take that particular sum as full compensation for damage by game would be void as cutting down the tenant's right under this Bill. Therefore, although that agreement would be binding on the landlord, it would not be binding on the tenant. He hoped he had made it clear to the House that important points arose under this clause, and he trusted the Government would consider them.


pointed out that the Act of 1900 distinguished between improvements made before the Act and improvements made after the Act. Improvements might be made after the Act by a tenant under a lease, but he would get for that improvement compensation under the Act. Therefore he was quite right in his statement that the Act applied to existing tenantcies for it admitted the principle that in spite of the existing tenancy the right of the existing tenant could be enlarged by legislation.

LORD DALMENY (Edinburgh, Midlothian)

confessed that he had not quite understood the answer given by the Solicitor-General. He wished to know whether they would be able to discuss this question upon subsequent Amendments or whether those Amendments would be out of order. Everybody agreed that tenant farmers should be recompensed when damage was done, but he was sure nobody wanted compensation to be pad twice over.


Some Amendments will be in order and some will not. The Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. and gallant Member for Shropshire very largely raises the same point as this and probably there will be a further opportunity on that Amendment.

MR. J. P. MASON (Windsor)

said there were some points upon this question which seemed to him to require very careful consideration. He apologised to the House for quoting the custom of his own part of the country. In his own farm leases he had always inserted voluntarily a clause by which he bound himself to pay compensation for damage over a certain limited amount. He had done this from selfish motives because it paid him. He got higher rents in consequence, because the question of game damage was eliminated from the farmers' risk. He had another selfish object and that was to get the assistance of the farmer in the preservation of game. His tenants would have absolutely nothing to gain by this clause. There were many landlords who did not make the same arrangements as he did with his tenants and who had let their farms without any question of compensation, and those landlords had undoubtedly let their farms at rents below what they would otherwise have been able to obtain had they adopted his plan. He maintained that the tenants of the latter landlords would gain under this Bill, not only compensation, but also the advantage of the lower rents under which they were now holding their tenancies. Why should his tenants suffer or why should it be necessary to legislate to make him reduce his rent?


said they were all agreed with regard to the principle of this clause. He thought it was perfectly right that a tenant farmer should be compensated for any damage done by winged game, but it appeared to him that in this case they were going to get compensation twice over, The hon. and learned Gentleman had tried to bolster up his case by referring to the Act of 1900, but it should be remembered that that Act was carefully drawn with regard to existing contracts and limitations were carefully made. The draftsmen of this Bill could not be proud of their achievement. This was a case which might be fairly met without giving away the principle of the clause. While he was desirous that damage done by game should be fully compensated, he was not desirous of paying twice for that damage or for anything else. If the Government desired to facilitate the passage of this somewhat controversial Bill he could not see why they did not accept the Amendment.

MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)

said he had listened to this debate with great interest. It seemed to him that the position in which they found themselves was an extremely remarkable one. All who had taken part in the debate were agreed that where a tenant had suffered damage by game reasonable compensation was due to him. They were also agreed on both sides of the House that care should be taken that such compensation was not paid twice over. They were further agreed that under the clause as it now stood there was a real practical danger that, so far as existing contracts were concerned, the compensation might be paid twice over. Why, then, was it impossible for them to come to a general agreement on the matter? It seemed to him that the only reason was that the hon. Gentleman opposite thought it a point of honour to maintain a form of words which the Government had shown themselves unable by any means to defend. The clause as it now stood could not be defended. If it could have been defended the Solicitor-General would have done so. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said, not that it was a reasonable and fair provision and that it would work well, but that its provisions bore some analogy to the Act of 1900—an analogy which had been completely shattered by other speakers. If that was the position of the Solicitor-General what was the position of the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill? What contribution had he made to the discussion of this question, which, after all, was not primarily or mainly a legal question? It was a question more of country gentlemen's justice and equity. The hon. Baronet seemed to be so much enamoured of this new child of his that the slightest breath against it reduced him to a condition of gloomy silence. He was deserving of their sympathy. The position of the hon. Gentleman reminded him of the lines of Sir Walter Raleigh— Silence in love bewrays more woe Than words, though ne'er so witty: A beggar that is dumb, you know, May challenge double pity.

ME. PAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)

said the Amendment which they were now asked to adopt would be very unfair to existing tenants. [An HON. MEMBER: Why?] It was acknowledged that compensation should be given for damage done by game, but this Amendment would exclude tenants under existing leases from receiving compensation. He suggested that it would be perfectly easy to insert words in subsection (2) to make it clear that the arbitrator should have regard to any arrangement between landlord and tenant as to damage done by game. They could discuss this point when they came to the sub-section.

*MR. CARLILE (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

called attention to the fact that until a moment ago, when the Chancellor of the Duchy arrived, no member of the Cabinet had been in the House for some hours. It showed that the Cabinet was more or less indifferent to the subject under consideration. There was no desire on the part of sportsmen or landowners that the preservation of game should be a burden on the tenant farmer. Before entering into existing contracts tenants had been able to form an idea as to the amount of damage likely to arise from the preservation of game, and that had been taken into account in the fixing of the rent. Under this precious Bill, however, the reduction in the rent, amounting perhaps to 2s. 6d. or 5s. per acre, mutually agreed upon between landlord and tenant in consideration of the preservation of game, was to be ignored, and the tenant, who was perfectly satisfied, was to be placed at loggerheads with the landlord. A bone of contention was to be thrown down, between landlord and tenant, and they were to be forced to go to the expense of a yearly arbitration on this point. It was only fair that contracts now running should be continued on the present basis. The tenant made his agreement with his eyes open, but it was now proposed to tear up and destroy that contract and to make the poor landlord, who was already sufficiently badly off, pay compensation twice over. He supposed that the Government by this policy of meddling wanted to set landlords and tenants at loggerheads. They fancied that in some way they were going to squeeze a little advantage out for their own Party. If the Amendment was rejected the rents of the tenant farmers would be raised. [Laughter.] Hon. Members below the gangway laughed, but it was quite well known that if a farm became vacant in Scotland there were ten or twelve people wanting it. In England also there were a number of people willing to take vacant farms. If this Bill were passed rents would have to be revised, because landlords would not renew tenancies on the existing terms. They would say that this more or less iniquitous measure was hanging over their heads, and that they had to make themselves safe owing to the possibility of their having to pay compensation twice over. He had no objection to the clause if it were made to apply to new contracts, because then landlords and tenants would have the opportunity of seeing what their respective circumstances were, and, thoroughly understanding them, they could come mutually to an arrangement or go to arbitration. If under existing contracts tenant farmers got their farms at less than their real value, it was because of the preservation of game. But they had all sorts of other advantages in regard to the repairs of fences and obtaining timber from the woodlands. These were a set-off against the inconvenience arising from the preservation of game. Was it fair that the Government should step in, and, by this clause, destroy these arrangements? On every ground he hoped that the Government would accept the Amendment, so that existing contracts would be held outside the purview of the Bill, and tenant farmers who were quite able to understand their contracts and to make their own terms with their landlords would be allowed to carry out the undertakings which they have made with them.

*MR. WALTERS (Sheffield, Brightside)

said that whatever alteration was required in the clause, that suggested in the Amendment was the very worst that could be devised. It had been suggested that the clause provided the possibility, if not the probability, of compensation being paid twice, but the Amendment provided that for the next generation or so no compensation should be paid at all. As practically all the land in the kingdom was now in occupation it must follow from the Amendment that only when a tenant vacated it, or died, would compensation be payable. Many tenants had leases of fourteen or twenty-one years, and under the Amendment it would not be possible for tenants with such long leases to obtain compensation until those leases terminated. He thought, however, that some Amendment was needed in the clause. The real grievance put forward with regard to it was that when a tenant required compensation no notice might be taken by the arbitrator of agreements in existing tenancies. That was a real grievance. Why not put in words providing that when a claim was made under an existing tenancy the arbitrator might take notice of and make allowance for existing bargains as to damage by game? To his mind the Amendment before the House was an attempt to defeat compensation altogether. The words of the Amendment would have the effect of postponing the time when compensation could be paid to future tenancies. If his suggestion were accepted it would go far to meet the case.

MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)

wished to remind the House that the vast majority of tenancies in England were only held under a yearly agreement. It appeared that there was a general agreement on both sides of the House that compensation should be paid for damage caused by game, and also that they should avoid trivial claims for damage which introduced friction between landlord and tenant. He would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill that if the Government were so very 10th to accept the Amendment, which had received considerable support on both sides of the House, they should accept the Amendment standing in his name later on, which was to leave out from the-clause at line 8 all after ''damage," and insert ''as exceeds in amount the sum of one shilling per acre of his holding." He thought that that would meet the objection which many hon. Members had to the clause as it now stood; because-when a tenant went to take a farm and offered a rent which he thought he could afford to pay, knowing that a certain amount of game was reared on the farm which would do a certain amount of damage about which nothing was said, in the agreement—


said that the House would deal very shortly with the hon. Gentleman's Amendment, and some satisfactory arrangement might be come to which would meet his view. Therefore, the sooner the House came to the Amendment the better.


said that after that statement he would say no more at present.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 90; Noes, 349. (Division List No. 381.)

Anson, Sir William Reynell Fardell, Sir T. George Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fell, Arthur Nield, Herbert
Balcarres, Lord Finch, Rt. Hon. George D. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(City Lond.) Forster, Henry William Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Banbury. Sir Frederick George Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Percy, Earl
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Hambro, Charles Eric Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Remnant, James Farquharson
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hay, Hon. Claude George Roberts, S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Bowles, G. Stewart Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Edm'ds Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Bull, Sir William James Houston, Robert Paterson Salter, Arthur Clavell
Burdett-Coutts, W. Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Smith, F.E.(Liverpool, Walton)
Carlile, E. Hildred Kimber, Sir Henry Starkey. John R.
Castlereagh, Viscount King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffsh.)
Cave, George Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C.W. Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxfd Univ.
Cecil, Lord John P Joicey Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Cecil, Lord R. (Marbleyone, E.) Liddell, Henry Thornton, Percy M.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J.A. (Wore. Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham) Turnour, Viscount
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Cochrane. Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lowe, Sir Francis William Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E.R.)
Corbett, T. L.(Down, North) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Wortley, Rt. Hon C. B. Stuart-
Courthope, G. Loyd MacIver, David (Liverpool) Younger, George
Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) M'Calmont, Colonel James
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Magnus, Sir Philip TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Craik, Sir Henry Marks, H. H. (Kent) Alexander Acland-Hood and
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Mason, James F. (Windsor) Viscount Valentia.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Abraham, Wm. (Cork. N. E.) Beaumont, Hn. H. (Eastbourne) Byles, William Pollard
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Beaumont, Hn W.C.B.(Hexham) Cairns, Thomas
Acland, Francis Dyke Beck, A. Cecil Cameron, Robert
Agnew, George William Bellairs, Carlyon Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'r) Carr-Gomm, H. W.
Alden, Percy Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo) Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight
Allen, A. Acland(Christchurch) Berridge, T. H. D. Cawley, Frederick
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford) Channing, Francis Allston
Ambrose, Robert Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Cheetham, John Frederick
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire Churchill, Winston Spencer
Ashton, Thomas Gair Boland, John Clarke, C. Goddard
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Bolton, T.D.(Derbyshire, N.E. Cleland, J. W.
Astbury, John Meir Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Clough, William
Atherley-Jones, L. Branch, James Clynes, J. R.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Brigg, John Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)
Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.) Brooke, Stopford Cobbold, Felix Thornley
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Brunner, J.F.L.(Lancs, Leigh) Cooper, G. J.
Barker, John Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J.T.(Ghosh.) Corbett, CH(Sussex, E. Grinst'd)
Barlow, John Emmott (Somers't) Bryce, Rt. Hn. James(Aberdeen Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bryce, J. A.(Inverness Burghs) Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Barnard, E. B. Buckmaster, Thomas Ryburn Cowan, W. H.
Barnes, G. N. Buckmaster, Stanley O. Cox, Harold
Barran, Rowland Hirst Burke, E. Haviland- Cremer, William Randal
Beale, W. P. Burns, Rt. Hon. John Crombie, John William
Beauchamp, E. Buxton, Rt. Hn Sydney Chas. Crooks, William
Cross, Alexander Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Nuttall, Harry
Crossley, William J. Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid)
Dalmeny, Lord Horniman, Emslie John O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Hudson, Walter O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hyde, Clarendon O'Connor. T. P. (Liverpool)
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Idris, T. H. W. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Delany, William Illingworth, Percy H. O'Dowd. John
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Jackson, R. S. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Dickinson, W. K. (St. Pancras, N.) Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Jardine, Sir J. O'Mara, James
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Jenkins, J. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Dolan, Charles Joseph Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Shee, James John
Donelan, Captain A. Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Parker, James (Halifax)
Duckworth, James Jones, Leif (Appleby) Partington, Oswald
Duncan, C. Barrow-in-Furness) Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Paul, Herbert
Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Jowett, F. W. Paulton, James Mellor
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Joyce, Michael Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Dunne, Major E. Martin(Walsall) Kearley, Hudson E. Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Kekewich, Sir George Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Perks, Robert William
Elibank, Master of Kincaid-Smith, Captain Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)
Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Evans, Samuel T. Laildaw, Robert Pirie, Duncan V.
Eve, Harry Trelawney Lambert, George Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Everett, R. Lacey Lamont, Norman Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Faber, G. H. (Boston) Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington) Radford, G. H.
Fenwick. Charles Lehmann, R. C. Raphael, Herbert H.
Ferens, T. R. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Ferguson. R. C. Munro Levy, Maurice Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')
Ffrench, Peter Lough, Thomas Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lundon, W. Redmond, William (Clare)
Flynn, James Christopher Lupton, Arnold Rees. J. D.
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lyell, Charles Henry Rendall, Athelstan
Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Lynch, H. B. Renton, Major Leslie
Fuller, John Michael F. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs) Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n)
Fullerton, Hugh Mackarness, Frederic C. Richardson. A.
Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.) Maclean, Donald Rickett, J. Compton
Gibb, James (Harrow) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Ridsdale, E. A.
Gill. A. H. Macpherson, J. T. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Gladstone. Rt. Hn. Herbert John MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Glendinning, R. G. MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Glover, Thomas M'Callum, John M. Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)
Goddard, Daniel Ford M'Crae, George Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd)
Gooch, George Peabody M'Killop, W. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Grant, Corrie M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Robinson. S.
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) M'Micking, Major G. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Maddison, Frederick Roe, Sir Thomas
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Mallet, Charles E. Rogers, F. E. Newman
Gulland, John W. Markham, Arthur Basil Runciman. Walter
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Marks. G. Croydon (Launceston) Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Hall, Frederick Massie, J. Samuel. Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Hammond, John Masterman, C. F. G. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Meagher, Michael Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Meehan, Patrick A. Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne)
Hart-Davies, T. Menzies Walter Sears, J. E.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Molteno, Percy Alport Seaverns. J. H.
Harwood, George Money, L. G. Chiozza Seddon, J.
Haworth, Arthur A. Montagu, E. S. Seely, Major J. B.
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Montgomery, H. G. Shackleton, David James
Hemmerde, Edward George Mooney, J. J. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Morrell, Philip Silcock, Thomas Ball
Henry, Charles S. Morse, L. L. Sinclair. Rt. Hon. John
Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.) Murphy, John Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Murray, James Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Higham, John Sharp Myer, Horatio Snowden, P.
Hobart, Sir Robert Newnes, Sir George (Swansea) Soares, Ernest J.
Hodge, John Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncast'r) Spicer, Sir Albert
Hogan, Michael Norman, Henry Stanger, H. Y.
Holland, Sir William Henry Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Hooper, A. G. Nussey, Thomas Willans Steadman, W. C.
Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Wadsworth, J. Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Strachey, Sir Edward Walker, H. De. R.(Leicester) Wiles, Thomas
Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wallace, Robert Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Stuart, James (Sunderland) Walsh, Stephen Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Sullivan, Donal Walters, John Tudor Wills, Arthur Walters
Summerbell, T. Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.) Wilson, Hn. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Sutherland, J. K. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent) Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh, N.)
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radeliffe) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Tennant, Sir Edward(Salisbury) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Winfrey, R.
Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Waterlow, D. S. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Watt, H. Anderson Woodhouse, Sir J. T.(Huddersf'd)
Thomasson, Franklin Wedgwood, Josiah C. Young, Samuel
Tomkinson, James Weir, James Galloway Yoxall, James Henry
Torrance, Sir A. M. Whitbread, Howard
Toulmin, George White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Trevelyan, Charles Philips White, Luke (York, E. R.) Whiteley and Mr. J. A
Ure, Alexander White, Patrick (Meath, North) Pease.
Verney, F. W. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)

moved to leave out the word "any" before the word "damage" and said that after the few words that they had heard from the Solicitor-General there seemed to be some chance of the Government's accepting the Amendment. His object in moving to leave out this word was to prevent any trivial damage being taken into account. He did not want the tenant to have compensation twice over, and frequently he already received a certain amount of compensation from the lowness of the rent he paid. He also proposed later on to insert words which would indicate the amount of compensation. He believed that when a tenant took a farm, the only calculation he made as to damage was 1s. an acre for the whole holding, and he proposed that compensation should be payable when it exceeded that amount; but, of course if the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill did not agree with that figure it could be altered. He proposed to move, however, that a provision as to compensation over 1s. per acre should be inserted.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 5, to leave out the word any.' "—(Mr. Hicks Beach.)

Question proposed, "That the word any stand part of the clause."


said he agreed with most of what the hon. Member said. It appeared to be the general Reeling that there ought to be some minimum, and he agreed to the necessity of putting one in. If the hon. Member would withdraw his Amendment, he was prepared to move later that compensation should be given in regard to damage "if it exceeds in amount the sum of 1s per acre of the area over which the damage extends."

MR. ABEL SMITH (Hertfordshire, Hertford)

said they desired to give compensation to a tenant in serious cases of damage, but not to give him. compensation when the claim was frivolous. It appeared to him that the suggestion of the hon. Baronet did not meet the case. If it was agreed that 1s. an acre was a reasonable amount, it would apply to small holdings and large holdings alike, and he did not think it was necessary in an arbitration to go into details as to the exact area over which the damage extended. He therefore thought the Amendment proposed by his hon. friend was better than that of the hon. Baronet.


said this Bill had been so badly drafted that it was impossible to remedy it. He did not think the Amendment was a good one. Suppose there was a tenant of l,000 acres, 10 acres of which had been damaged, the 1s. an acre on 1,000 acres was £50. It was not likely that the whole 1,000 acres would be damaged, so that that tenant would be precluded from getting compensation, whereas the tenant of 100 acres might get £5.


said that if damage to the extent of 1s. was done to a single acre then an action would lie. If it was less than 1s. an action would not lie. The intention was to make a minimum. That was his intention when he put down the Amendment to make it 20s. In Scotland it was 40s. He thought there should be some limit and he was satisfied with the Amendment moved.

MR. LAMBTON (Durham, S.E.)

said he supported the Amendment that the word "any" be left out as it conduced to the better drafting of the Bill.


on a point of order, asked whether the discussion or the carrying of this Amendment would imperil any of the discussions that might come later. He did not see that the word was necessary, and it might be left out without prejudice to any of the discussions that might follow.


said he did not think that either by the acceptance or the rejection of the Amendment the debate on any subsequent Amendment would be affected.


said that being so he imagined it would be well for the Government to accept this Amendment, otherwise they might be led into one of those sporadic discussions which settled nothing.


assented. Amendment agreed to.

MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)

wished to insert after "damage" the following proviso, "(other than damage by hares and rabbits to moorlands and unenclosed lands)." He asked whether it was intended to deal with ground game under this clause. The Solicitor-General for Scotland would be aware that that had been already dealt with this session. Under the principal Act of 1880 there was a certain restriction in regard to moorlands and the time when it was lawful to kill hares and rabbits. There were now only three months in the year when a tenant had not a lawful right to kill hares and rabbits, and he thought it would be a mistake by this Bill to interfere with the sacred rights of shooting which brought so much prosperity to the people of the Highlands.


seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 5, after the word ' damage,' to insert the words, ' other than damage by hares and rabbits to moorlands and unenclosed lands." — [Mr. Cochrane.)

Question proposed "That those words be there inserted."


said the proposals in this Bill would not in any way affect the ground game.

AN HON. MEMBER thought the mover of the Amendment was under a misapprehension. The Act of 1877 gave compensation for all damage done by ground game, and in 1880 the tenants were prohibited from killing during three months of the year. The Act passed this year only shortened the time when the tenant was prohibited from killing ground game. If this Bill was passed it would take away from the Scottish tenant something which he had had since 1877. He did not think that was the intention of the Government, and with great submission he thought this was a matter which might very well be left alone.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


moved to amend the clause so as to limit the compensation to be paid to the tenant to damage committed by game "reared on the estate of the landlord." He thought the object of the Amendment was so self-evident that he would content himself with an illustration of the case it was intended to deal with. A tenant had a farm adjoining the land of another landlord. On that land was a wood in which the landowner reared a large quantity of pheasants. If those pheasants strayed on to the farm of the man who rented from another landlord, the result would be that as the tenant had no lawful right to kill on his land he could under this Bill recover compensation from his own landlord. His landlord did not rear the pheasants or have the shooting, and he could not say to his neighbour: "You must not rear pheasants because they come on to the land of my tenant and I have to pay compensation." That was what might occur under this Bill. He begged to move.


seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 6, after the word ' game,' insert the. words, 'reared on the estate of his landlord.' "—(Sir Frederick Banbury.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said that what the hon. Baronet proposed was that where the landlord's neighbour reared a large head of pheasants which came on to the land of his tenant, the tenant whose crops were eaten up should receive no compensation at all.


thought he should not be able to recover compensation from his own landlord.


asked whether hon. Gentlemen opposite argued that because the game came from a spot a hundred yards off the landlord's property the tenant must not receive any compensation? That was ridiculous. What good was it to say to a tenant who had sustained damage in this way: "I am sorry, but I do not rear pheasants, but my neighbour rears a large number of them, and they come over on to my land but I forbid you to kill them? "Why did he forbid the tenant to kill them? Either because he wanted the shooting himself or because he was afraid his neighbour would think he was doing an unfriendly act if he allowed his tenant to kill the game. It did not matter so much where the birds came from; what they had to deal with, was where the birds happened to be at the particular moment and what damage they were doing. The Amend- ment seemed to be simply a case of splitting hairs.


said the hon. Baronet seemed to have missed the point. If the tenant had not a lawful right to kill the pheasants when they were doing the damage—that was when the crops were growing and before they were ripe— how could he deal with the question? It seemed to him that his landlord would become liable for such damage. What was required was that they should give the tenant some remedy, and it should not be against his own landlord who did not grow game, but against the man who did grow the game.


said in that case the landlord had a remedy under the common law.


asked why that was not inserted in the Bill? Let them suppose that a landlord owning a field in the neighbourhood of another large landlord who grew pheasants was proceeded against. He could see no provision which would enable that landlord to recover from anybody else. He would take the case of a landlord in Scotland who had property, say half a mile from a grouse moor, where his tenants' crops remained out late, owing to the inclemency of the weather, and the flocks of grouse came down upon his crops. Was that tenant's remedy against the landlord who had not a grouse of his own upon his property? Those were points to which the hon. Baronet had not given full consideration. He thought the Secretary for Scotland ought to be present to give them the benefit of his advice. Crops did not remain out so long in England as in Scotland, and perhaps this evil of grouse coming down in large numbers from the hills and committing considerable damage amongst the crops did not arise so much. But was it fair or right that the landlord who had not a single grouse on his property should be responsible for the damage done by grouse which came from long distances? Surely the Government could introduce an Amendment to clear up that grievance.


said he had considerable sympathy with this Amendment, because it was a serious thing that a landlord should have to pay damage for game which he had not reared. At the same time he agreed it would be hard to take away from the tenant all chance of getting compensation. It should not be forgotten, however, that the person who was entitled to kill the game was the landlord, because all the pheasants on his land became his property. He thought they might meet the difficulty by inserting such words as "or the person causing such damage." He thought that would be fair to both land lord.and tenant.


said the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill had informed them that this was a hair-splitting Amendment. It was nothing of the kind. The difficulty arose from the fact that the landlord expected to pay the damage was not the man who had caused it, but someone else altogether. Why were they going to provide this remedy against the man who had not caused the tort and who could not prevent the wrong? The hon. Baronet had balked about hair-splitting, and he had given the House to understand that if the landlord acted with common consideration he could give to the tenant the right to kill the game, and then he would not need to ask for damages. It had already been pointed out that nobody had a right to kill the game during those particular months when the damage was being done. How did the hon. Baronet answer that argument By an interruption in which he said there was a common law remedy. Was it a common law remedy for the farmer or the landlord? Had the farmer who suffered the right to claim from his neighbouring landlord? Not at all. The man who had the right to claim was the tenant. The suggestion of the Government was that the tenant should have the right to claim damages against his own landlord for something his own landlord did not do and could not help, and the tenant was still to retain his common law rights against the neighbouring landlord. Did this not point to a difficulty for which a remedy must be found I If the common law were sufficient, why should they not accept the Amendment and allow the tenant who suffered to extract damages not from his own landlord who had done no wrong, but from his neighbouring landlord who had done the wrong? If there was no adequate remedy at common law the Government should provide such a remedy as would carry out the suggestion of the hon. Member who had just sat down, and enable the tenant to obtain his damages from the man who had caused it. That was plain common sense. The Bill did not carry out that policy. He hoped some member of the Government would either suggest some way out of the difficulty or give the House some better defence for leaving the Bill as it was at the present time.


said the damage one man might receive or the advantage he might obtain from his neighbour's pheasants was one of the most tender subjects in public life. It seemed to him that the way to meet the case was to allow the advantage to go to the person who received the damage. The person who received the damage was the farmer who found his crops injured by pheasants coming from land which did not belong to his landlord, and this Bill dealt with his case when he received damage from game that he had not the lawful right to kill. Let them give him the lawful right to kill. Who prevented his having the lawful right to kill? His landlord. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] If the tenant was injured during the close season, let him recoup himself with the pheasants he killed after the close season. His memory went back far in regard to game questions. In the early seventies, when people were groping their way towards the prevention of damage by ground game—no one would have been so profane then as to meddle with winged game—it was argued that a hare was a most movable animal and scoured the country in search of food; and he remembered an hon. Member of the House suggesting that every hare should bear either the crest or the monogram of the man on whose land it was bred. If a farmer's land lay close to a wood which did not belong to his landlord and he suffered through the pheasants that came out of the wood, they would come out of the wood after the close season, and if the tenant had the right to shoot, he could shoot them. If he had not the right to shoot, let the landlord make good the damage. The landlord caused the damage by putting his tenant in that position.


said he was sure the House was grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his reluctant intervention in the debate. He had, at all events, added to the gaiety of the proceedings, and he had also made a most instructive speech. The right hon. Gentleman had said, "Let the advantage go to the same person who receives the damage." That was common ground. Ought it not equally to be common ground that the compensation should be paid by the person who inflicted the damage? It was the natural corollary of that principle that the person who sustained the damage should receive the compensation and that the person who inflicted it should pay for it. That was the object of the Amendment, and the only question was whether it was best secured by the Amendment or by the arbitrary action recommended by the Prime Minister. What was the Prime Minister's recommendation? The right hon. Gentleman had said that when damage was done to the crops of a tenant of landlord B by the pheasants of landlord A during the close season when nobody-had the right to kill the birds, it would, be sufficient satisfaction to landlord B, against whom the tenant was, under the Bill, to have the right to claim compensation, to kill pheasants after 1st October which landlord A had reared, and which, if it had depended on landlord B, would, perhaps, never have been roared.

MR. H. J. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

The landlord does not rear them, but the tenant, or at any rate the tenant foods them. That is the point.


The right hon. Gentleman held that the right to kill pheasants after 1st October was sufficient compensation for damage done before that date. Then let them give the tenant the right to kill pheasants after 1st October, but not the right to claim compensation against his landlord who had not inflicted any damage upon him. This was very important and perhaps he might press it a little further. The Prime Minister said, "Give the tenant the right to shoot." If he had the right to shoot after 1st October, did the right hon. Gentleman propose he should have no claim for damage done before 1st October? It was not the landlord who prevented his tenant from shooting during the close season, but the law of the land.


It might not be identically the same pheasant that did damage in August that the tenant would shoot in October, but it would be one of the pheasants that came out of the same wood, and surely that would be some compensation for the damage done.


said they wanted to give the tenant all the compensation he was entitled to, but they wished it to be paid by the man who did him the wrong. The right hon. Gentleman's proposal was that it should be paid by some person who could not have prevented the wrong. Was ever a more preposterous proposal put forward by a Government or a Prime Minister than that a man should pay damage for a wrong which he could not prevent, and that a tenant should recoup himself months afterwards by destroying the property of his neighbour? If that was the only contribution the Prime Minister could make to the solution of this question, he was afraid he could not congratulate him on the results of his intervention.

MR. A. DEWAR (Edinburgh, S.)

said it appeared to him that the right hon. Gentleman opposite had neglected to read the clause with which they were dealing, for he had reiterated time after time the point as to how could the tenant have the right to shoot in the close season. This clause only applied to those tenants who had no right to shoot at any time of the year. If the tenant had the right to shoot on the 1st October this clause would not apply, for it only applied "where the tenant has sustained any damage from game that he has not the lawful right to kill." It was a mere fiction to say that the game did not belong to the landlord on whose ground it was feeding, because the moment game put foot on the land it became the property of the landlord. Hon. Members might laugh, but they did not know that thousands of partridges were brought over every year from Hungary and sent to different parts of the country. They hopped through the hedge to feed in fields which did not belong to the landlords who owned the birds. It was the easiest thing in the world to do, although it was unsportsmanlike, and, if it was done, it ought not to be at the expense of the tenant. Grouse were caught in nets by thousands. He would vote against the Amendment.

VISCOUNT HELMSLEY (Yorkshire, N.K., Thirsk)

said that the speeches which had been made showed what a delightful prospect was before those who had to live in the country when this ill-drafted legislation was carried into effect. He would like to point out that the remedy which the landlord apparently had, according to the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill, to give the tenant the right to kill game on his land, was in reality no remedy at all. That was the case not only because of the close season, but because it was not easy for one man to keep down game that might invade his fields from the cover of a neighbouring wood. The tenant might go out day after day, and night after night, and kill an odd pheasant or two, but as soon as he went away the pheasants from the wood would return to the field where they had boon before. To say that a landlord could protect himself by giving the tenant a right to shoot was to say a thing anybody who knew anything about the habits of pheasants, especially when they were poaching, would consider most extraordinary. The Prime Minister had given expression to a very remarkable doctrine, namely, "That the man who had suffered damage should get the remedy, no matter from whom." That was a delightful sentiment. An exact analogy to that was to say that if anybody stole a man's purse that man would be entitled to take the purse of the first person he met, regardless of whether that person took the purse or not. He thought the Prime Minister or the hon. Baronet might devise some other means of getting over the difficulty which would be free from the objections to which this method was subject.


said a good deal of time had been wasted on this Amendment The muddle into which the House had got might be cleared up by a few plain words of elucidation from him. The Prime Minister, if he might be allowed to say so most respectfully, had just delivered the true and just solution of this difficulty. His suggestion was that where there came on a landlord's property birds which he had not reared, and which interfered with and damaged his tenant's crops, the landlord should say to his tenant, "I am not responsible for those birds; I have not reared them, but if they come and feed on your crops on my land you are at perfect liberty to shoot them." [An HON. MEMBER: In the close season?] He knew just as much about the close season as the hon. Member who interrupted, and he dared say that he had shot just as many birds. Of course, the tenants would not shoot in the close-season. Even tenants were too good sportsmen for that. He did not know what sort of shots the tenants were whom the noble Viscount supposed would only got a bird now and then after being out all day, and all night, too, he supposed, on the field, but he believed that tenants generally were as likely to be as good shots-and as good sportsmen as any noble Lord. The right hon. Gentleman who had been Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, therefore, knew all about pheasant shooting, suggested that the damage was all done by invading armies of birds in the spring time and all through the summer, and that, therefore, it was impossible for the tenant to protect himself in the manner suggested by the Prime -Minister. If the birds came on his land in sufficient quantities to do any considerable damage, the tenant would be able to make a very good thing out of them if he sold them instead of carrying out the time-honoured custom in this country of laying at the feet of the landlord everything in the shape of game. The Prime Minister had in this matter shown himself to be a thoroughly good sportsman, and had made a suggestion which ought in all fairness to be adopted by the House. At the same time he was bound to say that the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, whom he had had the pleasure of seeing that morning in the well-preserved district of Lombard Street, had drawn too strong a picture of the landlord who did not like pheasants, could not stand the sight of a grouse, would not be seen on the same side of a paddock with a partridge, and could not stand game except on his table. There were few landlords like that, and the case supposed was far fetched, but was amply met by the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman. Let the man whose crops were eaten by the birds, shoot them, sell them, and put the money in his pocket.


said the whole of this subject was discussed very fully upstairs, and the conclusion generally arrived at by the Committee was that it would be extremely difficult for the tenant to get his compensation if he could not got it from his landlord. He admitted that there were some cases whore it was desirable that the tenants should be able to claim from the neighbouring landlord, and that one landlord should be able to claim from another, but he believed that that was not so simple a matter as appeared to have been supposed. If that Amendment in the law could be made, it would be extremely useful, not merely in respect of winged game, but of ground game also. It seemed to be the practice in the Midlands, and in Yorkshire also, to have pheasants as near the march as possible. In Scotland pheasants were generally kept away from the march, and in the months of August and September, there were not, as a rule, many birds off the property on which they were reared. He did not know why birds should be kept near the march unless it was that they might eat the crops on the neighbouring land. Grouse was a very valuable bird and people who had that bird were generally ready to pay compensation for the damage it did. Certainly grouse could be easily shot not only in September, but even in August, if they came out upon an early crop. The class of cases which would arise to be dealt with under these proposals were extremely limited, and, therefore, this was a far fetched Amendment. There were some clauses in the Bill which he did not greatly admire, as he did not think they had been well drawn, but he did not consider that this one need be materially altered.


thought that this was a very bad Amendment, and the arguments against it were almost worse. It was an impossible Amendment, but the subject ought to receive more consideration, and should be dealt with in quite a different way. A landlord might not be able to prevent damage being done by game reared on another estate, and why should he be made responsible for it? The way out of the difficulty would be that the landlord should receive compensation for the damage from the owner of the neighbouring estate and hand it over to the tenant.

MR. OSMOND WILLIAMS (Merionethshire)

said it appeared to him that they were discussing a matter which would scarcely arise. No one reared pheasants near the border of his neighbour's property.

COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)

asked the Prime Minister's attention to a little difficulty in his suggested mode of dealing with the matter. He was certain that the right hon. Gentleman had not seriously thought out the proposition he had made. The tenant must have suffered considerable damage in March and April from pheasants which had crossed the boundary of his farm from a neighbouring estate, but the birds, which were not incapable of flying or moving, might not wait until the 1st October for the tenant to have a shot at them, and therefore the tenant might be unable to recoup himself for the loss sustained in the early part of the year by shooting the pheasants. Besides, the tenant would have to take out a game licence, which cost £3, before he was entitled to shoot.


The tenant can shoot a lot with a £1 licence.


said that any rate the tenant would have to pay a certain amount for a licence, and in all probability he would not be able to recoup himself for his expense and loss, He did not think the Prime Minister had realised that difficulty. They on that side of the House believed that considerable damage might be done to a tenant by the presence of game; they desired that the tenant should receive compensation, but that compensation should be paid by the owners of the birds which did the damage. He thought that was in the interests of fair play.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)

pointed out that the right to shoot which the Prime Minister proposed to confer on the tenants was the must valuable means of insisting on compensation. He hoped that the Amendment, which was obviously absurd, would not be pressed, because it would compel the tenant to identify the birds before he got his compensation.

Question put, and negatived.


moved an Amendment providing that where the tenant had sustained any damage from game that "neither he nor anyone claiming under him has" the lawful right to kill he should be entitled to compensation from his landlord for the damage caused. He had considered the words of the Amendment of the hon. Member opposite, but he did not think that they would attain the object they had in view. The object of the Amendment was to meet the case of a tenant depriving himself of the right to kill the game, though claiming compensation from the landlord.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 6, after the word 'that' to leave out the words 'he has not' and insert the words ' neither he, nor anyone claiming under him has.'" —(The Solicitor-General.)


said that he had a somewhat similar Amendment on the Paper, and that just moved by the Solicitor General met one of the points of his Amendment. Under the Bill as it stood a tenant might deprive himself by agreement of the right to shoot game, and might afterwards claim compensation from his landlord for damage done by the tenant's own lessee; and the Amendment before the House was, no doubt, intended to provide for this contingency. But he did not think the Amendment of the Solicitor-General quite covered the whole ground, and he preferred his own Amendment, namely, after the word "that" to insert "by reason of the terms of his tenancy."

*SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)

was not quite sure that the Amendment of his hon. friend quite covered the case of where a landlord did not reserve the right to preserve the game. The Amendment of the Solicitor- General had met the case he himself had in view and would remove the necessity of his moving an Amendment he had later on the Paper.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

said that the Solicitor-General proposed by his Amendment to confine the right of a tenant to recover compensation in a case where neither he nor anyone claiming under him had the lawful right to kill. Normally the tenant had the right to kill the game, but by contract he might have deprived himself of that right. But the Amendment might be applied to the case of a landlord who took over the shooting rights from the tenant and actually became his lessee. It appeared to him that in such a case the effect of the clause would be destroyed.


said there were very few cases in which the landlord claimed the right to kill game under a right reserved to him by his tenant.


said a landlord might in the first instance give a right to the tenant in regard to game, and then try to take that back again under a separate agreement. The tenant would, in that case, contract himself out of the Act, and the clause would be null and void. He hoped that this matter would receive the attention of the Government.


said that if the landlord had reserved the game, it was not the case that the game had been assigned to the tenant by the landlord. Therefore, he did not claim under the tenant at all.


said the effect of the clause might be that at certain times of the year neither the tenant, nor anyone claiming under him, nor the landlord, had any right to kill, and therefore although the damage was sustained at that time of the year, although the landlord would have no right to kill, the tenant might have the right to claim compensation from the landlord. If the Solicitor-General would add some other words, clearing this up, it would be more satisfactory.


said there was no danger of the clause being rendered null and void, if after "him" the words "other than his landlord," were inserted in the Amendment.


said this was a curious technical point. There was no difference of opinion as to what should be done, but it was simply a question of legal interpretation, on which he would not trouble the House. The House would, however, be glad to hear from the Solicitor-General, in a more explicit form, what was to be understood from his utterance across the floor of the House in the form of an ejaculatory remark. Although the hon. and learned Gentleman had lost his right to speak again he was sure the House would be glad to hear him. The point was that by the ordinary law the tenant had the right to kill game, and the landlord if he claimed it, in the case of a new tenant, might come into the category of those who claimed it under the tenant. He dared say the point was wrong, but they had not heard where it was wrong.


said it would be a very remarkable landlord who instead of reserving the game to himself allowed his tenant to have it, knowing that he would become a person claiming under. the tenant and would have to pay compensation. That was what he failed to appreciate. It was suggested that the landlord might enter into a contract with his tenant to take his game from the tenant, and therefore he would claim under the tenant. One could only provide for practical people, and to have to provide for a landlord of that kind was he thought unreasonable.


said his hon. friend was not seeking to protect the landlords, but was asking whether by a side wind the Government would not destroy the right of the tenant to compensation.




said the suggestion was that the right to shoot the game resting with the tenant, the landlord provided for a reservation, the contract not being em- bodied in the same contract which let the land. He could conceive of the case of a separate contract. The landlord made a contract to let his land and the tenant gave him the right to kill game. The hon. Gentleman wished to reserve for the tenant the right of compensation, and clearly he ought to have the right to compensation.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

did not think that as regarded the Amendment they found themselves in a very real discussion. He thought the whole House was agreed as to what their object was, but the difficulty was that there would be attempts to evade the operation of the clause when a new tenant was obtained. It would be possible for the landlord to let the land to the tenant and take an agreement from the tenant letting him the game rights at the same time.


said he was obliged for the suggestion of his hon. friend the Member for Cardiff to insert in the Amendment the words "other than his landlord." Those words might make the matter perfectly clear.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— After the word ' him ' 'to insert ' other than his landlord."—(Sir W. Robson.)

Words, as amended, inserted in the Bill.


moved to insert after the word "kill" the words "or is unable to kill." That would meet the point of hon. Members opposite about the close time; it would also meet the point when the pheasants came out of covert and ran back before they could be shot. It would, lastly, deal with the case of hates which, like this House, did their damage at night. He hoped the hon. and learned Gentlemen would accept the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 6, after the word kill,' to insert the words, ' or is unable to kill.' "— (Sir Brampton Gurdon.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said he was afraid the words were a little too vague, and he could not accept the Amendment.


agreed that the language of the Amendment was rather vague and seemed to point to protection from indifferent shots rather than the protection its mover had in view. He submitted, however, that though the words were too loose, it did not follow that the Government could not deal with the substance of the Amendment. Other words could be found. It was a mere matter of drafting.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


moved to amend the clause so that it should read, "Where the tenant has sustained damage to his crops from game that he has not a lawful right to kill, the provisions of the Game Laws Amendment (Scotland) Act, 1877, shall apply." He said as this was the first of a series of Amendments that it was his duty to move, he desired to say candidly, and at once, that recognising the changed conditions under which the House was discussing this Bill, and recognising that it was now taken over by the Government who had power to pass it into law, the Amendments he proposed were moved with the object of making it a better Bill, and not with the object of wasting time. When the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill opened the discussion on Clause 2, he did so in very temperate language. He said— The object of this clause is to prevent excessive game preservation, except when compensation is paid to the tenant. He (Colonel Kenyon-Slaney) accepted that. That was the position that all wanted to arrive at, and it was in order that that position might be reached in the straightest and simplest fashion that he should put his Amendments to the Government. The landlords of the country were specially likely to agree, because of their intense desire to preserve such relations with their future tenants as they now had with the present tenants, and because they knew perfectly well that any attempt to resist the system would be to lower the value of agricultural land and disorganise the present system of agricultural tenancies. In short, they would not if they could and they could not if they would. There was another matter to which he was sorry to have to refer. There had been other words used besides those of the hon. Baronet to which he must call attention. The noble Lord the President of the Board of Agriculture had had a good deal to say about this Bill. He was about to quote from a newspaper report, and nobody would be more glad than he if anyone could get up and say that the report was not accurate or that it did not represent what was said. In a speech which the noble Lord made recently at the Westminster Palace Hotel he was reported to have spoken as follows— Above all they desire to retain the power of the landlords to dump down on the land any amount of winged game, which the tenants have no right to shoot, without any compensation being paid. A more unjust and unfair travesty of the action of the landlords of this country had never been uttered by a public man. He was very sorry that the noble Lord should have stooped to use such language, which was unworthy of him. In so doing he had made an ignoble use of his rank as a peer of the realm and his position as a member of the Government. If those words were correctly reported they were utterly opposed to the facts. They were absolutely repudiated on all sides, and no fair-minded man would attribute to the landlords the wish of which the noble Lord chose to speak in this way. The present law of England was that where the landlord reserved the right of shooting that he had the right to maintain upon the land the normal and natural amount of game without having to pay compensation, and that wherever there was an artificial increase of game to the extent of doing damage the tenant had a right to sue the landlord in the county court. The Bill in its present shape abolished that right, and set up a right in the tenant to claim compensation for damage for not only an excessive amount of game but for any game which might exist on the tenant's holding. That was a very large change, and had an aspect more far-reaching than was apparent at first sight. One result of the abolition of this right of the landlord would be many disputes, much litigation, and considerable ill-feeling engendered among those who now trusted and knew one another. It would also lead to an enormous diminution in the value of the sporting rights. He did not know exactly what was the value of the sporting rights, but it was many millions, and he wanted hon. Members to realise that by this Bill they would take from those who possessed them not only sporting rights of enormous value or diminish them to a great extent, but they would diminish the saleable value of the land and the rental value of the sporting lights. Another effect that this Bill would have, as it now stood, would be on the rates, which would be felt by the tenant farmer much more than by the landlord. If they diminished the value of the sporting rights of the landlords they would diminish the rates they paid, and the difference would fall on the occupiers of the land. One result of his Amendment would be to remedy those mistakes. There was also the effect upon employment in rural districts, which in winter months was very much enhanced by the present system, of a certain amount of game preservation. If such results as he had pointed out were likely to flow from the Bill in its present state they were in rather an unfortunate position, and if it were shown that a proposal were put forward showing that they could get out of that position and still achieve the object of preventing excessive game preservation, except when compensation was paid to the tenant, the proposal would be deserving of consideration. His suggestion was that they should accept in lieu of this clause practically the provisions of the Game Laws Amendment (Scotland) Act, 1897. The provisions of that Act were that when a landlord and a tenant were negotiating for the letting and taking of a farm the landlord agreed to let the land at a less amount than he would otherwise do in consideration of reserving the right to retain a certain amount of game on the holding. If the tenant thought the landlord had increased the number of his game so that they did damage in excess of the compensation agreed upon, it was within his right at the expiration of any year to give notice in writing to his landlord to go to arbitration, if need be, to assess the greater damages he thought had accrued. This proposal carried with it all the aspirations to which hon. Members in all parts of the House had given utterance in regard to this Bill. It would disencumber the Bill of a great number of tiresome Amendments which would otherwise be brought forward, and it would strengthen the position and hasten the process by which the tenant could get compensation. The tendency under such an arrangement as he proposed would be. to raise the sporting rent and lower the agricultural rent. He could only conceive the possibility of one objection being taken to the Amendment, and that would no doubt come from those who thought that to maintain any freedom of contract between owner and occupier was a wrong thing. There was not an hon. Member on the other side who would like to abolish freedom of contract in commerce or business. Then why should they seek to abolish it in regard to agricultural matters, which many people were always saying should be removed further and further from sentiment and put more on commercial lines? The abolition of freedom of contract was the last thing farmers desired. He had had frequent conversations with farmers, and he was assured that they were most anxious to retain the freedom of making their own contracts with the landlords, because they made better terms. Another hope they had expressed was that the House of Commons would do nothing to limit the inclination of landlords to spend as largely as possible on their estates. This Amendment would go a considerable way in simplifying the law and in unifying it with that of Scotland; and if he were also right in saying it would improve the position of the tenant in regard to game and give him greater benefits and safeguards, besides generally carrying out more effectively the objects of the promoters of the Bill, he thought he had put forward a good claim. He begged to move.

*MR. STAVELEY-HILL (Staffordshire, Kingswinford)

seconded the Amendment. They all wanted to deal with this question of compensation fairly in cases where there was an excessive quantity of game preserved, and were desirous that arrangements made for compensation should be as simple as possible. He trusted therefore that the Government would accept the Amendment to simplify the measure. The farmers, at any rate in Staffordshire, would prefer to make their arrangements with their landlords rather than have arrangements made for them at Westminster, and he thought the Amendment would have everyone's approval. It would have the advantage of unifying the law of England and Scotland.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 6, to leave out all after the word 'kill,' and to insert the words ' Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7, of The Game Laws Amendment (Scotland) Act, 1877, shall apply.'"—(Colonel Kenyon-Slaney.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'he shall' stand part of the Bill."


said that being a north-countryman and a practiser in the Courts of Scotland he would say that there was no system of jurisprudence to compare with the Scottish. But everything in its place. The first of the four clauses proposed to be inserted by the right hon. Gentleman prescribed a minimum sum beyond which the damage to game must extend if there was to be any claim on the part of the lessee against the lessor. There was, however, on the Paper in the name of one of the right hon. Gentleman's own friends an Amendment which was to be accepted bv the Government, and that disposed of Clause 4 which the right hon. Gentleman wished to import. The next clause that the right hon. Gentleman desired to import from the Scottish Statute was one providing for the tenant giving notice to his landlord of a claim for damages if he intended to make one. This Bill contained a provision to that effect. Furthermore the Act of 1877 was wholly inapplicable to the present state of affairs, because at that time the tenant had not the right to ground game, and the clause enjoined a tenant, if he wanted to make a claim for damages in respect of injury done by ground game, to give notice to his landlord. The next clause provided a mode of settling the claim, and really the object of this Amendment was to import the Scottish system for the purpose of ascertaining the damage. The system under the Act of 1877 was one under which if both landlord and tenant agreed in writing they might refer the claim to arbitration. How could the House, after having passed a clause which declared that every claim should be referred to a single arbitrator, import provisions which said that a landlord and tenant should go to arbitration if they agreed to do so? Supposing landlord and tenant did not agree to refer disputes to arbitration, under the Act of 1877, the alternative then was that the tenant must go to the Sheriff Court in Scotland. Did the right hon. Gentleman suggest that if a Suffolk farmer made a claim against his landlord he must go to the Sheriff Court in Scotland? That was the effect of the Amendment. He was not speaking deprecatory of the Act of 1877, which was very reasonable thirty years ago, but it was antiquated and obsolete, and was superseded by this Bill. The Government had taken the best part of the Act of 1877, and imported it into this Bill, but they were now asked to import into the measure a code of procedure worse than, and entirely different from, that already adopted. Of course, the right hon. Gentleman did not mean that the English and Welsh tenants should be required to have their claims sent to be disposed of in the Sheriff Courts of Scotland. What he meant was that he should like to have the claims sent to the County Courts. Had not the Legislature deliberately in 1883 and 1890 decided that all these claims should be disposed of out of Court before an intelligent arbitrator as cheaply and speedily as possible? Here the right hon. Gentleman was seeking to set the law back to where it was before 1883, and to involve landlords and tenants in prolonged litigation. The Government could not possibly accept the Amendment.


said he was sorry to hear that the Government was unable to accept the Amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman had presented a spectacle which drew forth the sympathy of his brother Scots. He had represented himself as an enthusiastic believer in the better construction of the Scottish Acts of Parliament, as compared with those of England. In Scotland landlords and tenants had had the experience of an Act which had been in operation for the last twenty years. Sub-sections (a) and (b) of the clause now before them had a very familiar ring, and that was because they embodied the substance of the two similar sub-sections which appeared in the Scottish Act of 1877. He was pleased to find that they had been drafted by the hon. and learned Gentleman, but one swallow did not make a summer, and one good feature in a clause did not make the whole clause good. The Scottish Act of 1877 was a far better Act than this Bill would ever be. In the first place it enabled agreements to be made between landlord and tenant, and that was very desirable. But if they did not make any agreement matters in dispute fell to be dealt with under Section 4, which he ventured to say provided a far better form of procedure than that proposed by this Bill, even if the Amendment was adopted to substitute the sum of 1s. per acre for an indefinite sum. If the Amendment were accepted it seemed to him that the tenant would have to prove damage amounting to 1s. per acre calculated over the whole farm.


said the words he would propose to insert after the word "damage" were "as exceeds in amount the sum of 1s. per acre of the area over which the damage extends." The effect of that would be to fix the minimum proportionate to the area over which the damage extended, and not proportionate to the whole farm.


said that what they wanted to do was to fix a small sum. Where the damage in Scotland did not exceed 40s. the tenant was not supposed to have any claim. Forty shillings was a reasonable amount, but what the hon. and learned Gentleman proposed would be a variable amount. Who was to tell the area over which the damage ex-tended? Another set of arbitrators would be required to go over the farm to say that a particular drill of turnips had been damaged, and to stop at a particular field and say that no further damage had been done by pheasants. That system would involve practical difficulties in arriving at the amount of damage, and he preferred the definite sum laid down in the Scottish Act. The hon. and learned Gentleman with great courage desired to support his colleagues, but he knew perfectly well that in his heart he agreed with him. Let them adopt the Scottish system rather than go into new and fancy arrangements. The Bill had been riddled through and through by argument The Government were not going to leave Scotland alone. They were going to force on Scotland a measure which was less adequate than that which had been in successful operation for over twenty years. If they wanted to improve the condition of affairs in England, lot them not deprive the people of Scotland of what they had. Let the Solicitor-General for Scotland exercise his influence to exclude Scotland from this Bill which would not be so satisfactory as the existing law.


said the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture at a meeting held the other day in Edinburgh had passed recently a Resolution unanimously approving Clause 2 of this Bill. That body, consisting of longheaded men who thoroughly understood their own interests and were capable agriculturists in every way, did not seem to be so ninth in love with the existing law as the hon. Gentleman opposite. Naturally from that point of view he himself wished to see the desire of the Scottish farmers carried out. If it was the case that the whole of the Scottish farmers objected to the English law there would be very good reason for saying that it should not be applied to Scotland, but according to the public Press they said exactly the opposite Therefore he gathered from the hon. Gentleman that if he found that he was mistaken he would be quite ready to accept the statement of the Solicitor General for Scotland.


said that the Bill was so drawn that he himself was only beginning to understand what its provisions really meant. He was a member of the Committee upstairs, and he was under the impression that the Solicitor-General for Scotland would have been perfectly happy to have been left alone under the law as it at present stood.


said he did not want to press the matter unduly, but he held in his hand a report of a meeting of the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture, held in Edinburgh on loth June this year, which showed that that Chamber had unanimously passed a Resolution approving of Clause 2 of this Bill. He naturally supposed that the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture represented the Scottish farmers in the same way that the Central Chamber of Agriculture in England represented the farmers in this country. The Amendment of the right hon. Member for Shropshire would enable the landlord to contract himself out of the Act, and to say to the tenant that any damage done on his estate by game should be covered by a certain, perhaps inadequate, sum, and that no more compensation would be allowed.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

said he understood the hon. Baronet to say that the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture had unanimously passed a Resolution on the 15th June in favour of this Bill; but if the hon. Baronet would refer to a report in The Scotsman on 11th October this year, of a conference held in Edinburgh of the Chamber of Agriculture and representative agriculturists, at which the President of the Board of Agriculture was present, he would find that the opinion expressed by the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture in Juno last was materially departed from, and that the conference by an overwhelming majority was against this Bill.


Not the second clause.

MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)

said he was very much surprised that the hon. Gentleman declined to agree to the Amendment, because those who sat on the Grand Committee upstairs when the Bill was considered were very much struck by the great stress the Solicitor-General for Scotland laid upon the superiority of the Scottish law with reference to game, over the English law and even over the proposal contained in this Bill. He certainly gathered, and so did many of his friends upon that Committee, that the hon. and learned Gentleman very much preferred the Scottish system, and thought that this Bill should not apply to Scotland.


said that what he had stated was that the more he saw of the Bill the more he agreed with it, but the Bill was altered after he had made the statement referred to by the hon. Member.


said that the learned Solicitor-General was certainly right in saying that the Bill was altered after his remark that he devoutly hoped this Bill would not apply to Scotland, but he would remember that he made the remark upon more than one occasion, and on the last occasion it was after considerable changes had been made in the measure. However, he would not press that point. He thought if only the truth were known, the hon. Baronet in charge of the Bill was equally anxious that it should not apply to England. The hon. Baronet had made several allusions to the effect that a Resolution was passed by the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture in June of this year in favour of the clause as it stood in the Bill, or rather before the Bill passed the Committee Stage; and also that some members of the English Central Chamber of Agriculture were likewise in favour of it. He took it that they meant that they were in agreement that due compensation should be given for damage done by game. He did not quarrel with that principle, but with the extraordinary method by which this Bill proposed to carry it out. As to the hon. Baronet's statement that the Scottish law gave an opportunity to landlords to contract out, he thought he was right in saying that that was not the case in Scotland, and also that the Scottish farmer was a longheaded man and could look after himself. He was not going to accept an agreement which fixed a sum inadequate to the amount of compensation due for damage done. He would further remind the hon. Baronet of a certain case which he had already mentioned, viz., Nelson r. Farrar, which decided that if the game reared on any holding was increased above the amount contemplated in the agreement the agricultural tenant could sustain a claim for damages beyond that which was contracted for. He thought that so long as that case held good (and there was no probability of its being upset) there was really very little foundation for the fears that the landlord would contract himself out of the bargain. He was satisfied himself that the Scottish system was a good one and equally applicable to England. Therefore, he would urge once more upon the hon. Baronet and the learned Solicitor-General for Scotland who was so fond of the Scottish system that they should further consider the matter.


said he did not rise as the advocate of the game preserver who wished to feed his pheasants upon another man's corn. He had always considered that this was the best clause in a very bad Bill, because he held that it met a grievance which was distinctly felt by the tenant farmers in many parts of the country. He thought, however, that the Amendment should be accepted. He desired to correct a statement of the hon. Baronet who represented the Board of Agriculture, and to point out that under the Scottish Act it was expressly laid down that the damage could be increased in any year. He quite understood that the hon. Gentleman the Solicitor-General for Scotland should be proud of his own offspring, and that he should resent with some warmth the statements of hon. Members from Scotland that they had found an infant more likely to prosper. As to the opinion of Scottish farmers he thought there was considerable doubt in the minds of some hon. Members, and nobody could be found to say that the whole opinion of Scottish farmers was in favour of this clause as it stood. The Solicitor-General for Scotland was a little pettifogging in his reply to his right hon. friend when he said this Amendment could not be adopted, because it was impossible to adapt the Scottish system to England. If the question were attacked in the proper way, it would be seen that it was perfectly possible to adapt it. It was an worthy of the Solicitor-General to say that because under the Scottish Act they had to go before a Scottish Court they could not adapt the Scottish Act to England; they had only to vary the Court in order to apply it to this country. He had the greatest admiration for the Scottish nation. They had a great many virtues but they had one fault, or were supposed to have one fault, and that was that they wore rather litigious. Here was a system, therefore, which had worked with satisfactory results for a great many years, and if it had not produced much litiga- tion in Scotland they might say that it would not in England. Therefore, when they had to choose between a brand-new system of which they had had no experience, even though it was fathered by the Solicitor-General for Scotland, and an old system which had worked well, he thought this House should pause before they accepted the new system. Although most of them did not very much object to the principle of the clause, still they would like to see its form altered in such a way that they should secure freedom of contract.


thought that the argument of the Solicitor-General for Scotland that if the Amendment were carried tenants would have to go to the Sheriff Court in Scotland to get redress fell to the ground. His right hon. friend was not a lawyer, and when he moved his Amendment did not desire that every word of it should be accepted. What he desired was that the principle should be accepted, and that in necessary cases the Bill should be altered later on. The second argument of the Solicitor General for Scotland was that this procedure had been in existence in Scotland for thirty years, the implication being that because it had been in existence for thirty years it must be bad.




said he differed from the Solicitor-General for Scotland. He thought that the laws which were passed in times past were much better than those which were passed to-day, and moreover they had had experience of them. It was clearly in evidence from all parts of the House, from the Scottish Members and from the hon. Gentleman himself, that up to the present time this law had worked well in Scotland, and it should not be got rid of merely because it happened to be old. The proposal to abolish it shed a light upon the policy of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. They said "merely because a thing is old let us get rid of it," and when they saw a Bill which was very badly drafted, they said "That is new and we will adopt it." The third argument of the hon. Gentleman was that the schedule of this particular Act had not been repealed. But it could be repealed when they came to deal with a later part of the Bill. The hon. Gentleman had also said that no Scottish farmer ever claimed for damage done by winged game but only for damage done by hares and rabbits. If that was so, what was the reason for this Bill as regarded Scotland? He hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would at some

further stage in the Bill answer that question, although he was aware he could not answer it now.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 265; Noes, 49. (Division List No. 382.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Dolan, Charles Joseph Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Donelan, Captain A. Jowett, F. W.
Acland, Francis Dyke Duckworth, James Joyce, Michael
Agnew, George William Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Kearley, Hudson E.
Allen. A. Acland (Christchurch) Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Kekewich, Sir George
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Ashton, Thomas Gair Eli bank, Master of Laidlaw, Robert
Astbury, John Meir Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lambert, George
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Evans, Samuel T. Lamont, Norman
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Everett, R. Lacey Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Faber, G. H. (Boston) Layland-Barratt, Francis
Barker, John Fenwick. Charles Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Ferens, T. R. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Barnard, E. B. Ffrench, Peter Levy, Maurice
Barnes, G. N. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lundon, W.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Flynn, James Christopher Lynch, H. B.
Beale, W. P. Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Macpherson, J. T.
Beauchamp, E. Fuller, John Michael F. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Beaumont, Hn W. C. B. (Hexham) Fullerton, Hugh MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal. E.)
Beck, A. Cecil Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Crae, George
Bell, Richard Gill, A. H. M'Killop, W.
Bellairs, Carlyon Glendinning, R. G. M'Micking, Major G.
Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.) Glover, Thomas Massie, J.
Berridge, T. H. D. Goddard, Daniel Ford Masterman, C. F. G.
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford) Gooch, George Peabody Meagher, Michael
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Grant, Corrie Meehan, Patrick A.
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire) Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Menzies, Walter
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E.) Greenwood, Hamar (York) Micklem, Nathaniel
Bottomley, Horatio Gulland, John W. Molteno, Percy Alport
Brigg, John Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Money, L. G. Chiozza
Bright, J. A. Hall, Frederick Montagu. E. S.
Brooke, Stopford Hammond, John Mooney. J. J.
Brunner, J. L. F. (Lancs., Leigh) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Morse, L. L.
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Murphy, John
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hart-Davies, T. Murray, James
Byles, William Pollard Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Myer, Horatio
Cairns, Thomas Haworth, Arthur A. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Cawley, Frederick Hemmerde, Edward George Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncaster)
Channing, Francis Allston Henry, Charles S. Norman, Henry
Cheetham, John Frederick Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.) Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Clarke, C. Goddard Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Nuttall, Harry
Cleland, J. W. Higham, John Sharp O'Brien. Kendal (Tipperary Mid)
Clough, William Hills, J. W. O'Brien. Patrick (Kilkenny)
Clynes, J. R. Hobart, Sir Robert O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.) Hobhouse, Charles E. H. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd) Hodge, John O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hogan, Michael O'Dowd, John
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hooper, A. G. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Cowan, W. H. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N.)
Crooks, William Hope, W. Bateman( Somerset, N.) O'Malley. William
Crossley, William J. Horniman, Emslie John O'Mara, James
Dalmeny, Lord Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Dalziel, James Henry Hudson, Walter O'Shee, James John
Davies, David(Montgomery Co.) Hyde, Clarendon Parker, James (Halifax)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Jackson, R. S. Paul, Herbert
Delany, William Jardine, Sir J. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Jenkins, J. Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)
Dobson, Thomas W. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Pirie. Duncan V. Shipman, Dr. John G. Walton. Joseph (Bamsley)
Price, C.E.(Edinburgh, Central) Silcock, Thomas Ball Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Raphael, Herbert H. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Waterlow, D. S.
Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Smyth, Thus. P. (Leitrim, S.) Watt, H-Anderson
Rea, Walter Russell (Searboro) Snowden, P. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Redmond, John. E.(Waterford) Soares, Ernest J. Weir, James Galloway
Redmond. William (Clare) Stanger, H. Y. Whitbread, Howard
Renton, Major Leslie Stewart, Halley (Greenock) White J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Richards. T.F.(Wolverhampton) Strachey, Sir Edward White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Rickett, J. Compton Straus, B. S. (Mile End) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Ridsdale. E. A. Stuart. James (Sunderland) Whitehead, Rowland
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Sullivan, Donal Whitley. J. H. (Halifax)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Summerbell, T. Wiles, Thomas
Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'rd) Sutherland. J. E. Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n)
Robinson, S. Taylor, John W. (Durham) Williamson, E.
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Wilson, Hn. C. H. W (Hull, W.
Roe, Sir Thomas Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh, N.)
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomas. Sir A. (Glamorgan, E) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Rose, Charles Day Thompson, J. W. H. Somerset E. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Runciman, Walter Tillett, Louis John Winfrey, R.
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Tomkinson, James Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Samuel, Sir M. (Whitechapel) Torrance, Sir A. M. Young, Samuel
Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne Trevelyan, Charles Philips Yoxall, James Henry
Sears, J. K. Ure, Alexander
Seaverns, J. H. Verney, F. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Seddon, J. Wadsworth, J. Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
Shackleton, David James Walsh, Stephen Pease.
Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Walters, John Tudor
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F Cross, Alexander Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Anson, Sir William Reynell Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Balcarres. Lord Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Fell, Arthur Remnant, James Farquharson
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Rutherford W. W. (Liverpool)
Bignold. Sir Arthur Fletcher, J. S. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bridgeman, W. Clive Gardner, Ernest. (Berks, East) Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Heaton Join Henniker Starkey, John R.
Carlile, K. Hildred Helmsley, Viscount Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Houston. Robert Paterson Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Castlereach, Viscount Kennaway. Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Thornton, Percy M.
Cave George Keswick, William Valentia, Viscount
Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C. W. Kimber, Sir Henry Younger, George
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone. E.) Lane-Fox, G. R.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Law. Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Courthope, G. Loyd Lowe, Sir Francis William Colonel Kenyon-Slaney and
Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Mason, James F. (Windsor) Sir Frederick Banbury.
Craig, Gapt. James (Down, E.) Mildmay, Francis Bingham

said the Amendment he proposed to move dealt with the same words as wore referred to in the Amendment of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, namely— To leave out the words 'any time during the tenancy,' and to insert the words ' the expiration of any year of his tenancy.' The effect of that Amendment would be to prevent the tenant from receiving any compensation during his tenancy. The Government were willing to cut out the words "at any time during the tenancy," in view of what followed later in the clause, where there were words which limited the term to within one month of the expiration of the tenancy. That meant that the tenant had to bring in his claim for compensation within the year or within a month after. He lost his right to claim at all if he did not make the claim within a month of the expiration of his tenancy. He begged to move—

Amendment proposed— In page 2, lines 6 and 7, to leave out the words, 'at any time during the tenancy." —(Sir W. Robson.)

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

MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS (Kent, St. Augustine's)

said the Amendment of the Solicitor-General proposed to leave out the words objected to by his right hon. and gallant friend, but did not propose to insert the words of his right hon. and gallant friend's Amendment. Therefore it was no real concession, but as even then the Amendment was, in his opinion, an improvement to the Bill, he accepted it.


agreed that this Amendment was far better than his own suggestion to carry out the common object of both.


said he had no objection to the Amendment, and he was willing to give the Government all the credit they were entitled to for having proposed it. He merely wished to point out that it made no difference whatever in the meaning of the clause, that it was a mere drafting Amendment, and except that it avoided a contradiction it did not meet in any way whatever the point raised by his right hon. and gallant friend. He congratulated the hon. and learned Solicitor-General on the ingenious way in which he had engineered the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. LANE-FOX, in moving an Amendment providing that instead of being entitled to compensation from his landlord the tenant should be entitled to compensation from the person in whom the right to kill the game might at the time be vested, said he was not animated by the spirit or the wish to favour excessive game preserving. He certainly thought that some form of compensation was urgently needed by the tenant farmers of the country, and that the Amendment he now proposed would make it easier for the tenant farmers to recover the compensation than it would be under the clause as it stood. The House would see that the point covered was not the case of game, reared on an adjoining estate, straying off the land on to that of another landowner. It was the case of the man who had the right to shoot over a particular farm at the time. It was quite clear that it was easier for the tenant to get redress if he could go to the man on the spot, in the case of a landlord who had let his shooting, than it would be if he went to the landlord, because the mere threat, or suggestion from him that he was going to take proceedings would get him the redress he required. But in the case of the landlord who lived far away it might be necessary to actually get him into Court before the redress could be obtained. The method he suggested under this Amendment would meet both cases. If the landlord was shooting over his own land the compensation would be paid by him. If the sporting tenant was shooting over the land he would pay. If the shooting was vested in the tenant the question would not arise. He hoped the Government would see their way to accept the Amendment, but if they did not he should expect good reasons for their declining. This was a case where compensation was distinctly necessary, and the only desire which operated in his mind in proposing this Amendment was to make the clause work with as little friction as possible. He begged to move.

MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor)

said he rose to second this Amendment because it was in his opinion desirable that the procedure should be simplified as far as possible. The procedure by which redress was to be obtained under the clause as it stood appeared to him to be very clumsy. It was a most roundabout way for the tenant to obtain redress from the landlord and the landlord to get it from the shooting tenant. It was absolutely certain from cases quoted that the tenant had already redress at common law. It would be very much simpler if the tenant appealed direct to the shooting tenant who was generally accessible.

Amendment proposed— In page, lines 7 and S, to leave out the words 'his landlord,' and insert the words 'the person in whom the right to kill the game may at the time be vested.'"—(Mr. Lane-Fox.)

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


said the Government would certainly be in favour of anything that would tend to simplify the Bill, but they believed that if the Amendment were adopted a further complication would be introduced. They considered that in this matter the tenant should have direct access to the landlord. This was a Land Tenure Bill dealing with the relations between landlord and tenant, and if the shooting tenant were introduced it would add complication to a measure which they desired to render as simple as possible. It was wiser to keep the proceedings under the Bill between landlord and tenant and not permit a third party to come into the operation.


did not think the argument of the Civil Lord of the Admiralty was quite a sound one. They all wanted the procedure to be as simple as possible. It was all very well if the landlord happened to live on his own property, but unfortunately a great many landlords were unable to live on their properties. In such cases it would be much more simple and much more to the interest of the tenant to give him a remedy against the shooting tenant.


said that the President of the Board of Agriculture had stated that this Bill was necessary because many estates wore owned by trustees, mortgages, corporations, or other bodies who were not usually in close touch with the tenants. Surely it would be much simpler for the tenant to go to the man with whom he was in daily contact. To say that it would make complications in the Bill seemed to be to suggest something which no one with any experience of sporting rights would agree with.


hoped the Amendment would not be pressed. It certainly created the impression of being frivolous. As a rule sporting rights were let for a short period to individuals who might be on the spot for a few months in the year. It would be much more satisfactory that the landlord should be responsible to the tenant for any damage.


said he saw no frivolity about the Amendment. On its face the Amendment had the serious purpose of making the man who had done the damage pay for it. All wore agreed that if injury were done to the tenant by excessive game preservation the tenant should have compensation. Why should it be paid by a third party who had not caused the damage? Surely if the damage was ultimately to be paid for by the person who caused it, it was better that the tenant, who perfectly well knew the author of the injury and was in close contact with him, should be able to go straight to him for his remedy, leaving the landlord out of the question.

MR. CAWLEY (Lancashire, Prestwich)

thought it was in the interests of the tenant that this Amendment should pass He was assured that when a tenant had to deal with an outsider he was able to ask and get better terms. The shooting tenants were not an irresponsible class; but were generally persons of means, and the tenant would generally be in a better position in dealing with them than in dealing with the landlord.


heartily opposed the Amendment, thinking this the only case in which the argument of his hon. friend behind was not sound. The tenant was in a better position if he dealt with his own landlord. It was perfectly true that shooting tenants had means, but frequently the shooting rights were let to a syndicate of gentlemen who usually lived in a different part of the country. Often the shooting was only taken for a year. It was easier and more satisfactory for all parties for the tenants to deal with the landlords in this particular case. It was not the case of birds straying from the land on which they were reared on to an adjacent estate. This Amendment did not meet that case nor had it been met by any other that he could see so far. But where the damage was done by the landlord himself or his shooting tenant it would be much more satisfactory to both parties for the tenant to deal with the landlord direct. The landlord was always represented on the spot by his agent, but if there was any difficulty in finding the landlord at a particular time, he could be always found on rent-day. He could not support the Amendment.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

supported the contention that this should be made a matter between the landlord and the tenant. He took it that it was the landlord generally who made the contract with the sporting tenant for the shooting right. Therefore, if the agricultural tenant had any complaint, he should make it to the landlord. He ought not to jump his landlord and go to the sporting tenant who had taken the shooting.


thought this matter could be easily settled if his hon. friend, whom he had not been able to consult, would consent to amend his Amendment by the inclusion of the word 'or," and thus give to the tenant an opportunity of a choice of procedure in a case of this sort, against either the shooting tenant for the time being or the landlord. It might possibly be that the shooting was let to a particular tenant year after year, and in such a case it might be to the advantage of the tenant on the spot to be able to deal with the shooting tenant. The hon. Member for South Antrim, speaking from his own experience, was entirely in favour of the claim for compensation being made against the landlord. But here was a case where the Government could readily recognise that there was a great deal of reason in this Amendment. It was a common sense proposal. He admitted that there might be objections, but he thought they would disappear.


deprecated Amendments of this kind being introduced in the interest of the person who let the shooting. The result of the Amendment would be that the shooting tenant would have to meet the claims for damage, and he doubted whether this would be a good working arrangement. If the shooting was let it was preferable that the damage from game should be settled by the owner. Everyone would recognise that although trouble sometimes arose between a landlord and his tenant there was no question on which the tenant was more long-suffering than on this question of game. He thought therefore the landlord should be responsible.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 8, after the word ' damage,' to insert the words' if it exceeds more than 1s. an acre."—(Sir Edward Strachey.)


thought that although this Amendment was to some extent an improvement on the Bill it was open to objection. An Amendment which he had on the Paper for the same object had the sanction of having been an Act of Parliament for the last eleven years, which had worked with much success in the district in which he resided. The only hostile reply that had been made by the Solicitor-General for Scotland was that the procedure in Scotland would not he applicable to England, and not that the principle of the Scottish Act was not a good principle. The hon. and learned Gentleman had admitted that the law had worked very well in Scotland and that he had no serious fault to find with it on this subject. The proposal which he himself made on the lines of the Scottish Act had very substantial merits which the House might well direct its attention to. Sub-sections (a) and (b) of the clause were taken from the Scottish Act and they were the only good parts of the clause. If a written agreement had been made by which a certain reduction of rent took place in consideration of a certain amount of game being preserved, that would hold good, but where no agreement whatever had been made, if any damage was proved in excess of forty shillings the tenant was entitled to claim compensation. That was preferable to the method suggested by the Amendment of the hon. Baronet, which would involve uncertainty on account of the difficulty in determining the area damaged by game. If the hon. Baronet insisted on introducing ridiculous Amendments, and resisting the simple Amendments moved from that side of the House, he could only form one conclusion, and that was that the reason for proceeding with the Bill was that the Government desired to prevent or restrict discussion on more important measures.


joined his hon. friend in opposing the Amendment. The hon. Baronet had said he desired to prevent litigious claims, and to avoid difficulties between landlord and tenant. He had stated that he did not wish any frivolous claim to be made, and he proposed that the tenant should be entitled to compensation it the damage done exceeded 1s. per acre? It was a farcical Amendment. A man walking through a field of standing corn, or even a dog galloping through it, would do far more damage than 1s. per acre. He insisted that a claim for less than 10s. per acre would not be a serious claim. If a man was materially injured, by all means compensate him, but if the damage only amounted to 1s. or 1s. 3d. per acre, that could not be considered seriously as material injury. The Amendment did not bear out the contention of the hon. Baronet, and was rightly characterised by the hon. Member for North Ayrshire as ludicrous


said that a little earlier in the evening he seemed to have been unable to make the hon. Baronet understand his point. He would remind the hon. Baronet that an acre was seventy yards long and seventy yards wide, and the idea of talking of damage to the extent of 1s. on an area of such dimensions was absurd. The Amendment was a frivolous one, and might lead possibly to litigation and trouble.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 301; Noes, 7G. (Division List No. 383.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Clough, William Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Abraham. William (Rhondda) Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Acland, Francis Dyke Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W) Gulland, John W.
Agnew, George William Cooper, G. J. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Allen, Perry Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd) Hall, Frederick
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hammond, John
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Cory, Clifford John Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cottor, Sir H. J. S. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Astbury, John Meil Cowan, W. H. Hart-Davies. T.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Cox, Harold Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E. Crombie, John William Harwood, George
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Crooks, William Haworth, Arthur A.
Barker, John Crosfield, A. H. Hemmerde, Edward George
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Crossley, William J. Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Barnard. E. B. Dalmeny, Lord Henry, Charles S.
Barnes, G. M. Dalziel, James Henry Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Beale, W. P. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Higham, John Sharp
Beaumont, Hn W.C.B.(Hexham Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hills, J. W.
Beck, A. Cecil Delany, William Hobart, Sir Robert
Bell, Richard Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Bellairs, Carlyon Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Hodge, John
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hogan, Michael
Bonn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.) Dobson, Thomas W. Hooper, A. G.
Berridge, T. H. D. Dolan, Charles Joseph Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford) Duckworth, James Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N
Billson, Alfred Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Horriman, Emslie John
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Hyde, Clarendon
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N.E. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Idris, T. H. W.
Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Illingworth, Percy H.
Brigg, John Eli bank, Master of Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Bright, J. A. Esmonde, Sir Thomas Jackson, R. S.
Brooke, Stopford Evans, Samuel T. Jardine, Sir J.
Brumner, J. F. L. (Lanes, Leigh) Eve, Harry Trelawney Jenkins, J.
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen Everett, R. Lacey Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Faber, G. H. (Boston) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fenwick, Charles Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Ferens, T. R. Joyce, Michael
Burns. Rt. Hon. John Ferguson, R. C. Munro Kearley, Hudson E.
Byles, William Pollard Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Kekewich, Sir George
Cairns, Thomas Fuller, John Michael F. Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Fullerton, Hugh Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Glendinning, R. G. Laidlaw, Robert
Cawley, Frederick Glover, Thomas Lambert, George
Channing, Francis Allston Goddard, Daniel Ford Lamont, Norman
Cheetham, John Frederick Gooch, George Peabody Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Clarke, C. Goddard Greenwood, G. (Peter borough) Layland-Barrett, Francis
Cleland, J. W. Greenwood, Hamar (York) Leese Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)
Lever A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Paul, Herbert Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Paulton, James Mellor Stuart, James (Sunderland)
Levy, Maurice Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sullivan, Donal
Lundon, W. Pearce, William (Limehouse) Summerbell, T.
Lupton, Arnold Pearson. Sir W. D. (Colchester) Sutherland, J. E.
Lynch, H. B. Pearson, W.H.M. (Suffolk, Eye) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Mackarness, Frederic C Pickersgill, Edward Hare Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down. S. Pirie, Duncan V. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.) Brice, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E )
M'Callum, John M. Radford, G. H. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E)
M'Crae, George Raphael, Herbert H. Tillett, Louis John
M'Kean, John Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Tomkinson, James
M'Kenna, Reginald Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Torrance, Sir A. M.
M'Killop, W. Redmond, John E. (Waterford Trevelyan, Charles Philips
M'Micking, Major G. Redmond, William (Clare) Ure, Alexander
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Rees, J. D. Verney, F. W.
Massie, J. Rendall, Althelstan Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Meagher, Michael Renton, Major Leslie Wadsworth, J.
Meehan, Patrick A. Richards, T. F. Wolverhampt'n Walsh, Stephen
Menzies, Walter Rickett, J. Compton Walters, John Tudor
Micklem, Nathaniel Risdale, E. A. Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Molteno, Percy Alport Roberts, Chas. H. (Lincoln) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Money, L. G. Chiozza Roberts, G H (Norwich) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton
Montagu, E. S. Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Waterlow, D. S.
Mooney, J. J. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd) Watt, H. Anderson
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Robinson, S. Wedgwood. Josiah C.
Morrell, Philip Robson, Sir William Snowdon Weir, James Galloway
Morse, L. L. Roe, Sir Thomas Whitbread, Howard
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Rogers, F. E. Newman White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Murphy, John Rose, Charles Day White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Murray, James Rowlands, J. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Myer, Horatio Runciman, Walter Whitehead, Rowland
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Nicholson, Chas. M. (Doncaster) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Norman, Henry Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wiles, Thomas
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Seaverns, J. H. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n)
Nuttall, Harry Seddon, J. Williamson. A.
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wilson, Hon. C. H. W.(Hull, W.)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Shipman, Dr. John G. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Silcock, Thomas Ball Winfrey. R.
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wood, T. M'Kinnon
O'Dowd, John Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Woodhouse, Sir J.T. (Hudd'sfi'd
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S. Young, Samuel
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Snowden, P.
O'Malley, William Soares, Ernest J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
O'Mara, James Spicer, Sir Albert Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Stanger, H. Y. Pease.
O'Shee, James John Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Parker, James (Halifax) Strachey, Sir Edward
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F. Castlereagh, Viscount Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cave, George Gill, A. H.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Cecil, Lord R (Marylebone, E.) Hervey, F. W. F.(Bury, S Edm'ds)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc) Houston, Robert Paterson
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Clynes, J. R. Hudson, Walter
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry) Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Jowett, F. W.
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kennaway, Rt. Hon Sir John H.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Courthope, G. Loyd Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Keswick, William
Bowles, G. Stewart Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Kimber, Sir Henry
Bridgeman, W. Clive Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lambton. Hon. Frederick Wm.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Lane-Fox. G. R.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Fell, Arthur Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Carlile, E. Hildred Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lowe, Sir Francis William.
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fletcher, J. S. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Magnus, Sir Philip Remnant, James Farquharson Thornton, Percy M.
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Valentia, Viscount
Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E R.
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton )
Nicholson, Win. G. (Petersfield) Salter, Arthur Clavell Younger, George
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Shackleton, David James
Percy, Earl Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East) TELLERS FOB THE NOES—Mr.
Randles, Sir John Scurrah Starkey, John R. Alexander, Cross and Sir
Ratcliff, Major R. F. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.) Frederick Banbury.
Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)

said he had to move a small drafting Amendment. It had been suggested from the other side of the House that the clause was not very explicit, and that the words "agreement to the contrary" required some addition in order to exclude agreements which although not entirely destructive of the right of compensation might be of an illusory character and only give the tenant a small compensation. It was said that those agreements would not come within this section as they would not deprive the tenant of his right to compensation, but might make it very small. He therefore moved to insert after the word "contrary," "or in limitation of such compensation." The clause would then stand so that it would include all agreements which might deprive the tenant of compensation or which would limit it.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, lint; S, after the word ' contrary' to insert the words 'or in limitation of such compensation. '"—(Sir W. Robson.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


did not quite understand what agreements the Government now wished should be voided. They had already inserted an Amendment about 1s. an acre, and that seemed to him to be an arrangement limiting the compensation. It seemed to him that the Amendment now moved by the hon. and learned Solicitor-General was in contradiction to the Amendment which had been inserted previously.


said that the hon. and learned Member stated yesterday that an agreement not limiting but defining the right of compensation and fixing a reasonable standard of compensation might take the place of the provisions of the Bill, and at the time he thought the hon. and learned Member had in his mind Section 5 of the Act of 1883, which provided that where an agreement of tenancy contained a clause giving a fair and reasonable compensation for improvements that agreement took the place of the provisions of the Act of 1883. He thought it was desirable that there should be power to put in an agreement of tenancy some clause granting compensation for damage by game, and that where that agreement was fair and reasonable it should be accepted in place of the provisions of this Bill. He should like to know what the Government were going to do on that point.


asked for an Answer from the Treasury Bench to the Question of his hon. friend. Further, he would like to know would these words "in limitation" carry the case which had so largely figured in the debate, where a reduction had been made in the rent in order to allow for damage done by game.


asked whether, if there had been a limitation by a previous agreement, whether expressed or understood, that came within the wording of the Amendment. The Attorney-General had said that no such cases had occurred, but it had been stated that they occurred over and over again.


said there would be two classes of agreement which would be void —one, an agreement that no compensation at all should be paid, the other that compensation should be limited to a specific sum. The clause would follow exactly the analogy of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1900, in which it was declared that if there were, in a contract between landlord and tenant, a stipulation for a certain amount of damage to be paid by a tenant for committing a breach of the conditions of a lease, the sum so fixed should not be paid, but the arbitrator under the Act should assess the real damage done irrespective of the sum set out in the agreement. The arbitrator had a perfectly free hand to fix the amount of the damage, unhampered by any sum fixed or stipulated in the agreement.

SIR E. CARSON (Dublin University)

said that if this clause stood as at present he should have thought it would have carried out the intention of the hon. Gentleman opposite, because it clearly said that any agreement that the tenants should not get compensation should be null and void. The words of the Attorney-General were in limitation of such compensation. Suppose after the damage had occurred the tenant complained that he had been seriously damaged by game, but said that he would take £20 in settlement, and the landlord, rather than have any bother, agreed to give the £20. Was such an agreement to be void? If it were it was obvious that no landlord would settle. He should have thought that to lay down that a tenant was entitled to compensation, and that any agreement to the contrary should be void was going quite far enough.


said that the agreements relating to compensation for proved damage were dealt with in a succeeding subsection, but to make it clear the Government contemplated making an Amendment that would put the question beyond doubt. He was making Amendments on the suggestion of hon. Gentlemen opposite to meet their criticisms, but those Amendments were being met with equal opposition.


asked Mr. Speaker's ruling on a point connected with the Amendments which had been proposed and were to be proposed on this section. They had discussed at considerable length this afternoon a question of whether a lease in which there was a reduction of rent on account of the presence of game on a farm was to be rendered void. His right hon. friend the Member for Shropshire had refrained from moving an Amendment on the point because there were Amendments to be moved later on from the other side in relation to the same matter. He wanted to know whether, if they passed the words "any agreement to the contrary shall be void," or the words as they were proposed to be amended by the Solicitor-General, they would be precluded from introducing words to safeguard existing agreements of a perfectly straightforward and fair kind, and which he thought both sides wished to safeguard. His right hon. friend had abstained from moving his Amendment on the understanding that an equivalent would be introduced later in the sub-section, but on looking at the matter he doubted whether his right hon. friend had not lost the only opportunity open to him, and that the Amendment would not meet the case.


said the matter dealt with by these words was not the same us those proposed to be dealt with by the hon. Member for Durham in favour of which the right hon. and gallant Member withdrew his Amendment.


said any Amendment of the nature referred to would be most properly raised under sub-section (2).


took it that the Solicitor-General's Amendment would have the effect not only of making void any agreement under which the tenant was to have no compensation, but also of making void any agreement affecting the amount of the compensation to be paid to the tenant. This was a good illustration of the inconvenience of trying to deal with the Bill as if it were in Committee. Amendments were proposed which they had not had an opportunity of looking at, and which many hon. Members had the greatest difficulty in following. The Solicitor-General for England had put one interpretation on the Amendment and the Solicitor-General for Scotland had put another. He supposed they wore to take the last explanation, namely, that it was not to be competent for the landlord and tenant between themselves to fix upon any sum as agreed compensation for damage. Therefore, although a perfectly reasonable agreement might have been come to, it would be held to be void under this section as amended, and the parties would have to go to arbitration whether they liked it or not. This would be the first time to his knowledge that two people who had a reasonable dispute and a reasonable right to agree upon the way in which that dispute should be determined and the sum to be paid had been deprived by Act of Parliament of the right to end the dispute. It was entirely inconsistent with the principle of the Bill. The Amendment under consideration had been moved entirely without notice, and

they ought to protest against legislating in this way.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 294; Noes, 64. (Division List No. 384.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Dalmeny, Lord Hooper, A. G.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Dalziel, James Henry Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset, N)
Acland, Francis Dyke Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Horniman, Emslie John
Agnew, George William Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Alden, Percy Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hudson, Walter
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Delany, William Hyde, Clarendon
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N) Idris, T. H. W.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Illingworth, Percy H.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Dobson, Thomas W. Jackson, R. S.
Astbury, John Meir Dolan, Charles Joseph Jardine, Sir J.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Duckworth, James Jenkins, J.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Johnson, John Gateshead
Barker, John Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Barnard, E. B. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Jones, William(Carnarvonshire)
Barnes, G. N. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsal) Jowett, F. W.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Joyce, Michael
Beale, W. P. Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Kearley, Hudson E.
Beauchamp, E. Elibank, Master of Kekewich, Sir George
Beaumont, Hn. W. C. B (Hexham) Esmonde, Sir Thomas Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Beck, A. Cecil Evans, Samuel T. Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Bell, Richard Eve, Harry Trelawney King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Bellairs, Carlyon Everett, R. Lacey Laidlaw, Robert
Benn, Sir J. Williams(Devonp'rt) Fenwick, Charles Lambert, George
Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo) Ferens, T. R. Lamont, Norman
Berridge, T. H. D. Ferguson, R. C. Munro Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford) Ffrench, Peter Layland-Barratt, Francis
Billson, Alfred Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lever, A. Levy(Essex, Harwich)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Lever W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire) Fuller, John Michael F. Levy, Maurice
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E) Fullerton, Hugh Lough, Thomas
Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Gibb, James (Harrow) Lundon, W.
Brigg, John Gill, A. H. Lupton, Arnold
Bright, J. A. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lyell, Charles Henry
Brooke, Stopford Glendinning, R. G. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Glover, Thomas Mackarness, Frederic C.
Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Chesh.) Goddard, Daniel Ford Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen) Gooch George Peabody MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Greenwood, Hamar (York) M'Crae, George
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward M'Kean, John
Byles, William Pollard Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill M'Kenna, Reginald
Cairns, Thomas Gulland, John W. M'Killop, W.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. M'Micking, Major G.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hall, Frederick Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Hammond, John Massie, J.
Channing, Francis Allston Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Meagher, Michael
Cheetham, John Frederick Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Meehan, Patrick A.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Menzies, Walter
Clough, William Hart-Davies, T. Micklem, Nathaniel
Coats, Sir T. Glen(Renfrew, W.) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Molteno, Percy Alport
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W) Harwood, George. Money, L. G. Chiozza
Cooper, G. J. Haworth, Arthur A. Montagu, E. S.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E Grinst'd) Hemmerde, Edward George Mooney, J. J.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morrell, Philip
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Henderson. J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Morse, L. L.
Cowan, W. H. Henry, Charles S. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Cox, Harold Herbert, Col. Ivor (Mon., S.) Murphy, John
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Murray, James
Crombie, John William Higham, John Sharp Myer, Horatio
Crooks, William Hobart, Sir Robert Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Crosfield, A. H. Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncaster)
Crossley, William J. Hogan, Michael Norman, Henry
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Robinson, S. Ure, Alexander
Nussey, Thomas Willans Robson, Sir William Snowdon Verney, F. W.
Nuttall, Harry Roe, Sir Thomas Villiers, Ernest Amherst
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid) Rogers, F. E. Newman Wadsworth, J.
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Rose, Charles Day Walsh, Stephen
O'Connor, James(Wicklow, N.) Rowlands, J. Walters, John Tudor
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Runciman, Walter Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
O'Dowd, John Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Ward, W. Dudley(Southampton)
O'Malley, William Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Waterlow, D. S.
O'Mara, James Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne) Watt, H. Anderson
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Seaverns, J. H. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Parker, James (Halifax) Seddon, J. Weir, James Galloway
Paul, Herbert Shackleton, David James Whitbread, Howard
Paulton, James Mellor Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Shipman, Dr. John G. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester) Silcock, Thomas Ball White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Whitehead, Rowland
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampron) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Pirie, Duncan V. Soares, Ernest J. Wiles, Thomas
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Spicer, Sir Albert Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Radford, G. H. Stanger, H. Y. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n)
Raphael, Herbert H. Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Williamson, A.
Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Strachey, Sir Edward Wilson, Hn. C. H. W (Hull, W.)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Stuart, James (Sunderland) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Redmond, William (Clare) Sullivan, Donal Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Rees, J. D. Summerbell, T. Winfrey, R.
Rendall, Athelstan Sutherland, J. E. Wodehouse, Lord( Norfolk, Mid)
Renton, Major Leslie Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Young, Samuel
Rickett, J. Compton Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Ridsdale, E. A. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Thompson, J.W. H. (Somerset, E) Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Tillett, Louis John Pease.
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Tomkinson, James
Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex F. Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc.) Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Balcarres, Lord Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. J.A.(City Lond) Courthope, G. Loyd Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Percy, Earl
Banner, John S. Harmood- Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Cross, Alexander Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Barlow, Percy(Bedford) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Fell, Arthur Salter, Arthur Clavell
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Fletcher, J. S. Starkey, John R.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Talbot, Rt. Hn. T. G. (Oxf'd Univ)
Bowles, G. Stewart Heaton, John Henniker Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury SEdm'ds) Thornton, Percy M.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Houston, Robert Paterson Valentia, Vicsount
Butcher, Samuel Henry Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Carlile, E. Hildred Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W. Younger, George
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Keswick, William
Castlereagh, Viscount Kimber, Sir Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Cave George Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Watson Rutherford and
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Viscount Turnour.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Magnus, Sir Philip

And, it being Eleven of the clock, further consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.

Bill, as amended, to be further considered to-morrow.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Resolution of the House of the 4th August last.

Adjourned at two minutes after Eleven o'clock.