HC Deb 14 March 1907 vol 171 cc246-7
MR. MONTAGU (Cambridgeshire, Chesterton)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is in a position to make any statement as to the reasons which have led Lord Egerton of Tatton to serve notices to quit on his tenants in Cheshire in consequence of the passing of the Agricultural Holdings Act of last session.


My noble friend has received the following letter on this subject from Lord Egerton. Helouan, Cairo, 26th February, 1907. Dear Lord Carrington, I am glad of the opportunity (given me by your letter of February 15th which I have just received) of contradicting the assumption made by Mr. Fullerton in his Question on the Paper of the House of Commons. I had no intention in giving formal notice to my tenants (on February 2nd, the first legal day in the North of England) to defeat the measure intended for the benefit of tenant farmers. If I had intended to defeat a measure, which, speaking generally, carries out the long-established practice of my estate, I should not have written a circular to my tenants that it was necessary under the new Agricultural Holdings Act to cancel the existing agreement, which was out of date, 'and to substitute for it a simpler form "in harmony with recent legislation.' My tenants know well that I am as anxious as ever to maintain the cordial relations which have long existed between us, and which will not in any way be affected by the recent Act. I shall be glad if you will give the same publicity to this letter as has been given to the question before the House of Commons. Believe me, Yours sincerely, (Signed) EGERTON OF TATTON.