HC Deb 19 March 1907 vol 171 cc671-2

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that Mr. William Garnett, Low Moor, Clitheroe, has given his tenant farmers notice to quit on 12th May 1908, without assigning any reasons for so doing; and whether he will ascertain the real reason from Mr. Garnett, so as to make it clear that it is not in consequence of the passing of the Agricultural Holdings Act of last session.


My noble friend placed himself in communication with Mr. Garnett on this subject, and has received from him the following reply:—

"Low Moor, Clitheroe,

"March 17th, 1907.

"My Lord,

"Permit me to tender my thanks to your Lordship for kindly calling my attention to a Question to be submitted to the House on Tuesday next which I had tailed to notice in the published Parliamentary proceedings.

"My leases are copies of leases dated back sixty or seventy years at least and require readjusting.

"I had given order to my agent a year ago to serve these notices, long before the passing of the Act.

"I do not at all see that the Act named applies in my case, hence it has no terrors to induce me to wish to evade it.

"My tenants are not allowed, nor over have been, to lay out any money on permanent improvements of any kind, and are in consequence not entitled to any compensation on quitting their holdings and as to the character of the land, there is practically not an acre of arable land in the district.

"My tenants know that any improvements which can he proved to me as desirable are carried out. All that have been, such as buildings, draining, and even manuring of a quasi-permanent kind, such as boning, etc., have in every instance been at my expense; this I have advisedly carried out, that tenants on leaving, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, should have no claim upon me or be able to say they had spent money for my benefit.

"I am sorry to say—and what most landowners will be able to confirm—that these outlays, from a financial point of view, have not been to my advantage.

"Trusting I have been able to answer your Lordship's letter in a way you care to have it.

"Your obedient Servant,

"(Signed) W. Garnett."

The Right Honourable Earl Carrington,

Board of Agriculture and Fisheries,

4, Whitehall Place, London, S.W.