§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ SIR F. BANBURY
thought that they had had enough of Agricultural Bills at ten minutes before eleven o'clock, and that when they came to another Bill by the right hon. Gentleman, this time dealing with Small Holdings, some explanation of it ought to have been made. He knew something about the Bill, although he had not yet thoroughly looked into it, and he contended that it was absolutely contrary to the Small Holdings Act passed last session.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that that only showed the difficulty in which they were placed when a Bill was brought in without any explanation. After reading the Bill he contended that it was contrary to the measure passed last year, the only principle of which was that it did not include purchase, while this Bill did.
§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Elland)
said he did not understand what the nature of the Bill was, but he gathered that it was intended to alter the Small Holdings Act of 1892. He thought that it was rather a serious matter after the House had decided only last year to deal with the Small Holding question in a certain way, after having gone into the whole matter at great length, that the promoters of this Bill should have introduced it without some very clear explanation of what alterations in the law they proposed. The right hon. Gentleman was acting in a very curious way to the House. When a Bill was brought in it was generally explained, and the right hon. Gentleman could not expect the House, which had been taken by surprise, because no one expected this Bill to come on that night, to give a 1656 Second Reading to a measure which would very materially alter the Small Holdings Act passed last year. They all knew the right hon. Gentleman's anxiety to get small holdings by means, of purchase, but there were a great many Members in the House who were not so anxious to develop small holdings on those lines. Indeed, last year's Act was based on a different principle, that the land should be held by the community, from whom the tenant should rent it. He did not say that the two systems were incompatible, but they did not know to what extent this Bill would cut across the principle of last year's Act.
§ And, it being Eleven of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed upon Wednesday, 25th March.