§ Order of the Day for resuming the Adjourned Debate on the Amendment moved on the Third Reading of the above Bill, read.
§ The LORD CHANCELLOR moved the insertion of a proviso to the effect that compensation should be given to head landlords in reversion, who should convert leases in perpetuity into fee-simple, not exceeding one year and a half of the rent.
§ LORD REDESDALE
suggested, as an Amendment, that the difference between the value of the lease in perpetuity and of the fee-simple subject to a fee-farm rent, should be deemed the loss for which the owner of the reversion should be entitled to compensation.
The EARL of WICKLOW
objected to the maximum of compensation proposed by the Lord Chancellor as insufficient.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
suggested the insertion of the words, "Leases of lives renewable for ever." He said, that the original intention of the Act had been to meet the case of such tenures, and that, strangely enough, they had been omitted altogether.
The EARL of MOUNTCASHELL
said, that the Lord Chancellor's compensation proviso would operate very unequally. Its effect in Ulster, where land had but slightly depreciated in value, would he widely different from its operation in Connaught, where the value had become almost nominal.
§ LORD BEAUMONT
said, the proper course would have been to repeal the Act of last Session, which was unjust as it now stood; but, instead of that, a declaratory Bill had been introduced for the purpose of explaining away the injustice. He opposed the proviso as unjust to the lessor, and would prefer the Act as it stood at present to any amended Bill.
The LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that he had understood the difference of opinion which had arisen among noble Lords on 396 the subject of this Bill to have reference to the amount of compensation to be given to lessors, and he had therefore had interviews with noble Lords, to see whether a compromise could not be come to. It did not appear to him that the Bill was as clearly worded as it might have been, but still it would not do to alter it more than was absolutely necessary. He had, therefore, confined his attention to one point—namely, to protect tenants from being called on to pay more for their fee-simples than they ought to pay. He had heard that demands would probably be made by landlords in proportion to their supposed powers of litigation, and had attempted to put the matter out of dispute by adopting the proviso before the House. He looked upon the object of the present Bill to be merely to amend the Act of last Session in one particular feature, and that where it did not alter, the former measure was to he the rule of proceeding. He should not follow noble Lords in reopening the general question. On the 5th clause a difference had arisen in consequence of the Bill having proposed that the value of an estate should be ascertained at the time of the last renewal of the lease. That was objected to, and he proposed, as an Amendment, that such compensation should be made and given by an increase in the amount of the fee-farm rent equivalent to the value of the amount of such leases. He also moved to insert a clause to the effect that the difference in value between the reversionary interest and the fee-farm rent might be compensated for by a proportionate increase in the fee-farm rent to be reserved.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.
§ House adjourned till To-morrow.