§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES (LORD LUCAS)
My Lords, the Market Gardeners Compensation Act of 1895 awarded compensation for market garden improvements, and this compensation was made applicable to land which was held on yearly tenancies and which was cultivated with the knowledge of the landlord as a market garden. This has been acted upon ever since until the decision of the case of Kedwell v. Flint in the Court of Appeal in 1911, which decided that no holder of a tenancy current when the Market Gardeners Compensation Act, 1895, came into force could receive any compensation for market gardening improvements executed since the date on which that tenancy could have been determined if notice had been given when the Act came into force—that is to say, in most cases Michaelmas, 1897. This decision of the Court of Appeal was contrary to the intentions of the framers of the Act, and was also entirely contrary to the general practice that had obtained up to that time of awarding compensation, because that reading had never been given to the Act and compensation had been awarded in respect of market garden improvements that had been made since 1897 on exactly the same scale as before. I think it is quite clear that this decision of the Court of Appeal came as a general surprise to everybody, as hitherto practically no objection whatever had been taken to the general practice. This Bill is simply intended to restore the position to what it was before the decision in the case of Kedwell v. Flint. The Bill is absolutely noncontentious. It passed through the House of Commons without any opposition at all. It has the general support of agriculturists, and the land owning interests, I believe, are quite satisfied with it. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.— (Lord Lucas.)
§ LORD BARNARD
My Lords, being this year Chairman of the Central Chamber of Agriculture I desire to thank the Government and the noble Lord opposite for 839 introducing this Bill. The case of Kedwell v. Flint, to which he alluded, did create a serious grievance amongst market gardeners, and as soon as the result of that decision became known the Central Chamber of Agriculture moved in the matter and used every effort in their power to try and get the grievance remedied. On their behalf I desire to express thanks to the Board of Agriculture and the noble Lord for introducing this Bill, and I hope it will pass through all its stages without opposition and as speedily as possible.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.