§ Order for Second Reading read.
MR. STAVELEY HILL,
in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, he had allowed the second reading 443 of this Bill to stand over, because of the Bills of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin), and the hon. Member for North Devon (Sir Thomas Acland), which were discussed a few days ago. But since then he had put it down for second reading, because, in his judgment, it emodied the same principle as the Bill of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire. What it did was to provide that every tenant should have the same amount of compensation as under the Agricultural Holdings Act, and that for that purpose he should, on giving his notice of claim, state whether he claimed under the Agricultural Holdings Act, or under an agreement, if he had one, or under the Lincolnshire custom, which was scheduled in the Bill. He had added a proviso with reference to any landlord having any loss in consequence of a written agreement. He understood that the Bill was not opposed, and he hoped the House would allow it to be read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Staveley Hill.)
thought it would be very unreasonable at such a time of night to enter upon a discussion of this important measure. It was a measure which dealt with tenant right, and was the first real application of tenant right to this country; and although it might be a desirable measure, he could not consent to enter upon a discussion of it at that hour, and he therefore moved the adjournment of the debate.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
seconded the Motion, and, observing that the hon. Member lead appealed to some arrangement with the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire, said he was no party to that; and if the second reading had been put down for the day with the other Bills on the same subject he should have opposed it. It was an extremely bad specimen of an extremely bad Bill; and, while he did not know what principles it embodied, it violated altogether the principle of freedom of contract. It did that in a striking manner, and all the more striking because it contemplated other agreements besides those under the Act of 1875, and, at the same time, so arranged that whenever a tenant disliked an agreement he might treat it as null and void. 444 Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Brand.)
§ COLONEL RUGGLES-BRISE
considered it hardly fair to object to the second reading of this Bill after it had been decided to refer the Bills of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire and the hon. Member for North Devon to a Select Committee. The principle of this Bill was the same, and, that course having been adopted, it was unfair to offer any opposition to the second reading of the Bill.
§ MR. CHAPLIN
demurred to the supposition that the principle of this Bill was the same as that of his Bill, which he had submitted a few days ago. In his Bill he offered three alternatives, either one of which might be accepted by landlords and tenants upon agreement. As he understood, this Bill offered no alternatives; but left it open to a tenant to break an agreement when he thought fit. He could not accept the statement that the principle was the same; but he did not intend to oppose the second reading.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 54; Noe 1: Majority 53.—(Div. List, No. 177.)