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Small Holdings And Allotments Bill Hl

Volume 9: debated on Thursday 27 July 1911

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Amendments reported (according to Order).

I do not know whether this is a suitable moment to do so, but I should like to ask the noble Earl in charge of this Bill to explain the exact reason why he draws a line between the cultivator and the owner of the small holding. Under the recent Act all small holdings were protected from compulsory acquisition—that is to say, where a landowner or his predecessors had established small holdings upon the estate the county council could not come down upon that property and say that they wished to compulsorily acquire those small holdings. Now the noble Earl has brought in an amending Bill which, after certain experiences in Committee to which I shall not refer, has emerged in this form—that only the interest of the cultivator in the small holdings is to be protected. So far the noble Earl has modified his original proposal. But the interest of the owner in the small holdings is not to be protected. I do not ay that it is very likely, on the face of it, that a county council would wish compulsorily to acquire a small holding from which they could not disturb the occupier, but they might wish to do it having regard to the general policy which they were carrying out in the district. I do not think that your Lordships would desire to encourage the interference of county councils in the ownership of small holdings any more than in the occupation of small holdings. It may be a good plan, but we have had no argument from the noble Earl why this distinction should be made. The facts upon which the noble Earl has gone, are, we know, extremely exiguous. Indeed, there was only one particular instance which he was able to give us. What he has now to establish is the distinction between ownership and occupation. If he is willing to protect the occupier, why is he not willing to protect the owner as well?

The question put to me by the noble Marquess shows he great difficulty there is in understanding he language of the country in which you live. I was under the impression—I suppose I am wrong—that as the greater includes the less so cultivator included owner.

That is a matter of opinion; but I am perfectly willing to put in any word that will include both. There is no desire on our part to exclude he owner of 50 acres. We want to make him as safe in the holding as the man who cultivates it, and if the noble Marquess will assist me in finding some word in the English language which would include both I should be under an obligation to him.

I think the point would be met if we struck out the words "cultivated by him."

No. I move to strike out the words "cultivated by him"; and if it is necessary to make any further drafting Amendments they can be made on Third Reading.

Amendment moved—

In Clause 1, line 13, to leave out ("and cultivated by him"), and in line 14 to leave out ("cultivated by him").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Will the noble Earl state when he proposes to put down this Bill for Third Reading, because on that occasion I shall move that it be read a third time that day six months.

It is not my Bill. I am not at all surprised that the noble Earl is ashamed of the paternity of the Bill. I asked him on what day he proposed to put down the Third Reading.

The House, I understand, will not be sitting on Monday next. Therefore I will put the Third Reading down for Tuesday.

Bill to be read 3a on Tuesday next, and to be printed as amended. (No. 149)