Page:The Land Question.djvu/16

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and to supply to the towns of England the food which the soil of England might and ought to produce. Probably £100,000,000 at least is required to set pastoral farming on a satisfactory footing, and make the most out of the land. Where is this money to come from? It cannot come from the State; it must come from private sources; and the only way to get a vast sum like this invested in a business is to induce people to enter that business by removing all unnecessary obstacles in the way of success, and giving them every possible chance of working at a profit. Is this the case with the farmer at present? I think not. It is true that the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1883 has made it impossible for the landlord to confiscate the tenant's improvements as he formerly could, because if he turns a tenant out he has now to pay him compensation for improvements. But there is nothing to prevent a landlord who is able to pay his compensation from either turning a tenant out at the expiry of his holding, or demanding an exorbitant rent for letting him stay on. To place agriculture on a fair footing it appears to me that the landlord must be treated as a sort of sleeping-partner, who has supplied part of the capital of the concern, and has, in addition, by putting the tenant in possession of the land, contributed something analogous to the goodwill of a business, or saved the tenant the trouble of emigrating. More than this the landlord is not; and the contract between landlord and tenant must moreover be subordinate to rules made in the public interest, which requires first of all that the utmost possible security should be given to the tenant, and that he should be encouraged to do his utmost both in labour and expenditure, under the certainty that he will not, without some good and sufficient cause, be turned out of his home.

Necessary Changes in the Law between Landlord and Tenant.

The changes necessary in the law appear to me to be the following:—

1. No tenant to be removed from his holding without the permission of a District Land Court, such permission to be given on reasonable ground, such as the bad farming of the tenant, or the bonâ-fide intention of the landlord to occupy the ground himself,