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I shall be glad to learn that any of my fellow land agents take a more hopeful view than myself.
W. STURGE, Past President.
Note on the Paper on “Rating,” on p. 410 ante.
Attention has been called to a paragraph appearing in Mr. YOUNG'S Paper on "Rating," published in the last issue of "Professional Notes," in which some remarks of Mr. Justice MATHEW (sitting with Mr. Justice WRIGHT at a Divisional Court) are repeated, with reference to an important rating case then before them, to the effect that the special case prepared by the arbitrator was inadequately stated, that it was impossible to understand it, and that in all probability, from the form in which the case appeared, no appeal would lie from the decision of the Divisional Court upon it. Their lordships, it should be added, referred it back on certain points to the arbitrator. The respondents at once appealed from this decision upon the special case as it stood, and, after full argument in the Court of Appeal, the Lords Justices gave a considered judgment, deciding in favour of the appellants upon the main question raised in the case, but in favour of the respondents upon the second of the two points submitted. Under these circumstances, the paragraph obviously does injustice to the arbitrator.
The Market Gardeners' Compensation Bill, 1894.
The Bill, promoted by Sir EDMUND LECHMERE, Bt., entitled "The Market Gardeners' Compensation Bill," is a fair arrangement, subject to certain amendments.
That market gardeners should be entitled to remove any greenhouses and buildings they may have erected during their tenancy for the purpose of carrying on their business, is equitable and just. The landlord, however, should have the option of taking to them by valuation, should he desire to do so, and, in the event of his objecting to acquire them, the tenant should remove them before the expiration of the tenancy, making good any damage done by their removal.
The question of compensating a tenant for fruit trees and bushes, strawberries, asparagus, and rhubarb and vegetable crops, whether with or without the landlord's consent, is a more difficult matter. Without proper safeguards this power might be open to abuse on the part of the tenant, who might plant his land specially with a view to a valuation at the expiration of his tenancy, regardless of the suitability of the land for fruit growing.
Sir EDMUND LECHMERE has moved an amendment to the effect that the tenant shall, not more than three months nor less than two months before beginning to execute such improvements, give notice in writing to the landlord or his agent of his intention so to do, and unless the landlord or his agent shall, within one month after the receipt of such notice, give the tenant a notice in writing of the landlord's dissent from such improvement, the tenant shall be at liberty to execute the same, and shall be entitled to compensation therefor under the principal Act.
If the landlord shall, within the time last aforesaid, deliver to the tenant such notice of dissent as aforesaid, the question whether or not the intended improvement is suitable to, and likely to add to the value of, the holding, shall be determined by a reference under the principal Act. If it shall appear by the award on any such reference that the intended improvement is suitable to, and is likely to add to the value of, the holding, the tenant shall be at liberty to
execute the same, and shall be entitled to compensation therefor under the principal Act, unless the landlord shall execute the improvement himself within such time and in such manner as may be agreed upon by himself or his agent and the tenant, or as, in case of difference between them, may be determined by the referee or umpire who shall have made the aforesaid award. But if it shall appear by the award that the intended improvement is not suitable to, or that it is not likely to add to the value of, the holding, the tenant, if he executes such improvement, shall not be entitled to any compensation for the same. This amendment puts the Act on a fairer basis, and puts an end to the retrospective aspect of the Bill, but still preserves the tenant's right to be paid the full value of the trees and bushes, irrespective of the number of years they may have been planted and the size they may have attained to.
A gentleman representing a large number of market gardeners in the neighbourhood of Evesham suggests that fruit trees and bushes permanently planted, when they attain a girth of nine inches immediately below the branches, should pass to the landord, but that until such a girth is attained the grower should receive payment for them. This, in my opinion, would be fair to landlord and tenant, as it would fix a limit to the price to be paid for the trees and would enable the tenant to recoup himself for the outlay he had made.
The question of girth would not apply to gooseberry and currant bushes and raspberry stools. I should suggest, in regard to the two former, that after being permanently planted for five years they should revert to the landlord, and in regard to the latter that four years be the limit. Until the period named the tenant should, in my opinion, be paid for them. With regard to the vegetable crops, the Bill, as originally drafted, provided that the tenant should be
entitled to be paid for all vegetable crops; this proposal, in my opinion, would be of too sweeping a character. All annual crops should be excluded from the valuation, but for crops of a more or less permanent character, such as asparagus, strawberries, and rhubarb, the tenant should be paid. To make the Bill wholly retrospective would throw too great a financial responsibility on the landlord. If the retrospective aspect of the Bill were limited to three years prior to the passing of the Act, it would be a fair compromise. I think the tenant should be allowed to remove all trees and bushes not permanently planted prior to the expiration of the tenancy.
W. H. PROTHEROE, Fellow.
COMMUNICATIONS REFERRING TO PAPERS IN THE "TRANSACTIONS," &c.
On Mr. Huskinson's Paper on the "Depression in Trade and Agriculture."
("Transactions," Vol. XXVI., pp. 377-392.)
Referring to the Paper read at the Institution on May 21st, there are one or two points in the discussion to which the time at my disposal for reply did not permit me to refer.
First, with regard to Mr. EVERITT's pathetic appeal for the remarriage of the two precious metals, I can only reply that the present evils could be remedied without bimetallism, which involves too great a check to foreign trade.
Mr. BARR ROBERTSON seems to have inferred that I said, taking the case of India, that her exports and imports balance in spite of the "tribute." I said nothing of the sort, but that the tributary, under the supposed circumstances, had to give 60 instead of 40, at which latter figure, in a healthy state of things, he would have cleared his debts.
Further, JOHN STUART MILL and other economic writers