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self-supporting members of society, acting on a religious principle. Hence they will be best conducted by individual bodies, carrying into effect their own religious convictions, with close and rigid inspection by the State as to their effective working:
The parent has a double duty to discharge towards his child; first, to supply him with the means of subsistence; secondly, to train him in the
It is then further assumed, that, by neglecting the second part of his responsibility, he ought pot to be permitted to escape the first.
The objections usually raised to such reformatory plans are, that they “confer a premium on crime,” and “ interfere with the liberty of the subject;" the religious question also presents obstacles. These difficulties are all met in the preceding scheme and the principles assumed.
ART. VII.- LANDLORD AND TENANT UNDER THE
N these momentous and progressive times, when science is is absolutely incumbent on us, whether we possess broad acres or narrow garden strips, to co-operate in carrying out more liberal covenants either under private arrangements or public enactments, and more enlightened views respecting land culture, as it is only by an assiduous attention to this subject we can hope successfully to compete with the foreigner. Thus, agriculture, although temporarily depressed by low prices and excessive burdens, (for the burdens of land bear an unfair proportion compared with personal property and stock in trade, so much so that in the eventful session of 1846 Sir Robert Peel said, “The land is entitled to protection on account of some peculiar burdens upon it, but that is a question of justice rather than of policy; but 1 bave always felt and maintained that the land is subject to peculiar burdens,”) and aided by security for improvements in the shape of an acknowledged“ tenant right,” may again take its stand amongst the other arts and sciences, increasing the energies of the tenant, unshackled by the caprice of landlords, and, by employing the labourer, stopping crime and degradation, and, by increasing produce, serving the best interests of the community at large.
Although properly constructed leases and agreements vary
VOL. XV. NO. XXIX.
according to the prevailing customs and modes of tenure in the several districts or counties, yet they ought to be clear, distinct and simple, and it becomes the duty of the landlord to let the tenant have such an equitable interest in the culture of the soil, so as to invest the capital employed beneficially for himself, and improve the landlord's interest. Two modes of letting land now principally prevail, viz. a holding for one year, extinguishable at the end of the year by a six months' notice being given by either party; and by a lease for a certain number of years mentioned in the agreement. The relative superiority of holding by lease or by a yearly tenancy has been much disputed; but we believe it is a fact that cannot be denied, that where leases for years are the prevailing mode of letting, there the best rents are paid, the land better cultivated, and the farmer reaps the most profit. A written agreement to enter into a lease when required has been held at law as good as a lease, and is generally a precursor to a lease.
The word “ rent” implies the return in service, corn, cattle or money for the land demised. There are three kinds of rents: rent-service, partly in corporal service and partly in money; rentcharge, where lands are made over to another for a certain term, with a sum of money reserved as a yearly payment, and a clause of distress for non-payment charged on the land; and rent-seck, or dry rent, which has no clause of distress. The adoption of a corn rent in place of a fixed money rent takes away the only element of uncertainty which need cause any doubt to the tenant, and, owing to Free Trade principles, is likely to become more general than formerly, as it is impossible, supposing a farm to be well cultivated, that the tenant can pay the same rent when wheat is 40s. as at the time it was 60s.; and the usual way is to take the average prices of wheat and barley for three years, and for the tenant to pay a proportionate rent to the price, and as the rent would be measured, not by the average of one year, but three years, the tenant would never have to pay a large increase of rent in one year, as the presumption is, in the course of three years there would be both abundant and deficient harvests.
With regard to Ireland, we are told that a new and remarkable law is necessary; that the contract between the possessor of the land and him who desires to have it for the purposes of tillage requires to be taken out of the common order of contracts; and that a supervising power to regulate the terms of the bargain between the two parties must be appointed by the state.
Admitting that there are cases which justified legislative interference with the free-will of contracting parties, two assertions demand remark. The Irish tenants are miserable, and demand
legislative interference. The second assertion is, “ that, with certain and few exceptions, the British Isles are the only parts of the world in which the class of occupiers have to adjust their relations to the soil by special bargain, in the same way as people buy hats and coats. Every one else but the farmer is his own landlord, or else the hand of the landlord over him is strictly restrained by law. It is only in these islands that law leaves the landlord unfettered by positive obligations, and at full liberty to use or abuse as he pleases the dominion given him over the soil.”
The Irish Tenant league proposes to step in between the parties to the contract, namely, the possessor of the land and the man who proposes to hire it, and deprive both of the real control of the arrangement. Seasons, they say, are precarious, and the produce uncertain, the outlay is necessary and certain ; and they therefore propose not to leave to the discretion of B., the tenant, the determination of the sum he can afford to pay, but to settle the amount when the crop is gathered, by taking an account of the actual outlay and the actual return, and thereupon giving to the landlord a fair proportion of the net produce of the farm, as determined by arbitrators.
Such a measure would be fatal to the interests of the country, and is very unlike the Landlord and Tenant Bill, which has for its object the power of securing a judicious and useful amount of outlay for improvements, and not the regulation of the absolute value of the land itself.
In La Béarn (the granary of France), as well as in most parts of France, say the correspondents of the Morning Chronicle, leases are ordinarily drawn up for periods of nine, eighteen or twenty-seven years, and there are fixed breaks, by which either party can get rid of the obligations; ordinary stipulations in French leases bind the farmer to pay the taxes falling on the land, to take on himself the charges of the necessary repairs, so as to keep the farm buildings in proper order, not to sublet without the consent of the proprietor, and to consume all the straw on the farm. In some parts of the country a curious sort of tenant right prevails : at the expiration of the lease a farmer may bargain to renew it again at a higher rate than before: if the landlord refuses, he is bound to pay the tenant down in ready money three times the amount of the proposed yearly increase; thus, suppose A. rents a farm at 80 francs the hectare (not an uncommon rate), and offers at the expiration of his lease to renew the obligation at the rate of 85 francs, the landlord, if he refuses, is bound to pay him down 15 francs per hectare as an assurance for the improvements which he has made and the capital he has expended; in this manner the tenant has a hold upon the proprietor, who must pay if he wishes to eject, while, on the other hand, there is little danger of the farmer exaggerating the value of the improvements, as he may be taken at his word, and may be made to pay the increased rent rateably to the increased productiveness and value of the land.
In Denmark, the tenant is entitled to a renewal of the contract for fifty years, on paying to the proprietor an increased yearly rent. If such an offer is made in the first ten years, the proprietor shall either accept it, or buy out the tenant by paying twenty times the amount of yearly increase offered, e.g., if the tenant offers to pay in rents five quarters of barley more than before, the proprietor, in case he does not accept the offer, shall give the tenant an indemnity of one hundred quarters of barley. If the tenant makes an offer in the course of the next ten years, and it is not accepted, then the proprietor shall pay to the tenant an indemnity of sixteen times the amount of the offered yearly increase. If the offer be made within the third term of ten years and refused, then the indemnity is to be fourteen times the amount of the offered yearly increase; if in the fourth ten years, twelve times such amount. If after forty or forty-five years, the indemnity is to be ten times the amount; and if the forty-fifth, forty-sixth, forty-seventh or forty-eighth years, five times the amount. In the last year the proprietor shall neither be bound to renew the contract nor to give him indemnity for not renewing it; the farmer is precluded from transferring the property leased or any part of it to others without the proprietor's consent, but he has the option of giving up the lease. In this case it is to be disposed of by public auction, and the proprietor is entitled to reserve the ground on paying the highest bid offered at the auction within a term of fourteen days.
The burdens which attach to lands are tithes, partly extinguished by allotments of land in lieu of tithes and commutations, church rates, repairs of roads and turnpike tolls, poor rates (out of which connty rates are paid), land tax and income tax.1 Twelve millions of direct taxation in the shape of poor rates, county rates, highway rates, church rates, tithes, land and income tax, are annually levied on the real property of the country, while property other than real is almost totally exempt. By the act of Elizabeth, lands, houses, tithes, coal mines and underwood within the parish are rateable, whilst personal property, stock in trade, ships, &c., to be rateable must be locally
i These aniount to about 25 per cent., or 40s. per quarter on the wheat produced.
situate and visible within the parish in which the owner resides. It must not only be productive, but must be capable of being proved to be productive, and the rate applied to the clear liquidated surplus, after payment of the owner's debts, which is considered to constitute his ability. The determination then of the rateable value of stock in trade is the chief subject of difficulty, so much so, that in manufacturing and mining districts, real property is often only made applicable owing to the trouble and expense of the assessment.
It appears that out of a population of 27,000,000 in Great Britain and Ireland, of which nearly 18,000,000 are engaged in or dependent on agriculture, the taxation, direct and local, paid by land amounts yearly to the sum of 17,000,0001., of which 6,000,000!. is paid by the agricultural classes. The capital and stock invested in land is of the value of 200,000,0001., and the annual produce is 250,000,0001. Farmers, landowners, and others interested in land, thus naturally complain of the immense amount of taxation and want of protection, when in Coventry the ribbon manufacturers are protected by a duty of 14s. a pound, in Derby the silk trimmers fifteen per cent., and in Stafford the shoemakers at ls. 9d. or 14s. a dozen. The editor of the “Times,” in a leading article of the 20th of last February, says, “ It is a matter of common sense, justice and honesty, that if one occupier of property is rated to the relief of the poor, or any other local burden, all occupiers should be rated, without any exemption. If exemptions are once allowed, there is no end to them; a large proportion of those who ought to pay get off one way or the other, those who continue to pay are the more burdened; instead of the exemptions being a real relief to the occupiers, the landlord gets so much the more in the shape of rent.” The agricultural classes, therefore, think and feel that, as they are now deprived of protection, under which they have derived their property and pursued their industry, their position should be altered by an adjustment of rent, or an alleviation of this intolerable burden, and adapted to this new state of circumstances, and the system of taxation revised, with reference to a more equal and just distribution. If as much as six millions of property have been sacrificed under the system of free trade, and many speculators utterly ruined by importing foreign corn and pre-engaging foreign crops for the market in the face of a good harvest expected or ascertained, it is useful to take warning by acting more discreetly for the future; for as long as corn from Dantzic and other ports can be imported at 33s.,
including freight, insurance, commission, &c., the foreigner can profitably