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17UAN

INTRODUCTION.

The Agricultural Holdings (England) Act, 1883, is based upon the Act of 1875 in so far that the Improvements in respect of which compensation may be claimed are almost identical in the two Acts. The Act of last Session, however, differs in two of its main features from the Act of 1875, namely, (first) that, whilst the latter was entirely permissive in its character, the new Act is compulsory in all cases where fair and reasonable compensation is not otherwise secured to the tenant; and (secondly) the new Act differs from the one of 1875 in the measure of the compensation to be awarded. By the Act of 1875 the basis of the compensation was the original outlay, limited on a scale of

years within which the improvements were to be deemed as having become exhausted, whereas in the Act of 1883 the measure of the compensation is the value of the improvement to the oncoming tenant, and the original outlay is a comparatively unimportant matter. The new Act has been described as an attempt to pay by results. If money is laid out by a tenant unfortunately or unwisely he will be the sufferer, and cannot call on the landlord or incoming tenant to recoup him for his outlay, however recent; whilst on the other hand if a tenant lays out money judiciously and makes a good investment he will get the full benefit of it. The principle would appear at first sight to be a sound one, but the difficulty is in the application of it. How is the value of the improvement to an oncoming tenant to be arrived at ? This must involve, in many cases, the question of the state of the holding prior to the execution of the improvement since which years may have elapsed, and it will thus be found impossible to ascertain, with any degree of accuracy, the basis upon which the calculation of the value of the improvement is to be made, and what with the varying quality of manures and feeding stuffs, and the effect upon

their use of wet or dry seasons; the respective virtues of liming and marling; and the strength carried away by the sale of hay and straw ; added to the requirement of the Act that the valuer shall abstain from taking

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