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COWBRIDGE FARMERS' CLUB. AGRICULTURAL LEGISLATION. An adjourned general meeting of this club was held at the assembly-room of the Bear Hotel on Tuesday, for the purpose of transacting general business, to fix the prizes to be awarded at the next Christmas Fat Stock Show, and to discuss the Agricultural Tenants' Compensation Bills introduced into the House of Commons by Sir Thomas Aoland and Mr Chaplin; and also the revised draft of the Farmers' Alliance Land Tenure (England) Bill, 1882. The president of; the club, Colonel Turbervill, was in the chair, and there were also present—Messrs J. S. Gibbon, G. H. Jenkins, D. Owen, Spencer (St. Mary Church), J. Garsed, H. Thomas, Thos. Thomas (Bear. Hotel), W. V. Huntley, Thomas Morgan, W. T. Wright, E. Yorath, John Thomas (Cowbridge), R. Clement, W. Lloyd, J. Williams, J. John, David Thomas, D. Spencer, Edwards, the Rev. E. Jenkins, and Mr G. E. Tutton (secretary). The CHAIRMAN, after the formal business of the meeting had been disposed of, said that there were two Agricultural Tenants' Compensation Bills before Parliament, the first being introduced by Mr Chaplin, and the second by Sir Thomas Acland, which had for their object the strength- ening of the weak points in the Agricultural Holdings Act. The main provisions of these bills were directed to secure compensation to agricul- tural tenants in England but the present was. not the most favourable time for discussing the question. The Agricultural Commission ap- pointed by Parliament had been sitting for some years, and any recommendations which it made would have great influence with the Government when it came to deal with the subject. At pre- sent there was not the slightest chance of legislation on the subject, because the time of Parliament was at present absorbed by affairs in Ireland, Egypt, and Turkey, and indeed an autumn session was found to be necessary in order to do what was required in these directions. Under these circumstances it could not be expected that any bill dealing with agricultural subjects would have a. chance of being considered this session. Both the bills to which he had alluded had already been discussed in detail, and the general opinion appeared to be that there were good points in each, which amalgamated would make a good bill. He did not think any good purpose would be served by discussing the proposals at the present time,but he should be glad to hear what members might have to say on the subject. Mr VipBtGHT thought that what action they took should be in the shape of getting redress for Welsh farmers, who were very much overlooked by the legislature. He urged the necessity of im- pressing upon the central chamber the special wants and requirements of Welsh farmers. The Rev. E. JENKTNS objected to certain of the proposals, and said he did not think landlords should be compelled to accept any tenant who presented himself, nor did he agree that it was right that tenants should have the power of assign- ing their tenancies to ethers of whom the land- lord might not approve. He thought the general tendency of the proposed measures was to drive landlords and tenants into the law courts, which was a misfortune, for he need not insist, at this time of day, that the less the farmers and their landlords had to do with law the better it would be for all parties. He considered that of the two bills Mr Chaplin's was preferable, but he agreed that the provisions of the two might be so auial* gamated as to prove generally beneficial. Mr GARSED coincided with the chairman that it1 would be useless to discuss these bills at the pre- sent time. The report of the Agricultural Com- mission would have a very important influence on the Government in dealing with agricultural legis- lation. There were good points in both bills, and he had no doubt that a very good measure could be framed by the amalgamation of the two. Mr Chaplin's bill aimed at securing tenant right, while -that of Sir T. Acland ,went further, and fave the tenants the privilege of appealing to the nland Revenue Commissioners for compensation for improvements if the landlords refused to grant it. It was important, as far as they were con- cerned, to take care that when the Government came to deal with this subject the customs of the country should not be interfered with. He did not say that the customs of the country were perfect, because he thought that many things might be modified and improved, but it was not desirable that these customs, whichlWere the safe- guards of their interests, should be interfered with. As a whole he did not object to the bills, but there were some clauses in them which would have to be altered, as he considered them detri- mental to the best interests of the country, and, if they were persisted in, would upset the. relations which at present existed between tenants and landlords. Mr THOMAS MORGAN complained of the want of intelligibility in the Agricultural Holdings Act, and gave a general approval of Sir T. Acland's bill. Mr OWEN objected to certain clauses in Mr Chaplin's bill, especially those which had refer-, ence to compensation for limeing the land. He thought they should fight for maintaining the cus- toms of the country, which, after all, were superior i to Acts of Parliament. i The CHAIRMAN did not approve of the provi- ■ skins which allowed appeal- to the law courts, be- cause the more law they had the worse it would be for their pockets. There was nothing equal to a mutual understanding between landlords and tenants. He thought that there should be far- > mers' clubs in every district throughout the coun- try, and wherd this was impracticable they should rely on the provisions of the Agricultural Hold- ings Act. Districts should be allowed their own customs, and these customs should be considered by a central board, which might determine their justice or otherwise. He thought the weak points in the customs of the country were that they were not written, and that the valua- tions for outgoing and incoming tenants weie so divergent. He instanced a case at Bridgend, which was decided by Judge Falconfer. The out going tenant's valuation was j680, whilst the incoming tenant paid J610 in court as sufficient, and his Honour thought so to. Mr GARSED said the "question arose out of the value of manure. The CHAIRMAN remarked that this might be, but still the fact remained that there was a great dilfieretice between the two valuations. The discussion then ended, And the meeting adjourned.


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