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THE RHYDONEN CASE.

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THE RHYDONEN CASE. THE DISPUTE IN THE APPEAL COURT. In the Court of Appeal on Monday, com- posed of Lords Justices A. L. Smith, Chitty, and Collins, the matter of an arbitration be- tween Lloyd and Tooth came up. This was an appeal by Mrs. Elizabeth Jane Lloyd, lately the tenant of Rhydonen Farm, near Ruthin, Denbighshire, from an order by Mr. Justice Channell giving to the respondent, the land. lord of the farm, leave to enforce an arbitra- tion award in the same manner as a judgment of the High Court, and it raised an important issue under the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1883. Mr. Lawson Walton, Q.C., M.P., and Mr. S. Evans, M.P., were counsel for the ap- pellant, and Mr. C. Russell, Q.C. t and Mr. S. T. Edwards for the respondent. It appeared that on the; death of her uncle, who had been in occupation of Rhydonen Farm for some yeirs, Mrs. Lloyd, the appellant, succeeded to the tenancy of the farm, a clause in the subsisting lease being to the effect that all questions arising between landlord and ten- ant in regard to the covenants of the lease should be dealt with under the procedure clauses of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1883. Dis- putes arose in the year 1896, and in May notice to quit the farm wa3 served on the tenant, to operate in November. In the month of Sep- tember Mrs. Lloyd gave notice to the landlady, Mrs. Tooth, of a claim for compensation for unexhausted improvements under the Agricul tural Holdings Act, 1883, and she supplemented that claim by others made in January and November, 1897, as a set off against the tenant's claim, the landlady gave notice of counter-claim in November, 1896, and further counter-claims in the month of May and October following, in respect of allowance due to the landlord under the same Act, and for breaches of covenaut to cultivate certain fields according to the tenancy. As some of these claims and counter-claims were beyond the two months' time allowed by the Act, the parties signed an agreement sub- mitting all issues to the arbitrators and umpire already appointed at the time under the Agri- cultural Holdings Act. The finding of the urn. pire was that after the amounts due on the tenant's claim had been put against the land- lord's counterclaim, there remained a balance of E255 due to the landlord, and the sole ques- tion was how the amount could be recovered. The landlady sought to enforce payment by means of the Arbitration Act, and obtained an order from the Master to sign judgment, which was confirmed by Mr. Justice Channell. Hence the appeal. Mr. L. Walton, in support of the appeal, said that Mr. Justice Channell's judgment was baaed on an interpretation of the law, that the land- lord had power to recover an amount awarded to him under the Agricultural Holdings Act, not by power of that Act, but by the general law. His case was that there was no power given by the Agricultural Holdings Act to en- force an award which benefited the landlord. The intention of the Legislature in passing the Act was from first to last to compensate the tenant for improvements he had made on the land. The landlord might neutralise the ten- ant's claim by counter claiming, as provided by the Act, but the Act gave no new power to the landlord to recover amounts due to him. His counter-claim, which could be recovered under the Act, was limited by the, amount of the tenant's claim. Lord Justice Collins: Then the landlord must undergo two expensive processes to recover his indebtedness? Mr. Walton quoted in support of his argu. ment the case of Holves v. Formby, decided by Justices Grantham and Lawrance in 1895, when a writ of prohibition was issued preventing a landlord from enforcing a claim against a ten- ant in the county court under the procedure section of the Agricultural Holdings Act. Mr. Samuel Evans, M.P., followed on the same side. Without calling upon counsel for the res- pondent, Lord Justice Smith delivered judg- ment, observing th9t the extraordinary result of the interpretation which their Lordships were asked to put upon the Agricultural Hold- ings Act, 1883, would be that after an expen- sive arbitration in which the figures had been fully gone into and a result arrived at, the landlord should be put to fresh litigation with the tenant and to fresh costs and expenses in order that it might be found out how far the landlord's claim over-topped tnat of the tenant. It would require, a very strong case indeed to lead him to the conclusion that that was the in- tention of the Agricultural Holdings Act. There were few authorities upon the point, but as to the case of Holmes v. Formby which had been cited he was satisfied that that case only decided that where a balance had been found at the arbitration to be due to the land- lord, the landlord could not recover by the county court procedure specially provided by the Agricultural Holdings Act. In the present case it was sought to recover, not through the county court but through the High Court, and his Lordship found nothing in the Act to pro- hibit this. All that was asked was that the award on the submission to arbitration now existing in favour of the landlord might be brought into the High Court and enforced un- der the provisions of the Arbitration Act. In his judgment the order by Mr. Justice Chan- nell was right. The appeal must be dismissed with costs. Lord Justice Chitty concurred, holding that the Agricultural Holdings Act in no way pro- cluded a landlord where his claim over-topped that of a tenant from enforcing his claim in the usual way by action upon it. When there bad been a submission to arbitration it was clear that an action would lie upon the award within section 12 of the Arbitration Act. Accordingly the appeal was dismissed with costs.

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