Gladstone and the Irish Nation

By J. L. Hammond | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II
MEMORANDUM PREPARED FOR MINISTERS ON "FAIR RENT"
XCVIII. (2) 25th May, 1881[ May 23,1881]
MEMORANDUM ON FAIR RENT
With Note containing definitions of "Fair Rent" Mr. Butt, Mr. Litton, and Sir Stafford Northcote.The object of this memorandum is to show that the factors which go to make up a fair rent are themselves so indefinite and so capable of being combined in a variety of proportions that any approach to accuracy in the definition of a fair rent cannot be expected.A full rent (the term "full" being designedly used for the purpose of avoiding the idea of abstract equity associated with "fair rent," or want of abstract equity associated with "rack rent") may in England be described to be such rent as a tenant possessed of adequate capital and of average cultivating skill might reasonably be expected to pay for a farm, on the understanding that so paying he would be able to maintain himself and his family, and make a fair profit.The tenants profits depend principally on,
1. The inherent productiveness of the soil.

This is a matter to be decided by an expert in the quality of soils.

2. The skill of the cultivator.

One man will by skill make a farm pay well where another will be ruined. Average skill only can be obtained, to be ascertained by observation of neighbouring farms. The adequacy of the capital must also in a great measure be measured by the customary expenditure of neighbouring farms.

-232-

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