Mr. Lloyd George intends adopting even more radical measures in England and Wales. Here the wage of the agricultural labourers, which is at present altogether too low, is to be fixed by the State; and on the other hand, in order to enable the farmer to pay these increased wages, the rent which he has to pay to the landowner is to be determined by the authorities, by the courts, without appeal This signifies the re-establishment of the paramount ownership of the whole in the interest of the whole, that is, in the interest of the health, wealth, defensive force and happiness of the people, and constitutes an enormous restriction and narrownig of the title of possession according to Roman law: heneeforthfthe use of property is to be allowed within reasonable limits, but the abuse that has hitherto been indulged m by the English landlords is to be abolished: it is no longer to be permitted that the richest land, which could serve for the nourishment of many thousands of people, should be misused for merely sporting and hunting purposes, that arable land should be converted into pasture merely for the sake of the owner's convenience and perhaps of a slight increase of his rent. The conviction that the absolutely unlimited Roman title to land is pernicious has already become so widespread in England that even the opponents of the present Liberal Government do not venture any more to defend it unreservedly. They are also in favour of a very vigorous internal colonisation; they also wish to restore to the people as much land as it needs to be able to breathe: but, and this is very remarkable they do not wish to give the people the land, as Mr. Iiloyd George proposes, in thé form of cheap, long-term or irredeemable leases, but in the form of thé small estate upon the basis of Roman law. The economie and political grounds that actuate them to this step are perfectly obvious. The price of land in England, where it is in very great demand for all sorts of non-economie reasons, does not stand in any economie relation to the rent that can be earned from it. The average interest upon land capital is about 2 per cent. When the State takes a lease of land it pays at the most the present rent, which is very low; but when it is compelled to buy it pays the present purchase price, which is very high. Besides the landlords prefer to give away entirely pieces of their land rather than encumber their unrestricted possession with leases, upon whose holders they cannot exercise any immediate influence any longer. They instinctively subserve, so to speak, the principle that supports and protects the entire predatory system of the world hitherto in vogue, the principle of unrestricted land ownership; they will not in any circumstances admit even to a small extent the principle that promises humanity happiness, peace and harmony. That is the secret ground of their resistance and their counter-proposals.
Alleged advantages of Now, what grounds do they advance as pretexts ? It
complete possession is the old fable that complete possession is indispensable and disadvantages of for the good management of the concern. We say, the the short term lease. 0ld fable, for in England it is becoming more and more evident that complete possession does not guarantee the highest economie efficiency of management. Just as in Germany the very large estates there also are the worst managed:'it is quite clear that the entails are always deprived of all available capital when an inheritance is entered upon, because every feoffee in trust—and all English landlords are feoffees in trust-! will have the natural desire to leave as much capital as possible in money to his other children, who are practicaUy disinherited by the laws, "the rétiring heirs." Under such conditions the estate must naturally suffer most severely.
Por the rest, it is not to be disputed that in general the real owner, the permanent owner, looks after his land with much more thoroughness and devotion than the tenant for a short period. It is obvious that nobody will sow where he is not sure that either he himself or his family will reap. And thus it is clear that every tenant who knows his advantage will invest in the estate only as long as he