LEASEHOLDERS' ENFRANCHISEMENT BILL.
(TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.")
Sts.,—Your article of last week indicates the true policy which -those who support this Bill should adopt. Perpetual leases will give all the advantages of freehold, without disarranging the _relations of landlord and tenant. Why do you depart from this principle in the conclusion of the article? The same treatment which is good for new leases is surely good for existing ones. Instead of "compulsory sale, with full compensation" to the landlord, is it not simpler to have compulsory grants of per- petual leases ? Give every leaseholder whose term has twenty _years to run the right to turn his holding into a perpetual tenure, on payment of a sum to be determined in the County Court. This would give the leaseholder security, withoot going farther. It would leave untouched the restrictive -covenants by which he is bound for the common good of the -estate, and from which he ought not to be set free. It would leave also the possibility of investing in ground-rents, which are growing in favour with trustees every day. Though shorn -of their prospective advantages, they would remain safe and eligible investments. Mr. Broadhurst's proposal erred by • attempting too much. Had he confined himself to the attempt to substitute the system of perpetual leases for temporary ones, he would have relieved himself of much unnecessary weight, and could have urged with great force that he was only pro- posing to assimilate the South of England to the North and to Scotland. All who feel the injustice and impolicy of the short- lease system should join in demanding the creation of perpetual