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A SERIES OF ESSAYS
PUBLISHED UNDER THE SANCTION OF
The Cobden Club.
til Rights reserver.
The present volume contains a series of independent Treatises on various national systems of land tenure.
It is published by the Cobden Club, in the belief that they cannot better promote the objects which Cobden had at heart than by collecting, from competent authorities, statements of the law and practice prevailing in different civilized communities, in relation to property in land, and in thus contributing towards the formation of a public opinion on this important subject, founded upon a wide and varied experience.
The view taken by Cobden of the injurious effects upon the national economy, of the present state of the law with respect to property in land in this country, is well known; and the advice and warning which he gave to his fellow-countrymen on the last occasion upon which he addressed them in public, possess a peculiar interest at the present time.
Political events have already brought into prominence in Ireland questions which, however they may be allowed to sleep in ordinary times, lie at the root of all social progress, and are now engaging the anxious attention of all parties in the State.
The Committee of the Cobden Club have thought that a comparative study of the different systems of land tenure described in this volume, will not only serve a useful purpose in affording sound information with respect to general principles of legislation, and their practical application, in the countries to which reference has been made, but will at the same time throw light upon the Irish Land Question, which forms the subject of the First Essay.
Each Author is solely responsible for his own contribution, and the Committee of the Ciub have exercised no editorial control over the expression of individual opinions.
It is right to state that M. de Lavergne had undertaken to furnish a paper on the Land System of France, but was prevented by ill health from fulfilling his intention. Under these circumstances the Committee have been fortunate in obtaining the assistance of Mr. T. Cliffe Leslie, who is well known to have devoted much attention to the rural economy of Western Europe, and who consented, at very short notice, to supply M. de Lavergne's place.