This novel system of tenancy is avowedly an experiment and is devised with the object of securing to farmers all the advantages of ownership while at the same time ensuring that, in the public interest, full use is made of the land.
The large majority of those who occupy and cultivate agricul tural land possess the right of ownership. France is typically a country of peasant proprietors who have complete control of their property and are in no way restricted by law or otherwise in dealing with it. Similar conditions exist also in other countries but in some cases the proprietorship of the peasant is modified by communal rules and traditions.
It would appear at first sight that the line of demarcation be tween ownership and tenancy is well-defined, but in fact owner ship may give no more than limited control of the land, and on the other hand the terms of tenancy may be such—as in the case of the new class of State tenants in Denmark above-mentioned that they confer practically all the rights of ownership.
From the economic, as distinct from the legal, point of view, the tenure of agricultural land falls into two main classes. In the one class the occupier has full possession of, and security in, the holding and control of its use, and in the other class his oc cupation is dependent on the will of another and his use of the land is subject to limitations.
It is commonly assumed that the ownership of agricultural land by the occupier will ensure its most effective economic use. The dictum of Arthur Young that "the magic of property turns sand into gold" is quoted as expressing an unchallengeable truth of universal application. No such generalisation can be fairly made if facts and not theories are considered. No doubt the as surance that all the fruits of a man's toil and enterprise will accrue to himself and will not be shared with another is a strong incentive to energy, but other factors, psychological, political, racial. or other, may tend to counteract this influence. In any case, although it is easy to cite instances where the most intensive cultivation of the soil is practised under conditions of ownership, it is equally easy to refer to cases where under the same conditions the land is ill-cultivated and neglected. On the other hand a system of
tenancy may, as was the case in England in the last century, be fore farmers possessed any statutory rights in their holdings, re sult, as it did, in the highest development of the art of husbandry. Flanders also presents an example of the same fact.
The conclusion is that while conditions of tenure may have a considerable influence on the economic use of land they cannot be regarded as decisive.
Tenure means the holding of land and the rights that go with such holding. It includes everything from fee simple title, em bracing all possible rights within the general limitations imposed by government, down to the most restricted forms of tenancy. Tenancy means holding land under the ownership of another. As so often has been said, property is a bundle of rights, and a study of tenure means partial analysis of these rights.