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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76

Public Reserves

Public Reserves.

While I am strongly opposed to the Government being the sole landlord, I yet believe it would be greatly for the public good if in each town, village, and country district, one-third of the land was reserved, not as general government, but as local endowment. These reserves I would let on lease for not less than fifty (50) years, with the stipulation that at the end of the lease all the improvements should become the property of the country. By this means I believe the country would be greatly better off than if it owned the whole country on the system proposed by Henry George, for on the termination of the leases it would own one-third of the land, with all the improvements on it, and this third would be largely improved in value by the surrounding freeholds. I believe that reserves of one-third, with two-thirds of freeholds around them would bring in, if let-on terms as proposed, a larger rental than the whole of the land would if let on lease for short terms.