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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

Peasant Proprietors. (S376ae: 1885)

Editor Charles H. Smith’s Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 2 of the 19 February 1885 issue of the Pall Mall Gazette. To link directly to this page connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S376AE.htm

To the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette.

     Sir,--Please allow me a few words in reply to "An Irishman." He maintains that rent is the most objectionable form of debt; but that is certainly not the opinion of most writers on the subject, who see the peasant proprietor in many parts of the world a slave to the money-lender and ultimately his victim. And how would he avoid this or some other form of debt in establishing peasants as absolute owners of the land? The labourer who possesses capital sufficient both to purchase land and stock it is altogether an exceptional being for whom certainly the proposed legislation is not intended. And if he has only a little capital it is universally admitted that it will be far better for himself to use this capital in working his land than to expend it in the purchase. In order to secure the three essential objects of a good land system--that the occupier shall have capital sufficient to work his land, that he shall not fall into the hands of local money-lenders, and that the community shall ultimately benefit by the unearned increment--the system of secure occupying ownership at a fair rent is far superior to that of absolute ownership, besides being for the purpose now desired--the enabling of large numbers of our labourers to obtain land as speedily as possible--far more practicable and effective. --I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

Alfred R. Wallace.
February 18.

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