Images de page

on the export trade of the country to the extent of between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000 a year. (cheers). Gentlemen, you know the effect. You know very well that when that restriction was in force you did not get the price you have been getting for the last 20 years. You know that the price, perhaps, of wheat has been much the same as it had been before The price of oats is better than was to be had on the average is protection times. But the price, with the exception of wheat-the price of almost every agricultural commodity-the price of wool, the price of meat, the price of cheese, the price of everything that the soil produces has been largely inereased in the free and open market of the world. Because the artificial advantage that you got from protection, as it was sud to be an advantage was removed, you were brought into that free and open market; and with the enlarging of free trade was enlarged the buying capacity of your customers, so that they were willing and able to give you and did give you a great deal for your meat and your wool and your products in general than you ever got under the system of protection. (cheers). If that be true-and that cannot, I believe, be disputed or impugned—I don't think I need fur her discuss the


[ocr errors]


Mr. John Hamilton, D.L, J.P., of St. Eraans, Douegal, has published the following paper :

During and after the Irish Famine in 1846, and the following years, I had a good deal of conversation and correspondence with Lord Clarendon (then Lord-Lieutenant), about the state of the peasantry, and the possible improvement of their general condition.

Among other matters I then suggested a plan something like the following, and the years during which I have since then lived in Ireland, confirm my opinion that something very like this would help materially to change for the better the condition of Ireland, socially and politically.

Having been for nearly sixty years a landed proprietor, living in Ireland, and spending a long life and large sums in endeavouring to improve both the land and its occupiers, my view of these matters may be worth something.

I therefore offer my plan for careful consideration, and have no doubt that the result would be to the credit of the States men who should complete and carry out that of which I pretend only to suggest the outline.

The present condition of all landed interests renders this a time peculiarly calling for such an effort in their cause. The mere idea that such an effort was really in contemplation would tend to quiet much of the disturbed thoughts and excited feelings which prevail, to the great detriment of the land, its owners and its occupiers.


Many things have of late drawn attention to the advantages, on all sides, of having a considerable nu nber of the peasantry who occupy the land, also possessed of their holdings in perpetuity, especially in the case of small holdings, valued at from ten to thirty pounds yearly.

The relative position of landlords and tenants in Ireland is such as to make it very desirable to introduce some change, so as to enable the tenant, without wrong to the landlord to obtain a permanent interest in the land he holds and in all its improvements and to do away with the difficulties and uncertainties which embarrass the questions of land tenure as it now exists.

It is then proposed to enable the tenant to purchase the perpetuity of his holding, and by paying also a proportional sam to reduce the yearly rent by one quarter, or a half, so that after payment was made he would hold at a very low rent, easily made up even in bad seasons, and all improve. ments would be his own..

The terms upon which such an arrangement might be made are here supposed to be 25 or 26 years' purchase for the portion reduced from the rent, and five or six years' purchase for the perpetuity and for the giving up by the landlord of the probable improvement of the value of land.

In the case of the tenants upon the glebe lands of the Episcopal Church in Ireland, they were enabled to purchase the fee simple of their holdings by an advanced loan from the


funds of the disendowed church, which loan is in course of being repaid with interest (at 3 per cent. yearly interest, and per cent to repay the capital for a certain number of years), so that the funds from which the advance is made loses nothing.

It is proposed that the Government should advance on similar terms, the means of purchase, to tenants desirous of buying the perpetuity of their holdings. The security would be good, and a department added to the Encumbered Estates Court could carry out the lending, and the receiving the repayments-and the care of the valuation of each holding could be given to officers of the Board of Works, so as to secure the integrity of each transaction. A percentage being added to each yearly payment to cover the expenses.

The tenant would thus have purchased what, to him, would be of more than half the value of his rent, besides the perpe

taity, while the landlord would have half his rent secured to him by all the purchase money, and by all the improvement which would assuredly be generally made in the value of the land-and for the second half he would have 30 years' purchase.

It may be thought that this would interfere with the old intercourse between landlord and tenant; this would be fully balanced by the doing away with much that is not agreeable in the same direction.

The case of estates under settlements or mortgages would come to be considered, the purchase of holdings on these could be invested by the court, and the interest be paid to the landlord, the capital remaining subject to the same claims as the land had been, till the trusts and mortgages are satisfied.

such as under what circumstances landlords might refuse to Other matters would also require special arrangement; sell; also as to royalties, mines and minerals, water courses

&c., &c.

As to subdivisions, these might be kept within due bounds by making every dwelling-house subject to a valuation to the poor rates and county or other local rates.

It may be expected that purchasers of perpetuities would be by far most numerous among the smaller holders of land, especially from the fact that these are in the habit of buying "Tenant Right" (as it is called) at very high prices; for it is of more importance and profit to one who can, with his family, work his little farm, to have such a home, than it is to a large farmer. And such a man will give ten years' purchase of the fair, full rent, or more, merely to get into the place of the outgoing tenant without any lease. And, almost always, the purchaser thrives on his purchase, though he gets no direct return for his money, but he works hard and saves.

It is hardly credible to anyone who has not been acquainted with the Irish peasantry what they will do, and can do to secure a sure home for themselves and their successors. This leads them often to promise to pay a rent, too high for the real value of their holdings, which rent, however, they do pay wonderfully truly, making every effort in their power, and denying themselves almost the necessaries of life, rather than leave the cabin and few acres where they were born-and for which they often pay so dearly.

Even under very unfavourable circumstances, the Irish occupier of a little holding of from 5 to 15 acres will manage to pay his rent, rear a family, send his children into the world not unprovided for, and keep a very tolerably comfortable. cottage over his head.

It is true that when he has done this, and is in fear of losing the home he loves, he apt to listen to the bad advice of agitators, whose game is to stir him up to violence and outrage, which can only make his condition worse. But it is the part of a good Government to provide means for the encouragement of the better feelings and of the sel -improving tendencies of such a people. And if there are difficulties to be met and overcome in the endeavour to do so, they will be. much less financially and politically than will occur in any effort in other directions.

This plan would not tend to increase the number of small holdings, but would raise the condition and character of the smaller tenants.

Could not a fund be raised (say at 3 per cent.) for the purpose of this plan expressly, so as not to interfere with the ordinary taxation or with the ordinary expenditure of the Government? Tais is question for financiers in all ita bearings..

AGRICULTURE IN ENGLAND AND THE | demand for metallurgical and textile products,


[ocr errors]

Mr. Brassey's address as President of the Statistical Society, contained some valuable statistics relating to its subject Agricultare in England and the United States." Most of these statistics have appeared before; but Mr. Brassey has collected them into a convenient focus for observation, and admirably arranged them. Indeed, there is such a complete collection of the most important facts and figures within the compass of the 24 pages on which the address is issued by the Statistical Society, that we hope it will be reprinted for sale at a low price, in order to bring it within the reach of every person interested in its important subject.

Some of the most interesting statistics to which Mr. Brassey calls attention are those re'ating to the production and prices of wheat in the United States. The vast increase in the acreage of the crop has been a subject of frequent comment; but the great variation in its export and price has received less attention. The great increase in the area of land under wheat is shown by the fact that, for the eight years ending in 1878 it averaged about 50 per cent. greater than during the previous eight years. Of course if the acreage of the first and last year of the series comprising these two terms were compared the difference would be greater still. As to the increase of exports, Mr. Brassey informs us that of the small crop of 1866 the United States exported but 83 per cent., while of the enormous crop of 1878 the export exceeded 30 per cent. But what will be more surprising to many who have not carefully studied the subject, will be to learn how much greater the fall in the value of wheat has been in America than in this country, even in recent years. Thus, in the United States, the price fell from 65s. per quarter in 1866 to 26s. in 1878, while the price of British wheat was 49s. 11d. at he earlier, and 46s. 5d. at the later date. And this fall in value has been, as Mr. Brass-y remarks, gradual, although of course liable to considerable fluctuations. A point that is likely to have weight with American farmers, when they fully realise it, is this-that a large crop in the States brings a smaller return than a crop below average. Mr. Brassey says:-"In years when an average crop is obtained in Europe the price in the United States is governed entirely by the quantity produced and the home consump tion, the quantity exported being so small in proportion to the enormous amount raised that it exercises no influence on the price. Thus, the crop of 1877, amounting to about 1,342,000,000 bushels, was valued at £93 128,000; the crop of 1878, amounting to about 1,371,000,000 bushels, was estimated at £87,360,000. There was comparatively little difference between the two crops; but the differe..ce in value was large, the reason being that the European crop was better in 1878 than it was in 1877. Mr. Brassey thinks that if the reduction in the price of wheat should go much further, while the activity of the industrial region in New England is stimulated by a renewed

[ocr errors]

we may look for some check in the progress of wheat cultivation in the United States. Already he remarks that the growth of oats, rye, barley, and buckwheat shows a tendency to increase, the oat crop of 1878 having nearly equalled the wheat crop in number of bushels. As we p inted out some time ago, there has already been in America some talk of " 'reducing the out-put of wheat, and we have never been amongst those who think that American farmers will go on growing any crop without a profit. In reply it is urged that the small farmers of the United States and Canada will keep on growing the usual farm crops, and rearing stock, living chiefly on their own produce and selling the surplus for whatever it will bring. Such a system may go on for a time; but in the long run people do not continue to produce what does not pay them. Several writers have endeavoured to prove that American farmers can grow wheat to sell at Liverpool for 328. a quarter or less; but their accounts are not satisfactory, and if they were, the profit they allow to the grower is only a few shillings an acre. Rail freights have lately risen in the United States, and are likely to rise still higher, as Railway Companies have not been getting fair interest on their capital at the extremely low rates at which they have carried agricultural produce. Then, as the population of the great American Continent increases, and wheat becomes more generally an article of food amongst the whole people, there will be an increased demand for that grain, so that ultimately there is reason to b lieve, with Mr. Brassey, that higher prices. than those which prevailed last year will rule. At the same time we must point out that some of these are contingencies of the somewhat remote. future. There is a vast area of fertile soil in America yet untilled, and as settlement is going on very rapidly the increase in the produce of wheat for some years to come is certain to be great, unless a series of bad seasons should occur in that continent, similar to the term of bad years, from which British famers are now suffering. The price of wheat is now sufficiently high to stimulate its growth in America on a vast scale, and as long as occasional years of high prices occur, there is not likely to be a diminution. All that we contend for is that if such low prices as prevailed last year should continue for any considerable length of time, less wheat. would be grown We hold to the opinion that we have frequently before expressed, namely, that British farmers must be prepared to see the price of wheat frequently down to 40s. per quarter, sometimes below it, and seldom much above it for more than a year or two at a time. We cannot, therefore, agree with Mr. Brassey in. thinking that the probable pressure of American competition, as far as the growth of corn is concerned, affords no ground for demanding a permanent reduction in rents in this country. Still less do we endorse his views when the competition in meat production has to be considered. We cannot understand how Mr. Brassey comes to the con-c'usion that a careful survey of the most recent phases of sheep and cattle farming in America

appears to us as clear as anything not already past can be, that, under the existing conditions of land tenancy, the expenses of farming, including rent, must be reduced if British farmers are to pay their way. Land in this country is undoubtedly worth less to farm than it has been, and it is almost certain to be worth less for many years to come. In order to make it worth as much as it has been worth, disadvantages which have prevailed, and which could be borne under past eircumstances, must be removed. This Mr. Brassey admits; but what he does not point out is that the process of recovery must at the best be slow. The owners of land may depend upon it that their only hope of restoring the prosperity of British agriculture-which is their prosperity

lies in the removal of the multifarious impediments, legal and customary, which handicap the tenant-farmer; but they must not expect the required reforms to show instantaneous results, and in the meantime they will have to be content with lower rents.

does not justify the apprehension that the value
of our flocks and herds will be permanently de-
pressed by American importation. Mr. Brassey
does not seem to be aware of the chief reasons
why the Americans have not sent us much larger
supplies of cattle and meat than they have sent
during the past year. The principal reason is
that, at present, they have not a large supply of
suitable cattle to send, dead or alive. The pro-
portion of well-bred cattle is still comparatively
small, though vastly greater than it was only a
few years ago, and it is worse than useless to send
any but their well-bred cattle here. That reason
is of course by itself sufficient. But there is
reason to believe that we have not had all the
cattle and meat that the American prodcers
could and would have sent to us if conditions had
been more favourable. The most economical
system of conveying meat across the Atlantic and
selling it here has not been perfected, and never
will be until proper provisions for dealing with it
on this side have been made. Nor has the traffic
in live cattle got into proper order. It has been
so irregular that all the profits have gone to
middle men, and neither the producer in Agricultural
America nor the consumer here has reaped much
advantage. If we are not mistaken it is the
receivers on this side of the ocean who have
derived the bulk of the profit, the exporters
having taken all the risks and received the small-
est advantage. There can be no doubt but that
the temporary disadvantage of a new system of
operations will soon be improved away, nor that
the vast herds of the United States will rapidly
become improved under the new stimulus. When
time has been allowed for these alterations, meat,
in a living or dead form, will probably come here
in vastly increased quantity. Mr. Brassey says
that when the waste lands of America have become
occupied, land for grazing, now to be had free,
will have to be hired. That is true, and then the
cost of producing meat will be increased. But
that, like the exhaustion of the wheat soils, is a
contingency of the remote future, and cannot
fairly be used as a reason for supposing that rents
in this country will not have to be reduced for
many years to come.

[blocks in formation]


Sir W. HART DYKE, M.P., in presiding on Wednesday Nov. 26, at the annual dinner of the Wrotham, Ightham, and Stansted Agricultural Association said that the phrase embodied in the toast of Agricultural success 99 was one which might, perhaps, grate rather harshly on their ears. poi ioa as agriculturists was not a successful p sition. He would speak of them in perfect frankness as one of the landOwners of the country. The present position was one which demanded some sacrifice on the part of the lan owners of the country, and necessitated the exercise of all their courage and patience. He heard on all sides remedies proposed for these ills, and it was perfectly natural that at such a time of widespread distress remedies should be proposed. Some of these had been of a wid and impracticable character. He heard constantly that there was a restriction now existing with reference to the land, and that the land being tied up in various ways there was not that freedom which should exist for its sale. There had also been of late frequent references as to large owners with regard to the law of entail. He could not see that the remedying this state of affairs would strike at the root of the evil now existing. Of te also there had been several allusions to peasant preprietorship. It seemed to him that when, as now, prices and weather were bad, it was something approaching to lunacy to suzgest that the remedy could be found in the shape of small

alarmist view of the present situation. He was prepared to say that it was a state of emergency with regard to those whose sole property was in land. The question of rents was one very often raised, and it must settle itself. It was perfectly obvious that it would be no advantage to a landlord to have a bankrupt tenant under him. If it became imperative rents must be reduced, and, if that came about, tenants must have the good sense to remember that they were parties with their landlord in a certain contract. The tenants and the landlords of this country must realise that their iu erests were identical, and that come what might each must be prepared to make a sacrifice one to the other before they could pull through a crisis like the present.

Mr. Brassey points to dairy farming and the growing of fruit and vegetables, as well as cattledings. He believed that we ought not to take a very breeding and grazing, as pursuits likely to be more profitable in this country than the cultivation of corn. What we have remarked with respect to the probable increase of American competition in the production of meat is a reply to one portion of this suggestion That the growth of fruit and vegetables might be increased with advantage we have no doubt, though there are difficulties in the way of such increase which we cannot refer to with advantage at the end of an article. With respect to dairy farming, we fear we must come to the conclusion that foreigu competition will affect it as severely as it will affect any other branch of farming. On the whole, then, in considering the probabilities of foreign, and especially American, competition in all branches of farm product on, we repeat that we see no ground for Mr. Brassey's hope that a temporary relief to tenants will be sufficient. It

Amongst the sentimentals recently published is a ballad, which begins:

"Who will come above me sighing,
When the grass grows over me?"

We can't say positively who, but if in a rural district, it may
probably be the cow.-
-Ayr Advertiser.



SIR, I believe Canada is the only place on earth where men who have occasion to speak well of the country they travel in are subjected to abuse. The people of the United States differ on political matters, and party strife bemes is bitter; but they are patriotic, and all believe they have the finest country in the world. In Canada there are many persons who in allegiance are divided, and some of those people never hesitate to disparage this country, especially if they are opposed to the political party in power, and if it serves to embarrass or discredit them. I have been abused because I dared to state my honest

conviction that in the Province of Manitoba there are some of the richest lands in the world. I find also that your correspondent in the Express, of September 22ud, assails my independence, and questions my veracity on the authority of an eavesdropper at Ottawa, and some garbled extracts from musty newspapers that did not correctly report what I then stated; and, although I am wellknown to the working men of London, at least, he occupies much valuable space in the Express to explain who I am and what I have been. However, let me assure

nim, and all others whom it may concern, that the interests of the old countries are still to me before all and above all. I have not lost an iota of my independence, and the Canadian Government can no more influence my statements in reference to this country than the Shah of

Persia. I travelled the United States without their countenance or support. I came up here to round off my tour of America, and investigate the resources of this great and fertile wilderness which people talked so much about, and will remain to experience a winter here without their leave or assistance. I came here to speak and write the truth intrepidly about this country for the information of intending emigrants, and now, after travelling a good deal through it during the past three months, I am prepared to state that on this Continent or in the Old World, I never saw more rich and fertile land on which men can labour and enjoy good health than here in Manitoba, especially in the Red River Valley. A moderate expenditure on drainage would render the entire province, 63 million acres, capable of cultivation, and make it the best wheat and pasture land in America. I have seen large areas of prairie bay cut producing five to seven tons the acre, and many fields of wheat which averaged 30 to 40 bushels to the acre. In the old Scotch settlements at Selkirk, Kildonan, and St. Andrew's, on the Red River, wheat has been grown continuously on the same fields for nearly half a century without diminution in the yield. Travelling through those old Red River settlements you will find in many places large heaps of manure encumbering the homesteads and outbuildings. for some of the farmers there believe it would injure the land if spread on it. Manure is valueless to those peopl", and frequently when the litter of cattle and horses accumulates in the stables the buildings are removed to a new site rather than clean them out. I believe when this province is under cultivation Canada will have a large surplus of agricultural products for exportation, and according to reliable reports there are fifty times its area of good land in the British territory from here to the Pacific Ocean. We had a flying visit lately from the Imperial Commissioners, Messrs. Read and Pell, and the citizens of Winnipeg gave them a banquet, at which the Honorable J. W. Taylor, the American Consul here, in replying to the toast of the President of the United States, said that three-fourths of the wheat-producing belt of this Continent lay north of the international boundary line, and there the future bread supply of America, and of the Old World too, would be raised. The guests being toasted, Mr. C. S. Reade, M.P., said

he had seen land in this district which his limited experi ence led him to believe the very best land for cultivation the world ever produced; and Mr. Albert Pell, M.P., said with his colleague they had visited a good deal of this province, looked more cursorily than they desired, but still with the eyes of practical men, who were so far acquainted with the cultivation of land as to have almost an instinct on the subject, and as such he believed that in Manitoba and the North-West the country had wheat, excellent samples of which he had seen. Surely all that was necessary for the production of very good the testimony of those Commissioners, who are practical farmers, should be almost conclusive as to the fertility and productiveness of this country, and should assure agriculturists at home who desire to emigrate that ManiThat the Americans toba is a good country to settle in.

are fully alive to the fact of those British possessions containing the great wheat fields from which the bulk of the world's future food supply must be drawn, is very evident from the speech of Consul Taylor, and from the number of land speculators and large mill owners I have met over here from across the line, spying out the land. But still more conclusive is a conversation between ExGovernor Austin, of Minnesota, and General Loring, late of the Egyptian service, as reported in the St. Paul's Pioneer Press, of October 26th. The Ex Governor said while he was occupying the rooms at the State Capital, in St. Paul's, in 1872, a healthy looking Scotchman entered, Bay Company, at Fort Edmonton, 1,500 miles north-west and introduced himself as the Superintendent of the Hudson from St. Paul's. He went to Edmonton 27 years before, and was then on his first visit to the States. He poured a little bag of wheat on the Governor's table, and said that was a sample of the twenty-fifth crop he had raisel at Edmonton. It was as good wheat as the Governor had In 27 years the Scotchman had only two failures-one from grasshoppers, and the other from frost. He spoke of it as a fine wheat country. Now the wonder is how great is this wheat domain? The Red River Valley is only a patch. The vast prairies of the North-West also furnish unequalled pasturage for cattle.

ever seen.


The grasses are so rich and nutritious that animals can be prepared for market without other assistWestward, approaching the Rocky Mountains, in the Bow River and Edmonton districts the climate is so mild that the cattle feed out a'l the winter; and even in the colder regions the horses and ponies of the Indians and half-breeds feed out during the coldest winter. The dry cold air prevents the snow from melting and becoming icy, and the animals by pawing easily remove the covering of snow from the grass. I saw many large herds of cattle in this province, chiefly the common cattle of the country, and from Montana; but the new settlers a e introducing some good breeds of Darhams and Shorthorns-several of them cost from 200 dols. to 300 dols. W. B. Hall, of the Hermitage, nine miles from Winnipeg, said he commenced sheep-raising in 1858, but abandoned. it for want of a wool market, and on account of the depredations of wolves; but now that there is railway communication, and the population increasing, he believes sheep-raising in Manitoba and the North-West will be profitable, I believe in time every branch of farming can be profitably pursued in this country, the soil is so fertile and easily cultivated. The Exhibition of agricultural products at Winnipeg, this fall, was superior in many respects to those I have seen in the old countries; the vegetables were of immense growth and size, and a great variety of them. The wheat was superior to any on this Con-tinent; several samples of Scotch Fife wheat weighed over 60lb. to the bushel, and almost as hard as shot; but the oats and barley were not as good as those you. produce at home.

Earl Beaconsfield may have mixed matters up a little in his speech to the agriculturists of Bucks, but I believe his lordship was correct in stating that the Dominion of Canada, with the settlement of Manitoba and the NorthWest territory, will successfully compete with the United States in raising wheat and cattle for the European markets. The great State of New York scarcely grows half enough of wheat for its people; New England only raises wheat sufficient to supply the population of it for three werks; the Atlantic States, with the Southern States, are unable to meet their home demand. The great central belt of States east of the Mississippi have not increased their wheat production to any extent during the last 20 years, while their populations have more than doubled, and a vicious, improvident system of cultivation is fast exhausting the good wheat lands of the Pacific slope and the North-West States and territories, where the wheat for exportation is chiefly raised.

The entire area, about


28 million acres, under wheat in the United States is not equal to one half the good wheat lands in the valleys of both Saskachewans, while the soil of the North-West has unusually prolific powers, and plants yield better as they approach the northern limit of their cultivation. Besides, the completion of 410 miles of railway now in course of construction, from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay on Lake Superior, will give the producers in this country the best and cheapest route to the seaboard and Liverpool. Over a million and a quarter acres of the best land in Manitoba were set apart by the Government for the natives and half-breeds, many of whom parted with them for a mere trifle to speculators, who now charge from 1 dol. to 4 dols. per aere for them. But the Government give to each settler a homestead of 160 acres, with the right to preempt 160 acres more at one dollar an acre. This year about six thousand pre-emptions and homestead rights have been taken up, and a quarter million acres sold in Manitoba and the North-West, and settlements now extend some 300 miles west of Winnipeg. There are a few mammoth farms in this Province, the owners of which intend to grow wheat on a large scale. Mr. James Lowe, of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England, and his brother, Mr. John Lowe of Ottawa, are joint owners of twelve square miles of land, near Morris, on the Red River, and five thousand acres more close to. All their land is good, and only cost about one dollar per acre. In sinking for water on the Morris farm There are they found good soil at a depth of 80 feet. many farms from 500 to 1,000 acres, but the bulk of the holdings are the 320 acres taken up in accordance with the homestead law. Many of the settlers are experienced farmers from Ontario, and the other provinces, who have some capital, but many who commenced farming here without capital with stout hearts and willing hands are making good progress. I have seen many old country men here bravely working to make homes for themselves and families. At the Portage la Prairie, 60 miles west, I met an engine builder from Leeds farming 320 acres, who said he could not be paid for going home and resuming his trade; and I met at Dundas, 35 miles from here, A. Cook, from the Star and Garter, Richmond, cultivating 320 acres, which he said was more enjoyable and profitable employment than preparing dinners for the Cockneys. The weather has been delightful since I came here, and continues fine; although the Red River has been frozen a few days the air is so clear and dry the cold is more endurable than in the old countries.

[blocks in formation]


Mr. Amos Yewdall, Secretary of the Stonemasons' Society of Victoria, writes to the Standard :—


As it appears a movement is on foot in Great Britain to relieve the depressed state of the labour market by encouraging and assisting the artisan and labouring classes to emigrate, I have been instructed by the Stonemasons' Society of Victoria to draw the attention of intending emigrants to the fact that Australia has not escaped the general depression, and, as it is a limited field for artizans, there is great want of employment and consequent distress existing here. Things have been going down, down, for the last two years, and now there are thousands out of employment, and no sign of things being better for a long time to come. No doubt many of those who would come here have read the glowing accounts given of the high rates of wages, and no lack of employment, in some of the journals of this country, whose object has always been to glut this market in the interests of the employers. Allow me to refer your readers to the files of the Argus and Age newspapers for the last twelve months, and there they can read and judge for themselves as to the condition of the working classes here. Numerous meetings have been held of the unemployed, till at last the Government had to commence relief works, which are still carried on, and at the present time there are hundreds of artizans on the works, such as cutting down timber in the country districts, breaking stones for road purposes, and many of them being allowed to work half time only at the rate of four shillings per day. Subscription lists have been opened, and contributions of clothing, &c., collected and distributed to the needy in Melbourne and elsewhere. From these facts the Stonemasons' Society feel called upon to sound a word of caution, especially to men of their own trade, and would advise those whose intention it is to come to this country to be careful of what they do, lest they find they have "jumped out of the frying-pan into the fire."


A special meeting of the members of the Bedale Chamber of Agriculture was held recently in the Black Swan Hotel Bedale, to discuss the subject of agricultural depression. In the absence of the President (Capt. Clark, The Hermitage, the chair was occupied by Mr. G. J. ROBINSON, Northallerton, one of the vice presidents. There was a good attendance.

MR. JOHN TEALE, the hon. secretary, stated that he had communicated with Mr. John Coleman, of Riccall Hall, York, one of the Assistant Agricultural Commissioners, who, in reply wrote as follows:

"I think Leyburn will be a good place to meet, but before anything further can be done we must wait until the Government furnishes us with the series of printed questions which the Assistant Commissioners have drafted, and which will include (1) occupiers; (2) owners and agents; (3) committees of farmers' clubs, Chambers, and Boards of Guardians; (4) labourers. The answers, we hope, will be given in writing, and when they are sent in, our meeting can take pluce. In the meanwhile, I will, if possible, visit the gentlemen wnose names you have given me.

The SECRETARY also read a letter from Mr. H. M. G. Coore, J. P., apologising for absence. He wrote

"It is most desirable that the gentlemen deputed by the Chamber to give evidence before the Commissioners should feel that they have the entire confidence and sympathy of the farmers in this district, and a full knowledge of such grievances as they may have. I do not myself expect very much result from the labours of the Commission, but the best way to make it really useful is to elicit a free and ontspoken expression of opinion on the hindrances to successful agriculture." Mr. ROBERTSON, corn dealer, Redcar, then read a paper Agricultural Depression," which did not throw much light on the subject.


SUFFOLK AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.-At a meeting of the Committee of this association held at Ipswich on Nov. 1, it was agreed that the show for next year should be held at Bury St. Edmunds on the 24th and 25th of June.

« PrécédentContinuer »