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SHROPSHIRE CHAMBER OF AGRICULTURE.

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SHROPSHIRE CHAMBER OF AGRI- CULTURE. An ordinary monthly meeting of the committee of the Shropshire Chamber of Agriculture was held at the offices of the Chamber, Music Hall Buildings, Shrewsbury, on Tuesday afternoon. There were present Mr Bowen Jones, in the chair; the Rev. C. F. C. Pigott, Messrs Jasper More, Stanley Leighton, J. Bazeley Wm. Brewster, Samuel Minor, James Paddock, M. Williams, Thos Williams, jun., W. Nevitt, S. Hudson, Thos. Man- sell, Geo. Cureton, John Richard, E. W Rag B. Rainforth, John Bridgeman, John Preece, and Mr W. Edwards, secretary. NEW MEMBERS. The following new members were proposed and enrolled: Mr Loxdale, Kingsland, Shrewsbury Mr Richd.^Wood, Abberley Mr Chas. J. Hooper, Oldbury, Bridgnorth and Mr Thos. Hare, Mellins Heath. THE ANNUAL DINNER. A report was read from the Dinner Commilttee stai^ that arrangements had been made with the Clarendon Hotel to supply the annualdnmer o 17th inst., that gentleman s catering Ae la ^ould having given great satisfaction. Acc limited num- be provided in the orchestra for ladies, and a limi g ha(1 ber of tickets would be issued. ^Tord Sill, Lord been received from the Earl of Pow j, Oi-irisby Berwick, Sir Baldwin Leighton, Bart., Mr 'Corbet and Gore, M.P., Capt. Severne, the Rev. o. u* others. 7 VhP first business upon the The CHAIRMAN said that determine upon what agenda was for the committee to thy formation 0f a steps should be taken in .Shropshir L ^{ Taxa_ Local Committee or other ) (-ien)-ra| Chamber. The tion Committee appointed by tw(j yearg ag0 this committee would re"10⢠the Central Chamber to unite Chamber was applied to QY Local Taxation Committee, with it in the formation ]>ev_ q p C. Pigott were and Mr Jasper More* ^]ie Shropshire Chamber at that then elected to repr tral chamber now appeared to committee. J^%girable for the different county Cham- think that it a to sub-committees to act in bers of A^cuitur question of local tax- rypeThamber in^^lan^ with the^ggestion which SJiSii could be got to bestir^ie⢠had hitherto been the case, be the question should not, a of county districts and left almost entirely 111 The question was to county members of Piailiam.s magistrateS at the have come under the notice ot^t, geeing one or Quarter Sessions be gla(11? know from two magistrates Pre»»n f Qaarter Sessions had re- them what coarse1her the magistrates were disposed solved upon takin0, not inclined to take anV action UP n tiie subject;, be thought it would be any action upon c^ mber to' petition them to take the advisable for this C^^ con8ideration> as the .^istance subject into tnei ponrt were verv material. With and co-operation <>f .committee he thought that they the assistance of t acoe8S for the discussion of the n^ight more readily Boards of Guardians, bodies subject of local tax appear to evince that interest which ^t present M n'^ aPP sentlal th should, a9 he f ^^Ktofthe whole Boards of Guardians in the c:>r4,^nly one-thatat Wellington-had memonahzed PMiASLNtLErLETIGHTONSAID that a petition embodying if ftp orincinles drawn up m the memorial which f ^l? ,pntout by SiArassey Lopez had, on the previous had been seJ\ t /by the Court of Quarter Sessions for day, been adopted ^n of Common9 by (J()l (Jorbett, ST In that petition the court adopted the principles of Inoal fixation as at present laid down, but they pointed out that the Treasury did not give them that support which thev ought in all fairness to receive, that the sup- plementary grivnt which was allowed was not adequate to the^ayments which the court, by statute, had to make. The-petition went on to state that there were certain classes of property-such as metallic mines and woods which were not rated, and these, it was submitted, ought fairly to come within the compass of rating. These were the principal features of the petition, which was signed by all the magistrates present, with the exception, he be- lieved, of Mr Jasper More. Mr JASPER MOREâNo, you are mistaken. I signed the P0Mr°STANLEY LEIGHTON said that he was glad to learn from the contradiction of Mr Jasper More that the Court had been unanimous in its adoption of the petition. He fully agreed with the chairman as to the desirability of appointing a sub-committee, and in his remarks that the question should not be 4eft exclusively in the hands of county members. If they wished to create an expression of opinion in Parliament they must not ';0 to the county members only, but they must also gain the assistance of borough and town members, for a re-adjustment of such an important question as that involved in Local Paxation was a subject of as great interest to people living in cities and towns as it was to the agricultural classes. The Rev. C. F. C. PIGOTT hoped that care would be exercised in drawing as largely as possible upon the towns in the formation of the local committee, for if they wished to obtain a reversal of the present unjust system of local taxation it was absolutely necessary that they should have the assistance of the boroughs and towns. They must enlighten and educate the borough householders upon the importance of the matter, and enable them fully to understand it, so that they might tell their representatives that unless they assisted in bringing about a readjustment of the present system, they would vote for some one else who would. The county members he thought they might fully rely upon, but unless they had a strong support from the boronr-h members the matter would not be very rapidly advanced. He advised, if the funds would per- mit, that a small grant should be made annually to the London Committee, and also to the Local Committee, if they resolved upon forming one. The CHAIRMAN said that they had a good balance at their OO.-NWS, and could well afford to make a grant of R10. He thought that if an appeal were made in the county, a sum of £ 30 or £ 40 might be raised, as had been done in other counties. Mr Mixor then moved, and the Rev. C. F. C. PlGOTT seconded, the appointment of the following committee, with power to add to its number Messrs jasper More Stanley Leighton, G. Cureton. S. Minor, W. Brewster' M. Williams. J. Bazeley, the Rev. C. F. C. Pigott, and the chairman, ex officio. The resolution was unanimously agreed to. THE DISTRESS IN THE FRENCH AGRICULTURAL DISTRICTS. The CHAIRMAN said that the second subject set down was to consider the present distress of French agricul- tnrists, with a view of affording some D relief Thev would remember, doubtless, that the first gentleman who took action in this matter was Mr James Howard, M P who, in the first instance, communicated with M. Drouyn de Lhuys, as President of the French Agricul- tural Society. Mr Howard, finding from the information which he received from M. Drouyn de Lhuys that great distress and privations were prevalent in the French agricultural provinces which had been over-run by the German forces, communicated with the Earl of Powis, as President of the Smithfield Club, who brought the sub- ject under the notice of the club at its late annual meeting. Earl Vernon, the President of the Royal Agricultural Society, had also addressed a public meeting upon the subject' at which a letter was received from Mr Howard, setting' forth the deplorable condition in which the French agriculturists had been placed through the outbreak of the war, and asking for assistance from the agriculturists of England. There could exist no doubt as to there being great and urgent necessity for sending assist- ance to the French, who, as appeared from the reports in the newspapers, were suffering very great privations. At the public meeting over which Lord Vernon presided (re- ports of which they had doubtless seen in the agricultural newspapers), Mr Sutton, of Reading, graphically described the great desolation and misery from which many of the French provinces were suffering. Since the time to which W IC a Mr Sutton had referred, the German forces had spread themselves north, south, and west, and their progress was marked with increased and more widely-spread desolation. English farmers naturally felt that they were not in a position to find money for other people, but he thought that an appeal might go forth from the Chamber for con- tributions. and that the farmers might form a small nucleus of a fund which might be augmented by the sub- scriptions of charitable persons, and the sum so obtained could be sent through the Chamber to the principal committee. Many farmers who did not like to put their hands in their pockets might be willing to assist their suffering brethren by a contribution of a sack of wheat or grain, and contributions in kind as well as in money would be thankfully received. Mr STANLEY LEIGHTON said that it should be remem- bered, before the Chamber pledged itself in any way, that the deject which they sought to attain w.13 not the throw- ing-in if an international svpply that they were seeking to^assist the French exclusively. As neutrals their sympa- thies ought to hang evenly in the balance, and if they as- sisted the i reacn they should also assist the Germans. The CHAlRMA^said there was certainly great force in the remarks wbic'n had been made by Mr Stanley LeIg'a.}' ton, and he should like to have proposed that similar aid I be afforded to the Germans, had the Germans been simi- larly situated Is the French now were. It would be remembered that it was not the German but the French provinces which were suffering from the inroads of an in- ^The Rev% C. F. C. PIGOTTâYes, France is the only country which is occupied by an invading army, whereas Germany is perfectly free, and no appeal for help has come ^r<Mr STANLEY LEIGHTON feared that they would only be adding to the power of resistance on the part of the French, were they to assist them as proposed. The CHAIRMAN said that the names of the noblemen and rrpiitlemen who had consented to act as vice-presidents, and who were taking a very active part in the movement was, in his opinion, a sufficient guarantee that the money raised i would be properly expended, What was ser\t out would be distributed, not as bread for the contending armies, but as seed for the land. It was then unanimously resolved, on the motion of the CHAIRMAN, seconded by Mr BREWSTER, that the Chamber agree to receive contributions on behalf of the suffering French agriculturists. MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS. It was resolved that the terms of the petition on local taxation be identical with those of the petition agreed to by the Central Chamber. The remaining business upou the agenda was the consideration of the circular of the Central Chamber respecting the February discussion upon the Metrical system of weights and measures," but no circular having been received, the consideration of the subjeet was therefore deferred.

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